- - Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pelley to replace Couric on ‘CBS Evening News’

Scott Pelley will take over as anchor of “CBS Evening News” in June, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The news comes a week after Katie Couric announced she intends to exit the anchor desk at the conclusion of her contract. The announcement completes the long-rumored succession plan at “CBS Evening News” and caps months of heated speculation about Ms. Couric’s future with the news division

In a statement announcing the move, Jeff Fager, chairman of CBS News, described Mr. Pelley as “among the very best reporters ever to work at CBS News.”

“We like to think of CBS News as the ‘reporter’s network’ and I can’t think of anybody in this business better suited for the anchor chair than Scott,” he added.

Mr. Pelley, who will turn 54 in July, comes to “CBS Evening News” from “60 Minutes,” where he has emerged as a leading correspondent and the voice of recession-battered Americans through his emotional reports from the heartland. He will continue to report for “60 Minutes.”

Mr. Pelley will be taking over a broadcast that has been mired in third place for decades. NBC’s “Nightly News” with Brian Williams remains firmly in first place in the evening news race while ABC’s “World News” with Diane Sawyer is ensconced in second.

In a statement, Mr. Pelley said: “I am delighted to join the terrific team at the ‘CBS Evening News.’ It’s a privilege to work alongside the most gifted and talented journalists in the industry.”

Clippers-wielding Ferrell shaves Conan’s beard

Will Ferrell finally triumphed over his arch enemy: Conan O'Brien’s beard.

Mr. Ferrell culminated a weeks-long lead-up to Monday’s episode of “Conan” by shaving the late-night host’s beard, the Associated Press reports. A giddy and determined Mr. Ferrell guest-starred on the program, promoted as the “Beardpocalypse.”

Mr. Ferrell trimmed Mr. O'Brien with clippers, which he named “Excalibeard.” Mr. Ferrell did a haphazard job of it, and the shave was finished off-camera. It was the first time Mr. O'Brien gave up the beard he grew after NBC jettisoned him from the “Tonight Show” in January 2010.

Seeing Mr. O'Brien’s fresh-faced mug again, Mr. Ferrell turned remorseful, saying he had made a “terrible mistake.”

Sheen promises aid for storm-torn Alabama

Actor Charlie Sheen toured an Alabama neighborhood leveled by tornadoes and said Monday he wants to organize a relief event for victims in the state.

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