In an unprecedented joint interview with all three anchors of the three broadcast network evening news programs — CBS’s Scott Pelley, NBC’s Lester Holt and ABC’s David Muir — Variety senior TV editor Brian Steinberg asked about the differences between the broadcast news landscape of today and that of decades ago, when Walter Cronkite and Frank Reynolds were among the network anchors.
Pelley noted that Cronkite was famously voted the most trusted man in America, but added: “That could never happen today because we live in a much more skeptical society than we did in the ’60s and ’70s, and I think that’s, largely, a good thing. I think the American people are asking all of us to be transparent and to explain our process to them so that they can see how we know what we know.”
Pelley also commented: “We’ve all talked about how relevant we are in this Internet age … that never before in human history has more information been available to more people. But it’s also true never in human history has more bad information been available to more people. So one of the reasons all three of our broadcasts have been growing over these last six years or so, I believe, is because people are looking for brand names. They’re looking for people that they can trust. They’re looking for people that they know worked all day long trying to get the story right and to make it nice and concise and understandable.”
We encourage readers to click on the link to Variety near the top of this story to read the in-depth interview with all three anchors.
Here’s a look back at Cronkite in action in November 1963, posted by CBS …