From Jeff Glor to 'The CBS Evening News with Jeff Glor' - The Buffalo News

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From Jeff Glor to 'The CBS Evening News with Jeff Glor'

Town of Tonawanda native Jeff Glor was at 716 Food and Sport almost two weeks ago discussing some of the possible changes at "The CBS Evening News" when his voice suddenly lowered.

"They are redoing the open with my name and everything," he said quietly.

It was evidence of his modesty and how humbled he feels.

When I mentioned his voice lowering, Glor remembered a conversation he had that morning with WIVB-TV co-anchor Jacquie Walker earlier in the day about taking over the legendary position once held by such broadcasting giants as Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, Katie Couric and Bob Schieffer.

"Jacquie, said 'It is a humbling experience,' " he recalled. "And I said, 'Yeah, it is.' "

Jeff Glor reaches for the sky, lands in anchor chair at 'CBS Evening News'

Glor, who begins his new job at 6:30 p.m. Monday, was in Buffalo as part of what he referred to as a three-stop "Hometown Tour" that started in Syracuse and ended in Boston.

A Syracuse University graduate, he started his TV career at a Syracuse station, grew up in the Town of Tonawanda and worked in Boston before joining CBS.

CBS started running some brief promos highlighting Glor's Emmy-winning work a week ago, but "The CBS Evening News with Jeff Glor" is having what restaurants refer to as a soft opening.

Starting in December, when the holidays approach and viewing habits are different, doesn't exactly shout pay attention to me.

CBS apparently has learned from the overhyped start of Couric that quiet is better.

During a 25-minute interview before Glor attended a Buffalo Sabres game, the 42-year-old news veteran discussed the planning and his goals for a broadcast that has long been No. 3 nationally and No. 2 locally.

After being named to the job a few weeks ago, he reached out to several former nightly news anchors at all networks.

"I've been able to speak to, I believe, everybody who has this job at different networks who is still with us and they've all had advice that means a lot to me and has been very important to me," he said.

At that point, he said it was his fault that he hadn't talked to NBC's current anchor, Lester Holt. But he had talked with NBC's Tom Brokaw, former CBS anchors Dan Rather, Couric, Schieffer, Scott Pelley and ABC's anchor, David Muir.

"I've tried to reach out to all of them and all of them have been extremely responsive and extremely helpful," Glor said. "It has been pretty serious advice. It has meant everything to me to hear from them because hopefully it can help guide me and try to do this job as best as I can."

Muir, 44, is a Syracuse native who also worked at a Syracuse station before hitting the big time. Some analysts believe Muir's success in making ABC the most-watched nightly newscast nationally may have even helped CBS decide to put the youthful-looking Glor in the same evening news position at CBS.

After Glor got the job, Muir sent something from Syracuse — Dinosaur Bar-B-Que sauce — to him with a congratulatory note.

"I want to keep that between us," said Glor of the note. "It was very nice. I suggested we have lunch together at the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Harlem."

It was a wise gift choice by Muir.

Glor and several members of the CBS staff that came with him to Buffalo were eating takeout from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in the car on the way from Syracuse to Buffalo.

In Syracuse, Glor stopped at WSTM, where he worked. He said many people who worked with him in Syracuse remain there, including the main male anchor, Matt Mulcahy.

At Channel 4, the CBS affiliate in Buffalo, Glor did some promos with Walker and Don Postles, learned some people at the station have bowled with his mother and addressed the newsroom.

He could use the newsroom's help.

During the just-concluded November sweeps, ABC's "World News Tonight with David Muir" leads nationally in total viewers with 8,956,000 to 8,364,000 for "The NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt." "The CBS Evening News" is more than two million behind both with 6,632,000 viewers. NBC has a slight lead over ABC in the key 25-54 and 18-49 demographics, with CBS deep in third place.

Locally, Holt's newscast on NBC was a big November winner on Channel 2 with a 9.8 household rating to a 7.8 rating for CBS on Channel 4 and a 5.8 rating for Muir's ABC newscast on Channel 7.

"The CBS Evening News" is the only national newscast that loses audience locally from its lead-in. The 6 p.m. Channel 4 newscast is No. 1 with a 10.2 rating and drops to a 7.8 for "The CBS Evening News," which means CBS loses about 25 percent of that local rating.

Glor doesn't expect to be nervous on opening night.

"I think a little bit of nerves is always a good thing," said Glor. "It keeps you sharp."

He said he plans to be out of the studio as much as possible, as the married father of two has been recently.

"In the past two months, I've been at the scene of a natural disaster (Hurricane Irma in Florida), a terrorist attack (in New York City) and a mass shooting (in Texas)," he said.

"I would love to do the newscast on location of breaking news as much as possible," he added. "I would love to do the newscast show from Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami, as many places as we can. Buffalo. I would like to travel as much as it is possible while also being there for my kids."

He doesn't expect to be a miracle worker.

"I think we all … understand these builds take time," said Glor. "I think everybody does. And none of this happens overnight. I hope everyone has patience."

His plans for his first night almost two weeks ago were sketchy. He said he didn't know what he planned to say at the beginning or the end of his opening newscast.

"I would go for understatement if anything," said Glor. "It will probably be relatively simple and clean."

He also had something relatively simple to say to Buffalo viewers: "You're the best. I hope they give me a shot. I will try and work hard every single day and I hope in the long run that builds to something positive."

 

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