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CBS' Jeff Glor on being honored, almost half-year anniversary and futures of Bills and Sabres

Almost six months since his first night in the prestigious role as anchor of "The CBS Evening News," Jeff Glor is being honored by two learning institutions in Upstate New York that helped him get there.

At 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Glor will be the convocation speaker at the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications at his college alma mater, Syracuse University.

At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, he is being inducted into the Hall of Distinction at his high school alma mater, Kenmore East.

The twin honors have caused him to reflect on the past.

"It is crazy to think I graduated (from Syracuse) half a lifetime ago," said the 42-year-old Glor in a telephone interview.

He graduated from Syracuse in 1997 at age 21.

"Looking back, it's been instructive and interesting to think about what has happened in the last decade," he added. "Hopefully, I can share some things in my speech that help graduates."

At Syracuse, Glor plans to give a little history about his surprising path from a pre-dentistry major at Syracuse to reporting and anchor. He also plans to offer advice to graduates about the importance of writing and reading in their journey in the new fast-moving world of journalism.

I've read a draft of his speech and wish I could have read it to the journalism classes I teach at SUNY Buffalo State. It is that good.

A few hours after the Syracuse speech, Glor heads to Kenmore East, where his father, mother and one of his brothers plan to attend the ceremonies.

Glor will give a speech there that he describes as "a shorter one" than the Syracuse speech.

"It's a big honor," Glor said of the Kenmore ceremonies. "My high school graduation is even farther away. It makes me feel even older. I have indelible memories there. It's cool, both my brothers and my father went there. Going back there with my father – that's special."

Glor was named "The CBS Evening News" anchor on Oct. 25, 2017, and began the job on Dec. 4, 2017. Other than a planned holiday vacation, he hasn't had a day off and has done a good deal of traveling. He is expected to travel again on Sunday to an unspecified location.

Since he is about three weeks away from the half-year anniversary as the CBS anchor, it is a good time to assess how the newscast is doing in the ratings.

Glor said he looks at the ratings only about once every two weeks and that CBS management realizes it is a long process to get where it wants to be.

"We try to get better every night," said Glor. "It takes a while to build the next version of the newscast. We are going to have a new newsroom, hopefully by July. If we do the show the way I think we will, viewers will find us."

Jeff Glor will need time to boost 'CBS Evening News'

WNYers are finding the newscast carried on WIVB-TV (Channel 4), the local CBS affiliate.

Since Jan. 1, Glor's newscast has cut the local lead by "The NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt" almost in half.

Glor's newscast has averaged an 8.4 rating, only a tenth of a point lower than it was a year ago at this point. Holt's newscast averages a 9.4 rating on WGRZ-TV (Channel 2), down from 10.4 a year ago. ABC's "World News Tonight with David Muir" is third locally with a 6.0 rating on WKBW-TV (Channel 7), but it is the only national newscast here that improves on its local lead-in and has a higher local rating than it had a year ago.

Nationally, Glor's newscast remains deep in third place as it did before he took the job.

A big Buffalo sports fan who reported a memorable 2015 story on Bills and Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula for Showtime's "60 Minutes Sports," Glor's take on recent draft news involving the teams is welcome.

"I think the Bills got the guy they wanted," Glor said of Bills first-round pick Josh Allen. "I hope he works out. I already bought my son Jack an Allen jersey."

The Sabres lottery victory assures that the National Hockey League team will get the player it wants and it is widely believed to be Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin.

Glor believes "If this guy is as good as they say he is" the Sabres can surprise next year.

"Sometimes turnarounds happen a lot quicker than people expect," said Glor.

As evidence, he pointed to the fact the New York Yankees almost made the World Series a year ago in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year and they are doing very well again this baseball season.

One thing is clear: Rebuilds in sports can happen much quicker than they happen in local or network news programs. They are two totally different games.

Watch: Jeff Glor ends 'CBS Evening News' with 'Let's go, Buffalo'

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