Scott Pelley out as ‘CBS Evening News’ anchor

NEW YORK (AP) — CBS says Scott Pelley is out as “CBS Evening News” anchor after six years in the role, and network veteran Anthony Mason will fill in temporarily as a search for a new anchor begins.

The network announced Wednesday that Pelley will return to work full-time at the network’s flagship newsmagazine “60 Minutes” as it begins its 50th anniversary season.

CBS gave no reason publicly for ousting Pelley. CBS’ evening newscast is a distant third in the competition with ABC and NBC, and lately has seen some further ratings slippage.

News of his departure broke unexpectedly Tuesday night.

Pelley succeeded Katie Couric as anchor and managing editor of CBS Evening News in June 2011. He has also been a correspondent for 60 Minutes since 2004.

He has been with CBS News since he was a reporter in New York in 1989, before being named CBS News’ Chief White House Correspondent in 1997.

Pelley has won more than 30 Emmy Awards throughout his career.

According CNN the ratings for the “CBS Evening News,” were bad and the network, who was consistently running behind NBC and ABC felt that a change was needed.

Pelley gave the program stability — most notably during a period when Brian Williams was forced off “Nightly News” at NBC and Diane Sawyer left ABC’s “World News.” He did not, however, the program’s ratings were slow to grow. Since he took over, it has never moved out of third place. Over a long, proud history, CBS was almost always in first place — at least during Walter Cronkite’s 19-year run, and during the early years of Dan Rather’s.

Possible future anchors could include Norah O’Donnell of CBS This Morning, Elaine Quijano of CBS Weekend News and the network’s digital news services, or even, for a time, CBS This Morning host and long-form interviewer Charlie Rose.