John Roberts, anchor of CBS's weekend evening news editions and a medical correspondent based in New York, is taking over the White House beat at CBS News. He replaces Scott Pelley, who has been chief White House correspondent for two years and will now become the fifth correspondent for the newsmagazine "60 Minutes II." The changes will take effect later this summer, the network said.
Roberts, 42, recently reported from Yugoslavia for a month during the NATO bombing. He has been anchor of the "CBS Evening News" Sunday edition since March 1995 and will continue to do that. The network had no word on a Saturday replacement; Roberts added that duty in February. He has also subbed for Dan Rather on the "CBS Evening News."
Roberts first worked for CBS News as co-anchor of the "CBS Morning News" from 1992 to '94 and served as news anchor for "CBS This Morning." He co-anchored the 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts on CBS's New York City station, WCBS, for a year before returning to CBS News.
Pelley, 41, was named CBS News's chief White House correspondent in August 1997. He had been a correspondent based in Dallas since 1990, having joined CBS News a year earlier as a reporter in New York. In addition to his domestic work, Pelley was assigned for a year to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, during the Persian Gulf conflict.
Before joining CBS News, Pelley was a producer-reporter for various TV stations in Dallas and Lubbock, Tex. He began his journalism career at age 15 as a copy boy at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal newspaper.
Both men are being talked about as leading candidates to replace Dan Rather when he decides to hang it up as anchor of "CBS Evening News."