For Glor, a whirlwind visit to remember
“CBS Evening News” anchor Jeff Glor was planning such a whirlwind tour of his native Western New York that he didn’t even figure on having time to have dinner with his mother.
“I’m trying to pack in as much in a day in Buffalo as I possibly can before I have to fly out to Denver,” Glor said earlier this week in a telephone interview.
He had two speaking engagements here Friday – one invitation-only at the Buffalo Club and the other at the Tonawanda Library.
Before the speaking engagements, he planned to report a story about the Buffalo singing policemen, Michael Norwood Jr. and Mo Badger, who appeared on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show this week. The story will eventually air on Glor’s newscast. It is the kind of uplifting story “The CBS Evening News” typically carries near the end of a newscast.
The earlier tentative plans to anchor Friday’s newscast of “The CBS Evening News” from Buffalo were dropped. Glor was expecting to be on a flight to Denver at 6:30 p.m. Friday – when the newscast is carried on Channel 4 – on his way to report a story on the 20-year anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting massacre.
The call interrupted Glor’s work on the 10- to 15-minute speech he planned to deliver here. “I’ll talk about current events, journalism and the work I am lucky enough to do every day,” Glor said. “It is not going to be super-long. My goal is to do the speech, but I’d also like to take questions and talk to folks there.”
The speech was expected to address the chaotic times that journalists must make sense of in a truthful and fair way, Glor’s personal journey as a reporter and anchor and the influence that growing up in the Town of Tonawanda has had on him. He didn’t know what questions to expect. “Sometimes that is the fun part about it,” he said.
Knowing he is a big Buffalo sports fan, it would only be natural to ask him about the collapse of the Sabres.
“The Sabres have been perplexing and maddening, but I still believe they have – I know they have – young talent and guys who want to win,” he said.
He noted when he was at Disney with his family over Thanksgiving the Sabres were riding high. “I think they had the best record in the league,” Glor said. “So am I surprised they dropped so far out and not making the playoffs? Yeah.”
He was more optimistic about the work the Bills did during free agency. “There wasn’t any sort of huge moves,” Glor said. “I guess (signing center Mitch) Morse is a pretty big move, but there were more smaller moves. But sometimes you don’t have to do something really crazy, you just let the team develop.”
That could be a philosophy that CBS could follow in the evening news competition. It is in third place nationally, as it has been with several anchors before Glor took over the newscast. Still, Glor has had to deal with unfounded, speculative rumors about his future after less than a year and a half in the anchor seat. The situation could be a distraction.
“I try to focus on the work, like the script that I am writing (for the Buffalo appearance), the speech and the broadcast, instead of talking about all of it,” Glor said.
He is encouraged by the quality of the work by the CBS team.
“From the very beginning I’ve said, and many others have said, this is a marathon, not a sprint,” Glor said. “You’ve probably got me on the record saying that 12 different times over the course of eight years or longer. Actually, this month will mark 12 years at the network, so to the extent we are focused on building something as best we can, that’s what we focus on every single day.”
He certainly knows how to build CBS News team spirit.
“I ordered Anchor Bar for the senior producers,” he said.