When former WHDH reporter and weekend anchor Jeff Glor gets behind the desk as the new full-time anchor of CBS Evening News on Monday, he’ll be following in the footsteps of Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, and Katie Couric. At only 42 years old, he has plenty of time to grow into the role, and could realistically meet or exceed Rather’s 24-year hosting stint. But in a phone interview with Boston.com, Glor said he is a bit more preoccupied with the present than the distant future.
“I’m going to focus on the first week first,” said Glor, a national correspondent for the network for the past 10 years. “Ideally this is something that can work for the long-term, but my immediate focus is doing the best job I can every single day.”
Two weeks before he was set to to take his seat, Glor was on a journey through his past, of sorts. He was on his way from NBC affiliate WSTM in Syracuse, New York — where he landed his first television job during his senior year at Syracuse University — to Buffalo, 20 minutes south of Tonawanda, the small town where Glor grew up. Glor recalled eagerly waiting for The Buffalo News in his driveway each morning, and later working for the newspaper as a delivery boy. He also watched all of the local news broadcasts on TV and said he looked up to the anchors at WIVB, CBS’s Buffalo affiliate, in the 1980s.
“Bob Koop, Carol Jasen, Dan Miller did sports. Jacquie Walker, who still works for the station today,” Glor said, naming some of the reporters and anchors he admired. “I’ve always tried to watch and learn from reporters on both a local and network level to help me improve what I do.”
Now Glor was visiting the stations he once dreamed of joining at arguably the pinnacle of his career. His mom, with whom he planned to catch a Buffalo Sabres game later that night, had recently been interviewed by Walker for a story about his new job.
To Glor, it all feels very surreal.
“That word [surreal] has become such a cliché, but sometimes it’s the word that fits,” Glor said. “It’s been very, very cool.”
Before he made the leap to the national CBS broadcast in 2007, Glor spent a formative four years in Boston as a reporter and weekend anchor for WHDH. There, he got to cover major stories for the channel, traveling to Rome for the death of Pope John Paul II in 2005 and to Washington, D.C. for the congressional hearings on steroid use in Major League Baseball.
“Boston is a tremendous news town,” Glor said. “I knew that going in, and I came to appreciate that even more living there.”
Glor said the thing he misses most about the city is the friends he made while living here. He and his wife, Nicole, spent all four years living on Beacon Street, steps from the State House and Boston Common, and recently returned to attend the wedding of Boston TV personality Jenny Johnson.
“Both my wife and I love the city and love New England,” Glor said. “I’m a lot closer to New York now, but we moved to Connecticut late last year. It’s not really the same thing, but technically we’re living in New England again.”
Similar to his reporting days in Boston, during his 10 years at CBS, Glor has consistently taken on opportunities to work outside of the broadcast center. In recent months, Glor was in the field covering a natural disaster (Hurricane Irma), a terror attack (in New York City), and a mass shooting (in Sutherland Springs, Texas). He reported from Alaska on permafrost degradation and was in Jackson, Wyoming, for the solar eclipse. Besides when he served as the news anchor for the final years of The Early Show from 2011 to 2012, he’s spent usually only one or two nights a week behind the desk and the other days out in the field.
While he will now be anchoring five night a week, Glor said he hopes he and his team can keep up the practice of stepping outside the studio.
“I think we’d still like to get out in the field as much as possible,” Glor said. “I think that as often as we can be in the field, we should be. That’s where we’d like to go with the broadcast.
“It’s going to be busy,” Glor concluded. “I have no expectation that being an anchor is going to be not active, but I think we’re ready for it.”