CBS Wants Bob Schieffer to Provide News Commentary

  This time it's official. The commentary Bob Schieffer will offer the "CBS Evening News" will not be sprinkled into various news stories. Instead, it will be a dedicated segment at the end of the show.

When Katie Couric takes over as anchor, CBS wants Schieffer to take on the new role.

Gail Shister in the Philadelphia Inquirer reports:

For the first time in 20 years, since Bill Moyers left the set, CBS wants commentary on the Evening News - and it wants Bob Schieffer to do it. Twice a week, beginning with Katie Couric's debut in September.

"My answer is, 'I don't know,' " says Schieffer, who does a weekly commentary in the closing minutes of Face the Nation. "I don't know if I have three [commentaries] a week in me. I'll decide over the summer."

Under anchor Dan Rather, the cerebral Moyers weighed in on the issues of the day from 1981 to '86. Eric Sevareid set the gold standard from '64 to '77, when Walter Cronkite ruled.

For Schieffer, the most pressing issue is whether he'll retire, as promised, on his 70th birthday, Feb. 25.

Couric's arrival and Evening News' surge in viewership under his 13-month stewardship have reenergized CBS, prompting Schieffer to rethink his original plan....

If Schieffer were to stick around, it would be because of Couric, he says.

"It would be fun, because I like Katie so much and I just want to see what's going to happen. I want to see if we can be No. 1.