ABC News Anchor Charles Gibson: “Walter Cronkite was and always will be the gold standard. His objectivity, his even-handedness, his news judgment are all great examples. He, as much as anyone, is responsible for developing network television news. He set the standard. He told it ‘the way it is’ and all of us who are privileged to work in this business owe him an enormous debt of gratitude.”
Brian Williams, Anchor and Managing Editor, NBC Nightly News: “America has lost an icon, our industry has lost its living giant, and all those who learned about the world from Walter Cronkite have lost an exceptional teacher.
He loved his country and had a profound effect on it. He told us the truth in a plain-spoken manner. He never forgot that he was one of us, and yet we admired him so. That’s why I can’t help but fear that his loss means we’ve lost a tiny bit of who we are. He was a founding father of our profession. Others had done the job before him, and yet no one before or since has had just a mystical hold on the American people. He perfectly reflected his audience and our times. Watching Walter do what he did — better than anyone — was a formative experience. While he was deeply uncomfortable with overstatements of his own importance, those of us watching at home were so comfortable knowing he was in that chair during those years of great change and upheaval.
To use the terminology of his beloved sailboat, he was our national barometer, our compass and our rudder. With Walter at the helm of that broadcast, we knew we would sail through whatever crisis we faced as a country. He always seemed to point the wheel, with a gust of wind in his sails, toward our collective North Star.
On a personal note, Walter Cronkite was the man I grew up wanting to be. Our household, like many, came to a halt when his broadcast came on the air each night, and dinner was served only after he said good night. Knowing Walter was among the great blessings of my life.”
Roger Ailes, Chairman & CEO, FOX News: “Everybody who’s in the news business today was influenced in a positive way by Walter Cronkite. He had ability, humility and integrity, a rare combination.”
Wolf Blitzer, CNN: “Walter was the perfect anchor. He gave us the news and so much more — not because he was a polished news reader but because he was a world class journalist. He knew how to dig and ask the right questions and report the news. In the process, he helped us understand our country and the world and ourselves.
To this day, whenever there is a big story, I always say to myself: I wish Walter Cronkite were around to anchor the coverage. Walter inspired me and so many other journalists, and he will be deeply missed.”
After the jump, statements from David Westin, Steve Capus, Tom Brokaw, Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters, Jon Klein, Larry King and more…