The show was focused on the news, the people gathering it and what they knew about the stories. To drive that point home, there was no mention about this being his first outing, that his name was part of the title or that he was the new guy replacing whatsherface.
CBS has been promising viewers that he will bring “60 Minutes” values to the evening news, using ads with his picture and an image of a stopwatch and the words: “What if you can have the world-class original reporting of ‘60 Minutes’ every weeknight? Well, now you can.” Actually, judging by Monday’s broadcast, you can’t. It’s a little like claiming that Stouffer’s frozen turkey pot pies make for a fine dining experience — there is plenty to be said for speed and convenience, but it’s not the same as a four-course meal at Le Bernardin, or a four-segment episode of “60 Minutes.”
I am truly encouraged by what I saw on the first telecast especially in terms of a newscast that seems to know what it is about and doesn’t crazily chase the last
breaking story that looks to have some sizzle. Its sense of seriousness and purpose stands in direct contrast to Katie Couric’s first night behind Walter Cronkite’s one-time desk.
There was no personal preamble or coda to the broadcast, no minute taken to express his hopes for the program or himself — he had, it is true, done that through other venues already — or to tip his hat to Couric. (She had closed her own run describing him as “a great reporter, a consummate professional and a real gentleman.”) Seen generously, it was as if to say, this is not about us, it is about the world.
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