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Posts Tagged ‘Charles Kuralt’

Charles Osgood: ‘It Amuses Me When People Are Surprised That We Have Younger Viewers’

In case you haven’t noticed lately, “CBS News Sunday Morning” is not just for the dentured set.

“It amuses me when people are surprised that we have younger viewers,” says Charles Osgood, 79, the show’s anchor and poet-in-residence. “They said the same thing about ’60 Minutes.’ It’s part of the reason the show is so good.”

And so popular. Week in and week out, the quirky, understated ‘Sunday Morning’ routinely beats NBC’s “Sunday Today” and ABC’s “Good Morning America Sunday” in terms of households, viewers, and adults 25-54.

With a median age of 59.8, viewers of “Sunday Morning” are certainly not young, but they are the youngest of the troika, if only by a matter of months. It rankles Osgood to no end that advertisers consider adults 55 and older as the walking dead.

“It’s a mistake to think that people over 54 don’t buy anything and don’t go anywhere,” says Osgood, who succeeded the late, great Charles Kuralt in 1994. “It’s patently untrue, as all of us, including advertisers, are aware.

“Being 65 does not mean you’re old anymore. You’ve got a lot of living to do. You’re not going to sit around and watch Lawrence Welk.” (To those under 60, check Wikipedia.)

Like Osgood, executive producer Rand Morrison objects to the stereotype of “Sunday Morning” as a show for old folks. (He prefers to think of them as grown-ups.)

“I deny the allegation,” says Morrison, 61. “My niece has a “Sunday Morning” app. Younger people come up to me and voice their opinions about the show. People, at different times of

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CBS’ Charles Osgood and NBC’s Brian Williams Among This Year’s Giants of Broadcasting

(l to r) Jean Marie Condon (original executive producer, This Week with Christiane Amanpour), Amanpour, Katie Hinman (former producer, This Week) and Amanpour's assistant Maggie Thomas

Webster defines “Giant” as a person or thing of great size, intellect, etc.

Friday at a luncheon in New York, the Library of American Broadcasting honored nine individuals as Giants of Broadcasting.

The organization also gave the distinguished merit award to a program — “CBS Sunday Morning,” and the four people who made the show must-see TV each week for 32 years, including original host Charles Kuralt and current keeper of the Sunday Morning flame — Charles Osgood.

“The reason they’re honoring us, is certainly not for what we’re doing now, but for the years since it went on the air,” Osgood tells TVNewser.

He credits Kuralt, who died in 1995, and pioneering executive producer Robert “Shad” Northshield as the men with the show’s vision.

“They were the ones who really set the tone, [and] had the idea for doing a broadcast that would be a kind of a Sunday paper on the air,” Osgood says.

The time for the show, 9 a.m. eastern, allows a closer bond with the viewer.

“[You] can watch the broadcast with a second cup of coffee and the newspaper on the floor, maybe you’re in your slippers and bathrobe,” Osgood says. “So we feel it’s a kind of intimacy that you have with the audience.”

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That Sunday Show that Continues to Grow

CBS News “Sunday Morning” just marked 96 weeks as the #1 Sunday morning news program. 

Last Sunday, the show drew 5 million total viewers with a 1.4 rating, 7 share in A25-54 viewers.  Compared to the same day last year, the show is up +6% in households (from 3.2/09) and up  +7% in viewers (from 4.68m).

Most weeks, “Sunday Morning” gives a boost to CBS News’ public affairs show “Face the Nation” which follows “Sunday Morning” on the schedule. (We’ll have the Sunday show ratings later today).

“Sunday Morning” a 90-minute news and information broadcast is meant to feel like a TV version of the Sunday newspaper: news headlines at the top and longer, magazine-style stories throughout. It went on the air January 28, 1979 with Charles Kuralt in the anchor chair. He hosted until 1994 when Osgood took over. Kuralt died in 1997. See Kuralt’s first “Sunday Morning” after the jump…

(Image Credit)

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Legendary CBS News Producer/Mentor Bernie Birnbaum Passes Away

CBS News and Sports president Sean McManus sent a note to staff today about the death of award winning producer Bernie Birnbaum who passed away Thanksgiving Day at the age of 89.

Birnbaum joined CBS in 1951. He worked on a number of programs and in special events. He was an associate producer on “The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite” and later was senior producer of “On the Road with Charles Kuralt.”

Birnbaum was the father of New York bureau producer Amy Birnbaum.

McManus’ note, and a press release, after the jump…
CBS News and Sports president Sean McManus sent a note to staff today about the death of award winning producer Bernie Birnbaum who passed away Thanksgiving Day at the age of 89.

Birnbaum joined CBS in 1951. He worked on a number of programs and in special events. He was an associate producer on “The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite” and later was senior producer of “On the Road with Charles Kuralt.”

Birnbaum was the father of New York bureau producer Amy Birnbaum.

McManus’ note, and a press release, after the jump…

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