SmithPitts_9.30.jpgAfter dropping in at the TVNewser party downtown, we headed uptown to the Plaza Hotel where friends, family and colleagues gathered to celebrate the publication of CBS News correspondent Byron Pitts‘ book “Step Out on Nothing: How Family and Faith Helped Me Conquer Life’s Challenges.”

The room was packed with CBS, ABC and NBC newsers including CBS News and Sports president Sean McManus and NBC News president Steve Capus. Also on hand, “60 Minutes” EP Jeff Fager, GMA senior EP Jim Murphy, who worked for years at CBS; as did Mika Brzezinski now with MSNBC. Also, Lesley Stahl, Harry Smith, Hoda Kotb, Jeff Greenfield, Michelle Miller and Mara Schiavocampo.

“Step Out on Nothing,” which we began to read on the subway ride home, is an intensely personal look at how Pitts went from a functionally illiterate child to ascend to the ranks of network correspondent. He recounts being a youth trying to overcome a pronounced stutter to the nervousness he felt decades later as he sat in the “60 Minutes” studio for the first time.

The National Center for Family Literacy co-sponsored the book party. Pitts becomes the first author to join the NCFL’s “A Penny a Book” initiative to benefit family literacy across the country.

• More photos after the jump, plus click here to read Gail Shister‘s interview with Pitts…

Read more