44 years ago today, “60 Minutes” debuted. “It’s a kind of a magazine for television,” Harry Reasoner described it. Like yesterday’s show, which included interviews with the two men running for president, that first episode included stories about the 1968 presidential election, with a “60 Minutes” camera capturing GOP nominee Richard Nixon discussing who his running mate might be, and Democratic nominee Hubert Humphrey securing his nomination.
Posts Tagged ‘Mike Wallace’
Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace has covered many political conventions, but this year’s are the first since the death of his father, CBS News’ Mike Wallace. The “Fox News Sunday” host talks to the Los Angeles Times about the experience:
Well, I certainly have been thinking about my dad a lot recently. He only died a few months ago, in April. I miss him every day. And coming to a convention, he, for a number of years, was the quintessential floor reporter and then he passed the torch to me in 1980, and I started as a floor reporter at NBC. Sure, I think about him all the time.
“Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace was interviewed at FNC’s Washington bureau by Howard Kurtz of CNN/The Daily Beast. Kurtz asked about President Obama’s recent swipes at Fox News on the campaign trail. “Some people here at Fox may be upset about it,” Wallace answered. “I’m not. We’re big boys. We dish it out, we can take it.”
If the news business was like football, Mike Wallace would be its MVP. But if news was a beauty contest, Wallace would never have been Mr. Congeniality.
That’s what hundreds of Mike Wallace’s friends, colleagues and family — four generations of them — learned as they gathered at the Rose Hall at Time Warner Center to remember the “60 Minutes” original who died April 8 at age 93.
Morley Safer and Steve Kroft remembered Wallace’s unrelenting competitive streak. When Kroft had set up an interview with Gov. Bill Clinton in 1988, amidst accusations of an extra-marital affair, Kroft says, “Mike offered me encouragement, while trying to take the story away from me.”
Safer admitted months would go by without the two reporters even speaking to each other. In a taped piece, the late Ed Bradley echoed the sentiment, after Wallace stole a Manuel Noriega interview from him. “You and I didn’t talk for six months,” Bradley says to Wallace who is unmoved.
“He brought the same zeal to a story as he did to a penny ante poker game,” said Safer.
Wallace even stole a story from his own son, Chris Wallace who, at the time, was working for ABC’s “Primetime.” In the Fall of 1997, young Wallace had set up an interview with comedian Chris Rock. Rock canceled not long before the shoot. Wallace later found out why.
“My old man had stolen the interview!” said Wallace. “And he knew he’d stolen it from me!” Bradley ended up conducting the Rock interview, mostly to make amends for the Noriega theft, but also to keep in good stead with his son.
“He was so exasperating and yet so endearing,” said Wallace choking back tears.
“It took many years for us to find our path to each other,” the Fox News anchor admitted. “He had a good heart. He could be naughty. But he was never mean.”
CBS News is planning a memorial service for the late “60 Minutes” correspondent Mike Wallace. The service, open to family, friends and colleagues, will be held Tuesday, May 1 at the Rose Hall in Time Warner Center. The 93-year-old Wallace died April 8. His son, Fox News Channel host Chris Wallace, as well as hundreds of Mike Wallace’s colleagues from his more than 45 years at CBS News, will attend.
Sunday’s “60 Minutes,” which was an hour-long tribute to its founding correspondent Mike Wallace, was Sunday’s most-watched show, and the 8th most-watched primetime program of the past week, drawing 11.03 million viewers.
The show also won its time period in A25-54 viewers (2.4/07) and was up +14% percent over the same night last year (2.1/06). The increase in the key news demo is part of a trend for “60,” which is up +6% in A25-54 and +5% in A35-54 season-to-date.
The tribute to Wallace, who died last Saturday at the age of 93, consisted of interviews with him about his life and his work conducted by the 60 MINUTES correspondents with whom he worked.
In addition to last night’s hour-long look back at the life and work of Mike Wallace, “60 Minutes” Overtime has dozens of extras, including the thoughts of producers, editors, assistants and even the show’s make-up artist who worked alongside the “60 Minutes” original, including this from Josh Howard, who spent 13 years at “60 Minutes,” six of them producing for Wallace.
I was sitting at my desk one day when Mike walked into my office and said, “How about doing a piece about Willie Nelson?” At least, that’s what I thought he had said. It wasn’t the kind of story I usually produced, but I figured it would be a nice change from the more serious stuff. I said, “Sure, but what got you interested in Willie Nelson?”
He looked at me like I was a fly in his soup (one of his favorite expressions.) “WILLIE NELSON? WHY THE F— WOULD I WANT TO DO WILLIE NELSON? WHAT I SAID WAS, ‘WINNIE’ AND ‘NELSON.’ YOU KNOW, MANDELA. POSSIBLY YOU HAVE HEARD OF THEM?”
FishbowlDC reports on what — or rather who — was left out of the “60 Minutes special.
If you’re in Chicago and have the time, head down to The Museum of Broadcast Communications which is holding a day-long Mike Wallace retrospective today, showing some of Wallace’s most important works from “60 Minutes,” “You Are There,” “CBS Reports,” and a little-known early 1960s show Wallace hosted called, “Biography.”
Chicago TV critic Robert Feder writes about Wallace’s connection to Chicago and about that show.
Wallace was at a low point in his career when he hosted Biography, according to television historians Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh. It was between his earlier phase as an actor, announcer, game show host and commercial pitchman, and his later ascendancy as a CBS News correspondent and eventual 60 Minutes icon.
“Wallace had made his name in news as a fire-breathing interviewer in the late 1950s, but was made to tone down his approach by nervous network executives, and eventually forced out of network news work altogether,” Brooks and Marsh wrote. “The considerable success of Biography helped reestablish his name.”
Wallace died Saturday night at age 93.
While the ratings for CBS’s coverage of The Masters were off substantially from last year — down -16% in household rating (8.0/19 share vs. 9.5/20), worst final round since 2004 — the sudden-death overrun gave a lift to “60 Minutes.” The show was Sunday’s top primetime program in total viewers drawing 11.73 million, and won its time period in the two younger demos: A25-54 (3.3/09) and A18-49 (2.2/07).
Sunday’s show began and ended with a remembrance of Mike Wallace who died Saturday night. This Sunday’s show will include an expanded remembrance for Wallace who spent nearly 40 years at the broadcast.
This morning the network news shows paid tribute to Mike Wallace, who died Saturday night at age 93. On “CBS This Morning” Wallace’s “60 Minutes” colleagues Morley Safer and Steve Kroft shared their thoughts. Safer revealed a side of Wallace many did not know: That he was “unsure of himself.”
“Mike always felt that he had not paid his dues as a journalist,” said Safer. “That uncertainty or even perhaps shame of having done commercials and silly stuff haunted him.”
On “Good Morning America” Robin Roberts reported the obituary discussing it with George Stephanopoulos. And on the “Today” show Tom Brokaw reported the story reflecting on the life of his “friend and competitor.” Story after the jump…
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