Forty-five years ago today, the CBS Evening News became the first half-hour weeknight network newscast, expanding from a 15-minute format.
It was a change Walter Cronkite “was very much in favor of,” he tells TVNewser. “It was clear to me then, as it is now, that more time was needed to cover the news of the world. CBS was the first network to extend the broadcast and I was thrilled.”
In fact, Cronkite says, the evening newscasts would benefit from running even longer. “I have been a long-time advocate for hour-long evening newscasts as I feel we could do a much more thorough job of covering this complicated world of ours and delving deeper into the top stories of the day.”
But no matter the length of the network newscasts, Cronkite believes they’re here to stay. “I don’t think cable news will ever replace the networks’ evening newscasts. There’s room for both — and more — in our changing society and I feel that the dissemination of news by reliable sources in any format serves the public’s interests. But far from becoming outdated, I believe the evening news broadcasts are and will remain vital for a healthy democracy.”