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Posts Tagged ‘Walter Cronkite’

Brenda Wood’s Commentary on Coke Ad Sparks Debate

wxia america the beautiful

WXIA anchor Brenda Wood‘s commentary about the Coca-Cola Super Bowl ad has sparked controversy in the company’s hometown and beyond. On Monday, the Atlanta anchor discussed the commercial as part of her regular “Last Word” segment, calling the outrage over the ad — which features¬† “America the Beautiful” sung in seven different languages¬† — “outrageous itself.”

“The quote on the Statue of Liberty doesn’t say ‘Give me your English-speaking only, Christian-believing, heterosexual masses.’ It says, ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, Tempest-tossed,’” Wood said. “…What makes America different than everyone else is that we are a melting pot. We are not homogenous. It is our diversity that built this country. How dare there be indignation over the very thing that makes us great? And why not honor the beauty of that in song?”

The video of Wood’s commentary has been viewed more than 200,000 times and has elicited a strong response from viewers, with thousands of people posting opinions on WXIA’s Facebook page. Wood has been both praised for “speaking the truth” and panned as “another liberal, sensational journalist.” Several commenters have suggested newscasters “should report the NEWS and keep their opinions to themselves.” Read more

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Colleagues Remember Chet Curtis: ‘The Ultimate Professional, a Great Friend’

chet curtis necnColleagues and friends of Chet Curtis, who died Wednesday from pancreatic cancer, remember the longtime Boston anchor as “magnetic” and “an amazing guy.” WCVB, where Curtis worked for nearly 30 years, has a collection of tributes from current and former staffers:

“I was out with a couple of former photographers at WCVB recently. And the one comment that seemed to resurface was nobody ever had a bad word to say about him,” former WCVB anchor Jim Boyd said. “I mean, he was just the ultimate professional, a great friend, a very giving and loving person.”

“Chet was the kind of person who always made you feel good, no matter whether you were in a tense newsroom or just chatting in the hallway. He had that gift to envelop you with a kind of cloud of happiness,” recalled former WCVB medical editor Tim Johnson. “But I have to say almost in the same breath he was an excellent news man. He had great news instincts. He never acted like some of the caricatures of news men we see on the TV or in the movies. He had very good instincts, and you could always trust what he was trying to do with whatever news was at hand.”

WGBH host Emily Rooney, the daughter of the late Andy Rooney, told The Boston Globe “there is no single human being in the world, Peter Jennings included, who was better at the ad lib than Chet.” Rooney, who is a former WCVB news director, shared a famous Curtis story: Read more

KARE, WBNS, KUSA Win Cronkite Awards

The University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism has announced the 2013 winners of the Walter Cronkite Awards for Excellence in Television Political Journalism.

KARE, Gannett’s NBC affiliate in Minneapolis-St. Paul, won for local broadcast station. The judges cited its coverage of the marriage equality debate, calling KARE’s reporting “fair, balanced and deeply personal.” WBNS in Columbus received a special commendation for citizen engagement. Denver’s KUSA was the winner of the Cronkite/Jackson Prize for Fact Checking Political Messages, a category that was just introduced to the awards this year.

Two reporters were honored for individual achievement at a local broadcast station. Marshall Zelinger, a content producer and presenter at KMGH in Denver, won for his “clarity of presentation” and “modern production techniques.” Tom McKee, a reporter at WCPO in Cincinnatti, received the special commendation for citizen engagement for his his extensive fieldwork. Read more

Former Phoenix Anchor Bill Close Dies at 91

Bill Close, a longtime anchor at KSAZ (then KOOL) in Phoenix, died Sunday at 91.

Close, who KSAZ calls “the Walter Cronkite of Phoenix,” was best known for an on-air incident in 1982 when a gunman entered the KOOL studios and held Close and his camera man, Louie Villa, hostage for five hours. Close negotiated with the gunman and read a “rambling” statement from him. The gunman eventually surrendered.

Watch KSAZ’s look back at his life after the jump. Read more

Flashback: Pre-teen David Ushery Interviews Walter Cronkite on WFSB


Hartford CBS affiliate WFSB took a trip down memory lane on Sunday’s “Face the State with Dennis House.”

As an 11-year-old, David Ushery, WNBC‘s weekend anchor, hosted a Saturday morning children’s show on WFSB called “Kidsworld.” Ushery interviewed Walter Cronkite (video above) in 1979.

Cronkite told Ushery about his beginnings in the business — starting as editor of his high school newspaper — and talks about his ideal qualities in a newscaster: “a person with a sense of curiosity, with a desire to work and an ability, a physical and mental ability, to work long hours with a high degree of intensity.”

Pelley Continues Texas Tradition at CBS Anchor Desk

As Scott Pelley prepares to take the “CBS Evening News” anchor desk, he will continue what is becoming a Texas legacy at the position.

Iconic CBS newsman Walter Cronkite grew up in Houston and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. Dan Rather, Cronkite’s successor, was also a native of Texas and attended Sam Houston State University in Huntsville. Veteran CBS News anchor Bob Schieffer was born in Austin and graduated from Texas Christian University. Pelley is a San Antonio native and a graduate of Texas Tech.

He began his TV career at Lubbock’s KSEL in 1975 and quickly moved on to Dallas-Fort Worth, where he worked for KXAS and eventually WFAA. During his seven years at WFAA, Pelley caught the attention of CBS News and eventually accepted a job with the network in 1989.

“He was a good guy and a real pro,” remembers Texas media blogger Jim McNabb “You knew that he was bound for bigger things. He had the voice, the looks, the brains, and the talent.”

> Related: Rather tells TVNewser‘s Gail Shister: Pelley “burns with the hot, blue fame to report news.”