Wednesday, August 19, 2009
THE MAN WHO INVENTED 60 MINUTES IS GONE - BROADCAST JOURNALIST AND TV INNOVATOR, DON HEWITT PASSES AWAY- CIRCA AUGUST 19, 2009
The death of a mythic, media figure reminds all of us that even the most talented people are, in the end , mortal. Our true solace is that we benefited from their extraordinary creativity in life ,that the best of their work , and occasionally, their personal legend will endure long after their passing.
The loss of television news pioneer ,Don Hewitt , at the age of 86 after a long battle with cancer, surprises me. Not because of his advanced age, or the repugnant nature of cancer. But, because he was a cyclonic force in media and in life. Don Hewitt's tenure , over six decades, at CBS News was more of an adventure than a career.
I say that, having read his excellent book, TELL ME A STORY, but never having worked with or for him.I met him only once and found him to be engaging, ebullient and warm.
You knew something incredible was going on behind those eyes.
The kind of cognitive combustion that created the the format for network news that is still applied to this day. The kinetic mind that envisaged a weekly , news magazine predicated on the rich, editorial heritage of Life Magazine. The competitive instincts that would drive him to construct arcane scams worthy of Sgt. Bilko in the effort to beat his friendly rivals at NBC News on any story to which he was assigned. It was all there, behind those penetrating eyes.
I have been a television producer for over 30 years, no matter what title was printed on my business card. So many in my generation of media practitioners have been influenced by the work of two towering video visionaries: Roone Arledge of ABC News and Sports, and Don Hewitt of CBS News.
Both are gone now, sadly.
Arledge understood how the application of advanced technology could enhance a news organization's ability to bring an eclectic array of stories from around the globe into your home.He was a Templar of aggressive journalism and a symphonic conductor in the control room.
In contrast, Hewitt's work was elegant in its simplicity. He took the most complex issues and connected the dots, providing context and linear clarity.He had a proper, American sense of fairness and outrage. Some of his best work at 60 Minutes were gritty stories ,that were almost passion plays, focusing on villains and their victims. Thanks to Hewitt's extraordinary stock company of high voltage correspondents, retribution came to the venal each Sunday night at 7pm Eastern Time.
Below are two pieces from CBSNEWS.COM, detailing the life, the loss and the legacy of Don Hewitt. Reflect and enjoy!!!!
CBS NEWS REMEMBERS DON HEWITT
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60 MINUTES COLLEAGUES REMEMBER DON HEWITT
Watch CBS Videos Online