Tag Archives: Charles Osgood

Let’s see if CBS lets Pelley make a difference

CBS just named Scott Pelley to take over the CBS Evening News. He has always struck me as a straigh-forward bread-and-butter journalist. He is neither a ‘personality’ nor a ‘celebrity’ like Couric. So I hope he does a good job, but the facts on the ground make it unlikely that even a better anchor could make much difference, because . . .

A reporter, reporting

Network news has been in decline for 20 years; except for the ‘at the scene’ stuff, they increasingly do ‘news by press release’. And they fill the rest of the time with touchy-feely stuff which we once called ‘filler’ in the newspaper business – as if there weren’t sufficient news on the planet to fill those terrifying 22 minutes of emptiness.

When the networks decided to end the tradition of allowing  news divisions to be ‘loss leaders’ in the late 80’s, 90’s our new masters of the universe decided news had to generate profit, things started downhill. Then came cable and the internet.

We lost something important when our news television sources fragmented and  ideology crept into the news itself, not just the opinion pages of newspapers and the magazines with specific political bents, like The Nation or National Review.

Someday Charles Osgood – another one of the pros – will retire from CBS Sunday Morning, I hope CBS continues with good choices; Harry Smith would be good – he’s another modest professional guy who never makes it ‘all about him’.

Good Sunday morning

For two decades CBS Sunday Morning has been a tradition in my family. First with the unique and never-to-be-equaled-in-my-lifetime Charles Kurault (who basically invented the show). He was replaced with the able and perfectly suited Charles Osgood, who was off today. Sitting (or standing actually) in was someone from the CBS News stable whose name I didn’t catch.

For the twenty or so years since it began, CBS Sunday Morning has been among the very best 90 minutes on television. Great stories with wide appeal, original, well reported and given substantive time. Commenters address a wide variety of  topics and are usually clever and smart. (I love Nancy Giles).

I hope this morning’s show is not a harbinger of what we may expect when Osgood retires, which he eventually will of course. I’ve pretty much given up on the other Sunday morning news shows. I would hate to abandon this one to the inanity that’s taken over most TV news.

But for now I still enjoy a bit of Sunday morning and wonder if the troops in Afghanistan get that kind of a break. They’re pretty busy with the 142nd day of the ninth year of the War there.