TV

Don Hewitt, creator of 60 Minutes, passes away at 86

Don Hewitt, broadcast television innovator and creator of CBS newsmagazine 60 Minutes, has passed away at the age of 86 of pancreatic cancer, according to the network. Hewitt began his career with CBS News in 1948, as an associate director of its early 15-minute news broadcasts. He also produced the first televised presidential debates in 1960 between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. In 1965, after leaving The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, he worked on documentaries for a spell before coming up with an idea to combine the multi-story magazine format found in titles such as Life with television news, resulting in the debut of 60 Minutes in 1968. He was the program's executive producer until he stepped down in 2004, moving into a position as an exec producer for CBS News. 'It is a sad and difficult time for all of us who work at 60 Minutes,' said the program's EP, Jeff Fager. 'Don was a giant figure in our lives and will always have an impact on this broadcast - there's a part of him in every one of us, and it affects every decision we make.'
August 19, 2009

Don Hewitt, broadcast television innovator and creator of CBS newsmagazine 60 Minutes, has passed away at the age of 86 of pancreatic cancer, according to the network. Hewitt began his career with CBS News in 1948, as an associate director of its early 15-minute news broadcasts. He also produced the first televised presidential debates in 1960 between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. In 1965, after leaving The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, he worked on documentaries for a spell before coming up with an idea to combine the multi-story magazine format found in titles such as Life with television news, resulting in the debut of 60 Minutes in 1968. He was the program’s executive producer until he stepped down in 2004, moving into a position as an exec producer for CBS News. ‘It is a sad and difficult time for all of us who work at 60 Minutes,’ said the program’s EP, Jeff Fager. ‘Don was a giant figure in our lives and will always have an impact on this broadcast – there’s a part of him in every one of us, and it affects every decision we make.’

About The Author
Selina Chignall joins the realscreen team as a staff writer. Prior to working with rs, she covered lobbying activity at Hill Times Publishing. She also spent a year covering the Hill as a journalist with iPolitics. Her beat focused on youth, education, democratic reform, innovation and infrastructure. She holds a Master of Arts in Journalism from Western University and a Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto.

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