Don Hewitt

Producer / Creator of "60 Minutes"


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his two-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, Don Hewitt (1922-2009) speaks about the beginnings of broadcast journalism. He recalls the days of Douglas Edwards with the News. He discusses his role in the Kennedy-Nixon Debates of 1960, and how CBS news covered the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963. Hewitt further reflects on the profound influence of Fred Friendly, Edward R. Murrow and William Paley. He recounts the creation and success of 60 Minutes, and recalls correspondants Mike Wallace, Lesley Stahl, Dan Rather, and Ed Bradley. He concludes by discussing what he feels represents the best of television. Michael Rosen conducted the interview on April 15, 1997 in New York, NY.

"I said, 'In all these hours of entertainment, couldn't you find sixty minutes for some kind of a news magazine?'"

Highlights
Don Hewitt on the early differences between CBS and NBC's news operations
03:39
Don Hewitt on Edward R. Murrow taking on Senator Joseph McCarthy
04:53
Don Hewitt on the fictional character "Hildy Johnson" from the play "The Front Page" and the feature "His Girl Friday"
02:51
Don Hewitt on covering the political conventions in 1948 and 1952, and on anchors Douglas Edwards and Walter Cronkite
07:59
Don Hewitt on being dismissed from CBS News in 1964, and on the creation of 60 Minutes
04:36
Don Hewitt on the first episode of 60 Minutes, and on the spate of 60 Minutes clones
04:38
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his childhood and early influences; on his first experience with the word "television," and his overview of the early days of television; on his first job, at the "New York Herald Tribune"
11:54
On his experience during World War II; on his first job at CBS, and covering the sinking of the Andrea Doria and the Queen Elizabeth Coronation; on the early differences between CBS and NBC's news operations
14:26

Chapter 2

On producing Douglas Edwards with the News, and on inventing a method for superimposing names on air; on covering the Korean War for CBS News, and on how the technology of the industry has changed; on covering the political conventions in 1948 and 1952, and on anchors Douglas Edwards and Walter Cronkite
17:19
On why the public trusted Walter Cronkite; on Edward R. Murrow taking on Senator Joseph McCarthy; on Fred Friendly's impact on network news; on producing the Kennedy-Nixon debates
11:34

Chapter 3

On the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon Debates; on early sponsorship of network news programs
08:25
On CBS News covering the assassination and funeral of John F. Kennedy; on being dismissed from CBS News in 1964, and on the creation of 60 Minutes; on Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes, and on the success of the show
11:12
On the first episode of 60 Minutes, and on the spate of 60 Minutes clones; on the monetary success of 60 Minutes; on the CBS coverage of the Gulf of Tonkin hearing
07:09

Chapter 4

On how television changed the public's opinion of the Vietnam War and on the coverage of the Gulf War; on the correspondents of 60 Minutes; on Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes, and on finally having female correspondents on the show
09:32
On Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes, and on the Brown & Williamson Tobacco affair on the show; on the then-future of 60 Minutes, and on the audience of the show; on the most rewarding aspect of being a producer of television news, and on what represents the best of television
07:34
On various people with whom he worked in his career; on the fictional character "Hildy Johnson" from the play "The Front Page"; on an encounter with Nikita Khrushchev, and on stealing NBC's convention plans one year
11:09

Chapter 5

Don Hewitt on various people he worked with in his career
04:45
Don Hewitt on b-roll footage of pictures of his career- Hewitt describes them first, and the pictures follow with no sound- with John F. Kennedy at the Kennedy-Nixon debate; with John F. Kennedy; with Lyndon B. Johnson; with Ronald Reagan; with Dwight David Eisenhower; with his father; with William S. Paley; with Richard Nixon
08:24
Shows

60 Minutes

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Don Hewitt on being dismissed from CBS News in 1964, and on the creation of 60 Minutes
04:36
Don Hewitt on Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes, and on the success of the show
02:13
Don Hewitt on the first episode of 60 Minutes, and on the spate of 60 Minutes clones
04:38
Don Hewitt on the monetary success of 60 Minutes
01:37
Don Hewitt on the correspondents of 60 Minutes including Morley Safer, Dan Rather, Ed Bradley, and Harry Reasoner
01:35
Don Hewitt on Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes, and on finally having female correspondents on the show
01:44
Don Hewitt on Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes, and on the Brown & Williamson Tobacco affair on the show
01:24
Don Hewitt on the then-future of 60 Minutes, and on the audience of the show
03:01

Douglas Edwards with the News

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Don Hewitt on producing Douglas Edwards with the News, and on inventing a method for superimposing names on air
04:32
Topics

Gulf War

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Don Hewitt on television's coverage of the Gulf War
03:02

Historic Events and Social Change

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Don Hewitt on his experience during World War II
06:38
Don Hewitt on covering the Queen Elizabeth Coronation
01:06
Don Hewitt on covering the Korean War for CBS News, and on how the technology of the industry has changed
04:48
Don Hewitt on producing the Kennedy-Nixon debates
01:39
Don Hewitt on the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon Debates
06:02
Don Hewitt on CBS News covering the assassination and funeral of John F. Kennedy
04:23
Don Hewitt on the CBS coverage of the Gulf of Tonkin hearing
00:54
Don Hewitt on how television changed the public's opinion of the Vietnam War
03:08
Don Hewitt on television's coverage of the Gulf War
03:02

JFK Assassination and Funeral

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Don Hewitt on CBS News covering the assassination and funeral of John F. Kennedy
04:23

Kennedy-Nixon Debates

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Don Hewitt on producing the Kennedy-Nixon debates
01:39
Don Hewitt on the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon Debates
06:02

Korean War

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Don Hewitt on covering the Korean War for CBS News, and on how the technology of the industry has changed
04:48

Queen Elizabeth Coronation

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Don Hewitt on covering the Queen Elizabeth Coronation
01:06

Television Industry

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Don Hewitt on early sponsorship of network news programs
02:23

Television and the Presidency

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Don Hewitt on covering the political conventions in 1948 and 1952, and on anchors Douglas Edwards and Walter Cronkite
07:59

Vietnam War

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Don Hewitt on the CBS coverage of the Gulf of Tonkin hearing
00:54
Don Hewitt on how television changed the public's opinion of the Vietnam War
03:08

War

View Topic
Don Hewitt on his experience during World War II
06:38
Don Hewitt on covering the Korean War for CBS News, and on how the technology of the industry has changed
04:48
Don Hewitt on the CBS coverage of the Gulf of Tonkin hearing
00:54
Don Hewitt on how television changed the public's opinion of the Vietnam War
03:08
Don Hewitt on television's coverage of the Gulf War
03:02

World War II

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Don Hewitt on his experience during World War II
06:38
Professions

Journalists & News Producers

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Don Hewitt on the most rewarding aspect of being a producer of television news, and on what represents the best of television
03:06

News Producer

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Don Hewitt on the most rewarding aspect of being a producer of television news, and on what represents the best of television
03:06
Genres

News and Documentary

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Don Hewitt on producing Douglas Edwards with the News, and on inventing a method for superimposing names on air
04:32
Don Hewitt on producing 60 Minutes
09:22
Don Hewitt on executive producing 60 Minutes
07:53
People

Ed Bradley

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Don Hewitt on the correspondents of 60 Minutes: Ed Bradley
00:28

Walter Cronkite

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Don Hewitt on why the public trusted Walter Cronkite
02:37
Don Hewitt on covering the political conventions in 1948 and 1952, and on anchors Douglas Edwards and Walter Cronkite
07:59

Douglas Edwards

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Don Hewitt on producing Douglas Edwards with the News, and on inventing a method for superimposing names on air
04:32
Don Hewitt on covering the political conventions in 1948 and 1952, and on anchors Douglas Edwards and Walter Cronkite
07:59

Fred Friendly

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Don Hewitt on Fred Friendly's impact on network news
04:02

John F. Kennedy

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Don Hewitt on the 1960 Nixon-Kennedy Debates
06:02

Nikita Khrushchev

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Don Hewitt on an encounter with Nikita Khrushchev, and on stealing NBC's convention plans one year
04:31

Bill Leonard

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Don Hewitt on Bill Leonard
00:42

Edward R. Murrow

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Don Hewitt on Edward R. Murrow taking on Senator Joseph McCarthy, and on Murrow's influence
04:53

Richard M. Nixon

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Don Hewitt on the 1960 Nixon-Kennedy Debates
06:02

William S. Paley

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Don Hewitt on William S. Paley
01:37

Dan Rather

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Don Hewitt on the correspondents of 60 Minutes: Dan Rather
01:15

Harry Reasoner

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Don Hewitt on the correspondents of 60 Minutes: Harry Reasoner
00:29

Morley Safer

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Don Hewitt on the correspondents of 60 Minutes: Dan Rather
00:20

Frank Stanton

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Don Hewitt on Frank Stanton
00:48

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