"...To be executive producer of the dominant news show with a circulation that would have made William Randolph Hearst twirl in his grave. The circulation of the Cronkite show when I left, is bigger than the three network news shows combined today."
About This Interview
In his over three-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Sanford Socolow talks about his work for the International News Service (INS) in the early 1950s, as a Far East Correspondent. He chronicles his first work at CBS in the mid-50s in the news division. He discusses writing for Ned Calmer for the morning news and for Walter Cronkite on Eyewitness. He speaks in great detail about the long association with Walter Cronkite that ensued, which culminated in his serving as the final executive producer of The Evening News with Walter Cronkite. He speaks about producing Cronkite's broadcast in the 1960s, and Cronkite's role as managing editor of the news, and discusses such news events as: the coverage of the Vietnam War, the upheaval at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, and the historic moon landing. He also comments on other significant news figures at the network during this period including: Edward R. Murrow, Mike Wallace, Eric Sevareid, Don Hewitt, Ernie Leiser, Les Midgley, and Richard Salant. He describes his transition into the executive suites as Vice President of CBS News and then head of the Washington Bureau in the 1970s. He discusses the contentious relationship between the Nixon Administration and the press. He notes the transition of Dan Rather to the evening news anchor's chair and his move to London to serve as the CBS News Bureau Chief. Lastly, he talks about leaving CBS News to serve as the Executive Producer of the "Christian Science Monitor's" nightly newscast on the Discovery Channel in the late 1980s, World Monitor. Dr. Ralph Engelman conducted the interview in New York, NY on August 27, 2008.