Friday, July 14, 2006

What About Doug?

Katie Couric is on tour, preparing to take the CBS anchor's desk; Dan Rather is on Larry King, talking about those last, dark days at CBS; and even Walter Cronkite gets his due, with clip after clip of the old master being shown as evidence of what network news once was.

But what about Doug?

Douglas Edwards, CBS news correspondent (1942-88) and anchor of CBS's first nightly television news program (CBS Evening News, 1948-62), was born on this day in 1917 in Ada, Oklahoma. Edwards was the true CBS pioneer; he took his seat in front of the camera just three months after John Cameron Swayze made his debut as anchor of the Camel News Caravan on NBC, the first nightly network news show. After a succession of local radio jobs, he cut his teeth as anchor of a 15-minute nightly radio news show, then signed on with Edward R. Murrow in London in 1945, staying after the War to cover the Nuremberg Trials. He had enough of a following that CBS renamed the nightly news broadcast Douglas Edwards with the News in 1950. After Cronkite replaced him as evening anchor, Edwards served as anchor of The CBS Afternoon (or Mid-Day) News with Douglas Edwards from 1962 to some time in the 1980s. He was, before Cronkite, one of the most familiar faces on network television.

Edwards died on October 13, 1990 in Sarasota, Florida.

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