Rather, Dan (1931—)

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Rather, Dan (1931—)

Dan Rather succeeded Walter Cronkite as anchor of the CBS Evening News on March 9, 1981. After he took over the anchor desk, CBS News dissolved into turmoil due to budget cuts and new owners, and the ratings slipped. Rather had solid credentials, having been with CBS since 1962 (including a stint on 60 Minutes), but his expertise soon proved less noteworthy than the often bizarre happenings that began to occur around him. His signoff one week was "courage"; he tended to use the vernacular of his Texas upbringing during broadcasts ("that dog won't hunt"); he let CBS "go to black" for six minutes when U.S. Open tennis ran too long, and he tangled on air with then Vice President George Bush. Perhaps oddest was Rather's assault on New York streets by a man asking, "What's the frequency, Kenneth?" (later, during an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, he joined rock band REM in a performance of their song based on this incident). From 1993 to 1995, Rather co-anchored with Connie Chung, but she was forced out and Rather subsequently trumpeted a "hard news" program. In 1998, he signed a contract to stay with CBS until 2003. Along with Peter Jennings and Tom Brokaw, Rather was one of the leading news broadcasters of the 1980s and 1990s.

—Michele Lellouche

Further Reading:

Goldberg, Robert, and Gerald Jay Goldberg. Anchors: Brokaw, Jennings, Rather and the Evening News. Secaucus, New Jersey, Carol Publishing Group, 1990.

Rather, Dan. Deadlines and Datelines. New York, Morrow, 1999.

——. The Camera Never Blinks: Adventures of a TV Journalist. New York, William Morrow, 1977.

——, and Mickey Hershkowitz. The Camera Never Blinks Twice: The Further Adventures of a Television Journalist. New York, William Morrow, 1994.

——, with Peter Wyden. I Remember. Boston, Little Brown, 1991.

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Rather, Dan (1931—)

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