Now, Executive Producer Jeff Fager pulls back the curtain on how this remarkable journalism is done, taking the reader into the editing room with the show’s brilliant producers and beloved correspondents, including hard-charging Mike Wallace, writer’s-writer Morley Safer, soft-but-tough Ed Bradley, relentless Lesley Stahl, ace interviewer Charlie Rose, tireless Anderson Cooper, intrepid Scott Pelley, and illuminating storyteller Steve Kroft. He details the decades of human drama that have made the show’s success possible: the ferocious (and encouraged) competition between correspondents, the door slamming, the risk-taking, and the pranks. Fager takes on the program’s mistakes and describes what it learned from them. Above all, he reveals the essential tenets that have never changed: why founder Don Hewitt believed “hearing” a story is more important than seeing it, why the “small picture” is the best way to illuminate a larger one, and why the most memorable stories are almost always those with a human being at the center.
At once a sweeping portrait of fifty years of American cultural history and an intimate look at how the news gets made, Fifty Years of 60 Minutes shares the secret of what’s made the nation’s favorite TV program exceptional for all these years.