July 19th, 2009
02:05 PM ET
5 years ago

Morton: Goodbye, Walter

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Goodbye, Walter. I'll miss you, even though it's been a while since we last spoke. I'll miss what you stood for even more.

Walter Cronkite anchored the CBS Evening News for nineteen years, from 1962 until 1981. I joined CBS News in 1964, so I was there for most of it. It was a special time. We thought we had the best team. We in Washington thought we had the best bureau. We probably did. One review of network news back then said, I still remember, "People at other networks talk a lot about CBS people. So do CBS people." Right. And we knew, of course, that we had the best anchor.

Chet Huntley and David Brinkley of NBC led the ratings when Walter's tour began. He overtook them and was number one for years until he retired. CBS stayed first for a time after that but then lost it, and never, if I remember properly, got it back.

What was it about him? He wasn't TV slick or TV handsome, that's for sure.
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