A producer on CBS’s "60 Minutes" who was on the show for more than two decades and was at CBS for more than 40 years has died, The New York Times reports. Esther Kartiganer, 74, died Wednesday of a heart attack in Aspen, Colo. She was stricken while riding her bicycle.
Kartiganer started out at CBS as a temporary assistant and worked her way up to senior producer at "60 Minutes," a job she held from 1982 until 2005, the story notes.
The story that brought her into the public eye was about President George W. Bush. She was in charge of vetting content on the news program, and came to the public’s attention for her role in a 2004 segment on President Bush’s military service in the Vietnam War, The Times notes.
The segment raised questions about whether Bush had been given special treatment as the son of George H.W. Bush, who was then a congressman from Texas, to avoid service in Vietnam, although the authenticity of the documents that raised the issue couldn’t be verified, according to the story.
After an independent panel decided the segment was unfair and misleading, Kartiganer was then reassigned to another job within CBS. She sued the network for defamation, claiming she had fulfilled her responsibilities on the report, and a confidential settlement was later reached, The Times notes.
Kartiganer helped produce dozens of "60 Minutes" reports, including some of the earliest television coverage of shaken baby syndrome and coverage of the food preservatives sulfites, which can lead to health problems, according to the article.
Kartiganer won 13 Emmys during her career. A close friend of Kartiganer’s, Grace Lichtenstein, told the Aspen Daily News that Kartiganer was most proud of her work supporting young women entering journalism.