CBS’s venerable “60 Minutes” has recruited one of the biggest names in television as the newsmagazine heads into its 50th anniversary year, announcing earlier this year that it is adding Oprah Winfrey to the lineup. Writing for the AP, veteran TV writer David Bauder reports that the plans have solidified, with Winfrey’s first story to run during the season premiere.
“Winfrey will debut Sept. 24, reporting on a story about America’s political divisions,” Bauder writes, adding: “It’s a testament to the power of the Sunday-night newsmagazine that it seeks to absorb one of television’s biggest stars into its fabric instead of the other way around. One of the medium’s best-known celebrity interviewers will do some, but will largely work against type in reporting stories, said Jeff Fager, the show’s executive producer.”
The report quotes Fager saying of Winfrey: “She wants to do stories with impact. She’s driven by that and so are we. That’s part of why this is such a good fit for her.”
Bauder adds: “Many of the names that made ’60 Minutes’ great — Mike Wallace, Morley Safer, Ed Bradley, Don Hewitt — are gone now. But the stopwatch keeps ticking every Sunday at 7 p.m. While everything in media seems to have changed around it, the show’s mix of investigations, news-making interviews, esoteric and entertaining features timed to the length of founding executive producer Hewitt’s attention span remains remarkably unchanged.”
The show’s core lineup consists of Scott Pelley, Lesley Stahl, Steve Kroft, Bill Whitaker and Anderson Cooper, with a lineup of contributors featuring, along with Winfrey, Charlie Rose, Sharyn Alfonsi, Lara Logan, David Martin, Norah O’Donnell and Jon Wertheim.