CBS News is reporting only a headline right now on the death of Don Hewitt, the creator of 60 Minutes, one of television's most successful programs ever. He was 86 years old and died of pancreatic cancer.
He was one of the most influential people in modern TV. Along with Walter Cronkite who died last month, Hewitt helped define CBS News during what many would call the golden age of network TV journalism.
An excerpt from his bio on CBSnews.com. Also, the Archive of American Television has a very informative interview with him on YouTube.
Hewitt is best known for 60 Minutes, the groundbreaking news broadcast he created in 1968 and stepped down from as its executive producer in June 2004. It remains the most popular television program in history, making the top-10 list for an unprecedented 23 straight seasons - a record five of them as the number-one broadcast. It is still the number-one news program.
For these contributions to television news, Hewitt was honored with the Edward R. Murrow Award from Washington State University in 2007 and the second annual Lifetime Achievement Emmy presented by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in September 2003.
Hewitt is credited with creating the newsmagazine format, a successful and much-copied style of news broadcast for which 60 Minutes was the prototype. For this innovation and for his years of leadership on 60 Minutes, he was awarded the Founders Emmy by the International Council of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 1995. When presenting this award to Hewitt, then-ABC News President Roone Arledge said: "His real monument is 60 Minutes. He is truly an innovator in this business. I still believe Don deserves the credit for it [the idea of the newsmagazine format]; it is an innovative format no one had done before. It's been copied all over the world, including several times by us. He's been a leader in our industry. He has inspired all sorts of people."
We'll have more as soon as we can get it.
Updated at 11:50 am ET — CBS News now has its Hewitt obituary up on its website.