Remembering the First Nationally Televised Convention Commentator and former CBS Anchorman Walter Cronkite tells the story behind his initial experience as a TV network anchorman. It happened in 1952 in Chicago at the first-ever nationally televised convention. That was the Republican convention. Later that summer, Cronkite handled the same chore at the Democratic session. Although he'd never attended a political convention, or done national TV, he was a hit.