CBS Digs up "Person to Person"

With their ratings significantly less than when Bob Schieffer had the chair, the CBS Evening News is attempting to figure out ways to boost popularity of their newscast with Katie Couric. According to Showbiz Data, one way CBS is doing this is by resurrecting the show "Person to Person" which was originally hosted by renowned news correspondent Edward R. Murrow back in the 50's.

In the new version, it's not so much a stand-alone show, but rather a segment within the newscast. So in reality, CBS isn't really digging up the corpse of Murrow, but just using his name and historical notoriety in an effort to help give a rise to the network's presently flaccid ratings.

Executive Producer Rome Hartman comments on how they are going to stay competitive in the world of evening news:
"We really have been focused on trying to make the broadcast as good as it can be and not chasing any specific demographic or viewer, but hoping we are doing a broadcast that is interesting and lively and valuable. ... That is going to be a long process and hopefully one that will be successful. It's going to take time."
The 1950's show, "Person to Person" was about as hard hitting as a feather pillow. Murrow, who was used to un-apologetically sacrificing the golden calves of the political spectrum of his time, was hamstrung by the confines of the show, which was usually shot inside a celebrity's home, never stayed on one topic too long and never ventured too far into deep political or philosophical conversation. It was designed solely gave viewers insight into the superficial surroundings of a notable person of the day.

Think of it as a 1950's era version of MTV's "Cribs."

Despite the criticism of his peers for the softball approach to public figures, Person to Person became a big success for the network and revolutionized the way interviews were conducted. It also made Murrow a celebrity in his own right, which helped him later on in his career.

For a more detailed look at the history of the show, read the article published at the Museum of Broadcast Communications website.

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