Ed Bradley

Words of Inspiration


Ed Bradley died of leukemia at age 65 following a distinguished and influential career as a pioneer radio and TV broadcaster. When I joined CBS News in 1972, Bradley was an icon covering the US led conflicts in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. 

I had the distinct pleasure of talking to him almost nightly in my capacity as overnight tape operations producer for CBS News with the duties of taking in his radio news files for the CBS Radio News hourly reports. He was all business, calm and focused, always wanting to get his material on tape in New York so that he could get back out there in the field. I was on duty when Bradley filed some of his last reports on the fall of Saigon. It was Ed Bradley who made me realize that to be a truly well rounded journalist, I needed to get from behind the producer’s desk at CBC Radio News and get out in the world!

Ed leaves a legacy of accomplishment that inspires and motivates. Here are some of his thoughts on various topics in his professional realm:

· “Be prepared, work hard, and hope for a little luck. Recognize that the harder you work and the better prepared you are, the more luck you might have.”


· “The people in your life are important. Meaningful relationships with those people are very important.”


· “You know, I think I still have a sense that no matter what you do, no matter what you achieve, no matter how much success you have, no matter how much money you have, relationships are important.”


· “There was no one around me who didn't work hard.”


· “I had no experience with broadcasting basketball games, so I took a tape recorder and went to a playground where there was a summer league, and I stood up in the top of the stands and I called the game.”


· “Professionally, I remember Cronkite as a kid growing up, and more so for me, the importance of Cronkite was not him sitting there at the anchor desk, but him out there doing things.”


· “I would listen to how they told the story, to what elements they used, to how it sounded, and that's who I patterned myself after, the people who were on CBS News.”


You can follow Will J. Wright on Twitter: @WillJWright

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Broadcast Pioneers Are Disappearing From Air

Charles Osgood


In 1971 I entered CBS News as what was then called “Copy Boy” rolling and distributing news copy and getting lunches. That’s when I first met Charles Osgood. I was a 21-year old Fordham graduate. Ed Bradley, Richard C. Hottelet, Robert Trout, Christopher Glenn, Peter Kalischer, Alan Jackson, Dallas Townsend, and Charles Collingwood were among the great broadcast pioneers who frequented that newsroom. Charlie is one of the few from that generation who was still around and working as CBS Radio News transitioned to a younger generation of hourly news correspondents.

Charles Osgood, by David Handschuh, New York Daily News Photographer and adjunct Professor of Photojournalism at NYU

In my career at CBS News I progressed to writing Charlie’s copy, and as fellow Trustees of Fordham University, shared lunches with him. When  the venerable Charles Osgood stepped down as anchor/host of CBS Sunday Morning, I wrote this down as a memory of working with him.

I always appreciated the kindness and support of this classy man, but never missed the connection because I could always tune in Sunday mornings and get my Osgood fix! I’m pretty sure the millions of viewers who, although have not actually met or worked with Mr. Osgood, feel the same way. I hope he will continue with The Osgood File on The CBS Radio Network.

Television news is a small universe and I will be looking for Charlie’s wit, wisdom, and precious smile elsewhere on television. A fellow CBS newsroom denizen, David Jackson (also the son of Alan Jackson) would always say, “The good will out!” I am pretty sure we’ll hear that good Osgood voice somewhere! 

You can follow Will Wright on Twitter: @willjwright

Photo by David Handschuh, NY Daily News Photog and adjunct Professor of Photojournalism  at NYU

Photo by David Handschuh, NY Daily News Photog and adjunct Professor of Photojournalism at NYU

Broadcast Pioneers

Michele Clark


In 1974 I had the honor of being selected as a Michele Clark Fellow at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. CBS News sponsored my candidacy. 

Under the auspices of former CBS News President Fred Friendly the program opened its doors in 1968 in reaction to the Kerner report that was critical of the lack of academic training for minorities in the field of journalism. 

Michele Clark was born in Gary, Indiana on 2nd June 1943. She attended the University of Chicago Laboratory High School, Grinnell College in Iowa and Roosevelt University in Chicago. 

In 1972 Michele Clark graduated from a new program at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism created to recruit, train, and place minority journalists in mainstream media positions. It was known at the time as  “Broadcast and Print Journalism for Minorities” at Columbia University. 

Upon graduating, Clark began work as a reporter for WBBM-TV, a CBS owned station in Chicago. She was the only woman reporter at the station for one year. Following that assignment, she went on to report for the CBS network news. 

Clark was given assignments that were usually assigned to men. In 1972, she covered the presidential primaries and at the Democratic Convention, she was promoted to a correspondent. Later that year, Clark was reassigned to work as a correspondent in Washington, D.C.

Michele Clark was the first black female news correspondent for CBS. She established herself as one of the best and brightest reporters on television during the 1970s.

Clark commuted between Washington and Chicago to visit her family. On her way home to spend time for Christmas in Chicago with her family, she was one of the 44 people killed when a United Air Lines plane crashed on December 8, 1972, near Chicago’s Midway Airport. 

To honor Clark, in 1972 the journalism program which she had completed at Columbia University, was renamed the Michele Clark Fellowship Program for Minority Journalists. CBS, NBC, and the Ford Foundation funded it.

Today, the Michele Clark Fellowship is a scholarship program under the auspices of the Radio Television Digital News Directors Foundation. This fellowship is awarded to a young, promising minority professional in television or radio news. In addition to the $1,000 award, winners of the Michele Clark Fellowships are invited to attend the Excellence in Journalism conference.

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