*Veteran journalist Bill Whitaker is your newest correspondent for “60 Minutes.”
CBS News chairman and “60 Minutes” executive producer Jeff Fager made the announcement today. Whitaker, who has been based in Los Angeles, will move to the New York area and begin appearing on the program in the fall, reports Deadline.com.
Whitaker has covered virtually all of the major news stories in the West since he was posted to Los Angeles in 1992, reporting regularly for the “CBS Evening News” and other CBS News broadcasts. He also has worked for CBS News’s “Sunday Morning” turning out feature stories and profiles, including ones on Barbra Streisand, Norman Lear, Gladys Knight, and Mike Tyson.
Oprah Winfrey attends the Sixth Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards Luncheon at Beverly Hills Hotel on February 21, 2013 in Beverly Hills
*Lady O is on top again.
Yes, Forbes has released its list of “The World’s Most Powerful Celebrities” and, surprise, Oprah Winfrey tops the list after two years in second place.
“A couple of years she’s taken a couple of beatings — she dropped to number two. Oh no! I think right now she’s probably sitting under a tree reading a book going, ‘Oh, OK.’ Not caring whether she’s one or 100,” said Winfrey’s best bud and “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King of Oprah’s number 1 position on the list
Country music star Toby Keith is on the magazine’s cover. He is No. 43 on the list.
And the top five on the 2013 Forbes list of “The 100 Most Powerful Celebrities” are …
Check out the full Forbes “100 Most Powerful Celebrities” at Forbes.com.
*ABC News is reportedly close to signing “60 Minutes correspondent Byron Pitts, according to Politico.com.
“Pitts will serve as both chief national correspondent and anchor at ABC News, and will appear across the network’s programming. ABC News President Ben Sherwood is expected to announce the news next week,” Dylan Byers of Politico reported.
“Pitts is just the latest in a string of high-profile hires for the network,” Byers continued. “Sherwood announced the hire of New York Times reporters Jeff Zeleny and Susan Saulny earlier this week, as well as the appointment of Rick Klein to political director.
Both Pitts and Saulny are black journalists, providing a marked contrast with the new hires at CNN after Jeff Zucker recently assumed the top job, notes TheRoot.com.
“Zucker hired white journalists Jake Tapper, Chris Cuomo and Rachel Nichols while sidelining anchor Soledad O’Brien, who is black and Latina. Zucker’s appointment also prompted the resignation of Mark Whitaker, an African American who was CNN executive vice president and managing editor. Zucker’s personnel moves prompted protests from the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.”
Pitts, 52, joined CBS News as a correspondent in May 1998. He was named a contributing correspondent on “60 Minutes” in 2009, becoming the first African American presence on the show since correspondent Ed Bradley died in 2006.
Meanwhile, Pitts’ wife, Lyne Pitts, is also involved in a new venture. She is heading up the U.S. operation of Arise News, a 24-hour international TV news operation that launched last month.
*CBS sports anchor James Brown is about to put in double duty at the network.
This weekend, he’ll begin work as Special Correspondent for CBS News, it was announced today by CBS News Chairman and “60 Minutes” Executive Producer Jeff Fager and David Rhodes, President, CBS News.
Brown will contribute original reported pieces and will appear on various CBS News broadcasts, according to Deadline.com.
Brown begins his assignment this Saturday, March 3, on CBS This Morning: Saturday. He’ll continue in his current role as host of “The NFL Today,” CBS Sports’ NFL pre-game studio show.
“James Brown is among the very best in our business,” said Fager. “He is a fixture at CBS Sports and will be a great addition to CBS News because of his abilities, and because he also happens to be a great human being.”