Roger Mudd joined CBS in 1961, and as the congressional correspondent, became a star covering the historic Senate debate over the 1964 Civil Right Act. Appearing at the steps of Congress every morning, noon, and night for the twelve weeks of the filibuster, he established a reputation as a leading political reporter. Mudd was one of half a dozen major figures in the stable of CBS News broadcasters at time when the networks standing as a provider of news was at its peak. In The Place to Be, Mudd tells of how the bureau worked: the rivalries, the egos, the pride, the competition, the ambitions, and the gathering frustrations of conveying the world to a national television audience in thirty minutes minus commercials. It is the story of a unique TV news bureau, unmatched in its quality, dedication, and professionalism. It shows what TV journalism was once like and what its missing today.
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(236mm x 156mm x 34mm)
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US Kirkus Review »
Veteran TV newsman Mudd engrossingly dissects the coming of age of television news, as experienced at the best and brightest shop on the block.His memoir of the "golden age" of CBS News's Washington bureau - perhaps not coincidentally coinciding with Mudd's 1960s-'70s tenure there - takes a lively and gratifyingly candid look back at a pre-CNN, pre-Internet, pre-cell phone media struggling to decode the strange signs and customs of the U.S. government for a mass audience. Revered as the House that Murrow Built, CBS News attracted an astonishing number of driven, talented journalists with a nearly religious zeal for beating the competition and creating the best possible broadcast. Mudd covered the congressional beat, earning a reputation as a hard-nosed, somewhat irreverent, prickly perfectionist. He was deemed Walter Cronkite's heir apparent at the anchor desk, and more than 25 years after losing that seat to sometime friend and professional nemesis Dan Rather, his bitterness is still palpable. Mudd paints an illuminating portrait of Rather as talented, ruthlessly ambitious, calculating and fatally eager for the big scoop at the expense of journalistic probity and his own credibility. Equally sharp are sketches revealing Cronkite's high standards and tin ear for popular culture; Eric Sevareid's brilliance and difficult personality; Connie Chung's remarkable pluck; Ed Bradley's diva-like tendencies, etc. This makes for delicious gossip, but Mudd's aim is to show the type of person - tightly wound, obsessive and possessed of a healthy ego - that made possible CBS News's many journalistic coups. His insightful reminiscences of covering the Kennedy assassination, Watergate and the civil-rights movement bring a fresh insider's perspective to these familiar events. Also engaging are Mudd's takes on lesser-known stories, rich in period detail and crackling with the urgency of deadlines and the need to prove one's self anew every day. Brisk, brusque and surprisingly witty - a must for students of the peculiar marriage of politics and entertainment. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Roger Mudd
Roger Mudd was most recently the primary anchor for The History Channel. Previously, he was weekend anchor of "CBS Evening News," co-anchor of the weekday "NBC Nightly News," and hosted NBC's "Meet the Press" and "American Almanac." He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the George Foster Peabody Award, the Joan Shorenstein Award for Distinguished Washington Reporting, and five Emmy Awards. Mudd lives outside of Washington, D.C.