CBS News has lost another friend and colleague. Elizabeth Sweetnam, a 60 Minutes editor for the past 14 years, died last night in Haven Hospice in Manhattan after a brave fight with breast cancer. She was 66 and lived in Manhattan and Shelter Island.
"Liz was a spirited, talented, cheerful woman," said Jeff Fager, 60 Minutes executive producer and the chairman of CBS News. "She's done so much great work over all of her years at 60 Minutes, but most of us will remember her as a pleasure to be around."
Elizabeth helped launch the webcast 60 Minutes Overtime in 2010, delivering original 60 Minutes content to the Internet for the first time. She also worked in the unit that distributed 60 Minutes stories online in a partnership with Yahoo! that preceded the 60 Minutes Overtime effort.
Before that, Elizabeth edited numerous stories for the Sunday broadcast, including the Emmy-nominated "Mammoni," a classic 60 Minutes a story about the reluctance of Italian men to leave their homes and doting mothers. It was her favorite work.
Elizabeth first worked for CBS in local news at WCBS in New York, breaking in as an editor in the early 1980s. She moved to WNBC soon after, where she spent a decade before taking jobs at ABC and Fox. She joined CBS News Productions in the mid-1990s.
Elizabeth Ann Sweetnam was born in Vancouver B.C., on August 7, 1947. She graduated York University in Ontario and then took post-graduate classes at Brown University. Later, she was a member of the University of the New World at Valais, Switzerland. Elizabeth became a U.S. citizen a few years ago.
She began her career in television as a producer for West Side Women's Video after teaching English courses in New York City high schools and The College of Staten Island. At West Side, she produced cable programming. Among her many works was a widely acclaimed documentary about homeless women.
She is survived by her husband, Vincent Novak, of Manhattan and Shelter Island, and her brother, Jerry Sweetnam, her nephews Eric and Jason, of Duluth, Minn., and many other family members and friends in the U.S. and Canada.
A memorial service will be announced at a later date. Donations can be made to the Haven Hospice Visiting Nurse Service of New York or to the charity of your choice.