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Remembering 60 Minutes producer Katie Spikes

Katie Spikes, "60 Minutes" producer, dies at 53
Katie Spikes, longtime "60 Minutes" producer, dies at 53 00:36

Longtime 60 Minutes and CBS News producer Katie Spikes died after a five-year battle against cancer on Tuesday, July 25, 2023. She was 53.

Spikes served as 60 Minutes' senior story editor and was responsible for many of the marquee guest bookings on the broadcast. She spent three decades at CBS, spanning a variety of producing roles at the news network. Earlier in her career, Spikes was a talent producer for CNN's "Larry King Live" in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.

Katie Spikes

At 60 Minutes, Spikes was the driving force responsible for landing a wide range of headline-making interview subjects, including former President Barack Obama, author Michael Lewis, actor Joaquin Phoenix and Olympic star Michael Phelps. The relationships she developed over the years led to a moving profile of singer Tony Bennett who, toward the end of his life, allowed 60 Minutes to document a series of farewell concerts he performed with Lady Gaga.

Spikes played a leading role in the broadcast's coverage of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Spikes was honored with a 1997 Emmy Award for her work on CBS News' coverage of the death of Princess Diana.

Spikes was also a founding senior producer of 60 Minutes Sports, which aired on the Showtime premium cable network. Among her memorable stories from the world of sports was a profile of a then-relatively unknown young skier named Mikaela Shiffrin. Shiffrin would go on to become one of the world's most decorated Alpine skiers, including winning two Olympic gold medals.

Among her colleagues, Katie Spikes was known as much for her producing skill as for her mentorship of junior staff. Spikes nurtured the careers of countless young reporters and producers at CBS News and 60 Minutes.

"60 Minutes has lost a very dear friend and colleague," executive producer Bill Owens said. "Katie was such an important force on the ninth floor [home of 60 Minutes] that it is hard to put into words. She was the relentless positive energy that everyone sought out. Smart, funny, hardworking, and a genius friend and mentor. I valued Katie's opinion because she wasn't afraid to take the other side of an argument and always had impeccable taste."

"Katie Spikes was a talented producer, a fearless newsroom diplomat and an irreplaceable and unwavering friend," correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi said.

"Katie loved to amplify the stories of underdogs from all walks of life. In the sometimes dark and heavy newsroom, Katie Spikes was joy and light. She is irreplaceable," Alfonsi added.

Katharine Alma Spikes was born in New York City on Oct. 26, 1969, and was raised in Larchmont, New York. A resident of Westfield, New Jersey, Spikes is survived by her loving husband, Donald Furrer; her two sons, James Joseph Furrer and Owen Doolin Furrer; her stepson, Brandon Scott Furrer; her parents, Judith Doolin Spikes and Dr. James L. Spikes; and her sister, Sarah Spikes.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

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