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Remembering Christopher Glenn

Former CBS News radio and TV reporter Christopher Glenn, who died Tuesday from liver cancer at 68, spent 35 years at CBS News. He hosted the children's program "In the News" as well as "World News Roundup" and "The World Tonight" with a distinctive voice and signature style that was instantly recognizable.

We asked two people who worked with Chris to share their thoughts about him. First, CBS News Correspondent Steve Kathan:

The first time I saw Christopher Glenn, I was in my pajamas.

Lying on the floor of the family living room, chomping on cereal, watching "In the News."

The last time I saw him, I was shaking his hand and wishing him a happy retirement.

A lot happened in between.

"In the News" was one of the most interesting things on television, back then. It probably whetted my appetite for news, storytelling and broadcasting more than anything else. Chris's way of telling things was simple, but with plenty of impact. It was a style that served him well in delivering the news to grown-ups, too.

The fact that I got to work with him here at CBS News was icing on the cake. Chris was a huge force in the newsroom. As an editor, I found him to be demanding, inquisitive and fair. As a reporter, I found going live on his World News Roundup an incredible thrill----every time. His voice had unique power, and he could convey emotion with a just brief hesitation or a slight change in pitch. And it never sounded phony.

A lot of people say Chris was one of the last of dying breed of journalists. He didn't think so. At his office retirement party, he spoke about how the current crop at CBS News and elsewhere, still adhere to the high standards of newsgathering and presentation.

I'm lucky enough to anchor the World News Roundup every so often now. Every time I do, I think of Chris. Now that he's gone, I feel a more pressing need to try to carry on his legacy.

And here's Paul Farry, Producer, CBS World News Roundup:
I'm one of the tens of millions of American 30- and 40-somethings whose first memories of news and currents events are of Christopher Glenn. His Saturday morning "In the News" segments made Watergate, the Mideast oil crisis and the economy understandable. Kids more interested in the antics of Bugs Bunny, Batman or Mr. Magoo learned a few things about the world around them as a result. I happen to have been one of those who actually thought those little news reports were better than the cartoons they followed. From a very early age, Christopher Glenn taught me about so much.

So it was such a thrill to come to work for CBS News in 1988 and actually work with the man behind the voice with which I had grown up. I didn't realize at the time how much I would continue to learn from Chris over the years. He taught me how to be a better writer, a better journalist. During the four years before he retired this past February, I worked closely with Chris every day, producing the "CBS World News Roundup," which he anchored. I would be amazed at his way with words. He'd constantly come up with clever ways to explain a story to make even the most complex topics relatable and understandable. I recall Charles Osgood saying upon Chris's retirement in February that in his broadcasts for children, Chris knew the best way to tell a story was to make it as clear, simple and straightforward as possible. As Charles pointed out, that's the best way to give the news, not just to kids, but to adults too.

Of course, it wasn't just his writing. Chris had THE VOICE. It was instantly recognizable. His crisp, clear delivery made so many broadcasters envious. If only I could sound half as good.

Chris was a first-rate broadcaster and teacher. Somewhere along the line, he also became a close and trusted friend. He will be greatly missed by so many. But so many of us are much richer for having known him and listened to him for so long.

For more on Glenn, have a look at Greg Kandra's remembrance over at Couric & Co.
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