Remembering Fred Silverman and Jim Lehrer, two television giants

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"Sunday Morning" looks back at the careers of the revolutionary network TV executive Fred Silverman, and of Jim Lehrer, a pillar of broadcast journalism and presidential debates.

CBS News

It happened this past week ... farewells to two very different giants of television. 


Fred Silverman died Thursday of cancer in New York.

Silverman was the only person to head programming at all three broadcast networks.

He boosted CBS to first place in the ratings in the early 1970s with programs such as "All in the Family" and "MASH."

He later accomplished a similar ratings feat at ABC with shows like "Laverne & Shirley" and the miniseries "Roots."

Though Silverman's magic touch failed him at NBC, he went on to find success as an independent producer.

Fred Silverman was 82.

TV titan Fred Silverman dead at 82 02:29

And there was a memorial service this past Friday for veteran journalist Jim Lehrer.

The former host of the PBS "Newshour" is remembered as a calm and steady authority in an era of increasingly strident and contentious TV news voices. "I am not in the entertainment business," he once said. 

From 1988 to 2012, Lehrer was a frequent moderator of presidential debates, operating each time on the theory that it was the candidates – not Jim Lehrer – who should be the focus of the event.

Jim Lehrer was 85.

Remembering legendary journalist Jim Lehrer 01:53

Story produced by Juan Torres Falcon.