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Television's First Anchorman

One thing that television news did cover fairly well in those early years was live events that allowed for plenty of advance planning. A prime example was political conventions, and in 1952 – the first year the conventions were televised live from coast to coast – CBS structured its coverage around a former United Press reporter who was a relative newcomer to the network.

His name was Walter Cronkite, and even before the conventions came to an end that summer, he had become an overnight star. And, of course, Cronkite was able to parlay that instant success into a career that, like Murrow's, would take on legendary proportions.

To describe the focal-point concept that defined Cronkite's role at those 1952 conventions, a CBS executive coined a new term – "anchorman." The term stuck and as it entered the language, Cronkite would become more closely associated with it than anyone else in television history. So much so that in later years anchormen in Sweden were called "Cronkiters."

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Written by Gary Paul Gates

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