I don’t know how many years I have been a fan of CBS Sunday Morning, said to be the most widely watched Sunday news show. I loved Charles Kuralt, the North Carolinian who had the story telling gene like no one I have ever seen. In some ways, I think he influenced me to interview and write the stories of interesting people. I did that for the local newspaper when I first moved here to the mountains. He also helped me to realize that ordinary people have unique stories and many of them are far more interesting than the constant stream of information we hear about famous people.
I also liked the Sunday Morning show because it was the only program on TV that told the stories of good people, of people most of us never heard of but who made a difference. I thought of people I knew, even some in my own family, whose stories could have been told on Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt.
When Charles Osgood took over the show twenty-two years ago, I had never heard of him. I missed the down home style of Kuralt. But Osgood grew on me over all these years. I never missed a show once I could record it and watch after I got home from church.
Today I felt sad as I watched CBS Sunday Morning, the day Charles Osgood retired and will be gone from my Sunday mornings. I loved his ironic rhymes, not poetry, he said. I loved his musicianship and joy in music. He has played piano all his life and plays banjo also. He is a man who was raised with manners, and has an elegance we only see in English movies or British television shows.
I compared my growing up with his and although he came from an upper middle class family and I came from a struggling farm family, I think we were taught the same values – caring about those who have no voice, speaking up when we see injustice, treating everyone with kindness and civility.
We see so little of this on television and social media. Young people of today see the worst examples of humanity on their screens where they stay glued to scenes of violence, denigration of women, dishonesty and fraud that is accepted in our culture as normal. Music of today is often about violence against women, obvious sexual tease, and male dominance. I love the music we see on CBS Sunday Morning where they often introduce a new face like Rhiannon Giddens .
Today Charles Osgood named his successor. I was glad it was Jane Pauley, a woman who embraces the kinds of stories we have become accustomed to on Sunday Morning. How the public will accept a woman after over forty years of men heading this show, is one to watch. I hope she will become as loved by the public as Charles Kuralt and Charles Osgood have been.
She is the only news person I think could do this job and do it well. Jane has done shows that research why all the advertising is geared to the younger generation when it has been found that people over 55 spend the most money, shop and travel more. Still the car manufacturers make ads that poke fun at older people to make their cars appeal to twenty-year-olds.
Jane Pauley will be a great addition to CBS Sunday Morning and I will continue to record the show every week.