I’m sure most of you remember The Mary Tyler Moore Show on CBS, which ran from 1970-1977. It remains one of the best sitcoms of all time. One of the episodes is entitled, “Ted Baxter Meets Walter Cronkite” from February 9, 1974.
In that episode, Cronkite is in town and stops by to see his friend, WJM News Director Lou Grant. While he is there, he meets the rest of the news staff. Ted thinks that Cronkite has come to hire him for the network news, which of course wasn’t true! In any event, Ted makes an awkward scene of sorts. Right before they go into a private office, Cronkite looks at Lou and says, “I’m gonna get you for this!”READ MORE: 3-Year-Old In Critical Condition After Man Opens Fire Outside Dallas Gas Station
In reality, KDFW in Dallas (which was a CBS affiliate from 1949 until 1995 when it switched to FOX) used to air a promo immediately after the CBS Evening News that promoted the Channel 4 News at 6pm with Eddie Barker. The spot was 10 seconds and with Cronkite’s appearance and delivery, he looked into the camera and said, “And now, stay tuned for the news with my good friend Eddie Barker and the Channel 4 news team….the leader in the great southwest.” A lot of the promo’s aired during the black and white days (prior to 1965-1966). The Channel 4 master control operators had to pay attention to what type of suit Cronkite wore that night so that they could pull the right tape that had the same “color/style”, so that everything matched up. In real life, Barker and Cronkite were good friends and vacationed with each other’s families for a number of years, on Cronkite’s boat!READ MORE: 'Preventing Poison From Reaching Communities', U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers Seize Over $976K In Narcotics
I had the honor of meeting Eddie in Dallas a number of years ago. While at KRLD/KDFW, he would be on KRLD 1080, then take the elevator to the TV studio on the main floor and do the news on television. After retirement, he would still work a few weekends on KRLD. He passed away on July 23, 2012. Cronkite passed away on July 17, 2009.
Today, CBS11 airs a daily promotional spot in CBS11 News At 5pm for the CBS Evening News With Jeff Glor, which promotes locally and nationally.MORE NEWS: After Cyberattack Pipeline Officials Hope To Have Service Back By The Weekend -- But Oil Prices Fall
I couldn’t find a clip with the Cronkite/Barker promo but I did find one for our sister station in San Francisco, KPIX. Priceless.