Joseph Wershba, TV News Pioneer, Dies at Age 90
By AOL TV Editors Posted May 17th 2011 08:26AM
The Associated Press reports that Wershba, who was one of the original '60 Minutes' producers, died at his home at Long Island, New York of complications from pneumonia.
In a statement, CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager said, "Joe Wershba was a wonderful man who was a pioneer of broadcast journalism, without the notoriety of his more celebrated colleagues Ed Murrow and Don Hewitt. ... Almost everything he touched became part of the foundation for CBS News, including '60 Minutes.'"
In 1954 Wershba led a report on Sen. McCarthy for Edward R. Murrow's CBS TV news segment, 'See It Now.' The exposé helped discredit McCarthy, and was one of the inspirations for the movie 'Good Night and Good Luck,' in which Wershba was played by Robert Downey, Jr.
Wershba was also Murrow's on-camera reporter and field producer for 1953's 'The Milo Radulovich Story.' Radulovich was a reserve officer discharged by the U.S. Air Force because it believed his family had communist sympathies. His appeal was denied despite the Air Force providing no evidence, but he was reinstated following the CBS investigation.
He won two Emmy awards at '60 Minutes.' One of them, for 'What Happened in Tonkin Gulf,' recognized his 1971 investigation with correspondent Morley Safer into the 1964 naval encounter off the coast of Vietnam. Paying tribute to his former colleague, Safer said "Joe was an old-school reporter and a wonderful travelling companion."
See more at TV Squad.
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