24 September: Smart spaced and paced news

World News Today: Pressure Above the Dutch Rhine, but Advances on the Euro Front Otherwise (CBS, 1944)

LeSeur, one of Murrow's Boys who features prominently on CBS's flagship wartime newscast. (Photo: CBS.)

LeSeur, one of Murrow’s Boys who features prominently on CBS’s flagship wartime newscast. (Photo: CBS.)

Evolving out of CBS European News and CBS News of the World, World News Today has become perhaps the most smartly spaced and paced, if not necessarily the most seminal weekly newscast, of World War II.

With first John Daly and then Douglas Edwards anchoring the broadcast (each would go on to different kinds of television fame in due course), the weekly World News Today anticipates television’s often-honoured nightly MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour in its format of beginning with an overview of the week’s key events—particularly war news—and continuing with more in-depth reporting and analysis of those events.

World News Today‘s feature correspondents usually include the legendary Murrow’s Boys—Murrow himself at times, plus his wartime team of Eric Sevareid, Charles Collingwood, Larry LeSeur, Howard K. Smith, Winston Burdett, Bill Downs, Mary Marvin Breckinridge, Cecil Brown, Richard C. Hottelet, and Tom Grandin. Almost as signature a feature is announcer Warren Sweeney’s twice-a-newscast spots for Admiral, a radio maker who provides electronic equipment to the military during the war and becomes a significant television and refrigerator manufacturer after the war.

After the war, World News Today will be melded to News of the World to produce the long-running World News Roundup radio newscast, eventually spawning an evening edition known as The World Tonight. The anchor of the latter, after his television tenure anchoring CBS’s first nightly newscast on the tube? Longtime World News Today anchor Edwards.


* The British Second Army fights across the Dutch Rhine in a bid to open some breathing room for key British airborne troops marooned on the river’s north banks.

* Charles DeGaulle arrives on the French front to enthusiastic receptions amidst a French government reorganisation.

* The U.S. 8th Army plunges along the Po River pushing the Nazis back and building forces further for a second major plunge in southern Europe, while reporters along this front expect a rapid series of bulletins including Bulgarian restitution of certain pre-war Greek territories captured by the Nazis.

* The Soviet Red Army cuts off Nazi troops in Estonia.

* An eyewitness report of U.S. Marine pilot timing training.

* The Marines push through the Palao Islands, as reviewed by a former Fox Movietone camera director who is now a military communications commander.

* Reaction in Washington to the Dutch Rhine airborne situation, including from three American airborne troops who partook in major European campaigns including D-Day.

Correspondents: Larry LeSeur from London; Winston Burdett from Rome; Lee White (Chicago Daily News) from Moscow; Bill Slocum, Jr. from off the Carolina coast; Tim Lemurk from Pearl Harbour; Joe McCaffrey from Washington.

Anchor: Douglas Edwards. Announcer: Warren Sweeney.

Tune In Today, Continued . . .


The Harold Peary Show: A Plan to Rename Boomer Park (CBS, 1950)—Harold Peary, Gloria Holiday, Florence Robinson, Jerry Marron, Joseph Kearns, Jack Moyles, Ken Peters, Will Wright. Harold is surprised to learn the big elm is targeted for elimination, and his boss’s uncle wants Boomer Park renamed for the radio station’s founder. Evidence of why this show deserved better. Writers: Harold Peary, Gene Stone, Jack Robinson, Dick Powell.

The Jack Benny Program: The Gold Rush of 1949 (CBS, 1950)—Jack Benny, Mary Livingstone, Phil Harris, Dennis Day, Don Wilson. The cast commemorates California’s centennial as expected—aiming at the gold rush, so close to the host’s fictitious heart. And so funny. Writers: George Balzar, Milt Josefsberg, Sam Perrin, John Tackaberry.

Our Miss Brooks: Bronco Dismissed (CBS, 1950)—Eve Arden, Jane Morgan, Gale Gordon, Richard Crenna, Jeff Chandler, Leonard Smith, . Good luck with this: Connie tries to convince Conklin to re-hire the brawny football coach he fired over an incident with two roughnecks . . . after the man threatened to rough Conklin up following the firing. Writers: Al Lewis, Joe Quillan.

Bob & Ray Present the CBS Radio Network: Grand Motel (Hmmmm, 1959)—Bob Elliott, Ray Goulding. Soap opera spoof; spoof of pennant clinching coverage; the Trophy Train arrives in Phoenix. Writers, actual or alleged: Bob Elliott, Ray Goulding.


Gunsmoke: Indian White (CBS, 1955)—William Conrad, Sammy Ogg, Parley Baer, Virginia Gregg, Georgia Ellis, Howard McNear, Joseph Kearns, Harry Bartell, John Dehner, Ralph Moody. A white boy is mistaken for a youthful Cheyenne gun-runner . . . but he was actualy kidnapped by Cheyenne renegades years earlier, posing no end of tension for Matt. Writer: Unidentified.

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