1962: Walter Cronkite Signs Off
On April 16, 1962, Walter Cronkite anchored the CBS Evening News for the first time. On this day in 1981, he signed off for the last time. Initially, the show was called Walter Cronkite with the News and aired for only 15 minutes. The next year, it was expanded to an half hour, the first network to do so. Ever competing against NBC’s news program, Cronkite’s ratings surpassed NBC in ratings in 1970 when Chet Huntley retired. Cronkite’s show stayed in the number one spot until his own retirement. Cronkite was known for signing off with the phrase, “And that’s the way it is” followed by the date.
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