Once upon a time, there were three TV networks, three nightly newscasts, and, above all, one Walter Cronkite.
Cronkite, TV's most famed and influential news anchor, died today after a long illness. He was 92.
"When I think of Walter Cronkite, I think of his high journalism standards, integrity—but most of all his humanity," CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric, said in a statement Friday night. "I think he was so trusted because he exhibited a sense of purpose and compassion, night after night. He was the personification of excellence."
"We trusted him and that trust was well founded," added ABC News fixture Barbara Walters. "He was also a jolly and supportive friend. He will be missed by each of us individually who knew him and by the whole country who loved him."
As anchor of the CBS Evening News from 1962-1981, the grandfatherly Cronkite—known as "Uncle Walter"—was a nightly dinnertime presence for the prewired, precable nation, walking viewers through the tumult and triumphs of the time: the assassination of President Kennedy, the first-ever manned moon landing, the Vietnam War.
"Old anchormen, you see, don't fade away," Cronkite said on his final telecast. "They just keep coming back for more."