By BroadCasting & Cable Staff -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/18/2001 7:00:00 PM
Surely, 60 Minutes is the only place in television where 70-year-old Phil Scheffler can be considered a kid. Celebrating his 50th year with CBS, Scheffler started with the network as a copy boy for Douglas Edwards and the News in 1951 and has now spent 30 years with the long-running magazine series. In 1980, he became executive editor and "has had a hand in producing every 60 Minutes report broadcast since 1980," said CBS.
When Don Hewitt, with whom Scheffler had worked on the evening news, made the pilot for 60 Minutes, he used some of Scheffler's reporting and asked his longtime colleague to join the show. "I turned it down on the grounds that it was not a serious program," Scheffler recalls of the first 60 Minutes opportunity. "I didn't think it would be around for long." But by 1971, he was with the show and produced nearly 60 segments for Mike Wallace, Harry Reasoner, Morley Safer and Dan Rather before moving to the show's management.
Clearly, he acknowledges, he hasn't been waiting for the show's top spot. Although Hewitt's now 78, "I believe I'll retire before Don Hewitt does. He has got much greater staying power. But this is the best place in America to work in this business."
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