CBS is looking to franchise its legendary 60 Minutes program with 60 Minutes Global, a new initiative designed to create versions of 60 Minutes in new countries, and expanding the program’s presence online.
Patti Hassler, currently executive editor of 60 Minutes, will take the helm of the initiative.
According to Jeff Fager, executive producer of 60 Minutes, the decision to expand online and around the globe came from the success of the 60 Minutes podcast and its dedicated page on Yahoo! News.
“I just really feel strongly that we can do more, and we need to have someone focus on that [expansion],” says Fager. “Because of that success we realized that we translate well into so many more places. Every news organization is looking for new platforms and areas to get their content out there.”
“We think it’s a huge opportunity, so many of our stories translate internationally. It is just an opportunity that we think we haven’t really taken advantage of,” he added.
Hassler will have a lot of experience to draw from. She started with 60 Minutes in 1978, producing stories for Harry Reasoner and Morley Safer, then helped start 60 Minutes II. She was named executive editor of the original show in 2004.
“She is the one most qualified for the job, and she has some experience in that line of work,” says Fager.
Bill Owens, formerly senior broadcast producer at 60 Minutes, will be elevated to executive editor.
Owens has been with CBS since starting as a summer news intern in 1988. His resume includes CBS Evening News, CBS This Morning and WCBS-TV New York.