Arthur Bloom, an award-winning CBS director credited with helping create the 60 Minutes ticking stopwatch opener, died of cancer Jan. 28 at his home in Grandview-on-Hudson, N.Y. He was 63.
Bloom spent his entire 45 year career at CBS, starting in the mail room as a messenger in 1960. During his tenure with the network, he won awards for his direction of the 1976 Democratic and Republican conventions, and also directed coverage of several documentaries and breaking-news stories.
Bloom was the first director of 60 Minutes. Along with former executive producer Don Hewitt, Bloom helped shape the program’s style. The first stopwatch used for the opener was Bloom’s own Minerva; it kicked off Minutes' third edition on Oct. 22, 1968.
Friendly and candid with CBS' on-air personalities, Bloom helped coach Dan Rather when Rather was tapped to replace Walter Cronkite as anchor of The CBS Evening News in 1981.