CBS made it official Monday -- after months of speculation, the network
confirmed that the founding executive producer of 60 Minutes, Don Hewitt,
will step down in June 2004.
He will be succeeded by Jeff Fager, a former 60 Minutes producer and
current executive producer of 60 Minutes II.
But Hewitt, 80, has reached a new multiyear agreement to remain at CBS News,
both as an advisor to Fager and as an executive producer at the news division,
where he will develop new programs and help "fine-tune" existing shows.
Hewitt has been with CBS News since 1948.
He produced the Kennedy-Nixon debates, the first televised presidential
debates in 1960 and was executive producer of The CBS Evening News with
He then developed 60 Minutes, the first and most successful prime-time
newsmagazine and currently the longest-running program in prime time, which
debuted in 1968. He's been producing it since its start.
"There is no way to overstate what Don Hewitt has meant to CBS," president and CEO Leslie
Moonves said. "And there aren't too many people who have
literally created standards by which an entire industry has operated. Don has
done all that and more. I'm extremely pleased that he will be a part of CBS for
many years to come."
Fager, 48, has been with CBS since 1982.
He was a producer at 60 Minutes for six years before joining The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather as senior broadcast producer in 1994.
He was named executive producer of the Evening News in 1996 before
leaving to develop and launch 60 Minutes II in 1999.