There are very few old-school titans of broadcast television who are still with us. The Alex Trebeks. The Walter Cronkites. The Edward R. Murrows.
This week, we lost one of those titans.
Charles Osgood, the host of CBS Sunday Morning from 1994 to 2016 and a legendary figure at CBS News, died on Jan. 23. For me, he was so much more than just a TV host.
Osgood’s death was an unexpected deep cut. In many regards, he and CBS Sunday Morning are the reason I became interested in journalism, and you likely would not even be reading this if not for him. Anytime I spent the weekend with my grandma, Charles was there, too.
I’ve always been familiar with other outlets like my local news and The Today Show, but Sunday Morning is different.
Though he left the show in 2016 and my Charles-loving grandma left us in 2021, Sunday Morning has never wavered. Every Sunday at 9 a.m., I sit down curled up in a blanket and listen to that sweet trumpet sound.
As I learned how to be a student journalist in high school, I often thought that ending up as a Sunday Morning correspondent would be my dream job. I have since evolved and am no longer interested in being a television journalist, but I will never lose interest in Sunday Morning.
Whereas Stephen Sondheim crafted my adoration of the art of musical theater, Charles Osgood showed me the beauty and importance of truthful and genuine storytelling. One of the last consummate professionals of broadcasting, he was formative culture in crafting who I am.
I’ll admit, it is a strange feeling to gush over a man who very likely is unknown by the rest of The Slate staff and just about anyone who picks up a copy of this paper. Charlie, as he was affectionately known, is of an era in broadcast journalism that no longer exists.
Nightly network news still brings in millions of viewers a night, but my generation will be the death of that. If we stay informed of the news at all, it is from social media or news apps, not on television. People like Charles Osgood are the shining example of what broadcast journalism should be, and his death is a painful reminder of an art form evaporating before our eyes.
So long, Charles. I’ll miss seeing you on the radio.