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Douglas Edwards Edit Profile

Radio , television news reporter

Douglas Edwards, American radio, television news reporter. Recipient George Foster Peabody award for best television news, 1955. Member of Washington Association Radio and television Analysts, Radio-television Corrs. Association, Overseas Press Club (New York City), Field Club (New Canaan, Connecticut), Sigma Delta Chi.

Background

Edwards, Douglas was born on July 14, 1917 in Ada, Oklahoma, United States. Son of Tony and Alice (Donaldson) Edwards.

Education

Student, University Alabama, 1934—1935. Student, Emory University, 1936. Student, University Georgia, 1937—1938.

Career

Edwards joined CBS Radio in 1942, eventually becoming anchor for the regular evening newscast The World Today as well as World News Today on Sunday afternoons. Edwards came to CBS, after stints as a newscaster and announcer at WSB in Atlanta, Georgia and WXYZ in Detroit, Michigan. In the mid-1940s, Edwards was host of the radio program Behind the Scenes at CBS. \r\nIn 1948, as CBS's top correspondents and commentators shunned the fledgling medium of television, Edwards was chosen to present regular CBS television news programs and to host CBS's television coverage of the 1948 Democratic and Republican conventions.

At first, Edwards would be eclipsed by John Cameron Swayze of NBC News's Camel News Caravan, but he would eventually regain his ratings lead. He also received wide praise for his coverage, on both camera and radio, of the sinking of the SS Andrea Doria in July 1956. But by the end of the decade, viewership levels for the Edwards broadcast weakened severely as the Huntley-Brinkley Report began to attract a larger audience.

By 1962, Edwards was replaced by Walter Cronkite, and the newscast's name was changed to CBS Evening News. For several years after leaving the CBS anchor chair, Edwards headed the local evening news team on WCBS-TV, channel 2, the networks flagship television station in New York City. Edwards subsequently moved back to CBS Radio, where he delivered the network's flagship evening newscasts The World Tonight for many years.

Until his retirement on April 1, 1988, he maintained a daily midday role within CBS television news, anchoring a five-minute newsbreak known successively as CBS Afternoon News with Douglas Edwards (April 1962-Feb 1968), The CBS Midday News with Douglas Edwards (Feb 1968-April 20, 1979) at 11:55am Eastern time and The CBS Mid-Morning News with Douglas Edwards (April 23, 1979 – May 30, 1980) at 10:55am Eastern. He also served, for a time, as a co-anchor of the CBS Morning News. His last radio newscast included a report of the death of singer Andy Gibb.

Beginning June 2, 1980, Douglas Edwards anchored a daily one-minute-fourteen-second edition of Newsbreak at 11:57 a.m. Eastern Time. \r\nEdwards died of cancer at 73. Many of his early CBS radio newscasts, including his World War II anchoring of World News Today, memorable broadcasts on D-Day and his Andrea Doria coverage, remain favorites of old-time radio collectors.

Edwards was posthumously elected to the Radio Hall of Fame in 2006. In a 41⁄2 hour interview for the Archive of American Television, Walter Cronkite described Edwards as "a true gentleman... one of the gentlest men I've ever known."\r\n1988: Paul White Award, Radio Television Digital News Association.

Achievements

  • 1988: Paul White Award, Radio Television Digital News Association.

Politics

The term "anchor" would not be used until 1952, when CBS News chief Sig Mikelson would use it to describe Walter Cronkite's role in the network's political convention coverage. By the mid-1950s, the nightly 15-minute newscast Douglas Edwards with the News was watched by nearly 30 million viewers.

Membership

Member of Washington Association Radio and television Analysts, Radio-television Corrs. Association, Overseas Press Club (New York City), Field Club (New Canaan, Connecticut), Sigma Delta Chi.

Connections

Married Sara Byrd, August 29, 1939. Children: Lynn Alice, Robert Anthony, Donna Claire. Married May H. Dunbar, May 10, 1966.

father:
Tony Edwards

mother:
Alice (Donaldson) Edwards

spouse:
Sara Byrd

spouse:
May H. Dunbar

child:
Lynn Alice Edwards

child:
Donna Claire Edwards

child:
Robert Anthony Edwards