CBS News veteran Linda Mason–currently senior VP of standards and specials–is retiring, after 47 years with the company.
Inside CBS, Mason is regarded as a ground-breaker, who shattered the glass ceiling at the network in 1971, when she became the first female producer on the “CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite.”
“There aren’t many people who have given so much of themselves to this organization,” wrote CBS news chairman Jeff Fager in an email to CBS staffers earlier this week.
Mason joined CBS in 1966 as a radio desk assistant, after a stint at The Providence Journal. She would work at WCBS and the “CBS Morning News” before joining the program anchored by Cronkite, and later Dan Rather. She eventually became EP of “CBS Sunday Morning” and of CBS’ weekend broadcasts before moving to special programming. She has also been the network’s representative to the National Election Pool consortium.
As an executive, she led the internal investigation in 2000 that examined the mistakes in the network’s reporting of election night, and she was the CBS liaison on the 2004 report that looked into a piece on “60 Minutes Wednesday” about George W. Bush‘s National Guard service. She has held her current role since 2005.
She has also served as a mentor to staffers, particularly women, in a business that was once dominated by men.
“Linda set an example for other women producers who followed her lead on a path that took her to the heights of CBS News as vice president and senior vice president in positions that helped shape how we gather and report the news,” Fager wrote.
You can read more about mason in this piece by The Baltimore Sun‘s David Zurawik. Fager’s memo to staff is below.
From: Fager, Jeff
To: @CND News
Jan 22, 2013 4:25 PM
Linda Mason’s final days at CBS News are upon us and we want to send her off with a fitting tribute this Thursday, January 24th at 1p in Studio 47.
Linda has distinguished herself in every job she has had, and she’s had many since she started here 47 years ago tomorrow. She earned her stellar reputation as a go-to reporter in the field and in the newsroom after she became the first female producer on broadcast journalism’s toughest and most respected program, “The CBS Evening News With Walter Cronkite.” Linda set an example for other women producers who followed her lead on a path that took her to the heights of CBS News as vice president and senior vice president in positions that helped shape how we gather and report the news. Along the way she was honored with many awards, including the DuPont, the Peabody, the RFK, and 13 Emmys.
Linda Mason has overseen some of our best documentary work as executive producer of CBS Reports. She served as the executive producer of Weekend News and SUNDAY MORNING, taking the iconic morning program to major events overseas, including China on the eve of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. She led efforts in diversity and achieved results, including the establishment of a CBS News 2-year training program for diverse reporters and producers. Using her vast experience covering politics, Linda has represented CBS News on the National Election Pool consortium. For many years she has overseen CBS News’ efforts to create and maintain the standards and ethics that are crucial to our identity as a news organization.
There aren’t many people who have given so much of themselves to this organization.