New York Times‘ David Carr profiles CBS News senior correspondent John Miller, who has spent his professional life bouncing between jobs in TV and in public service. Carr calls Miller, “a newsie by birth.” His father, John J. Miller, was a syndicated gossip columnist and often brought his son along on stories.
“I’ve been going to crime scenes since I was 9 years old,” Miller says. “It would not be unusual for me to see Sammy Davis Jr. at the Copacabana on Friday night and then be at the scene of a murder in Washington Square on Saturday night.”
At 14, Miller was skipping gym class at Montclair High School and getting assignments at WNYW-TV. After stints in local news he went to work for the NYPD, then back to news at ABC, then back to law enforcement with the FBI before deciding to get back in the TV game.
“My wife said to me, ‘Let me get this straight, you are going to leave a good, safe job in government and wander around New York in the worst economy in years looking for a job as a reporter? That’s your plan?'” he said.
It was. He talked to Jeff Fager, chairman of CBS News and executive producer of “60 Minutes.”
“He is the definition of a pure reporter,” Fager says, “a really great fit with what we are trying to do here. On the big stories, we don’t want packages, we don’t do graphics, we want information. I could listen to John Miller report a story all day.”