Longtime ’60 Minutes’ Senior Producer Passes Away

By Chris Ariens Comment

The New York Times reports Esther Kartiganer, a one-time office assistant at CBS who rose to the rank of senior producer at “60 Minutes,” passed away at her home in Aspen, CO. Kartiganer died of a heart attack, her brother confirms.

Kartiganer, who was senior producer in charge of vetting content was wrapped up in the controversial Dan Rather “60 Minutes II” report on Pres. George W. Bush’s military service. From The Times:

In January 2005, Ms. Kartiganer was removed from “60 Minutes” and reassigned after an independent panel concluded that the segment had been unfair and misleading and that it had been rushed to broadcast without proper vetting. “This should never have happened,” Leslie Moonves, the CBS chairman at the time, said in announcing the dismissals. Mr. Rather left the network in June 2006.

Ms. Kartiganer sued the network for defamation, contending that, contrary to Mr. Moonves’s assertion, she had fulfilled her responsibilities on the disputed report, including reviewing the unedited transcripts of interviews with several principals.

A confidential settlement of the case was reached, Ms. Kartiganer’s brother said on Friday. A CBS spokesman declined to comment.

Kartiganer joined CBS in 1964 as an office assistant rising up through the CBS News division producing documentaries.