CBS News and 60 Minutes Producer Katie Spikes Passes Away After Cancer Battle

By Mark Mwachiro 

Profile Picture of CBS News' Katie Spikes

The CBS News family is mourning one of its own: 60 Minutes’ senior story editor Katie Spikes recently passed away after a five-year battle with cancer.

She was 53.

Spikes had been with CBS News for more than 25 years, serving in various producing roles. At 60 Minutes, she was responsible for many of the show’s top bookings, including former President Barack Obama, author Michael Lewis, actor Joaquin Phoenix, and Olympic star Michael Phelps.


In one instance, as a result of the relationships Spikes developed over the years, 60 Minutes was allowed to document a series of farewell concerts performed by singer Tony Bennett, who recently passed, with Lady Gaga. This led to a moving profile on the broadcast.

Spikes was honored with a 1997 Emmy Award for CBS News’ coverage of the death of Princess Diana. She also played a leading role in the network’s coverage of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

Prior to joining CBS News, Spikes was a talent producer at CNN, working on the primetime show Larry King Live in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.

60 Minutes executive producer Bill Owens shared a note on Spikes’ passing, saying, “60 Minutes has lost a very dear friend and colleague.”

He added, “Katie was such an important force on the ninth floor [home of 60 Minutes] that it is hard to put into words. She was the relentless positive energy that everyone sought out. Smart, funny, hardworking, and a genius friend and mentor. I valued Katie’s opinion because she wasn’t afraid to take the other side of an argument and always had impeccable taste.”

CBS News staffers are also mourning Spikes’ passing and offering touching tributes.

“Katie Spikes was a talented producer, a fearless newsroom diplomat, and an irreplaceable and unwavering friend,” correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi said.

Spikes is survived by her husband, Donald Furrer; her two sons, James Joseph Furrer, and Owen Doolin Furrer; her stepson, Brandon Scott Furrer; her parents, Judith Doolin Spikes and Dr. James L. Spikes; and her sister, Sarah Spikes.

Those seeking to honor her memory can donate to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.