CBS News Radio’s Flagship Broadcast World News Roundup Turns 85

By A.J. Katz 

CBS News Radio’s flagship broadcast World News Roundup turns 85 on Monday, March 13, and the radio news network is celebrating the milestone with special programming throughout the day.

America’s longest-running newscast (across radio and TV), launched on March 13, 1938, and became the first program to feature correspondents stationed around the globe reporting for a single live newscast. The first broadcast was anchored by Bob Trout from New York and focused on “a Europe in turmoil.”

From Trout:

“Tonight the world trembles, torn by conflicting forces. Throughout this day event has crowded upon event in tumultuous Austria. Meanwhile, the outside world, gravely shaken by the Austrian crisis, moves cautiously through a maze of diplomatic perils.

As German troops swarm across frontiers in their first offensive since 1914, momentous decisions are being reached in the capitals outside Germany. And so the world spotlight, for three days fastened upon Austria, is shared tonight by London’s tiny Downing Street, by the Quai d’Orsay, whose buildings of state line the Seine River in Paris, by other chancellories throughout the world. To bring you the picture of Europe tonight, Columbia now presents a special broadcast, which will include pickups direct from London, from Paris, and such other European capitals as of this late hour abroad have communication channels available…”

The inaugural radio newscast also featured reporting from Edward R. Murrow, then a CBS News executive. Murrow was reporting from Vienna.

“This is Edward Murrow speaking from Vienna. It’s now nearly 2:30 in the morning and Herr Hitler has not yet arrived. No one seems to know just when he will get here, but most people expect him sometime after 10 o’clock tomorrow morning. It’s, of course, obvious after one glance at Vienna that a tremendous reception is being prepared.

From the air, Vienna didn’t look much different than it has before, but, nevertheless, it’s changed. The crowds are courteous as they’ve always been, but many people are in holiday mood; they lift the right arm a little higher here than in Berlin and the “Heil Hitler” is said a little more loudly. There isn’t a great deal of hilarity, but at the same time there doesn’t seem to be much feeling of tension.

There are still huge crowds along the Ringstrasse and people still stand outside the principal hotels, just waiting and watching for some famous man to come in or out. As I said, everything is quiet in Vienna tonight. There’s a certain air of expectancy about the city, everyone waiting and wondering where and at what time Herr Hitler will arrive.”

Fast forward 85 years, Steve Kathan is the anchor of World News Roundup, and Jennifer Keiper anchors World News Roundup Late Edition. The broadcasts can be heard on 156 CBS News Radio affiliates around the country and nationwide on SiriusXM P.O.T.U.S Ch 124.

As part of the anniversary celebration, CBS News Audio is launching the new CBS News Roundup podcast, which combines broadcasts of Weekend Roundup, World News Roundup, World News Roundup Late Edition, and Kaleidoscope.

World News Roundup has earned the Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast 14 times over the last 21 years, including the last nine consecutive years.

Here’s the 38-minute broadcast via The Atlantic: