Nearly 30 Years Later, ‘Broadcast News’ Comes to CBS News

By Chris Ariens 

If you work in TV news, you may know the story already: the lead character in the quintessential movie about network TV news is based on a real TV newser.

This morning on CBS Sunday Morning, we got the full story of how actress Holly Hunter became Jane Craig, an obsessive, over-achieving, under-confident network producer. Hunter learned from real CBS Newser Susan Zirinsky, who was a producer at CBS News in Washington during filming in 1987. Now she’s the senior EP of 48 Hours. The two were reunited in the CBS News room in New York recently for a Jane Pauley feature.

“I was tailing her,” Hunter said of Zirinsky. “I took copious notes because, you know, it’s a daunting thing to have to, one, be smarter than Bill Hurt (who played the vapid anchorman). And two, pretend to do something that you don’t do.”


SchiefferHunter“This is who she is. It’s in her DNA,” Zirinsky said, adding, “Obsessive compulsive is an attractive quality to me.”

A walk through the newsroom also included meeting CBS’s Bob Schieffer. Hunter was profiled for Sunday Morning as part of her next role: Playing a U.S. Senator in Batman v. Superman which comes out later this month.