Roger Mudd, Still “A CBS Man”

By Alissa Krinsky 

“I’m a CBS man,” veteran newsman Roger Mudd tells HuffPo‘s Rachel Sklar, “no matter how many times you heard me say, ‘Roger Mudd, NBC News.'”

Mudd, who left CBS News for NBC News in the early 1980’s after Dan Rather got the post-Walter Cronkite anchor job Mudd wanted, was feted by Lesley Stahl last week at a party to celebrate his new book, The Place To Be: Washington, CBS, and the Glory Days of Television News. Among those in attendance were Susan Zirinsky, Connie Chung, Lynn Sherr, and Mort Zuckerman.

More from the Mudd interview:

• On whether he still watches the CBS Evening News: “Oh yeah. I usually – just as an old horse in the stable, I turn it on just because that’s my company and always feel it will be and I still know some people there. So I usually start with CBS at 6:30pm and will stay with them until 7pm, and then generally go over to Jim Lehrer where I also had worked for five, six years and know those people.”

• On his favorite current TV journos: “Someone I really like at ABC is Martha Raddatz…I think [NBC’s David Gregory] is very good and judicious, and I like David Martin over at CBS at the Pentagon….It’s good to have Jeff Greenfield back on CBS.”

• On what cable channels he watches: “I tend to like MSNBC a little better…[Keith] Olbermann is outrageously good. He’s funny and I’m learning stuff on there that I’m not hearing. A lot of that political patois that I pick up from him and [Chris] Matthews, and that seems to be an added contribution. I don’t watch FOX. I’ve tried it several times and CNN is okay, but I think they have too many people and too many graphics. It’s not a serene network.”

(photo by Rachel Sklar)

• On former colleague Dan Rather during his CBS Evening News anchor tenure: “I thought he was a very hardworking man who was, in fact, tightly wound and a complicated fellow, and I thought what came across was someone not quite comfortable with himself and I think that came through.”

• On how technology has changed the lives of TV journos: “Oh my God — iPod, iPhones, texting — everything! I think a well-equipped reporter has to have a saddlebag to put his stuff in!”

Sklar’s post has other photos from the book bash, as well as a diagram, courtesy of Bob Schieffer, on the layout of CBS’ Washington Bureau (whose desk was located where) circa 1969.