Ed Bradley

Many of the top television news reporters started in radio. Ed Bradley, a CBS news 60 Minutes correspondent, described his entry into radio news reporting in an interview with John Sears in the August 2000 issue of Communicator, the magazine of the Radio Television News Directors Association.

I came to WCBS in 1967. During the interview, they asked if I could send in an actuality. I wasn't sure what actuality was, but I couldn't let them know that. So I said, "Well, just how do you mean? Specifically, what would you like?"

Ed BradleyAnd they said, "Any actuality, anyone you've interviewed for stories. Just send us the air pieces." So I now know what actuality is. At that point I was FM program director and I was doing a five- or six-hour music show, so I wasn't really doing news anymore. I knew I had no actuality and I said, "You know, we're a small station, and we don't save tape, so I don't have anything to send you, but why don't you give me a tape recorder and I'll get you some actuality here?"

Ed Joyce, who was the news director, said they thought I was a little crazy, but they gave me a tape recorder, and I went out and I found a story--I read the paper and found a story. And part of the reason I got the job was because of the initiative I showed. Ed told me later, because of that, when reporters would come from out of town to interview for jobs, they would give them a tape recorder and look on the day book and say, "Here's a news conference," or, "Here's a demonstration, here's a story, go cover it." And then they could see just what that person could do right there. So I was always real proud of that.