WALTER CRONKITE, Texas Broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite was best known...

Broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite was best known as an anchorman for CBS Evening News. Credit: AP Photo/Anonymous

Fifty years ago yesterday, "The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite" expanded from fifteen minutes - the staccato-quick length of evening newscasts prior to Sept. 2, 1963 - to  thirty full minutes. (OK, not counting commercials.) CBS Monday marked that anniversary with this fascinating piece. (See clip below.) Yes, this expansion was a very big deal in the history of U.S. TV journalism because it represented the beginning of the hegemony of the network evening newscasts ("Nightly News" went to a half-hour within weeks if not days...) For four decades after, the Big Three evening news shows were to become - for millions - the last stop of the day when it came to news, and these programs helped to define the world for them. (Sure, they're not quite what they were, nor are newspapers, you may have heard, but are still viewed by many millions every night.)  An important part of the history of "The Evening News" began that day. Here's the piece again...well worth watching: 

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