Gail Shister | Cronkite to write weekly opinion piece for newspapers: He's 86, healthy, wealthy and wise. Why would Walter Cronkite go back to work? "Possibly, I'm mad," says Cronkite, who's launching a weekly newspaper opinion column the week of Aug. 3. "I'm mad in a psychological way, but also in a political sense. I think there are many things going on in our world today that are of great importance to the future of our democracy and world peace, and I was looking for an outlet." King Features Syndicate will distribute "And That's the Way I See It ...," a title that echoes Cronkite's trademark closing to the CBS Evening News: "And that's the way it is." He anchored the broadcast for 19 years, until 1981. During Cronkite's 31-year tenure at CBS, "the most trusted man in America" was paid handsomely not to express his opinions. Getting paid for them suits Cronkite just fine.
It's an interestingly odd step to take. Newspapers are suffering from the combination of declining overall readership, and an increasingly older readership -- younger people don't read newspapers. This isn't going to draw younger people to the papers; after all, he hasn't really been working for 20 years or so, so many of them won't have the foggiest idea who he is. However, it may help hold onto some of the older ones.Posted by iain at June 18, 2003 03:10 PM