"I'd like to be remembered as a person who took a very serious view of what television is doing. I tried, by every process possible, to improve the coverage. I knew devices, knew processes, knew electronic systems for delivering the information to the public, and through the process of combining the materials, the personnel, and the process of broadcasting, made it possible for the public to have a more intense idea of what's happening in its society."
About This Interview
In his five-hour Archive interview, Sig Mickelson (1913 –2000) talks about his long career as an executive with CBS News, which culminated with his appointment as the network's first News President (1959-61). He describes his association with the political conventions from 1948 through 1964, at first as a reporter (1948), then as senior executive in charge of the conventions (1952, 1956, 1960) and finally after retiring from CBS, as Executive Program Director for the Republican National Convention in San Francisco (1964). Mickelson talks about hiring Walter Cronkite for the 1952 conventions and assigning him the role as anchorman, a term he is credited for coining. He describes the way in which footage was collected for the nightly news, documentaries and public affairs programs and describes such news series as See It Now, Face the Nation and CBS Reports. He describes how CBS covered the Japanese Peace Conference (the first time the coaxial cable was used), the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, President Eisenhower's press conferences, the "Great Debates" between presidential candidates Kennedy and Nixon, and the 1960 Olympic Games. Don Carleton conducted the two-part interview in San Diego, CA on August 24 and August 25, 1999.