AFAM Alum named 60 Minutes correspondent
CBS News veteran Bill Whitaker has been named a 60 Minutes correspondent, it was announced today by Jeff Fager, the executive producer of 60 Minutes and the chairman of CBS News. Whitaker is based in Los Angeles and will move to the New York area and begin appearing in the fall on the CBS newsmagazine, America’s most-watched news program.
“Bill Whitaker is one of the great veterans of CBS News. He has had a distinguished career covering just about every kind of story all over the world,” said Fager. “Bill is a natural fit at 60 Minutes and it’s exciting that he has agreed to join us.”
Whitaker, an Emmy-winner, has covered virtually all of the major news stories in the West since he was posted to Los Angeles in 1992, reporting regularly for the CBS Evening News and other CBS News broadcasts. He also has worked for Sunday Morning, turning out feature stories and thoughtful profiles, including on Barbra Streisand, Norman Lear and Gladys Knight. One of his most memorable Sunday Morning profiles was of ex-boxer Mike Tyson. He has interviewed First Lady Michelle Obama and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
This season, he appeared on 60 Minutes Sports on Showtime, profiling April Vokey, the Northwest’s famous fly-fishing guide who has changed the face of the sport.
Whitaker is a seasoned foreign correspondent and frequently reports from overseas, recently covering the funeral of Nelson Mandela from South Africa. He also did pieces from Japan on the Fukushima nuclear disaster and from Haiti after the tragic earthquake there. He reported from Kabul during the early stages of the War in Afghanistan.
In 2008, he covered Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. He was the lead reporter covering the 2000 presidential campaign of George W. Bush.
Prior to his assignment to Los Angeles, Whitaker served as the CBS News Tokyo correspondent (1989-92). There, he covered stories throughout Asia, including the pro-democracy uprising in Tiananmen Square, military coup attempts in the Philippines and the enthronement of Japan’s Emperor Akihito. He was in Baghdad for the build-up to Desert Storm.
Before that, Whitaker was based in Atlanta (1985-88), where he won an Emmy for his reports on the collapse of Jim and Tammy Bakker’s television ministry and covered the 1988 presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis. Whitaker joined CBS News as a reporter in November 1984.
Previously, Whitaker was a correspondent for WBTV-TV, the CBS affiliate in Charlotte, N.C. He began his broadcast journalism career at KQED-TV in San Francisco, where he was a producer, associate producer and researcher/writer.Whitaker was born in Philadelphia; he was graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges with a B.A. degree in American history and from Boston University with a master’s degree in African-American studies. Whitaker also attended the Master of Journalism program at the University of California, Berkeley. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 1997.