Sharpe Remembers Cronkite

LIVE 5 WCSC’s own Bill Sharpe had an interesting encounter with CBS anchor Walter Cronkite while shooting footage for a promotional campaign in the late 1970s. Here’s his memory of the shoot and the anchor himself:

I was probably 27 or 28 years old, and I flew up to New York to do what we in the business call a “promo shoot.” As I was escorted into the CBS News studio, I was scared to death! After all,  I was about to meet and be a part of a promotion shoot with a man whom I had seen in my living room for years as I was growing up in Charleston.

Suddenly, there he was! He was gracious and yet ready to get the shoot done. I remember he made some suggestion to let me know he was going to look after me!


Walter Cronkite at his desk on his last day as anchor of the CBS Evening News.

When It was time for the shoot, I told myself to just make sure I could talk! We did several “takes” promoting Live 5 News and CBS, and then it was done! I had made it ! It was only afterwards when I saw the tape that I realized how scared I was! You could see it in my eyes!

I remember how down to earth Uncle Walter was, and even though I was talking to the “most trusted man in America”, I never felt there was any condescension in his voice. He was just an older, more experienced anchorman trying to help this “greenhorn” anchorman from Charleston.

Years later, I interviewed Walter at least twice when he came to Charleston on his Yacht. Each time he was kind and decent to me, and yet always professional!

I will always be impressed The Great Man himself always made time to talk to “local yokels” like me! We will miss his honest, integrity and just plain decency. The camera can detect a “phony” a mile away. And there was nothing put-on about Walter Cronkite. What you saw, was what you got!

It’s something I think we need a lot more of today.

Cronkite is being laid to rest this afternoon. The service will be carried live online at starting at 12:30pm.


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