U.S. news pioneer Hewitt dies

The 60 Minutes creator, a veteran newsman at the CBS network, died on Wednesday (19Aug09). He was diagnosed with a small, contained tumour earlier this year (09) and underwent treatment for the disease.

Hewitt created the popular news programme in 1968, 20 years after joining the network, and served as the show’s executive producer until his retirement in 2004. The show pioneered the TV news magazine format, winning 73 Emmy Awards, 13 DuPont/Columbia University Awards and nine Peabody Awards with Hewitt on board.

His own honours include the second annual Lifetime Achievement Emmy presented by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Founders Emmy presented in 1995 by the International Council of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

The newsman is the author of Tell Me a Story: Fifty Years and 60 Minutes in Television, which chronicles his life as a journalist. His death comes just one month after that of CBS colleague, fellow news legend Walter Cronkite.

Hewitt and his wife, Marilyn, had four children.