April 10, 1985…Inside CBS News Studio 33 With Dan Rather

This is a rare look inside CBS Studio 33, or what many call The Cronkite Newsroom. Although Dan Rather was now the anchor, Studio 33 is where Walter Cronkite first reported from, when they moved to the Broadcast Center in 1964.

Prior to the move, the newsroom and set was on the 23rd floor of the Graybar Building which was next to Grand Central, and the show was switched out of the old Studio 42. For the home viewer, it could have been a little hard to tell as the 33 set and the Graybar set were very similar. Even the studio buildout of the new 33 had the same layout including the famous fishbowl office.

About a year after this video, the news moved to Studio 47. Today, Studio 33 is occupied by CBS Radio and across the hall in the space once occupied by the 33 control room, you will find the “60 Minutes” set.

The black man floor managing the show in the studio is CBS News veteran James Wall. Interestingly, his counterpart at NBC News was another black man, Fred Lights who started with Dave Garroway on “Today” and floor managed NBC’s news shows from Huntley-Brinkley to Tom Brokaw.

The cameras here are Hitachi SK 110s and show us how frantic the pace is just before and during air. Stuffing a day of the world’s news into 22 minutes is not an easy task, and back then, the real news took up most of the time…not just the first two segments like now.  -Bobby Ellerbee

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