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A Cronkite for children: Christopher Glenn, RIP

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I remember Christopher Glenn. Even as a young adult, I watched him do “In The News” for CBS’ Saturday children’s programming.

He died Tuesday, and his way of doing the news may no longer exist in today’s journalism. And his way was simple and clear. [Read CBS staff remembrances.]

There’s a telling point in a Romenesko letter by by Jeff Houck of the Tampa Tribune:

Before there was Linda Ellerbee, there was Christopher Glenn.

I remember that in between my of sugar-soaked bowls of cereal and endless Saturday morning cartoons, Glenn would come on to deliver his segment “In The News” in his resonant, mellifluous voice.

After hours of mindless drivel, (“The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show,” anybody?), Glenn would give kids the headlines on the top stories of the day. Nothing heavy – it wasn’t like he was dropping footage of Vietnam body bags on us. It was just enough news so that we could understand what our parents were talking about. He didn’t dumb it down, he didn’t put on trendy clothes or attempt to speak in slang; he just sat at the regular anchor desk and simplified it so we’d understand. He was like a Cronkite for kids.

Years later, I’d see him on a stray news update segment in prime time (Remember those?) or hear him doing radio news and it would totally take me back.

Glenn’s style and technique was a perfect example of how to deliver news to kids without losing substance – or dignity. [emphasis added]

Now, if only someone cared enough to try. I can’t even fathom CBS’ cousin Nickelodeon dropping an adult into the middle of “Fairly Odd Parents” to read headlines so they can grow a few news consumers.

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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

October 18, 2006 at 5:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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