After 20 Years, Schieffer Gets His Wish
It's easy to conclude that CBS bosses take Bob Schieffer for granted. When he was temporarily assigned to take over the anchor's desk at the CBS Evening News after the departure of Dan Rather and before the arrival of Katie Couric, he not only produced ratings for the newscast that were higher than they were during Rather's day but higher than they became when Couric took over. Now hosting Face the Nation , which outperforms NBC's Meet the Press, he has finally been able to persuade CBS bosses to expand the Sunday interview show to one hour. Speaking with writer Bob Andelman on the Poynter Institute's website, Schieffer said that he had literally been trying for 20 years to get the program expanded. "When TIM RUSSERT first went to NBC and took over Meet The Press , and asked them to give him an hour -- the proposal he made was 'Give me an hour for three months. If it works, fine; if not, I'll give you the half-hour back.' He got his bosses to OK that and within weeks of going to an hour, they went to number one. Along about that same time, I went to my bosses. I said, 'They're going to an hour; I think it's really going to hurt.' The bosses at the same time said, 'No, it won't make any difference. No, we're not interested in doing that.' So off and on for the last 20 years, every two or three years I'll go in and say 'How about going to an hour? I think we can really make it work.' " The difference today? "We have new bosses now," said Schieffer.