Will Oprah Winfrey Be ’60 Minutes’ Political Peacemaker?

Oprah Winfrey 60 minutes

The CBS newsmagazine is planning to deploy the Oprah on key “impact” stories.

As it opens its 50th season Sept. 24, 60 Minutes executives are hoping that having Oprah Winfrey as a contributor will help the news magazine continue to be the standout magazine in a crowded Sunday night television landscape

Oprah Winfrey 60 minutes

executive producer Jeff Fager said,

“She wants to do stories with an impact, and that’s what’s going to work here.”

Oprah Winfrey’s first section will examine the deep political divisions in the country in part through a panel made up of ideologically opposed Americans. She is no bystander in the political arena. Unlike the full-time correspondent corps at 60 Minutes, her views are well known. The stumped for Barack Obama and in 2016 supported Hillary Clinton.  The executive producer, Fager, though, says he’s not concerned that Winfrey’s political identity will alienate some viewers when he said,

“We are known for fairness,” he says, “and I believe people will see that on the air with her.”

Winfrey is not the first contributor 60 Minutes has employed; Wynton Marsalis also has previously filled that role. But the show has endured a thinning of its full-time correspondent ranks with the passing last year of Morley Safer, who had already scaled back, and the untimely death in 2015 of Bob Simon. And Pelley left the CBS Evening News in part so he could return to 60 Minutes full-time this season.

Her 60 Minutes debut echoes Winfrey’s talk show in that it aims to elevate and unite. That’s not to say that she won’t later be deployed in her capacity as a deft celebrity interviewer known for eliciting revealing nuggets from her subjects. “God knows, everybody has come out of the woodwork to say, ‘Can I do a 60 Minutes story with Oprah?’ I couldn’t believe how many calls we got [from] people who are typically reluctant to do something and wanted to do Oprah,” says Fager with a laugh, adding, “We’re not looking for soft from her; we’re looking for substance.”

The story s culled from Hollywood reporter


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