The CBS World News Roundup is celebrating its 70th anniversary today, notes Pat Cloonan of the McKeesport Daily News, in a story that unfortunately isn’t online.
According to contributor Elizabeth McLeod on historian Jeff Miller’s Web blog, it began as a 35-minute “radio tour of Europe’s capital cities,” a day after Adolf Hitler’s forces annexed Austria to a growing German Third Reich.
According to other histories of CBS, Vienna correspondent William L. Shirer fled to London at the request of European bureau chief Edward R. Murrow to provide an uncensored account of Hitler’s Anschluss (union) of the two German-speaking nations. Some say it was a response to live reports rival NBC Radio had been providing from Vienna on a network that then included KDKA in Pittsburgh.
Whatever the case, another special aired the following evening over a network then heard over WJAS here.
By the end of 1938, Bob Trout, anchor for those specials, was doing a regular nightly broadcast.
Although the World News Roundup is not heard on CBS’ Pittsburgh owned-and-operated station, KDKA (1020), it is carried by Uniontown’s WMBS (590), which has been a CBS networked station for much of its existence. It airs at 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.
“World News Roundup is a centerpiece of our morning offerings,” WMBS morning host Jim Morgan tells Cloonan. “It really shines.”
CBS claims the program is the longest running daily news presentation in broadcasting history.
Incidentally, users of iPods or other digital media players can subscribe to a daily podcast of the World News Roundup … evidence that this radio institution is making the transition to the 21st century.