Center Continues to Build News Media History Archives
AUSTIN, Texas — The Briscoe Center continues to build its extensive news media holdings with the recent acquisition of the papers of four CBS writers and producers: Charles Wolfson, Alison Owings, Marion Goldin, and Susan Zirinsky. Spanning the 1960s through the present, these collections help reveal the inner workings of the news media industry. Many items from these collections are featured in the center’s digital humanities project, Dan Rather: American Journalist.
“The papers of producers, writers and editors are often as valuable to the study of American news media as those of acclaimed reporters and anchors,” said Don Carleton, executive director of the Briscoe Center. “They help reveal how modern American journalism evolved and offer insights into how it might continue to adapt in the future.”
Goldin started at CBS as a research assistant in 1963. In 1972 she joined 60 Minutes, going on to produce 66 shows. Wolfson’s career at CBS began in 1974. He was a producer and reporter covering the Department of State between 1994 and 2010. Zirinsky is the senior executive producer of the award-winning crime and justice series 48 Hours, having joined CBS News as a part-time production clerk in 1972. Owings was a television news writer for much of her career and is now an award-winning oral historian.
Their papers join those of other news media professionals held at the center including Walter Cronkite (UPI, CBS), Robert Trout (CBS, NBC, ABC), Sig Mickelson (CBS), Dan Rather (CBS), Harry Reasoner (CBS), Joseph and Shirley Wershba (CBS, ABC, PBS), Philip Scheffler (CBS), Morley Safer (CBS), Andy Rooney (CBS), and Dominick Dunne (Vanity Fair). These new acquisitions include radio and television scripts, reporters’ notebooks, research files, news agency tele-printer reports, press clippings, materials related to trip logistics, presidential dossiers, memos regarding news story ideas, court documents, and ephemera.
Born in Brooklyn in 1940, Goldin started at CBS as a research assistant for national correspondent Eric Sevareid from 1963–1969 before becoming an associate producer of the CBS Morning News, 1969–1972. In 1972 she joined 60 Minutes for 14 seasons: 1972–1981 and again from 1984–1988, producing 66 shows and winning two Emmys. Throughout the years, she worked on memorable interviews with Leonard Bernstein, the Reagan family and with the major actors of Watergate: John Ehrlichman, Egil “Bud” Krogh, Donald Segretti, Charles Colson, Gordon Liddy, and special prosecutor Leon Jaworski. She passed away in June, 2017.
Charles M. Wolfson
Charles M. Wolfson’s career with CBS News spanned more than 40 years, from 1970 to 2010. As a reporter at the Department of State, he traveled to more than 70 countries with five secretaries of state including Warren Christopher, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and Hillary Rodham Clinton. An associate producer of the Evening News with Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather as well as Tel Aviv Bureau Chief, he covered political campaigns, Middle East peace talks, and foreign affairs. Wolfson was born in Wichita Falls, Texas, in 1941 and attended the University of Texas at Austin between 1961 and 1962.
Susan Zirinsky is the senior executive producer of the award-winning crime and justice series 48 Hours. Since joining CBS News as a part-time production clerk in 1972, she has worked for a variety of CBS News broadcasts and covered national and global news, several presidents, wars, international conflicts, the Olympics, and the fashion world. Zirinsky was the executive producer of Campaign ’96 (1995–96), managing the daily operations of CBS News’s election-year political coverage. She also directed CBS News’s 1992 political reporting and served in several capacities for the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather. Zirinsky was CBS’s White House producer for more than a decade.
Alison Owings was a television news writer for much of her career, most notably at CBS News in New York City alongside Dan Rather, Walter Cronkite, Ed Bradley, and Bob Schieffer. Owings is now an award-winning author of oral history. Her papers document her career as a news writer from 1969–2009. They also include a number of court documents focused on race and sex discrimination charges brought against WRC/NBC in the 1970s, including the final decision issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, news memos, correspondence, and clippings regarding the case.