This week, CBS Evening News celebrates the 50th anniversary of its longest-running segment “On the Road.”
Originally helmed by legendary newsman Charles Kuralt, “On the Road” traveled around the country, capturing stories of everyday Americans and aired during the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite throughout the 1960s and ’70s. After being revived in 2011, the “On the Road” torch was passed to CBS News
correspondent Steve Hartman.
“I was working on the evening news, doing feature stories when the CBS News president at the time, told me, asked me — of course it wasn’t really a question because I think he knew I wanted to — if it was okay if I took over and did the ‘On the Road’ segment,” Hartman tells TV Guide of the initial offer to take over the segment. “Up until that point in my career, everything had gone really well. I’d won lots of awards, but it was by far and away the biggest honor of my career… To be given that honor, nothing topped it before, and I can say with certainty that nothing will top it after.”
In honor of the 50th anniversary, CBS Evening News plans to revisit old segments from Kuralt’s days as well as some more recent ones.
“We’re going to see some of my favorite stories,” Hartman teases. “We’re going to see Kuralt on his motor home — remember he traveled the country in a motor home and just found stories as he went… We’re going to pull out some of that old footage and see Kuralt on the road. We’re also going to meet his camera man who is still alive and kicking.”
You can definitely expect a few favorites like the Chandler Family Reunion and the Giant Ball of Twine stories that became hallmarks of “On the Road.”
If you’re the type to get misty at nostalgia, you might also want to prepare for some of the big tearjerker stories. Both Kuralt and Hartman have an unmatched ability to suss out the most heartfelt and heartwarming stories, which are sure to bring a tear to viewers eyes.
“It’s never my intention to make people cry, but some people say we’re sponsored by Kleenex,” Hartman jokes.
You can catch Hartman’s “On the Road” on the Friday edition of CBS Evening News and also on Sunday’s CBS Sunday Morning.
(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS.)