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Archives of Iowa Broadcasting: Walter Cronkite Tribute

AIB establishes and maintains a permanent collection of materials relating to the history, development and contribution of radio and television in Iowa.

Walter Cronkite (1916-2009)

Legendary CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite died on July 17, 2009.

In addition to being a Midwestern native, Cronkite had ties to Iowa broadcasting. In 1949, he was a one-man radio bureau based in Washington, D.C. for KMBC/Kansas City and a number of other stations--including WMT/Cedar Rapids.

From Cronkite's autobiography, "A Reporter's Life" (Page 158)--high praise for WMT's news operation.

"As far as the daily news coverage to my clients went, it turned out that the news editor at only one station had any idea how to use a Washington bureau. With a Washington correspondent to answer their queries, these stations could have customized their news reports to great advantage, but despite my urging, only Jim Borman at WMT in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, had the concept, knowledge or interest to do so."

Cronkite maintained a close personal relationship with WMT's William B. Quarton for nearly a half century; Cronkite wrote the forward for Quarton's 2005 autobiography.

Walter Cronkite was the keynote speaker at the WMT 35th anniversary banquet in 1957 in Cedar Rapids.