Christopher Glenn died yesterday at the age of 68. The recently-retired CBS news correspondent had been battling liver cancer since retiring from the network earlier this year.
If Glenn’s name doesn’t ring a bell, you would almost certainly recognize the voice. During three decades at CBS, his was the distinctive voice heard on the network’s radio newscasts, including “The World Tonight,” and most recently, the early morning “World News Round-Up.” But Glenn is perhaps best remembered as the host (usually off-camera) for “In the News” a brief summary of current events that aired between Saturday morning cartoon programs on CBS in the 1970s and early 80s. “In the News” was a fixture on the network’s Saturday morning line-up for 13 years, winning an Emmy Award and other honors.
Because it was aimed at a youthful audience, “In the News” usually played it straight in its coverage of news events–something rare for a CBS broadcast. Glenn’s superb narration also made the segments memorable. More than a few broadcasters believed that Glenn had the “best pipes in the business,” a deep, melliflous voice that was always perfectly controlled, even when covering tragic events like the “Challenger” explosion in 1986.
I never met Mr. Glenn, but as someone who once slaved over a hot microphone, it was easy admire his consummate skill as a news anchor. In a medium devoid of pictures–where words and the human voice have to carry the story–few were better than Chistopher Glenn. He will be missed.