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Ed Gordon joins roster of CBS news show

Known for high-profile interviews, the former BET anchor will report for '60 Minutes Wednesday.'

November 08, 2004|Elizabeth Jensen | Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK — The embattled CBS newsmagazine "60 Minutes Wednesday" is adding to its reporting roster, hiring Ed Gordon, known for landing high-profile interviews while an anchor at cable's BET channel, as a contributing correspondent.

Gordon's interview with Jamie Foxx, star of the new Ray Charles movie, "Ray," will air Wednesday. The 44-year-old interviewer is best known for his exclusive talk with O.J. Simpson in January 1996, just months after the former football star was acquitted in the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.

BET canceled Gordon's nightly program in December 2002. Since then, he has been a contributor to other TV programs and on radio, and recently interviewed Sen. John F. Kerry for BET, a channel targeted at an African American audience.

"60 Minutes Wednesday" has been under a cloud since September for using what turned out to be unverified documents in a report on President Bush's 1970s Texas military service. CBS apologized and has hired independent investigators to examine what went wrong. Their report could be released in weeks.

The show's ratings have also been hurt this year by tough competition, including ABC's new hit drama "Lost" and the final baseball playoff game between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

Gordon, who will be an occasional contributor to the show, said he's not worried about the fallout from the investigation. He said "60 Minutes" and "60 Minutes Wednesday" are "still really viewed, even with this, as the gold standard of newsmagazines, and not too many people get invited to this party."

Gordon said he had been talking to CBS for about a year. Both CBS and BET are owned by Viacom.

Josh Howard, executive producer of "60 Minutes Wednesday," said Gordon will likely work on profiles and "newsier investigative pieces." He added, "We're looking to see who the next generation is, and I think he has a real shot at a future here."

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