Reports Say Cronkite 'Gravely Ill'; Assistant Denies
June 19, 2009 at 10:18 AM (PT)
A report at TVNEWSER.COM says that legendary CBS television and radio news anchor WALTER CRONKITE is "gravely ill." The report by former PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER television columnist GAIL SHISTER cites multiple unnamed sources at the network and notes that CBS "began updating (CRONKITE's) obituary more than a week ago."
NEWSDAY's VERNE GAY is also reporting that CBS NEWS has been calling "top TV news people" to get quotes about CRONKITE, then told GAY that CRONKITE was not declining; he did, however, report that CRONKITE is "terribly ill" and wrote "How bad is it? Very bad." GAY cautioned that CRONKITE "could be with us for a while, but the latest reports are not good. He is in very, very bad shape." A CBS spokesperson declined comment.
CRONKITE's executive assistant CYNTHIA DICROCCO told the BOSTON GLOBE that her boss' condition "is being grosslly exaggerated. He’s dealing with the challenges of being a 92-year-old man" SHe said that CRONKITE had been ill recently but is recuperating and that "it is not true that he’s gravely ill."
CRONKITE, 92, joined CBS NEWS in 1950 after covering WORLD WAR II for UNITED PRESS, and served as "CBS EVENING NEWS" anchor from 1962 through 1981.