Jeff Fager, executive producer of “60 Minutes,” recently announced that CBS News veteran Bill Whitaker has been named a “60 Minutes” correspondent. Whitaker, a Philadelphia native, is based in Los Angeles and will move to the New York area and begin appearing on the popular newsmagazine in the fall.
“Bill Whitaker is one of the great veterans of CBS News. He has had a distinguished career covering just about every kind of story all over the world,” said Fager. “Bill is a natural fit at ‘60 Minutes’ and it’s exciting that he has agreed to join us.”
According to the network, Whitaker, an Emmy winnner, has covered virtually all of the major news stories in the West since he was posted to Los Angeles in 1992, reporting regularly for the “CBS Evening News” and other CBS News broadcasts. He also has worked for “Sunday Morning,” turning out feature stories and “thoughtful profiles,” on Barbra Streisand, Norman Lear and Gladys Knight. One of his most memorable “Sunday Morning” profiles was of ex-boxer Mike Tyson. He has interviewed first lady Michelle Obama and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
This season, he appeared on “60 Minutes Sports” on Showtime, profiling April Vokey, the Northwest’s famous fly-fishing guide who has changed the face of the sport.
Whitaker is a seasoned foreign correspondent and frequently reports from overseas, recently covering the funeral of Nelson Mandela from South Africa. He also did pieces from Japan on the Fukushima nuclear disaster and from Haiti after the tragic earthquake there. He reported from Kabul during the early stages of the war in Afghanistan.
Before coming to CBS, Whitaker was a correspondent for WBTV-TV, the CBS affiliate in Charlotte, N.C. He began his broadcast journalism career at KQED-TV in San Francisco, where he was a producer and researcher/writer.
Whitaker, 62, will be the first full-time African-American correspondent on “60 Minutes” since the death of Ed Bradley in 2006, although Byron Pitts was a regular contributor before joining ABC News in 2013.
4-Traders.com contributed to this report.
On March 13 at Bryn Mawr College’s McPherson Auditorium, 101 North Merion Ave., Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Eric Roberson will headline a benefit concert for the Chief Anderson Legacy Foundation, named for C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson, the “Father of Black Aviation,” and the lead flight instructor of the Tuskegee Airmen.
Hosted by comedian Rodney Perry, the evening will also feature Philly native Ben O’Neill and DJ Beauty & the Beatz, as well as a special video presentation by Grammy Award-winning artist Lionel Richie. Showtime is 7 p.m.
Earlier in the day, at 1 p.m., Anderson will “immortalized” on a stamp during a United States Postal Service First Day of Issue Ceremony, also held in McPherson Auditorium. In attendance at the ceremony, which is free and open to the public, will be numerous Tuskegee Airmen who served in World War II and U.S. Postal Service Administrative Law Judge William Campbell, son of Tuskegee Airman William Campbell.
Upon securing an air transporter’s license in 1932, Anderson was the only African American in the country qualified to serve as a flight instructor or to fly commercially. He then began breaking flight records and inspiring other Blacks to become pilots. During World War II, Anderson served as the chief flight instructor of a flying school at Tuskegee Institute.
To the Tuskegee Airmen who learned their piloting skills from Anderson, he was affectionately known as “Chief.” During the war, the Tuskegee Airmen flew thousands of sorties in the European Theater, destroyed more than 100 German aircraft, and received scores of Distinguished Flying Crosses.
“I am very honored to have my grandfather forever immortalized on the new 2 oz. stamp, and so pleased to have the opportunity to have this unveiling ceremony in his hometown of Bryn Mawr, Pa.,” said Christina Anderson. “We definitely want and need for Philadelphia and the surrounding communities to come out and support these events — the 1 p.m. Stamp Unveiling Ceremony and the 7 p.m. Celebrity Concert featuring Eric Roberson and host Rodney Perry.”
An R&B purist whose sultry mid-tempo ballad, “Picture Perfect,” is currently in rotation on Urban Adult stations across the country, Roberson is honored to pay homage to such an historic and influential individual.
“His granddaughter, Christina, saw me in a show, I believe in Atlanta,” Roberson said. “We exchanged information during that time she just kept in touch with my staff, and when it was time to do it, we jumped at the opportunity. I think it’s always best to pay back those who paved the way for us to be where we are today. Not only a war veteran, but just a role model in general. Not just an African American, but a good person. I’m looking forward to it.”
Roberson, a two-time Grammy nominee who was recognized in the Best Urban/Alternative Performance category for “A Tale of Two” (2010) and “Still” (2011), will present material from his latest album titled “B-Sides, Features & Heartaches,” accompanied by Aaron Hardin (Music dirctor/keyboards); Demo Macklin (background vocals); Ian Macaulay (guitar); Brett Baker (drums); and Dre Pinckney (bass).
“The Eric Roberson Experience is a lot of fun,” said the Rahway, N.J. native. We want people dancing, we want people laughing, we want people just having a good time in general. My show is a celebration of creativity. We try not to be so stuck in a routine or a pattern. We make songs up on stage — right there on the spot — and it works for us. I always try to tell people that it’s a partnership. The audience and the musicians onstage — it’s a complete partnership to make art, so we get words from the crowd and we’ll make a song right on the spot, and it lets them know that their part of the overall thing that we’re doing. It’s great man! I love the studio, but I love the stage just as much.”
That feeling is intensified in Philadelphia, where Roberson “discovered [his] artistry.” It’s a city that’s championed a lot of instrumentalists when other cities gave up on it, he observed, and said in conclusion, “I’m a fan of art in general. I’m just a passionate person when I find a cause that needs to be amplified.” For tickets and information call Philash Entertainment at (215) 586-3736 or visit www.eventbrite.com.
The GRAMMY Foundation is invisting talented high school students with a strong interest in pursing a career in the commercial music industry to apply for the 10th Annual GRAMMY Camp, taking place this summer in New York City, Los Angeles, Nashville, and St. Paul, Minn., according to the Foundation.
The 26-year-old organization, which works to “cultivate understanding, appreciation and advancement of the contribution of recorded music to American culture,” called its annual camp, an “interactive summer music experience focusing on all aspects of commercial music.”
In a news release, the foundation said instruction would focus on all aspects of commercial music, and boasts such features as industry professionals, an “immersive creative environment” and “cutting-edge technology in professional facilities.”
The curriculum “engages students in the technical aspects of creating, performing and recording, and emphasizes new and emerging music technologies,” the Foundation stated.
Camp-goers will chose from one of seven “tracks” on which to focus. All tracks will culminate in media projects, album recordings, an open house, and/or performances by the students. The tracks are: audio engineering; electronic music production; music business; music journalism; video production, songwriting and performance on bass, drums, guitar, keyboard, vocal, and winds & strings. Select career tracks are offered in each location.
The Foundation called its GRAMMY Camps in New York and St. Paul feature “a nine-day interactive residential summer music experience.” The New York camp takes place August 3-11, and will be hosted by Converse Rubber Tracks. GRAMMY camp St. Paul takes place June 13-21, and will be hosted by McNally Smith College of Music.
The University of Southern California Thornton School of Music will host the 10-day residential GRAMMY Camp L.A. July 12-21. GRAMMY Camp Nashville will be five-day, non-residential day camp for local students on June 9-13 hosted by Belmont University.
This year makes the 10th year for GRAMMY camp in Los Angeles and the first year at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul. Both New York and Nashville have hosted camps in prior years.
To participate, U.S. students must complete an online application, video audition and track-specific requirements at www.grammyintheschools.com by March 31. The application fee is $25 per person. A separate financial assistance form is also available to needs-based students.
Omar Epps, who spent eight seasons portraying Dr. Eric Foreman on the hit medical drama “House,” returns to primetime television this week in the intriguing ABC series “Resurrection,” in which the people of Arcadia, Missouri, are forever changed when their deceased loved ones suddenly start to reappear. The startling saga premieres at 9 p.m., Sunday, March 9.
The show, produced by Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B, is adapted from Jason Mott’s critically acclaimed book, “The Returned,” but there are, reportedly, “a number of major changes” in the storyline.
In the opening episode titled, “The Returned,” an 8-year-old American boy (Landon Gimenez) wakes up alone in a rice paddy in a rural Chinese province with no idea how he got there. Details start to emerge when the boy, who calls himself Jacob, recalls that his hometown is Arcadia, and an Immigration agent, J. Martin Bellamy (Omar Epps), takes him there. The home he claims as his own is occupied by a 60-year-old couple, Henry (Kurtwood Smith) and Lucille Langston (Frances Fisher), who lost their son, Jacob, more than 30 years ago.
While they look different, young Jacob recognizes them as his parents. Lucille is overjoyed at the “miracle” of her son’s reappearance, but Henry is reluctant to accept that Jacob is back. However, this boy, who claims to be the deceased Jacob, knows secrets about his own death that no one else knows.
Those closest to the family want answers, including Sheriff Fred Langston (Matt Craven), whose wife Barbara drowned 30 years ago while trying to save Jacob, and Fred’s daughter, Maggie (Devin Kelley), a local doctor who begins to investigate the strange circumstances. Pastor Tom Hale (Mark Hildreth) seeks a spiritual reason for what’s happening in his community. When things take an even more shocking turn, Maggie’s life-long friend, Elaine Richards (Samaire Armstrong), finds herself drawn into Arcadia’s growing mystery.
With a legion of loyal fans, the supremely talented Omar Epps, who attended New York’s “famed” La Guardia High School of the Performing Arts, is a three-time NAACP Image Award recipient whose TV credits include “ER,” “First Time Felon,” “Deadly Voyage” and “Daybreak.” His extensive list of film credits include “Juice,” “Breakfast of Champions” “Love & Basketball,” “The Program” and “The Wood.”
Onstage during the Disney ABC Television Group portion of the 2014 Winter Television Critics Association press tour, Epps reflected on a conversation that he had with author Jason Mott, regarding his portrayal of J. Martin Bellamy and explained, “I kind of told him where I saw the character coming from, and he was like, ‘Okay, cool.’ This story, coming from the book, ‘The Returned,’ it came from a real place, so beyond everything else, to me that’s the undertone in it. This came from a real person’s real experience, and it spawned into this. I built my character in my crazy way that I do in my mind, and Jason was cool with it, so I was happy with that.”
ABC has an eight-episode Season 1 order for “Resurrection.”
On the next episode of “Oprah’s Lifeclass,” airing March 7 at 9 p.m. on OWN, actress Nia Long and comedian Kym Whitley, along with director/writer Tyler Perry sit down with Oprah Winfrey and Iyanla Vanzant for part two of a no-holds-barred discussion on the challenges single motherhood, including “the number one topic most single mothers want to discuss: dating!” During a lively, interactive exchange before an audience filled with single moms, Winfrey poses the question, “When do you introduce a man to your child?”
The conversation began on the Feb. 28 episode of “Oprah’s Lifeclass,” featuring Vanzant, author of “Forgiveness: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything,” and Long, star of Tyler Perry’s forthcoming feature film, “Single Mom’s Club,” opening on March 14.
Brought together by an indecent at their children’s school, a group of single mothers from different walks of life bond, and create a support group that helps them find comedy in “the obstacles of life.”
In “Oprah’s Lifeclass,” which premiered in October 2011, all of Winfrey’s lessons, revelations and “aha moments” over the past 25 years are broken down to “help make your life better, happier, bigger, richer — more fulfilling.” Oprah.com will have an online class for an even more enriching experience.