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Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Senior Assistant Editor, The Times of India newspaper

Thursday, June 10, 2004

CBS News 60 Minutes program off the air

60 Minutes, the CBS News magazine providing a ‘blend of hard-hitting investigative reports, interviews, feature segments and profiles of people in the news,’ has been taken off the air.
The action follows a comment by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell that the ‘most successful broadcast in television history’ had ‘violated basic norms in broadcasting and had cheated on its viewers.’
Asked by journalists to explain the crackdown on the CBS program, Powell said it was noticed repeatedly that 60 Minutes went much beyond its stipulated 60 minutes schedule.
The revelation came after a nearly one-month investigation, when Commission members actually timed the program, along with the advertisements.
Commission sources said very often the program was 60 minutes and 2 seconds long.
A CBS News spokesman denied the program was off the air. ‘It will be back in 60 minutes,’ he insisted.
60 Minutes was created in 1968 by Don Hewitt.
The FCC has meanwhile reached a nearly $2 million settlement with Clear Channel Communications to resolve a number of indecency complaints that include shock jock Howard Stern.

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