Paramount Global PARAA is planning to launch a new streaming channel consisting entirely of segments from the long-running CBS News series “60 Minutes.”
What Happened: According to a Variety report, the new channel will be streamed on Pluto TV – Paramount Global owns both Pluto and CBS – and is expected to launch later this year.
“The channel will allow us to share our broadcast and historic archive with the wider world,” said Bill Owens, executive producer of “60 Minutes,” in an internal memo to CBS News staff.
This will be the third time that “60 Minutes” has been adapted to a streaming platform. Earlier attempts to present the series’ older segments were made on the now-defunct Quibi platform and on Paramount+, but neither endeavor found a wide audience.
Why It Matters: “60 Minutes” began on CBS in 1968 with Mike Wallace and Harry Reasoner as the hosts. Over the years, the series presented scores of investigative reports and interviews, including with figures that almost never appeared on a U.S. news show, most notably Wallace’s 1979 interview with Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini. The program's offbeat commentary segments – the visceral "Point/Counterpoint" debates between James J. Kilpatrick and Shana Alexander and Andrew Rooney's curmudgeonly grumblings on life's petty annoyances – were frequently spoofed on comedy shows including "Saturday Night Live."
“60 Minutes” has also generated accusations of distorted and dishonest coverage. These included a March 2014 interview with Elon Musk that gave the impression Tesla TSLA automobiles made loud noises – the sounds used in the segment were later found to have been from a traditional gasoline-fueled automobile engine and were intentionally dubbed into the segment.
In April 2021, the series generated more controversy when it claimed that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis partnered with Publix on the state’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout because the supermarket chain made a donation to his political campaign. Although CBS defended its reporting, Publix called the charges “absolutely false and offensive” while Florida Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz stated his office and Florida’s Department of Health contracted Publix when other pharmacies were not available to handle the vaccine rollout, adding the governor had no role in choosing Publix.
In 2021, “60 Minutes” broke the record for longest continuously running program airing on a U.S. broadcast network during prime time – the series has been in the Sunday 7:00 p.m. ET time slot since December 1975.
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