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January 30, 2005

Newsmagazine Pioneer Arthur Bloom Dies

60 Minutes Director was 63

Grandview-on-Hudson, NY – Arthur Bloom, a broadcast journalism pioneer who helped to shape the newsmagazine genre as director of the long-running CBS News program 60 Minutes, died Saturday at his home in Grandview-on-Hudson, NY. Bloom, who was 63, succumbed to complications of lung cancer.

Bloom was with 60 Minutes from its maiden broadcast in 1968, and remained with the program until last year. In addition to his enormous influence over the show’s taped studio segments and overall look, Bloom gave 60 Minutes its most enduring visual element, the ticking stopwatch—first a Minerva brand, and later a Heuer.

Born in New York City on April 19, 1942, Arthur Joseph Bloom grew up in Miami Beach and returned to New York in 1960 to work in the mailroom at CBS. He began directing three years later at WCBS-TV, the local New York affiliate station. At night he attended New York University, where he earned a degree in economics.

In addition to his work for 60 Minutes, Bloom directed the CBS coverage of the Democratic and Republican national conventions from 1974 and 1988. He also directed the debates pitting Gerald Ford against Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan against Walter Mondale, and lent his talents to a variety of special events and documentaries.

Bloom’s deep understanding of the subtleties of on-air personalities made him a natural choice to groom Dan Rather for the CBS News anchor chair when Rather was selected to succeed Walter Cronkite in 1981.

In a series of released statements, Cronkite, Rather, 60 Minutes producer Don Hewitt and correspondents Mike Wallace, Ed Bradley and Morley Safer extolled Bloom’s vast talent and innovative contributions to the television medium.

In acknowledgment of his achievements, Bloom was named the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in News Direction from the Directors Guild of America in 1995. He had received two previous Directors Guild awards: in 1976 for news direction of the political conventions and in 1973 for his work on 60 Minutes.

Bloom is survived by his wife of 40 years, Marla a son, daughter, brother and four grandchildren.

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