Friday, May 24, 2024

Veteran “60 Minutes” Producer Esther Kartiganer Dies at 74


Esther Kartiganer, the beloved and long standing producer and sort of “show runner” of “60 Minutes” during its heyday died on August 1st age 74. According to a report in the Brandeis University newsletter, Esther succumbed to a heart attack on a chairlift in Aspen, where she had a second home. I met Esther around 1983. She was sort of the unofficial show runner of “60 Minutes” and worked for Don Hewitt alongside such other CBS veterans as Shirley and Joe Wershba. This was during the time when “60 Minutes” was the only prime time news show, and when anything that happened on it changed lives and rocked our worlds. Esther was a serious journalist who took Don Hewitt and Mike Wallace’s business seriously. She was a true professional and a great friend when I was a book publicist in the 1980s and later when I’d pitch ideas to her just for fun. Here’s the Brandeis link. Condolences to her family, and to her friend Geri who at least paid for a proper posting in the New York Times. CBS News should take out a full page ad for Esther Kartiganer. She was their wise owl and loyal soldier.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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