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60 Minutes axes commentators

Published Jun. 19, 1996|Updated Sep. 16, 2005

CBS News' 60 Minutes executive producer Don Hewitt axed commentators Molly Ivins, Stanley Crouch and P.J. O'Rourke on Tuesday, less than two months after their stint began.

"We tried to make the commentary segment work with three very talented people, but our mail suggested the segment was not catching on," Hewitt said. "I never argue with viewers _ it's their show."

The last segment, pitting Ivins, a columnist and Texas-bred liberal, against social critic Crouch, a conservative, aired Sunday. CBS News announced the addition of Ivins, Crouch and O'Rourke to the roster in February, when 60 Minutes quit its nine-month production schedule for a more competitive, year-round broadcast.

Those changes followed NBC News' announcement of a planned Sunday edition of Dateline NBC.

The commentaries, reminiscent of "Point-Counterpoint" with Shana Alexander and James Kilpatrick, began April 28, pitted Ivins against either Crouch or O'Rourke, a right-wing humorist.

Andy Rooney had advised the three "not to quit their day jobs," noting that TV commentary required a certain experience in writing for the eye and ear.

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