“60 Minutes”

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In 1968 broadcast pioneer (and longtime executive producer) Don Hewitt, created a new kind of television program — the newsmagazine. It was supposed to do feature reporting that was informative and important. After a less than successful start, the program caught on in the 1970s and has been on top of the yearly Nielsens a total of five times. All the other networks were quick to enter this lucrative business. Especially during the ’80s and ’90s, it seemed entire network schedules were filled up with news magazines. In 1999, to expand on the success of this show, CBS created 60 Minutes II, which aired on a weeknight.

Since the first episode, 60 Minutes has used the ticking sound of a stopwatch as its open and commercial break bumper. The recording was done by composer Edd Kalehoff. Recording the ticking of a clock is hard because the amplified sound comes across as someone rattling garbage can lids. He used his Moog to apply some notch filtering, whereby specific frequencies are removed from the recording. That is the recording still in use.

Edd Kalehoff – Ticking stopwatch (60 Minutes)

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