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IU researcher: Walter Cronkite wasn't 1st TV anchorman

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Thursday, October 4, 2012 - 7:53 am

BLOOMINGTON — An Indiana University researcher says Walter Cronkite wasn't the first television anchorman despite what most journalism history books might say.

IU associate professor of journalism Mike Conway says the first TV anchorman wasn't the CBS newsman but John Cameron Swayze, a regular on the NBC quiz show "Who Said That?"

Conway scoured old TV archives, including NBC internal memos, scripts and audience mail and found to his surprise that in October 1948, the NBC quiz show began referring to Swayze as their "anchor man." That's nearly four years before Cronkite was reputedly first called an anchorman during the 1952 political conventions.

Swayze was a seasoned print and broadcast journalist who's likely best known for his Timex watch commercials and their catch phrase, "It takes a licking and keeps on ticking."