Arts & Culture

Why We’ll Miss Legendary Broadcaster Charles Osgood

Get ready to say goodbye to the bow tie

Photo: John Paul Filo

Get ready to say goodbye to the bow tie. This weekend, Baltimore-bred Charles Osgood anchors his last CBS News Sunday Morning. The newsmagazine has become its own kind of church—a weekly devotion with quirky, charming, and revealing segments that often reaffirm a faith in humanity. The pastor at the pulpit has been Osgood, his sonorous drawl a constant and a comfort these past twenty-two years.

“It’s been a great run,” he said last month when announcing his retirement. And we couldn’t agree more. Here are three reasons we’re going to miss watching the legendary TV and radio broadcaster.

He Carried Sunday Morning’s Southern Mantle

Only two people have anchored the thirty-seven-year-old show—and the South influenced both. Osgood may have been born in New York, but he spent his formative years in Maryland, a childhood he chronicled in his 2004 memoir Defending Baltimore Against Enemy Attack. It was there that the former Baltimore Sun paperboy learned the importance of accuracy in journalism—“meaning that the paper has to hit the porch,” he quipped. After joining CBS News in 1971, he was eventually chosen to “succeed, not replace” another revered newsman: beloved North Carolinian Charles Kuralt, who hosted Sunday Morning from 1979 to 1994.

Kuralt passed the baton to Osgood with this heartwarming exchange:

His Music Made It Feel Like Home

Osgood has been known to play a ditty on the banjo or piano—from “Hallelujah” to “The Man in the Looking Glass”—when introducing segments or signing off. Not only that, but under Osgood, Sunday Morning highlighted many of the same performers we admire here at Garden & Gun, from Alabama’s Jason Isbell to North Carolina songstress and instrumentalist Rhiannon Giddens.

Did We Mention the Bow Ties?

Osgood’s signature neckwear may have gone and in and out of fashion elsewhere over the decades, but the bow tie has always been a sartorial staple in the South. Back in 2013 during a Sunday Morning webcast with Jimmy Fallon, the late-night host prodded Osgood to show the audience just how he ties one on. Even after all these years, “I require a mirror to do it,” Osgood said.

The September 25 special edition of Sunday Morning will be a tribute to the eighty-three-year-old, Peabody Award–winning journalist. After that, when you want to hear his voice, tune into the CBS Radio Network, where he’ll continue his daily “The Osgood File” news commentaries.

Or, as he’ll likely remind you Sunday, “I’ll see you on the radio.”