David Hiltbrand
November 15, 1993 12:00 PM

>Mike Wallace

25 YEARS OF GIVING THE HOT SEAT

A QUARTER CENTURY AGO, WHEN 60 Minutes premiered, no one suspected the gangly newsmagazine would evolve into the biggest ratings juggernaut television has ever seen. Even charter correspondent Mike Wallace was pessimistic. “I figured it would last a season,” he admits. “Maybe.”

The network celebrates Mike’s misjudgment on Sunday with a must-see two-hour special 60 Minutes…25 Years (Nov. 14, 7 p.m. ET). Wallace credits the show’s popularity to its mix of on-air talents. “There is no finer essayist than (Morley) Safer,” he says. “Ed Bradley has a remarkable capacity to lake charge of a TV screen. (The late Harry) Reasoner was the heart of America.” And how would he assess himself? “Tough but fair.”

Durable too. Though fitted with a pacemaker, the 75-year-old wants to extend his contract past his 80th birthday. “I’ll work,” he says, “until my toes turn up.”

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