Former CBS News exec Chandler dies

Posted December 12, 2008 12:57 p.m. EST

Robert Chandler, the CBS News executive who supervised 60 Minutes when it first became a ratings hit and who ran the election unit that originated today’s New York Times-CBS News Poll, died Thursday.

Chandler, 80, lived in Pittsfield, Mass. He died of heart failure at home, according to his son, Doug.

Over a 22-year tenure at CBS, Chandler had a hand in just about every aspect of the news division’s affairs and in 1975, was appointed vice president administration and assistant to the president of CBS News. In addition to supervising the campaign and election coverage, he oversaw the news division’s Archives, Business Affairs, Information Services, and Production departments.

Chandler had a supervisory role over 60 Minutes in the era thath the program became a hit. He also played a role in putting Andy Rooney on at the end of the broadcast, a perch he still occupies on the program.

Chandler supervised CBS News coverage on election night in 1970, '72 and '74.

He was also a producer and co-producer of several documentaries, among them: “CBS Reports: Under Surveillance,” (Dec. 1971) an Emmy-nominated report on the government’s surveillance of dissenters.

Chandler retired from CBS News in 1985.

Chandler was a 1949 graduate of the City College of New York, where he studied economics and was the editor-in-chief of The Campus, the college newspaper, and where he met his future wife, the former Eleanor Reiff.