Linda Mason, former Senior Vice President, Standards and Special Projects at CBS News, was responsible for two of CBS News’ weekend broadcasts, “Sunday Morning” and the “CBS Evening News” weekend editions, and was the CBS News representative for National Election Pool (NEP), the consortium of news organizations that conducts exit polling on election days.
As senior vice president, Mason oversaw the application of the standards and practices of CBS News and the CBS News Archives, one of the largest television and audio archives in the world. She administered the division’s internship and minority recruiting programs.
She headed the internal panel that examined the mistakes of Election Night 2000 for CBS News. The result was an 87-page report cited by media critics for its in-depth and critical look at the procedures and decisions of that night. The investigation and report led to a restructuring of the CBS News Decision Desk, which Mason headed in 2004, among many other changes in CBS News election-night procedures.
Mason has also overseen “CBS Reports,” a documentary series for which she served as executive producer; “The Class of 2000.” She helped develop “Before Your Eyes,” a series of critically acclaimed primetime specials produced by CBS News which explored national issues through a time-intensive study of a single story. She also served as the executive in charge of “Eye to Eye,” the CBS News magazine (1993-95), and the primetime specials, “60 Minutes … 25 Years” (1993) and “60 Minutes at 30” (1998).
Prior to her management assignments, Mason was executive producer of “CBS News Sunday Morning” (1987-92) and of CBS News’ weekend broadcasts (1986-92). Mason had been a senior producer for the “CBS Evenings News” (1980-86) during the anchorships of both Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather. She became the first female producer on the broadcast when she joined it as a field producer in 1971. She was a writer/associate producer for the “CBS Morning News,”(1968-70). Before that, Mason was a news writer at WCBS-TV, the CBS-owned station in New York. She joined CBS News in January 1966 as a radio desk assistant.
Mason was inducted into the Deadline Club’s Hall of Fame in 2013.