Charles Osgood: “See You on the Radio:”


I remember the first time I ever watched Sunday Morning on CBS. It was a family trip to Florida, and we were staying at a nice hotel near Palm Beach. It was a bright, sunny morning, and as I sat down to enjoy a refreshing glass of orange juice, a CBS news program was playing on TV. The cool and calm pastel orange and purple color scheme caught my attention. I never thought a news program could look like that. When I asked my mother if she had seen it before, she answered that she used to watch it many times when she was younger.

About three years later, it still feels like I just discovered Sunday Morning. With its fair-minded reporters, intriguing subject matter and its overall relaxed and level-headed feel to it, Sunday Morning has and still does have my upmost respect. So, when I heard that Charles Osgood, the host of Sunday Morning, was retiring from the show after 22 years of working there, I didn’t know what to think.

Sure, he took some time off every so often (Anthony Mason, Lee Cowan or Jane Pauly would take over hosting), but at 82, he seemed to be non-stop. However, just because he’s retiring from Sunday Morning doesn’t mean that he completely retired from the broadcasting industry; there’s still the radio.

He loved the radio ever since he was a young boy. His career even started through hosting radio programs in college. He now hosts The Osgood Files, a radio show he has been hosting since 1971. His dedication to this program is so strong that he has a studio built in his vacation spot.

He even ended each episode of Sunday Morning with the phrase “See you on the radio.” Viewers might find that phrase perplexing. Just how do you see people on the radio? It was a part of the program that was uniquely Charles Osgood.      

Another feature that is uniquely Osgood is his bowties. He has been wearing bowties ever since he started his CBS career. In fact, he is the only CBS correspondent that is allowed to wear a bowtie. His affiliation with the bowtie is so special that one of his bowties has been donated to a collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.    

His love of music and playing the piano is also undeniable. He would play the piano or share a poem every so often, and it was always so joyful to see.

The one thing that I will miss the most about Osgood hosting the show is his soft voice that welcomes viewers into a world of national parks, courageous and inspiring people and various bits of other news. That voice has practically been the gateway of that program since he took over hosting it from Charles Kuralt in 1994, yet strangely, it seems that he’s always been the host.

That sentiment was present when Osgood hosted his final Sunday Morning episode on September 25, 2016. The whole occasion felt bittersweet. Everyone who had ever worked with Osgood or anyone who has a news show on CBS paid tribute to their colleague. Almost everyone who came to congratulate Osgood on his run on the program was wearing a bowtie.   

On that final program, Osgood passed the torch of hosting Sunday Morning to Jane Pauly. She will make a terrific successor, but it won’t feel the same. Maybe the fact that it won’t be the same is for the best.

Sunday Morning is one of those programs that can take something that people have never heard of and not only make it known but also make it important. That spirit of bringing something new and cheerful to the world is embodied in Charles Osgood.

It takes courage to act like yourself, especially when hosting a news program. Seeing a man who is not scared to share what he loves with the world and act like himself at the same time is very admirable. Jane Pauly does have huge shoes to fill, but if Osgood has faith in her, then others should, too.

He may not host the show anymore, but one thing is certain: he cannot be truly forgotten.