Steve Hartman to channel Charles Kuralt on CBS


CBS NewsBack in October CBS News revived the iconic “On the Road” series with correspondent Steve Hartman picking up where the late Charles Kuralt left off. Now Hartman is carrying the Kuralt link even further.

Hartman is heading out to visit people and places featured in the Kuralt’s original “On the Road” reports. The month-long series, which will include footage and interviews from Kuralt’s original segments together with Hartman’s new, updated interviews, will be broadcast on the “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley.” The first was set to air Friday, April 6th.

The Hartman-Kuralt “On the Road” revisiting series begins with the story of Bobby Hinds, who gained fame and fortune as the inventor of an improved jump rope. Kuralt profiled Hinds in 1976 after Hinds created a beaded rope in his backyard and later traveled the country promoting it – an effort that earned him an appearance on the “Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” Today, the “Jump Rope King” – now 80 years old – is the chairman of the fitness company he founded almost 40 years ago. Although his Madison, WI-based company continues to manufacture the original beaded jump rope and other fitness products, Hinds tells Hartman that he is most excited about a new, high-tech training device that is soon to be unveiled.

Other reports that will broadcast this month feature Robert Speca, the pioneer of the world domino-toppling craze; P. Stephen Potter, known as “The Hot Dog Man” at University of Nebraska football games; and The Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Tex., where ten Cadillacs buried nose-down in a wheat field have attracted thousands of visitors for the past 38 years.

RBR-TVBR observation: This serves to remind us of how much we miss Charles Kuralt, who died in 1997, and his unique storytelling abilities. Hartman is good and we’re glad that CBS News brought back the franchise, but the original was the gold standard.