New Canaan resident Jeff Fager, then the Executive Producer of CBS News’ ’60 Minutes II,’ was in the shower when his wife, Melinda, told him he had an urgent telephone call. was on the line, and he told Fager a plane had hit one of the towers at the World Trade Center. Fager quickly packed a bag and headed in to New York. But the bridges were closed and he could only get as far as the Bronx where he abandoned his car and finished the trip to the CBS Broadcast Center on West 57 St. on foot.
“I was walking and jogging towards the center of New York when everybody else was going totally the other way,” he told Patch.
Fager was put in charge of the network’s prime time coverage of the attacks that day, and the news division stayed on the air until well after midnight.
“This happened right under our noses,” he said. “Here it was in New York, of all places, a Pearl Harbor event in our own town.”
Fager, now the said he is proud of the news division’s work that day. As the network prepares for its coverage of the 10th anniversary of the attacks on Sunday, Sept. 11, Fager spoke to Patch about losing friends at the World Trade Center, about the events of the day, and about the role of a news organization in times of turmoil. (see video)
“A good solid news organization that cares and covers the news is going to be ready for this kind of thing,” Fager said. “This is what we do. It’s the most important thing we do. Especially to inform people at a time of a crisis like that, where there’s so much uncertainty, so much fear, there’s so much sadness. Our role was more important that week than it was at any other week I think, before or after. I think it was similar to the Kenedy assassination. People turn to television and particularly network television, not just to find out, but looking for some sense of comfort or where are we going. I thought we served that role pretty well. It’s important. It’s what we’re supposed to do.”