Sharyn Alfonsi Starts to Broaden Her Profile at ’60 Minutes’

Variety | 1/21/2020 | Brian Steinberg
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Sharyn Alfonsi admits she’s having something of a “crazy season” on “60 Minutes.”

Her work this year for the CBS newsmagazine has taken her from an investigation of the death of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein to a profile of beloved comedian Adam Sandler. The Sandler feature, which aired late last year, proved to be a “palette cleanser” of sorts, after Alfonsi spent time interviewing El Salvadorian President Nayib Bukele and gaining access to the cell in which Epstein was held.

Alfonsi - Columbia - University-du - Pont - Silver

Alfonsi is being awarded a Columbia University-du Pont Silver Baton this week for her reporting on the migration crisis on the U.S.-Mexican Border, a sign that her work at the newsmagazine, where she serves as a contributor, is gaining a wider profile. “I’m kind of trying to pick up the number of stories I’m doing, but with the idea that [executive producer] Bill Owens gave me: ‘Don’t do a story because you have to do it, do it because it’s a great story and you can’t not do it.’” Alfonsi says in an interview.

She is part of a rising generation of correspondents and contributors at “60 Minutes” that is ganing broader notice in recent seasons (This is Alfonsi’s sixth with the program). Bill Whitaker, who has been with CBS News since 1984, has anchored several must-see stories since joining “60” in 2014, and sports journalist Jon Wertheim has also expanded his presence at the show.

Alfonsi - Range - Weeks - Eyebrows - Sharyn

But Alfonsi’s range in recent weeks has raised eyebrows. “Sharyn is a generalist. She has covered immigration issues at the border. She has covered the opioid epidemic and has done a profile of Paul McCartney,” says Owens. “You really hope you can have a reporter who can do anything you need them do and she has proven she can do that.”

Alfonsi’s journey to “60 Minutes” took her to...
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