In 1979 I started a local program at the NBC affiliate in Dallas–Fort Worth. I was the host, I was the researcher, and I was the editor. I loved it. By that time I had already been the executive producer of Bill Moyers’ Journal, so I had experience. What I didn’t have was on-air experience, and I wanted the chance to do my own show. [Texas Monthly senior editor] Gary Cartwright was my first guest, and he helped make my career. There was a lot of interest in Cullen Davis at the time, and Gary had been covering his trial. He gave my program a real liftoff, and it sent a message that this was not your typical morning show. We’d get everybody: We had Stanley Marcus, the Dallas Cowboys, the entire cast of Dallas, with Linda Gray and Larry Hagman and even Larry’s mother [Mary Martin]. We attracted a lot of attention when we had Ronald Reagan and George Bush on during the Texas primary. Nancy Reagan sat on the front row. But we never had a big live audience, so we’d have to cheat by not showing too much of the audience or by doing tight close-ups of people in the crowd.
North Carolina native Charlie Rose lived in Texas from 1979 to 1981, when he was the host of The Charlie Rose Show and the program manager at KXAS television in Dallas–Fort Worth. An Emmy-award–winning journalist, he is the host of PBS’s Charlie Rose and a correspondent for CBS’s 60 Minutes II.