When producer Ira Rosen walked into the 60 Minutes offices in June 1980, he knew he was about to enter television history. His career catapulted him to the heights of TV journalism, breaking some of the most important stories in TV news. But behind the scenes was a war room of clashing producers, anchors, and the most formidable 60 Minutes figure: legendary correspondent Mike Wallace.
Based on decades of access and experience, Ira Rosen takes readers behind closed doors to offer an incisive look at the show that invented TV investigative journalism. With surprising humor, charm, and an eye for colorful detail, Rosen delivers an authoritative account of the unforgettable personalities that battled for prestige, credit, and the desire to scoop everyone else in the game. As one of Mike Wallace’s top producers, Rosen reveals the interview secrets that made Wallace’s work legendary, and the flaring temper that made him infamous. Later, as senior producer of ABC News Primetime Live and 20/20, Rosen exposes the competitive environment among famous colleagues like Diane Sawyer and Barbara Walters, and the power plays between correspondents Chris Wallace, Anderson Cooper, and Chris Cuomo.
A master class in how TV news is made, Rosen shows readers how 60 Minutes puts together a story when sources are explosive, unreliable, and even dangerous. From unearthing shocking revelations from inside the Trump White House, to an outrageous proposition from Ghislaine Maxwell, to interviewing gangsters Joe Bonanno and John Gotti, Jr., Ira Rosen was behind the scenes of some of 60 Minutes' most sensational stories.
Highly entertaining, dishy, and unforgettable, Ticking Clock is a never-before-told account of the most successful news show in American history.
"The book details story after story of [Rosen's] efforts to get people to tell him things, and then say those same things on camera . . . [Mike] Wallace might have been the Picasso of interviewers, but his producer had to be the master of landing them in the first place . . . the essence of the book involves the stories behind those stories."—The Washington Post
"[A] revealing portrait of American television’s most famous and successful news show . . . perhaps the book’s most important contribution comes in ratifying the essential role of skilled, tenacious journalism in maintaining a democracy."—Associated Press
Reviews from Goodreads
When I began as a producer on 60 Minutes, there were no computers and no internet. The phones were rotary, and the newspapers from around the country came three days late. Stories were often found or assigned based on...