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Charles Peete "Charlie" Rose, Jr. (born January 5, 1942) is an American television interviewer and journalist.

Emmy Award-winning Charlie Rose entered television journalism full-time in 1974, when he became the managing editor of the PBS series Bill Moyers' International Report. He later worked with Moyers on two other series: Bill Moyers' Journal and U.S.A.: People and Politics. From 1984 to 1990 he anchored Nightwatch, the CBS television network's late-night interview series, and won for himself what some observers have described as a cult following for the in-depth conversations that have since earned him a reputation as "the best interviewer around today," in the words of Marvin Kitman. "[The Charlie Rose Show] is the purest extension of my skills as an interviewer," Rose told Joyce Saenz Harris, who interviewed him for the Dallas Morning News (May 2, 1993). "Whatever craft there is, that's what it's about: stripping away all the barriers to good conversation. I'm looking for people to be at their best, their most real. If I can do that, it makes for telling television."

Early life

The only child of Charles Peete Rose Sr. and Margaret Rose, Charlie Rose was born Charles Peete Rose Jr. on January 5, 1942, in Henderson, North Carolinamarker. He has been known as Charlie since his mid-teens. In choosing the name of his show, he recalled during an interview with James Brady for Parade (March 21, 1993), he decided against using "Charles" because he thought it sounded "just too stiff and formal." Rose has characterized his mother as "a very strong person" who had a "tremendous influence" on him. In a conversation with Joyce Saenz Harris, he said that his father had uncommon intelligence and a prodigious memory and that he was, as Harris paraphrased his words, a "wise and wonderful storyteller."

The Rose family lived near the railroad tracks in Henderson, in rooms above the general store that Charles Rose Sr. owned and managed and where, starting at the age of seven, Charlie helped out. At night, in the room that he shared with his maternal grandmother, he would read in bed by flashlight, his thoughts periodically transported elsewhere by the whistles of passing trains. Filled with curiosity about the world and always eager for knowledge, he enjoyed informational radio and television programs.

After graduating from high school – where he starred on the basketball team – Rose entered Duke Universitymarker, in Durham, North Carolinamarker, as a pre-med student. His extracurricular activities included working with children in a Head Start program. One summer, with the help of a family friend, he secured an internship in the office of North Carolina senator B. Everett Jordan. By his own account, his experiences as an intern turned him into a "political junkie," and upon returning to college, he changed his area of concentration to history.

After receiving an A.B. degree in 1964, he entered the Duke University School of Law, but sometime before or shortly after earning a J.D. degree, in 1968, he realized that the practice of law held little interest for him. As he explained to Scott Widener for the Chicago Tribune (January 7, 1993), "I was in some firm watching a lawyer advise a client one day, and it dawned on me that I was much more interested in the client than the lawyer. The client was the one trying to build something." Inspired by the idea of "building something" as an entrepreneur, he started taking classes at the New York Universitymarker Graduate School of Business (he had moved to New York City in 1968) and accepted a job at Bankers Trust. But business, too, failed to engage his imagination fully. As he commented to Joyce Saenz Harris, "To know me is to know that [the business world] was not the right place for me."


Through his wife, who was doing research for the CBS television show 60 Minutes, Rose became friendly with people employed in broadcasting, and he developed what soon became a passionate interest in the broadcast media. After his wife was hired by the BBC (in the United States), he handled some assignments for the BBC on a freelance basis. In 1972, while continuing to work at Bankers Trust, he landed a job as a weekend reporter for WPIX-TVmarker, in New York City. But he found that occupation less than satisfying, primarily because it required him to limit his airtime reports or interviews to no more than a few minutes.

During his approximately one-year stint at WPIX, Rose tried several times without success to contact Bill Moyers for an interview. Then, in 1974, Moyers telephoned Rose, after Rose's wife spoke to Moyers about him at a social gathering. At their first meeting, Rose told Joyce Saenz Harris, he and Moyers felt an "instant chemistry," and within weeks he began working as the managing editor of the PBS series Bill Moyers' International Report. (Moyers has said that Rose served as his "alter ego" as well at that time.) In 1975 Moyers named him the executive producer of Bill Moyers' Journal, a PBS documentary and conversation series. Although, by his own account, Rose had "no great desire to be on camera," in the following year he became the correspondent for U.S.A.: People and Politics, Moyers's new weekly PBS political magazine series. "A Conversation with Jimmy Carter," one installment of that series, won a 1976 Peabody Award.

Later in 1976, after Moyers left public television to work for CBS, Rose accepted a Washington, D.C.-based job as a political correspondent for NBC News. In the belief that he lacked sufficient training to do a proper job and that he should "get the maximum amount of on-air experience," as he put it, he seized opportunities to host interview shows. He first appeared as a guest host on Panorama, on WTTG-TV, in Washington, D.C. In 1978, after leaving NBC, he served as a co-host with AM/Chicago, on WLS-TV. A year later Blake Byrne, the general manager of KXAS-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth, hired him as program manager, and although, as Byrne has recalled, he "had no budget to pay [Rose] to do a talk show," he also offered him a time slot for what became The Charlie Rose Show.

"It was where I sort of came of age as a broadcaster," Rose has said of his first eponymous show. "Because all the responsibility was on me. I was working alone; I wasn't co-hosting. I produced the show, found the guests, researched the show. It was an extraordinary time for me." In 1981, with the goal (which he achieved) of securing national syndication, Rose moved The Charlie Rose Show to Washington, D.C., where, for the next two years or so, it was broadcast on the NBC-owned station WRC-TV. Concurrently, he hosted another, weekly interview show for WRC-TV.

At the end of 1983, Van Gordon Sauter, the president of CBS's news division, hired Rose to anchor Nightwatch, an interview program that was taped during the day and was broadcast five times a week between 2:00 A.M. and 6:00 A.M.

Rose has recalled having "a wonderful time" during his six-and-a-half years as the Nightwatch host. He told one reporter, "I would not be [in my current position] today without Nightwatch. The Charlie Rose Show is a direct descendant of Nightwatch, because it's the same kind of guest list." Like that of Charlie Rose, the Nightwatch guest list was not confined to the world's movers and shakers. Among the other people whose activities or histories caught Rose's interest was the convicted murderer Charles Manson, with whom he talked for three hours.

"At the beginning, Manson was really crazy... ," Jessica Matthews, a friend of Rose's, told Elise O'Shaughnessy. "But Charlie found a level on which to engage Manson and then finally brought him down to a more sane plane." The Nightwatch broadcast of Rose's interview with Manson won an Emmy Award in 1987.

In 1990 Rose left CBS to serve as anchor of Personalities, a syndicated program produced by Twentieth-Century Fox Television. Chagrined to find himself associated with what proved to be a tabloid-type news show, he asked to be released from his contract after just six weeks (and, in doing so, turned his back on a contract salary said to have been set at more than $1 million).

About ten months later, acting on a friend's suggestion, he approached Bill Baker, the president and chief executive officer of the PBS-affiliated station Thirteen/WNET-TV, in New York City, with a proposal for a new interview show. "My vision was that talking heads done well can be engaging television and can attract an audience," he recalled to Scott Widener. "Bill Baker . . . saw merit in that vision, and I was on the air within a month after pitching the idea."

The Charlie Rose Show premiered on Thirteen/WNET on September 30, 1991. During nine months in 1992, it also aired (a day later) on the Learning Channel, with ten minutes edited out to allow time for advertisements. Syndicated nationally since January 1993, it currently airs on 215 PBS affiliate stations. The show is owned by Charlie Rose Inc., a corporation that Rose formed in 1991 with the aim of producing Charlie Rose and other programs.

In 1994, faced with the probable loss of his studio, which was maintained by the then financially troubled WNET, he moved the show to a studio owned by Bloomberg Television News in a building on New York City's Park Avenue. (He also gained access to the fifty news bureaus maintained by Bloomberg worldwide and to Bloomberg television studios in Washington, Tokyo, and London, and he was able to interview guests via Bloomberg satellites.)

Telecast Monday through Friday from 11:00 P.M. to midnight (the show is picked up by some stations a half-hour later), Rose and his guest (or guests) sit across from one another at a round wooden table. "The key to the show is open space on the table's [near] perimeter," Phil Patton observed in Esquire (February 1993), "inviting the viewer to listen in. . . Afloat in a black background, Charlie's table has become an island where savvy channel surfers put ashore each weeknight."Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinopoli appeared on Charlie Rose Show Nov 2009.

Charlie Rose show theme song on PBS

Charlie Rose music theme was specifically composed for the series by David Lowe & David Shapiro in Brooklyn, NY, and is not available in any format.

Personal life

Rose's twelve-year marriage to Mary Rose (née King) ended in divorce in 1980. Mary is the sister-in-law of Morgan Stanley CEO John J. Mack. From 1993 until 2005, his companion was socialite and city-planning advocate Amanda Burden, a stepdaughter of CBS founder William S. Paley. His ex-wife remains one of his closest friends, he has said.

Rose rents a townhouse in Manhattan that, by his own admission, is filled with an "embarrassing amount" of electronic equipment. On weekends, when not enjoying the cultural life of New York City or preparing for his show, he travels to North Carolina or the upstate New York farm of a friend; during the long drives to his destinations, he listens to books on audiocassettes.

On March 29, 2006, after experiencing shortness of breath in Syriamarker, Rose was flown to Paris and underwent surgery for mitral valve repair in the Georges-Pompidou European Hospital. His surgery was performed under the supervision of Dr. Alain Carpentier, a pioneer of the procedure. Rose returned to the air on June 12, 2006, with Bill Moyers and Yvette Vega (the show's executive producer), to discuss his surgery and recuperation.


In the June 24, 2001, New York Times Magazine, Fox News Channel executive Roger Ailes claimed to have received Rose's word that he would not be asked political questions during his interview. The Charlie Rose Show's executive producer, Yvette Vega, responded that she was unaware of any such deal.

Charlie Rose hosted the 2002 Coca-Cola Company shareholders meeting. "Few companies are able to connect as completely with consumers in the way that Coca-Cola is," he proclaimed from the stage. "It is a privilege to be associated with [The Coca-Cola family] ... This is the business of Coca-Cola: being part of a family, being worldwide, doing well and doing good at the same time." Outside, the Teamsters held a protest, alleging that Coca-Cola was complicit in the murder of eight union leaders at bottling plants in Colombia, a story which has received little coverage in the US media. Afterward, Coca-Cola agreed to become what Rose called "a leading underwriter" of The Charlie Rose Show, paying "six or possibly seven figures." Even the Charlie Rose mugs used on his PBS show feature a Coca-Cola logo on one side. Although CBS News policy bars correspondents from doing commercials and product endorsements, the Washington Post reported CBS was "comfortable" with Rose's actions. Rose insists he "would never do a story on 60 Minutes II about anybody who underwrites my PBS show."

On August 1, 2009, the New York Times reported that Rose brokered a deal between MSNBC and Fox News executives to halt the reciprocal ad-hominem attacks of Keith Olbermann and Bill O'Reilly's news programs because it was hurting their unrelated businesses. Rose had previously told Amy Goodman, " I promise you, CBS News and ABC News and NBC News are not influenced by the corporations that may own those companies. Since I know one of them very well and worked for one of them."


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