A New Man on A New "Street"
By Chip Rowe
Chip Rowe, a former AJR associate editor, is an editor at Playboy.
Oddly enough, Michael Rubin , the newly appointed executive producer of CBS News' "Street Stories," soon won't have a newsmagazine show to produce, only an idea. "Street" will go off the air at the end of the summer, then return sometime next season with a new format and possibly a new name and anchor (it's not certain whether Ed Bradley will remain). As executive producer, Rubin succeeds Andrew Lack , now NBC News president.
Rubin won't discuss how the program will change but says the network's news executives have a "clear idea" of what they'd like it to become. A few personnel changes are already in the works: Reporter Roberta Baskin will leave for "Eye to Eye with Connie Chung," while Harold Dow will return to "48 Hours," Rubin says.
When "Street" does make its comeback, the field will be even more packed with competitors; at last count, seven network magazines were on the air besides "Street," with at least one other in development. Rubin, 40, says he isn't concerned about competition. "If there's 10 magazine shows and they each do four stories a week, tell me there's not more than 40 great stories a week in the world."
Rubin says he never intended to work in television. As a fresh graduate of the New York University film school, he says he was "looking for a place where I could get a lot of experience and quickly" when he was hired by WTVN in hometown Columbus, Ohio. His assignment: Sweep the studio. Within a few months, Rubin had convinced the station he had other talents.
After stints at stations in Detroit and New York, Rubin was hired in 1985 as a producer for the CBS newsmagazine "West 57th." Four years later, he jumped to "Face to Face with Connie Chung " and recently helped launch Chung's new show. He also spent a year freelancing for ABC 's "Day One," HBO 's "America Undercover" and CBS, where he produced one of the first "Street" pieces for its January 1992 premiere. ###