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 AJR  The Beat

From AJR,   December 1998  issue

60-Minute Woman   

By Lori Robertson
Lori Robertson (robertson.lori@gmail.com), a former AJR managing editor, is a senior contributing writer for the magazine.      

After three-and-a-half years based in Warsaw covering Eastern Europe for the Washington Post , Christine Spolar heads back to the States to give TV a try. Spolar, a 14-year Post veteran, joins CBS News ' ``60 Minutes II" as associate producer. ``It was a great opportunity," she says. ``I'm thrilled." This is Spolar's television debut, a fact that provokes little worry from Executive Producer Jeffrey Fager . ``She's a great reporter...and that's the craft that's most important," he says. Spolar, 41, who has also worked as a Post national correspondent in Los Angeles, is a ``fantastic example of an associate producer because she can chase stories," he adds. When exactly Spolar's work will see airtime is not yet set in stone. ``60 Minutes II" will most likely premiere in mid-January on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings, says Fager, who notes the newsmagazine will have a bank of stories prepared when 1999 arrives. Don't look for CBS' new program to be drastically different from its parent. Fager, most recently executive producer of ``CBS Evening News," once spent six years as a ``60 Minutes" producer. He wants the second version to ``live up to the standard of excellence that `60 Minutes' has set." What will newsmagazine No. 2 do to the pool of worthy stories? ``This intensifies things for `60 Minutes' folks," he says. With ``twice as many people out chasing stories, it's got everybody a bit more on their toes.... In some ways, that's probably healthy." The correspondent lineup will include CBS mainstays Dan Rather , Bob Simon and Vicki Mabrey as well as PBS talk maven Charlie Rose .