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New York, October 1, 2009 -- Jack Blessington, chief of the religion and culture unit of CBS and a partner with the National Council of Churches Communication Commission through Interfaith Broadcast Commission (IBC) documentaries, was a gracious and genial host. Blessington organized a tour of the CBS newsroom and CBS National Correspondent and 60-Minutes reporter Byron Pitts -- a devout Baptist -- met with the Commission.

Members of the IBC have worked with CBS in various manifestations since 1952 (including the program series "Look Up and Live", "Lamp Unto My Feet", and "For Our Times").

Most recently the IBC has worked with the Religion and Culture Series (Blessington is executive producer)) since 1989 in the production of four half-hour programs each year. These programs reflect the interests and concerns of the faith communities represented in the IBC.

The CBS production team works diligently to represent these interests and concerns in the programs that eventually reach the public via CBS stations. Those contacted by members of the CBS production team as productions are researched are urged to cooperate with them so that faith perspectives might become a richer part of the American television landscape.

Pitts was one of CBS News' lead reporters during the Sept. 11 attacks and won a national Emmy award for his coverage. As an embedded reporter covering the Iraq War, he was recognized for his work under fire within minutes of the fall of the Saddam statue. Other major stories covered by Pitts include Hurricane Katrina, the war in Afghanistan, the military buildup in Kuwait, the Florida fires, the Elian Gonzalez story, the Florida Presidential recount, the mudslides in Central America and the refugee crisis in Kosovo.

Pitts was named CBS News correspondent in May 1998 and was based in the Miami (1998-99) and Atlanta (1999-2001) bureaus before moving to New York in January 2001. Before that, Pitts was a correspondent for CBS NEWSPATH, the 24-hour affiliate news service of CBS News, based in Washington, D.C. (1997-98).


NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 914-589-6948 (cell) , pjenks@ncccusa.org

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