After more than 33 years at CBS News, George Osterkamp wants to try something new. The network's TV news producer in San Francisco since the day after the deadly 1989 Bay Area earthquake, George brings his time at CBS to a close on Sept. 30, 2015.
George started in the CBS Special Events unit where he recalls Executive Producer Joan Richman shaping stories and careers, a time when the legendary correspondent Charles Collingwood still occupied a small office there, and a young anchorman, Dan Rather, came up after Evening News to practice anchoring his first election night.
George would later produce stories for Dan in places from Reykjavik to Beijing and Moscow to South Africa. He took on foreign assignments for CBS News in such garden spots as the West Bank, El Salvador, Bosnia, Nicaragua, Somalia, Tbilisi, Sri Lanka and four tours in Baghdad.
George likes to say he had it easy because he worked with such good writers at CBS, and then he’ll list a few correspondents he produced for including Charles Kuralt, Bruce Morton, Bob Simon, Lesley Stahl, Lee Cowan and John Blackstone, his colleague in San Francisco for over 25 years.
He was lead producer on the very first “48 Hours” and a producer on the series precursor, “48 Hours on Crack Street”.
George had a few adventures along the way—getting arrested in Hanoi for interviewing a dissident poet, interviewing the only surviving Palestinian terrorist after several bombed Vienna Airport, leading the first Western broadcast team to Teheran following disclosure that an American President sent a bible and cake to the leaders of Iran, and discovering in Manila the secret video archive of Philippine strongman Ferdinand Marcos and getting excerpts on the Evening News.
As passionate as he is about covering foreign news, George always returns to his beloved San Francisco. From there he begins his freelance producing career.
"Without question you are one of the best television news producers of this or any other generation."
--Dan Rather, TV Anchorman