Bill Plante

Master of Ceremonies

Bill Plante
CBS News

Bill Plante has been a CBS News White House correspondent since January 1993, having been named to the position after he covered the 1992 presidential campaign of Bill Clinton. Before that, Plante was CBS News’ state department correspondent (1989-92). He served as anchor of the CBS Sunday Night News (June 1988-August 1995). Plante first worked the White House beat during the Ronald Reagan presidency (1981-89). He was part of the CBS News team which received a 1986 Emmy Award for coverage of the Reagan-Gorbachev summit at Reykjavik, Iceland. Plante was a floor reporter at the 1988 Democratic and Republican National Conventions. He also covered Reagan’s 1984 reelection campaign and was part of the CBS News team that won an Emmy Award for its coverage. Plante has been based in the CBS News Washington bureau since December 1976. Before his first White House assignment, he covered general and off-year elections, including the national political conventions.

His reporting has not been restricted to politics, however. Plante covered the fall of Skylab and Pope John Paul II’s visit to the United States, both in 1979. Earlier that year, following the Shah’s departure from Iran, he reported on the revolution in that country and was one of two American journalists to cover a revolutionary trial in Teheran. Plante joined CBS News in June 1964 as a New York-based reporter/assignment editor. He served four tours of duty in Vietnam. Plante also covered the civil rights movement in Mississippi and Alabama, including Dr. Martin Luther King’s historic march from Selma to Montgomery.

Plante has received many major broadcast journalism awards. In addition to Emmy Awards for his coverage of the death of Princess Diana, the Reagan-Gorbachev summit and Reagan’s 1984 reelection campaign, he won an Emmy for his investigative report on the U.S.-Soviet wheat deal broadcast on the “CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite” (1972). Plante’s foreign reporting was recognized with a 1971 Overseas Press Club Award for his reports on the India-Pakistan War, and second in 1975 for Best Radio Spot News Reporting for his coverage of the fall of the South Vietnam and Cambodian governments and evacuation of American personnel.

He was born on Jan. 14, 1938 in Chicago. Plante graduated from Loyola University with a bachelor’s degree in humanities, and he studied political science at Columbia University. He and his wife, Robin Smith, an award-winning independent documentary producer, live in Washington, DC. Plante has six sons.