Like many others before him, news director Eric Shapiro began his career in the mailroom of CBS, initially drawn to broadcasting with the hopes of an on-air talent position. However, early in his time as a mail boy, his career goals changed when he was taken into the control room to observe the production of CBS Evening News. There he saw veteran news producer and director Don Hewitt turn the chaos of the set into a smoothly-run broadcast and knew that he wanted to emulate that. Shapiro joined the Directors Guild in 1965 as a production associate. After receiving his first directing assignment in 1969, Shapiro has gone on to direct many of the regularly-scheduled news, sports, public affairs broadcasts, political specials, debates and election broadcasts for CBS.
Beginning in the late ‘70s, Shapiro was commissioned by CBS to design and develop new news formats, creating the look and feel of such programs as The Early Show, Face the Nation, 48 Hours, America Tonight and CBS Evening News. Throughout his career, Shapiro has had the opportunity to direct some of the most memorable moments from history such as the election of six U.S. presidents, three popes, the democracy showdown in Tiananmen Square, the fall of the Berlin Wall and two Gulf Wars. He has also directed every political convention since 1972 and directed all of CBS News’ political coverage since 1992.
For his directorial efforts, Shapiro was the recipient of the DGA’s Lifetime Achievement in News Direction Award in 2013. In 2011, Shapiro participated in panel discussions for one of the Guild’s 75th Anniversary events, Game-Changers: Making the News. He and his directorial team have won Emmys for their coverage of the First Gulf War in the early 1990s, as well as a nomination for a News & Documentary Emmy Award in 2005 for the CBS News Special Report: The Election of the Pope.