Walter Cronkite was a consummate newsman right up to the very end.
First, he tipped the newsers that he was close to death a couple weeks ago, so they all could get busy updating their massive obituaries. The family denied that death was imminent, but somehow Walter got the word to his colleagues.
Then he chose to die on Friday. With the weekend coming up, typically a slow news time, this also gave his newser friends a chance to take Friday evening to reflect, Saturday to accept, and Sunday to respect Walter Cronkite and his career.
CBS already had 60 Minutes in reruns so having his memorial tribute in their time slot was convenient.
Cronkite chose to die close enough to the 40th anniversary of the landing on the moon to have it tied to him, but not close enough to overshadow the event. Landing on the Moon would not have been the same without Walter Cronkite getting so emotional. He was a fan of the moon project and he let it show.
Here’s an interesting factoid:
Walter Cronkite was a helluva drummer.
OK, he’s just another old guy keeping time on a bass drum, but he’s Walter freakin’ Cronkite.
And that’s the way it was.