You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Red Sox Live

0

6

▼  3rd Inning 1 outs

Martin Plissner, 87; shaped coverage of politics from behind the scenes

WASHINGTON — Martin Plissner, the former executive political director of CBS News who helped shape campaign coverage viewed by millions of Americans for more than three decades, died Feb. 6 at the Washington Home hospice. He was 87.

The cause was cancer, said his daughter Sarah Plissner.

Continue reading below

By the time Mr. Plissner retired in 1997, he had contributed to or led CBS coverage of nine presidential elections, beginning with Lyndon B. Johnson’s victory over Barry Goldwater in 1964.

Mr. Plissner was widely admired for the depth of his expertise and for the extent of his sourcing in the political community inside and beyond Washington.

Unlike anchors and on-screen reporters, he was not a familiar face to viewers of the nightly news and other public affairs programs. But his behind-the-scenes role allowed him to direct the stand-up reports and visual elements that became staples of modern election coverage.

He defended the use of exit polls and the media’s attention to what is sometimes called horse-race politics — the who’s-up-and-who’s-down reporting often derided by critics of modern journalism.

Mr. Plissner wrote frequently for publications including The Washington Post and The New York Times and forcefully promoted TV programming as a vital element of civic life.

His first marriage, to Doris Kaplan, ended in divorce.

He leaves his wife of 40 years, Susan Morrison; a son; two daughters; and a brother.

Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.