- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 2, 2011

PBS’ Jim Lehrer will appear as anchor for the final time on “The PBS NewsHour,” the nightly news show, on Monday, June 6. Mr. Lehrer is one of the most respected news broadcasters, earning kudos from both sides of the political spectrum. This week The List looks at noted American news broadcasters.

  • Jim Lehrer: Now 76, he has been part of “The PBS NewsHour” program since it began as “The Robert MacNeil Report” in 1975. He will still help guide the editorial direction of the show behind the scenes. Mr. Lehrer has also authored more than 22 books and written screenplays and plays.
  • Robert MacNeil: The Montreal-born Mr. MacNeil was covering President Kennedy’s visit to Dallas for NBC News on Nov. 22, 1963, when the president was assassinated. He covered the Watergate hearings in the 1970s for PBS, for which he won an Emmy. That led in 1975 to his creating with Mr. Lehrer “The Robert MacNeil Report,” which over time morphed into “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour.” He retired after two decades with the program in October 1995.
  • Katie Couric: CBS hired her five years ago for an annual salary of $15 million, but she could never boost the network’s ratings. She recently stepped down as anchor of “The CBS Evening News” and was replaced by Scott Pelley. Ms. Couric will now do a one-hour daily talk show on ABC for a reported $20 million.
  • Walter Cronkite: He is best known as anchorman of “The CBS Evening News” for 19 years (1962–81). During the heyday of CBS News in the 1960s and 1970s, he was often cited as “the most trusted man in America.” He is vividly remembered by many Americans for breaking the news of the death of President John F. Kennedy on Friday, Nov. 22, 1963. He died at age 92 on July 17, 2009.
  • Dan Rather: Mr. Cronkite’s successor and Ms. Couric’s predecessor, he was removed in March 2005 after 24 years as anchor of the “The CBS Evening News.” He later filed a $70 million lawsuit against the network claiming that CBS made him a scapegoat in a scandal over a 2004 report on President George W. Bush’s National Guard service. A court threw out the lawsuit. Mr. Rather, 79, now produces an hourlong news program for cable channel HDNet.
  • Brit Hume: After 23 years with ABC, where he became chief White House correspondent, Mr. Hume moved to the Fox News Channel in January 1997 to oversee Washington news and deliver reports. He hosted “Special Report with Brit Hume” for a decade. Mr. Hume made news last year when he suggested golfer Tiger Woods should become a Christian to deal with his marital problems.
  • Edward J. Murrow: Murrow’s career at CBS began in 1935 and initially crested with his radio broadcasts as a war correspondent in Europe during World War II. He is most remembered for his reports from London during the Blitz and for singling out Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy during the latter’s ongoing hearings about communist infiltration of the government. He died in 1962.
  • Shepard Smith: The Mississippi native carved a reputation for himself for passionate reporting following Hurricane Katrina, which boosted his nightly ratings on Fox News Channel to 2.5 million viewers.
  • Peter Jennings: He was picked by ABC to anchor the evening news and debuted on Feb. 1, 1965 at age 26. The suave, Canadian-born broadcaster dominated the ratings from the late 1980s to the mid-‘90s. In 2000, he filmed the high-rated spiritual special “The Search for Jesus.” He remained a Canadian until 2003, when he became a U.S. citizen. He died of lung cancer on Aug. 7, 2005.
  • Eric Sevareid: He was a newsman-analyst for more than five decades, most notably serving as news editor for CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite. His globe-trotting assignments for CBS radio and TV ranged from the fall of France in World War II to Watergate and the Vietnam War. He died July 29, 1992, at 79.
  • Ted Koppel: He worked at ABC News for 42 years and found fame as the longtime anchor of the ABC News show “Nightline,” which he left in 2005. “Nightline” officially began in March 1980, after Mr. Koppel spent several months briefing viewers each night about the Iranian hostage crisis.
  • Tom Brokaw: He was an NBC news anchor for nearly 23 years until his retirement in 2004. A South Dakota native, Mr. Brokaw joined NBC in 1966. He was White House correspondent from 1973 to 1976, encompassing the Watergate years. He anchored “Today” from 1976 to 1981 and began his “NBC Nightly News” run in April 1982, sharing the anchor title with Roger Mudd.
  • Diane Sawyer: The former 5-foot-9 beauty queen once worked for Richard M. Nixon. She began her career as a weather girl on a local station in Louisville, Ky. Ms. Sawyer is the current anchor of ABC News’ flagship program, “ABC World News.” She is married to Mike Nichols, director of films such as “Angels in America,” “Primary Colors” and “Charlie Wilson’s War.”
  • David Brinkley: In 1956, he was paired with Chet Huntley for the NBC News. Their signoff — “Good night, Chet”/“Good night, David” — became a national catchphrase in the late 1950s. He later moved to ABC where he hosted “This Week with David Brinkley.” He died June 11, 2003, at 82.
  • Chet Huntley: He is best remembered for co-anchoring NBC’s evening news program, “The Huntley-Brinkley Report,” for 14 years beginning in 1956. He had worked in local and network radio news before that for nearly two decades. His pairing with Mr. Brinkley on the nightly newscast displaced the legendary John Cameron Swayze. Mr. Huntley died of lung cancer in March 1974 at his home in his native Montana at the age of 62.
  • Roger Mudd: During his 19 years at CBS, he was congressional and national affairs correspondent. At NBC, he was chief Washington and chief political correspondent as well as co-anchor of the “The Nightly News” before moving on after seven years to “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour” at PBS. He later worked for the History Channel. Mr. Mudd’s family roots can be traced to the Revolutionary War, and his kin includes Dr. Samuel A. Mudd, imprisoned for giving medical aid to Abraham Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth.
  • Connie Chung: Ms. Chung was a Washington, D.C.-based correspondent for “The CBS Evening News” with Walter Cronkite in the early 1970s. She moved to CBS and on June 1, 1993, she became the second woman (after Barbara Walters with ABC in 1976) to co-anchor a major network’s national news broadcast. She is married to TV talk-show host Maury Povich.

Compiled by John Haydon

Sources: The Associated Press, Scripps Howard News Service, Wikipedia and The Washington Times.