- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 11, 2011

WESTON, CONN. (AP) - Jeff Gralnick, a longtime television producer who helped shape CBS’ “60 Minutes” and make “NBC Nightly News” the top-rated show, has died. He was 72.

NBC said Gralnick died Monday night at his Connecticut home in Weston. He had been battling cancer for several years.

Steve Capus, president of NBC News, called Gralnick a pioneer who changed the way news was produced, reported and presented during his 52-year career at three broadcast networks.

Gralnick covered the Vietnam war as a reporter, produced special coverage of the space program, and was one of the first producers of “60-Minutes,” working with Mike Wallace and Harry Reasoner.

As executive producer of “NBC Nightly News,” Gralnick lifted the broadcast from third to first place.

Capus said Gralnick served successfully as his special consultant focusing on ways to expand NBC News and MSNBC to international audiences.

Gralnick began his career in 1959 as a desk assistant for CBS News when network news was a 15-minute broadcast.

In 1972, he joined ABC News as a field producer. He twice served as executive producer of “World News Tonight” and produced coverage of every political convention and election from 1980 to 1992.

He became executive producer of “NBC Nightly News” in 1993. In his three years in that role, he and news anchor Tom Brokaw combined forces to lift the program to the dominant position where it remains today, Capus said.

Gralnick returned to ABC in 1996 to help start ABCNews.com. He began consulting work in 2001.



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