Sunday, August 07, 2005

Peter Jennings Dies

When I heard that Springfield's local NBC affliliate WICS Channel 20 was switching with Decatur's WAND to become the ABC affiliate in this Central Illinois television market I thought, "No problem I like Peter Jennings".

With Tom Brokaw gone, then Dan Rather, it left just Peter Jennings as the last of the three familiar broadcast network anchors. Now to see Mr. Jennings taken from us so quickly, so unmercifully by lung cancer it just seems so shocking.

We just lost Johnny Carson a few months ago to cigarettes, and now Peter Jennings. With him goes a great deal of real journalism experience, he was not a pretty face talking head. He spent time as a foreign correspondent, and earned his place at the helm as a ABC's anchor.

I'll miss his measured approach, and his careful delivery. You could tell, but just barely when he considered some excuse given by a politician to be an insult to the American people.

He was very professional, but he did what he could, under the circumstances, to bring important news to us in a way that delved below the surface.

Sadly, network news isn't a place for that kind of journalism anymore, but he did host several news specials every year - probably part of his contract.

He had just become an American citizen too.

Another great I'll never forget.


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News anchor Jennings dies

Peter Jennings, who was a news anchorman for ABC America for more than two decades, has died of lung cancer at his home in New York.

He was 67.

The Canadian-born Jennings, host of World News Tonight since 1983, announced in April that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer.

"Peter died with his family around him, without pain and in peace," his family said.

"He knew he'd lived a good life."

Jennings had not been on air since telling his audience about the cancer.

"For four decades, Peter has been our colleague, our friend, and our leader in so many ways," ABC America president David Westin said.

"None of us will be the same without him."

Mr Westin says Jennings, a former smoker, had undergone an aggressive chemotherapy treatment.

"He knew that it was an uphill struggle," he said.

"But he faced it with realism, courage, and a firm hope that he would be one of the fortunate ones. In the end, he was not."

In the course of his career, Jennings was honoured with 16 Emmys, two George Foster Peabody and many other awards.

ABC television interrupted its regular programming late Sunday US time to bring its viewers the news of Jennings' passing.

Jennings is survived by his wife, Kayce Freed, his two children Elizabeth, 25, and Christopher, 23, and his sister, Sarah Jennings.

- Reuters

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