I never knew him… hell, I never even met him… but I’ll miss Peter Jennings.
Whenever something went wrong in the world, it was ABC News I’d turn to after a quick check of CNN. Why? Because Peter Jennings would be there arguing with a producer or questioning a reporter to get the last bit of information…
For most of my adult life, there were three Network Anchormen… Rather, Brokaw, and Jennings (always in that order because, in my younger days, they were in that order on the dial in New York — Rather on WCBS/2, Brokaw on WNBC/4, and Jennings on WABC/7). Ironic that in the last year, all three left. Rather’s personal opinions did him in… Brokaw made the mistake of having a photogenic and reasonably competent heir apparent who wanted the chair… and Jennings’ smoking caught up with him.
And with them goes broadcast network news as we knew it. CBS is talking about a newscast oriented to today’s twentysomethings — high speed, fast paced, and probably shallow. And the other two will follow off the cliff, I expect.
So another piece of my youth fades.
To quote ABC’s Barbara Walters: “I want to give a message: If you have kids who are smoking, for heaven’s sake, tell them that we lost Peter”. Amen.