View Full Version : Peter Jennings has died

Mr. Blue Sky
08-07-2005, 11:39 PM
Just announced on Headline News.

A big loss to the news industry.

Diogenes the Cynic
08-07-2005, 11:43 PM
Holy shit. He wasn't even that old.

RIP, Peter.

Paul in Qatar
08-07-2005, 11:44 PM
At 67! When you get to be my age that is really distressing.

08-07-2005, 11:45 PM
Wow... that's just... wow...

Along with Brokaw and Rather, he was the news anchor. I didn't know anyone other than those three. Truly the end of an era.


08-07-2005, 11:53 PM
Wow....him I liked.

Via con Dios, Peter.

Diogenes the Cynic
08-08-2005, 12:12 AM
Lung cancer.

I was just flipping around on the news networks and one of them said that Jennings had quit smoking in his 40's but started again on 9/11.

08-08-2005, 12:15 AM
He sure went quick. I think it was only last year that he announced he had cancer.

Dark Side of the Floyd
08-08-2005, 12:26 AM
This was sudden.

08-08-2005, 12:26 AM
He sure went quick. I think it was only last year that he announced he had cancer.
It was four months ago.

08-08-2005, 12:34 AM
According to the Associated Press (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8864210/)

Reporting in the news industry can be a VERY stressful job; but he handled it with absolute professionalism and grace. RIP Mr. Jennings

08-08-2005, 12:34 AM
He was the man in our living room at 6:00 for many years. A loss, indeed.

An interesting statistic. He logged in 60 hours on the air the week of 9/11.


08-08-2005, 12:53 AM
As other have said, it does seem to be the passing of an era and geez he was young.

For those who didn't know, he was a high school dropout who really made the big time.
(I just made a posting in a GQ thread which has morphed into "famous dropouts")

Incidentally, he was born in Canada and eventually became a US citizen.

RIP Mr Jennings.

Argent Towers
08-08-2005, 01:05 AM
How long do you think it's going to take for PETER JENNINGS IS IN HELL!!! to grace Fred Phelps' ludicrous site?

Snowboarder Bo
08-08-2005, 01:18 AM

this sux


08-08-2005, 02:44 AM
I'm 25 years old, and he was the news anchor I liked the best since I can remember liking the news. This is sad.

08-08-2005, 06:29 AM
Too bad- he seemed a decent fellow. So this year, the anchor chairs of ABC, CBS, and NBC all have turned over. I can't believe that's happened before.

Ice Wolf
08-08-2005, 06:34 AM
Damn. I used to watch rebroadcasts of World News Tonight in the 1990s. Sad, sad news indeed. RIP, Mr. Jennings. :(

08-08-2005, 06:34 AM
I liked him. I trusted him--unlike most other news anchors. He was (I suppose) the Walter Cronkite for a certain generation--myself included. I would watch him over Rather or the other one (see?).

Damn--and he was young. Very young.

Godspeed, Mr. Jennings--you were well thought of in your time.

08-08-2005, 06:35 AM
He was my favorite of the three. My mother died of lung cancer, and I know how devistating that can be. My prayers and sympathies for his family and friends.

An Arky
08-08-2005, 07:13 AM
I generally despise anchors/talking heads, etc., but I actually liked him. He was cool in the pocket and never over-dramatic. I also enjoyed The Century.

RIP, Mr. Jennings. :(

08-08-2005, 07:22 AM
How long do you think it's going to take for PETER JENNINGS IS IN HELL!!! to grace Fred Phelps' ludicrous site?

Let's not invoke that entity where we do not absolutely have to.

This is sudden and sad.

08-08-2005, 08:12 AM
Very sad news. I consider this a terrorist Death--Jennings had stopped smoking, but started again on 9/11. RIP Peter.

Ponder Stibbons
08-08-2005, 08:13 AM
I'll miss you on the air, Pete. I always considered you the most balanced and fair anchor since Cronkite left the air. I always considered your delivery and enunciation the epitome of perfect English language.

Evil One
08-08-2005, 08:17 AM
I met Peter Jennings in 1993 in Little Rock as the Clinton presidency was beginning. I was a news photographer for a small ABC affiliate and we were working out of the KATV newsroom. Jennings and Brit Hume came through and walked up to a coworker and I and struck up a conversation.

My favorite memory of him on the air was during some sort of crisis where he was getting a phone report from a reporter. While he was on the air, a french operator came on the line and started talking. Jennings told his reporter "just a moment" and fired off some rapid fire French. The operator shut up with a quick "pardon moi" and Jennings said, "please continue".

08-08-2005, 08:50 AM
He sure went quick. I think it was only last year that he announced he had cancer.

From what I gather they caught it too late to treat it properly.

Farewell, Peter. You will be missed.

08-08-2005, 09:03 AM
I just asked my wife last night if she'd heard any update about him. After the initial report of his illness, there hadn't been any further news and we read that sign as being less than encouraging. What a monumental loss.

I remember first seeing Peter in his broadcasts from London. Even then it was apparent he had something special.

08-08-2005, 09:40 AM
Very sad news. I consider this a terrorist Death--Jennings had stopped smoking, but started again on 9/11. RIP Peter.

Sad news indeed. I still don't know if I'd blame the terrorists for his choice to take up smoking.

I really can't believe that all three network anchors have left the news desks in about a year.

I is smart
08-08-2005, 10:09 AM
Anyome catch Good Morning America this morning? Charlie Gibson, Diane Sawyer and Robin (what the heck is her last name) were pretty much crying. I had no idea he was ill. I know some people had a beef with him, but I grew up with him. It's the end of an era.


Shirley Ujest
08-08-2005, 10:12 AM
I was just wondering about him this week and how he was doing and putting him atop my Dead Pool 2006 list.


Cigerettes suck.
Lung Cancer sucks more.
RIP Peter.

08-08-2005, 10:18 AM
Oh, hell.

He was my favorite news anchor- from his appearances on PBS's panel discussions to his on-air response to 9/11...

I trusted him. I don't say that much any more.

Condolences to his family, the media, and the American public. We've lost one more of the 'good ones.'

08-08-2005, 01:53 PM
We referred to him as "P.J." Seriously. Never to his face of course, when talking with him there was a genuine sense of propriety and decorum. True manners. However, it was how he was referred to over headsets and in rehearsals. I got to spend quite a bit of time working with him and watching him work.

Aside from my work as a freelance cameraman for ABC, I also shot for many other clients. I was once hired to shoot a series of promotional spots for ABC News. We shot for a few days at The Rim. The Rim was a circular desk directly below the set for World News Tonight. ( TV-3 in ABC's New York studios ). It was where each day's broadcasts was written and edited. Not the video or graphics of course but the scripts. How the show would progress, what would lead, what story or stories had to be killed because it wasn't going to fit into the allotted time, and so on.

Since I'd worked with him before, I got a smile of recognition when I showed up with the outside company. I don't mean to misrepresent, he wouldn't have known my name for anything- but I was Crew. A familiar face with a Steadicam strapped on. As I watched and shot the process of winnowing down the news to a workable 22 minutes, I gained even more respect for Mr. Jennings. He had an office like anyone else's who was high enough in the News food chain, along the perimeter of The Ring- but no larger or more ornately decorated. As nears as I could tell, he hung his jacket in there and left various papers in there. His real work station was identical to that of the other writers- an outer ring of computer workstations built around The Ring. In this manner, anyone could sit at the meeting and then spin their chair and be immediately at their writing work station.

His writers and editors were not afraid of him. I've seen that, it's a waste of time and toadying is wearisome after a while. Writers would aggressively defend a story or script, fighting for each sentence. Sometimes he would cut something out only to be talked out of the decision by his Producer and the writer of the story. He was dedicated to his ideals but by no means closed-minded as a writer or announcer. More than once when I was NOT shooting, ( but was sitting nearby anyway ) I heard a writer on staff question phrasing in something Mr. Jennings had written. Instead of pulling ego, he turned to his monitor and read through it, picking apart and considering the wording. Time wasn't wasted on long debates, there is never time in news. ( hell, there's never time in t.v. or film production period ). The point is that all viewpoints were respected and welcomed as long as they were presented in a cogent and economical manner. After all, he was a real reporter and not a newsy figurehead.

The coolest moment of that job was on the day that I started downstairs with him and preceeded him up the stairs, into the studio and shot him as he sat down and the clock ticked down to air at 6:30 EST. He didn't put on His Game Face. Kinda of nice to witness. I guess very few people had seen him take that walk up and onto air. He was pretty much what you saw every night on air.

How content was presented was apparently extremely important to him. I worked on the 2000 New Year's Eve show that he hosted from the (then) newly rebuilt Hayden Planetarium in NYC. The show was, to be blunt, a hash. Poorly concieved and unevenly produced, it had no distinct point of view. For a 3-hour "journey", that's brutal. We went off the air at 11:00 pm IIRC so there could be the one-hour rock show leading up to midnight. We were broken for a meal and in fact started wrapping out post-meal, just at midnight.

As we stood in line for our hot meal, Mr. Jennings came into the crew area. Now, apparently this was not his way at all and those who were staff and had spent years around him were deeply surprised. He raised his voice as folks were piling on the grub and said something akin to:

I want to thank you all for your hard work tonight. It was a long show and everyone clearly put their all into it. I apologize for the show tonight, it may be the most disorganized broadcast I've ever been a part of. This is not a technical issue but a management one and those of you who are aware of how the show came off know what I am talking about. It is not our way of making television, and for that I am sorry. Enjoy your dinner.

The room was so damned silent. Look, crews are pretty cynical folk. We don't usually listen to a thing that on-camera talent has to say because it is frequently A) poorly thought-out and/or B) self-serving. Here was The Man, coming in post-air to tell us that he knew the show sucked, he was sorry to have been a part of it and appreciated our hard work despite the final product. That kind of thing simply doesn't happen. At least not in my experience. It impressed me a lot.

The man cared. Very much. I mourn his passing not because of what he represented in the industry ( One Of The Big Three ) but because he was consistently polite and professional when I dealt with him and because he was a real reporter. Words mattered. Presentation and diction counted. Content was king. Fluff was useless and insulting. The right question at the right time was everything.

The world has moved on to InfoTainment. He was a man capable of asking his own well-considered questions without having to have someone else type them into a TelePromter first.


08-08-2005, 02:26 PM
That was an amazing testimonial, Cartooniverse - thanks for taking the time to tell of your experiences. I've always been a fan and it's wonderful to read that he really was a great man and great journalist, just as I suspected. Great story to read, thanks.

Diogenes the Cynic
08-08-2005, 02:44 PM
Thanks for that, Cartooniverse. What an illuminating and unique perspective. That must have been a fascinating job.

08-08-2005, 03:07 PM
Thanks for that, Cartooniverse.

Our TV when I was a kid (up until I left for college) automatically came on to Channel 2, which was the local ABC affiliate. So when we turned on the TV to watch the news (which someone did almost every day), we left it there. As such, Peter Jennings has always been television news to me; I guess it could have just as easily been Rather or Brokaw.

I associate Jennings's face and voice with nearly every major news event of my lifetime, from the Challenger to 9/11. He's been the voice of every major election night since I've been politically aware; even when the internet meant I could get returns faster than the news stations could give them to me, it was where I went.

He'll be missed.

well he's back
08-08-2005, 03:56 PM
a very sad passing, indeed.

Personally speaking he was the only major anchor since the days of Huntley, or Cronkite, that I could stand to listen to. I admired his dignitiy.

08-08-2005, 04:01 PM
How long do you think it's going to take for PETER JENNINGS IS IN HELL!!! to grace Fred Phelps' ludicrous site?
Dunno, but I suspect it won't be as fast as Little Green Football's celebratory dance. :dubious:

rocking chair
08-08-2005, 08:05 PM
the 25 hour new years eve telecast that abc did is one of my fav. jennings memories.

i could tell that things were getting a bit disjointed and jennings was getting a bit giddy as the hours mounted up. i remember toward the end his canadian was showing up a bit more than usual. he "ooted" a bit. it was a bit looser than i think he likes and from what you said here he wasn't happy about it.

the other thing i remember is when ever he would interrupt on sat. mornings, he would take the time to tell kids, sorry about interrupting your cartoons, you should tell mum and dad to come to the tv, this is important and this is why.

he would then explain things so a kid would understand but not dumbed down at all.

08-08-2005, 08:30 PM
I really can't believe that all three network anchors have left the news desks in about a year.
It's going to be a new era in TV news. I don't know what era it is yet. But between the proliferation of cable and the 'net and the respect that Jennings, Brokaw and Rather had, there's never going to be another Big Three.

Larry Borgia
08-08-2005, 08:34 PM
Dunno, but I suspect it won't be as fast as Little Green Football's celebratory dance. :dubious:

That's already going on. I checked it out for some perverse reason. I won't link to it but some of the comments are pretty hateful and bizarre.

Anyway, R.I.P. Mr. Jennings. :(

Mr. Blue Sky
08-08-2005, 08:37 PM
It's going to be a new era in TV news. I don't know what era it is yet. But between the proliferation of cable and the 'net and the respect that Jennings, Brokaw and Rather had, there's never going to be another Big Three.

I can't recall anyone ever having a negative thing to say about Jennings. That is rare in such a cutthroat business.

If these new anchors can muster 10% of what Jennings had, they'll have done a man's job.

08-08-2005, 08:44 PM
A class act all around... so sad we tend to only notice when they go. Let me join also in thanking Cartooniverse for the inside glimpse.

08-08-2005, 09:20 PM
You mean he returned to Canada?

08-09-2005, 12:07 AM
Cartooniverse, please print out your post and send it to his family. I'm sure it will mean a lot to them when they read a testimonial from someone who worked with him, and had such respect for him.

08-09-2005, 09:11 AM
Cartooniverse, what a beautiful story. You've added dimension to a man I already respected, and whom I now adore. Thanks. And I agree that his family would love to hear your story.

08-09-2005, 10:33 AM
Thank you, Cartoonuniverse --I needed to hear that.

I cannot believe how much I am effected by this. I don't even watch TV-I find it boring (except TDS and maybe Nova, sometimes). I have watched Jennings all my adult life--I trusted him and that Linda Ellerbee news show that was on real late at noc.

He was the only one I could stand to watch during Bad Decision 2000 and Worse Results 2004.

I doubt he'll be replaced--how can he be? TV news and the whole industry is changing.

Damn I'll miss his class and dignity--TV news needs a whole lot more of that.

And please, send that to his family--it would mean alot.