Jane Pauley

Journalist


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her three-hour Archive interview, Jane Pauley discusses her early life in Indiana, including her many awards for high school speech and debate competitions. She describes her interest in politics and how it led first to her job as a correspondent at WISH-TV news in Indiana, and later to her appointment as the first female anchor of a nightly local newscast in Chicago. She recounts her on-air audition for Today and co-hosting the program at age 25. Pauley discusses the challenges she faced replacing Barbara Walters, her on-air chemistry with Today hosts Tom Brokaw and Bryant Gumbel, and dealing with pregnancy and motherhood on-air. She outlines NBC's decision to slowly give Deborah Norville increased airtime in 1989, which led to her very public and controversial departure from Today. She details NBC's difficulty in making a hit news/magazine show, and talks of the challenges she faced during her tenure at Dateline NBC (including the threat of a lawsuit from GM over a staged incident involving one of their trucks). She reveals her struggle with bipolar disorder during a leave of absence at NBC, her return to the network on September 10, 2001, and how NBC news subsequently dealt with 9/11. Matt Lombardi conducted the interview on February 8, 2011 in New York City, New York.

"I always hated the idea of the 'get', because 'get' became the story. It didn't matter what I asked you, what we talked about or what we learned, it was 'I got you and he didn't.' We often chased after somebody who wasn't worthy of a story, and it obscured genuine news that wasn't getting covered. I didn't like seeing people who were great journalists obligated to chase after stupid stories just because they were the hot 'get'. And it's still going on."

Highlights
Jane Pauley on auditioning for Today and getting the job as co-host
09:37
Jane Pauley on Bryant Gumbel taking over for Tom Brokaw on Today
02:35
Jane Pauley on leaving Today in 1989
15:08
Jane Pauley on the creation of Dateline NBC
02:59
Jane Pauley on her dislike of "the get"
02:30
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her early life and influences; on her early education
13:24
On the role news played in her household growing up; on competing in speech and debate competitions in high school
15:39
On her path to television news; on attending Indiana University in Bloomington
18:07
On getting hired in local news; on her early days as a local news reporter
06:38

Chapter 2

On her transition from Indiana local news to Chicago local news
14:16
On negative critical reaction to her co-anchoring local news in Chicago; on her star rising
11:12
On her on-air audition for Today; on being hired for Today; on being comfortable on camera and her early similarity to Barbara Walters
19:01
On her approach to co-hosting Today; on the early format of Today; on co-hosting with Tom Brokaw

Chapter 3

On working with Bryant Gumbel on Today; on memorable stories she covered on Today; on dealing with her pregnancy and motherhood on air
18:17
On leaving Today; on the creation of Dateline NBC
21:42
On Dateline NBC's GM Truck Controversy
08:10
On her bipolar diagnosis and 9/11; on advice to aspiring broadcasters
13:54

Chapter 4

On the continuing evolution of journalism; on the role of the news anchor; on her future plans
08:13
Shows

Dateline

View Show Page
Jane Pauley on the creation of Dateline NBC
02:59
Jane Pauley on Dateline NBC's GM Truck controversy
08:10
Jane Pauley on her bipolar disorder and returning to work on 9/11
08:29

Today

View Show Page
Jane Pauley on auditioning for Today and getting the job as co-host
09:37
Jane Pauley on being perplexed as to how she was hired for Today
03:59
Jane Pauley on being comfortable in front of the camera on Today
02:49
Jane Pauley on her similarity to Barbara Walters
02:35
Jane Pauley on her approach to co-hosting Today
03:47
Jane Pauley on the format of Today when she joined
04:23
Jane Pauley on co-hosting Today with Tom Brokaw
03:00
Jane Pauley on technical difficulties on Today
03:48
Jane Pauley on Bryant Gumbel taking over for Tom Brokaw on Today
02:35
Jane Pauley on memorable stories she covered on Today
02:28
Jane Pauley on dealing with her pregnancy and motherhood on air
12:17
Jane Pauley on her relationship with Today co-anchor Bryant Gumbel
03:15
Jane Pauley on leaving Today in 1989
15:08
Topics

9/11

View Topic
Jane Pauley on her bipolar disorder and returning to work on 9/11
08:29

Diversity in Television

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Jane Pauley on dealing with her pregnancy and motherhood on air
12:17

Television Industry

View Topic
Jane Pauley on the current and future role of the news anchors
01:35
Jane Pauley on her dislike of "the get"
02:30

Women

View Topic
Jane Pauley on early critical reservations about her anchoring the local news on WMAQ in Chicago
07:41
Jane Pauley on dealing with her pregnancy and motherhood on air
12:17
Professions

Anchor

View Profession
Jane Pauley on being comfortable in front of the camera
02:49
Jane Pauley on advice for people getting into broadcasting
02:57
Jane Pauley on the current and future role of the news anchors
01:35

Journalists & News Producers

View Profession
Jane Pauley on being comfortable in front of the camera
02:49
Jane Pauley on advice for people getting into broadcasting
02:57
Jane Pauley on the current and future role of the news anchors
01:35
Jane Pauley on the continuing evolution of journalism
01:53
Jane Pauley on her dislike of "the get"
02:30
Genres

News and Documentary

View Genre
Jane Pauley on co-hosting Today
33:58
Jane Pauley on Dateline NBC
19:44
Jane Pauley on co-anchoring Today
37:00
People

Tom Brokaw

View Person Page
Jane Pauley on co-hosting Today with Tom Brokaw
03:00
Jane Pauley on technical difficulties on Today
03:48
Jane Pauley on Bryant Gumbel taking over for Tom Brokaw on Today
02:35

Dick Ebersol

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Jane Pauley on leaving Today in 1989
15:08

Bryant Gumbel

View Person Page
Jane Pauley on Bryant Gumbel taking over for Tom Brokaw on Today
02:35
Jane Pauley on her relationship with Today co-anchor Bryant Gumbel
03:15
Jane Pauley on leaving Today in 1989
15:08

Shelley Long

View Person Page
Jane Pauley on competing against Shelley Long in speech and debate
02:04

Joan Lunden

View Person Page
Jane Pauley on dealing with her pregnancy and motherhood on air
12:17

Deborah Norville

View Person Page
Jane Pauley on leaving Today in 1989
15:08

Barbara Walters

View Interview Page
Jane Pauley on being comfortable in front of the camera
02:49
Jane Pauley on her similarity to Barbara Walters
02:35

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