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."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Jane Pauley on auditioning for Today and getting the job as co-host
Jane Pauley on Bryant Gumbel taking over for Tom Brokaw on Today
Jane Pauley on leaving Today in 1989
Jane Pauley on the creation of Dateline NBC
Jane Pauley on her dislike of "the get"
Full Interview

Chapter 1

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

Chapter 2

On her transition from Indiana local news to Chicago local news
On negative critical reaction to her co-anchoring local news in Chicago; on her star rising
On her on-air audition for Today; on being hired for Today; on being comfortable on camera and her early similarity to Barbara Walters
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
On leaving Today; on the creation of Dateline NBC
On Dateline NBC's GM Truck Controversy
On her bipolar diagnosis and 9/11; on advice to aspiring broadcasters

Chapter 4

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

Dateline

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Jane Pauley on the creation of Dateline NBC
Jane Pauley on Dateline NBC's GM Truck controversy
Jane Pauley on her bipolar disorder and returning to work on 9/11

Today

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Jane Pauley on auditioning for Today and getting the job as co-host
Jane Pauley on being perplexed as to how she was hired for Today
Jane Pauley on being comfortable in front of the camera on Today
Jane Pauley on her similarity to Barbara Walters
Jane Pauley on her approach to co-hosting Today
Jane Pauley on the format of Today when she joined
Jane Pauley on co-hosting Today with Tom Brokaw
Jane Pauley on technical difficulties on Today
Jane Pauley on Bryant Gumbel taking over for Tom Brokaw on Today
Jane Pauley on memorable stories she covered on Today
Jane Pauley on dealing with her pregnancy and motherhood on air
Jane Pauley on her relationship with Today co-anchor Bryant Gumbel
Jane Pauley on leaving Today in 1989
Topics

9/11

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Jane Pauley on her bipolar disorder and returning to work on 9/11

Diversity in Television

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Jane Pauley on dealing with her pregnancy and motherhood on air

Television Industry

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Jane Pauley on the current and future role of the news anchors
Jane Pauley on her dislike of "the get"

Women

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Jane Pauley on early critical reservations about her anchoring the local news on WMAQ in Chicago
Jane Pauley on dealing with her pregnancy and motherhood on air
Professions

Anchor

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Jane Pauley on being comfortable in front of the camera
Jane Pauley on advice for people getting into broadcasting
Jane Pauley on the current and future role of the news anchors

Journalists & News Producers

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

News and Documentary

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Jane Pauley on co-hosting Today
Jane Pauley on Dateline NBC
Jane Pauley on co-anchoring Today
People

Tom Brokaw

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Jane Pauley on co-hosting Today with Tom Brokaw
Jane Pauley on technical difficulties on Today
Jane Pauley on Bryant Gumbel taking over for Tom Brokaw on Today

Dick Ebersol

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Jane Pauley on leaving Today in 1989

Bryant Gumbel

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Jane Pauley on Bryant Gumbel taking over for Tom Brokaw on Today
Jane Pauley on her relationship with Today co-anchor Bryant Gumbel
Jane Pauley on leaving Today in 1989

Shelley Long

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Jane Pauley on competing against Shelley Long in speech and debate

Joan Lunden

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Jane Pauley on dealing with her pregnancy and motherhood on air

Deborah Norville

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Jane Pauley on leaving Today in 1989

Barbara Walters

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Jane Pauley on being comfortable in front of the camera
Jane Pauley on her similarity to Barbara Walters

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