Tom Brokaw

Anchor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his two-and-a-half hour interview, Tom Brokaw talks about his early life, including early television news reporting jobs with various local stations around the country. He recalls his stint as the White House correspondent for NBC News during which he covered Watergate and the fall of the Nixon White House. He discusses being co-anchor on Today, the highlight of which for him was covering the 1981 Royal Wedding between Prince Charles and Lady Diana. He recounts being hired to anchor NBC Nightly News, first with Roger Mudd, then solo. Brokaw details covering many monumental stories from the late 20th century and early 21st century, including the release of Nelson Mandela, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, and 9/11. He chronicles being the target of one of the 2001 anthrax letters, and concludes with his thoughts on the then-current state of broadcast journalism, as well as its future. Tom Herman conducted the interview on November 15, 2018 in New York, NY.

"It’s not about you, it’s about the story."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Tom Brokaw on covering Watergate for NBC News
Tom Brokaw on NBC Nightly News covering the fall of the Berlin Wall
Tom Brokaw on the NBC Nightly News coverage of 9/11
Tom Brokaw on the challenges of covering the Trump Administration
Tom Brokaw on the role of the network news anchor, and on going to South Africa to cover the release of Nelson Mendela
Tom Brokaw on being hired to anchor the local news at KNBC in Los Angeles
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on his first broadcasting job, on local Yankton, South Dakota radio station KYNT
On choosing a career in journalism; on getting his first job in television, on KMTV in Omaha; on how KMTV in Omaha covered the assassination of President John F. Kennedy
On being hired to anchor the local news by WSB in Atlanta; on covering the Civil Rights Movement from WSB in Atlanta
On being hired to anchor the local news at KNBC in Los Angeles; on covering the Watts Riots and various other stories at KNBC News in Los Angeles; on receiving an offer to be Richard M. Nixon's press secretary

Chapter 2

On being hired by NBC News, and on working with David Brinkley; on covering Watergate for NBC News
On his relationship with Richard M. Nixon when he was White House correspondent for NBC News; on how he came to anchor Today; on Today first facing competition from Good Morning America while he was anchor, and on covering the 1981 Royal Wedding
On taking over NBC News and co-anchoring with Roger Mudd; on the role of the network news anchor, and on going to South Africa to cover the release of Nelson Mendela; on interviewing Mikhail Gorbachev and Vladimir Putin on NBC Nightly News
On NBC Nightly News covering the fall of the Berlin Wall; on covering the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests for NBC Nightly News
On the NBC Nightly News coverage of 9/11; on the ways in which David Brinkley was a mentor to him

Chapter 3

On the changes has seen over the course of his career in journalism; on the challenges of covering the Trump Administration; on being targeted with an anthrax letter in 2001
On how print journalism differs from broadcast journalism; on the role of the news anchor and the correspondent; on the different challenges and roles of an analyst and a reporter
On advice to aspiring television journalists; on his proudest career achievement, and on how he would like to be remembered; on his book "The Greatest Generation"
Shows

Good Morning America

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Tom Brokaw on Today first facing competition from Good Morning America while he was anchor, and on covering the 1981 Royal Wedding

NBC News

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Tom Brokaw on being hired by NBC News, and on working with David Brinkley
Tom Brokaw on covering Watergate for NBC News
Tom Brokaw on his relationship with Richard M. Nixon when he was White House correspondent for NBC News

NBC Nightly News

View Show Page
Tom Brokaw on taking over NBC Nightly News and co-anchoring with Roger Mudd
Tom Brokaw on interviewing Mikhail Gorbachev on NBC Nightly News
Tom Brokaw on interviewing Vladimir Putin on NBC Nightly News
Tom Brokaw on NBC Nightly News covering the fall of the Berlin Wall
Tom Brokaw on covering the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests for NBC Nightly News
Tom Brokaw on the NBC Nightly News coverage of 9/11
Tom Brokaw the changes has seen over the course of his career in journalism, including his years on NBC Nightly News

Today

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Tom Brokaw on how he came to anchor Today
Tom Brokaw on Today first facing competition from Good Morning America while he was anchor, and on covering the 1981 Royal Wedding
Topics

9/11

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Tom Brokaw on the NBC Nightly News coverage of 9/11

Advice

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Tom Brokaw on advice to aspiring television journalists

Civil Rights Movement

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Tom Brokaw on covering the Civil Rights Movement from WSB in Atlanta
Tom Brokaw on covering the Watts Riots and various other stories at KNBC News in Los Angeles
Tom Brokaw on the role of the network news anchor, and on going to South Africa to cover the release of Nelson Mendela

Cold War

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Tom Brokaw on interviewing Mikhail Gorbachev on NBC Nightly News

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Tom Brokaw on the ways in which David Brinkley was a mentor to him

Donald J. Trump

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Tom Brokaw on the challenges of covering the Trump Administration

Fall of the Berlin Wall

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Tom Brokaw on NBC Nightly News covering the fall of the Berlin Wall

Historic Events and Social Change

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Tom Brokaw on how KMTV in Omaha covered the assassination of President John F. Kennedy
Tom Brokaw on covering the Civil Rights Movement from WSB in Atlanta
Tom Brokaw on covering the Watts Riots and various other stories at KNBC News in Los Angeles
Tom Brokaw on interviewing Mikhail Gorbachev on NBC Nightly News
Tom Brokaw on the role of the network news anchor, and on going to South Africa to cover the release of Nelson Mendela
Tom Brokaw on NBC Nightly News covering the fall of the Berlin Wall
Tom Brokaw on the NBC Nightly News coverage of 9/11
Tom Brokaw on being targeted with an anthrax letter in 2001

JFK Assassination and Funeral

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Tom Brokaw on how KMTV in Omaha covered the assassination of President John F. Kennedy

Pivotal Career Moments

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Tom Brokaw on the ways in which David Brinkley was a mentor to him

Richard M. Nixon

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Tom Brokaw on receiving an offer to be Richard M. Nixon's press secretary
Tom Brokaw on covering Watergate for NBC News
Tom Brokaw on his relationship with Richard M. Nixon when he was White House correspondent for NBC News

Television Industry

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Tom Brokaw on advice to aspiring television journalists

Television and the Presidency

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Tom Brokaw on receiving an offer to be Richard M. Nixon's press secretary
Tom Brokaw on covering Watergate for NBC News
Tom Brokaw on his relationship with Richard M. Nixon when he was White House correspondent for NBC News
Tom Brokaw on the challenges of covering the Trump Administration

War

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Tom Brokaw on interviewing Mikhail Gorbachev on NBC Nightly News
Tom Brokaw on being targeted with an anthrax letter in 2001

War on Terror

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Tom Brokaw on being targeted with an anthrax letter in 2001
Professions

Anchor

View Profession
Tom Brokaw on the role of the network news anchor, and on going to South Africa to cover the release of Nelson Mendela
Tom Brokaw on how print journalism differs from broadcast journalism
Tom Brokaw on the role of the news anchor and the correspondent
Tom Brokaw on the different challenges and roles of an analyst and a reporter
Tom Brokaw on advice to aspiring television journalists

Journalists & News Producers

View Profession
Tom Brokaw on the role of the network news anchor, and on going to South Africa to cover the release of Nelson Mendela
Tom Brokaw on how print journalism differs from broadcast journalism
Tom Brokaw on the role of the news anchor and the correspondent
Tom Brokaw on the different challenges and roles of an analyst and a reporter
Tom Brokaw on advice to aspiring television journalists
Genres

News and Documentary

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Tom Brokaw on reporting for various NBC News series
Tom Brokaw on anchoring Today
Tom Brokaw on anchoring NBC Nightly News
People

David Brinkley

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Tom Brokaw on the ways in which David Brinkley was a mentor to him

Mikhail Gorbachev

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Tom Brokaw on interviewing Mikhail Gorbachev on NBC Nightly News

John F. Kennedy

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Tom Brokaw on how KMTV in Omaha covered the assassination of President John F. Kennedy

Nelson Mandela

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Tom Brokaw on the role of the network news anchor, and on going to South Africa to cover the release of Nelson Mendela

Roger Mudd

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Tom Brokaw on taking over NBC News and co-anchoring with Roger Mudd

Richard M. Nixon

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Tom Brokaw on receiving an offer to be Richard M. Nixon's press secretary
Tom Brokaw on his relationship with Richard M. Nixon when he was White House correspondent for NBC News

All Interviews

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