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John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat
Source: U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Drew David: Jessica Savitch Intimate Portrait: The Queen of Nightly News

The Queen of Nightly News
Drew David: Jessica Savitch Intimate Portrait: The Queen of Nightly News

Jessica Savitch before she tragically died in 1983, was the weekend anchor of NBC Nightly News. Only behind Tom Brokaw at NBC News as far as their anchors and when she died was considered the most trusted news anchor in America. Essentially replacing Walter Cronkite with that title. She was both gorgeous and adorable, but very intelligent and worked very hard at her craft. A true news junky, which is what you almost have to be to be a successful news anchor, as well as a political junky. All traits I love as someone who shares these same traits and she picked up these traits very early on in life, as being the daughter of a news and political junky her father, who she was very close with.

I wasn't born until 1975 so almost everything I've seen from her have been old news footage of her, actually a lot of it on YouTube. And she became a star in network news by the late 1970s, a very turbulent time in America. With an energy shortage, a weak economy, with high interest, inflation and unemployment rates, the Jonestown tragedy in 1978, the Iran Hostage Crisis. America seeming to be in decline by the summer of 1979 and Jessica Savitch was covering all of these stories.

Jessica Savitch was ahead of her time, because she made it to the top, or very close to it by the late 1970s. When network news was still dominated by men and when women were still coming up in this business and had she not died in 1983 tragically, maybe she's the lead anchor of one of the network newscasts for 15-20 years. Like Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, or Dan Rather. She was too big and too good to the weekend anchor indefinitely and could've gone a lot further, if she just had the time to do it.