letter to brokaw

Buffalo, NY

June 16, 2008

Tom Brokaw
NBC Nightly News
30 Rockefeller Plaza
Room 1420
New York, NY 10112

Dear Tom:

I hope you will convey to Betsy Fischer and everyone at Meet the Press what a great broadcast you all put together to remember Tim Russert on June 15th. I know you also did a special and there were countless other quality remembrances from NBC News, MSNBC and competing news outlets but the MTP show was the one that had to soar above all others and it did.

In our internet age, I actually saw the special report of the Russert announcement Friday on MSNBC.com and was momentarily surprised to see you breaking the sad news. I kept thinking how uniquely difficult this particular bulletin must have been for you to deliver compared to the many incidents you have had to report over the years.

Surely all the subsequent broadcasts up to and including Sunday’s show were equally as taxing for everyone in the news division. You all lost a great friend, a respected colleague and via both his political passion and personal joie de vivre– a real force of nature at the network. A positive force but a force none the less.

Our city lost a great friend too. I didn’t really know Tim at all except for a couple of brief introductions at some local functions here (we attended the same high school albeit 14 years apart). But I think his wonderful everyman demeanor for me clouded the great impact he was having on the national stage. It was “Buffalo’s Tim Russert” simply doing a bang-up job. And maybe like all of us, I assumed I’d have lots more time to reflect on his influence.

Just know that all the efforts NBC News put forth on behalf of your colleague and friend was likely appreciated deeply by his family, certainly by his hometown and absolutely by this writer.



Peter K. O’Connell

2 Responses to “letter to brokaw”

  1. Nicely said, Peter.
    As always.



  2. Thanks very much, Liz. I hope you got to see the broadcast. It was very good.

    Best always,
    – Peter