With the announcement of Dan Rather's resignation at CBS News and tonight's special on the departure of Tom Brokaw from NBC News, I felt it was only appropriate to take a moment to remark on the ever present influence of the media, particularly the voice of the anchor, in our homes and in our lives.
The rivalry is quite intense when you think about it. At one network you have Peter Jennings, the only voice I remember hearing on 9/11. On CBS you have Rather who most recently became known for the Rathergate scandal, but who is also known for his hot-headed antics. Then you have Tom Brokaw, who seems to be the level head in it all. The voice we remember most in presidential election years. These men have been in on everything since the Kennedy assassination. But in it all they've been very gracious. Rather said he'd wait for the big hoopla for his departure..."Next week should be Tom's week." Despite their differences, I think it's safe to say that Jennings, Brokaw, and Rather hold each other in the highest respect.
And for what it's worth, Walter Cronkite, the anchor of all anchors in my book, thinks the trio have brought in more viewers and again placed importance on the trust of the American people (...maybe we could omit Rather from that one). To receive kudos from Cronkite is like the holy grail of journalism. The nightly news will surely miss Rather and Brokaw...as will I. Jennings has to step up to the plate and the replacements will have some pretty big shoes to fill themselves.