Source Pravda.Ru

Top ABC News anchor dies

Peter Jennings, the broadcaster who delivered the news to Americans each night in five separate decades, has died, aged 67.

Jennings, who announced in April that he had lung cancer, died on Sunday at his New York home, the president of ABC News, David Westin, said.

"Peter has been our colleague, our friend, and our leader in so many ways. None of us will be the same without him," Westin said.

With Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather, Jennings was part of a triumvirate that dominated US network news for more than two decades, through the birth of cable news and the internet. The Canadian-born broadcaster's smooth delivery and years of international reporting experience made him particularly popular among urban dwellers.

Jennings dominated the ratings from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s, when Brokaw surpassed him. He remained a Canadian until 2003, when he became a US citizen, saying it had nothing to do with his politics - he did it for his family.

"He was a warm and loving and surprisingly sentimental man," said Ted Koppel, a longtime friend and fellow ABC anchor.

"No one could ad lib like Peter," said veteran ABC newswoman Barbara Walters. "Sometimes he drove me crazy because he knew so many details. He just died much too young," reports Guardian.

Jennings was wherever the big story was. He logged more than 60 hours on the air during the week of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, offering a soothing sense of continuity during a troubled time.

"There are a lot of people who think our job is to reassure the public every night that their home, their community and their nation is safe," he told author Jeff Alan. "I don't subscribe to that at all. I subscribe to leaving people with essentially _ sorry it's a cliche _ a rough draft of history. Some days it's reassuring, some days it's absolutely destructive."

Jennings' announcement four months ago that the longtime smoker would begin treatment for lung cancer came as a shock.

"I will continue to do the broadcast," he said, his voice husky, in a taped message that night. "On good days, my voice will not always be like this."

Although Jennings occasionally came to the office between chemotherapy treatments, he never again appeared on air.

"He knew that it was an uphill struggle. But he faced it with realism, courage, and a firm hope that he would be one of the fortunate ones," Westin said. "In the end, he was not."

Broadcasting was the family business for Jennings. His father, Charles Jennings, was the first person to anchor a nightly national news program in Canada and later became head of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.'s news division. A picture of his father was displayed prominently in Jennings' office off ABC's newsroom, informs the AP.