June 13, 2008

UNITY Mourns the Loss of Tim Russert


Contact: Rahnesha White, UNITY Communications Manager, +1-703- 854-3587, [email protected]

MCLEAN, Va., June 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- UNITY: Journalists of Color, Inc. mourns the loss of Tim Russert, a leading U.S. political correspondent and host of the NBC television network's long-running "Meet the Press" talk show. He died June 13 at the age of 58.

As the host of the top-rated Sunday talk show, Russert, who pointedly but politely questioned hundreds of the powerful and influential as moderator, also served as senior vice president and Washington bureau chief of NBC News and had moderated "Meet the Press" since 1991. He had been with NBC News since 1984.

"I am stunned and incredibly saddened over the loss of Tim Russert, a great journalist who showed us how to pursue the truth with a tough yet inquisitive style all his own," said UNITY President Karen Lincoln Michel. "We've lost a powerful force in our industry, and he will be greatly missed."

In 2005, Russert won an Emmy for his role in the coverage of the funeral of former President Ronald Reagan. Before that, his "Meet the Press" interviews with George W. Bush and Al Gore in 2000 won the Radio and Television Correspondents' highest honor, the Joan S. Barone Award, and the Annenberg Center's Walter Cronkite Award. Just this year, Time Magazine named Russert one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

"Tim Russert represented the best of broadcast news and practiced journalism with a capital "J.", said UNITY Board Member Lloyd LaCuesta. "We mourn his loss and offer our sympathies and condolences to the Russert family and NBC News. Tim Russert's legacy is that he leaves a model of excellence and integrity that all of us in the industry must strive to maintain."

Russert got his start in New York Democratic politics, working on the political campaigns of Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Gov. Mario Cuomo. He served as chief of staff to Moynihan from 1977 to 1982 and was a counselor in Cuomo's Albany office from 1983 to 1984. In addition to his weekly program, Russert appeared on the networks other news shows, was moderator for numerous political debates and wrote two best-selling books.

He is survived by his father Tim Russert, his wife Maureen Orth, a writer for Vanity Fair Magazine, and a son, Luke Russert.

UNITY: Journalists of Color, Inc. is a strategic alliance advocating fair and accurate news coverage about people of color, and aggressively challenging the industry to staff its organizations at all levels to reflect the nation's diversity. For more information, please visit http://www.unityjournalists.org.

SOURCE UNITY: Journalists of Color, Inc.

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