John Chancellor

Last updated
John Chancellor
John Chancellor White House1970.jpg
Chancellor at the White House in 1970
Born
John William Chancellor

(1927-07-14)July 14, 1927
DiedJuly 12, 1996(1996-07-12) (aged 68)
NationalityAmerican
EducationUniversity of Illinois
OccupationJournalist
Years active1952–1993
Known for Today (1961-1962)
NBC Nightly News
Anchor (1970–1982)
Editor/Commentator (1982–1993)
Spouse(s)Connie Chancellor [1]
Barbara Upshaw (second wife)
Children3

John William Chancellor (July 14, 1927 – July 12, 1996) was an American journalist who spent most of his career with NBC News. He served as anchor of the NBC Nightly News from 1970 to 1982 and continued to do editorials and commentaries for NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw until 1993.

Americans Citizens, or natives, of the United States of America

Americans are nationals and citizens of the United States of America. Although nationals and citizens make up the majority of Americans, some dual citizens, expatriates, and permanent residents may also claim American nationality. The United States is home to people of many different ethnic origins. As a result, American culture and law does not equate nationality with race or ethnicity, but with citizenship and permanent allegiance.

Journalist person who collects, writes and distributes news and other information

A journalist is a person who collects, writes, or distributes news or other current information to the public. A journalist's work is called journalism. A journalist can work with general issues or specialize in certain issues. However, most journalists tend to specialize, and by cooperating with other journalists, produce journals that span many topics. For example, a sports journalist covers news within the world of sports, but this journalist may be a part of a newspaper that covers many different topics.

NBC News news division of the American broadcast network NBC

NBC News is the news division of the American broadcast television network NBC. The division operates under NBCUniversal Broadcast, Cable, Sports and News, a subsidiary of NBCUniversal, in turn a subsidiary of Comcast. The group's various operations report to the president of NBC News, Noah Oppenheim.

Contents

Early career

Chancellor attended the University of Illinois Navy Pier campus, completing the last two years of instruction at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in 1949. Originally a copy boy at 14 for the Chicago Daily News and hired in 1947 to be a reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times , he started his career in local television in Chicago, eventually turning to national television news as a correspondent on NBC's evening newscast, the Huntley-Brinkley Report .

University of Illinois at Chicago Public University

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is a public research university in Chicago, Illinois. Its campus is in the Near West Side community area, adjacent to the Chicago Loop. The second campus established under the University of Illinois system, UIC is also the largest university in the Chicago area, having approximately 30,000 students enrolled in 15 colleges.

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign public research university in Urbana and Champaign, Illinois, United States

The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is a public research university in Illinois and the flagship institution of the University of Illinois System. Founded in 1867 as a land-grant institution, its campus is located in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana.

The Chicago Daily News was an afternoon daily newspaper in the midwestern United States, published between 1876 and 1978 in Chicago, Illinois.

Early years, NBC/Voice of America

John Chancellor, Frank Blair and Edwin Newman in The Today Show, 1961. Today show 1961.JPG
John Chancellor, Frank Blair and Edwin Newman in The Today Show, 1961.

Chancellor covered issues of national importance while on The Huntley-Brinkley Report, such as the 1957 integration of the Little Rock Central High School. He spent a number of years as a foreign correspondent in Europe, with postings in Vienna, London, Moscow, and Brussels (NATO Headquarters).

Little Rock Central High School historic school in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA

Little Rock Central High School (LRCHS) is an accredited comprehensive public high school in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States. The school was the site of forced desegregation in 1957 after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that segregation of public schools was unconstitutional three years earlier. This was during the period of heightened activism in the Civil Rights Movement.

Europe Continent in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere

Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Asia to the east, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.

Vienna Capital city and state of Austria

Vienna is the federal capital, largest city and one of nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primate city, with a population of about 1.9 million, and its cultural, economic, and political centre. It is the 7th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union. Until the beginning of the 20th century, it was the largest German-speaking city in the world, and before the splitting of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I, the city had 2 million inhabitants. Today, it has the second largest number of German speakers after Berlin. Vienna is host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC. The city is located in the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region. Along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In July 2017 it was moved to the list of World Heritage in Danger.

In July 1961, Chancellor replaced Dave Garroway as host of NBC's Today program, a role he filled for fourteen months. Never comfortable with the genial persona required of a Today anchor, Chancellor asked for, and was granted, a release from his contract with the show in the summer of 1962. He left the program in September, and assumed a role as political correspondent for NBC News. He, Frank McGee, Edwin Newman, and Sander Vanocur comprised a team that covered the national political conventions in the 1960s so well, they were dubbed by industry observers as the "Four Horsemen."

Dave Garroway television journalist

David Cunningham Garroway was an American television personality. He was the founding host and anchor of NBC's Today from 1952 to 1961. His easygoing and relaxing style belied a lifelong battle with depression. Garroway has been honored for his contributions to radio and television with a star for each on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as well as the St. Louis Walk of Fame, the city where he spent part of his teenage years and early adulthood.

Frank McGee (journalist) American television journalist

Frank McGee was an American television journalist, best known for his work with NBC from the late 1950s into the early 1970s.

Edwin Newman American newscaster, journalist and author

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At the 1964 Republican National Convention, he was arrested for refusing to cede his spot on the floor to "Goldwater Girls," supporters of the Republican presidential candidate, Barry Goldwater. When security came to get him, he was forced to sign off: "I've been promised bail, ladies and gentlemen, by my office. This is John Chancellor, somewhere in custody." He then became the director of the Voice of America in 1965, at the request of President Lyndon Johnson, a spot he held until 1967.

The 1964 National Convention of the Republican Party of the United States took place in the Cow Palace, Daly City, California, on July 13 to July 16, 1964. Before 1964, there had been only one national Republican convention on the West Coast, the 1956 Republican National Convention, which also took place in the Cow Palace. Many believed that a convention at San Francisco indicated the rising power of the Republican party in the west.

Barry Goldwater Republican nominee for President, 1964; U.S. Senator from Arizona

Barry Morris Goldwater was an American politician, businessman, and author who was a five-term Senator from Arizona and the Republican Party nominee for President of the United States in 1964. Despite his loss of the 1964 presidential election in a landslide, Goldwater is the politician most often credited with having sparked the resurgence of the American conservative political movement in the 1960s. He also had a substantial impact on the libertarian movement.

Bail is a set of pre-trial restrictions that are imposed on a suspect to ensure that they comply with the judicial process. Bail is the conditional release of a defendant with the promise to appear in court when required.

Anchor, NBC Nightly News

However, he returned to NBC in 1968 as senior correspondent on the Huntley Brinkley Report and, two years later when Chet Huntley retired, Chancellor stepped in to anchor the broadcast, renamed NBC Nightly News , a spot he held from 1970 to 1982; this job became the defining point of his career. Inaugurating the name and setting the pace of the format of Nightly News, from 1970 to 1971, Chancellor, along with David Brinkley and Frank McGee, was one of three anchors who rotated in a co-anchor duo format, held over from Huntley-Brinkley. NBC arranged the rotation by having McGee always broadcast from New York City and Brinkley continue at his customary Washington desk. If McGee did not anchor on a broadcast, Chancellor did from New York; if Brinkley did not, Chancellor filled in from Washington. NBC did not have separate weekend anchors during this period, as it had just inaugurated a Sunday evening newscast in August 1970, so this format was employed seven days a week.

<i>NBC Nightly News</i> Flagship daily evening television news program for NBC News

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David Brinkley American journalist

David McClure Brinkley was an American newscaster for NBC and ABC in a career lasting from 1943 to 1997.

A news presenter – also known as a newsreader, newscaster, anchorman or anchorwoman, news anchor or simply an anchor – is a person who presents news during a news program on the television, on the radio or on the Internet. They may also be a working journalist, assisting in the collection of news material and may, in addition, provide commentary during the program. News presenters most often work from a television studio or radio studio, but may also present the news from remote locations in the field related to a particular major news event.

A perceived lack of stability in this arrangement prompted NBC to go with Chancellor full-time (McGee later moved to The Today Show ). From August 9, 1971 to June 4, 1976, Chancellor became the sole weeknight anchor (Garrick Utley and others took over weekend duties), stationed at the New York NBC headquarters, with Brinkley reduced to contributing pre-recorded commentaries, titled David Brinkley's Journal, about two to three times per week from Washington. Facing the continued popularity of top-rated CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, NBC Nightly News returned to a co-anchor format from June 7, 1976 until October 9, 1979 with Brinkley resuming his old role at the NBC Washington desk; internal disputes within NBC management prompted the network to remove Brinkley from Nightly News, assigning him to occasional documentaries until his departure for ABC in 1981.

Although Chancellor was a respected, well-spoken journalist and noted author in his own right, his broadcast ratings were eclipsed by Walter Cronkite in the 1970s, when CBS Evening News had become the most popular of the three network weeknight broadcasts. Toward the end of Chancellor's tenure, ABC, for the first time ever, became competitive with NBC and CBS with its World News Tonight.

"Red" and "blue" state concepts

Chancellor has the distinction of creating the idea of using colors to represent the states won by presidential candidates in presidential elections. For the 1976 presidential election Chancellor suggested to his network's engineers that they create a large electronic map of the United States and place it in the network's election-night news studio. If Jimmy Carter, the Democratic candidate, won a state it would light up in red; if Gerald Ford, the Republican candidate, carried a state it would light up in blue. Chancellor, when asked about the color scheme, sought to tie the British Labour's red to the American Democrats; British Conservatives using blue as their ribbon color. By 1992, all the traditional broadcast networks had adopted the present model, though with the colors switched; red for Republicans (as both begin with the same letter), and blue for Democrats. [2]

Television career

Later years, post-Nightly News

Chancellor anchored the Nightly News through April 2, 1982, when he was succeeded by a co-anchor team of Tom Brokaw and Roger Mudd. Chancellor remained on the program, providing editorial commentaries before retiring from NBC on July 9, 1993.

In 1992, Chancellor was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.

Chancellor was the narrator of Baseball , a documentary by Ken Burns. [3] He also wrote a book, Peril and Promise, which was published in 1991. The John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism [4] was established in 1995 and administered by the Annenberg Public Policy Center until 2004. It is now awarded by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Death

Upon retiring, Chancellor moved to New Jersey, where he died of stomach cancer in 1996. Chancellor was survived by the former Barbara Upshaw, his second wife. He had two daughters and a son.

Honors

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References

  1. Gudelunas, David (2007). Confidential to America: Newspaper Advice Columns and Sexual Education. Edison, NJ: Transaction. p. 234. ISBN   978-1-4128-0688-6.
  2. Enda, Jodi. "When Republicans Were Blue and Democrats Were Red". Smithsonian.com. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  3. Full cast and crew for "Baseball" (1994). IMDb.com
  4. Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism:Site Map Archived 2008-08-30 at the Wayback Machine . Journalism.columbia.edu. Retrieved on 2012-06-23.
  5. "Paul White Award". Radio Television Digital News Association . Retrieved 2014-05-27.
  6. John Chancellor on the Lincoln Academy site, 1988
Media offices
Preceded by
Dave Garroway
Today Show Host
July 17, 1961 – September 14, 1962
Succeeded by
Hugh Downs and Barbara Walters
Preceded by
Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, The Huntley-Brinkley Report
NBC Nightly News Anchor
August 1, 1970 – April 2, 1982
(with David Brinkley and Frank McGee until August 8, 1971,
solely until June 4, 1976, again with Brinkley
until October 9, 1979, and with Washington sub-anchor Roger Mudd from November 17, 1980 until April 2, 1982.)
Succeeded by
Tom Brokaw and Roger Mudd