Russert, best known to Australian viewers as host of NBC’s weekly Meet the Press, served more than 16 years as moderator for the program. Seven still screens the show at 4am on Monday mornings. He was the longest-serving presenter on the world’s longest-running show.
Russert was recording voiceovers for the Sunday edition of Meet the Press when he collapsed this morning at the offices of WRC-TV.
Immediate attempts at resuscitation by EMS were unsuccessful and Russert was pronounced dead following transportation to Sibley Memorial Hospital. News of his death was reported live on NBC, CNBC, and MSNBC by Tom Brokaw.
An autopsy determined that his history of diabetes mellitus and coronary artery disease lead to sudden cardiac death.
The entire half hour of the June 13 NBC Nightly News was dedicated to Russert’s memory, featuring previous news segments with Russert and interviews with colleagues.
Known for phrases like “let’s watch” and “let’s listen” Russert was recognised for his ability to research and pull audio and video quotes from quests that were inconsistent with current statements, creating a dynamic tension that provided interesting and enlightening interviews. He was also a highly respected commentator on US election nights, using a marker board which has since been acquired by the Smithsonian’s American History collection.
During his career, Russert received 48 honorary doctorates and won several awards for excellence in journalism.
President Bush said, “As the longest-serving host of the longest-running program in the history of television, he was an institution in both news and politics for more than two decades. Tim was a tough and hardworking newsman. He was always well-informed and thorough in his interviews. And he was as gregarious off the set as he was prepared on it.”
Source: UC Daily News