NBC News and MSNBC
updated 3 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - Tim Russert, NBC News’ Washington bureau chief and the moderator of “Meet the Press,” died Friday after being stricken at the bureau, NBC News said Friday. He was 58.
Russert was recording voiceovers for Sunday’s “Meet the Press” broadcast when he collapsed. He was rushed to Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, where resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful, said Russert’s physician, Michael Newman.
Newman said the cause of death was not immediately known.
Russert had returned from Italy, where his family was celebrating the graduation of his son, Luke, from Boston College.
A grilling on “Meet the Press” was often considered an essential proving ground in the career of any national politician. Russert took the helm of the 60-year-old public affairs program in 1991.
“If you could pass the Tim Russert test, you could do something in this field,” said Howard Fineman, senior Washington correspondent for Newsweek magazine and a columnist for msnbc.com.
Russert’s tenacity as a reporter and his consuming passion for politics were evident during his nearly round-the-clock appearances on NBC and MSNBC on election nights.
Statement from NBC
Statement from Jeff Zucker, president and CEO of NBC Universal:
“We are heartbroken at the sudden passing of Tim Russert. We have lost a beloved member of our NBC Universal family and the news world has lost one of its finest. The enormity of this loss cannot be overstated. More than a journalist, Tim was a remarkable family man. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Maureen, their son, Luke, and Tim’s entire extended family.”
Aside from his on-air responsibilities, Russert was a senior vice president and head of NBC’s overall Washington operations.
He was “one of the premier political journalists and analysts of his time,” Tom Brokaw, the former longtime anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” said in announcing Russert’s death. “This news division will not be the same without his strong, clear voice.”