Bernard Kalb, Newsman at CBS, NBC and CNN, Has Died

NBC News' Bernard Kalb in June 1981
Bernard Kalb in 1981 (Image credit: NBC News/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

Bernard Kalb, a correspondent at CBS News and NBC News, and later moderator of Reliable Sources on CNN, died January 8. He lived to 100 and died in North Bethesda, Maryland.

Kalb was born in Manhattan in 1922 and spent two years in the army after graduating from the City College of New York, which included working on a newspaper in Alaska.

He joined The New York Times in 1946, where his roles included covering the United Nations and corresponding from Southeast Asia. Kalb stayed until 1962, when he moved to CBS News, and was based in Hong Kong. He covered the Vietnam War and, after returning to the U.S., anchored CBS Morning News from Washington starting in 1970. He accompanied President Nixon to China in 1972, reported the New York Times, as the U.S. and China built up their relationship.

Kalb went on to be NBC’s State Department correspondent starting in 1980, when both he and brother Marvin shifted from CBS News to NBC News. Kalb worked at NBC until President Ronald Reagan hired him to be assistant secretary of state for public affairs in late 1984. He started in that role in 1985.

Kalb resigned in October 1986 in protest, claiming he was asked to distribute disinformation related to Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi.

In 1992, Kalb was moderator of CNN program Reliable Sources, which he did for six years, said the Times.

Kalb’s brother Marvin survives him, as does his wife, Phyllis. ■

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.