Roger Mudd, anchor at CBS, NBC and PBS, has died at 93. The cause was kidney failure.
Mudd was born in Washington, D.C. After a stint in the army, he was a reporter at The News Leader in Richmond, Virginia, then became news director of the paper’s sister radio station, WRNL.
He moved on to be a reporter at Washington TV and radio station WTOP and was hired by CBS in 1961 to cover Congress, according to the New York Times.
Mudd filled in on the evening desk when Walter Cronkite was out. He conducted a notable interview with Senator Edward Kennedy in 1979, as Kennedy planned a presidential run against Jimmy Carter. Mudd caught Kennedy off guard and his campaign never got on track. “He twitched and squirmed, conveying self-doubt and flawed preparation,” said the NY Times, “and stumbled through questions for an hour.”
When Cronkite retired, Dan Rather was named CBS’s evening news anchor, and Mudd left for NBC, where he was chief Washington correspondent.
Mudd and Tom Brokaw co-anchored NBC Nightly News, Mudd in Washington and Brokaw in New York, starting in 1982. The two-anchor set-up lasted for 17 months, with Brokaw named sole anchor.
Mudd hosted Meet the Press in 1984 and 1985 before moving to PBS, where he worked on The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour.
He was an early anchor and host for The History Channel, and A+E Networks said in a statement it was grateful for his leadership and help in building the brand. "He had a remarkable, award-winning career in television and we are very proud to be a part of his legacy. Our deepest sympathies are with his family.”
Mudd authored The Place to Be: Washington, CBS and the Glory Days of Television News. He donated $4 million to his alma mater, Washington and Lee University, to establish the Roger Mudd Center for the Study of Professional Ethics.
Mudd died at home in McLean, Virginia.
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.
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