He died at his New York home this evening. I knew it was going to be fast for him. Lung cancer is tough to beat. And when he took himself off air a few months ago, it had to be bad. Television is like the blood in the veins of these people. They HAVE to be on camera. It is their life. When they voluntarily take themselves out of the anchor chair, they are either crazy or they are dying. Dying from cancer is not a pretty thing. You can’t control the effects it has on your body. It was good that Jennings took himself off the TV when he did. Otherwise, we would have noticed the changes. It’s kind of like seeing someone dead in a casket. They never really look like they did when they were alive. You never get that last image out of your head. At least now, we’ll all get to remember Peter Jennings as he was on the set of ABC News.
TV Newser: A Life in Photos
How ABC Announced Jennings Death On-Air:
Charlie Gibson broke the news on ABC at 11:41pm ET. He spoke with Ted Koppel over the phone. “He was a warm and loving and surprisingly sentimental man,” said Koppel. And then Barbara Walters. “We all knew how sick Peter was, but tonight when we heard the news, I think it’s heartbreaking for all of us. We, we just prayed he would make it,” said an emotional Walters. “He just died much too young.” Gibson then turned to Dianne Sawyer, live in studio. “I just hope that Kayce and Elizabeth and Christopher really know that we’re family too, and that he really did make us raise our sights,” Sawyer said. “It’s customary to say, he will not come again. Peter Jennings will not come again.” Sawyer looked away with tears in her eyes. Then Gibson signed off, “He was a graceful, he was an elegant man. He was a man of manners. He was also a terrific reporter and a great anchor for ABC News, as we say, our leader. And he is gone. I’m Charles Gibson in New York.” (h/t newsmonger)
Now the question remains – who will be the next anchor for ABC? I’m sure they’re not too far from an announcement. It’s likely that when Jennings announced that he was going to leave the air, he already knew he was going to die. I bet they’ve been working behind the scenes for weeks now finding his replacement. Who’s it going to be?