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Anchor Roulette

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The executive looked around that day at all those famous faces he knew and could tell exactly what they were thinking. They were asking themselves, What kind of memorial service will I have? Will it last for two hours? Will they show film clips? Will there be bagpipes and Yo-Yo Ma? As they were sitting there, they were realizing—all of them—that what got Peter Jennings to this place of recognition and respect wasn’t ratings or money but passion and skill and a sense of purpose. They left the service that day wanting to be remembered and having been reminded of the special kind of immortality reserved for whoever sits in a network’s anchor chair. On 9/11, America turned to its anchors for comfort; their knowledge and presence calmed a grieving and unnerved nation. The kingdom may be shrinking, but it still has its throne.


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