Tim Russert to Receive Dennis Kauff Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement in Broadcast Journalism
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(Boston) – NBC Washington Bureau Chief and “Meet the Press” moderator Tim Russert is this year’s recipient of the Dennis Kauff Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement in Broadcast Journalism. Russert has been the host of the Sunday show since 1991. He will join local broadcast journalists Hank Phillippi Ryan, Joe Bergantino, Jorge Quiroga, Emily Rooney (last year’s award recipient), Ron Sanders and Janet Wu for a gala at the Boston Harbor Hotel on Friday, November 11, at 5:15 p.m.
The award to Russert was announced recently at the annual Dennis Kauff Memorial Fellowship Awards at Boston University’s College of Communication (COM). The Award for Lifetime Achievement in Broadcast Journalism was created by the Boston television community in memory of Dennis Kauff, the award-winning WBZ-TV reporter who was killed by a drunk driver in 1985.
Bob Zelnick, chairman of the COM Journalism department, said: “Tim Russert combines the appetite of a news junkie with the lawyer’s logical mind and the writer’s sense of drama. No one in recent memory has done more to re-energize the Sunday morning interview program. No one is better prepared. No one better combines the citizen’s occasional outrage with the reporter’s objectivity, and no one makes better use of the medium in confronting the guest with his past words and deeds. And to think that in his ‘spare time,’ Tim also anchors two programs and serves as an analyst for two others, while running the NBC Washington Bureau. No one has ever been more worthy of a cherished Kauff Award for Lifetime Excellence.”
In addition to the professional award, the annual Dennis Kauff Fellowship will be given to an incoming student in Boston University’s College of Communication graduate program in broadcast journalism. The Fellowship also was created by contributions from broadcast journalists at both the local Boston stations and the major networks.
Past recipients of the Kauff Award include Tom Brokaw, Lesley Stahl and the late John Chancellor, nationally, and such local reporters as R.D. Sahl, of New England Cable News; John Henning, Charles Austin, Joe Bergantino, and Ron Sanders of WBZ-TV; Clark Booth, Janet Wu, Jack Harper, and the late Kirby Perkins of WCVB-TV; Garry Armstrong and Hank Phillippi Ryan of WHDH-TV; and Emily Rooney of WGBH-TV.
Note to Editor: The following is a biography of Tim Russert for your use:
Tim Russert Biography from NBC
Moderator, “Meet the Press”; Anchor, CNBC’s “Tim Russert”
Tim Russert is the moderator of “Meet the Press” and the political analyst for “NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw” and NBC News’ “Today.” He also anchors “Tim Russert,” a weekly program on CNBC that examines the role of the media in American society. Russert is the senior vice president and Washington bureau chief for NBC News, as well as a contributing anchor for MSNBC.
Russert took the helm of “Meet the Press” in December 1991. Since then, the public-affairs broadcast has become the most-watched Sunday-morning interview program in America and the most quoted news program in the world. Now in its 53rd year, “Meet the Press” is the longest-running program in the history of television. Russert has interviewed every major figure on the American political scene.
Russert joined NBC News in 1984. In April 1985, he supervised the live broadcasts of “Today” from Rome, negotiating and arranging an appearance by Pope John Paul II, a first for American television. In 1986 and 1987, Russert led NBC News’ weeklong broadcasts from South America, Australia and China. In 1990, he oversaw production of the primetime news special “A Day in the Life of President Bush” and, in 1993, “A Day in the Life of President Clinton.” He has covered eight U.S./Russia summits, in Geneva, Malta, Washington, Moscow and Vancouver. In 1998, Russert was the first to break the story that House Speaker Newt Gingrich would resign from Congress, and, in 1999, he was the first to report that Hillary Rodham Clinton might consider running for the U.S. Senate from New York. In 2000, he conducted the first Sunday-morning public-affairs debate with democratic presidential hopefuls Gore and Bradley.
Russert has received 22 honorary doctorate degrees from American colleges and universities, and he has lectured at the John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon and the Ronald Reagan presidential libraries.
In 2001, The Washingtonian magazine named Russert the best and most influential journalist in Washington, D.C., and called “Meet the Press” “the most interesting and important hour on television.” Most recently, Russert’s “Decision 2000” “Meet the Press” interviews with George W. Bush and Al Gore won the Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association’s highest honor, the Joan S. Barone Award for excellence in journalism, and the USC Annenberg Center’s Walter Cronkite Award. Russert has also received the John Peter Zenger Award, the American Legion Journalism Award and the Allen H. Neuharth Award for Excellence in Journalism.
Irish America magazine has named Russert one of the top 100 Irish Americans in the country. In 1999, Brill’s Content named him Best Talk-show Host, and, in a 2000 issue of George magazine, he was rated by Capitol Hill press secretaries as the top political journalist. In 1995, the National Father’s Day Committee named Russert “Father of the Year” and Parents magazine honored him as “Dream Dad” in 1998. He has also been selected as a Fellow of the Commission of European Communities.
Russert is a trustee of the Freedom Forum’s Newseum and a member of the board of directors of the Greater Washington Boys and Girls Club and America’s Promise: Alliance for Youth.
Before joining NBC News, Russert observed firsthand the inner workings of the executive and legislative branches of government as a counselor in the New York Governor’s office in Albany (1983–84) and special counsel in the United States Senate (1977–82).
Russert was born in Buffalo on May 7, 1950. He is a graduate of Canisius High School and John Carroll University, and he graduated with honors from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He is admitted to the bar in New York and the District of Columbia.
Russert is married to Maureen Orth, a writer for Vanity Fair magazine. They live in Washington, D.C., with their son, Luke.