Saturday, April 30, 2005

Judy Woodruff, One Of The Best On TV News, Retires From CNN

Judy Woodruff is retiring from CNN after a career in television that goes back before Jimmy Carter's campaign for the Presidency.

Quiet, unassuming, responsible, Woodruff, 58, is one of the best TV has to offer. She was NBC's correspondent on the Carter campaign, later its White House correspondent during the Carter and Reagan administrations, later worked for PBS and went to CNN in 1993, where among many assignments she anchored the cable network's Inside Politics show.

It quite well could have been Woodruff who Carter had in mind when he told Bob Scheer during the 1976 campaign that he had "lust in his heart" for someone he had met, but had put it aside in accord with his religious convictions.

It seems too frequently that what comes to attention when someone leaves a network or retires is some transgression or mistake.

There is no transgression or mistake with Woodruff. As CNN made clear, it will miss her, and, in fact, she will be coming back for occasional specials. Jonathan Klein, president of CNN's domestic networks, said, "We're sorry to see her go. She's one of the most brilliant and consistent and respected Washington journalists that there has ever been."

One of Woodruff's most memorable telecasts was taking over as CNN anchor of the 1996 Olympic Park bombing during the Atlanta Olympics by the domestic terrorist Eric Rudolph, who just pled guilty to this and other fatal acts of terror in Birmingham, Ala..

It was my privilege during 1976, as the L.A. Times correspondent covering much of the Carter campaign, to be a friend of Woodruff. She was one of the reasons I had so much respect for television political coverage. The TV reporters work long hours over vast distances and must be ready always for unexpected developments. They have to say in 30 seconds or a minute what we have hundreds of words to write for newspapers.

Woodruff has long been one of the brightest and most intelligent. But she says she's going to be around for documentaries, so we'll be watching her hopefully for years to come.


Anonymous Lorene in Montana said...

I wish Judy well in her retirement from CNN, and I will truly miss her reporting on political events happening in D.C. She brought a sense of reason and reasonableness to political reportage--a quality which seems to be in such short supply these days.

6/02/2005 2:44 PM  
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