Peter Jennings’ Documentary Legacy

By Alissa Krinsky 

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Steep, a new documentary on extreme skiing is dedicated to the late Peter Jennings because “the project was one that the anchor had helped to conceive.” The New York Times’ Jacques Steinberg writes about the production company Jennings started in the late 1980s. PJ Productions began as a unit under Jennings’ direction within ABC News. Steinberg writes, “After Mr. Jennings’s death from lung cancer, the team that survived him — including his wife, Kayce Freed Jennings, and Tom Yellin, Mr. Jennings’s longtime producer — finished the film…”

The production company, renamed the Documentary Group, has a lot on the docket, including two forthcoming specials for ABC News (Bob Woodruff will anchor a program on China, and Elizabeth Vargas is working on one about infant mortality). Another project, for PBS, is on the history of television.

Peter Jennings would “be very pleased,” says Freed Jennings, “that we’re moving on and taking this idea (producing documentaries) and running with it.”