Remembering Peter: “If There Were 26 Hours, He Would Work 26 Hours”

By Brian 

Some of the most poignant parts of “Peter Jennings: Reporter” came from the comments of his colleagues at ABC News. Here are some of the memorable quotes:

> Vinnie Malhotra, ABC News producer: “He never let me forget that this is a constant education. This is a constant learning process, that you never know as much as you think you know, and there’s always more to learn.”

> Hillary Brown, former ABC News correspondent: “One of Peter’s great qualities was this curious mind that he had. And it was not just in topical literature or books, but he really wanted to know what other people think.”

> Lauren Lipani, Jennings’ assistant: “Without him as a leader here, a lot of people wonder how we’ll be able to do our jobs. And I think that the way to get through that is to just think about what he would do, and that’s what everyone is going to try.”

Memories from Paul Friedman, Bill Blakemore, Terence Wong, Mike Lee, Jeanmarie Cordon, Stu Schutzman, Keith Summa, Chris Isham, Karen Burnes, and Roger Goodman after the jump…

> Paul Friedman, former WNT executive producer: “He was trying to make the product as good as it can be, just as he was a perfectionist about himself and making himself as good as he could be.”

> Bill Blakemore, ABC News correspondent: “Peter was an astonishing combination of insecurity and great self-confidence. He always seemed to worry about the fact that he had never graduated from high school, when you asked him about it. He was always reading on airplanes. He was always looking into stories before he went and doing all of his research. But when he was on a story, you could tell he had a great deal of self-confidence about how to talk to people, about how to get them to open up on camera.”

> Terence Wong, ABC News senior producer: “Peter had been to the four corners of the Earth. I mean, he knew the back streets of cities, the dusty roads of villages.”

> Mike Lee, ABC News: “Peter was born to be a dashing foreign correspondent. He walked into my hotel room in Beirut wearing a cravat and a sort of a safari suit and I thought it was James Bond.”

> Jeanmarie Condon, ABC News senior producer: “He loved the Middle East. He loved it. He loved the language. He loved the complexity. He loved the layers and layers and layers of history.”

> Stu Schutzman, WNT senior producer: “If there were 26 hours in the day, he would work 26 hours. Didn’t matter what time zone. Didn’t matter what country. Work himself to the ground, and we followed suit.”

> Keith Summa, ABC News producer: “The first time I met Peter, I worked with a homeless organization here in New York City. And he wanted to be one of our volunteers.”

> Chris Isham, ABC News senior producer: “Whether it was the coverage of religion, whether it was the coverage of AIDS, Peter wanted to be on the leading edge of that story.”

> Karen Burnes, ABC News producer: “My father was an anchor and a television correspondent with Peter, and he dropped dead suddenly. Peter could have easily said, well, I’ve just lost my best friend but, you know, I’ll check in with the daughter every so often over the years. Instead of that, he basically just adopted me.”

> Roger Goodman, : “He’s gone, but we’ll hear him. We’ll feel him. We’ll understand the world a little better simply because there are a lot of other journalists out there who are trying to achieve what Peter was able to achieve.”