CNN formally paid tribute to the late Bernard Shaw Thursday evening at the National Press Club in Washington.
Shaw, the network’s original lead anchor, passed away September 7 at the age of 82 from pneumonia unrelated to Covid-19, the family said.
The tribute included video compilations of Shaw’s work at CNN, including many of his most iconic moments, as well as warm words from former colleagues and good friends.
The tribute will air Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET on C-SPAN, and we will include footage in this article when it is made available.
“This is a business with big ego’s and sharp elbows but Bernie never got that memo…I’ve never known a more secure or generous man,” said Shaw’s longtime partner on Inside Politics, Judy Woodruff. “…he left a big hole in my heart but Bernie will always be a part of me because of his character, humanity, generosity and dedication to journalism.”
Shaw’s protégé Wolf Blitzer provided some thoughts as well, saying, “many of us strive to live up to another piece of advice Bernie gave me. He told me, ‘we’re not performers on television, we are journalists.’ We all know that cable news has changed quite a bit since Bernie was at CNN. There are new pressures, greater competition, and unprecedented challenges in reporting the news and, especially, politics. But Bernie was and still is a beacon we can all follow….a shining example of excellence.”
CNN’s longtime Washington DC bureau chief Sam Feist added, “CNN wouldn’t be the same place but for Bernard Shaw. He was our North Star. And if there’s ever a moment any of us has a tough choice or an ethical dilemma – just ask: What would Bernie do? Because the answer you get will always be the right answer.”
And the founder of CNN, Ted Turner provided a written tribute that was shown at Thursday’s event: “Thank you, Bernie, for taking a chance on CNN back in 1980 and gracing a scrappy fledgling network with your celebrity and excellence. As our first chief anchor at CNN, you created lifetimes of impact. You were a hero for democracy and truth – which helped us all shine brighter. Your legacy will live on forever in the work and minds of many journalists around the world.”