Tom Brokaw Says He’s ‘Ready For the Next 50’

By Chris Ariens 

With competition from Miss Universe on FOX, the SAG Awards on TBS and TNT, and the Pro Bowl on ESPN, NBC’s Tom Brokaw held his own last night among the broadcast networks.

The second hour of the 2-hour special, The First 50 Years, won the A18-49 and A25-54 demos among the broadcast nets.

Watching the special was like traveling in a well-oiled a time machine, bouncing between decades, seeing the legendary NBC News anchor cover the biggest news stories of the last 50 years–Vietnam, Watergate, the Berlin Wall, 9/11–but in a way that was not about him. In fact, in one segment, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman asks Brokaw, “What’s the biggest thing journalists need to keep in mind today?” “Don’t be arrogant,” Brokaw says.


Brokaw also sat down for interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks, Bill Gates and others about how the present often evokes the past–especially in the world of politics.

Brokaw sent around this note of thanks to his colleagues today:

To all my colleagues at NBC News:

The response to our production – The First 50 years – has been beyond gratifying.

That’s a tribute first to the team that worked ’round the clock to produce it, but also to all of you.

Through the years I’ve always been comforted by the certainty that the NBC News family has my back – and by extension, the best interests of our audience through good times and tough times.

So thanks for all you do. It does not go unnoticed or unappreciated.

I am now ready for the next 50, but only if you are.

Tom Brokaw