ANCHORS: BROKAW, JENNINGS, RATHER AND THE EVENING NEWS
by Robert Goldberg and Gerald Jay Goldberg
Birch Lane, New York, 1990.
Korean translation by Soung Bum Park
Finalist, “1990 Electronic Media
Book of the Year,”
Praise for ANCHORS:
--The Goldbergs have written an absolutely first-rate examination
of the three men, and the way in which the news is put together--as well
as the way the networks’ new corporate owners have changed the process
of choosing what goes on the air.
--The most elegant summation of the strengths and weaknesses
of the three [anchormen] ever put on a page.
--Do you want to know what makes Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings
and Dan Rather tick? Do you want to know how they got to the pinnacle
of their profession? Do you want to know what it takes to get an evening
news show on the air on deadline? If so, Anchors…is the book for
you. The book is also worth the price of admission for its dramatic accounts
of Mr. Rather at Tiananmen Square last year and Mr. Brokaw on the spot
as the Berlin wall came tumbling down. One cannot help being thrilled
by the authors’ account of Mr. Rather’s sheer physical courage
in going back to Tiananmen Square after Chinese officials closed down
his live coverage of the student demonstrations.
--“Broadcast News” (1987) could only imply,
with one fictional example, what Mr. Goldberg and his co-author father,
Gerald Jay Goldberg, have been able to fathom from three angles, helped
by interviews with the anchormen themselves, by much on-scene reporting
and by other hard factual material. So Anchors: Brokaw, Jennings,
Rather and the Evening News gives its subject the full treatment
and offers us newswatchers a full view of anchoring, “up close and
personal”….The reportorial chapters are the best of this book….
The section on the crushing of the students in Tiananmen Square is a little
--A gossipy, albeit informative, rundown on TV news and
the three superstars who anchor the major networks’ prime-time broadcast….The
authors also offer behind-the-scenes accounts of how news items are gathered
throughout the world, transmitted to Manhattan, evaluated, illustrated,
timed, and otherwise prepared for airing on early-evening programs. One
producer interviewed compares the typically frantic process to “changing
the fan belt on a car going 90 miles per hour” .…Savvy, human-scale
coverage of a glamour medium in transition, if not crisis; worth tuning
--“This is an important book published at a time
in television-news history when anchors for evening newscasts race around
the globe to scoop each other on fast-breaking international crises….The
value of Anchors comes from its savvy grasp of the economic and political
struggles within each network for survival and power, from the extraordinarily
accurate understanding of how news gets gathered, processed and put on
the air, and from its brisk yet pithy treatment of the major challenges
to the news business….[The authors’] research is superb, their
reporting immediate and their sense of broadcasting history keen.
--[The authors] have done a considerable amount of work
documenting the inner machinations of the three networks and their anchors,
who seem more similar than they are different once their backgrounds,
goals and ambitions are laid out side by side by side….Robert Goldberg
is television critic of the Wall Street Journal. Gerald Jay Goldberg,
professor of English at UCLA, is also a novelist. The combination works
well, and anyone interested in the way network news operates--especially
at the top--is treated to data presented with extraordinary clarity. One
of the most interesting sections of this book concerns the future of network
news and its supersalesmen….
--Anchors offers detailed, uncompromised profiles of the
three celebrities along with how networks gather, produce and deliver
news. The authors were allowed to accompany network news teams on the
road covering recent international stories in Berlin, Malta and China.
It doesn’t hurt that material for this book was compiled during
an astonishing international news year….Anchors is as informative
and entertaining a read as exists about network news. Having attempted
to understand the chaotic and frequently surreal work of network news,
I’m in no way embarrassed to report I learned plenty from this book.
--It’s a ripping good read….The Goldbergs have
combined their respective areas of writing experience in 376 pages of
real-life broadcast news, set against the biggest news year in recent