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					TORONTO (CP) - Peter Jennings was a "class act" who
brought a "high quality of literature to electronic
journalism," one of his Canadian colleagues said
Monday. Jennings, the Canadian-born ABC broadcaster
who delivered the news to Americans each night in five
separate decades, died Sunday. He was 67 and had
suffered from lung cancer. CTV News anchor Lloyd
Robertson, who worked with Jennings in the early
1960s, said Jennings added something special to the
nightly network news. "I think Peter brought a high
quality of literature to electronic journalism - (he) was
really a class act and that extended itself all through into
his television work," said Robertson. "There was
nobody who could put things together on the air as
easily and as rapidly as he could." With Tom Brokaw
and Dan Rather, Jennings was part of a trio that
dominated U.S. network news for more than two
decades. Robertson said Jennings began to shine
during his second stint in the ABC anchor chair, starting
in 1978. "He became, in my view, the best of the breed.
He was the best of all the anchors - he brought
perspective to stories, he had poetry in his language
and I thought a lot of that was due to his Canadian
roots." CBC-TV anchor Peter Mansbridge said he grew
up, both literally and professionally, with Jennings on
television. "And because he was always there you
expect him to always be there. And then suddenly to
hear this. It's a shock. "Anchors are anchors. They're
sort of anchors to your life in many ways, too."
Mansbridge said Jennings was a man of the world
thanks to his extensive overseas experience for ABC.
"He was always the one who had that world view and I
think that is directly tied to his Canadian roots. He
looked at stories in a way that few others reporting out
of his country do." Mansbridge recalled being in high
school in Ottawa when Jennings, who was working at
CJOH-TV, was dating his English teacher. Global News
anchor Kevin Newman, who once worked with Jennings
at ABC, said Jennings sought to share the world with
viewers. "Peter was very aware of history and he wanted
to be sure he would tie the events of today into events
of the recent and distant past so he could bring
perspective to his stories. He was very big on that."
Robertson noted that Canadians living in the U.S. could
always count on Jennings to keep them aware of events
back home. "He was a significant Canadian voice in
American television. Peter was the one who brought
Canadian stories on a regular basis to ABC News while
the other networks may have ignored them," said
Robertson. It's now commonplace for Canadian
journalists to work in U.S. television, and Robertson
said Jennings helped open the door for many of them.
"He was always looking at the Canadian talent up here -
in fact, we would often quake when we heard that Peter
was interested in one of our people because we knew
that if ABC really moved on that person, that person
would be gone."
Peter Jennings speaks with Cuban President Fidel
Castro at the reviewing stand where Castro was
watching May Day festivities in Havana, 1996. (AP
Photo/Jose Goitia, CP)




Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson (centre) presents ABC
anchorman Peter Jennings (left), a native of the Ottawa
area, with the key to the city during a ceremony in
Ottawa in 1998.(CP/Tom Hanson)

				
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