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Monday, September 20, 2021

A Commentator For and On Our Time

 “A journalist enjoys a privileged position. In exchange for not being able to participate in the rough-and-tumble issues of a community, we are given license to observe it all, based on the understanding that we'll tell everyone what happens fairly and squarely. That's harder than it sounds.” – Bill Kurtis

If you’re a fan of the NPR weekly “News Quiz” show “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” then you know that Bill Kurtis’s voice is one of the most recognizable on the air.  There, he is the announcer and scorekeeper (yes, they really have a scorekeeper).

Prior to this current gig, Kurtis was the longtime anchor of WBBM-TV in Chicago and also served as anchor of  the “CBS Morning News.”  

Born on Sept. 21, 1940 Kurtis began working as a radio announcer at age 16, working his way through both Journalism and Law school in Kansas before turning to television reporting in 1966. 


When he wasn’t doing the news – either as a journalist, producer, narrator or anchor, he was the host of a number of the A&E Network’s crime and news documentary shows, including Investigative Reports, American Justice, and Cold Case Files.

While many are lamenting the fact that today’s youth seem ambivalent about journalism and the news, he said he believes that young people are looking for answers to the big questions just like everyone else.  “(I think) that they respect intelligent comment to help guide them through tough times.”

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