The Museum of TV & Radio threw the first of what is sure to be many tributes for retiring Peacock anchorman Tom Brokaw Thursday night at the Waldorf-Astoria. Conan O’Brien served as emcee for the black-tie gala honoring his frequent guest: The anchor has been on O’Brien’s latenight show some 20 times in its 10 years on the air.
A string of fellow newsies ranging from fellow “Today” show alum Jane Pauley to rival anchor Peter Jennings and heir apparent Brian Williams all paid tribute to the South Dakota native during the festivities. Brokaw, who famously played matchmaker for Pauley and her husband, Garry Trudeau, called his former co-worker “my friend and sister.”
Andy Rooney and Frank McCourt talked about Brokaw’s popular side project: writing books about the World War II generation.
Brokaw, who’s expected to retire at year’s end, joked to the aud: “Maybe I won’t step down.”
Also on hand: NBC’s Jeff Zucker and incoming MSNBC honcho Rick Kaplan, Viacom’s Mel Karmazin, Morley Safer, Bill Hemmer and Candice Bergen.