Friday, June 13, 2008

Media giant Tim Russert dies

By John McMullen

(The Phanatic Magazine) - Tim Russert, NBC News' Washington bureau chief and the moderator of "Meet the Press," died Friday after collapsing at work. He was 58.

The veteran reporter was recording voiceovers for Sunday's episode of "Meet the Press" when he collapsed. He was rushed to Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, where resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful.

"We are heartbroken at the sudden passing of Tim Russert," NBC CEO Jeff Zucker said. "We have lost a beloved member of our NBC Universal family and the news world has lost one of its finest.

"The enormity of this loss cannot be overstated. More than a journalist, Tim was a remarkable family man. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Maureen, their son, Luke, and Tims entire extended family."

One of the most revered journalists on the political front, Russert, a senior vice president at NBC and head of the network's overall Washington operations, was also known as a rabid sports fan.
A native of Buffalo, Russert was a loyal follower of the Buffalo Bills, often openly rooting for the organization during on-air appearances.

"The Buffalo Bills organization is devastated in hearing the news of the passing of Tim Russert," the team said in a statement. "Tim, as everyone knows, was a tremendous Bills fan. He was always so proud to let people know just how much he loved our team and was such a great ambassador for Buffalo.

"So many times he ended his 'Meet The Press' show with his patented 'Go Bills!' that it became part of our Game Day morning rituals. He was a true friend and we will miss him immensely. Our sincere sympathies go out to his family and our team carries a heavy heart tonight as we mourn the loss of this great man, Buffalo's native son and a Bills fan forever."

Russert was also a dedicated baseball fan, often attending Washington Nationals games.

"I join millions of others in mourning Tim's passing," New York Yankees principal owner George Steinbrenner said. "He loved the game of baseball and was a true friend of the Yankees and mine. Tim always batted in the cleanup spot for the media and always hit for the fences. May God bless him and his family."

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