Ellerbee, respected and outspoken broadcast journalist, has functioned
as a network news correspondent, anchor, writer, producer, and is
currently president of her own production company, Lucky Duck Productions.
Gaining fame in the 1970s and 1980s for her stints as an NBC News
Washington correspondent, Weekend co-anchor, reporter, and
co-anchor of NBC News Overnight, Linda Ellerbee became a
symbol for a different type of reporter: literate, funny, irreverent,
and never condescending. Her personal style attracted a diverse
and dedicated following of viewers on her stories that covered everything
from politics to pop culture. "And so it goes" is her trademark
broadcast tag line and the title of her 1986 bestseller "And
So it Goes": Adventures in Television, an amusing and candid
look at the realities of the profession.
career at NBC News climaxed with her appointment as co-anchor of
an overnight news broadcast, NBC News Overnight. Though the
program failed with audiences, Ellerbee and the concept were critical
successes. The duPont Columbia awards cited Overnight as
"possibly the best written and most intelligent news program ever."
She left the network news business in 1986, after serving a stint
as anchor for ABC News' short-lived Our World.
Her television production company, Lucky Duck Productions, has a
reputation as a supplier of outstanding children's programming.
Founded with partner Rolfe Tessem in 1987 the company has won three
CableAces, two Peabodys, a duPont, and an Emmy. Each week Ellerbee
writes and hosts Nick News and the quarterly Nick News Special
Editions, the Nickelodeon news magazine for children and young
people, both produced by Lucky Duck Productions. These shows have
given Lucky Duck a reputation for introducing quality news journalism
on a broad range of subjects to its audience. These series have
been honored with a Peabody, Columbia-duPont Awards, the National
Education Association, and the Parents Choice Awards. The Peabody
citation given in 1991 notes the award was given for presenting
news in a thoughtful and non-condescending manner for both children
and adults. Other Lucky Duck projects for such clients as Nickelodeon,
MTV, HBO, Fox, and Time-Life include several projects for young
adults and documentary or news shows for all viewers.
In 1996 Ellerbee was again involved in expanding and experimenting
with media forms. She began writing and hosting a monthly online
public affairs interview program, On the Record, produced
by Microsoft and Lucky Duck Productions, which combines print, television,
and computer technology.
Photo courtesy of Linda Ellerbee/Gittings/Skipworth, Inc.
ELLERBEE (Linda Jane Smith). Born in Bryan, Texas, U.S.A., 15
August 1944. Educated at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee,
1962-64. Married: 1) Mac Smith, 1964 (divorced, 1966); 2) Van Veselka,
1968 (divorced, 1971), children: Vanessa and Joshua; 3) Tom Ellerbee,
1973 (divorced, 1974). Disc jockey at WSOM Chicago, 1964-65; program
director, KSJO San Francisco, 1967-68; reporter, KJNO Juneau, Alaska,
1969-72; news writer, Associated Press in Dallas, 1972; television
reporter, KHOU in Houston, Texas, 1972-73; general assignment reporter,
WCBS-TV in New York City, 1973-76; reporter, the Washington bureau
of NBC News, 1976-78; co-anchor, network news magazine Weekend,
1978-79; correspondent, NBC Nightly News, 1979-82; co-anchor,
NBC News Overnight, 1982-84; co-anchor, Summer Sunday,
1984; reporter, Today, 1984-86; reporter, Good Morning
America, 1986; anchor, ABC show Our World, 1986-87; commentator,
CNN, 1989; president, Lucky Duck Productions, since 1987; producer,
writer, and host, Nick News since 1993; writer, host, On
the Record, on-line production with Microsoft, since 1996. Recipient:
Peabody Award, 1991. Address: Lucky Duck Productions, 96 Morton
St., New York, New York 10014.
1979-82 NBC Nightly News
1982-84 NBC News Overnight
1984 Summer Sunday
1986-87 Our World
1993- Nick News
And So It Goes: Adventures in Television. New York: Putnam's,
On: Adventures in the Real World. New York: Putnam's, 1991.
Lamb, Chris. "From TV Commentator to KFS Columnist." Editor &
Publisher (New York), 27 October 1990.
"Linda Ellerbee: Telling Her Own Stories." Broadcasting & Cable
(Washington, D.C.), 11 September 1995.
Peggy. "Women on the Verge of a Nervy Breakdown." Mother Jones
(Boulder, Colorado), June 1989.