A news personality who has been a familiar face on television for decades is ready to call it a career. The AP reports that Linda Ellerbee, 71, announced today that she will retire after a one-hour retrospective of her work airs on Nickelodeon Dec. 15.
Ellerbee was already well-known for her work at NBC News when she carved out a new niche as the face of Nick News. She wound up staying with Nickelodeon for a quarter-century.
During her time at NBC, going back to the late ’70s, Ellerbee’s many jobs included covering politics, co-hosting the prime-time newsmagazine “Weekend” and contributing to programs including “Today.” She settled into a run as co-host of “NBC News Overnight” in the mid-1980s, earning accolades for what the duPont Columbia Awards called “possibly the best-written and most intelligent news program ever.”
Ellerbee’s traditional signoff phrase, “And so it goes,” became the title of her first book, published in 1986. The no-holds-barred inside look at TV news became a bestseller, but it also apparently played a role in her departure from NBC.
“I wrote it predicated on the assumption that my bosses at NBC News had a sense of humor,” Ellerbee is quoted saying in the AP story. “I turned out to be wrong on that.”
Ellerbee bounced around among a series of TV jobs, including contributing to ABC’s “Good Morning, America” and doing commentaries on CNN, before landing at Nickelodeon. The children’s network reportedly hired her to create a show that would explain the Iraq war to young viewers.
“She was Nick News head for 25 years, making programs tied to events like the 2001 terrorist attacks, the Oklahoma City bombing and Hurricane Katrina,” the AP reports. “The show delved into social issues like same-sex marriage and AIDS. She won Emmys for shows on AIDS, children of alcoholics, kids living with cancer, the adjustment of parents returning from war, autism and ethnic cleansing.”