Peter Jennings of ABC news revealed today that he has lung cancer. I mention this in because of my post last month on Jennings and his longetivity - he anchored the ABC evening news for the first time in 1965. He will continue to anchor the news as his condition allows, but clearly ABC will need to start considering the possibility of a replacement at some point. ABC must be reeling from this news, coming as it did on top of last week's announcement that Ted Koppel will be leaving at the end of the year.
What does all this mean for the future of network news? NBC had Brian Williams in place for some time, but there is still no determination on a permanent anchor(s) to replace Dan Rather at CBS, and now the news about Jennings at ABC. Under the circumstances, will we see one or more of the networks reconsidering their commitment to a nightly news broadcast? Is this little more than an acknowledgement that cable news has taken over the dominant role in providing the story to viewers? It's been headed this way for some time, and even the start of the Iraq war did nothing to stem the tide.
Whatever the future holds, there is the present; and for Peter Jennings we wish all the best, and our prayers for a full and complete recovery.