Reuven Frank
Israel Reuven Frank

(1920-12-07)December 7, 1920
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
DiedFebruary 5, 2006(2006-02-05) (aged 85)
EducationB.A. City College of New York
Spouse(s)Bernice Kaplow
ChildrenPeter Solomon Frank
James Aaron Frank

Reuven Frank (7 December 1920 – 5 February 2006) was an American broadcast news executive.

Life and career

Born Israel Reuven Frank (he later dropped his first name) to a Jewish family in Montreal, Quebec, he earned a bachelor's degree in social science at City College of New York.[1][2] He served four years in the United States Army during World War II,[3] rising to the rank of sergeant. After completing his studies at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism,[1] he worked for three years at the Newark Evening News as a reporter, rewrite man and night city editor.[3] At the insistence of Gerald Green, he joined NBC News as a writer for the Camel News Caravan in 1950.[4]

Frank was a key figure in bringing television news out of the shadow of radio news by emphasizing the importance of visuals in telling stories. He paired Chet Huntley and David Brinkley for the first time to co-anchor NBC's coverage of the 1956 Democratic and Republican National Conventions. Later that same year, he created the groundbreaking Huntley-Brinkley Report, and was its producer until 1964.[4] The national catchphrase "Good night, David" "Good night, Chet" was credited to Frank.

Frank's documentaries included Emmy Award-winning report The Tunnel (1962) about the escape of 59 Germans through a passage under the Berlin Wall. It received the Emmy Award for program of the year, the only documentary ever so honored.[5] In the 1970s, he created and was executive producer of Weekend, a news magazine hosted by Lloyd Dobyns that originally aired one Saturday a month from 11:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. The program received a Peabody award. Linda Ellerbee later joined as co-host.

Frank served two tenures as president of NBC News, from 1968 to 1974 and from 1982 to 1984, and mentored such journalists as Tom Brokaw, John Chancellor, Linda Ellerbee, and Andrea Mitchell. His memoir, Out of Thin Air: The Brief Wonderful Life of Network News, was published in 1991.[6]

Frank was a resident of Tenafly, New Jersey.[7] He died of pneumonia on February 5, 2006 at the age of 85.[8] He was a member of Temple Sinai of Bergen County.[2]

Personal life

In 1946, he married to Bernice Kaplow; they had two sons: Peter Solomon Frank and James Aaron Frank.[9]



  1. ^ a b Wald, Richard C. "Reuven Frank: An Appreciation" (PDF). Television Quarterly.
  2. ^ a b "Deaths Frank, Reuven". The New York Times. February 7, 2006. p. A19. Temple Sinai of Bergen County deeply mourns the passing of our member, Reuven Frank, husband of Bernice Frank
  3. ^ a b "Former NBC News Exec Reuven Frank Dies". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. February 6, 2006.
  4. ^ a b Sharbutt, Jay (August 2, 1988). "Reuven Frank's Last Hurrah as TV Producer Airs Tonight". Los Angeles Times.
  5. ^ Moore, Frazier (February 7, 2006). "Reuven Frank; Ex-President Of NBC News, TV Pioneer". Washington Post. Associated Press.
  6. ^ Frank, Reuven (1991). Out of Thin Air: The Brief Wonderful Life of Network News. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-671-67758-6.
  7. ^ Shales, Tom (February 12, 2006). "The Man Who Sharpened TV News's Vision". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 18, 2013. Brokaw was among those attending a memorial service Wednesday near Frank's home town of Tenafly, N.J.
  8. ^ Steinberg, Jacques (February 7, 2006). "Reuven Frank, Producer Who Pioneered TV News Coverage at NBC, Is Dead at 85". p. A18.
  9. ^ "Frank, Reuven - U.S. Broadcast Journalist/Producer/Executive". Museum of Broadcast Communications.
  10. ^ Abrams, Floyd (2005). Speaking Freely. Viking Press. p. 4.
  11. ^ Epstein, Edward Jay (1974). News From Nowhere. Vintage Books. p. 39.

Other references