News Producer Jeff Gralnick Dies at 72

He spent 20 years at ABC and most recently was a consultant to NBC News president Steve Capus.

Jeff Gralnick, who worked for CBS, ABC, NBC and CNN during a half-century in television news, died Monday night at his home in Connecticut. He was 72.

Gralnick spent 20 years at ABC and most recently was a consultant to NBC News president Steve Capus. Earlier at NBC, he served for three years an executive producer of the NBC Nightly News With Tom Brokaw, helping make the broadcast the top-rated evening news show.

“This is a huge loss to our profession and to this news division,” Capus told staffers in an e-mail. “Our friend Jeff will be sorely missed.”

At CBS, Gralnick wrote for Harry Reasoner and Walter Cronkite, covering the moon landing, reported from the field during the Vietnam War and was an early producer of 60 Minutes.

After working for a year as George McGovern’s press secretary, Gralnick joined ABC News in 1972 as a producer and rose steadily to serve two stints as executive producer of World News Tonight With Peter Jennings. Then, as vp and executive producer of special events at ABC News, he spearheaded every political convention and election from 1980-92 and countless special reports. He returned to ABC News in 1996 to help launch ABCNews.com.

Said ABC News president Ben Sherwood: “To call Jeff a legend in our business only begins to paint a picture of a producer and executive who for over five decades in a storied career was admired and respected for his unfailing judgment, high standards and creativity.”

Gralnick joined CNN in 1999 for a two-year stint before moving into consulting.

Survivors include his wife, Beth. She asked that donations be made to the American Cancer Society. The family will hold a visitation from 5-9 p.m. Friday at Harding Funeral Home in Westport, Conn.

Mike.Barnes@thr.com

 

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