Where Are They Now? A TVNewser Series
He was in Dallas when JFK was shot. Berlin when the Wall went up. And in Cuba during the Missile Crisis. “I had the luck — or accident — of such extraordinary assignments,” Robert MacNeil tells TVNewser, reflecting on a journalism career that has spanned more than half a century.
A career that almost didn’t happen. After college, MacNeil set off for England to be a playwright. But “the plays didn’t sell”, he says, and he ended up taking a temporary gig with the newly-launched Independent Television News (ITN) before spending five years with Reuters in London.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
MacNeil, 78, got a big break in 1960 after he left Reuters and began freelancing. NBC’s London bureau asked him to cover for a vacationing reporter, John Chancellor. The bureau then hired MacNeil as an editorial assistant, and when Chancellor accepted a posting in Moscow, offered Chancellor’s London correspondent job to MacNeil.
(Photo by Don Perdue)