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Posts Tagged ‘Norma Quarles’

Norma Quarles: “I Fought To Dispel Stereotypes. I Fought It In My Work”

Where Are They Now? A TVNewser Series

QuarlesNorma.JPGAs we continue TVNewser’s ongoing series “Where Are They Now?”, we talk with former NBC and CNN newswoman Norma Quarles. Next week: former ABCer Steve Bell.

It was October of 1984, and then-NBC News correspondent Norma Quarles was resting in a New York hospital bed the night before elective surgery when she got a message from the League of Women Voters. Could she, they asked, be a last-minute replacement panelist for the George Bush-Geraldine Ferraro Vice Presidential debate in Philadelphia the next day?

“I had an agonizing time deciding,” Quarles tells TVNewser, and the hospital staff “didn’t want to let me out!” But she did check out, driving through the night to Philly, where she stayed up prepping until dawn. The veep match-up was watched by “the biggest audience I ever had”, Quarles says, calling the experience “daunting” but also “an honor”.

It was an unexpected opportunity, one of many along the way for Norma Quarles.

A native New Yorker, Quarles, 72, made her first on-camera appearance at the age of ten, as an extra in the 1947 classic Miracle on 34th Street. She and her father — a Macy’s employee at the time — appear in a scene at the store.

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Robert MacNeil: Too Much ‘Hyperventilating’ Over Tabloid Stories In TV News

Where Are They Now? A TVNewser Series

Robert MacNeil.jpgAs we continue TVNewser’s ongoing series “Where Are They Now?”, we talk with former PBS anchor Robert MacNeil. Next week: former NBC News correspondent Norma Quarles.

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)

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