Biography of Linda Ellerbee
Linda Ellerbee (born August 15, 1944) is an American journalist who is most known for several jobs at NBC News, including Washington, DC correspondent, host of the Nickelodeon network's Nick News. Her work on NBC News Overnight was recognized by the jurors of the duPont Columbia Awards as "possibly the best written and most intelligent news program ever."
Ellerbee was born Linda Jane Smith in Bryan, Texas. She attended River Oaks Elementary School, Lanier Middle School, and Lamar High School in Houston.
She also attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, although she quit in 1964 without graduating.
Ellerbee traveled around the country for some time afterward, working itinerant jobs in radio. In her own words:
I moved around some, married some, had two babies, worked for three radio stations, one of which hired me to read the news because I sounded black - my Texas heritage - and the black woman it had hired did not.... In radio, I learned about keeping logs, editing audiotape, writing copy, selling air time, announcing, and "running a board," which sounds one hell of a lot more sporting than it is.
After a stint working for Terry Miller, majority leader of the Alaska Senate, she was hired by the Dallas bureau of the Associated Press to write copy. She claims to have been fired after writing a catty personal letter on the AP's word processors and accidentally sending the letter out on the wire. The letter brought her to the attention of CBS television affiliate KHOU-TV, which hired her to replace Jessica Savitch in January 1973. Within several months she was hired by New York's WCBS-TV.