2003 Buffalo Bob Smith Award
South Buffalo native Tim Russert is considered by many as the most influential television journalists in America. The current host of Meet the Press (2003) and NBC’s Senior Vice President/Washington Bureau Chief observed firsthand the inner workings of government as counselor in the New York Governor’s office in Albany from 1983-1984, and a special counsel in the United States Senate from 1977-1982. Russert joined NBC News in 1984. In April 1985, he supervised the live broadcasts of NBC News’ “Today” program from Rome, negotiating and arranging an appearance by Pope John Paul II, a first for American television. In 1986 and 1987, Russert led NBC News’ weeklong broadcasts from South America, Australia and China. In 1990, he oversaw production of the prime-time news special “A Day in the Life of President Bush” and in 1993, “A Day in the Life of President Clinton.” Russert first appeared on-air for NBC News in 1990, and he took over the helm of “Meet the Press” in December the next year. Under this tenure, “Meet the Press” became the most watched Sunday morning interview program in America. As one of the nation’s leading political analysts, this Canisius High School graduate has been the recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees. With success that spans the globe, Russert takes much joy in his Buffalo roots and has never once forgotten about the hometown.