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Linda Ellerbee


How She Empowers Others

Linda Ellerbee is an outspoken journalist, award-winning television producer, best-selling author, a breast cancer survivor, a mom, a grandmother and one of the most sought-after speakers in America.

Ellerbee began her career at CBS, and then moved to NBC News where, after years covering national politics, she pioneered the late-night news program NBC News Overnight,which she wrote and anchored. Overnightwas cited by the duPont Columbia Awards as "the best written and most intelligent news program ever." In 1986, Ellerbee moved to ABC News to anchor and write Our World, a weekly primetime historical series. Her work on Our World won her an Emmy.

In 1987, Ellerbee and Rolfe Tessem, her partner, quit network news to start Lucky Duck Productions, first producing documentaries for PBS. In 1991, Lucky Duck began producing Nick News for Nickelodeon with Ellerbee writing and hosting. Nineteen years later, Nick Newsis watched by more children than watch all other television news shows put together—and has earned honors traditionally associated with adult programming. Known for the respectful and direct way it speaks to children about the important issues of our time, Nick Newshas collected three Peabody Awards (including one personal Peabody given to Ellerbee for her coverage of the Clinton investigation), a duPont Columbia Award and seven Emmys, including the 2009 Emmy for Coming Home: When Parents Return From War.  Also in 2009, Nick News received the Edward R. Murrow Award for best Network News Documentary, making history as the first-ever kids’ television program to receive this prestigious award.

These days, Ellerbee and her work can be seen all over the television universe. Lucky Duck has and continues to produce primetime specials for ABC, CBS, HBO, PBS, Lifetime, MTV, Logo, A&E, MSNBC, SOAPnet, Trio, Animal Planet and TV Land, among others.  Ellerbee was honored with an Emmy for her series, When I Was a Girl, which aired on WE: Women’s Entertainment network. 

Ellerbee’s first foray into books for kids, an eight-part fiction series entitled Get Real, published in 2000, won her raves among middle school readers.  Both of Ellerbee’s previous adult books—And So It Goes, a humorous look at television news, and Move On,stories about being a working single mother, a child of the ‘60s and a woman trying to find some balance in her life—have been national  best sellers. Ellerbee’s newest book, also a best seller, Take Big Bites: Adventures Around the World and Across the Table, is a humorous account of her love of travel, talking to (and eating with) strangers, and, according to Ellerbee, “oh, just making trouble in general.”

As a breast cancer survivor, Ellerbee travels thousands of miles each year giving inspirational speeches to others. She is as direct with women as she is with kids; they understand that she understands their lives.

Although Ellerbee has won all of television's highest honors, she says it’s her two children who’ve brought her the richest rewards. Ellerbee spends her personal time in New York City and Massachusetts with Rolfe, her partner in work and life and their dogs, Daisy and Dolly.

 

Comments

  • OMG! OMG! as my girls would say. This women, this brilliant real women, is an especially dynamic hero and has been for me over many many years in my life. Her life journey and her shoot from the hip honesty about it are an inspiration and comfort. Even when she appears to write for kids, her innate respect for their intelligence and creativity speaks to all of us. Anytime I see her on screen, hear or read about her latest adventures, or read something by her it makes my heart sing! Thank you Ellen for coming to the conference this year!

    Posted by Barbara, 12 July 2009.