Longtime NBC reporter and news anchor John Palmer passed away yesterday of pulmonary fibrosis. He was 77.
Palmer spent nearly four decades at NBC as a correspondent and spent most of the 1980’s as the news anchor on The Today Show. He was at the anchor desk when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after take off in January 1986.
In 1989, Palmer was abruptly replaced on Today by Deborah Norville (who would later replace Jane Pauley) in what proved to be a very unpopular move. He left NBC the following year to host a syndicated TV show called Instant Recall. I quite liked that show as it would focus on a day in history such as September 4, 1972 (12 days before I was born) with the debut of The New Price is Right. Unfortunately, Instant Recall garnered low ratings and was cancelled after only a year on the air.
Palmer returned to NBC in 1994 at the behest of Tim Russert working as a Washington D.C. correspondent. He remained in this position until his retirement in 2002. In his last decade, Palmer worked for Retirement Living TV hosting The Informed Citizen and The Prudent Advisor.
I leave you with Palmer doing a news update from Valentine’s Day, 1980 or Day 103 of the Iran Hostage Crisis.