Reuven Frank, 85, former NBC News president and NBC board member, died Feb. 5 of pneumonia. Frank pioneered election coverage and was instrumental in teaming Chet Huntley and David Brinkley on the evening news, then picking successor Tom Brokaw.
Frank joined NBC News in 1950 as a writer and was the producer of The Huntley-Brinkley Report, which established the mold for news-anchor teams, from its inception in 1956 to 1962, when he was named executive producer.
He was named a VP of NBC News in January 1966 and an executive VP two years later. He became president in 1968 and served until 1973, then did a second tour of duty as president from 1982 to ’84.
Frank’s legacy includes, besides the half-hour news format, presidential-convention TV reporting: teaming his two Nightly News anchors for the coverage and introducing floor reporters, elevated cameras, and an internal wire service. Frank got his start in the newspaper business, having spent three years as a reporter, rewrite man and night city editor on the Newark (N.J.) Evening News before joining the network.