Bernard Kalb, former CNN anchor and correspondent for NBC and CBS, is dead at 100


New York CNN —

Bernard Kalb, the longtime journalist and founding anchor of CNN’s Reliable Sources program, died Sunday at his home in North Bethesda, Maryland, his family said. He was 100.

Kalb’s death was caused by complications from a recent fall, his younger brother, Marvin Kalb, told CNN by phone.

According to a CNN biography, Kalb traveled the world for more than three decades as a world affairs correspondent for CBS News, NBC News and The New York Times. Kalb then served as the first anchor of CNN’s Reliable Sources program from 1992 to 1998.

In a statement, CNN Chairman and CEO Chris Licht praised Kalb as a pioneering journalist.

“Bernard Kalb was a major figure in journalism and his pioneering efforts to hold our profession to account are immeasurable. Everyone at CNN extends our deepest condolences to his wife, children and the entire Kalb family,” Licht said.

“Reliable Sources” aired in various iterations for 30 years until CNN canceled the show last year. The program reported on the business of the media industry and on its journalistic seriousness. Hosts often reviewed the reporting choices of different media outlets and debated journalism with guests.

Rick Davis, former executive vice president of news standards and practices at CNN, who co-founded the Reliable Sources program with Kalb, described him as a true professional.

“We have been very fortunate to have Bernie host Reliable Sources since its inception and through the years. We learned so much from him when he was a walking, talking history professor of journalism in the second half of the 21st century,” Davis told CNN.

“As he said at the beginning of every show, ‘Welcome to Reliable Sources, where we take a critical look at the media.’ And he meant business. On the show, Bernie was passionate about holding journalists and news organizations accountable. Bernie was a true professional, a gentleman to all young staff, and he always looked handsome in his striped shirts and orange ties. Our condolences go out to his wife, daughters, brother Marvin and the entire Kalb family.”

In addition to his experience in print and television journalism, Kalb also had the unique advantage of seeing the world from “the other side of the podium”. For two years, he served as Deputy Secretary of State for Public Affairs and Spokesman for the State Department until his resignation in October 1986.

As State Department spokesman, he was with the US delegation when President Reagan held his first summit with Mikhail Gorbachev in Geneva in November 1985. As a television correspondent, he accompanied President Nixon on the inaugural trip to China in 1972 and traveled with presidents and secretaries of state, dating back to Nixon and Kissinger on their diplomatic tours. He received a BA from the City College of New York.

“We are all grateful for the many years we have had the privilege of spending with a truly remarkable human being,” Marvin Kalb told CNN. “A great journalist and as a little brother, the biggest older brother a little brother could ever have.”

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