(born Linda Jane Smith
, on August 15
in Bryan, Texas
) is a journalist who is most known for several jobs at NBC News
, including Washington
(DC) correspondent, host of the Nickelodeon
network's Nick News
, and reporter and co-anchor of NBC News Overnight,
which was recognized by the duPont Columbia Awards
as "the best written and most intelligent news program ever."
Ellerbee attended River Oaks Elementary School
, Lanier Middle School
, and Lamar High School
She also attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
At NBC, Ellerbee worked as a reporter on The Today Show
. Her first anchor
job was on the short-lived Weekend
. Ellerbee was added to the Weekend
broadcast team when the show moved from a late-night time slot into direct prime time
competition with CBS
's 60 Minutes
. She would end her stories with the saying "And so it goes."
A couple of years later, Ellerbee was placed in the anchor chair again, this time on NBC News Overnight
, where her trademark writing style made the show somewhat reminiscent of her stint on Weekend
. While at NBC, Ellerbee worked with Jessica Savitch
; when Savitch's drug problems became apparent Ellerbee tried to organize an intervention, but Savitch died before it took place.
In 1986, after the cancellation of Overnight, Ellerbee moved to rival network ABC. There she served as a reporter for the morning program Good Morning America. At ABC, Ellerbee was able to co-write and co-anchor (with Ray Gandolf) Our World, a weekly primetime historical series. Her work on that program won her an Emmy.
In 1987, Ellerbee and her life and business partner Rolfe Tessem left network news to start their own production company, Lucky Duck Productions. The company has produced programs for every major cable network, and has as its flagship program Nick News, a news program for children on Nickelodeon. That show has received many awards: three Peabody Awards (including one personal Peabody given to Ellerbee for her coverage of the Clinton investigation), another duPont Columbia Award and three Emmys. In 2004, Ellerbee was honored with an Emmy for her WE: Women’s Entertainment network series "When I Was a Girl".
In 1989, she guest-starred as herself in an episode of the sitcom Murphy Brown. The episode Summer of 77 referenced that Ellerbee had auditioned for the anchor job which eventually went to the title character, played by Candice Bergen. Murphy Brown also accuses Ellerbee of stealing her catchphrase 'And so it goes...' from her during a long haul flight. The two reminisce with Ellerbee saying she might like to go back to an old network job, and Brown wanting to take some time off to write a book. Both reply with 'Nahh...'.
Her autobiography And So It Goes was published in 1986. A second book of memoirs, "Move on: Adventures in the Real World" was published in 1992 and third, "Take Big Bites: Adventures Around the World and Across the Table" in 2005. In addition, she has authored an eight-part series "Girl Reporter" books for young people, as well as a syndicated newspaper column.
In 1992, Ellerbee was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a double mastectomy. Since then, Ellerbee spends much of her time speaking to groups about how she fought the cancer and how women need to fight not only the disease and for better medical treatments of it, but to laugh in the face of cancer as well (see ACS News Center).
Linda married Mac Smith in 1964, but divorced in 1966. She then married Van Veselka in 1968 and had two children, Vanessa and Joshua; Joshua Veselka works as a producer on Nick News with his mother. In 1971, Linda and Van divorced. In 1973 she married Tom Ellerbee and divorced him the following year.
- 1978-79: Weekend
- 1979-82: NBC Nightly News
- 1982-84: NBC News Overnight
- 1984: Summer Sunday
- 1984-86: Today
- 1986-87: Our World
- 1991-present: Nick News
- Disc jockey at WSOM Chicago 1964-65
- Program director, KSJO San Francisco, 1967-68
- Reporter, KJNO Juneau, Alaska, 1969-72
- News writer, Associated Press in Dallas, 1972
- Television reporter, KHOU in Houston, Texas, 1972-73
- General assignment reporter, WCBS-TV in New York City, 1973-76
- Reporter, the Washington bureau of NBC News, 1976-78
- Co-anchor, network news magazine Weekend , 1978-79
- Correspondent, NBC Nightly News, 1979-82
- Co-anchor, NBC News Overnight, 1982-84
- Co-anchor, Summer Sunday, 1984
- Reporter, Today, 1984-86
- Reporter, Good Morning America, 1986
- Anchor, ABC show Our World, 1986-87
- Commentator, CNN, 1989
- President, Lucky Duck Productions, since 1987
- Producer, writer, and host, Nick News since 1993
- Writer, host, On the Record
- On-line production with Microsoft, since 1996
- Ellerbee, Linda (1986). And So It Goes: Adventures in Television. ISBN 0-399-13047-0.
- Ellerbee, Linda (1992). Move on: Adventures in the Real World. ISBN 0-06-097469-9.
- Ellerbee, Linda (2006). Take Big Bites: Adventures Around the World and Across the Table. ISBN 0-425-20973-3.
- Ellerbee, Linda (2000). Girl Reporter Blows Lid Off Town! (Get Real, No. 1). ISBN 0-06-440755-1.
- Ellerbee, Linda (2000). Girl Reporter Sinks School! (Get Real, No. 2). ISBN 0-06-440756-X.
- Ellerbee, Linda (2000). Girl Reporter Stuck in Jam! (Get Real, No. 3). ISBN 0-06-440757-8.
- Ellerbee, Linda (2000). Girl Reporter Snags Crush! (Get Real, No. 4). ISBN 0-06-440758-6.
- Ellerbee, Linda (2000). Ghoul Reporter Digs Up Zombies! (Get Real, No. 5). ISBN 0-06-440759-4.
- Ellerbee, Linda (2000). Girl Reporter Rocks Polls! (Get Real, No. 6). ISBN 0-06-440760-8.
- Ellerbee, Linda (2000). Girl Reporter Gets the Skinny! (Get Real, No. 7). ISBN 0-06-440951-1.
- Ellerbee, Linda (2001). Girl Reporter Bytes Back! (Get Real, No. 8). ISBN 0-06-440952-X.