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Brokaw talks of economy, media

By Staff | Nov 18, 2008

DREW WINCHESTER Tom Brokaw works the crowd Tuesday evening at the Burroughs Home in Fort Myers as part of the Uncommon Friends Foundation’s “Legacy Speaker Series.” Brokaw later attended a speaking engagement at Barbara B. Mann.

He worked the room more like a politician than a veteran television journalist; he shook hands, smiled for photos, and signed autographs and copies of his published work.

Tom Brokaw stopped by the Burroughs Home in Fort Myers en route to a speaking engagement at Barbara B. Mann for a special “V.I.P.” style meet and greet Tuesday night as a guest of the Uncommon Friends Foundation.

A part of the “Legacy Speaker Series,” Brokaw was quickly ushered into the turn-of-the-century home’s front parlor, where he held court for a few minutes on topics that ranged from the economy to Barack Obama to the future of print media.

Among Brokaw’s revelations:

— He no longer plans to host “Meet the Press,” where he has been filling in after longtime friend Tim Russert died in early June of this year, but does plan to “always have a role in political coverage” on NBC.

— He called the numbers “unsettling” when looking at the future of print media, and noted that newspapers might have to take the route of the auto industry and rely on mergers and consolidations.

Brokaw went on to say there is “not much of an attention span” when it comes to Americans today, and that might affect the art of reporting as print media moves through the early days of the 21st century.

“Reporters will have to be multifaceted,” he said. “But it’s very hard to know. Myself, I’m very print oriented, but I move easily between the mediums.”

— He acknowledged that the first 100 days of Obama’s presidency will be a “tricky beast” as Obama tackles the economy and what Brokaw called a “culture of debt.”

As quickly as he was ushered into the meeting, Brokaw was swooped out of the small parlor, signing copies of his book, “The Greatest Generation,” before sliding into a limousine and heading to Barbara B. Mann.

Pamela Templeton, a Legacy Series founder, called Brokaw’s perspective “interesting,” especially for those who are part of his so-called “greatest generation.”

“It mean a lot to me,” she said of his book. “My father fought in World War II.”

Jody Van Cooney, who sits on the Uncommon Friends Foundation’s board of directors, thought the timing of Brokaw’s speaking engagement could not be more pertinent.

“To bring someone of Brokaw’s stature in American history to Fort Myers … he’s going to have comments that are going to be extremely relative.”

For more information on the foundation, call 337-9505 or visit: uncommonfriends.org.

He worked the room more like a politician than a veteran television journalist; he shook hands, smiled for photos, and signed autographs and copies of his published work.

Tom Brokaw stopped by the Burroughs Home in Fort Myers en route to a speaking engagement at Barbara B. Mann for a special “V.I.P.” style meet and greet Tuesday night as a guest of the Uncommon Friends Foundation.

A part of the “Legacy Speaker Series,” Brokaw was quickly ushered into the turn-of-the-century home’s front parlor, where he held court for a few minutes on topics that ranged from the econom