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Linda Ellerbee      

Award-Winning Journalist & Television Producer; Breast Cancer Survivor

Linda Ellerbee is an outspoken journalist; award-winning television producer, writer, and anchor; best-selling author; breast cancer survivor; a mother and grandmother; and one of the most sought-after speakers in America.

Ellerbee began her career at CBS, and then moved to NBC News where, after years of covering national politics, she pioneered the late-night news program "NBC News Overnight," which she wrote and anchored. "Overnight" was cited by the DuPont Columbia Awards as "the best written and most intelligent news program ever." Ellerbee moved to ABC News in 1986 to anchor and write "Our World," a weekly primetime historical series. Her work on "Our World" won her an Emmy Award.

Ellerbee and partner Rolfe Tessem quit network news in 1987 to start Lucky Duck Productions, a New York-based company that produces news, documentaries, and other specials for broadcast and cable. In 1991, Lucky Duck began producing "Nick News" for Nickelodeon with Ellerbee as executive producer, writer, and anchor. Today "Nick News" is the longest running children's news program in television history. Known for the respectful and direct way it speaks to children about the important issues of our time, "Nick News" has collected several Peabody Awards and Emmy Awards. In 2009, "Nick News" received the Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Network News Documentary, making history as the first ever kids' television program to receive this prestigious award.

These days, Ellerbee and her work can be seen all over the television universe. Lucky Duck produces primetime specials for ABC, CBS, HBO, PBS, Lifetime, MTV, Logo, A&E, MSNBC, SOAPnet, Trio, Animal Planet, and TV Land, among others. Ellerbee was honored with an Emmy in 2004 for her series "When I Was a Girl," which aired on WE: Women's Entertainment network.

Ellerbee's first foray into books for kids, an eight-part fiction series entitled "Get Real" published in 2000, won her raves among middle school readers. Both of Ellerbee's previous adult books "And So It Goes," a humorous look at television news, and "Move On," stories about being a working single mother, a child of the '60s, and a woman trying to find balance in her life have been national bestsellers.

In 2011, Ellerbee won the Tribute Award, the highest honor given by the Alliance for Women in Media. On presenting the award, former CNN anchor Aaron Brown said to a ballroom full of women, "The two most important women in the history of television news are Barbara Walters and Linda Ellerbee. Barbara Walters made it possible for you to be on television news; Linda Ellerbee made it possible for you to be YOU on television news."

As a popular and versatile speaker, Ellerbee travels thousands of miles each year, inspiring audiences with her insight and filling banquet rooms and concert halls with laughter. They come to hear her trademark wit and wisdom on everything from how to survive corporate America with your values intact to how to survive breast cancer and live to laugh about it (she often speaks to medical groups concerning healthcare from a patient's point of view), and how to accept, and even embrace, a changing world.

Speech Topics

How to Raise Media-Savvy Kids

In the future, kids will learn to use the media that surround them as tools, or they will be tools of that media. Television. The Internet. Smartphones. Facebook. Twitter. What's next? Parents and teachers need some help here. What is media literacy and how do you teach it to kids? Ellerbee, using (as always) humor and personal stories to make her points, offers insight, perspective and simple advice gained from speaking with (and listening to) kids for over 20 years on the critically-acclaimed and longest-running children’s news and documentary series in television history, Nick News with Linda Ellerbee…and from raising two media-savvy kids of her own. PLEASE NOTE: THIS SPEECH MAY BE TAILORED FOR EDUCATION GROUPS. Ellerbee will talk about how teachers can use media as a teaching tool and turn media from the enemy into the teacher’s friend.

How to Survive a Changing World & How to Change Your World

Healthcare from the Patients Perspective

Change Is a Form of Hope

Ellerbee uses her well-known wit and her personal stories to send a strong message that change, life’s only constant, need not be met with fear, that to risk change is to believe in tomorrow, and that you can indeed survive a changing world with your heart intact. She’s survived the trials of being one of the first women in her field, working for years in corporate America, raising two kids as a single mother, starting her own company, losing both her breasts to cancer, and overcoming her own pig-headedness (something she still has to work at). She shares her personal rules for surviving change, inspiring women (and men) to be strong, encouraging them to make noise, and urging them to do the right thing. In her extraordinary life and career, Ellerbee has learned that change is the norm, and that it’s better to make it than be caught by it.

How to Succeed & Still Hang Onto Your Values

How to build a strong career by doing it your way. How to find your own power. How to not lose yourself or your values as you rise in your work. How you can — and cannot — balance work and family. How you can manage to stay human by managing a company humanely. Ellerbee delivers a series of useful messages to employers and employees through plenty of humor and stories — from having a boss to being the boss. And still being able to face yourself in the mirror. What she offers is nothing less than a new template for a new century of working women — and men.

Surviving Breast Cancer to Laugh Another Day

Ellerbee knows that cancer is a family disease, even a cancer that strikes mostly women. In her rightfully famous speeches on this subject, she describes her own journey through cancer, from the devastation of diagnosis, the loss of both breasts, walking through the dark valley of chemo, wrestling with the fear of death — and how good it feels to still be on the right side of the grass 20 years later. She talks of dealing with the medical profession, family and friends — all of whom, even when well intentioned, occasionally seem misguided or absurd, if not downright silly. Ellerbee encourages women to become partners in their treatment, to stand up for themselves, to make a big noise, to fight — and fight back. She speaks directly to the hearts of women, sharing stories that make them laugh and make them cry, and then show them how to find the beauty — and healing powers — of laughter through tears. Life goes on. So can you.

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And So It Goes: Adventures in Journalism

She began her career by getting fired from the Associated Press three months after getting hired — which turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to her career. From newspapers to networks, Ellerbee went from covering fires and parades to covering presidential campaigns and international terrorism, anchoring ground-breaking television series such as Weekend, NBC News Overnight, Our World, and Nick News with Linda Ellerbee, which, in its 21st year on the air, is television’s longest running news program for kids. She became known for her writing and for respecting her audience, and collected TV’s most prestigious awards along the way. Her best-selling book, And So It Goes, a humorous look at TV News, is still used as a journalism textbook over 25 years after it was published. Once upon a time, they called her an irreverent newcomer, then a seasoned veteran and now a pioneering female journalist. Throughout her career, Ellerbee has become famous for doing it her way. She’s had a helluva good time, and hopes that maybe, just maybe, she changed television news a tiny bit. Ellerbee, who still does it her way, also has a lot to say about journalism today and journalism tomorrow. Her commencement speeches to young journalism graduates are designed to encourage them to take their work seriously without taking themselves seriously, and to inspire them to make journalism better — because they can.

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'Reforming Journalism' offers new insight into media bias ...
Linda Ellerbee wrote, 'There is no such thing as objectivity. Any reporter who tells you he's objective is lying to you.' In the United States, some writers argued for ...
The Roundtable : NPR
... UAlbany adjunct professor and investigative journalist Rosemary Armao, Peabody and Emmy Award-winning journalist Linda Ellerbee, and Communications ...
Cokie Roberts is gone and I'm angry as hell (opinion) - CNN
Linda Ellerbee writes that she and fellow journalist Cokie Roberts bonded over DC politics and government, where women almost never had a seat at the table ...
Nickelodeon Brings Back 'Nick News' With 'Kids, Race and Unity ...
The original “Nick News,” which was created, written, and anchored by Linda Ellerbee and produced by her company, Lucky Duck Productions, aired on ...

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