Tim Russert’s son Luke reporting on conventions for NBC News

Tim Russert’s 22-year-old son Luke just got the kind of job most new grads wouldn’t dare to hope for: he’ll be working as a correspondent for NBC News during the upcoming Republican and Democratic conventions. The job is bittersweet for Luke since his dad passed away unexpectedly a month ago. Given everything he’s gone through, Luke still seems pretty excited about the opportunity.

Like father, like son. Luke Russert – son of Meet the Press’s Tim Russert, who died tragically this summer – has signed on to help cover the Republican and Democratic national conventions later this year. He’ll report on youth issues for his dad’s network, NBC.

“I’m not trying to be my father,” Luke told the Associated Press. “He’s irreplaceable.” Tim – a respected newsman and NBC’s Washington bureau chief – died of a heart attack in June. He was 58.

His 22-year-old son, a Boston College graduate and regular host [with James Carville] of XM Satellite Radio’s 60/20 Sports, said he was “humbled and grateful” for the opportunity. “I’m simply trying to do something that I think there’s a real niche for,” he said. “There’s a calling for … youth [involvement], not just in the election but in politics from now on.”

The Democratic conventional will be held in Denver, starting August 25. The Republican gathering begins Sept. 1 in St. Paul, Minn.

[From People]

On Monday Russert’s widow Maureen Orth told Matt Lauer that she and Luke were “doing great” because of the outpouring of support and love they’d received from all over.

Orth, a high-profile journalist who was promoting her latest in-depth feature — a cover story on France’s controversial first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, in the September issue of Vanity Fair — said Russert would have been tickled with how media coverage of his passing impacted today’s popular culture.

“You have to know that his People magazine cover knocked off the Summer’s Hottest Bachelors,” Orth said with a laugh. “He broke Britney Spears’ record for most hits on People.com. So this would make Tim so happy and make him laugh so hard.”

[From MSNBC]

The day after Russert died, Bruce Springsteen – a longtime friend – gave a tribute to him on stage and performed “Thunder Road” in his honor. Just three days after his father died, Luke appeared on the Today show and talked about what a great man his father had been. It was around that time that rumblings started that Luke might have a future career in journalism, because he was so composed and well-spoken. His father must be extraordinarily proud.

Here’s Luke speaking at his father’s memorial service in Washington D.C.

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21 Responses to “Tim Russert’s son Luke reporting on conventions for NBC News”

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  1. Nikki says:

    Just wow. What a composed and wonderful young man. I hate to put the pressure on but feel I can because you will rise to the challenge. We expect great things from you Luke. We expect them and await them with open arms and bated breath.

  2. elisha says:

    Ooh, ooh! I love it when my industry gossip makes it on here! A bunch of local tv peeps on the other website I frequent (tvspy.com) are complaining that this is “affirmative action” (I think the dummies mean nepotism)and that Luke should’ve had to “pay his dues” before he ended up with such a high profile gig. Most people in TV news have to spend years toiling away in local news before ending up on national news.

    I think Luke totally deserves this gig. Gowing up with a father in the biz, you know he’s been exposed to it his whole life. That IS his dues. Plus, he’s obviously talented, AND our industry is chaging to include more citizen journalists and thing like that. GO LUKE!

  3. jinx says:

    Showing just how loved and missed Tim Russert really is. That’s a wonderful thing to see, makes my cold, dark heart warm. I wish Luke all the luck in the world that he is able to do this and go on to be as wonderful as his father.

  4. bros says:

    im sorry, but i think this job ought to have gone to a more qualified, more experienced commentator. this is supposed to be news, not celebrity nepotism. i respected russert and loved his shows, but that was because the man had a lifetime of knowledge and experience. i would hope that the networks are looking for people with substance to report on this most serious of topics, and simply sharing the same DNA doesnt necessarily cut it. I think this is pretty lame.

  5. Bodhi says:

    Well, Luke is covering the youth aspect of the election so I think that is more than appropriate. And I doubt the NBC higher-ups will let him stay on the air if he royaly fucks up.

    I say good luck!

  6. hairball says:

    I think Luke has great composure for his age and is probably very talented. But yea, when I heard about it, I thought, even if he is qualified, it seems others had to work a lot harder and start more from the bottom up. But you know, he lost his dad, the network loved Russert, maybe they think Luke is qualified and hired him because of the two.

  7. Alli says:

    Affirmative action for millionaires and their spawn.

    Note to self: don’t bother switching to NBC news for campaign coverage — quality clearly ain’t their primary concern: more like mawkish sentimentality and brand recognition.


  8. geeeee says:

    Bros, I think they want him because they aim to have more youths involved in the election process. Thats much harder to do with an older correspondant.

    As a young person, a first time voter for this election, I am more interested in what he has to say than what a correspondant who looks like they could be my parent does.

  9. Victoria says:

    I think Luke will make his father proud, and do an awesome job. Who cares how he obtained the job? Let him have the opportunity to show everyone what he is capable of doing. Tim, I bet, is already proud of his son. They are hard shoes to fill but Luke is not out to do that. It was never his intention. He just wants to jump in the news stories and cover them with the best of his ability, and I wish him the best.

  10. bros says:

    there are many more qualified 20-somethings with graduate degrees in political science, communications, etc. who would kill for a job like this and would have much more qualifications. i loved tim russert as well, but this is just unmitigated nepotism. i agree that there needs to be more “youth voices” out there this election cycle, but again, the process wasnt open, and that means that the network skipped out on more useful talent. i dont expect luke russert to offer any profound or even nuanced views on anything, (how could he, he is completely green)so why would i care to watch him commentating on anything political. i like my news and comments from people with qualifications and experience, which means more than a BA from college, and you can certainly find ‘younger’ people with these credentials. i actually think this is embarrassing for the network.

  11. Anastasia says:

    My heart goes out to this family, but as my husband said, “I don’t get it–is this the kind of job you inherit?”

    I’d feel kind of weird knowing I got that job because my dad died. And prematurely at that, at the height of his career.

    Again, I have absolutely no grudge against this family whatsoever. I didn’t dislike Tim Russert at ALL and I thought his early passing was so sad, but this is just WEIRD.

    Also, it’s hard to tell from the article, but is this like a temporary job or what? A permanent gig? Remains to be seen?

    It’s sort of embarrassing how obvious the nepotism is here.

  12. Kat says:

    Great News, I will watch.

  13. Kaiser says:

    I think it would only be nepotism if Luke was tapped to be the next Washington Bureau Chief of NBC News… but if it’s just election coverage as a “youth correspondent” – well, what took them so long? I’m getting tired of these old [white] farts in their 50s & 60s asking “Is Obama one of us?” No, douchebags, Obama’s not one of you. That’s the goddamn point.

  14. Anastasia says:

    Kaiser, you have a good point.

    But elisha, your point is crazy. So just because you grow up “around” some profession, that’s paying your dues? So if your dad is a famous cardiologist, you can just jump in there and start doing bypass surgeries when you’re 22 because you grew up with a dad in medicine?

    Not how it works.

  15. bros says:

    good one anastasia 🙂

  16. DogRunner says:

    He is a spittin’ image of his father!

  17. Cidee says:

    Those of you who are crying “nepotism” sound like a bunch of bitter grumps who have, at one time, been passed over for a job. Sour grapes! I guarantee many more people (including me) will tune in BECAUSE he is Tim Russert’s son. Why not just wish him good luck?

  18. Anastasia says:

    Cidee: speaking only for myself, I’ve never been passed up for a job. Ever. In fact, for the past four years, I’ve had the kind of position a lot of people in my field would give their left arm for. I work hard for it and I’m very thankful.

    If you can’t see that this is just bald-faced nepotism, I can’t help you, because this is one of the most obvious cases of it I’ve ever seen.

    Again, I have zero ill will towards this young man or his family. But come ON. It IS nepotism. If he wasn’t Tim’s son, and Tim hadn’t passed away recently, he wouldn’t have this job. 22 year olds with a new BA in political science are a dime a dozen.

  19. Gigohead says:

    He didn’t get hired for the prime spot left vacant by his dad. He was hired to speak about youth issues during the convention which is actually a GREAT idea. Our youth seem to be disconnected when it comes to politics. Luke’s presence may be a good thing. He’s not given a free pass..he’s got a lot work to do now that he’s been announced.

  20. Tess says:

    I thought NBC’s tributes to Tim Russert were way over the top. And it was unseemly the way young Russert was immediately on TV after his father’s death, staking out his claim for covering the youth vote in upcoming elections. Now this. Ain’t life grand when you’re one of the beautiful people?

  21. Nouvel says:

    Awesome, what a wonderful young man. I know his father is so proud right now looking down on him. An awesome father and he did an amazing job w/ his son..

    Thank you CB for bringing this story to people.