Linda Ellerbee

Award-winning television producer, breast cancer survivor, and best-selling author
Travels from NY

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

Ellerbee began her career in 1972 at the Associated Press. In 1973, she was hired to be an on-air reporter at KHOU in Houston, Texas. Six months later, she was offered a job at WCBS, New York, as the “hard news” reporter for the 11pm newscast.

In 1975, she moved to NBC (national) News where she was Congressional Correspondent and spent years covering national politics.

In 1982, she pioneered the late-night news program NBC News Overnight, which she wrote and anchored, along with Lloyd Dobyns and, later, Bill Schechner. Overnight was cited by the duPont-Columbia Awards as “possibly the best written and most intelligent news program ever.” 

In 1986, Ellerbee moved to ABC News to anchor and write Our World, a weekly primetime history series. Her work on Our World won her a national News & Documentary Emmy.

In 1987, Ellerbee and Rolfe Tessem, her partner, quit network news to start Lucky Duck Productions, a full-service television production company renowned for producing TV series, primetime specials, documentaries, limited-run series and children’s programming. 

In 1991, Lucky Duck began producing Nick News for Nickelodeon. Ellerbee is Executive Producer, writer and anchor.

This year marks the 22nd anniversary of Nick News, the longest running children’s news program in television history. Nick News is watched by more children than watch all other television news shows put together—and has earned honors traditionally associated with adult programming. Known for the respectful and direct way it speaks to children about the important issues of our time, Nick News has collected three Peabody Awards (including one personal Peabody given to Ellerbee for her coverage of the Clinton investigation), a duPont-Columbia Award and nine national Emmys for Outstanding Children’s Program.

In 2009, Nick News received the Edward R. Murrow Award for best Network News Documentary — and made history as the first children’s television program ever to receive this prestigious award. 

For the last 22 years, Ellerbee and her work also have been seen all over the television universe, as Lucky Duck Productions has produced and continues to produce specials for ABC, CBS, PBS, HBO, MSNBC, MTV, Lifetime, A&E, WE tv, Logo, truTV, Animal Planet, TV Land, SOAPnet and TBS, among others. 

In 2004, Ellerbee was honored with another Emmy for her series, When I Was a Girl,which aired on WE: Women’s Entertainment.

Ellerbee’s first book, And So It Goes (1986), a humorous look at television news, became an instant best seller. Her second book, Move On, (1991), contains stories about being a working single mother, a child of the ‘60s and a woman trying to find some balance in her life, was also a best seller, as was her third book (published in 2005), Take Big Bites: Adventures Around the World and Across the Table, a humorous account of her love of travel, talking to (and eating with) strangers, and, according to Ellerbee, “oh, just making trouble in general.”

As a popular and versatile speaker, Ellerbee travels thousands of miles each year, inspiring audiences with her insight, while 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 (also, she often speaks to medical groups concerning healthcare from a patient’s point of view), and, in general, how to accept — even embrace — a changing world, perhaps even making a few changes yourself. 

Her foray into books for children, an eight-part fiction series entitled Get Real (published in 2000) about middle school students who start a school newspaper, won (and continues to win) her raves among young readers.

Although Ellerbee has won many of television’s highest honors, she says it’s her two children who’ve brought her the richest rewards. Her son is a journalist, and her daughter is a novelist. Ellerbee spends her personal time in New York City and Massachusetts with Rolfe, her partner in work and life, and their dogs, Daisy and Dolly.

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