As reported by Deadline, Nick News creator Linda Ellerbee has announced that she will retire at the end of December, putting a cap on her 44-year career in journalism. Ellerbee didn’t offer any details on why she’s choosing to retire now, but as an influential journalist who happens to be 71 years old, she’s pretty much earned the right to do whatever she wants now. She did release a statement, though, saying, “I saw the world, met many of the world’s most interesting people, and was well paid to do so. Now I choose to go, and I go smiling. I’ve had a great time.”
Throughout her career, Ellerbee held a number of news-related positions at various TV networks, one of the most notable being her time as an anchor and writer on NBC News Overnight in the early ’80s, which had a reputation for being one of the smartest TV shows on at the time, and maybe ever. To younger people, though, Ellerbee is mostly known as the host and creator of Nick News, which Deadline notes is the “longest running children’s news show ever.” Premiering in 1992, Nick News eventually became a hugely important show for kids and teens, mostly because it had the nerve to actually talk to them about what was happening in the world instead of just distracting them for a while and hoping they’ll figure things out eventually.
Over the years, Nick News aired episodes dedicated to global warming, gay rights, hate crimes, sexual harassment, President Clinton’s impeachment, and what it’s like when parents in the military return from combat. It also won a ton of awards, including 10 Emmys, three Peabody Awards (including one for Ellerbee herself), and even an Edward R. Murrow award for “Best Network News Documentary.” A special hourlong retrospective on Nick News and Ellerbee titled “Hello, I Must Be Going!” will air on Nickelodeon on December 15.