Private and public services – including a televised memorial – are planned for Meet the Press moderator Tim Russert.
A public viewing will be held for Russert on Tuesday at the St. Albans School, Cafritz Refectory, in Washington, D.C., according to NBC.
After a private funeral and burial Wednesday, another memorial service will be held for Russert in the Concert Hall of the Kennedy Center. That memorial will be broadcast live Wednesday on MSNBC, beginning at 4 p.m.
“He may have been the ultimate Washington insider,” NBC Universal President and CEO Jeff Zucker tells PEOPLE, “but he wasn’t part of the Brie and wine set. He was part of the beer and hotdog set. And that’s why America loved him. They saw themselves in Tim.”
Zucker continues: “This was a man who loves politics, loved his faith, loved his family, and loved his Buffalo Bills. His ability to make the most complex political issues of our day [understandable], and then in the same program tell you why he loved his father, made him a unique figure in American television history.”
Tributes at Peabody Awards
Meanwhile, tributes to the TV newsman, who died Friday of a heart attack at age 58, poured from his journalism colleagues at Monday’s 67th Annual Peabody Awards at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, which recognizes excellence in the electronic media for last year.
“He was the smartest, kindest person I’ve ever known,” says ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff.
Woodruff, who was critically wounded in a roadside bomb in 2006 while reporting from Iraq, cited Russert’s support for the family of NBC reporter David Bloom, who died of a pulmonary embolism while covering the 2003 Iraq invasion. “[Russert] did the same thing for my wife and my children after I was injured,” says Woodruff. “I’ve never really thought something would happen this early. He was only ten years older than me.”
CBS News correspondent Kimberly Dozier, who is recovering from serious injuries she suffered while reporting in Iraq in 2006, once studied Russert’s interview methods. “So natural, so at ease, and so well informed,” she says. “That’s what we all aspire to be. He was just a regular guy who just was smarter than everybody else.”
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