Behind the Scenes at 'World News Tonight'

JON BANNER: Peter's editorial control was absolute. It was a wrestling match. He rewrote every single page that he read. He edited every script, made changes up until six-ten, six-fifteen. I think that if he hadn't had that senior editor position, the job would have meant nothing to him.

PAUL FRIEDMAN: Sometimes the correspondents were offended by how much Peter was involved. He was trying to make the product as good as it could be, just as he was a perfectionist about himself, and making himself as good as he could be. That made him difficult, but it was worth it.

DAN HARRIS: My proudest moment at ABC – and it happened to me once – was he handed me a script with no changes.

LAUREN LIPANI: I remember being in his office and he had a correspondent in his office. He was tearing apart this person's script and he told him, "You've missed the point." They rewrote the script and that person left the office. And Peter turned to me and said, "He's going to be sensational one day." Peter was hard on people for a reason. He made them better.

VINNIE MALHOTRA: When Peter walked into the World News Tonight newsroom, everybody gets to attention. People sit up a little bit straighter. He's the commander-in-chief when he walks into that room. He inspires everybody in the newsroom to be at the top of their game at all times. That's why he was such a great leader. You would do anything not to let him down.

MARTHA RADDATZ: Peter had a way of pushing you, pushing you, pushing you, and not always pleasantly, believe me. But at the end of that experience, you always learned something. Peter checked everything. At five-thirty in the afternoon, after he'd been doing so many more things than I'd been doing, he still would call me up about my script and say, "What does this mean?" and "Why did you use that?" and "What about that? Do you really believe that? I'm not sure I believe that." I'd have to defend it or I'd have to say, "You know, maybe you're right, Peter."

BOB WOODRUFF: Peter was hard on everybody. That's the way that he led. We didn't always want to hear from him. We didn't always want to have comments on our scripts. We all thought that our scripts were pretty good, our stories were well written. And Peter coming in and saying it was not well written was not something we wanted to hear. Not on that day, maybe even not that week, but a month later, two months later, we would look back at that story and realize that the way we originally had that story written probably wasn't as good as the way it ultimately came out. And that's because Peter Jennings put his mark on it.

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