Ed Gordon (journalist)

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Ed Gordon
Born Edward Lansing Gordon III
(1960-08-17) August 17, 1960 (age 54)
Detroit, Michigan, United States
Nationality American
Ethnicity African American
Education Western Michigan University (BA, communications and political science, 1982)
Occupation Television journalist, talk show host
Years active 1986 – present
Spouse(s) Karen Haney (Divorced) Leslie Howard (current)
Children Taylor Gordon (b. 1994)
Website
http://www.bet.com/news/edgordon

Edward Lansing "Ed" Gordon III (born August 17, 1960)[1] is an American journalist and host of the BET program Weekly with Ed Gordon. He is the son of athlete Edward Lansing Gordon, Jr. Having worked at the local level in Detroit and nationally at CBS News and NBC News, Gordon is the former host of BET News and the syndicated talk show Our World with Black Enterprise.

Personal background[edit]

Gordon's parents were both schoolteachers, and Gordon's father Edward Lansing Gordon, Jr. won a gold medal in the 1932 Summer Olympics for competing in the long jump. In 1971, when Ed Gordon was 11, his father died. Gordon graduated from Western Michigan University in 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications and political science. Although Gordon considered law school, Gordon aspired to be a television journalist and took an unpaid internship at WTVS, the PBS affiliate in Detroit. At WTVS, he worked as a production assistant from 1983 to 1985.[2]

Gordon married Karen Haney, a computer specialist. In 1993, they had a daughter, Taylor.[3]

Career[edit]

In 1986, Gordon became host of a local weekly talk show, Detroit Black Journal, which had a yearly salary of $11,000. On the side, Gordon worked as a freelance journalist at the then-fledgling cable network Black Entertainment Television and in 1988 became anchor of the weekly program BET News, which covered African-American social issues and popular culture. While Gordon worked at BET, its news staff had only around 20 people, and Gordon produced most of his interviews with only one or two assistants.[2]

Following the 1992 Los Angeles riots, Gordon hosted a BET special, Black Men Speak Out: The Aftermath and interviewed President George H. W. Bush about the riots. Gordon also hosted hour-long interviews on several occasions in the series Conversations with Ed Gordon. His subjects have included President Bill Clinton, actor/director Sidney Poitier, and singer Whitney Houston.[2]

On January 25, 1996, Gordon became the first journalist to interview former NFL star O. J. Simpson since Simpson was acquitted of murder the previous year.[4][5] Gordon also joined NBC News as a contributor to Dateline NBC and Today and hosted the MSNBC talk show Internight.[6]

After BET fired the host of its nightly news program BET Tonight (Tavis Smiley) in 2001, Gordon took over as host. As part of a reorganization focusing on entertainment productions, BET cut its news staff and canceled BET Tonight in December 2002 along with other public affairs shows hosted by Gordon, Lead Story and Teen Summit.[7][8][9] That month, Gordon interviewed outgoing Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott (Republican of Mississippi) following Lott's controversial remarks at the 100th birthday party for fellow Senator Strom Thurmond that the nation would have been better off had Thurmond, a segregationist, been elected for president in 1948.[10]

Gordon became a correspondent for the CBS News program 60 Minutes Wednesday in November 2004.[11] After Tavis Smiley left National Public Radio (NPR), Gordon began hosting a show on NPR titled News & Notes, with a similar focus on African-American issues.[12] Gordon began hosting the syndicated talk show Our World with Black Enterprise in September 2006.[13] He was also nominated to the Alumni Academy of the Western Michigan University School of Communication in 2006.[14]

BET announced in March 2010 that Gordon would return to the network to host "a variety of news programs and specials."[15] Gordon's latest series Weekly with Ed Gordon premiered on October 3, 2010 with a one-on-one interview with Representative Charles B. Rangel, who was undergoing an ethics issues at the time. In the program, Gordon also discusses news and culture with a four-member panel.[16]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ U.S. Public Records Index Vol 2 (Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.), 2010.
  2. ^ a b c Johnson, Anne Janette (1996). "Gordon, Ed 1960—". Contemporary Black Biography. Retrieved July 2, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Ed Gordon". People 45 (18). May 6, 1996. 
  4. ^ Rosenberg, Howard (January 26, 1996). "The Risky Bet Pays Off for BET's Interview". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 2, 2010. 
  5. ^ Braxton, Greg (July 16, 1996). "Not a Sure BET After O.J. Coup". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 2, 2010. 
  6. ^ Mifflin, Lawrie (June 19, 1996). "TV Notes: New Faces in Cable News". The New York Times. Retrieved July 2, 2010. 
  7. ^ "BET sticks with news cuts". Broadcasting & Cable. December 23, 2002. Retrieved July 2, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Ed Gordon Back to BET". EURWeb. March 9, 2010. Retrieved July 2, 2010. 
  9. ^ Romano, Allison (December 6, 2002). "BET cuts programs, staff". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved July 2, 2010. 
  10. ^ Rosenberg, Howard (December 17, 2002). "Minority Report on the Incoming Majority Leader". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 2, 2010. 
  11. ^ Jensen, Elizabeth (November 8, 2004). "Ed Gordon joins roster of CBS news show". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 2, 2010. 
  12. ^ Carpenter, Susan (March 8, 2005). "Filling a rush order for topical radio". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 2, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Black Enterprise debuts TV show hosted by Ed Gordon" (Press release). Black Enterprise. 2006. 
  14. ^ "Ed Gordon: 2006 Alumni Academy Inductee". Western Michigan University School of Communication Alumni. Retrieved July 2, 2010. 
  15. ^ Bland, Bridget (March 8, 2010). "Ed Gordon: Returning to BET News". Black Voices. AOL. Retrieved July 2, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Ed Gordon Sits Down with New York Congressman Charles Rangel for an Exclusive One-on-One Interview Sunday, October 3 on the Premiere of the BET News Original Series WEEKLY WITH ED GORDON" (Press release). BET. October 1, 2010.