Bob Teague, black TV news pioneer, dies

March 30, 2013 at 12:53 AM
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NEW YORK, March 30 (UPI) -- Bob Teague, a pioneering black television reporter in New York City, has died. He was 84.

Teague's wife, Jan, told The New York Times he died Thursday in a New Brunswick, N.J., hospital of T-cell lymphoma. He lived in nearby Monmouth Junction.

When Teague was hired by WNBC in 1963, there were few black faces on television and especially in TV newsrooms. In New York, ABC had hired a black reporter a year earlier and then, according to TV Guide, assigned him to the U.N. bureau because executives feared he would cause problems in the main newsroom.

Teague remained with NBC until his 1991 retirement.

At WNBC, Teague hosted a program, "Sunday Afternoon Report," filled in as an anchorman and served as a fill-in sports reporter and correspondent for the network. In 1982, he published "Live and Off-Color: News Biz," where he complained real news coverage was being hurt by the quest for high ratings.

Teague was born Robert Lewis Teague in Milwaukee in 1929. A star football player at the University of Wisconsin, he turned down offers to play professionally and went to work for the Milwaukee Journal.

In 1956, Teague was hired by CBS Radio in New York as a news writer. He went on to work for the Times as a sports copy editor and reporter before moving to NBC.

He became increasingly conservative, backing black businessman Herman Cain's short-lived quest for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

He is survived by a son and his second wife.

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