Chet Huntley (December 10, 1911 - March 20, 1974), more popularly known as Chet Huntley, was an American television newscaster.
Huntley was born in Cardwell, Montana. He attended Montana State College in Bozeman and Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle before graduating from the University of Washington, Seattle, in 1934. He began his radio newscast career at Seattle's KIRO AM, later working on radio stations in Spokane, Washington and Portland, Oregon. He went to work for CBS Radio from 1939 to 1951, at which point he moved to ABC Radio. In 1955, he joined the NBC Radio network, viewed by network executives as "another Ed Murrow."
In 1956, coverage of the national political conventions was a major point of pride for the fledgling broadcast news organizations. NBC news executives were seeking to counter the growing popularity of CBS's Walter Cronkite, who had been a ratings success at the 1952 conventions. They decided to replace their current news anchor, John Cameron Swayze, but there was a disagreement on who the new anchorman should be. The two leading contenders were Chet Huntley and David Brinkley. The eventual decision was to have both men share the assignment. Their on-air chemistry was apparent from the start, with Huntley's straightforward presentation countered by Brinkley's acerbic wit.
This success soon led to the team replacing Swayze on the network's nightly news program. It was decided to have the two men co-anchor the show; Huntley from New York, Brinkley from Washington. The Huntley-Brinkley Report began in October, 1956 and was soon a ratings success. Huntley and Brinkley's catchphrase closing of "Good night, Chet" - "Good night, David. And good night for NBC News." was developed by the show's producer, Reuven Frank. The sign-off became famous (although both men disliked it).
Huntley retired in 1970 and returned to Montana. He published a memoir of his boyhood, The Generous Years, in 1968. Huntley died of lung cancer in 1974 at his home in Big Sky. In 2003, a biography titled Good Night Chet, by Lyle Johnston, was published by McFarland Publishers. Only days before his retirement, Huntley gave an amusing, free-swinging interview with Dick Cavett, available on the DVD The Dick Cavett Show: Rock Icons, Disc 2.
John Cameron Swayze
(as Camel News Caravan)
The Huntley-Brinkley Report anchorman
October 29, 1956 - July 31, 1970 (with David Brinkley)
John Chancellor, Frank McGee, and
(only Chancellor from 1971-1976 and 1979-1982)