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John Spencer Palmer (born September 10, 1935) is a former news correspondent for NBC News. He worked for the network over the course of 40 years, first from 1962 to 1990; and again from 1994 until his retirement in 2002. During his tenure with NBC News, he held several positions, including correspondent stints in Chicago, Paris, and the Middle East; White House correspondent (1979-1982); news anchor for The Today Show (1982-1989); and anchor for NBC News at Sunrise (1989-1990).

Palmer was born in Kingsport, Tennessee. He officially joined the Today cast as news anchor on September 27, 1982, replacing Chris Wallace, who had read the news and served as Bryant Gumbel and Jane Pauley's Washington co-anchor.[1] The team of Gumbel, Pauley, Palmer, Willard Scott, and Gene Shalit helped take The Today Show to the top of the ratings in 1986, where it stayed until the end of the decade.[2]

After serving as Today news anchor for seven years, Palmer was abruptly replaced by Deborah Norville in September 1989, and was moved to Norville's old position at NBC News at Sunrise. Palmer left NBC News in March 1990 to anchor a syndicated program, Instant Recall. After that show was canceled, Palmer joined the Christian Science Monitor in December 1991 as anchor of Monitor Channel's short-lived World Monitor newscast. He later served as Washington correspondent for Monitor Radio.[3]

In 1994, NBC News Washington bureau chief Tim Russert and NBC News president Andrew Lack invited Palmer to return to the network as a Washington correspondent, and Palmer accepted.[4] He was soon back on familiar ground, serving as White House correspondent for the weekend edition of NBC Nightly News and an occasional substitute news anchor for The Today Show. He retired from NBC News in January 2002.

Palmer is a graduate of Northwestern University and obtained a master's degree from Columbia University.

Palmer is currently the host of The Informed Citizen and The Prudent Advisor on Retirement Living Television.[5] Retirement Livings' content airs Monday-Friday 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM on CN8, the Comcast Network, which reaches 9 million homes on the Eastern Seaboard. Retirement Living also airs nationally on DirecTV Channel 364 from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Monday-Friday.

John also serves on the College of Charleston, in Charleston, South Carolina advisory council and won the department of communications prestigious Distinguished Communicator award


  1. ^ "NBC Newsmen to Swap Jobs." Associated Press, 21 September 1982.
  2. ^ "'Good Morning' Outdoes 'Today." Los Angeles Times, 25 January 1990, page 8.
  3. ^ "John Palmer To Return To Familiar Turf at NBC." Chicago Tribune, 14 September 1994, page 4.
  4. ^ "John Palmer To Return To Familiar Turf at NBC." Chicago Tribune, 14 September 1994, page 4.
  5. ^ Retirement Living TV – Television to inspire your freedom years

External links

Preceded by
Chris Wallace
Today Show News Anchor
September 27, 1982-July 14, 1989
Succeeded by
Deborah Norville


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