Award-Winning Journalist & Television Producer
Linda Ellerbee is an outspoken journalist, award-winning television documentary producer, writer and anchor, best-selling author, breast cancer survivor, mom, grandmother and one of the most sought-after speakers in America. Ellerbee began her career over 40 years ago in 1972 at the Associated Press. In 1973, she was hired to be an on-air reporter at KHOU in Houston, Texas. Six months later, she was offered a job at WCBS, New York, as the “hard news” reporter for the 11pm newscast. Read More >
Ellerbee uses her well-known wit and her personal stories to send a strong message that change, life’s only constant, need not be met with fear, that to risk change is to believe in tomorrow, and that you can indeed survive a changing world with your heart intact. She’s survived the trials of being one of the first women in her field, working for years in corporate America, raising two kids as a single mother, starting her own company, losing both her breasts to cancer, and overcoming her own pig-headedness (something she still has to work at). She shares her personal rules for surviving change, inspiring women (and men) to be strong, encouraging them to make noise, and urging them to do the right thing. In her extraordinary life and career, Ellerbee has learned that change is the norm, and that it’s better to make it than be caught by it.
Ellerbee knows that cancer is a family disease, even a cancer that strikes mostly women. In her rightfully famous speeches on this subject, she describes her own journey through cancer, from the devastation of diagnosis, the loss of both breasts, walking through the dark valley of chemo, wrestling with the fear of death — and how good it feels to still be on the right side of the grass over 25 years later. She talks of dealing with the medical profession, family and friends — all of whom, even when well intentioned, occasionally seem misguided or absurd, if not downright silly. Ellerbee encourages women to become partners in their treatment, to stand up for themselves, to make a big noise, to fight — and fight back. She speaks directly to the hearts of women, sharing stories that make them laugh and make them cry, and then show them how to find the beauty — and healing powers — of laughter through tears. Life goes on. So can you.
How to build a strong career by doing it your way. How to find your own power. How to not lose yourself or your values as you rise in your work. How you can — and cannot — balance work and family. How you can manage to stay human by managing a company humanely. Ellerbee delivers a series of useful messages to employers and employees through plenty of humor and stories — from having a boss to being the boss. And still being able to face yourself in the mirror. What she offers is nothing less than a new template for a new century of working women — and men.
In the future, kids will learn to use the media that surround them as tools, or they will be tools of that media. Television. The Internet. iPhones. Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Snapchat. Periscope. What's next? Parents and teachers need some help here. What is media literacy and how do you teach it to kids? Ellerbee, using (as always) humor and personal stories to make her points, offers insight, perspective and simple advice gained from speaking with (and listening to) kids for 25 years on the critically-acclaimed and longest-running children’s news and documentary series in television history, Nick News with Linda Ellerbee…and from raising two media-savvy kids of her own. Read More >
PLEASE NOTE: THIS SPEECH MAY BE TAILORED FOR EDUCATION GROUPS. Ellerbee will talk about how teachers can use media as a teaching tool and turn media from the enemy into the teacher’s friend. Read Less ^
She began her career by getting fired from the Associated Press three months after getting hired — which turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to her career. From newspapers to networks, Ellerbee went from covering fires and parades to covering presidential campaigns and international terrorism, anchoring ground-breaking television series such as Weekend, NBC News Overnight, Our World, and Nick News with Linda Ellerbee, which, ran for 25 years – which was the longest run ever for a television news program for kids. She became known for her writing and for respecting her audience, and collected TV’s most prestigious awards along the way. Her best-selling book, And So It Goes, a humorous look at TV News, is still used as a journalism textbook over 25 years after it was published. Once upon a time, they called her an irreverent newcomer, then a seasoned veteran and now a pioneering female journalist. Throughout her career, Ellerbee has become famous for doing it her way. She’s had a helluva good time, and hopes that maybe, just maybe, she changed television news a tiny bit. Ellerbee, who still does it her way, also has a lot to say about journalism today and journalism tomorrow. Her commencement speeches to young journalism graduates are designed to encourage them to take their work seriously without taking themselves seriously, and to inspire them to make journalism better — because they can.
Linda Ellerbee shares personal accounts of her experiences with breast cancer—from doing research, asking questions and taking part in making decisions about her own healthcare as an empowered consumer to the determination and spirit that have made her a survivor for over 20 years—while acknowledging how important caregivers and healthcare providers were to her recovery.
"The conference went off really well. We received plenty of excellent feedback from the delegates, and things went remarkably smoothly. I want to let you know that Linda Ellerbee was a fantastic speakers. We could not have made better choices. She was the most dynamic of all of our speakers, and the best moderator we could have had for the panel. Out of about 14 keynote speakers in two years, she is the only one to receive a standing ovation. She was fabulous, and also a real pleasure to work with."