Jim Hartz, NBC Newsman and Former Today Co-Host, Dies at 82 – The New York Times

From 1976 to 1979, he was news anchor at WRC, the NBC affiliate in Washington. He later worked with PBS, co-hosting “Over Easy,” a celebrity talk show, alongside the actress Mary Martin, and “Innovation,” a weekly science show. In a 1985 review of “Innovation,” John Corry, of The New York Times, called the show “vaguely, but never unintelligently, cheerful.” Much like its host.

In the early 1990s, Mr. Hartz was a host of “Asia Now,” a PBS co-production with NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster, originating from Tokyo. In 1993, he became chairman of the Will Rogers Memorial Commission, headquartered in Oklahoma. It oversees the Will Rogers Memorial in Claremore and the Will Rogers Birthplace in Oologah.

In 1960, while still in college, he married Norma Tandy, his Tulsa high school sweetheart who died in January, and they had three children. A year after their 1979 divorce, he married Alexandra Dickson, a social worker in Alexandria, Va.

She survives him, as do his two daughters, Jana Hartz Maher and Nancy Hartz Cole; six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. His son, John Mitchell Hartz, died at 52 in 2015.

The space program remained a fascination to Mr. Hartz. At a 20th-anniversary gala for the Apollo 11 project in Houston, he described the 1969 moon landing in lofty terms, calling it “the grandest thing we could think to do” at the time and lauding “what man can do with a singleness of mind and a clearly defined goal.” But even that accomplishment could sound almost down to earth when he fell back on his folksy manner in talking about it.

“The truth is,” he said, “we went there just to check it out — friendly-like.”

Livia Albeck-Ripka contributed reporting.

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