March 28th, 2008
05:24 PM ET

Remembering Bev

Anyone who came to CNN heard pretty quickly about "Bev."

Beverly Broadman joined CNN a month before the network launched 28 years ago. And when I got to know her, she was CNN's national desk dayside manager.

Beverly Broadman, a CNN original, died Thursday after battling cancer. She was 60.

Bev was a petite woman, stooped, with hands knarled by early and painful arthritis. But for those of us in CNN's bureaus, you wouldn't know it.

The expression is a cliche, but Bev was a towering figure. Her job was to make good journalism happen across the nation. And she was amazing at it. Bev cajoled, she probed, she challenged, she kept us hopping, she kept us motivated, and she kept us honest.

But probably the most amazing thing about the way Bev did all that was that she did it with heart... a huge, huge heart in a tiny woman...

Even as she pushed us, and pulled us - constantly - Bev did it with heart... even love. Bev was always respectful of every single person - no matter how low or high on the totem pole, and whether people succeeded or struggled, or goofed big time.

Bev was always positive with people, even in moments of frustration or intensely urgent breaking news. How many people can you say that about? She was constructive, collegial and focused on finding quick, smart solutions rather than getting caught up in conflict or nonsense.

In that, Bev was a model, a mentor and - with that big love of hers  - a mom.

I hope that doesn't come across wrong. But yes, like any great parent or friend, Bev made you want to do your best, and to do it right.  

I think that's why dozens, maybe hundreds, of smart, tough CNN journalists below and above her in the hierarchy, have always spoken of Bev with deep affection and respect.

Bev was one of those rare people who helped us all keep in perspective what's really important in our jobs, and in our lives, and helped us know that a big heart is worth more than pretty much anything else. And in her death, she reminds us of that yet again.

-Barclay Palmer, 360° Senior Producer

Filed under: Barclay Palmer • Beverly Broadman
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Winkie Colvard

    Charlie and I met Bev when she first moved to our neighborhood, took her with us to a wedding in the "hood" and she knew she was in the right place! We loved her and always enjoyed her presence. May she always know how much we loved her and how much we will miss seeing the little silver BMW coming up the street at "Happy Hour" every day.

    We loved you Bev and will miss you,
    Winkie & Charlie

    April 6, 2008 at 9:36 pm |
  2. rima vydmantas (janulevicius)

    Not only was Bev a tough CNN person, she also was one of the kinder people there. When I first came "upstairs," I definitely was a little wary of the louder-they-yell, the-better-they're heard folks.. Bev actually noticed how timidly (yes, me, timidly) I approached the National Desk and she took time out of her busy day to take me aside and impart some of her wisdom of how-to deal. I'll never forget that– she helped make my stay at CNN a lot better, a lot friendlier. I thank her for that.

    April 4, 2008 at 4:17 am |
  3. Judy Storch

    Reading all the wonderful tributes to Bev brings both tears to my eyes and a smile to my face. The tears because I know she will be missed by us all and the smile for the memories of some wonderful times spent with Bev as recorded here by friends and for the good times I shared with Bev.

    Bev was a Killington weekender who quickly became a friend in the 70's. We discovered Club Meds together, and actually visited three in one year. I still remember Bev's phone call when she told me that she would not be going to the 4th Club Med with me because she was leaving CBS to move to CNN and Atlanta. She was so excited, and I was very happy for her. That was also the last Club Med I visited, because the trip was just not as much fun without her.

    Thank you, CNN family, for taking care of Bev and for sharing your love of her with us all. She will be missed.

    April 3, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  4. kris krizmanich

    Bev truly was an original. I remember covering Hurricane Andrew with a new to CNN correspondent, Bonnie Anderson. We were the first crew to arrive to a devastated Homestead, Florida. We begged the Mayor to allow us to call back to Atlanta on the only phone line he had. Bonnie called Bev and told her how bad it was. While Bonnie was on the phone, she looked at me and said, "I think she thinks I'm exaggerating on how bad it is." I asked Bonnie to hand me the phone. Bev asked me, "Is it really that bad?" I told her I hadn't seen such devastation since I covered the Armenian earthquake. That was enough for her. She got the live truck to come as close as it could and allowed us be the first crew (local or national) to broadcast the destruction of the town.

    She knew news and she knew people. And most importantly, she knew how to handle both. She had tremendous strength and common sense and a wonderful wit. Practical, no nonsense and straight speaking; the world would be a better place if there were more like her.

    April 3, 2008 at 11:36 am |
  5. Susan Lilly

    Bev was one of the true gems of CNN, and I have nothing but fond memories from working with her for many years. She always showed me (and others) respect, even when I was so young and hardly knew what I was doing. That was a true gift.

    I hope all of the CNN family, past, present and future, remembers what Bev gave of herself to make CNN better.

    Susan (Deutchman) Lilly

    April 1, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  6. Carey Reeder

    Last Thursday I heard that Bev was in distress and in my evening thoughts I tried to tell her how very special she was to all of her friends and our families. My memories went back to the early 70’s when Bev was with CBS as a newbie and learning the trade. Bev joined us for trips to Vermont to ski and became one fast and fun friend; she brought the bread and cheese, we brought the wine and beer and all of us made it to Killington and home somehow safely to do our own career building.

    In the mid 70’s I met a gal that took my heart and Bev, being Mom, gave her blessing. Now some 32 years later the product of that marriage gave us a child who like Bev loves life and everyone around her… A great decision by Bev. Thanks for the directions.

    A call from a close friend reminded me of a honeymoon trip Bev and I shared with our close friends Mo and John Yoder to the Exuma-Abaco islands. Bev sun tanned on deck showed us how to imbibe in the exotic drinks of Turtle Cay and live to tell about it. How I miss her and know so many others who will also shed a tear at her passing.

    I thank the staff at CNN for giving the care and love that was evident in the tape and I thank them for sharing it with the larger audience for Beverly Broadman will always be in our hearts to tell us, “to get coffee or carry the news, to do the job right and with cheer was passed on to all of us!

    With many thanks for being one of those who had the privilege and honor to be part of her life and to share in remembrance of someone so special.

    April 1, 2008 at 9:12 am |
  7. Jeff Flock

    In the world of broadcast journalism where the nice people sometimes aren't tough or competent enough and the most competent are often not very nice, Bev Broadman was the model of how we'd all like to be...who we'd all like to work for and with.
    As a fellow CNN original, I watched her rise through the ranks by out-working, out-smarting and out-caring the competition. Bev cared about stories and about people in equal measures.
    To the correspondents, producers and crews she guided from her perch at the head of CNN's national newsgathering operation, she was "sane" voice on the telephone. Bev knew when to push and knew when she'd gotten all she could. She knew when to praise and when to prod. Finding that right balance is an incredible skill and takes much hard work. And though it can't be proved, I suspect her shorter-than-it-should-have-been life can be attributed in part to what she sacrificed to her teams and her job. I also suspect that knowing that, she wouldn't have done it any other way.
    CNN, our craft and the world is a better place for having Beverly Broadman in it.

    March 31, 2008 at 8:51 pm |
  8. Maria Madison

    I am sitting here reading all the wonderful comments and stories about Bev with tears runninhg down my face. I know everything said about her is true and from the heart. I have been Bev's friend ever since she moved into our neighborhood. Our friendship continued, although long distance, after I moved to Albuquerque, NM. As soon as Bev found out that we would be moving here she reserved a bed in our guestroom for the Annual Balloon Fiesta. Unfortunately , her cancer treatment didn't allow her to travel last September.

    We had many great times together but we had one more thing in common. I happened to come to Atlanta the weekend Bev was diagnosed with breast cancer. Being a breast cancer survivor myselt we spend an afternoon together talkind about her "new situation" and she decided that it would be a piece of cake for her to beat this. If I heard correctly, SHE DID. She did not die of breast cancer. It was something else that brought Bev "to her knees."

    She never told me that she was so sick and by the time I found out I could not even talk to her on the phone anymore. I was not able to fly to Atlanta when I wanted to, so I will remember Bev as she was in her good days: funny, interesting, determined, stubborn and always a wonderful friend.

    I want to say a special thank you to our friends, Rick and Winkie, who were there for Bev every part of her final journey. I know they were a major support to Bev and a big reassurance for us who could not be there. I was told that her CNN family also played an important part during this difficult time. I can see that they loved her as much as she loved them. Thank you to all of you from the bottom of my heart.

    I wil never forget Bev – too many great memories – but it is so sad to know that she has left us for good. I will miss you, Bev.

    March 31, 2008 at 8:20 pm |
  9. Denise Lippucci

    Oh Miss Bev...we miss you so much already!

    I am one of her neighbors from the "hood" in Smyrna GA. I am not exactly sure when I met Bev, but I am fairly certain it had something to do with a glass of wine!

    We did hold a neighborhood get together last Friday night. Frank and Eileen hosted, Frank made Bev's fav pasta and cauliflower dish, and we toasted Bev, and yes, shed more than a few tears.

    And, on Sunday, Winky and Charlie held their annual Spring Bonnet party, and another special moment among neighbors and friends was shared in honor of Bev.

    Rich and Rose had a very large blow up picture made of Bev enroute to Steeple Chase..what a great picture! It showed Bev in all her glory! That is the Bev to hold close and dear as time moves forward.

    Rick and Jim—Two of her favorite men! What great friends you have both been to Bev. Patrece and Linda also stayed close to keep her going after her diagnosis. What great gal pals! Bev loved you all.

    To those of you in her CNN family, thank you so very much for the 24/7 vigil you offered up in the last few weeks of her life! I am sure that will be one more of her grand and exciting stories to add to her long list of shining moments.

    Bev is in a beautiful place now...free of the arthritis and walking Sassy with ease up and down the streets of her new neighborhood. They are lucky folks!

    Thank you Bev for being my neighbor and most of all my friend!
    Love, Denise

    March 31, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  10. Dan Tice

    I heard early last week how sick she was and am upset at how quickly cancer can work to take away a friend.
    In the early days, my duties kept me close to the national desk. I can remember how noisy the Techwood newsroom would get and Bev would sometimes be under her desk on the phone so that she could muster all of CNN's troops.
    It is good to see all the people that worked with her posting how thoughtful she was about their jobs ! I even see my old HS German
    teacher has fond and extremely close experiences with her.
    News and CNN has changed, Bev has made sure that plenty of CNN professionals working there today have the fundamentals they need.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:50 am |
  11. Walter & Patty Linnemayr

    We, too remember Bev here in Killington, especially the annual Killington Tricycle Race where she was an integral part of "The Lords Team" and now she really is up there with The Lords Team.

    March 31, 2008 at 9:56 am |
  12. Bill Malmo

    "aunt Bev was special to me, we met In Killington 40 years ago.I lived with her when I first moved here to Atlanta 2o years ago. She was was always there for me and I will miss her dearly. My kids still call her Aunt Bev.. She was so kind and friendly. We would go together to the "Empty Braves "games together she would always have her score sheet.But we finally made it to the Series together. Thanks Aunt Bev for being my friend. Bill Malmo

    March 31, 2008 at 8:24 am |
  13. Jonathan Jordan

    We at Altus House would like everyone to know, it was an honor and privilege to care for Beverly Broadman. She will be in our prayers and soon not be forgotten. After talking to her friends, we came to realize the quality of her life and the dignity had been there from the day she was borne to the end of her life!

    We all only wished we could have been as blessed as all the friends and the people Beverly Broadman came in contact with throughout her amazing carrier.

    Beverly Broadman is one of the very few we have met in many years that "Fought The Good Fight!" Beverly Broadman, A REAL FRIEND TO ALL...

    March 31, 2008 at 1:26 am |
  14. Michele Erceg

    To have called Bev your friend was truly a gift.

    It started over 30 years ago, skiing at Killington Vermont. Boy did she know how to live life to the fullest. As Bev and I got older we stopped going skiing, but we didn't stop going on the ski trips! Everyone would get bundled up to go out skiing and Bev and I would get bundled up to go mushing on a dog sled or take the train into Salzburg, Austria.

    I remember one time when we were in Tahoe. Everyone got bundled up to go skiing and Bev and I got bundled up to take a boat cruise! Now trust me when I tell you that mid March is not the most ideal time of year to take a boat cruise, but Bev and I were in Tahoe and damn it we were going out on that lake. And so we did. Now we did not sit in the cabin were it was warm. Of course not, how could you feel the lake breeze on your face sitting inside squished together like sardines. Bev and I were going to enjoy life to its fullest and sit outside on the deck! There were plenty of empty chairs out side so we didn't have any trouble securing 2 in the sun. Did I mention we decided to take this particular boat cruise because it had a bar on it? Yes it had a bar on board and in only 60 minutes it would open for cocktails. We both took turns looking at our watches in great anticipation. And then the moment came, calories be damned, we ordered 2 frozen strawberry pina coladas with cream on top.....and that was just the beginning!

    They said you hadn't lived until you experienced being in the lake in the middle of March. So later on that day, along with all our other friends, we again lived life to the fullest. With our bathing suits on and we took the plunge.

    As I said, to have called her your friend was truly a gift. Those of you who knew her need no explanation of this. When Bev told me of her diagnosis last year she again gave me her gift. This time it was of optimism and hope. She told me every time we spoke not to worry she was going to beat this. Her optimism was so contagious you could dare to share it with her. And so we spoke of the future, what colors to paint her living room, the new pillows and coming up to Saratoga again as usual. She gave me the gift of optimism and we did not have to focus on gloom and doom until the very end. Her friendship was a gift.

    March 30, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  15. Sandor M. Polster

    It is rare in life, even rarer in the news business, to have such a good friend as Bev Broadman. For hers was a friendship that sought nothing more than friendship; she didn't put herself out there for you in order to gain help with her career, or to form a coalition, or to promote an agenda. If she found you interesting and fun, she offered to be your friend, and if you accepted, it was for life. I was friends with Bev for 35 years, and even toward the end, when her physical pain became overpowering, she never lost her ability to make others feel as good about life as she did. We would talk, often every day, sometimes several times a day. I am going to miss those discussions about politics and sports and gossip, but most of all, I'm going to miss Bev's friendship.

    March 30, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  16. Bob Giordano

    Well it’s 10:30 Sunday and CBS’s Sunday Morning is over, so I made my traditional call to Bev. Her voicemail said she’s not available. This time I knew she wasn’t out walking Sassy. I already knew why she wasn’t available, but it was good to hear her voice. I knew where she was. I left a message anyway.

    Michele, my wife, said the sad thing was there was no one to whom we could send a card. There was no immediate family. I told her she’s forgotten something. The actions of her CNN family and her Atlanta neighbors were truly those of family. The tribute to a nation and world that aired the day after her passing, along with the blogs that have arisen here and elsewhere, are things of a family grieving. It has been seen by her many friends, including those in Austria.

    So it is with this in mind that I send this Sympathy card.

    Bev has been my friend since the beginning of the 70’s. This frail individual was a skier at Killington Vermont by day, and the coat check girl at night at Bob Steen’s King’s Four on her weekend break from CBS. She was the last person we saw after the 2 AM breakfast as she piled into her blue AMC Pacer. Humor was our initial connection.

    Skiing was another. This pint-sized kid was a skier. The heart and will spoken of by her friends in recent days was what enabled her to enjoy this sport. We spent time on mountains with Bev all over the world. I have pictures of her on skis at the top of Squaw Valley, in the Austrian Alps, in Colorado, and of course, in Killington.

    I regret that there is no picture of her on our trip to Whistler in Canada. She was there with us when we landed in Vancouver, headed up to the Mountain. When she turned her cell on after landing, she said goodbye to us because there was a “family” emergency. She turned around immediately and headed home to help out in time of need. The Iraq War had begun. “Family” came first.

    Horse Racing at Saratoga was another connection. Picture Bev at a table in the Clubhouse early in the morning on Travers Day, glasses long on her nose, pencil in hand, studying the Racing Form. Picture an excited face and voice as she won! Picture her determination as she made sure she got the annual Travers Day glasses to take home and display until they were brought out for her Kentucky Derby Party. I never had a chance to make that gathering. This was to be the year……

    Michele and I did, however, make it down as surprise guests for her 60th. We’re so glad we did. That’s the last time we saw her in person. There she was with her “Family”, us included. That’s the picture I will always have in my mind.

    It seemed like nothing could get her down, although I’m sure some things did. Bev was a strong woman, who decided to keep her troubles mainly to herself. She tried to keep her last battle to herself, but we talked throughout her time both at home and in the hospital. That Sunday morning 10:30 call.

    She was determined to beat the cancer, and she did. It was a dormant culprit that surprised us all. “Family” members that were there with her for her last days saw the remnants of that heart, will, and determination as she took care of things that needed to be done.

    I am truly sorry for your loss, and cannot thank you enough for the care and support you extended to my friend Bev throughout her years and continuing to the end. She went too soon.

    I’ll keep calling her.

    Condolences, and,


    Bobby G

    March 30, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  17. tony heller

    I'll miss you beverly. We were close in age, first cousins, enjoyed Vermont and skiiing. You died too young.

    March 30, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  18. tony heller

    A graveside service will be held for Bev on wednesday, april 2nd at 10am, at Beth David Cemetary, where her father is buried, in Elmont, Queens, NY.

    March 30, 2008 at 1:30 pm |
  19. Maureen Brown Yoder

    I met Bev in the mid 1970s when we both skied in Vermont. We were young, single girls with many shared interests. I lived in Boston and she worked at CBS in New York. We had serious talks about our dreams, our fears, our careers, and our love lives. We also had a great deal of fun.

    One time when I visited her in Manhattan, we decided to take a ride in "the country". We drove to somewhere in New Jersey to a pick-your-own strawberry farm. We picked a bushel of strawberries and decided to make preserves for our friends. We would show people we were not just careergirls, but civilized, even domestic, responsible women.

    We found a recipe, used up all of Bev's sugar, and filled four saucepans with the gooey concoction – then let it cook. We got laughing about something, that side-splitting kind of laughter that truly brings cramps to your belly and tears to your eyes. We suddenly smelled something awful. Not only had the preserves cooked to a rock hard stained glass, but we had just ruined Bev's entire collection of cookware. I can't look at a jar of jelly without thinking about Bev, and smiling.

    I loved visiting Bev in Atlanta. Meeting her at work was not like meeting just anyone at their workplace. Her world was fascinating and the people in it respected her and cared. In the last few weeks they have been extraordinary.

    I will miss her so very much.
    It is hard to lose a best friend.

    March 30, 2008 at 9:54 am |
  20. Charlie Hoff

    Thanks Barclay, you said it so well. Her belowed Braves open the season soon and I know she'll be there again on opening day.

    March 29, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  21. Rea Turet

    Bev Broadman had been our friend since 1973 when my husband, Sandor M. Polster, worked with her at CBS. She was fun, funny, warm with Brooklyn street savvy that tolerated no bull. My husband and she would love to talk about the news, gossip and the news business as only news junkies and those who love the news business do. She could only have been really pissed not to live long enough to see how this election turns out. Bev loved life, sad it was too short. We will miss her calls on the latest headline.
    Rea Turet Polster

    March 29, 2008 at 11:22 am |
  22. Rick Utke

    Thanks Barclay, your tribute and the video Chuck Roberts narrated are greatly appreciated by her friends and family. For nearly 27 years Bev was like a sister to me, and I like a brother to her. We all knew how much she loved working for CNN and during the past few weeks we have learned first-hand exactly why. Bev's CNN family organized a team to sit with her 24-hours a day - every day! Blackberry messages and e-mails flew back and forth updating us on how she was doing - relieving the stress on her extended Atlanta family, while at the same time joining us, becoming "us". Hearing their stories about how Bev mentored them, encouraged them, touched them, gave us a tremendous boost as we struggled to comfort her - and each other. And Bev heard the stories, too, Christina - and she told us how great they made her feel. So I say, "thank you, thank you, thank you" to all of you who have taken the time to write, call, send flowers, and come by to see her and thank her. You are all very special to us.

    March 28, 2008 at 10:54 pm |
  23. R

    Hi Barclay,

    Just wanted to pass on my condolences to the family and friends and colleagues of Bev. She inspires me in every way and its really true that people with such towering personalities can make the most meek human being feel comfort at heart. Your write-up about her is awe-inspiring and I was just imagining if I had met up with her one-on-one, I may not even have noticed her. Great people just pass by- passing on their handsome colors to the lesser known. I never knew you Bev. but I guess its never too late.


    March 28, 2008 at 8:02 pm |
  24. Laura Frasco

    Mr. Palmer:
    Thank you for telling us about Bev. It was a lovely tribute to a woman who sounds remarkable, from her skills at work to her love for others. So many of us, reading your tribute, can imagine what it must have been to see her about her work or to have met her. Telling her story was an important and powerful act in the face of loss.
    My Condolences

    March 28, 2008 at 8:01 pm |
  25. Genevieve M, TX

    That was a beautiful tribute to your friend/mentor/coworker Bev Broadman. Thank you for telling us a bit about her- apparently, she meant a lot to the people at CNN.

    I understand perfectly when you described her as "Mom". I have several of these women in my own life who are not actually my mother, but whom I have a deep love and respect for- as if they each are my "Mom". I appreciate them even more now that my own mother passed away last year at the age of 55.

    My advice to you and your colleagues is to allow yourself to grieve/mourn this loss and to take things “one day at a time”. It will indeed, be a tough adjustment for you all.

    March 28, 2008 at 7:26 pm |
  26. Peter Ornstein

    Many of the newer folks at CNN may not remember that in the early days, Bev WAS the assignment desk - for the entire domestic side of the operation. She dealt with every bureau every day and was a dynamic editorial presence with sharp, unerring judgement.

    I admit to a bit of nervousness when I started years ago on the L.A. assignment desk and heard that tough sounding, New York voice on the other end of the phone. She knew so much and I, to put it kindly, needed help. She's one of the few people I've ever encountered who could be no-nonsense and kind, all in the same sentence.

    For years, everyone at CNN began each news day knowing they were in the best of hands.

    Her struggle is over and I'd like to think that now SHE is in the best of hands...

    March 28, 2008 at 7:10 pm |
  27. Christina, Windber, PA

    I hope she realized how important she was to you all before she was gone. Too often people don't get praised until they have gone to that better place. If indeed they can look down upon us, they probably think to themselves, "why didn't they tell me this before?" We all need to hear it every once in a while, know we are cared for while we are alive.

    May she always be remembered and may she rest in peace. All the best to her family and all who will miss her.

    March 28, 2008 at 6:47 pm |
  28. Augie Martin

    You couldn't work at CNN for any reasonable period of time and not know who Bev Broadman was. Her impact was everywhere. Bev and I shared a chair and workspace on the National Desk for several years in the 1990s, albeit during different dayparts – she the morning and me the evening. Every day in the early afternoon, Bev and I would undergo a usually chaotic but ritualized transition. Indeed, it is impossible to visualize Bev without a phone – or usually two – to her ear.

    Bev was a beacon of sound editorial judgment and vast experience from whom many, including myself, learned too much to begin to quantify. Bev expected nothing less than the best from her colleagues in the field and on the National Desk, and in general, from CNN. Bev's dedication to CNN was unmatched – literally. If only I could say thank you to Bev one last time for everything she did for me professionally and personally...rest in peace Beverly, and "thanks." Here's to you.

    March 28, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  29. Ruby Coria, LA., CA.

    Barclay, am some what new to CNN but I'm glad you guys had her on your team. As long as you guys don't forget the roots of what is important and report it and be fair. Like you said she reminds you yet again from a better place.

    March 28, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  30. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    NO doubt she has shaped the success of CNN. I've been watching since the very first days–and clearly–each year the venue for National and International coverage has become better and better.

    I don't have to have know her to understand her impact on my own life as a contributor and mentor to the journalists and employees of today.

    Adieu Beverly and thank you from a loyal fan of CNN.

    March 28, 2008 at 5:30 pm |

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