Rager Mudd (born 1928) is an award winning American journalist and broadcaster. Over his career, Mudd has worked in key roles as a broadcaster, which includes has worked as co-anchor of NBC Nightly News, Meet the Press, CBS Evening News, PBS, and primary anchor of The History Channel.
Mudd began his first major journalism job in 1961 when he worked for CBS News. Here he served as anchor of the networks weekend edition of CBS Evening News. During his time at the network he also worked as White House, congressional, and national affairs correspondent; as while as main substitute for CBS Evening News anchor, Walter Cronkite. Throughout Mudd's tenure, CBS ranked first among nightly newscast.
Some believed that Mudd would be the replacement for aging anchor, Walter Cronkite, but these speculations were proven wrong when CBS gave Dan Rather the anchor job of the evening news program. In 1982 Mudd chose to leave CBS to take on a job as co-anchor, with Tom Brokaw, of NBC Nightly News. NBC hoped to bring back the success that co-anchors David Brinkley and Chet Huntley had brought to NBC with their top rated news program, The Huntley-Brinkley Report. This idea turned out to be short lived as the two broadcasters did not work well together and ratings for the thirty minute news program began to sag.
After only a year, Brokaw took over as sole anchor of NBC Nightly News and Mudd began to co-anchor NBC's top rated show Meet the Press. He worked at Meet the Press with co-anchor Marvin Kalb until 1986, when Chris Wallace took over the helm of the weekly interview show. The year before he left Meet the Press, Mudd had also worked as host of another interview program, NBC's American Almanac. He worked with American Almanac until 1986 when he was hired by the Public Broadcasting Company as an essayist and political correspondent with the MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour.
After Mudd left PBS, he worked as a journalism professor at Princeton, Washington and Lee University from 1992 to 1996. He soon went back into the broadcasting work as the primary anchor of the The History Channel, a job he kept until 2004, when he retired from full-time broadcasting. Although now in retirement, Mudd remains involved with documentaries for the History Channel.
Throughout his career Mudd has worked on many award winning documentary's. In 1971, Mudd narrated a CBS documentary, The Selling of the Pentagon, this film explored the increase utilization and cost of public relations done by the military-industrial to shape a pro-military sociality. The film created a huge outburst of criticism from government officials and also drew lawsuits against the network which aired the documentary. Mudd continued to host and help produce documentaries on subjects such as the American school system, the United States Marines, Niagara Falls, Biblical Disasters, and the founding fathers among other topics. In 2004, he was consultant to the documentary film "Fog of War," which won an Academy Award for best documentary. The documentary covered Robert McNamara, the Secretary of Defense in the Kennedy and Johnson Administration.
Over his years at CBS, NBC, PBS and the History Channel, Mudd, has become one of the most distinguished and honored journalists. He has received eight Emmy Award's, the George Foster Peabody Award, and the Joan Shorenstein Award for Distinguished Washington Reporting.