Julian Goodman, former NBC president, dies in Juno Beach

Broadcasting pioneer and former NBC president Julian Goodman died Monday of natural causes in Juno Beach. He was 90.

Mr. Goodman, who began his career during the formative years of broadcast news, started at NBC in 1945 at the night news desk in Washington, D.C.

In the 34 years that he was with NBC, Mr. Goodman was part of several milestones in television broadcast history, such as helping produce NBC's broadcast of the Nixon-Kennedy debate in 1960.

He was instrumental in establishing the famous anchor team of Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, and helped secure Johnny Carson's place at NBC with a long-term contract.

He was also an early innovator of the "instant news special," more commonly known as interrupting scheduled programming for breaking news coverage.

Being the only broadcaster on the original list of President Richard Nixon's 200 enemies in the 1970s, Mr. Goodman advocated reporting the truth, even if that meant displeasing government officials, according to an NBC press release.

Mr. Goodman held several positions at NBC, including the executive vice president of NBC News, before he moved up the ranks to become NBC's youngest president at the time, at 44. He was president from 1966 to 1974. He also served as chairman of the board and then as chairman of the executive committee until he retired in 1979.

"I think my father was perhaps one of the last mailroom to boardroom stories," Jeffrey Goodman said.

Reporting for NBC News was "the heart and soul of my father's life," he said. "His heart was in unbiased reporting of the news. There was nothing he loved more."

After leaving NBC, Goodman served on the board of directors of Boeing, Gannett, Gulf Oil, McDonnell Douglas, and the Federal Savings & Loan Association of Larchmont, N.Y.

Mr. Goodman and his wife, Betty, moved to Jupiter in the mid-1980s and then to The Waterford in Juno Beach last year.

He is survived by his wife; their four children, Julie, John, Jeffrey and Gregory; and six grandchildren.

Arrangements for a memorial service are being made.