Betty Cole Dukert, top ‘Meet the Press’ producer, dies at 96

She worked as a secretary before being hired as an associate producer at the NBC News public affairs show in 1956. She went on to spend 41 years there.


Betty Cole Dukert, who began her career in Washington as a secretary in the 1950s and later became the top producer of the weekly NBC News public affairs program “Meet the Press,” died on March 16 at her home in Bethesda, Maryland. She was 96.

Her late husband’s niece Barbara Dukert Smith said the cause was complications of Alzheimer’s disease.

In her 41 years at “Meet the Press,” a Sunday-morning fixture on the NBC schedule, Mrs. Dukert booked politicians, diplomats, foreign dignitaries, cultural figures and heart surgeons to be interviewed by a moderator and a panel of journalists; sought out the most capable reporters for the panel; and researched the subjects to be discussed.

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