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'Mr. Excitement'

We just this afternoon stumbled upon a clear generational dividing line on our staff: the death, announced earlier today, of Tommy Newsom. Many of our younger employees had never heard of "Mr. Excitement," as Johnny Carson famously dubbed him. Tommy was a stone-faced regular in the Tonight Show orchestra for 30 years, rising to prominence as fill-in for Doc Severinsen. He was the perfect foil for Carson -- always dead-on deadpan, sober and serious -- but never self-serious. Tommy Newsom died today at the age of 78. We will take time to remember him as a member of the NBC family tonight.

In the news: George Tenet will be one of our components tonight -- the book rollout not going quite the way he had anticipated -- the first mistake in the book turns out to be on page one. There's been some criticism of the time delay between injustices (as perceived by the author) and claims of injustices by the author. As part of Tom Brokaw's extended interview with him, we have a lot more material on the subject for air tonight. Two reports are out: one on terrorist attacks worldwide, and the other on Ehud Olmert's performance during the Israeli war with Hezbollah.


There were emotional remarks today from two public servants: Tony Snow and Jon Corzine -- both men dealing with decidedly different health issues -- both spoke from the heart and to a wider audience. We will hear from them tonight.

We'll look at commuting hell in Oakland, the D.C. madam story, the health stories in the news, and the new trend toward "carbon offsets."

Feeling terribly out of the loop, I've just discovered the thread on Slate relating to the Sopranos -- which is starting to seriously tick down to doomsday for those of us who live on a Sunday-to-Sunday basis. Last night's episode was fantastic -- and fellow aficionados join me in wondering which one of Tony's famous dual behavioral poles will win in the end.

For now, back to the news... and we hope you can join us for it this evening.