She is known, and always has been, as "M.L." I've introduced her around the world--to people who speak English, and people who speak little or no English, simply as "M.L." While it stands for Mary Laurence, around this network you don't need to say the rest. I mention my friend M.L. Flynn because today was her last day in her OLD job, and Monday she starts her NEW job. What has she been doing all these years? What has she done that you've seen? All of our overseas coverage. For decades. All of our Olympic coverage. For decades. And series of reports on topics like water, the environment and countless others. She's been to more places than most people will ever see, she surfed the heyday of our industry and travelled the world with Tom Brokaw before me. She's been shot at by the professionals, pulled a lifetime of all-nighters and flown on her share of rickety planes. She taught me the ropes overseas--and without her on the trip to South Africa for the Mandela election, I would have been lost and would not have gotten on the air. She still, after a lifetime in this often-challenging line of work, manages to find the endless good cheer to mentor young people, check up on all of our family members and call everyone "kiddo." She's now going to a bigger job (with a better view from her office, I might add), where she will have a vast hand in the direction of our coverage--specifically, the "big" issues, where we make our bones as a news organization. So when you see us do a deep-dive into a topic--when you see us go after something as only this news division can, just think of two letters: M.L.
Have a good weekend, everybody.
We hope you can join us tonight.