Out of the blue came an amazing opportunity to host my own hour at 9pm on MSNBC. Deborah Norville Tonight premiered in January 2004, giving me a chance to speak more directly to the news stories of the day, whether it was the war in Iraq, the crisis in Darfur or the on-going saga of the Scott Peterson murder trial.
Life goes in funny circles. Turns out the studio NBC assigned me at Rockefeller Center was the SAME studio from which I anchored NBC News at Sunrise many years before, Studio 3K. It's a place with good karma for me, a studio filled with lots of happy memories.
The morning after my first night on the air, I got a wonderful phone call from Bob Wright, head of NBC who said, "Do the same thing every night - you've got a winner." And we DID have a winner. I was given an incredible team of producers and bookers and we did some great shows. But ultimately, the time commitment was simply too much.
There I was on commercial breaks during Inside Edition, feverishly typing away on my Blackberry some reply regarding the nighttime show.
Increasingly the show was being done live, which meant I got home long after my family had gone to bed. There I sat, correcting homework on the floor at 10:45pm - spending a quick five minutes going over the mistakes with my child the next morning during breakfast. It wasn't fair to anyone: not my family, not MSNBC, not Inside Edition. So a year after we went on the air, we ended the show. Proud of what we'd accomplished, and a bit more clear eyed that what we'd bitten off was more than we could chew.
In May 2005, I was thrilled to be recognized by the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York for my 16 years service as a member of their Board of Directors. My pal Joan Rivers hosted the event, which raised about $600,000 for the Girl Scouts and I was pleased to see family, friends, and my colleagues from Inside Edition there.
I showed the crowd my own Girl Scout badge sash (yup, I've still got it!) and related how each badge represented both a memory and a challenge accomplished. I remember my speech focused on the Girl Scout Promise's opening words, "On my honor, I will try." All my life, I've tried. I'm still trying my best today.