Bob Flick, news producer and writer for KNXT Channel 2 in Los Angeles during the 1960s and later at NBC News and Entertainment Tonight, has died. He was 84. His friend Joe Saltzman announced on Facebook that the newsman died on December 31.
Flick began his decades-long career in news in 1958 as a reporter for City News Service in Los Angeles. He went on to KNXT (now KCBS) as news producer-writer during the “The Big News” era in the 1960s and then moved to NBC in the 1970s. In November 1978, Flick was producing a report on Congressman Leo Ryan’s visit to Jonestown, the Peoples Temple compound in Guyana, during which Ryan, NBC correspondent Don Harris and cameraman Bob Brown, and San Francisco Examiner photographer Greg Robinson were shot dead in an ambush. Flick survived the attack at an airfield at Port Kaituma, Guyana. Also wounded that day were Ryan’s aide Jackie Speier — now U.S. Representative for California’s 14th Congressional District — NBC sound man Steve Sung and San Francisco Examiner reporter Tim Reiterman.
The Jonestown experience left an indelible mark on Flick, and he never forgave himself for surviving when his colleagues were killed, Saltzman said. Not wanting to cover hard news again, Flick moved to Entertainment Tonight as a newswriter. He shared a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Informational Series for the show in 1987.
Flick also had worked at The Associated Press.