A tribute to PBS NewsHour producer Lee Koromvokis

NewsHour is saying farewell to one of our great producers who is retiring after a long career at the program. Lee Koromvokis has worked on hundreds of stories over the years and produced some of our best pieces, and the correspondent she has worked with the most is Paul Solman, who pays tribute to a friend and colleague.

Read the Full Transcript

  • Judy Woodruff:

    And before we go, we'd like to say farewell to one of the "NewsHour"'s great producers who is retiring after a long career at the program.

    You haven't seen Lee Koromvokis on the air, but she has worked on hundreds of our stories over the years and produced many of the best pieces.

    And the correspondent she has worked with the most is Paul Solman. He pays tribute tonight to a friend and colleague.

  • Paul Solman:

    TV correspondents are often almost wholly reliant on a person you never see, the producer, who assembles cool footage, rounds up the unusual suspects, most recently lumberyard owner Larry Beckerle.

    What's your best lumber joke?

  • Larry Beckerle, Co-Owner, Beckerle Lumber:

    If I told you, you would get board.


  • Paul Solman:

    New York-based Lee Koromvokis joined the "NewsHour" in the 1980s.

    Her very first feature…

    Adm. Elmo Zumwalt (Ret.), U.S. Navy: I have become an instrument of my son's own tragedy.

  • Paul Solman:

    … on Admiral Elmo Zumwalt and his son's Agent Orange-related cancer won an Emmy.

    She's added five more, two Peabody Awards.

    Lee Koromvokis, "PBS NewsHour" Producer: Thank you to the University of Georgia and the Peabody Awards. It's a very great honor.

  • Paul Solman:

    The only time you could have seen Lee on the "NewsHour" was back in 1994, when she was indignant trying to buy a Power Ranger for her son.

  • Lee Koromvokis:

    Look around. There are none of the cool toys here.

  • Paul Solman:

    You have seen plenty of her quirky visuals, though, and she can do it all.

    I fronted for her poignant report on Utica, self-dubbed refugee city, though Lee was there herself.

  • Woman:

    Congratulations, you and your flag.

  • Paul Solman:

    She also produced her correspondent-free day amidst the foreclosures in Fort Myers, Florida.

  • Man:

    If you come back to this property, it's considered trespassing.

  • Paul Solman:

    Her family from Sparta, she led us through Greece during its 2010 financial collapse. A would-be doctor, she engineered stories on the dangers of antibiotics resistance and the joys of kidney transplants.

    A woman of culture, she orchestrated a story on Emily Dickinson's garden. An erstwhile musician, she produced our stories on Franz Schubert and Bach's St. John's Passion.

    Throughout the years, Lee has been our Bach, or, maybe more aptly, our Emily Dickinson, brilliant, eagle-eye observant, always original, and always word-perfect. Will she be missed after 38 years of hyperexcellence? It's banality even to ask.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," and mainly for Lee, Paul Solman.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Thank you, Paul.

    Lee Koromvokis is a treasure. We cannot believe she is leaving us.

    Lee, we will miss you so much.

Listen to this Segment