Broadcast News is the 1987 comedy/drama set at a regional television news bureau in Washington D.C.

Writer and director James L. Brooks gives a behind the scenes look at a tv newsroom which highlights the conflict brewing between serious news stories, entertainment news and the people who report them.

  “Just remember that you’re not just reading the news, you’re narrating it. Everybody has to sell a little.”

Tom Grunick

Albert Brooks, Holly Hunter, William Hurt and Joan Cusack in a scene from the 1987 film Broadcast News. (20th Century Fox Films)


Holly Hunter stars as news producer Jane Craig, who creates strong journalistic pieces for viewers and believes that stories – and the people who report them should be authentic.

Jane works with reporter Aaron Altman, who is played by Albert Brooks. He’s a great reporter, tells good stories, but he hasn’t got the best presentation for tv.

Then there’s Tom Grunick, who is played by William Hurt. Tom admits he doesn’t know how to write news, doesn’t understand a lot of the stories he’s reporting, but knows he looks good on camera and can read well.

“Can you believe it? I just risked my life for a network that tests my face with focus groups.”

Aaron Altman

Trailer-20th Century Fox Home Entertainment: 

“I-I can’t help you. Sorry, I’m not here to teach remedial reporting.”

Jane Craig

More about Broadcast News:

Holly Hunter’s character was modelled after CBS News Producer Susan Zirinsky.  The film website says “before filming began, Holly Hunter spent time job shadowing Zirinsky to see how things worked in a real newsroom. Hunter also cut her hair into a “bob” style haircut to resemble Zirinsky.”

  • You can read about Susan Zirinsky by clicking on this article written in 2009 by Felix Gillette: Not-So-Suddenly Susan!

Writer Patricia Zohn wrote a piece for the Huff Post when Broadcast News was released via the Criterion Collection in 2011.