Like Ike Pappas in the upcoming "Moon Over Parador," Peter Hackes, the smooth-talking network news president in "Broadcast News," used to be a network correspondent. He spent more than 30 years with NBC News.
But in contrast to Pappas, who was fired by CBS News, Hackes, who also lives and works in Washington, voluntarily took early retirement. He says NBC officials "were very nice to me" in working that out.
Since leaving NBC in April, 1986, he has done a variety of things, such as voice-overs for corporate videotapes and moderating "teleconferences" for various organizations, one of them the Internal Revenue Service.
Hackes, 63, also works two days a week as a media consultant to the American Assn. of Retired Persons.
The former network correspondent got promoted to network news president in "Broadcast News" because he had heard that a casting company in Washington--Central Casting, believe it or not--was seeking actors for the film.
"I went down to see if I could get a walk-on part, just for fun," Hackes said. He met the film's writer-director, James L. Brooks, and one of the leads, Albert Brooks, at the audition.
The result was Hackes' debut in a major motion picture, and a successful one at that. But he is not sure it means he is destined for more acting roles: "It could be a one-picture career for me."
Hackes was asked if any real network news presidents have complimented or condemned his depiction of their job description. Not really, he said.
"But (NBC News president) Larry Grossman told me, 'Now you know what we have to go through.' "