University Relations and Communications

Longtime broadcast journalist talks about colorful career in Seniors on Campus program

April 27, 2009



Seniors on Campus, 896-5890
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269 


Deadline for registration is Friday, June 1


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — In nearly a quarter-century of broadcast journalism, Norma Beatty Ashby was witness to history in Montana and the world. Her interviews included conversations with famous actors and political figures.


AshbyNorma.jpgDuring a special program offered by the Montana State University Billings Seniors on Campus program, Ashby will relate her favorite stories in “Movie Stars and Rattlesnakes” on Thursday, June 4. The event will involve an intimate dinner at Café Italia in Downtown Billings and a presentation at the MSU Billings Downtown Campus. Dinner begins at 5:30 p.m. at Café Italia, 2417 Montana Ave., followed by the presentation at 214 N. Broadway.


Open to anyone, and especially those who watched Ashby during her famous “Today in Montana” run, the dinner and presentation costs $55. For those who can’t make the dinner, the cost for the presentation and dessert is $25 or $20 for Seniors on Campus members.


Ashby is a fourth-generation Montanan. Born and raised in Helena, she graduated in journalism from the University of Montana in 1957 and after working as a reporter at the Independent Record in Helena, she went to New York, where she worked for LIFE magazine and MD Medical Newsmagazine. From 1962 to 1986, she was host and producer of the award-winning “Today in Montana” show at KRTV. From 1986 to 1988 she was special projects director at KRTV and did interviews on the noon news and on “Perspective on Great Falls.” Ashby has produced 21 television documentaries and has authored “Symbols of Montana” with Rex Myers.


During her talk at MSU Billings, Ashby will tell stories of her 24-year career in Montana broadcast journalism. Her career took her from a television studio in Great Falls to London's Kensington Palace, and included interviews with first lady Pat Nixon, movie stars Olivia de Havilland and Gary Cooper, comedian Bob Hope and NBC broadcast icon Chet Huntley. She will tell stories about Abigail Van Buren and one of favorite moments – when Robert Goulet gives her an on-air kiss.  


Whenever polls are taken about influential people in the Treasure State, Ashby rates among the top 15 and is always near the head of the list of most influential women.


Two copies of her autographed book will be given away during dinner.


For more information, call 896-5890. Deadline for registration is Monday, June 1 and space is limited.