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NBC News Delayed Russert Announcement

6/13/2008 4:56 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

NBC News waited almost 15 minutes to report the death of its colleague Tim Russert, mostly because his wife and son are on vacation in Italy.

The NY Times reported the story on their website at 3:23 PM ET. NBC didn't break in to make the announcement until 3:39 PM.

NBC sources tell us they delayed because they could not reach his family overseas. They were on the trip to celebrate his son Luke's graduation.

NBC tapped veteran anchor Tom Brokaw -- a close friend of Russert's -- to make the announcement.

Story developing ...

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