Diane Dimond is one of the few journalists to have mastered the art of her craft across all platforms – radio, television, books and as a syndicated columnist. As such she defies a single category.
Dimond’s greatest talent may be her ability to communicate complicated stories in an understandable, common-sense way. Her reputation as a fearless investigative reporter has won admiration from her peers but she never lost the ethical and moral lessons learned growing up as an only child in a middle class home in the Southwest.
“For a kid who grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico I feel fortunate to have found the calling of journalism,” Dimond says. “I’ve gotten to roam the halls of Congress, report from the White House and be an eye-witness to several moments in history. I’ve also been able to concentrate on the issues of crime and justice in America and tell the often-forgotten human stories behind the headlines.”
While working for Albuquerque’s KGGM-TV and Radio as a receptionist during high school Dimond was drawn to the newsroom in an odd and coincidental way. Late one evening the frantic news director came to the front desk holding a long trail of wire copy and urgently asked Diane if she, “knew how to write.” He told her that the news writers had gone out to dinner (in between the early and late newscasts) had a car accident and were hospitalized. Diane had won a few writing awards in school and immediately pitched in. This baptism-by- fire was the beginning of Dimond’s passion for the news business and for good old fashioned storytelling.
After working in the KGGM (now KRQE) newsroom Diane was recruited by the TV/Radio station across the street. She joined KOB radio (now KKOB) and ultimately became both the crime and courts reporter and the morning newscaster. She was presented with the prestigious Silver Gavel Award from the American Bar Association for her intrepid multi-part series about political corruption within the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department which resulted in the Sheriff being removed from office. In addition, Diane was awarded multiple APE awards from the Albuquerque Press Club for various other stories she covered.
In 1976, Dimond moved across the country to Washington, D.C. to anchor newscasts for National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.
In 1980, she became Correspondent for the RKO Radio Network, assigned to cover Capitol Hill, the White House and various Washington agencies. Dimond was named the network’s National Political Correspondent and, in 1984, covered the presidential campaigns of Walter Mondale and his Vice-Presidential nominee, Geraldine Ferraro. Dimond was on the floor during both of that year’s presidential nominating conventions – the democratic gathering held in San Francisco and the republican convention in Dallas.
Dimond made her move into television in 1986 and her first on-air reporting job was at the CBS flagship station in New York. At WCBS, she earned several awards for covering such groundbreaking stories as the “Baby M” surrogate mother case, an investigative series on chromium poisoning in New Jersey and a sensational child molestation case on Long Island.
Dimond was recruited into syndicated television in 1990 when she became the investigative reporter for the program Hard Copy. Time Magazine cited Diane’s exclusive revelations and continuing coverage of the Michael Jackson child molestation story as among, “The Best TV of ’93.”
While at Hard Copy Dimond also made headlines when she acquired and aired the actual interrogation tape of O.J. Simpson as he was being questioned by Los Angeles police detectives investigating the death of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ron Goldman. Besides breaking the Jackson scandal Diane sparked many national stories during her 7 years at Hard Copy, including the William Kennedy Smith rape allegations in Palm Beach, Florida, exclusive interviews with Hollywood Madame, Heidi Fleiss and several sit-down prison interviews with notorious convicted killers. Among them: Kenneth Bianchi, the Hillside Strangler; Jeffrey MacDonald, the Green Beret Killer; James Earl Ray, the assassin of Martin Luther King, Jr.; Pamela Smart, convicted of convincing her young student-lover to kill her husband and Richard Allen Davis, the man who kidnapped and killed young Polly Klaas.
In 1997, Dimond moved to Warner Brothers/Telepictures where she substitute-anchored the nationally syndicated program EXTRA and made headlines with her expose of the deceptive practices of the Jerry Springer show, among other investigative reports.
In 1998, Diane moved back to the east coast and joined NBC News. She partnered with Geraldo Rivera to co-anchor CNBC’s nightly newscast, UpFront Tonight. She anchored extensive live reports from Washington during the impeachment proceedings against former President Bill Clinton. After moving to MSNBC Dimond hosted the series, Missing Persons, anchored major news blocks and, among other stories, covered the 2000 presidential campaign, traveling at various times with three of the candidates, George W. Bush, Al Gore and Ralph Nader as well as the Vice Presidential campaign of Geraldine Ferraro. Dimond also became known as the correspondent who spent 35 straight days reporting live from outside the Vice President’s residence in Washington as the nation awaited the final, controversial recount of the disputed vote.
After the September 11th, 2001 terror attack in New York City Diane became a freelance anchor, hosting live programs on the Fox News channel where she specialized in the network’s continuing coverage of the war on terrorism. Her live interviews with military and policy news makers were often quoted by other news organizations. Dimond did double duty during this time as an anchor at Court TV, filling in during various day parts as well as on the network’s evening news program, Catherine Crier Live.
In 2003, Diane joined Court TV full-time and became the Chief Investigative Reporter, once again, breaking the story of another allegation of child sexual misconduct against entertainer, Michael Jackson. In advance of preparing to cover Jackson’s criminal trial in 2005, Dimond began to write a book about her decade long involvement with the story. Be Careful Who You Love: Inside the Michael Jackson Case (Simon and Schuster/Atria) is seen by many as the definitive work about one of the most talented and controversial figures in the entertainment industry.
Diane, an only child, took some time off in 2006 following the illness and death of both her father, Allen Hughes and her mother, Ruby Hughes in Albuquerque.
In late 2007, Dimond began to write a weekly crime and justice column for the Albuquerque Journal, the paper she grew up with. In 2008, the column went national. Distributed by Creators Syndicate, the column is distributed to newspapers nationwide. Dimond prides herself on writing about wide-ranging crime and justice topics designed to raise public awareness and promote outside-the-box thinking.
In 2010, the headline grabbing story about the so-called “White House Gate Crashers,” Michaele and Tareq Salahi grabbed Dimond’s attention. Having been assigned to the White House early in her career she knew it was next to impossible to “crash” an official state dinner. Her investigation into what really happened – and more importantly, how a simple story exploded into unnecessary hand-wringing and fullblown Congressional hearings – culminated in Dimond’s book, Cirque Du Salahi (Library of Congress # 2010911655.) The book was called “A riveting slice of contemporary anthropology,” that exposed the gossip mongers masquerading as journalists who first peddled the “gate crashers” idea.
As a long-time contributor for Newsweek/TheDailyBeast.com Dimond covered multiple stories, including several high profile criminal trials. Among them: The Casey Anthony murder trial, the political corruption trial of former Senator John Edwards and the child molestation case against former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky.
In January 2013, Dimond turned her attention to the technological future of media. As part of the senior management team at The Video Call Center LLC she helped develop a whole new genre of television – one which marries social media with mass media. Utilizing a patented console, the VCC was designed after the call-in talk radio model where the host runs their own control board. VCC technology created live, host-driven, call-in talk television. Guests and callers join the program by using their Smartphones or tablets to access IP video services (Skype, Facetime, Google Hangout etc.) and the mostly automated system allows the host to control all aspects of the program. With a punch of a button the host can introduce callers, bring in pre-loaded stills, videos and offer immediate access to everything on the internet.
In the Summer of 2016, Dimond’s third book, Crime and Justice – Thinking Outside the Box was released by Creators Syndicate. This compilation of Dimond’s most compelling opinion columns includes new text, updates and additional commentary. Diane is currently conducting indept research for her next book: The Final Racket – How the US Justice System Cheats the Elderly. The topic explores what can happen to an elderly person if their squabbling family decides to ask a court to decide what care is best for them. Too often the court’s answer is an involuntary guardianship in which a stranger, a for-profit guardian is appointed. Dimond’s interest stemmed from a case in Pennsylvania (read 3 columns here) When complaints about other guardianship horror stories began to flood into her website Dimond realized this was a nationwide story. Her five-part series on the guardianship situation in New Mexico was featured in the Albuquerque Journal and earned several awards from both the New Mexico Press Association and the Institute for American Studies (Stanford University) which awarded Dimond their prestigious Clark Mollenhoff Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism.
Diane Dimond lives in Rockland County, New York with her husband, Michael Schoen, a long time WCBS radio news anchorman and voiceover artist. They have one daughter and three grandchildren. She adores her cats and loves to be in the garden.
Investigative Reporters and Editors
Society of Professional Journalists
American Federation of Radio and Television Artists
Director’s Guild of America
Screen Actor’s Guild
Friar’s Club of New York