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Savannah Guthrie’s Baby to Receive the Non-Stop Coverage America Deserves

Oh joy! Just like in that dream we had that one time, ex-DC journo Savannah Guthrie is starting a blog dedicated to her yet-unborn child! The charmingly alliterative “bouncing baby blog” will feature extensive coverage of Savannah’s abdomen, and -once the baby has grown some thumbs -live Tweets from inside her uterus.*

No word yet on whether NBC intends to live-stream the birth itself -though a birdy tells us they are considering adding a special fifth AND sixth hour of the “Today Show” to cover the final month of her pregnancy.

Other possible baby-centric features under discussion by “Today” producers:

1) A “Mocktail of the Day” segment with Kathy Lee and Hoda aimed at pregnant women who don’t want to be left out on Ladies Night. Kathy Lee and Hoda will drink regular cocktails.

2) A contest open to the public and hosted by Carson Daly to choose the baby’s middle name.

3) Appearances by guest bloggers Prince George of England, North West, and Carmen Gabriela Baldwin.

4) A special late night airing of the conception video.

*This, and most everything else in this post, is entirely made up. The baby blog is real though -find out for yourself.

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Jon Bon Jovi, Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie Honored for Service

MDD_14_4USA WEEKEND held their Make a Difference Day Luncheon today at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, with special guests Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and Jon Bon Jovi.

The event was hosted by Jenna Bush Hager, special correspondent for the Today Show, who honored 14 grassroots community efforts with $10,000 awards for their volunteer efforts in 2013.

Lauer and Guthrie were also honored for their advocacy of Today’s Shine a Light campaign promoting volunteerism in the community. Bon Jovi was recognized for his work with the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation.

Make A Difference Day is sponsored by USA WEEKEND Magazine (a Gannet company) in partnership with Points of Light and Newman’s Own. This year, Make A Difference Day will be celebrated on October 25.

CNN Digital VP: ‘We’ve future-proofed CNN’

cnnxAt its Upfront today in New York, CNN announced the debut of CNNx, a product that offers access to 24 hours of programming and and the ability to watch news segments on demand.

“As the Internet has come crashing into the television, we’ve future-proofed CNN,” said KC Estenson, senior vice president and general manager of CNN Digital. “This product bolsters our relationships with TV partners, opens incredible new opportunities for advertisers, and delivers consumers a truly innovative experience.”

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Goldston To Succeed Sherwood as ABC News Prez

Ben Sherwood announced today that SVP for Content and Development James Goldston is the next in line to become President of ABC News. Sherwood has been President since 2010 and was recently promoted to President of the Disney/ABC Television Group.

Prior to his gig as SVP, Goldston served as Executive Producer of both “Good Morning America” and “Nightline.” He will now be responsible for all editorial and business decisions in ABC’s News Division, which includes all ABC News programs on ABC, ABC News Radio and abcnews.com.

Read the full memo from Ben Sherwood after the jump.

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CNN Joins Upfronts in NYC

cnnupfront

Upfront season is upon us. This is the time of year when the networks come out to pitch their new prime time dramas and sitcoms to advertisers. But in a bid to generate buzz about their lineup, CNN will be in attendance as well.

CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker had said 2014 would be the year he shook up prime time. Wonder what he’s got in store?

 

Tapper Takes Morgan’s Time Slot for a Test Drive

With “Piers Morgan Live” now but a distant memory, the competition for Morgan’s old slot has begun in earnest. Tonight,  Jake Tapper starts a week of double shift duty -he will host both a 4:00 pm and a 9:00 pm version of “The Lead” -in an effort to show that he can be the prime-time star Jeff Zucker is looking for.

While we hear that Tapper is the favorite for the gig, Zucker will also reportedly try out Michael SmerconishBill Weir, and Don Lemon in the hour.

After each potential host has auditioned, Zucker will then subject them all to endurance trials and a gross-out eating contest before forcing them to live together in a house for one month. Only then will Americans have the chance to vote for their favorite.

At least, we’re pretty sure that’s how it works.

CCTV Brings ‘The Heat’

China Central Television (CCTV) has announced that they are making a push to put 3.5 hours of news programming on America’s prime-time airwaves every day. The state broadcaster’s American division, CCTV-America, will be offering a new batch of programming starting in April. The center-piece of the effort is a re-vamped half-hour news program called “The Heat”  -their tagline is “Generating heat and light in Washington” -which will debut Monday, April 7 at 9:15 PM.

“The Heat” was originally a weekly show, hosted by former CNN International and Al-Jazeera anchor Anand Naidoo, which aired Saturdays at 8:30 PM and featured in-depth interviews with news-makers. The plan is apparently to keep the same format but move from a weekly to a daily production schedule.  The first episode of the new “The Heat” will focus on Afghanistan, with Former US Ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker and Former US Ambassador to Afghanistan Khalmay Khalizad as guests.

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Internal Memo: March Proves Record-Breaking Month for CNN Digital

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 11.51.59As March comes to a close, CNN has been getting some flak for their wall-to-wall coverage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. But while that mystery has dominated their television programming, other big stories are also getting play online. Along with the ironically ubiquitous missing plane, the tense situation in Ukraine, the Oscar Pistorius trial, and the recent landslide in Washington state have all kept CNN readers glued to computers and mobile devices.

A recent memo from CNN President Jeff Zucker highlights the network’s successes for March as the best month ever for page views and video streams across domestic and international desktop sites and mobile web traffic.

The whole internal memo after the jump…
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ICYMI: Miles O’Brien Reunited with CNN; Big Changes at Discovery

CNN Signs Miles O’Brien as Aviation Analyst for Two Weeks by Josh Feldman at Mediaite:

Former CNN anchor/reporter Miles O’Brien will be temporarily returning to the network, a CNN source said. O’Brien has been signed for two weeks as an aviation analyst amid the network’s coverage of the ongoing search for the missing MH370 flight. O’Brien worked at CNN from 1992 to 2008, and being a pilot himself, he covered aviation issues and several plane crashes during his initial tenure.

Discovery Founder John Hendricks Retiring as Chairman of Board by Michael O’Connell at THR:

John Hendricks is officially departing Discovery Communications. The 61-year-old founder of the massive media company, who stepped down as CEO in 2004, will retire from his role as chairman of the board of directors and director of the board this spring. He will remain in the position through the May 16 annual meeting of shareholders.

Discovery Names COO of International Networks by Francesca Bacardi at Variety:

Discovery Communications has promoted Doug Baker to chief operating officer and chief financial officer for Discovery Networks Intl. He previously served as exec VP and CFO. In his new role, Baker will be responsible for oversight of strategy and research for Discovery’s 100-plus international outlets, in addition to leading all financial aspects of Discovery Networks Intl. finance and marketing.

(h/t Matt Neufeld)

‘MTP’ Launches Midweek ‘Express’ Videos, Because Why Not?

We were sitting around our office suite  here at FBDC headquarters the other day, drinking mai-tais and watching archival footage of “Meet the Press,” when we had a thought: “Why aren’t there more places online to watch David Gregory talk about things?” It was a vexing problem that today -thankfully -has been solved.

“MTP” launched a new video series today called “Meet the Press Express (Brought to you by GE).” The videos will feature Gregory and other folks from NBC’s DC bureau drinking “coffee” with “both seasoned and up-and-coming reporters,”  and having “smart, casual conversation about what’s driving the political agenda that week.” You know like Politico’s “Driving the Day,” but sitting down. Or like “The Talk,” but boring.

The web show premier features such DC notables as The Atlantic’s Molly BallRoll Call’s Christina Bellantoni and Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery. And don’t worry -there are plenty of March Madness references. There’s even some “political bracketology,” wherein Bellantoni scrawls the names of Congressmen on a piece of paper and says sports things. Yay news! Smashing sports and politics together in a completely nonsensical jumble that is useless to both sports fans and news consumers is awesome! All in all, it’s an excellent way to spend several minutes of your workday.

Also -conjecture about Jeb Bush, speculation about Rand Paul, and all the conventional wisdom you could possibly want. Behold the miracle of cost-free content production, after the jump!

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