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Posts Tagged ‘Alex Wallace’

Luke Russert, Joe Scarborough to Join ‘Meet the Press’ as Regular Panelists

s-LUKERUSSERT-largeLuke Russert, who’s father Tim Russert served as moderator of NBC’s “Meet the Press” for 17 years, will join the Sunday morning show as a regular panelist, “Page Six” reports.

The New York Post also reports that “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough “is taking on a larger role within NBC News as a senior political analyst and would be one of the regular Sunday panelists.”

The news comes days after NBC News SVP Alex Wallace announced that John Reiss would join NBC’s “Meet the Press” as acting executive producer, replacing Rob Yarin.

This Sunday, Chuck Todd takes over as moderator, replacing David Gregory, who was ousted last month.

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‘Meet the Press’ Makeover Continues with New Acting Executive Producer

Meet the Press - Season 67NBC News SVP Alex Wallace announced today that John Reiss will join NBC’s “Meet the Press” as acting executive producer, replacing Rob Yarin, who assumed the same role in August 2013 with David Gregory as moderator. TVNewser was first to report that Reiss joins as Chuck Todd prepares to take over as host of the world’s longest running television program this Sunday, September 7.

Reiss for the past seven years served as EP of MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” and prior to that was an EP for “NBC Nightly News” and “Dateline” producer.

Wallace writes that Yarin, who will continue in a new role with “MTP,” will “be integral to establishing a 24/7 editorial presence and ramping up our digital strategy.”

On Friday, FishbowlDC reported that 23-year NBC News veteran – 11 as “MTP” EP – Betsy Fischer Martin would depart the peacock network that day.

See Wallace’s full note to staff, after the jump. Read more

Sunday Show Ratings, 3.16.14: CBS on Top, NBC Still Struggling

CBS had their best week of the year in the Sunday show ratings competition last week. “Face the Nation” drew 3.791 million viewers overall, with 1.08 million in the key 25 – 54 demographic. ABC was second in total viewers with 3.565 million viewers, but won the demo with 1.18 million. Meanwhile NBC’s “Meet the Press” came in a distant third, with only 2.657 million viewers overall, and 784,000 in the demo. That’s their worst performance among 25 – 54 year olds all year, and their second worse week over all. Viewership was up 30% for both CBS and Fox compared to last Sunday. ABC saw a 9% increase in viewers, while NBC and Univision lost 8% and 12% respectively. Despite “MTP”‘s continued disappointing performance, NBC News VP Alex Wallace said there were absolutely no plans to replace David Gregory as host. “I cannot be more declarative about David,” she told HuffPo recently. “[He] is our guy.”

Here’s more from our sister site, TVNewser:

“This Week” won in the A25-54 demo for the fourth straight week, its longest demo winning streak in over 19 years.

Compared to the same week last year, CBS and ABC were both up: “This Week” grew +41% in total viewers and +68% in the demo, and “Face the Nation” grew +43% in both total and demo viewers. “Meet the Press” was down -6% in total viewers and flat in the demo. Fox was up +38% in viewers and +5% in the demo. Univision is down in both measurements, -28% and -24%, respectively.

The numbers for March 16:

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
CBS
“Face the Nation” 3.791M 1.08M
ABC
“This Week” 3.565M 1.18M
NBC “Meet the Press” 2.657M 784K
FOX “Fox News Sunday” 1.340M 440K
Univision “Al Punto” 666K 312K

“Face the Nation” is based on the first half-hour only, as the full contiguous hour aired in just 50% of the country.

Updates for NBC Washington, CNN @ 11am, and WTOP Mornings

announcementLots of internal news coming out of our top news orgs recently. Here’s some more to round out the week.

NBC’s Alex Wallace will head the network’s Washington bureau according to a memo sent out by NBC Prez Deborah Turness. In it, Turness said, “As SVP News, Wallace will become the General Manager/360 Leader for ‘Nightly News‘ and ‘Meet the Press,’ and will lead all our editorial and political coverage out of the DC bureau.”

CNN today announced changes to its weekday programming lineup. Starting Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, John Berman and Michaela Pereira will co-anchor CNN’s 11am hour of dayside programming. Berman and Pereira will continue to anchor “Early Start” and “New Day,” respectively.

And over at WTOP, starting Monday, Jan. 20, Joan Jones will join Mike Moss to co-anchor WTOP mornings from 5 – 10am.

Mark Whitaker: The FishbowlDC Interview

Say hello “good afternoon, Sir” to Mark Whitaker. One of the most powerful players in news media, Whitaker is Senior Vice President and Washington Bureau Chief for NBC News… but I didn’t need to tell you that.

Mark Whitaker Headshot.jpg

What does your morning reading list include? In print, I read The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post every morning. Then I check out Huffington Post, Politico, The Daily Beast, Romenesko and I Want Media online. I save TV Newser and Fishbowl DC and NY for last…to keep my blood pressure down.

What has been the proudest moment in your career? I was the Editor of Newsweek during 9/11 – we did a lot of groundbreaking coverage for a weekly magazine and won a National Magazine Award for General Excellence for it. On a personal level, I also got a big thrill out of writing the Newsweek cover story when Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990. But nothing beats the immediacy of TV. Nine days after the election, I stopped by Andrea Mitchell‘s office around 6 pm and she told me that two solid sources had told her Barack Obama was in serious talks with Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State. I called Alex Wallace, who was the EP of Nightly News with Brian Williams and urged her to put Andrea on for a cross-talk with Brian. Half an hour later she had the biggest scoop of the Obama transition. That was a kick.

What has been the biggest challenge in your new position at NBC? Obviously replacing Tim Russert has been both a huge honor and a big challenge. I’ve approached it by trying to honor everything Tim stood for – toughness but fairness and fierce loyalty to his people and bureau. But also by being true to myself and my judgments and style rather than trying to model myself after him.

You’ve climbed to the top of both the publishing and broadcast news worlds. How do you compare those two news mediums? The difficulty but also the fun of editing a newsweekly was figuring out what was worth telling readers who already knew the headlines. In television, you can make news simply by being in the right place at the right time with a camera. But increasingly, as news moves at warp speed across the Internet, TV will have to focus less just on reporting the facts and more on adding value with smart analysis and commentary and behind-scenes reporting. I think one reason NBC News and MSNBC are doing so well right now is that we’ve figured that out.

Your lovely wife Alexis Gelber is also a big name in journalism. How does she feel about your new gig? She’s been very supportive, although her work is mostly still in New York right now (consulting for Newsweek and recently heading up books coverage for The Daily Beast) so we’re doing a lot of commuting back and forth on weekends. But having worked with her for so many years at Newsweek (where she was the National Affairs editor and managing editor of the International edition and Director of Special Projects), it’s nice to be able to talk shop about different shops.

What is the media’s role in helping our country move past the recession? Our role isn’t to cheerlead or to fear-monger but to report and explain. How did we get into this mess? What are the pros and cons of the Obama rescue plan, both now and for America’s future? What can ordinary folks do to cope? Of course, the causes and consequences of this crisis are so complicated that even the smartest financial journalists are still figuring a lot of it out themselves.

Obama’s presidency seems to have sparked an almost overly-cautious approach to news media. How can we overcome that without being misinterpreted as “racist?” President Obama had a good answer when Ann Compton asked him at his press conference how much he thought about being the first black president. He said he felt good about what his election symbolized for about a day, but then he had to get down to business like any other president. I would say the same for the news media. We celebrated the historic breakthrough, now we have to cover this administration like we would any other.

There are currently no women as chief white house correspondents. What does that say about female leadership in Washington? That question doesn’t do justice to NBC’s White House Correspondent Savannah Guthrie. She shares the beat with Chuck Todd: they do equal duty reporting for both Nightly News and the Today show, trading shows every week, and are both on MSNBC all the time. The fact that Chuck is called Chief White House Correspondent is virtually a distinction without a difference, except that Chuck had handled most of the White House press briefings and presidential news conferences so far. But the larger point you raise is a good one. There should be more women on the front line at the White House.

You’re new to Washington. What has been the biggest surprise about living here? I always thought of Washington as a one-company town, so I’ve been pleased to make friends with writers and architects and businesspeople as well as politicians and journalists. And it’s really mellow here on the weekends, compared to New York. I tell people I don’t need a country house anymore; I can just stay here.

What is something most people don’t know about you? I play the saxophone, but not well enough that you’d want to hear me.

What is your favorite power lunch spot? We’re so far from downtown DC here at the NBC bureau that I’ve all but given up on power lunches. I’m down to power breakfasts and power dinners.