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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Capus’
Say hello to Paul Brandus who writes West Wing Reports and a column for The Week. He’s an independent White House Correspondent who writes a blog and has a Twitter account in which he doesn’t use his name. How come he goes nameless? “Here’s a question for you,” begins his standard refrain about it. “Name the CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN & Fox reporters at the White House 10 years ago. How about five years ago? This may come as a disappointment to many folks in this egocentric town, but most people can’t remember the names. And that’s at the most visible beat in Washington. Names fade quickly. But brand names have enduring market value. People have no idea who I am personally. I’d prefer they know my brands, one of which is West Wing Reports. Brands can be licensed, flipped, monetized in more enduring ways.” Even so, let’s get to know the man behind the brand, shall we? Brandus was a foreign correspondent in Moscow for five years. He worked for the U.S. Embassy, eventually NBC and NPR and did some magazine work. While in Moscow, he bought the broadcast rights to the Super Bowl from the NFL. He later worked at MSNBC and Fox — he says the concept of this makes people’s heads explode. “I helped launch MSNBC back in 1996,” Brandus explains. “Worked for Steve Capus, who went on to become President of NBC News. Good man. I was a writer, but apparently too good of a writer because they put me in charge of editing all the other writers. That’s where I learned the 80/20 rule: 20 percent of your people will cause 80 percent of your problems. At Fox News, I was a senior prime time producer in New York, working on news cut ins every half hour. If the you-know-what hit the fan, we had to run into the control room across the hall and break into Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity & Alan Colmes. Great fun.” Brandus worked on Wall Street for several years, cashed out and started another media company, his own. In 2011 he became a columnist for The Week. He moderates conferences for them on energy and cybersecurity. He also works with a Northern Virginia venture capital firm. Brandus won’t be found on the Washington cocktail circuit. Instead, he spends his weekends with his 18-month-old daughter or family horses in Fairfax County.
Now let’s proceed to the really important stuff.
If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? Cherry Coke Zero
How often do you Google yourself? Once or twice a year.
What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? My old boss, Jim Farley, who hired me twice – first at NBC years ago and later at WTOP – taught me WGAS: “Who gives a shit?” It has universal applications today and I’ve used it to great effect in various times and places. WGAS is also text-friendly.
Who is your favorite working journalist and why? Anyone who understands it’s not about them. Anyone who eschews the limelight and simply focuses on finding things out, communicating about it well and not pretending to be an expert or feeling compelled to have an opinion on everything.
Who is your favorite White House reporter and why? The wire service folks are usually the best. Not flashy, just solid, nose-to-the-grindstone types day in and day out. I really admire them.
Do you have a favorite word? “Dada.” Uttered by a certain 17-month old little girl.
What word or phrase do you overuse? “Dumb ass.” Use it a lot.
Who would you rather have dinner with – CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, CNN’s John King or CNN’s Piers Morgan. Tell us why. I think John King is an honest, hard-working, straight shooter guy. You know what I like about him? He made a mistake during the Boston coverage and dealt with it in a transparent, humble and honest way. People err – and it’s how they deal with it – for better or worse – that I remember. I tend to get along well with people like that.
What is the most interesting conversation you’ve had in awhile in the course of your work and who was it with? If I hadn’t hung up on Ronald Reagan in 1990, it might have been the time when, on a dare, I called him at home in 1990. This was a year after he left the White House. The Reagans were living in Bel Air and I never thought he would answer the phone himself. But I heard that famous voice: “Hello?” on the other end, freaked out and hung up. To use my favorite word, I was such a dumb ass. So I guess the answer would be the time I downed vodka shots with Boris Yeltsin at a Fourth of July party at Spaso House, the home of the U.S. Ambassador to Russia. I was lurking by the bar when he came over and we wound up downing a few and chatting. That’s what you do in Russia. Drink. Talk. Drink some more.
Tell us a funny story from the White House Briefing Room. Can be long or short. There used to be a guy named Lester Kinsolving, who used to show up in the briefing every day. Haven’t seen him in many months. He used to ask the most bizarre, completely out of left field questions imaginable on completely obscure, irrelevant matters. Bush’s flacks and now Obama’s used to call on him as a diversion. And, in this digital age, he used to carry a giant cassette recorder around with him like it was 1983 or something. Not picking on Lester, he is a nice guy. Hope he’s OK.
Without naming names, tell us some shitty thing that happened in the course of you covering the White House… Read more
- “[D]ump David Gregory as host of ‘Meet the Press.’”
- “[S]teal Jan Crawford Greenburg from CBS…”
- “Get some capable conservatives (instead of a left, lefter and leftist panel) and New Media liberals” for the roundtable shows.
- Designate MSNBC’s prime time lineup as “entertainment” rather than news.
Rubin has been especially critical of Gregory as of late. In mid-January she accused him of conducting a “softball interview” with President Obama on New Years Day. She also said Gregory was “ill-prepared, doesn’t listen to the answers or has no interest in conducting tough interviews of the Obama administration’s surrogates.” In her weekend column, she described Gregory as “incapable of asking hard questions and whose most distinctive moment was a stupid, illegal gun stunt.”
Rubin’s suggestion to replace Gregory… Read more
NBC News President Steve Capus today announced that Peter Alexander has been named White House Correspondent, joining Chuck Todd and Kristen Welker on the beat effective immediately. Noteworthy: Alexander’s wife is Alison Starling, who works for ABC7 in Washington.
In other NBC news… Todd will extend his tenure as NBC News Political Director and Chief White House Correspondent, as well as anchor of MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown,” editor of NBCNews.com’s “First Read” blog, and frequent contributor to “Meet the Press.”
Alexander’s reporting earned recognition as one of Politico‘s “10 breakout reporters of 2012.”
See the canned, complimentary quote from Capus… Read more
Richard Prince has won the Ida B. Wells Award.
The National Association of Black Journalists announced today that Prince, a columnist for the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, will receive the honor given to an individual who has made “outstanding efforts to make newsrooms and news coverage more accurately reflect the diversity of the communities they serve.”
Prince will be honored on January 17, 2013, at NABJ’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D. C. The Ida B. Wells Award is named in honor of the distinguished journalist, fearless reporter and wife of one of America’s earliest black publishers.
For a decade now, he has authored the popular “Journal-isms” column, which covers issues of diversity within the news industry. Previous recipients include: Steve Capus of NBC News; Reggie Stuart of Knight Ridder; Paula Madison of NBC Universal; and Walterene Swanston of NPR.
“He is the epitome of someone who speaks truth to power,” said NABJ Prez Gregory Lee Jr.
This just in…
The latest on NBC Newsman Tom Brokaw: After feeling lightheaded on “Morning Joe this morning, MSNBC’s Chris Jansing announces that he was taken to a hospital and is in good spirits. She sounded lighthearted about the incident and mused about Brokaw’s great sense of humor. See TVNewser’s early a.m. writeup here. And a brief statement from NBC News after the jump…
Brokaw on Twitter:
All is wellEarly AM I mistakenly took a half dose of Ambien and made less sense than usual. Made a better comeback than Giants…
— Tom Brokaw (@tombrokaw) September 6, 2012
UPDATE at 12:53 p.m.: Brokaw is out of the hospital. A statement from NBC’s Steve Capus: “After medical evaluation and a round of tests, Tom was pronounced in great health and has been discharged. We’re immensely grateful to the team at Carolinas Medical Center for their excellent care and professionalism.”
MSNBC.com is getting a new name. Despite the complex, corporate jargon, the long and short of it is that MSNBC.com will now be NBCNews.com. Some staff will be “co-located” at NBC’s headquarters in New York in order to create “unified multi-platform teams, and promote the sharing of resources and cross-platform reporting between the network’s broadcast and digital properties.”
NBC News President Steve Capus announced today that NBC News is now the full owner and operator of Msnbc Digital Network. This includes msnbc.com, TODAY.com, NightlyNews.com, BreakingNews.com,Newsvine.com, EveryBlock.com, and the apps and extensions of these respective properties.
All of NBC News’ digital businesses, including Msnbc Digital Network properties, theGrio.com, NBCLatino.com,NBCPolitics.com, EducationNation.com, social media and all of the network’s digital initiatives, will form a new division called NBC News Digital.
NBC News Digital will be overseen by Vivian Schiller, Senior VP & Chief Digital Officer of NBC News. Charlie Tillinghast will continue to oversee the legacy Msnbc Digital Network properties, reporting to Schiller. The current NBC News Digital sales team will now report to Marianne Gambelli, President of NBC Network Ad Sales, and work closely with John Kelly, Executive VP of NBC News Ad Sales.
Savannah Guthrie has officially been named co-anchor of NBC News’ “Today.” She replaces Ann Curry, who left in an awkwardly sad goodbye but will remain with the network with, in her words, a “fancy new title.” Word arrived today via NBC News President Steve Capus and is effective immediately. The new “Today” family will consist of Matt Lauer, Guthrie, Al Roker and Natalie Morales officially debuts Monday, July 9.
The memos… Read more
In what appears to be a rash of outlets hooking up for the upcoming elections, NBC News and Telemundo are joining forces to “deliver an unprecedented number of hours of political coverage in English and Spanish under their signature political banner ‘Decision 2012.’” We can hardly wait and only hope this is as interesting as C-SPAN linking up with NJ.
How many compliments can occur in one release? NBC News states in a release, “Through this partnership, NBC News will give Telemundo Media access to the assets and strengths of the #1 news organization in the country, while Telemundo Media will contribute its expertise and reach within the Hispanic community. By combining news gathering assets and award-winning journalists, NBC News and Telemundo Media will offer unparalleled political news programming and convention coverage as well as exclusive town halls and monthly polls.”
Alexandra Wallace, Senior Veep at NBC News, has expanded her role to add a strategic position within Telemundo. She’ll work closely with Alina Falcon, Executive Veep of News and Alternative Programming at Telemundo Media, on executing “Decision 2012.”
What’s more, Telemundo and NBC News will share resources to produce programming on the race to the White House. There will be joint monthly polls, coverage of the candidates’ campaigns, conventions, and high visibility events around civic engagement and the role of the Hispanic vote.
Steve Capus, President of NBC News, of course, complimented Wallace. “In this new assignment, she is perfectly situated to help NBC News and Telemundo News take their relationship to the next level.”
There are graphs and graphs more on how valuable this partnership will be, but we can’t bring ourselves to bore you with it.
Former NPR CEO Vivian Schiller has landed a new job. Schiller, who in March resigned from her position after a damaging video of NPR executives hit the Web, has accepted a role as Chief Digital Officer for NBC News. Reporting to NBC News President Steve Capus, Schiller will lead the digital strategy for both NBC News and MSNBC and oversee the network’s digital extensions on the web and in mobile, as well as providing direction to the newsgroup’s properties like EducationNation.com and theGrio.com
Prior to joining NPR, Schiller served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of NYTimes.com and spent four years as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Discovery Times Channel, a joint venture of The New York Times and Discovery Communications. Prior to that, she ran CNN Productions, where she led CNN’s long-form programming efforts. Schiller will begin her new gig in mid-July.
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