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Posts Tagged ‘Norman Lear’

Giants of Broadcasting Celebrates 10th Anniversary

The Library of American Broadcasting is marking its 10th year of immortalizing industry greats. The 2012 edition of the Giants of Broadcasting include two career radio executives, pioneering television newsmen, a man who made a weekly commentary “must see TV,” and a man who helped launched the 24-hour news cycle.

That man is Ted Turner. He turned an upstart CNN into a worldwide cable news powerhouse. Within six years, CNN was in the black. There were the Atlanta Braves, eventually broadcast on his new station TBS. Turner also added the Atlanta Hawks to his prospectus.

Turner, who spoke briefly in his acceptance speech, talked about his proudest moment professionally in 1990 as the Gulf War began.

“I took a nap. When I woke up, I knew the war was coming, and I knew we had our people there. I turned on the television and clicked it over to NBC and there was Tom Brokaw talking. I switched over to CBS and there was Dan Rather talking in the studio. I switched it over to ABC and there was Peter Jennings talking in the studio,” Turner boasts. “Then I flashed it over to CNN, and there was the war. As a journalist, as a television news person, wasn’t that the greatest scoop of all time?”

Another major TV executive was recognized for his body of work. Sir Howard Stringer (above) had a 30-year association with CBS. The Wales-born Stringer, after earning his B.A. and M.A. degrees at the prestigious Oxford University, arrived in New York. His first job at the Tiffany Network was an entry level clerk logging commercial times at WCBS-TV/Channel 2.

Stringer is chairman of the board at Sony Corporation. FishbowlNY spoke to Stringer at the Giants of Broadcasting event. Watch the video clip after the jump.

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Howard Stringer Still Treasures the Memory of His Lunches with Johnny Carson

What better place for Sir Howard Stringer to reminisce about the great Johnny Carson than the annual Giants of Broadcasting event?

The chairman of Sony’s board was feted at yesterday’s 10th anniversary edition in New York City alongside Norman Lear, Ted Turner, Robert MacNeil, Jim Lehrer, Eric Farber, George Beasley and – posthumously – Don Cornelius and Andy Rooney. Our FishbowlNY colleague Jerry Barmash was able to grab a few minutes with Stringer, who recalled a great fringe benefit of helping orchestrate the successful CBS pursuit of David Letterman:

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Saying So Long to Sherman Hemsley, Whose Big Break Came on Broadway

Hemsley and Jeffersons co-star Isabel Sanford

Before he became part of sitcom lore, Sherman Hemsley was part of the Broadway scene.

Beginning in 1970, Hemsley was a member the musical Purlie. Although it was only a supporting role, it ultimately led to the role of lifetime.

Early in the show’s run, there was buzz backstage that a major Hollywood producer would visit the cast.

That producer was Norman Lear, who was on precipice of greatness with All in the Family set to debut the following January.

Lear’s appearance followed Melba Moore and Cleavon Little winning Tony Awards for Purlie on April 19.

As Hemsley told the Archive of American Television in 2003, he didn’t expect Lear would have any interest in the young actor.

“I was just sort of new, and happy to be there,” Hemsley recalled. “I figured he didn’t even notice me. I figured he noticed me, but he was coming to see them. I wasn’t as nervous as I guess I should have been.”

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Andy Rooney, Don Cornelius, Among 2012 Giants of Broadcasting

An eclectic group of TV and radio pioneers has been selected as Giants of Broadcasting. This year’s class includes the late Don Cornelius, who was the revolutionary Soul Train host from 1971 to 1993.

  • The man who gave Archie Bunker life, Norman Lear , is among the 2012 group. The producer-extraordinaire, Lear was behind some of television’s most endearing sitcoms, including All in the Family, Maude, Sanford and SonGood Times, and One Day at a Time. Lear, who turns 90 on July 27, has won four Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award.
  • Ted Turner brought the idea of 24-hour news to people’s homes, and CNN was born in 1980.  The mogul also founded TNT (Turner Network Television) and TCM (Turner Classic Movies). He was named Time‘s Man of Year for 1991.
  • Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer were the longtime PBS nightly news anchors. They were first to anchor a one-hour newscast in the U.S. and made of career at that rare feat. The MacNeil/Lehrer Report debuted in 1975. Eight years later, the tandem was expanded to 60 minutes. MacNeil, who earlier in his career worked for NBC News, retired in 1995.

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Suzanne Whang Hypes Powerful One-Woman Show

On February 5, stand-up comic, actress and reality TV personality Suzanne Whang will open her one-woman show Cracked Open: Let Go & Let Gook at Beyond Baroque in Venice. As is customary with these sorts of things, she is trying to drum up some excitement and ticket sales with an advance press release that includes some heady praise:

Jim Vallely, co-executive producer and writer of Arrested Development: “This is the most powerful piece of theatre I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Tom Bergeron, Dancing with the Stars and America’s Funniest Home Videos: “Bold, funny, and committed on stage. Actually, she should probably just be committed.”

Tracy Newman, founding member of The Groundlings: “Here’s how funny, beautiful and smart Suzanne Whang is: She has cancer and I’m jealous of her.”

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Oscar Blogger Calls Out Publicists for Use of ‘Sure Fire’

Ha ha. In a blog post yesterday, indieWIRE’s Hollywood movie maven Anne Thompson suggested that publicists hyping the Oscar-qualified Sally Kirkland live action short African Chelsea should have stayed away from the word “sure fire.”

The expression appears in both the press release headline and body-text, although it turns out the real culprit looks to be populist film critic Leo Quinones. On one of his “Film Freak” KFWB-AM broadcasts, it was he who first deemed the short to be “a sure fire Oscar nominee.”

FishbowlLA took the time to watch the six-minute drama, which is available for free at IMDB.com. And we’re here to tell you that the Oscar hype makes as much sense as calling a movie about a Hollywood exotic dancer African Chelsea.

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Comedian Paul Rodriguez Skewers Verizon, Will Smith

Pioneering Latino stand-up Paul Rodriguez in is the middle of wrapping up a second weekend of LA performances of his first-ever one-man show, Just for the Record. He anchors the wide-ranging anecdotes around the idea that before he was hired by Verizon for those new TV ads, the company wanted to make sure he was psychologically sound by reviewing his personal history.

At one point in the show’s accompanying slide roll, a photo of Will Smith pops up, to which Rodriguez comments, “You forgot who your friends were – f*ck you!” Ouch. The two worked together on 1993′s Made in America and 2001′s Ali, after which the comic evidently got stung like a bee.

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Lunch: Christiane Amanpour Draws an A-List Crowd

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— DIANE CLEHANE

On the menu at Michael’s today: a tasty stew of media mavens and moguls with a heaping helping of famous faces on the side. We could barely keep up with the goings-on in the dining room, since every other minute there was some boldface name heading to the Garden Room for CNN’s lunch to celebrate Christiane Amanpour‘s new show. We spied Gayle King, Cynthia McFadden, Joni Evans, Gloria Steinem, and Harry Evans among the scribes invited to cover the soiree. (Nice to see you, Steve Krakauer!) Our own TVNewser Kevin Allocca editor was there, too.

I was lunching today with Carrie Kania, senior vice president and publisher of It Books and Harper Perennial. It Books, HarperCollins’ hip new imprint, is tapping into the zeitgeist with a fall list brimming with of-the-moment tomes including Twitter Wit (Who knew so many people could write such witty Tweets?) and the just released I Love Your Style by the uber stylish Amanda Brooks. “I love the book because it shows how fashion evolves,” Carrie told me. I Love Your Style is full of fabulous images of timeless style icons like Jackie Kennedy, Ali McGraw and Charlotte Rampling as well as today’s trendsetters like Natalie Portman. It’s also got plenty of great ideas and tips on how to identify and develop a style that’s truly one’s own. Carrie is just as passionate about the classics on Harper Perennial’s backlist. “So many 13 and 14 year-old girls have not read The Bell Jar; I want to help them find it.” Seems like Carrie is on a mission to get everyone she can excited about publishing: she’s also teaching the New York University graduate course ‘Introduction to Publishing.’ Says Carrie of her gig that spends eights weeks focused on books and another eight on magazines: “I take the students through every step from acquisition to marketing. The mentoring I got early on was invaluable to me, and I want to help people like that. There is no better business to be in.”

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. My good friend, public relations maven Lisa Linden (Happy Belated Birthday!) and her partner, Steven Alschuler — their firm, Linden, Alschuler & Kaplan works with plenty of Gotham’s movers and shakers in real estate, government and philanthropy, in case you didn’t know — with former senator Nick Spano and his colleague from Empire Strategic Planning, Perry Ochacher.

2. Most of the ‘Imber Gang’: Dr. Gerald Imber, Jerry Della Femina and Andy Bergman. Where were Jeff Greenfield and Michael Kramer?

3. Diane Sokolow and a formidable-looking fellow we didn’t recognize

4. Producer Bill Haber and television legend Norman Lear

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The Limbaugh Challenge

Rushcj ioranuv.jpgIn a recent LA Times Op-Ed piece, conservative Andrew Klavan criticized the liberals who complained about Rush Limbaugh without ever having listened to his show. Klavan issued the “Limbaugh challenge”- to listen to the show an hour a day for several days. Four local liberals accepted the challenge- Marc Cooper of the USC Annenberg School for Communication, Laurie Ochoa of the LA Weekly, Norman Lear of People for the American Way, and civil rights attorney Constance L. Rice. Their response ran in the LAT Op-Ed page this past Sunday. From Marc Cooper:

I will grant Limbaugh one slim glimmer of genius. Unlike similar demagogues (I’m thinking of Lou Dobbs and Sean Hannity), Limbaugh makes no claim to be a little-guy populist. Instead, he’s a perfect mouthpiece for the most elite portions of our society. He’s a virile defender of wealth, privilege and greed. The rather fabulous trick he pulls off is to attract millions of little-guy listeners and make them believe that their interests are somehow the same as those of the jillionaires Limbaugh idolizes and celebrates.

FBLA Crashes Media Matters Inauguration Kick Off Party

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Don’t ask how we ended up with these people. Let’s just say security isn’t that tight.

First in the photo above is Al Franken. Yes, the soon-to-be Senator-Elect Al Franken.

Also spotted was Arianna Huffington, Norman Lear, Congressman Paul Hoades (D-New Hampshire), Baratunde Thurston of The Onion and several hundred other people.

We saw one woman’s boa catch on fire – so that’s the sign of a real party. We accosted Congressman Barney Frank who was a dismissive to us. Which from what we’ve heard is only surprising if one is from Los Angeles…ahem.

Another notable was Ben Fishel, who hosts the Media Matters Minute radio segment, he is Andy Rooney‘s grandson. And yes, because we know you’re super curious…Ben’s eyebrows are normal.

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