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John Reiss Named Acting EP of ‘Meet the Press’

chuck todd mtp 2First on TVNewser: “Meet the Press” isn’t just getting a new moderator, a new Executive Producer is joining as well.

John Reiss, who has been EP of “Hardball with Chris Matthews” for the last 7 years, has been named acting EP of the show just as Chuck Todd takes over as host. Before MSNBC, Reiss spent two years as EP of “NBC Nightly News.” He’s been with NBC News since 1994, joining as a producer for “Dateline.” Before that, Reiss spent 11 years at ABC News as a writer and producer.

Reiss replaces Rob Yarin who joined the Sunday public affairs show last summer. Yarin will stay on with the MTP, overseeing ongoing projects including its digital presence. On Friday, Betsy Fischer Martin, who spent 11 years as MTP EP, and 23 years in all with NBC, left the company.

More
: Details in a note from NBC News SVP Alex Wallace

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The Scoreboard: Friday, August 29

25-54 demographic (Live +SD)

  • Total day: FNC: 252 | MSNBC: 95 | CNN: 126 | HLN: 68
  • Primetime: FNC: 239 | MSNBC: 101 | CNN: 141 | HLN: 81

4p: 5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p: 12a:
FNC
Cavuto:

214

TheFive:

391

Baier:

306

Greta:

242

TheFive:

264

Kelly:

230

Hannity:

223

TheFive:

254

Kelly:

299

MSNBC
Wagner:

37

EdShow:

67

Sharpton:

115

Matthews:

116

Hayes:

123

Maddow:

76

Lockup:

103

Lockup:

149

Lockup:

170

CNN
Tapper:

87

Blitzer:

110

Blitzer:

139

Burnett:

128

Cooper:

103

DeathRow:

154

DeathRow:

165

DeathRow:

117

DeathRow:

175

HLN
Now:

42

Files:

32

Files:

32

Files:

39

Files:

92

Files:

84

Files:

67

Files:

80

Files:

138

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More Cuts at Al Jazeera America

Al-Jazeera-America304As the year-old network looks to cut costs, Al Jazeera America has parted ways with a correspondent and two executive producers, TVNewser has learned.

Last week, AJAM declined to renew the contract of Miami-based correspondent Natasha Ghoneim. A photographer in the bureau was also cut. And today, we hear two executive producers were let go.

“We are going to replace the correspondent and camera person who are gone,” a spokesperson tells TVNewser about the Miami changes. “Like any business, we’re always looking at how to most effectively and efficiently deploy our resources and as such looking at costs is a regular exercise, but there aren’t any plans for ‘extreme’ cost-cutting.”

Regarding executive producer cuts, the spokesperson adds: “In an organization of over 800 employees, there may be weeks when a few people leave and weeks when a few people join. As a policy we don’t discuss personnel matters publicly.”

Following cuts in April, CEO Ehab Al Shihabi told staffers in July that more layoffs were possible.

Which Does Chris Wallace Like Hosting More: ‘Meet the Press’ or ‘Fox News Sunday?’

Chris-Wallace2“Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace talks about his 50 years in news in a Q&A with The Hollywood Reporter. In the wake of the shakeup at NBC’s “Meet the Press” — which he hosted for two years beginning in 1987 — Wallace talks about the significance of the Sunday shows. “I’m a little concerned that the in-depth interview has gone the way of the dodo bird. That’s a big mistake. This is the one platform in the TV landscape where you can get the thoroughly researched, carefully prepared interview of a top policymaker.”

You’ve been on “Today,” “Meet the Press” and “NBC Nightly News.” Which did you like best?

Fox News Sunday. I have the best job of my career. It says something that when the alarm goes off at 5:15 a.m. I wake up with a smile, rub my hands together and say, “I get to play today.”

What was the most exciting story you ever covered?

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American Journalist Steven Sotloff Reportedly Beheaded by ISIS

Steven SotloffTwo weeks after James Foley was beheaded by ISIS, American journalist Steven Sotloff has reportedly been executed by the same group.

In a new video posted online today, Sotloff, in the same orange Foley wore, addressed the camera: “I’m sure you know exactly who I am by now and why I am appearing,” he said before being beheaded.

ABC News cut into broadcast coverage with George Stephanopoulos anchoring and Brian Ross reporting. Ross reported the executioner said, “Obama, I’m back” while Sotloff asked the president why he was paying the price for American “interference in Iraq.” NBC News cut in at 1:48pmET with Brian Williams anchoring and Andrea Mitchell reporting. CBS News didn’t provide special coverage.

Wolf Blitzer first reported the news on CNN at 1:24pmET, going to foreign correspondent Karl Penhaul while showing stills of Sotloff next to a man who seems to be the same British ISIS member who executed Foley. “Obama back off and just leave us alone,” Penhaul reports the executioner said in the video. ABC News’ Foreign Editor Jon Williams tweets the executioner threatened British citizen David Haines‘ life at the end of the video. MSNBC’s Krystal Ball, filling in for Ronan Farrow, reported the news at 1:28pmET; Fox News’ Jon Scott reported at 1:33pmET. None of the networks aired the video.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest sent his condolences to the Sotloff family during an afternoon briefing while also stipulating the U.S. government has not yet verified the video’s authenticity. Last week, Sotloff’s mother, Shirley, sent a video message to ISIS pleading for her son’s life. Foley was a freelance journalist for TIME magazine and Foreign Policy.

David Muir Plans to Hit the Road for ‘World News Tonight’

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As David Muir takes over the “World News Tonight” anchor chair, he still plans to report from the field for the broadcast. “I’m used to working weekends,” Muir joked with us last Friday as we sat down for a MediabistroTV “My First Big Break” interview. (Coming in a few weeks on TVNewser.)

Until last week, Muir anchored the weekend editions of “World News.” He’ll also continue anchoring “20/20.” Muir told us his ABC News bosses have always been receptive to story ideas that have taken him around the world. He gave us the backstory of one of those stories, which will be airing tonight.

‘Crossfire’ Missing, Again

Crossfire304x200For a show that was revived almost a year ago, CNN’s “Crossfire” doesn’t air all that much.

After an almost two-month absence beginning in early March, the political debate show returned in May only to be bumped from CNN’s lineup in mid-July following the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

In that time, there’s been no shortage of meaty political stories: the Ferguson protests and subsequent debates on police and race; the growing threat of ISIS and President Obama’s military actions against them; and of course, the midterm elections now just two months away. During the show’s most recent hiatus, co-host Van Jones has appeared as a guest on CNN during the Ferguson protests, while S.E. Cupp filled in as a guest co-host on “The View.”

CNN tells us the show will be on hiatus “for a while more.” An extended hour of “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” continues to run at 6pmET.

The Morning Ticker: Morgan, Rose, Weymouth

  • Piers Morgan is no longer with CNN. The former primetime host says he turned down a 2-year contract to host 40 “big interview” specials. “Great company, great network,” Morgan tweeted.

  • “CBS This Morning” anchor Charlie Rose will fill in for Scott Pelley on tonight’s “CBS Evening News” while Pelley is on vacation. This is the first time Rose will anchor “Evening News.”

  • FishbowlDC reports The Washington Post is replacing publisher Katharine Weymouth with former POLITICO president Fred Ryan. Owner Jeff Bezos informed Weymouth of the change August 18. Weymouth was the fifth member of the Meyer-Graham clan to hold the top Post job.

David Muir, From 12-Year-old News Intern to ‘World News Tonight’ Anchor

WNTLogoWe’ve assembled some of the write-ups on David Muir as he begins anchoring “World News Tonight:”

  • The Associated Press: As a latchkey child of divorced parents growing up near Syracuse, N.Y., Muir took comfort from the news “family” that appeared on his television each evening. He watched ABC’s Peter Jennings, trying to guess who would be named “person of the week.”
  • The New York Times: His appointment marks a significant departure from the traditional anchor model in several self-evident ways. Unlike his two competitors, NBC’s Brian Williams and CBS’s Scott Pelley, Mr. Muir’s never done a stint as a White House correspondent, which has long been considered a virtual prerequisite for the job. He is also a lot younger than Mr. Williams, who is 55, and Mr. Pelley, 57. ABC says Mr. Muir’s youth was not a factor in his selection. But with the median age for evening news viewers now at 63.5, according to Brad Adgate of Horizon Media, the network is clearly counting on him to appeal to a younger audience.
  • The Daily News on how Muir’s seat at the news desk is a return to three white men anchoring the evening news: [It] is no reflection on them, but does bring anchoring back to one of the more undeniable traditions of network television news. A major part of the problem going forward remains this: While all the networks have some terrific women journalists, they remain outnumbered. For reasons rooted more in the sociology of America than official corporate Read more

CNN Photojournalist Dies. Sarmad Qaseera Captured Indelible Images From Iraq War

Sarmad Qaseera, a CNN photojournalist first in Iraq and for the last 8 years in the U.S, died suddenly Monday. Qaseera was behind the camera of some of the most memorable images on CNN in the last 10 years, especially during the war in Iraq. In 2006, following death threats in his own country, Qaseera fled to the U.S. working out of Atlanta, but still traveling the globe for CNN. Last year, Qaseera and correspondent Arwa Damon received the Investigative Reporters and Editors medal for their coverage of the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. Qaseera was just 42. Hala Gorani has more on Qaseera’s accomplishments:

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