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Jeffrey Schneider Leaving ABC News

JeffreySchneiderJeffrey Schneider, ABC News SVP and chief spokesman, is leaving the network to start his own PR firm, TVNewser has learned.

Schneider’s deputy Julie Townsend will lead ABC News communications strategy and the PR team. Schneider calls his 14 years at ABC News “an incredible honor and privilege.”

I’m very grateful for the thrilling experiences I’ve had at the news division and embark on this new path with tremendous affection and respect for all the people of ABC News,” Schneider says.

His new firm, Schneider Global Strategy, will specialize in media relations and crisis management and counts ABC News and Disney/ABC TV as his first clients.

Schneider, who was suspended this summer following an internal incident, will remain at ABC News through the midterm elections. “Jeffrey has been our champion in great and tough times,” writes ABC News president James Goldston in a note to staff. “He’s done it with good humor, nearly superhuman drive and a deep love for this great institution.”

Townsend re-joined ABC News as VP in 2011. In her first stint at ABC News, beginning in 2001, she was PR Coordinator for “Nightline” and “This Week” in Washington, DC. “Julie is a persuasive storyteller and a passionate champion for ABC News,” Goldston writes. “She believes deeply in our team and in the importance of the work we do.

Goldston’s note after the jump…

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Social Media Strategy Boot Camp

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CNN’s Brian Stelter Addresses Network’s Layoffs: ‘Better Word…Is Reshaping’

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 7.13.06 PM

CNN’s Brian Stelter took a moment at the end of Sunday’s “Reliable Sources” to address the network’s recent round of layoffs–150 jobs cut, and several of the network’s programs canceled.”This week was a very painful week here,” Stelter said. “There were about 150 layoffs, spread across CNN and our sister channel HLN and”

Stelter noted that CNN’s hardly alone among media companies cutting jobs in one part of the business, while investing–and hiring–in other areas, notably digital:

It is unfortunately happening all over the place. Conde Nast, the publisher of Vogue and Wired, is laying off 70 to 80 people this fall. My former employer the New York Times is cutting 100 from the newsroom.

And yet they, like CNN, have been hiring people, too, lots of people, mainly for online jobs. That’s for new apps, for new web sites, for new ventures.

Now, there is some overall shrinking going on. But the better word for what’s happening in media today is “reshaping.” Through layoffs, through cuts, through new investments, “reshaping” for the digital future that really feels more like the digital present. It’s already here.

Watch it in full, after the jump.
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CNN Withdraws Support of NABJ

cnn-logonabj logoNABJ president Bob Butler told the board of the black journalists’ association Friday that CNN has withdrawn its support for NABJ’s 2015 Convention & Career Fair.

The news comes after Butler publicly expressed his concern, including an interview with TVNewser, over CNN’s hiring and employee retention practices of black journalists. CNN underwent a workforce reduction last week that saw the elimination of 300 positions. One of the highest profile mangers at CNN, New York Bureau Chief/VP and NABJ member Darius Walker, was among those cut.

“I understand the company has a right to make personnel decisions,” Butler says. “There were not that many African American managers at CNN in the first place. These layoffs have hurt our members tremendously. I am severely disappointed that CNN has ended our partnership.”

Network sponsorships are a major source of funding for journalism organizations like NABJ. The loss of CNN’s financial support will likely cost the group upwards of $10,000 and will mean CNN will not be representing at the the group’s career fair in Minneapolis next August.

ABC’s ’20/20′ Cribbed from CBS’s ’48 Hours’

MicheleWilliams2If you watched last night’s “20/20″ on ABC you also caught a glimpse of CBS’s “48 Hours.”

ABC’s Matt Gutman reported on the case of Michele Williams, a Texas woman accused of murdering her husband. Williams was about to get away with the murder, after agreeing to a plea deal which would have meant pleading guilty to a lesser charge: tampering with evidence.

But after she conducted an interview with “48 Hours’” Peter Van Sant, claiming her innocence in the 2011 murder, the judge withdrew the plea deal and forced her to stand trial for murder.

“20/20″ used the clip, crediting “48 Hours” by name. It had been entered as evidence in the case.

A jury found Williams guilty of murdering her husband, Greg Williams, late last month.


Scott Pelley on ‘The World’s Greatest Continuing Education Program’

PelleyMcClatchy News Service’s DC bureau reporter Maria Recio spent some time with CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley on a recent trip to Washington DC for a profile. “For a kid from Lubbock, Texas, who used to ride his bike to the library, this is the world’s greatest continuing education program,” says Pelley, anchor of the “CBS Evening News” and correspondent for “60 Minutes.”

At six foot, gray-haired and blue-eyed, Pelley is Boy Scout handsome (he was, in fact, a Boy Scout), and while his entourage includes hair and makeup people, he is focused on his product – the news. And he gives credit to all the people around him who are instrumental in that effort.

While he doesn’t want to dwell on the evening news rankings, the clearly competitive newsman points out that “60 Minutes,” hugely successful in its 47th year on the air, is frequently No. 1 among all television programs.

The evening news outlook is tougher. “We’re not as deeply in third place as we were before,” said Pelley.

Liz Claman Sits Down With ‘Haute Living’

Claman304-1 Haute Living recently sat down with Liz Claman, who hosts “Countdown to the Closing Bell” and “After the Bell” on the Fox Business Network. Claman spoke candidly about breaking into the industry, her limited financial background and what she would ask Steve Jobs.

Claman broke into the industry without any financial background by telling CNBC, “Anybody can learn numbers. Anybody can learn to read a balance sheet or an earnings report. But can you sit across from Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Charlie Munger, or Elon Musk and ask them the questions that elicit newsmaking answers?”

Since selling herself to CNBC, Claman has landed countless interviews, including Buffet and Gates. She parlayed her success into a role at Fox Business Network and says, “the cool thing about FOX is that they don’t ask why. They say, sure, why not. We’ve done some crazy things here!”

The Scoreboard: Thursday, October 16

25-54 demographic (Live +SD)

  • Total day: FNC: 275 | CNN: 175 | MSNBC: 94 | HLN: 79
  • Primetime: FNC: 380 | CNN: 193 | MSNBC: 99 | HLN: 94

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








































































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FNC’s Sandra Smith Announces Pregnancy

Fox News’ Sandra Smith announced she is expecting baby No. 2 during a conversation on air about what pregnant women crave. In a surprising FNC moment, co-host Harris Faulkner asked Sandra, “what do you like to eat when you’re pregnant?”

“I craved citrus and I actually craved chocolate a little bit, mostly salads. Actually, I’m craving them right now because I’m pregnant,” Smith said.

Smith and her husband are expecting the baby “around the end of the year.” They are already parents to a 17-month old.

‘Today’ is No. 1 Morning Show on Social Media

This morning on the “Today” show, Carson Daly announced that the NBC staple is now the No. 1 morning show on social media.

The “Today” show is now tops across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. TVNewser had the opportunity to speak with VP and GM Jen Brown, who leads the team behind the social media growth.

“Our growth is reflective of being fast to adopt new platforms and mindful of translating TODAY in a way that feels organic to specific social spaces. We really respect what our social audience brings to the TODAY experience. We continue to elevate our fans through efforts like the Orange Room and beyond. #JustGettingStarted,” Brown said.

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Greta Van Susteren Defends Ebola Coverage: ‘I’m Doing My Job, And So Are the Others’

gretaYou don’t often hear a Fox News Channel host defending CNN and MSNBC, but Greta Van Susteren does just that in a sharply-worded defense of Ebola coverage on cable news: “It was the media torch that has ramped up the government’s attention to this predictable crisis and, if further unchecked, catastrophic crisis.”

In a post on Van Susteren’s “Greta Wire” blog, the FNC host (who just reported from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Maryland, interviewing three doctors working on the first Ebola vaccine) suggests critics of cable’s expansive coverage of Ebola–and particularly its arrival in the United States–of deliberately missing the point:

We should have done this so called ‘overboard reporting’ months ago. Maybe if we had, the Texas Hospital would have been ready to deal with Mr. Duncan and maybe two nurses would not be in isolation units, one at Emory, and one at NIH – and others quarantined. Maybe even our government would have been ready?

Just consider this: without the media all over President Obama about ebola, he would not have canceled his fundraising trip to Connecticut to stay home and convene a meeting about ebola at the White House. You can credit the media for that.

Of course the reporting is not perfect but it is getting traction with our government.

And as for the oldest trick in the book? The critics of current ebola reporting are using it themselves! They are criticizing those who are putting a giant spotlight on the crisis and thereby drawing attention to themselves. Some may really need the attention….sagging sales?