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Merrill Knox

Merrill Knox is Senior Editor of TVNewser and TVSpy. She joined Mediabistro in 2011 after four years working for "Your World with Neil Cavuto" at Fox News Channel. When she's not reading or writing, Merrill is most often found trying to anticipate the next plot twist on "Homeland." Follow her on Twitter @merrillknox or email her at merrill@mediabistro.com.

Tonight’s Ferguson Coverage Plans

As the National Guard arrives in Ferguson, where the overnight curfew has been lifted, the broadcast and cable networks have set plans to continue coverage of the escalating violence there. Here’s an update on who will be in Ferguson tonight:

As we told you earlier, Shepard Smith will anchor the 11pmET hour on Fox News tonight. We’ll continue to update as plans are set.

As Violence Escalates in Ferguson, ‘Reliable’ and ‘MediaBuzz’ Discuss Press Freedom

With tensions continuing to rise in Ferguson — where Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced today that he has signed an executive order deploying the National Guard to the area — media coverage of the protests was a topic of discussion on both CNN’s “Reliable Sources” and Fox News’ “MediaBuzz” this weekend. Three more reporters were arrested in Ferguson overnight, with several more reporting being detained or threatened.

On “Reliable Sources,” Brian Stelter interviewed Al Jazeera correspondent Ash-har Quraishi, a member of the crew that was hit with tear gas while covering the protests last week. “I do feel like we were targeted because after we retreated back, there was a crowd that did go towards our camera equipment and that was caught on camera,” Quraishi said.

On “MediaBuzz,” Howard Kurtz rejected Joe Scarborough‘s suggestion that Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowrey‘s arrest was self-promotional. “Scarborough is entitled to his opinion, absolutely … but the fact that they were actually arrested, and the charges were so trumped up that they were thrown out, shows what a difficult situation it was.” Read more

Brian Williams Selects Stories for Air ‘With Blinders On’

BRIAN-WILLIAMSAs “NBC Nightly News” and “ABC World News” square off in a fierce battle for the top spot among the A25-54 demographic, “Nightly” anchor Brian Williams — whose broadcast still tops in total viewers — talks to the AP’s David Bauder about the competition:

While he’s anchoring, TV monitors out of sight of the cameras keep Williams informed of what ABC and CBS are doing on their simultaneous newscasts. Despite this, Williams said it’s important to program his broadcast “with blinders on.

“We don’t know what the competition is going to do,” he said. “While it is true that I am sometimes surprised at the alternatives being offered, it will in no way affect the choices I’m going to make the next day or the day after that.”

Bauder also includes a funny anecdote about Williams getting mistaken for one of his NBC News colleagues: Read more

‘Meet the Press Makes a Lot of History, and a Great Deal of it Was With David at the Helm’

Andrea Mitchell David GregoryOn “Meet the Press” this morning, Andrea Mitchell said a few words about David Gregory, who moderated his final show last Sunday. “Meet the Press makes a lot of history — and a great deal of it was with David at the helm since he started in December 2008,” she said:

In twenty years with NBC News, David has done it all: The OJ Simpson trial, Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing, TODAY show guest hosting and, when the cameras weren’t rolling, dead on imitations of everyone from Presidents of the United States to Tom Brokaw. Through all the years, David has been true to the traditions of the program and NBC News.

… As he leaves NBC News for his next adventure, I will miss him as a daily colleague, but know he will always be a friend.

Chuck Todd takes over “Meet the Press” September 7.

Holly Williams: Being a Woman in a War Zone ‘Can Sometimes Be an Advantage’

holly williams in iraqCBS News foreign correspondent Holly Williams, who has been reporting this week from northern Iraq, talks to FORTUNE about the advantages of being a woman in a war zone:

Sometimes when you travel to more conservative parts of the Middle East, obviously you are going to get treated differently as a woman than as a man. I have never felt it is a disadvantage. If anything, it can sometimes be an advantage to be a foreign woman in this part of the world because people are disarmed by it. There is such a culture of hospitality in this part of the world and people often feel sympathetic to you as a woman so they go out of their way to help you. They are less suspicious of you because you are a woman. When you are in the more conservative places, as a foreigner, you have access to both the men and the women. As a male corespondent, you can only talk to the men.

In Profile: Alicia Menendez, Erik Schatzker

Alicia Menendez talks to the New York Post about why she “doesn’t see herself filling one of the openings left on ‘The View’”:

aliciamenendez“One of the things that I’ve learned doing my show is that I don’t just want to be talent, I want to be a producer-talent, and it is really critical to me to have a hand in everything I create,” she says. “Right now I have the best gig in town.”

Bloomberg TV’s Erik Shatzker talks to Men’s Fitness about making fitness a priority after surgery on his hip:

schatzker davosSchatzker set a goal: He would ski— his favorite hobby— before the season ended. By January, Schatzker was going to a physical therapy clinic and working out in a gym. Though his job had him getting up at 4 a.m. to go to the studio and film his show, he was done by the afternoon and free to train.

“I skied in Vermont that Easter,” Schatzker says. “I went on the black diamond trails, and my wife said I was crazy. But I had put the work in, and I felt confident I could do it.” Remarkably, Schatzker’s hip felt better than ever.

‘NY Med’ Ends Season With 8th Straight Win

NY MEDABC’s “NY Med” delivered 5.5 million viewers, finishing its second season as the most-watched show in its time slot for the eighth consecutive week, according to Nielsen Fast Affiliate data. The show has won every week this season.

Thursday’s episode had a 0.9 rating /3 share in the A18-49 demographic and 1.4/4 in the A25-54 demographic.

The show grew 10% in total viewers and 17% in A25-54 viewers, and was flat in A18-49 viewers, compared to last week. During it’s second season, the show was up 25% on average over its first season two years ago; the season finale was up 34% in total viewers compared to the first season finale.

Thursday’s show capped off an eight-episode second season. Before the season began, TVNewser talked to executive producer Terry Wrong, who told us he aims to tell viewers “a story with strong doctors, nurses or patients and they will absorb the information as it relates to the characters they become invested in.”

Ann Compton to Retire After 41 Years at ABC

ann comptonVeteran White House correspondent Ann Compton — who has covered seven presidents during her time at ABC News — will retire this fall, Politico Playbook reports this morning. She will officially retire September 10, 41 years to the day after she started at ABC News.

Allen rounds up some thoughts from Compton’s ABC News colleagues:

BEN SHERWOOD, co-president, Disney/ABC Television Group, calls Ann “the pride of Virginia … pioneer, ceiling shatterer, and radiant soul. Her stats read like Babe Ruth (7 presidents, 50 states, etc.) Our first reaction when she shared the news: ‘Say it ain’t so.’ Our next: ABC News has been blessed every single day since she first walked in the door in 1973. We love her, we thank her, we wish her the very best, and we know she’s going to have a blast with Dr. Hughes and her wonderful family. She will always have a home in our White House booth and ABC News.”

ROBIN SPROUL, ABC News Washington bureau chief: ”She is a reporter of boundless energy who brings her A-game every day … She simply loves the beat. … She has a flair for storytelling, for capturing the day’s moments, and she knows as well as any other reporter in town how Washington works. … Ann is also a generous colleague who has helped many a new reporter covering the White House learn the ropes. … We will miss Ann so much. She is simply irreplaceable.”

>Update: Steve Jones, the vice president and general manager for ABC News Radio, sent the following note to the radio division about Compton this afternoon: Read more

Deborah Turness on ‘MTP’ Change: ‘The Time Had Come For This to Happen’

david gregory_304x200In the wake of the host change at “Meet the Press,” which became official yesterday as David Gregory bid goodbye to NBC and Chuck Todd was officially announced as the show’s new moderator, NBC News president Deborah Turness talks to The New York Times‘ Bill Carter:

[Gregory] will leave the network after a two-decade career, the president of NBC News, Deborah Turness, said in an interview on Thursday. “The time had come for this to happen,” Ms. Turness said. She said she had decided on the change after trying to reshape the show under Mr. Gregory. “The numbers just didn’t move,” Ms. Turness said, referring to ratings for the program.

Carter reports that the production side of “Meet the Press” will not see changes “for the moment at least,” with Rob Yarin staying on as executive producer. Yarin has been the EP of “Meet the Press” since Betsy Fischer Martin left the show in 2013.

As Gregory leaves NBC, his colleague Ann Curry — who was ousted from the “Today” show in 2012 — took to Twitter to send him some support: Read more

Savannah Guthrie: ‘I Feel Like Life Just Started’

Calling in to the “Today” show this morning to describe her first two days of motherhood, Savannah Guthrie said she feels “like life just started.” The “Today” show anchor and her husband named their first child Vale, which means “valley by a stream.”

“‘Today’ viewers had totally convinced me we were having a boy. So I think I really was shocked when they said, ‘it’s a girl.’ We looked at each other, and we had a few names on the girl list, but we had not really settled on it at all,” Guthrie said. “So all afternoon we were just trying to think of names. Vale had always been on our list of the names we liked, so we just kind of went for it.” Watch:

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