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ABC

ABC News is the news gathering and program production division of the ABC TV network, a subsidiary of the Disney/ABC TV Group. ABC News programs include “Good Morning America,” “World News with Diane Sawyer,” “Nightline,” “20/20,” and “This Week.” James Goldston is the president of ABC News. He succeeded Ben Sherwood who was elevated to the position of co-president of the Disney/ABC TV Group in March 2014.

Center for Public Integrity Responds: ‘Unfortunate PR Campaign by ABC News’

publici-icon-300x300The war of words between ABC News and The Center for Public Integrity is heating up.

CPI’s executive director Bill Buzenberg doesn’t mince words responding to ABC News President Ben Sherwood‘s request that the two organizations share CPI’s Pulitzer Prize.

“Thank you for your letter of last night regarding the black lung investigation, which was also sent to our full Board of Directors and the news media. I have to assume this is all part of an unfortunate PR campaign by ABC News,” Buzenberg writes.

He adds that ABC News joined the coal-mining industry investigation–one that resulted in Johns Hopkins shuttering their black-lung program, and congressional action–halfway through, and produced “sporadic” reporting geared toward TV, not print.

“Not true,” ABC SVP for Communications Jeffrey Schneider responds to TVNewser. “We were invited to join this investigation by the former executive director at the outset, which was October 2012.”

Schneider adds examples of joint reporting: “Many of our stories on ABC.com are bylined by Chris [Hamby], although he didn’t write them. Many of our on-air reports list him as a producer, even though he didn’t shoot anything, conduct on-camera interviews, or spend a moment in the editing booth.”

“ABC was a wonderful coalition partner, and did great television, but the Pulitzer Prize is specifically for print and digital companies,” Buzenberg tells TVNewser. “It’s not a TV award. They didn’t write the 2500-word story, written entirely by Chris Hamby.”

Buzenberg also included a response from Pulitzer Administrator Sig Gissler.

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ABC News Asking Center for Public Integrity to Share Pulitzer Prize

ABC-News-Logo-1ABC News is calling on the Center for Public Integrity to share their Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism, awarded to CPI’s Chris Hamby, taking issue with CPI’s Pulitzer submission that depicts ABC News as a minor partner in a year-long coal-mining industry investigation instead of equal partners.

“You seem to be determined that ABC was simply a megaphone for Chris Hamby’s work,” ABC President Ben Sherwood wrote in a four-page letter to CPI executive director William Buzenberg yesterday, adding that in CPI’s submission, they “omitted the names of ABC News reporters and sought to parse and diminish their contributions.”

Buzenberg isn’t conceding: “ABC is seeking to take credit for a large body of work that it did not produce,” he said in a draft response to Sherwood, POLITICO reports.

“That is a lie, that is an absolute lie,” ABC News SVP for Communications Jeffrey Schneider tells TVNewser in response to Buzenberg. “We take great exception to the CPI submission that diminished our work almost to the point of nonexistence, and took complete credit for this joint investigation which had so much impact,” Schneider continued.

The investigation placing ABC and CPI at odds exposed doctors and lawyers conspiring with the coal industry to deny sick miners their black-lung medical benefits. The report caused the famed Johns Hopkins Hospital to suspend its black-lung program; Congress also sought to craft legislation to help sick miners.

“We believe that Chris Hamby deserves a Pulitzer Prize for his work,” Schneider added. “What we take great exception to is Bill Buzenberg suggesting ABC had little to do with this reporting. We were invited to take part in this work before he was named executive director at CPI.”

The two organizations have recently shared awards on the coal-mining industry story. Last month, the Harvard Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting was awarded to reporters from both news outlets; next month the White House Correspondents Association will also honor both.

Sherwood’s full letter to CPI’s executive director after the jump.

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Robin Roberts, Rachel Maddow, Anderson Cooper on the OUT Power 50

OUT50Several TV news anchors and hosts have made this year’s OUT Power 50 list. It’s the brand’s annual ranking of the most influential LGBT voices in American culture. ABC’s Robin Roberts, who publicly came out late last year, is the first woman of color in the top 10. Here are some TV notables:

35. Suze Orman
27. Don Lemon
14. Anderson Cooper
10. Robin Roberts
3. Rachel Maddow

Ellen DeGeneres, who was number 2 last year, returned to the top spot on the list. Also on the list Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Glenn Greenwald at #5, Bravo’s Andy Cohen at #8, and Gawker CEO Nick Denton at #45.

(Image via OUT)

Michael Strahan Joins ‘Good Morning America’

Michael Strahan is joining “Good Morning America” as a contributor. Just like in his NFL days, Strahan emerged from a GMA tunnel, giving high fives from fans, ending at the anchor desk, where Robin Roberts announced Strahan would join the show “a couple days a week.” He’ll mostly appear in the 7am hour, so he can get back uptown to his other day job, co-hosting “Live” which airs at 9am. Just so he wouldn’t miss a hit, George Stephanopoulos gave Strahan an alarm clock. “It’s a pleasure to get up early, because you guys have been so good to us, and Kelly and I appreciate it. It’s family,” Strahan said.

Strahan’s role wasn’t defined beyond that he’ll be weighing in on certain stories. “I watch every mooring and I sit there going, ‘that’s a good point.’ Now instead of talking to the TV, I can talk with you.” The addition of Strahan comes a few days after the show added ESPN host Tony Reali to the show’s “Social Square.” WATCH:


ABC US News | ABC Business News

‘GMA’ Anchors Share Who’s Inspired Them

gma inspirationAhead of the release of Robin Roberts‘ memoir — which is about people who inspired her during her battle with MDS — the “Good Morning America” anchors shared who has inspired them this morning.

Lara Spencer talked about her father and George Stephanopoulos talked about his friend Loring Henderson, who runs a homeless shelter in Lawrence, Kansas. Ginger Zee talked about Brad Edwards, a reporter for the CBS affiliate in Chicago that suffers from a rare disease that affects his balance, and Amy Robach talked about the “GMA” viewers, who have sent “boxes and boxes” of support letters as she continues to battle breast cancer.

“I want everyone to know what an impact that has had on me,” Robach said. “When my alarm clock goes off at 4 o’clock in the morning, I’m inspired by everyone who says, ‘Go get it. You’ve got this. Fight like a girl.’”

Anchors from the “Today” show devoted a week in November to a similar topic.

Video of the “GMA” segment is after the jump. Read more

Barbara Walters to Don Lemon: CNN Wouldn’t Do Nonstop MH370 Coverage If Not for Ratings

WaltersWhile sitting in as a co-host on “The View” today, CNN’s Don Lemon fielded an onslaught of questions from the chat show’s ladies about his network’s nonstop coverage of missing Malaysia Flight 370.

“You’ve covered this more than any other story that I can remember,” Barbara Walters said. “CNN would not do this if it were not for the ratings.”

“Well, I don’t know if we would do it just for the ratings; we do a lot of things that don’t rate well, but we still do it,” Lemon responded, adding that CNN is giving the audience what it wants.

Co-host Jenny McCarthy asked how Lemon finds the words to continue talking about the missing airliner, day after day. Lemon tipped his hat to a great group of CNN aviation experts. “I rely on them, I don’t pretend that I’m an expert,” he said.

“We [CNN] may not have taken the plane, but we might certainly find it,” Lemon concluded.

Lemon’s colleagues, Anderson Cooper, Erin Burnett, and Wolf Blitzer echoed his sentiments while speaking to TVNewser last week. Cooper conceded the network has covered the story a lot, but called it a very “human” story involving “239 souls.” Burnett pointed to security concerns the story raises, while Blitzer raised the still-unknown question of whether criminal activity or mechanical failure was the reason behind the plane’s disappearance.

Robin Roberts on Not Revealing Girlfriend Sooner: ‘Some People Like Their Anonymity’

robin-roberts-amber-laign-Robin Roberts tells Good Housekeeping she’s grateful to have the love of girlfriend Amber Laign, but wasn’t in a rush to come out publicly.

“I was so moved that people got it and said, ‘You’re happy,’” Roberts said about the response to her year-end Facebook post that revealed her longtime partner Amber. She also answered those who wondered why she took her time coming out.

Others, though, were asking, “Why didn’t you say something about her before? Why are you only recognizing her now?” News flash: Some people like their anonymity. This is what’s right for me. Love is love, and I’m grateful to have that. Sometimes there’s a stigma attached to how people view you if you’re living a certain way. But I don’t care — you gotta live your life. You gotta find what happiness is and what it means for you, and you can’t get caught up in what someone is saying about you on Twitter. You don’t go through a year like I did to not be happy and not make your own choices.

Tony Reali Joins ‘Good Morning America’

TonyRealiAs part of Tony Reali‘s new contract with ESPN, the longtime host of “Around the Horn” will also join “Good Morning America” as a social media contributor.

“I am thrilled to be hosting ‘Around the Horn’ on ESPN for four more years. To move the show to New York and become a member of the ‘GMA’ family is a dream,” said Reali.

As a contributor to GMA, Reali will engage with fans, monitor social media activity and highlight trending from the recently unveiled “Social Square.”

Reali as born on Staten Island and grew up in Morganville, NJ. He joined ESPN in 2000 as a writer and researcher for the quiz show, “Two Minute Drill.”

After a Quick Transition, James Goldston Gets Down to Work at ABC News

GoldstonSherwood Ben Sherwood, recently named co-president of the Disney/ABC TV Group, handed the ABC News reins to James Goldston this morning, calling him the “brilliant architect” of some of the most successful ABC News shows of the last decade.

Goldston, (near right) a London native, joined ABC News in 2004. He took “Nightline” to new heights in late night and later helped take “Good Morning America” to No. 1 in the mornings. Sherwood’s mantra to the 1,000 global staffers of ABC News has been consistent: PYG, or Play Your Game.

“The secret,” says Sherwood, “is that the game that we’ve played for the last three years is the game that we devised as a team: ["GMA" senior EP] Tom Cibrowski and James and I, with the great anchors there and the staff. And [EP] Michael Corn and the whole staff at ‘World News.’”

“The key is the consistency of the approach,” says Sherwood. “And I know that James has more plans up his sleeve.” TVNewser chatted with Sherwood and Goldston about the challenges ahead as both take on new roles:

TVNewser: First, congratulations to you both. James, what’s the first order of business?

Goldston: We’re going to work out a transition period. I’ve worked very closely with Ben these last three years. I’m going to be talking to the team a lot in the days and weeks ahead. Ben has been a fantastic, inspirational figure in the news division and I still have much to learn from him.

TVNewser: Ben, how much do you think you’ll be in New York in the coming weeks or months as you transition to your new job?

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James Goldston Named President of ABC News

GoldstonJames Goldston is the new president of ABC News. Goldston and his predecessor Ben Sherwood, who was named co-president of Disney/ABC TV two weeks ago, just broke the news to ABC News staffers on the fifth floor at ABC’s New York headquarters, to applause, insiders tell us.

For the last two years, Goldston has been Senior Vice President at the news division of the ABC network.

Goldston joined ABC News in 2004 from Britain’s ITV. Following a stint as Senior Producer of primetime specials and investigations, he was promoted to Executive Producer of “Nightline,” a position he held until 2011. Goldston then joined “Good Morning America” as Senior EP as the show gained on, and eventually overtook NBC’s “Today” as the most-watched morning show.

Sherwood will assist with the transition over the next couple of weeks, before devoting his attention to his new job as co-president of Disney/ABC TV. He’ll fully take over the top job at the ABC network when Anne Sweeney steps down early next year.

Insiders tell us Sherwood started the 9am editorial meeting, attended by staffers around the world, before giving up his seat, literally, to Goldston, who praised Sherwood for having “big dreams.” Also on the editorial call, Goldston’s parents who phoned in from England. Goldston thanked them for sacrificing so much to allow him to be the first person on either side of his family to graduate from college — Jesus College at Oxford, no less.

With Goldston’s appointment, two of the heads of the big three American broadcast news divisions are British. NBC News president Deborah Turness, also an ITV alum, is from Hertfordshire, north of London.

The full news release, after the jump…

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