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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 Tonight with David Muir,” “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.

‘World News Tonight with David Muir’ Gets First Overall Weekly Win in 6 Years

Update 10/14/14: Nielsen has corrected error-plagued ratings data for the week of Sept. 29. “NBC Nightly News” is now No. 1 and the show’s winning streak among total viewers remains unbroken for 264 consecutive weeks. (265 weeks including the week of Oct. 6)

Original Story: With the latest Nielsen evening news ratings just in, ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” had its first outright win in 6 years. The ABC evening newscast finished first among the two younger demos, A25-54 and A18-49, and breaks the 5-year Total Viewer winning streak held by “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.”

This was “World News Tonight’s” first win among total viewers since the week of Sept. 7, 2009. And it’s the first time the program has been #1 in total viewers and both younger demos since the week of Sept. 8, 2008. Muir took over the anchor chair four weeks ago and had been consistently winning the A25-54 demo. For the week of Sept. 29, 2014, “World News Tonight” led “Nightly News” by +166,000 total viewers or 2%. We’ll post the full weekly ratings soon.

MediabistroTV recently sat down with Muir for a “My First Big Break” interview, which we’ll post tomorrow. In this outtake Muir talked about the competition and how he approaches his show: “I’ve watched a lot of Brian Williams on DVR, probably more than he has,” Muir says. “I tell the team here, ‘we don’t look sideways, we hit the ground running.’ And at the end of the day… it’s really about the viewers at home.”

Robin Roberts Receives Walter Cronkite Award

RobinRobertsCronkite“Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts accepted the 2014 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism today.

The award, presented by Arizona State University, recognizes a journalist who embodies the values of the school’s namesake.

Instead of giving a speech, Roberts was interviewed by Cronkite students Analise Ortiz and Megan Thompson (below) in front of 1,100 luncheon attendees. On Sunday, Roberts toured the Cronkite School and spoke to 200 students during a Q&A session.

“I had a quick tour of the facility — wow — you are so blessed, so fortunate. I hope you know that,” said Roberts who also watched part of the school’s newscast. “To have the hands-on experience that you are receiving is paramount,” she said.

Cronkite was a fixture at the luncheons until his death in 2009. Previous honorees include CBS’s Bob Schieffer, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, NBC’s Brian Williams, and Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer, longtime anchors of PBS’s “The MacNeil/Lehrer Report.”

James Goldston: ‘Nothing is More Important Than the Safety and Security of Our People’

MonroviaAs one of its competitors deals with a freelance cameraman contracting Ebola, ABC News president James Goldston told employees today the network’s highest priority is its medical team on-the-ground in Liberia:

In a memo obtained by TVNewser, Goldston praises Dr. Richard Besser and his crew while also explaining precautionary measures being taken.

“I am so proud of the work that Dr. Rich Besser, Adam Desiderio, and our team have done on the Ebola Outbreak in Liberia. It is our highest calling—providing critical information and understanding of a complex and alarming situation, and this team has done a remarkable and courageous job. I want to stress that we are taking these measures out of an abundance of caution. Rich and Adam have taken every necessary precaution while on this assignment, and are currently not symptomatic and do not believe they are at risk. They have been taking their temperatures multiple times daily and, upon their return to New York, will continue to do so for the following 21 days.”

Goldston also points out how ABC’s plan for its journalists’ re-entry into the U.S. is different than NBC News due to the respective crews’ different levels of exposure. “Dr. Nancy Snyderman’s team falls under the CDC’s “Some Risk of Exposure” level, while Rich and Adam fall under the “No Known Exposure” level.”

While reporting yesterday, Dr. Besser stood in front of a presumed-dead body being wrapped up by an Ebola burial team. “He’s not dead,” he said as the person’s arms started to move.

Goldston’s full note to staff after the jump.

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Where Are They Now? David Hartman

Hartman(m)As we conclude our “Where Are They Now?” series, we talk with former ‘Good Morning America’ host David Hartman

It happened again just recently at a bagel shop in Durham, North Carolina.

A woman eating breakfast looked up from her table, and upon seeing the tall, recognizable man walking by, smiled and said to him, “Make it a good day today!”

The man was former Good Morning America host David Hartman.  The woman was citing the famous sign-off he used at the close of each broadcast during his 1975-1987 tenure.

The phrase viewers still cite today “goes back to my childhood,” Hartman, 79, tells TVNewser. “My parents said ‘hey, the responsibility for your life is you.  So if you want something to happen, you’re going to make it happen – don’t wait for anybody else to bring it to you.’”

And David Hartman has always made things happen.

A Rhode Island native, he was a talented young athlete who, as a high school student, was offered a pro baseball contract. Opting instead to enroll at Duke University, Hartman majored in economics, while participating in choral and orchestra activities and in the school’s Air Force ROTC. He also did radio and TV announcing, and was president of his fraternity.

After graduation, he served in the Air Force before pursuing an acting and singing career.  In 1964, Hartman landed a role in the original Broadway production of Hello, Dolly!.  Later, he starred in primetime TV shows such as NBC’s The Bold Ones and Lucas Tanner.

Hartman then began producing educational documentary programming for ABC.  Birth and Babies “showed the birth of a baby for the first time on American television,” he says of the 1974 show, which caught the attention of network executives.

They invited him to host ABC’s new morning program, which had the unenviable task of going up against NBC’s venerable Today.

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ABC’s Dr. Richard Besser in Monrovia, Liberia: ‘He’s Not Dead…They Almost Took Him Away’

MonroviaTalk about a close call.

While reporting for ABC in Monrovia, Liberia, chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser was standing in front on Ebola-stricken body being sprayed and wrapped up by a burial team.

“He’s not dead,” Besser said as the burial team noticed the man they were wrapping moving his arms. “He’s alive…they almost took him away to the crematorium.”

“This is the most devastating and surreal outbreak I’ve ever seen,” Dr. Besser tells TVNewser. “Every day I’m seeing displays of suffering that are unimaginable.”

WATCH:

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Web Videos Broaden Scope of TV Newsmags

Increasingly, TV newsmagazines are reaching out to viewers with digital shorts leading up, or even following, longer TV reports.

“60 Minutes” takes viewers behind the scenes with “60 Minutes Overtime.” “48 Hours” produces Web Extras, like this tour of a Costa Rican hideaway that was the scene of a crime at the center of tomorrow night’s season premiere. “Dateline” went so far as to produce a web-only episode on the Oscar Pistorius verdict a few weeks ago.

“It’s not just extra material,” says Terri Lichstein who oversees digital for ABC’s “20/20.” “It’s very new, very original. They are companion pieces.”

Lichstein was also the senior producer for tonight’s “20/20″ season debut, as David Muir investigates the Slender Man stabbing in Wisconsin. Lichstein ordered up a web-only piece to familiarize viewers on the Slender Man phenomenon. “It’s the kind of thing people want to know,” Lichstein tells TVNewser. “This takes the digital experience in terms of storytelling one step further.” WATCH:

Former ‘GMA’ Anchor Joan Lunden Named Special Correspondent for ‘Today’ Show

JoanLundenPeople

Joan Lunden, appearing bald on the cover of PEOPLE magazine, will serve as a special correspondent for the “Today” show next week as the program kicks off Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Lunden, who was co-anchor of “Today” show rival “Good Morning America” for 17 years, from 1980-1997, is a breast cancer survivor. Lunden phoned in to the show this morning, a day after undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous tumor, and talked about going bald for the PEOPLE cover. “It wasn’t a comfortable decision, but I knew it was the right decision,” she told Matt Lauer.

Next Wednesday on “Today,” she’ll encourage women with breast cancer to take off their wigs on the plaza.

Lunden’s old home is also planning to “Go Pink” next Wednesday. All ABC News shows will devote a full day of coverage. It was during last year’s “Go Pink” initiative that “Good Morning America” anchor Amy Robach got her first mamogram. It turned out to be a life-saving move, as Robach was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy.

One year after the diagnosis, Robach will visit Charleston, South Carolina for an emotional meeting with Deborah Greig, just one of a number of women across the country who, as a result of Robach’s reporting, got tested, were diagnosed and are now being treated for breast cancer.

Roxanna Sherwood Named EP of ‘Nightline’

SherwoodRoxannaRoxanna Sherwood has been named executive producer of “Nightline.”

It’s an internal move. Sherwood, a 19-year ABC News veteran, was most recently a senior producer on “20/20.” “Whether delving into major investigations, traveling to all corners of the world, or covering big entertainment stories, Roxanna is a superb storyteller,” writes ABC News president James Goldston in a note to staff. Like Goldston, Sherwood was part of the relaunch of “Nightline” in 2005.

Sherwood’s move is the last in a series of recent executive producer changes at ABC News. She replaces Almin Karamehmedovic, on “Nightline” following Karamehmedocvic’s move to “World News Tonight,” which followed Michael Corn‘s move to “Good Morning America.” At “GMA” Corn replaced  Tom Cibrowski who was promoted to senior VP of programs, newsgathering and special events.

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell: ‘These Activities Must be Condemned and Stopped’

GoodellBroadcast networks provided special coverage this afternoon as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell held a news conference to answer questions and announce that he won’t resign.

“We will get our house in order first,” Goodell said as he announced enhanced domestic violence and sexual violence education programs for the league’s teams and front office. “These activities must be condemned and stopped,” Goodell said regarding domestic violence, sexual assault, and illegal use of alcohol and drugs. Goodell also announced the formation of a conduct committee.

Goodell, who has been commissioner for 8 years, once again announced he was wrong in his determination of a two-game suspension of former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice.

CBS, NBC and ABC all broke in at 3:15pmET. Scott Pelley anchored on CBS, Lester Holt on NBC and George Stephanopoulos on ABC. ABC dropped out of the news conference first, followed by NBC then CBS. The cable news and sports channels, including NFL Network, also carried the news conference.

The first question went to NBC’s Peter Alexander. The next question came from CNN’s Rachel Nichols; the next from Fox Sports’ Peter Schrager. Other questions came from CBS Sports’ Sharyn Alfonsi, Fox Sports 1′s Mike Garafalo, NFL.com Columnist Judy Batista, Arise TV’s Andrew Rosario, ESPN’s Dan Graziano, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, and The Associated Press’ Barry Wilner.

The news conference lasted 43 minutes.

Why Rob Marciano is Leaving the Jokes to Jimmy Kimmel

Yesterday, ABC News Meteorologist Rob Marciano might have gotten a little too excited about the weather.

In a since-deleted play on words, Marciano responded to a Twitter user who didn’t realize he was now covering weather.

Tweet

Marciano went on to explain himself and ultimately add in a plug for his colleague David Muir.

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