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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.

Will This Ruin Jon Karl’s Cred?

EarnestKnown for butting heads with the last White House Press Secretary, ABC’s Jonathan Karl apparently now has an admirer at the press podium.

On Bloomberg TV’s new show “With All Due Respect,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked who is “the most consistently delightful reporter” in the press corps.

“Jon Karl is consistently the nicest, friendliest, most direct guy… down-to-earth, friendliest individual you’d ever want to meet,” said Earnest.

It might have been a backward compliment, as Earnest prefaced the glowing comments saying, “That would tarnish the reputation forever if I identified the person; I gotta choose someone I don’t like, so I don’t harm them.”

RELATED: ABC’s Jon Karl on Pushing Beyond Official White House Line

“Josh must be giddy because his KC Royals are winning,” Karl tells TVNewser. Earnest’s hometown Kansas City Royals upset the Los Angeles Angels Sunday night to advance in the ALCS.

WATCH: Read more

Report: NBC News Holding Crisis Meetings

MuirWilliams2The New York Post’s “Page Six” is reporting that NBC is holding “crisis meetings” after ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” passed the “Nightly News” in ratings.

“The NBC News morning call was very somber. A meeting was held with the ‘Nightly News’ executive producer to try to motivate the staff. There will be further crisis meetings,” according to the “Page Six” source.

The alleged meetings are a result of NBC’s newscast getting surpassed by ABC in total viewers, A25-54 and A18-49 in ratings for the week of Sept. 29. This was ABC’s first across-the-board victory in six years and comes only four weeks after Muir took over the anchor chair at “World News.”

There are also rumors being floated regarding the relationship between Brian Williams and NBC News president Deborah Turness. While one “Page Six” insider called the relationship “icy,” and NBC rep told the paper, “That is absolutely false. They talk all the time and meet multiple times a week. In fact, Deborah just drove to Philadelphia to see Brian accept an award at a lunch two weeks ago.”

My First Big Break: David Muir

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David Muir has known since middle school that he was going to be a TV news anchor. What he didn’t know is that four weeks into being named the main anchor of a network evening newscast, his show would be No. 1.

That happened last week.

While Muir’s biggest break came this summer, when he was named anchor of ABC’s “World News Tonight,” his first big break came when he was just 12 years old, growing up in Syracuse, NY when he wrote a letter to the local TV news anchorman.

David Muir and Team Celebrate Ratings Victory

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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: ABC News celebrated the first ratings win in more than six years for “World News Tonight” this afternoon with lunch on the house. Joining anchor David Muir and EP Almin Karamehmedovic was Muir’s predecessor Diane Sawyer, who, we’re told, gave a rousing tribute to the staff. ABC News President James Goldston, SVP Tom Cibrowski and former “World News” EP and current “Good Morning America” EP Michael Corn joined in on the celebration.

While Muir feels that the show can continue to improve, he took the time to thank his staff for all the hard work that helped them pass “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.”

If It’s Tuesday, It’s Debate Night for Sunday Hosts

ToddVATwo U.S. Senate debates tonight will each be moderated by a Sunday public affairs show host.

“This Week” host George Stephanopoulos has just arrived in Raleigh, NC where he will moderate a debate tonight between Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and her challenger, Republican State House Speaker Thom Tillis. The one-hour debate at 7pmET will air on TV and radio stations throughout the state and will also be streamed on ABCNews.com. Stephanopoulos will be back in New York for “Good Morning America” tomorrow.  He’s also moderating a Senate debate in New Hampshire later this month.

Meanwhile, “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd will moderate a debate between U.S. Senate candidates from Virginia: Democratic Sen. Mark Warner and Republican challenger Ed Gillespie. The Virginia debate, originating from the Capitol One Conference Center in Tyson’s Corner, will air live at 7pmET on WRC and stream on NBCWashington.com.

‘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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