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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.

‘GMA’ Rolls Footage From Target Package During Interview With Michael Brown’s Mother

TargetAn unfortunate technical error occurred this morning during Robin Roberts‘ exclusive “Good Morning America” interview with Michael Brown‘s mother and attorney.

While asking about the family’s reaction to Michael’s autopsy results at 7:04amET, Roberts began to note the medical examiner’s statement.

As she started her point, footage from a package about Target rolled on screen for a few seconds with the lower third about Michael Brown remaining on screen. Three seconds later, Roberts appeared back on screen, finishing her point on the medical examiner’s statement. She apologized for the error at the end of the interview.

“Due to a technical glitch, the wrong b-roll was inadvertently called up for a split second during the interview,” an ABC spokeswoman tells TVNewser. “The mistake was quickly fixed, and the piece was updated for subsequent feeds.”

Viewers on social media noticed and voiced their displeasure.

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Elizabeth Vargas Returns to Rehab

GerogeVargasABC News anchor Elizabeth Vargas has returned to an alcohol rehabilitation center. Vargas says it was during her vacation this weekend that she decided to return to rehab. “As so many other recovering alcoholics know, overcoming the disease can be a long and incredibly difficult process,” Vargas writes in a statement. “I feel I have let myself, my co-workers and most importantly my family down and for that I am ashamed and sorry.”

“Nothing is more important than Elizabeth’s health and well-being,” ABC says in a statement. “We stand squarely behind her. Our thoughts are with Elizabeth and her family, and we look forward to having her back at ABC News when she feels ready to return.”

Vargas checked herself into a alcohol rehabilitation facility last November. Upon her return to ABC News in January, Vargas sat down with George Stephanopoulos to discuss her addiction and recovery. She says it all started with panic attacks as a child, which continued into adulthood. “Anchoring the evening news, I had to take beta blockers because I was so nervous and so anxious,” she said. “That’s exhausting to live like that and it becomes very easy to think, ‘I deserve this glass of wine. I’m so stressed out and I’m keeping it hidden.”

In her statement today, Varas says, “I am committed to battling and addressing this debilitating disease and want to thank everyone who has offered their unwavering support during this trying time.”

The New York Post first reported the news.

‘Morning Joe’ and ‘Good Morning America’ Take the Ice Bucket Challenge

MJ and GMA

“Morning Joe” hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski and several “Good Morning America” personalities got drenched this week for a good cause.

On Thursday, the “MJ” duo accepted Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal‘s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, getting doused with ice water while sitting in a giant kiddie pool (must say Joe got the worst of it). The next day, “GMA’s” Lara Spencer, Paula Faris, Sara Haines, and Tory Johnson accepted colleague Michael Strahan‘s challenge. Standing in NYC’s Central Park, the GMAers received quite the cooldown on a sunny summer day.

Watch both after the jump. Read more

‘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

7.2 Million Watch ’20/20′ Robin Williams Special

MuirWilliams304According to Nielsen overnight ratings, the ABC News “20/20″ special “The Life and Death of Robin Williams” was watched by 7.18 million viewers, making it the #2 TV show of the night, and in the time period, behind NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” This was ABC’s largest non-sports summertime audience in the hour since May 2013 and its best A25-54 demo rating (2.3) since June, 2010.

Shepard Smith Explains Use of the Word ‘Coward’ During Robin Williams Coverage

The hours-long cable news coverage of the death of Robin Williams last night included some reporting, and much eulogizing. And as often happens during unscripted live TV news coverage, the words used are interpreted in different ways.

Case in point: Shepard Smith. At the end of his hour-long special, the Fox News anchor read a quote from the late actor/comedian about his children. Smith then surmised: “They’re inspiring you and exciting you and they fill you up with the kind of joy you could never have known. But something inside you is so horrible, or you’re such a coward, or whatever the reason, that you decide you have to end it. Robin Williams, at 63, did that today.”

Smith was immediately criticized for using the word “coward.”

“The last thing I would ever suggest about a man I know nothing about personally, is that he’s a coward,” Smith tells TVNewser. “That goes against everything I am. If those words, I used so innocently, offended his family, from the bottom of my heart, I could not be more sorry.”

Nischelle TurnerOver on CNN, entertainment reporter Nischelle Turner got some pushback for using the word “demons” when describing Robin Williams’ mental state. She apologized on air.

“I’ve been getting a lot of feedback from the mental health community in using that word,” Turner said. “A lot of times when we’re doing live coverage we say things and we’re talking and we don’t realize what we’re saying. They’re absolutely correct. That it is a disease, so I apologize for using the word demons.”

ABC News also got some social media pushback for promoting a live feed of aerials of Williams’ home on ABCNews.com.

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Bill O’Reilly Gets a Mention in Sherri Shepherd’s ‘The View’ Farewell

Sherri ShepherdOn her final day co-hosting “The View,” Sherri Shepherd gave an emotional farewell speech that included the mention of a cable news star.

Bill O’Reilly said I was a pinhead,” Shepherd said during her farewell episode today (taped last week). “I remember one time another talk show host said, ‘a potato sack could replace Sherri Shepherd,’ and I started crying, and they must have told Whoopi [Goldberg] because Whoopi came in and she was like ‘look at me, look at me…if Barbara [Walters] didn’t think you could do this, she wouldn’t have asked you to be here.”

As we reported, the favorites to replace Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy might be coming from the cable news ranks.

The Story Behind the Ice Bucket Challenge

Matt Lauer has done it, so has Shepard Smith and Rachel Maddow. NBC’s Dylan Dryer did it late last week, then on Saturday challenged her “Today” colleagues Erika Hill, Lester Holt and Jenna Wolfe. They accepted. So where did the ice bucket challenge start? “CBS This Morning” had the back-story this morning. And, naturally, led to a challenge for Charlie Rose, Norah O’Donnell and fill-in host Jane Pauley. Rose and O’Donnell accepted the challenge. Pauley asked, “Can I just write a check?” WATCH:

Paula Faris Joins ‘Good Morning America’

This morning, Paula Faris debuted as the new Weekend “Good Morning America” co-anchor. Faris takes over for Bianna Golodryga who is joining Yahoo! News. Dan Harris, Ron Claiborne and Sara Haines welcomed the former ABC News correspondent and “World News Now” co-anchor to the team.

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