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NBC

NBC News is the news division of NBC, a division of NBCUniversal LLC, a Comcast company. Programs include “Today,” “Nightly News with Brian Williams,” and “Dateline.” “Meet the Press with David Gregory” is the longest-running television series in American broadcasting history, debuting on November 6, 1947. Deborah Turness is the president of NBC News.

Behind the TV Scenes: ‘Today’ EP Don Nash

Don Nash

This summer, we’re putting a spotlight on the industry’s top producers; getting the inside story about their shows, how they got to where they are, and advice they have for future TV journalists.

“Today” show executive producer Don Nash has been with NBC News for more than two decades, most of that time working at the signature morning show. Earlier this week we chatted with the NBC veteran

TVNewser: You’ve been with “Today” for 24 years. What’s kept you there, and how valuable a trait is loyalty to a specific network, in this day and age?

Nash: I never wanted to go anywhere else. I got out of college, I got a job as a page at NBC, and I never thought in a million years I’d ever work for a show as great as “Today.” I never thought in a billion years I’d ever be running the place. And I never had any desire to go anywhere else because I didn’t think it could get any better. It’s absolutely important to be loyal to whoever you work for, be it at a network or anywhere else. Loyalty is something I value in a big way; it’s something I value in the people who work for me, and it’s something I value in the people I work for.

TVNewser: Morning TV is a cutthroat industry. How do you balance the drive to be number one, managing talent egos, and producing a quality broadcast every day?

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Brian Williams Reports Allison Williams ‘Peter Pan’ Casting News

WilliamsPeterPanWithout actually reavealing that he’s her father, Brian Williams reported a news story on his daughter, actress Allison Williams, cast as Peter Pan in a live presentation of the musical on NBC this fall. On “Nightly News” last night, Williams simply said, “Family members confirm she’s been rehearsing for this role since the age of three, and they look forward to seeing her fly. WATCH:

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Meredith Vieira on Ann Curry’s ‘Today’ Exit: ‘That Was Such a Bad Time’

meredith vieraTwo years after Ann Curry‘s now-infamous exit from the “Today” show, Curry’s predecessor Meredith Vieira — who is returning to television with her own talk show set to debut this fall –  weighs in on NBC’s handling of the transition in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter‘s Marisa Guthrie:

“That was such a bad time,” says Vieira, referring to the botched handover from Ann Curry, who replaced Vieira, to Savannah Guthrie in 2012. “I really felt for Matt a lot. And I felt for Ann, too. It turned so nasty, really nasty. Every day you’re reading this stuff that is just beyond cruel from angry, angry people who felt that Ann had been slighted and embarrassed and humiliated. And they basically pointed to one person on whom to take out all of their anger. I don’t know if I would have survived that.”

She says she did not offer Lauer advice through the turmoil. “I just told him I loved him and I was there for him. But I never sugarcoated what had happened. I thought it had not been handled smartly from the very beginning, because I don’t think they ever felt that was the right fit for Ann so they should never have put her in that position to begin with. And then the ending was so mishandled. But you know what, shit happens. People make mistakes. We all do.”

NBC Promotes Madeleine Haeringer to EP of International News

madeleine haeringerMadeleine Haeringer has been promoted to executive producer of international news at NBC News, SVP of newsgathering David Verdi announced today.

“In this expanded role, Madeleine will manage the overall editorial agenda for the network’s foreign news coverage, and identify and develop our long-range international story planning. She will also continue to lead Richard Engel’s production unit as well as maintain oversight of our Olympics news coverage,” Verdi wrote in a note to staff this morning.

Haeringer has been the executive producer of Engel’s production unit since it was created last year. Before that, she was the senior producer of NBC worldwide newsgathering.

Verdi’s full note, after the jump. Read more

David Gregory Issues ‘End Note’ to Clarify Unverified Video From Gaza

GregoryOn “Meet the Press” Sunday, a guest called out David Gregory for being “unfair” in his line of questioning.

While speaking to UN Relief spokesperson Chris Gunness, Gregory showed video which was posted Sunday morning by the Israeli government, claiming that rockets had been fired by Hamas from a UN school earlier in the week.

Gregory said that NBC hadn’t yet verified the video, but asked Gunness, “is this accurate; could this be happening without the UN’s knowledge?”

“To be fair to me, to bring me on a live program and expect me to comment live on air on pictures I haven’t actually seen, I think anyone looking at this program would agree that’s really unfair,” Gunness said. “I mean, if I can see it, I’ll happily comment on it.”

Later in the show, Gregory clarified: “The UN has reviewed it, tells us that they have confirmed in their view the video does not show rockets being fired from a UN administrative school in Gaza. So this is a back and forth that we’re not able to settle at this point.”

WATCH:

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‘Sharknado 2:’ Watch for Sharks, ‘Today’ Show Cameos, and also Sharks

RokerLauerSharknadoWe know your DVRs are probably already set for Wednesday night, but here’s what you should really look out when Syfy debuts “Sharknado 2:” lots of “Today” show cameos. As the Orlando Sentinel‘s Hal Boedeker looks at the increasingly blurry line between news and entertainment :

NBC’s “Today” gets a half dozen scenes in “Sharknado 2.” Purists may carp, with reason, that participating in such a cheesy movie diminishes the “Today” news brand. Matt Lauer and Al Roker pop in frequently to update viewers on the “sharknado” crisis sweeping New York City. Roker warns of “weather you’ve never seen before,” and Lauer adds, “All you can do is just shake your head.”

That storm even materializes on the “Today” anchor desk, and Lauer has to take matters into his own hands. It’s more gruesome than Ann Curry‘s exit.

Who’s That Guy Roaming the ‘Today’ Show Plaza?

Alex oneTwelve years ago, Alex Ficquette was a teenager shouting at the back of a “Today” show concert featuring Mary J. Blige.

“I randomly saw Al Roker buying a pretzel from a street vendor, and said ‘Hi’ to him,” Ficquette told TVNewser. Fast forward to today, where he’s been anointed “Alex on the plaza.”

The Associate Producer for the “Today” show oversees the signature outdoor plaza, interacting with fans who come from far and wide to experience the concerts, contests, and ideally, enjoy their 15 minutes — or just a few seconds — of fame with “Today’s” hosts.

Friday morning, TVNewser spent some time on the plaza as OneRepublic performed. All the while, Ficquette, 27, kept the crowd revved up as they waited for the pop-rock band to take the stage. Taking pictures, sparking conversations, and giving shout outs to the best signs is all part of being the plaza’s ringleader (Vine after the jump).

“That group outside, they’ve been up since 2:30am, and you would never know it,” he told us about one energetic group celebrating their friend’s 60th birthday. “You have to be interested in people’s stories. I feed off of their energy because they’re in amazing spirits.” When he’s not on the plaza he might appearing on the show’s fourth hour with Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford.

Ficquette’s path to the TV news business is a story in itself. “I didn’t go to school for film or production,” he said.

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Here’s What Happens When a News Magazine Uses Unauthorized YouTube Clips

DatelineTFMA YouTube content creator has produced a YouTube video (after the jump) taking aim at “Dateline NBC” for using his clips without proper attribution.

Last Friday, “Dateline” aired a story about a California man who was killed by an explosion that used a rat trap as its triggering mechanism. For demonstration purposes, “Dateline” producers used several rat trap videos from the YouTube creator TAOFLEDERMAUS. But not only did the show not contact him to request permission to use them, but, in what TAOFLEDERMAUS calls, “another dirty thing they did,” producers cropped out his watermarks.

“I’m a little disgusted with the producers of the show and NBC for their lack of professional courtesy,” the YouTuber says in his video.

A “Dateline” spokesperson says the clips fall under the fair use doctrine. “Some of the material was used as evidence at the trial that was the subject of the Dateline report,” spokesperson Monica Lee tells TVNewser. “The brief excerpts were a legally permissible fair use.”

But this bring up a larger question. How often do news broadcasts argue “fair use” when using originally-produced YouTube clips? And what happens when the video is used to demonstrate a heinous crime, as was the case here? As TAOFLEDERMAUS found out, commenters began accusing him of somehow being an accessory to the murder.

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David Gregory’s ‘Meet the Press’ Seat Continues Getting Hotter

david gregory_304x200Another new report suggests David Gregory‘s run as “Meet the Press” moderator is drawing to a close.

The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove expands on a New York Post report, writing that Gregory is “toast,” with either Chuck Todd or the Joe Scarborough-Mika Brzezinski tandem in line to replace him.

In multiple conversations that I had with people inside and outside NBC after the [Page Six] item appeared, it was taken as a given that Gregory is toast. According to my sources, Scarborough, 51, a Washington-savvy former Republican congressman from Florida, and Brzezinski, 47, the supremely well-connected daughter of former White House national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, have been aggressively angling for the job in the event of Gregory’s all-but-certain demise. The 42-year-old Todd, who has occasionally clashed with Scarborough on the air, leading some to believe that there’s little love lost between them, has slimmed down in recent weeks to fighting trim. Todd, who wears a goatee, is also deeply knowledgeable about politics and Washington folkways.

This afternoon, Scarborough addressed the rumors on Twitter.

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S.E. Cupp: ‘Discipline Was Necessary’ for NBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin, CNN’s Diana Magnay

CuppWhile guest hosting on “The View” this morning, S.E. Cupp chimed in on last week’s temporary removal of NBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin and complete removal of her CNN colleague, Diana Magnay, from Gaza.

“Even reporters get into problems when they discuss this conflict,” Cupp said, pointing to social media posts both Mohyeldin and Magnay penned while covering the conflict. “You’re a reporter, and your job–no matter how passionate you are about this issue, everyone has strong feelings–your job is to be objective. Discipline was necessary.”

It should be noted, in the case of Mohyeldin, NBC never publicly acknowledged disciplinary reasons as the catalyst for pulling the veteran foreign correspondent from Gaza (following widespread pushback, the network reversed its decision and sent Mohyeldin back to Gaza over the weekend). Last Thursday, Glenn Greenwald reported Mohyeldin had been pulled by executives for security reasons. That report came a day after we reported some NBC staffers were angered by the network’s decision to have Richard Engel report for “Nightly News” Wednesday night on the Gaza port airstrike that killed four children since Mohyeldin witnessed the strike and reported on it throughout the day.

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