This morning, “Meet the Press” introduced viewers to Chuck Todd, with reflections from his mother, his wife, Tom Brokaw from Montana and Brian Williams at the Jersey Shore. Todd and substitute host Andrea Mitchell discussed the legacy of the show and the coverage of politics today. Todd then got the signature last word, “If it’s Sunday. It’s Meet the Press.” Todd takes over as host next Sunday.
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 Chuck Todd” is the longest-running television series in American broadcasting history, debuting on November 6, 1947. Deborah Turness is the president of NBC News.
Chelsea Clinton is leaving NBC News. People magazine was first with the story this morning. Clinton tells the mag she plans “to continue focusing on my work at the Clinton Foundation and as Marc and I look forward to welcoming our first child.”
Clinton joined NBC News in 2011 on a short-term contract to report “Making a Difference” stories for “NBC Nightly News.” She extended the contract in the spring of 2012 and also began reporting for “Rock Center.”
On Facebook, Clinton thanked the NBCNewsers she worked with: “I admire the work and dedication that their reporters, producers, crews, editors and studio teams deliver every day, particularly as I personally experienced through the stewardship of Brian Williams at Nightly News and Rock Center.”
Clinton is leaving the door open to working with NBC in some way. “While my role with NBC News may be coming to an end, I look forward to working with the NBC family well into the future,” Clinton wrote on Facebook. See her full note after the jump…
Betsy Fischer Martin, the former executive producer of “Meet the Press” is leaving NBC News after more than 20 years with the network.
In a note to colleagues, Fischer Martin writes, “Exactly 23 years ago this week I walked a few blocks down Nebraska Avenue from American University to start an internship at a TV show called ‘Meet the Press.’ I soon met a lawyer and politico turned journalist named Tim Russert who convinced me to forget about my admission to law school and stick around to help cover the 1992 presidential election.”
Fischer Martin would go on to work for the show as an associate producer and producer, and in 2002 was named EP a job she held until last summer when she was named managing editor of NBC News political programming.
“My decision now to leave the Peacock family comes with the same bittersweet feelings of sadness yet excitement for what’s ahead,” says Fischer Martin. “I thank NBC for giving me such incredible opportunities during my career.”
Fischer Martin has not said what her future plans are, except that this fall will include carpools and college football. Fischer Martin’s husband is New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin.
Today, TVNewser begins a multi-week series where we’ll catch up with some tvnewsers of yesterday to learn about their lives now, and their perspectives on the industry. We start with former ABC newsman Ken Kashiwahara. Next week: former CNN anchor Bobbie Battista.
Ken Kashiwahara most certainly has used up some of his nine lives.
Take his harrowing escape from South Vietnam while on assignment for ABC News in 1975. “It was anarchy, chaos,” he tells TVNewser about the fall of Saigon.
Kashiwahara was trapped in a mob of humanity trying to flee the country via helicopter at the U.S. Embassy. He knew he had to scale the compound’s wall to safety.
“U.S. Marines were on top of the wall, pulling people up,” he recalls. Kashiwahara was one of the lucky ones literally lifted up and over.
The story is just one of many experienced during a quarter-century with the network. Another moment had Kashiwahara showered with shrapnel while covering the Lebanese Civil War.
“In the very beginning,” he says about his 25-year tenure with ABC, spent as a correspondent and as a Hong Kong and San Francisco bureau chief, “it was very exciting, the travel and not knowing where you were going to be from one day to the next.
“But after a while it got a little tiring. You could never plan your life.”
And so in 1998, at the age of 58, Kashiwahara retired.
It all began in 1969 when, after a stint in the Air Force, Kashiwahara got his big break in journalism in his native Hawaii, at Honolulu’s KHVH radio. The station’s news director “took a chance on me. I mean, I was terrible!”
Meredith Vieira was a special guest host on “Good Morning America” this morning, promoting her new talk show, and promising to participate in a gravy wrestling match with Lara Spencer. Vieira has also lined up a guest-hosting gig on the “Today” show Sept. 8, which is the same day her new talk show debuts.
Even though “The Meredith Vieira Show” is produced by NBCUNiversal, produced at 30 Rock, and will air on many NBC stations, the program is syndicated and has been picked up by major-market ABC affiliates including those in Boston, Atlanta, Detroit, Denver and Tampa, hence the visit this morning to ABC.
The two main anchors of NBC News are talking about their boss, NBC News president Deborah Turness, now one year on the job. Turness tells the New York Times‘ Bill Carter that for as much change as has already occurred, there’s more to come. “Some change isn’t easy. It’s painful, but an organization has to go through it. And a lot of that is still ahead,” Turness says.
“People in the organization from top to bottom recognized that NBC News hadn’t kept up with the times in all sorts of ways, for maybe 15 years,” Turness tells Carter. “I think the organization had gone to sleep.”
Insiders tell us that line is ruffling some feathers of longtime NBC Newsers. But then, maybe that’s her point.
Appearing on “Today” this morning, incoming “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd described how he sees his role upon taking the reins on September 7.
“The job of all of us, particularly in political reporting, is to demystify Washington for the American public, but then also try to translate the American public’s frustration for out of touch Washington people,” Todd said. “That’s part of the challenge, that’s part of when things are going well in the political journalism world it’s because we’re playing that role of basically being the translator, being the interpreter between America and Washington.”(watch after the jump)
And the executive who appointed Todd to the coveted moderator chair seems to have big plans of her own. In an interview with the the New York Times, NBC News President Deborah Turness revealed her vision for changes on Sunday morning.
Her new vision for “Meet the Press” includes adding a regular panel of journalists who will question guests, something of a return to the venerable show’s original format. “The show needs more edge,” she said. “It needs to be consequential. I think the show had become a talking shop that raked over the cold embers of what had gone on the previous week. The one-on-one conversation belongs to a decade ago. We need more of a coffeehouse conversation.”
Following her fill-in stint on “Meet the Press” Sunday, NBC’s senior White House correspondent Chris Jansing sent an email to the MTP staff to thank them for making her feel welcome. “I honestly can’t remember a time when I didn’t watch Meet The Press,” Jansing wrote. “And moving to the White House a scant six weeks ago, it never crossed my mind that I would be hosting it.” Jansing, along with MTP EP Rob Yarin and senior editor Shawna Thomas traveled to Guatemala last week to cover Sen. Rand Paul‘s mission to perform eye surgeries on those who otherwise couldn’t have afforded it. The interview aired on “Meet the Press” Sunday and will be turned into a half-hour special airing this weekend on MSNBC. Chuck Todd takes over as moderator Sept. 7. He’s back on MSNBC this morning hosting his “Daily Rundown.”
Read Jansing’s note after the jump…
NBC’s senior White House correspondent Chris Jansing was in Guatemala this week, accompanying Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on his first international medical mission. Paul, who is an ophthalmologist, performed eye surgeries on people in need. Jansing will report on the humanitarian and political ramifications of the trip, as Paul eyes a run for the White House in 2016.
Jansing conducted multiple interviews with Sen. Paul exploring his political motivations for the mission in addition to immigration reform, U.S. health care, education, and 2016 politics. The interview will air this Sunday on “Meet the Press.” As we told you yesterday, Jansing will host Sunday’s program.
Gregory and publisher Simon & Schuster have reportedly been working on the book since 2011 that will focus on his “personal faith and the spiritual journey people take in their lives.”
“We weren’t planning to announce the book until we’d set the publication date, which will be sometime in 2015, but since Playbook asked, we’re answering now. Let me emphasize that this book has always been intended as an exploration of an aspect of David’s life that viewers rarely see in his journalistic work. The book was never intended as a memoir about his career. That objective hasn’t changed and will not change. This book will be about the inner spiritual journey many of us take in our lives. Simon & Schuster is excited and grateful to be publishing it.”
The report also suggests Gregory is available for speaking gigs in the fall, where he will touch on “life in the media firestorm and how it impacts politics and culture.” “Meet the Press” paid tribute to Gregory this past Sunday.
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