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NBC Sports

Josh Elliott Leaves ABC for NBC Sports: ‘No News Role Has Been Discussed’

josh elliottJosh Elliott is joining NBC, not to be the next Matt Lauer, he says, but because he “grew up with a love of sports that is unrivaled.” Elliott was introduced as the newest NBC Sports talent by division chairman Mark Lazarus during a conference call with reporters this afternoon.

“No news role has been discussed with me,” Elliott says, adding, “I hope Matt Lauer is here when I step away from this gig, 30 years down the road. I love being a part of a team and the team I’m on now is a fantastic one.”

Elliott joins NBC Sports after three years at ABC News, as a co-host of “Good Morning America.” He doesn’t know if he’ll be back on “GMA” for a final farewell. “Those sorts of decisions aren’t mine to make,” he says.

“I was really happy to see my teammates wish me so well on Monday morning,” Elliott added. He says he remains “eternally thankful for all the people who helped me along the way. None more so than Ben Sherwood.” Sherwood, still new to his job as president of ABC News, plucked Elliott from ESPN in 2011. A year later, the longtime No. 2 morning show had toppled the “Today” show’s 16-year reign at No. 1.

“Everything I have today I owe to Ben,” Elliott says. “[ABC] put a generous offer on the table. They made this for me, simply, a qualitative choice.”

Not only will his commute get easier, NBC Sports is “a couple exits down I95″ in Stamford, CT, but Elliott will now get to fulfill a childhood dream: “A profound and essential part of my being has always been to be a part of an Olympics broadcast.” That wish will be fulfilled in two years in Rio. His first NBC Sports assignment is the Kentucky Derby next month.

Elliott says his only discussion about working with NBC News has been “ways to provide sports content to them.” Lazarus jumped in, adding, “that’s something I would discuss with NBC News, down the line.”

“I feel like the luckiest man in TV today, because of what has been a wondrous near-decade at Disney and a glorious 3 years at ABC News and ‘GMA,’” said Elliott.

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At ‘GMA’ ‘the Estrogen is Flowing!’

GMARobach

Amy Robach took her seat at the news desk this morning as the show bid farewell to Josh Elliott.

“Josh, it has been great run with you, here on ‘GMA,’” said George Stephanopoulos to Elliott, who was not on the show today. “He’s our buddy and we love him very much,” added Lara Spencer, sitting in for Robin Roberts who’s in Los Angeles where she’ll be a judge on “Dancing with the Stars” tonight. Spencer inked her own new deal with ABC just last week.

Elliott is joining NBC Sports where he will contribute to the vast portfolio of sporting events to which NBC has the rights, including Sunday Night Football, the Olympics and Triple Crown horse racing.

“George, the estrogen is flowing!” Spencer added to the lone man on the set, Stephanopoulos, who was surrounded by Robach, meteorologist Ginger Zee and Sara Haines, all three of whom were hired by ABC from NBC in the last three years: Robach and Haines from the “Today” show, and Zee from NBC’s Chicago station WMAQ.

“I want to thank everyone here,” said Robach. “You have made me feel like family from the first day I walked in. The second phone call I got last night was from Josh, congratulating me. I congratulated him. We’ve all become such dear friends.”

Sam Champion: ‘NBC Sports is a Great Opportunity for Josh’s Heart’

ChampionElliottOn his Weather Channel show this morning, Sam Champion commented on Josh Elliott‘s departure from “Good Morning America.”

“He’s a great guy and a very good friend,” said Champion of his former ABC News colleague. “What folks need to understand is just like The Weather Channel was an incredible opportunity for my heart, NBC Sports is a great opportunity for Josh’s heart.”

As we reported last night, Elliott, who has been with “GMA” for three years, will be leaving the network this week and joining NBC Sports. Champion left “GMA” for the Weather Channel in December.

“I know that fans of ‘GMA’ are not loving it. But it’s a happy day for Josh. And folks will follow him no matter where he goes.”

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Josh Elliott Leaving ‘Good Morning America’ for NBC Sports

Breaking: ElliottJosh Elliott is leaving “Good Morning America” and joining NBC Sports. Elliott’s jump to NBC and a return to sports, comes at the end of intense contract negotiations with ABC News. Elliott will work on most high-profile NBC Sports programs including “Sunday Night Football,” NBC Olympics and Triple Crown horse racing. NBC is expected to reveal more later this week.

Elliott joined ABC from ESPN three years ago this month. A year after he joined the ABC morning show, “GMA” topped NBC’s “Today” for the first time in 16 years. “GMA” has been the most-watched morning show since.

Elliott’s departure for NBC comes three months after his colleague Sam Champion left “GMA” for the Weather Channel, which is co-owned and has a broadcast partnership with NBC. Champion has already made appearances on “Today.”

In a note to his staff, Disney/ABC co-president Ben Sherwood writes, “In good faith, we worked hard to close a significant gap between our generous offer and his expectations. In the end, Josh felt he deserved a different deal and so he chose a new path.” Sources tells TVNewser, Elliott was seeking up to $10 million from ABC. The network offered $5 million. Elliott emailed Sherwood around 6pm tonight to tell him he was taking the NBC Sports job.

This is the second high-profile ABC-to-NBC move in less than a week. On Thursday, Cynthia McFadden, who spent 20 years at ABC announced she was joining NBC News’s investigative unit. She signed off “Nightline” Friday night. Elliott will get a “GMA” send-off later this week.

Late last week, ABC News re-signed co-host Lara Spencer to the show. A few days earlier Disney promoted Sherwood from ABC News president to co-president of the Disney/ABC TV group.

2020 Summer Olympics Go to Tokyo

The 2020 Summer Olympics will be held in Tokyo, it was announced this afternoon by outgoing IOC president Jacques Rogge. Tokyo beat out Istanbul and Madrid as the other two possible host cities. Tokyo last held the Summer games in 1964. Japan has also twice hosted the Winter Olympics. This means the 2018 and 2020 games will both be held in Asia. The 2018 Winter Olympics will be held in PyeongCheng, South Korea.

The 2020 Olympics will be the last games for NBC in its current deal as U.S. rights holder. In 2011, NBC agreed to a $4.38 billion contract with the IOC to broadcast the 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2020 Olympics, the most expensive television rights deal in Olympic history.

Jim Bell, the former NBC News “Today” show EP, now the EP of NBC Olympics Tweeted:

 

NBC Sports Network Shaking Up ‘The Crossover,’ Dave Briggs Out

Just a few short months after the program debuted, NBC Sports Network is completely shaking up its early-evening show “The Crossover,” according to The Big Lead.

Dave Briggs, who joined NBC Sports from Fox News in January specifically to host the program, is being removed as co-host. Starting Monday, the show will have a new set, and Michelle Beadle will host alone, joined by a rotating cast of regulars. Briggs is expected to get hosting duties on another NBCSN program.

Update: Briggs tells TVNewser “I’m ecstatic about the recent developments & very much looking forward to this opportunity.”

“The Crossover” was one of NBCSN’s highest-profile launches in recent memory, as Beadle was poached from ESPN (which wanted badly to keep her) and Briggs came from “Fox & Friends” weekend edition, which, while not as popular as the weekday edition, still does very well for FNC.

‘Today’ Show’s New Foe: the Daily News

There are few things newspaper editors like more than to write about troubled TV. Antenna envy, a former news director of mine used to call it. For the past few months the New York Daily News, which, earlier this year, hired former News of the World editor Colin Myler as its chief, has had its sights set on NBC’s “Today” show.

In an un-bylined story in today’s New York Daily News, there’s a report claiming “Today” “is on the verge of losing its general.” That would be show EP Jim Bell, who also produced the London Olympics for NBC. The story goes that Bell will move back, and up, at NBC Sports.

There’s nothing new in this piece that wasn’t reported by Reuters a month ago. TVNewser reaches out to “Today” quite regularly following up on this chatter. Recently, Bell told us, “I am very happy here. If you are a producer, it truly doesn’t get any better than working on the TODAY show and the Olympics.”

Could something change in the future? Of course. But nothing’s imminent.

This is the second story in as many days in the Daily News regarding the “Today” show.

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Radio Host Finebaum to Write for SI.com

Radio host Paul Finebaum, a former columnist for al.com who last year wrote that Vanderbilt should be kicked out of the SEC for not being competitive in football, is joining SI.com as a columnist. He reported the news on Twitter, saying his first column will run Thursday. Perhaps his first piece will address the ongoing story involving USA Today oddsmaker Danny Sheridan, who recently went on Finebaum’s radio show claiming to know who paid Cam Newton‘s father, Cecil, so that the 2010 Heisman Trophy Winner would attend Auburn. Sheridan has refused to name the alleged “bag man,” claiming his source within the NCAA would lose their job. The NCAA, for their part, says Sheridan’s claims are without merit.

Finebaum’s popular radio show is syndicated throughout the southeast and can also be heard on Sirius XM Radio (Channel 91).

Video: Alec Baldwin and John Krasinski in Another New Era Video

The Red Sox and the Yankees begin another series in their hate-filled rivalry tonight, so that means it must be time for another Alec Baldwin-John Krasinski video from New Era. In this installment — the fifth in a six-video campaign — Baldwin, a diehard Yankees fan, and Krasinski, a diehard Red Sox fan, are communicating via Skype when Baldwin decides he’s going to burn a handful of tickets to Red Sox home games. Why does he do this? Because doing so is supposed to make a Red Sox fan like Krasinski apoplectic. In burning the tickets, Baldwin inadvertently burns down his apartment building (which is supposed to be hilarious), and then has to go on the lam, so he goes to Krasinski’s apartment to hide out. I think Yankee fans would have rather seen Baldwin burn Curt Schilling’s bloody sock.

Ron Artest Will Compete In Dancing with the Stars

After back-and-forth rumors, Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest will compete in the 13th season of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.

Artest is still interested in playing for Cheshire Jets of the British Basketball League. If Artest really can’t dance like he claims, he will be free to play basketball by Oct. 1.

He will be joined by David Arquette, Chaz Bono, Elisabetta Canalis, Kristin Cavallari, Nancy Grace, Rob Kardashian, Carson Kressley, Ricki Lake, J.R. Martinez, Chynna Phillips and Hope Solo on the season premiere Sept. 19.

So much for getting those A-listers.

 

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