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Archives: November 2005

Brown: “I Think They Made A Mistake”

brownnov39.jpgIn today’s NY Post, Liz Smith reports on her lunch with former CNN star Aaron Brown. She asked what he thinks of CNN’s negative move on him:

“Of course, I think they made a mistake,” he laughed. “But…they’re entitled.”

What’s next? “I don’t know exactly what I will do.” He might write a book.

When Roger Ailes passed by their table at Michael’s, “Aaron expressed admiration for the manner in which Fox beats the pants off its competitors. ‘They are the most on-target, disciplined bunch I’ve ever seen!’ he told Roger.” Ailes made a lunch date with Brown…

Bedingfield: “At Times, Jon & I Didn’t See Eye-To-Eye…But He’s The Boss”

cnnpresents.jpg

Sid Bedingfield‘s decision to leave CNN after nearly 20 years was by mutual agreement with president Jon Klein, the departing senior vice president of CNN Productions tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“At times, Jon and I didn’t see eye-to-eye on ‘CNN Presents,’” he says. “But he’s the boss, and he has every right to decide what it should be.”

Bedingfield joined the network in 1986 as a writer. For a while, he oversaw operations for CNN/U.S. He also had a long stint at CNNI. He plans to take a couple months off “before pursuing new work, possibly in documentaries.”

> Aug. 29: “CNN Cancelling People In The News & Doubling Documentary Unit”

Couric Watch: Day 3



New NBC News president Steve Capus predicts that any announcement on Katie Couric‘s future “is a little bit down the road” because her contract is not up until spring 2006, USA Today reports.

Capus “said Couric called to congratulate him Tuesday and was ‘thrilled’ by his promotion, but he said he would not be taking part in contract negotiations with her. ‘This one is going to be handled upstairs, and I’m comfortable with that,’ Capus said.”

More: “But ‘the message to her is very clear: This has been her home, and a lot of people here care a lot about her, and we think the world of her talents. But after 15 years, she may want to do something different. That may be how it plays itself out.’”

> Day one: Wooing “With A New Urgency”

> Day two: “Katie: To Move Or Not To Move”

Gibson Is 62, And Westin Wants “An Anchor Situation In Place For 20 More Years…”

gibsonnov30.jpgIn yesterday’s AP story by David Bauder, ABC News president David Westin inches closer to telling us who the next anchor(s) of World News Tonight will be.

“Peter was there for 23 years,” Westin said. “If we do this the right way, we’ll have an anchor situation in place for 20 more years, and it’s much more important to have that done for 20 years than to have it done for one month of ratings.”

An e-mailer adds: “Do the math. Charlie is 62…So unless Westin plans for him to anchor until he’s 82, I guess it ain’t Charlie.”

New Nightline: Too Many Segments?

In today’s New York Daily News, David Bianculli offers some solutions to Nightline’s primary problem: The multistory magazine format was initially awkward.

“Each left as many questions unanswered as answered, and suggested strongly that devoting a half-hour show to each would have been far more satisfying and impressive,” he writes. For instance, the interview with two priests “could have gone somewhere, but never got the chance,” because after five minutes, Cynthia McFadden faced a commercial break.

Solution? “Dividing the Nightline turf by half, rather than thirds, would be a better compromise, if the new regime is insistent on picking up the pace. The correspondents shouldn’t mind waiting their turn, if the resulting rotation provides time for deeper, better reports.”

> BCBeat: Tuesday’s show focused on two stories, instead of three…

New Nightline: “The Last Thing One Would Want To See Before Falling Asleep”

Negative Nightline review #2 comes from David Zurawik in the Baltimore Sun.

He gives James Goldston credit for a “polished-looking production” and a “smooth launch with no major glitches or serious mistakes.”

But then he calls the show ” a garish-looking TV creature more reminiscent of the carnival midway than the pioneering broadcast whose name it bears. A stylistic marriage of prime-time newsmagazines and MTV, this hyped-up, neon-lit news program seems like the last thing one would want to see before trying to fall asleep.”

At the end, he notes that “a new program can’t be judged on just one segment.” But after night one, “one thing was perfectly clear: The balance between substance and style at Nightline had been decisively – and sadly – reversed in the last week.”

Al Jazeera Intl: “Last, Great Hope”

Among the journalists attracted Al Jazeera International “is Dave Marash, a former Nightline correspondent and onetime anchor of WCBS New York, who is negotiating a job in the Washington bureau, according to sources close to the journalist. David Frost, the veteran BBC journalist and the first to interview Richard Nixon after Watergate, signed on earlier this summer. Former Nightline anchor Ted Koppel had a meeting with a representative from Al Jazeera International in Washington this fall, according sources close to Mr. Koppel. But nothing came of it,” the Observer says.

So why do “some of the Western world’s most accomplished broadcast journalists see the new network as a last, great hope?” Rebecca Dana explains…

“Biggest Priority” For Steve Capus: New Models of News Gathering & Delivery

Now that the “acting” has been dropped from his NBC News president title, Steve Capus knows what he has to do.

“There’s no question the biggest priority for Steve in the coming two years is the evolution of news gathering and delivery of news, via new models,” Jeff Zucker says in Tuesday’s New York Times. (Why did he specifically say two years?)

“We all have to figure out new ways to grow the audience,” Capus adds. “That’s why we’re putting so much emphasis on these new platforms.”

The story also confirms a scoop TVNewser reported four weeks ago: Netcasts of Today and Meet the Press are on the way…

New Nightline: A Critical Review

The Hollywood Reporter’s Barry Garron reviews night one of Nightline, and he pulls a few punches:

> Cynthia McFadden “pledged Monday night…’to do our best to build on the proud journalistic tradition of this program.’ But based on the first show, ‘our best’ is not yet good enough.”

> “Based on the opening segment, the quality of the reporting has taken a hit. The first piece was part of a new series called ‘Iraq: Stay In or Pull Out?’ but it never came close to addressing the question…”

Garron concludes: “Perhaps subsequent episodes of the new Nightline will challenge and engage viewers intent on finding out more about the crucial issues of our time. If not, it will be that much easier for ABC network brass to justify moving Jimmy Kimmel up a half-hour.”

The Ticker: Cooper, Couric, Robach…

> On Monday night, Nightline delivered a 3.6 rating in metered markets…

> Wonkette assesses the many moods of Anderson Cooper

> Howard Kurtz says it’s hard not to keep track of Katie Couric‘s “ever-blonder hair…”

> MSNBC’s Amy Robach is pregnant, ICN notes…

> Sanjay Gupta‘s doctor wasn’t “happy to hear that I’ve been interviewing bird flu victims and tromping through yards near dead chickens…”

> What’s special about next week?…

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