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‘Today’ Anchors Get Fit

After this morning’s “Today” show, the anchors headed down the east coast to Baltimore for the Shine a Light Health and Wellness Expo. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake joined Lester Holt, Erica Hill, Jenna Wolfe, Dylan Dreyer and WBAL anchors Deborah Weiner and Stan Stovall.

A segment on the expo will air in the morning on “Today.”

A Strange Day for the White House Press, and the Secret Service

WhiteHouseSearchIt was an unusual Saturday morning following an equally precarious Friday evening at the White House.

Just before 8:30amET, the White House pool reporter for the day sent a note that they were not being allowed into the White House. “The plaza in front of White House is shutdown. The AP Photographer uploaded photos of a shoulder to shoulder sweep of the north lawn at 7:30 am and then the uniformed officers moved to do the same shoulder to shoulder search across the plaza and into Lafayette park,” the pool note read. “There appear to be dozens of officers in the search”

About 15 minutes later, the Secret Service allowed the pool access to the White House. Even longtime members of the press corps say this morning’s activities were out of the norm.

They follow last night’s incident in which a Texas man jumped the fence around the North Lawn and made it through the door of the White House portico.  In another incident this afternoon, a New Jersey man approached a White House gates on foot. He later drove up to another gate and pulled into the vehicle screening area. When he refused to leave, he was arrested and charged with unlawful entry.

Best of Behind the TV Scenes: Nash, Xu, O’Hearn, Capus, Schreier

Throughout the summer, we’ve spotlighted 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.

Here are some of the best takeaways from our five-part series, “Behind the TV Scenes.”

Don Nash, “Today” EP                                                                                     Don 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.”

Susie Xu, “OutFront” EP                                                                                                                                                                                                   Susie-Xu

This one’s always tough. I think as a producer you never talk about yourself; it’s all about the anchor. What’s shaped me a lot is being the second child in a Chinese family after the one-child rule was imposed. From the beginning of my life, I was really not supposed to be born. The government came down on my parents and said, ‘you’re not supposed to have a second child, we have a one-child policy here, and you already have one daughter and you don’t need another.’ But my parents defied them, and I think that’s shaped a lot of who I am, and I always think, wow, I wasn’t even really supposed to be around and I’m so lucky to be where I am and have the awesome opportunities I have. It’s pretty cool.

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’48 Hours’ Gives True Crime Junkies Their Fix

As the “48 Hours” team has been hard at work on a new season of shows, the CBS News marketing department put together a promo with a look at some of the stories ahead this fall. The cases run the gamut from a 20-year-old cold case, to the death of a Wall Street millionaire who walked away to live in an elaborate home in Costa Rica, and the bizarre case of a Florida mother who shot dead her husband more than 20 years ago. She walked free based on the testimony of her son at the time. Two decades later she shot the son – with the same gun. The new season begins one week from tonight.

Brian Williams Checks Himself; Federal Investigation into Gov. Christie Still Ongoing

On “Nightly News” tonight, Brian Williams corrected an error he made on Thursday’s broadcast. “We may have added confusion to some complex legal reporting here last night,” Williams said. According to the Asbury Park Press, here’s what happened Thursday.

NBC outlets had several reports Thursday and Friday citing anonymous sources saying no Christie connection had been uncovered while noting the investigation is continuing. However, Williams on ‘NBC Nightly News’ Thursday night reported that “federal charges are now ruled out for Chris Christie in the affair that came to be known as Bridgegate.”

“An unscripted line of our Nightly News report was imprecise and implied that a final decision had been reached,” NBC spokeswoman Erika Masonhall told the Asbury Park Press. Here’s the explanation from tonight’s “Nightly News:”

Al Jazeera America Countersuing Al Gore

Al-Jazeera-America304It looks like Al Jazeera America isn’t taking the lawsuit levied against them by former Vice President Al Gore lying down. They countersued Gore and Joel Hyatt back today.

The Associated Press reports the cable news network, which launched last year after buying Current TV from Gore, is suing over money being held in an escrow account.

The parties are fighting over money that is being held in escrow. Al Jazeera America says it is entitled to the money because Gore and Hyatt agreed to indemnify the network for claims made against Current TV, but didn’t live up to their promise. It accuses the pair of “misrepresentations” and says they received hundreds of millions of dollars from the sale.

The Scoreboard: Thursday, Sept. 18

25-54 demographic (Live +SD)

  • Total day: FNC: 247 | MSNBC: 64 | CNN: 104 | HLN: 73
  • Primetime: FNC: 351 | MSNBC: 122 | CNN: 105 | HLN: 86

4p: 5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p: 12a:
FNC
Cavuto:

165

TheFive:

296

Baier:

282

Greta:

279

O’Reilly:

417

Kelly:

373

Hannity:

263

O’Reilly:

262

Kelly:

223

MSNBC
Wagner:

39

EdShow:

49

Sharpton:

90

Matthews:

122

Hayes:

105

Maddow:

156

O’Donnell:

104

Hayes:

51

Maddow:

79

CNN
Tapper:

72

Blitzer:

106

Blitzer:

128

Burnett:

104

Cooper:

99

CNNFilms:

108

Cont:

CNNFilms:

133

Cont.:

HLN
Now:

44

Files:

22

Files:

35

Jane:

78

Grace:

84

Dr.Drew:

92

Files:

82

Files:

140

Files:

234

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CNN Responds to Reese Schonfeld’s ‘Cratering News Network’ Criticism

ReeceCSPANReese Schonfeld has not been shy in his criticism of CNN, a network he worked for in the 1980s. With the byline ‘Founding CEO of CNN,’ Schonfeld has, for years, written critical pieces for Huffington Post, including one yesterday titled, CNN: The Cratering News Network.

Now, CNN is firing back.

An CNN executive tells TVNewser, “Reese Schonfeld, who didn’t create CNN but happened to work there when it went on the air, hasn’t been involved with CNN since he was let go over 30 years ago. Holding him out as having insight into CNN is like seeking travel advice from someone who still thinks Yugoslavia and East Germany are countries.”

Okay then.

Schonfeld’s most recent piece was about this week’s NLRB decision compelling CNN to rehire 100 people it laid off in 2003. “CNN disagrees with the NLRB decision and we are evaluating our options,” a CNN spokesperson told us Tuesday. As for Schonfeld, author of “Me and Ted Against the World,” he surmises:

It’s time for Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, Turner CEO John Martin, and CNN President Jeff Zucker, to find their way out of this mess, lest they face another buy-out threat from Rupert Murdoch or someone else while their stockholders are still reeling from CNN’s latest screw-up.

Mike Taibbi Leaving NBC News

TAIBBIAfter more than 40 years in TV news, first at local stations in Boston and New York and later at ABC News, CBS News, and most recently, NBC News, Mike Taibbi is leaving the business.

Taibbi, 65, joined NBC News in 1997 as a correspondent for “Dateline NBC.” Prior to that he was a correspondent for CBS’ “48 Hours,” and before that he was a London-based correspondent for ABC News.

Taibbi, the father of author/journalist Matt Taibbi, reports for all NBC News broadcasts. He spent months in the middle east covering the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. More recently he was the lead correspondent on several big domestic stories, including the movie theater massacre in Aurora, CO, the Michael Jackson trial and the Gabby Giffords shooting.

Taibbi began his career in television in 1971 as a reporter for WCVB-TV in Boston. He also worked as an investigative reporter for WNAC-TV in Boston, and at two New York stations: WNBC and WCBS.

In a note to colleagues (after the jump), obtained by TVNewser, Taibbi writes, “My time as a television reporter may have lasted only this long but it’s the stories I’ve loved without pause, all these decades, not the fact that I got to tell them on television.”

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell: ‘These Activities Must be Condemned and Stopped’

GoodellBroadcast networks provided special coverage this afternoon as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell held a news conference to answer questions and announce that he won’t resign.

“We will get our house in order first,” Goodell said as he announced enhanced domestic violence and sexual violence education programs for the league’s teams and front office. “These activities must be condemned and stopped,” Goodell said regarding domestic violence, sexual assault, and illegal use of alcohol and drugs. Goodell also announced the formation of a conduct committee.

Goodell, who has been commissioner for 8 years, once again announced he was wrong in his determination of a two-game suspension of former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice.

CBS, NBC and ABC all broke in at 3:15pmET. Scott Pelley anchored on CBS, Lester Holt on NBC and George Stephanopoulos on ABC. ABC dropped out of the news conference first, followed by NBC then CBS. The cable news and sports channels, including NFL Network, also carried the news conference.

The first question went to NBC’s Peter Alexander. The next question came from CNN’s Rachel Nichols; the next from Fox Sports’ Peter Schrager. Other questions came from CBS Sports’ Sharyn Alfonsi, Fox Sports 1′s Mike Garafalo, NFL.com Columnist Judy Batista, Arise TV’s Andrew Rosario, ESPN’s Dan Graziano, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, and The Associated Press’ Barry Wilner.

The news conference lasted 43 minutes.

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