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Posts Tagged ‘Aaron Brown’

‘World News Now’ Celebrates 20 Years

While NBC celebrates 60 years of “Today” next week, today ABC is marking 20 years of “World News Now.” ABC News president Ben Sherwood calls the overnight news show, “the unsung hero of our news division.” And to the production team, “You all have the confidence and creativity to take risks and reap the rewards.”

The show, created by David Bohrman, who went on to CNN and is now president of Current TV, debuted January 6, 1992.

“We never imagined that our little overnight effort would last so long, inform and entertain so many people, and launch so many careers,” Bohrman tells TVNewser. Bohrman says he still has the audition tapes from original anchors Aaron Brown and Lisa McRee. Over the years, other anchors have included Anderson Cooper, Alison Stewart, Kevin Newman, Thalia AssurasJuju Chang, Jeremy Hubbard, David Muir and more.

Bohrman has one bit of advice for the current producers: “They should bring back the World News Now Temperature Index.” Here’s a best-of video, shown this morning on the show:

And this wasn’t the only TV news morning marker Today.

Sherwood’s note, after the jump…

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Former Fox Business Network Exec joins Current TV

Yet another appointment to tell you about at Current TV.

Terry Baker is joining Current as executive VP of production. Until last December, Baker was Executive Producer for primetime and weekend programming at Fox Business Network. He was part of the network’s 2007 launch, creating and developing seven of the network’s programs. Prior to that, he was Executive Producer at CNBC, where he developed several shows including “Conversations with Michael Eisner.” Baker also worked at CNN for six years, most recently as a Senior Executive Producer for “Anderson Cooper 360,” and also was Senior Producer on “Newsnight With Aaron Brown.”

At Current, Baker will work with network president David Bohrman in leading Current’s new focus as a news analysis and political commentary network, by building new live production capabilities and facilities in New York, home to the network’s flagship program “Countdown with Keith Olbermann.”

TV News Reflects on 9/11/2001: ASU’s Aaron Brown, ABC’s David Muir

With the 10th anniversary of the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks approaching, TVNewser reached out to anchors, reporters, producers and executives for their thoughts on that day, and what they believe has changed in the last 10 years.

Arizona State University’s “Walter Cronkite Professor of Journalism” Aaron Brown, who anchored on CNN that day. It was first day on-air at CNN:

I did a lot of television that day, emotionally I think I ran the gamut from a feeling of total stupidity, along with shock and horror when the first tower fell. There I was just trying to hold this broadcast together, hold myself together, the broadcast seemed to be doing fine. This huge thing happened, one of the things an anchor needs to do in those moments is to be one step ahead of what is happening, try and anticipate what is happening. And here is the biggest thing that could possibly happen and I didn’t anticipate it at all. There were a lot of scenarios, but I didn’t think that. And then you start to hear a clock ticking because you know that at some point, a minute, 10 minutes and hour who knows, the second tower is coming down too.

One of the weird memories of the day was Walter Isaacson, who ran CNN at the time and was my boss, and was incredibly smart guy and a great news guy. The only time I remember a boss coming up on the roof, he came up and said “this isn’t a story, this is history. And I thought that was spot on, that is exactly right. This is so beyond anything any of us had other done, I thought that was a great way to put it. We really were doing history that day, history is the kind of event where you say ‘where were you when you heard? And we were all going to remember where we were when we heard.

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Wil Surratt to return to CNN; to be named EP of Erin Burnett Show

TVNewser has learned Wilson (Wil) Surratt is returning to CNN and will be named EP of Erin Burnett‘s new program. Since 2009, Surratt has been with WPIX in New York. In 2006, he began a 2-year run at CNBC where he oversaw “The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch” and worked with Burnett on “Street Signs.”

From 2002-2006 Surratt worked at CNN as Senior EP of “American Morning” and “Newsnight with Aaron Brown” and was with CNN at the launch of “Anderson Cooper 360.” Surratt may be best known in TV news circles for overseeing the “KTLA Morning News” in Los Angeles in the late 1990s, a format which has been replicated at stations across the country.

The final deal with CNN is being worked out. An announcement is expected soon.

> Related, TVSpy: Wil Surratt Leaves WPIX, May Return to CNN

Aaron Brown: ‘I don’t like being a patient. I want to go hit golf balls.’

Aaron Brown is still waiting for his epiphany.

After undergoing triple-bypass surgery six weeks ago, Brown was sure he would experience a sudden insight into The Meaning of Life, or a reasonable facsimile. Hasn’t happened.

“I desperately want to say I had the experience of ‘seeing the light on the other side’ or that I’ve become a Buddhist,” says CNN exile Brown, 62. “Actually, I’m just pissed. I don’t like being a patient. I want to go hit golf balls.”

Brown says his recent remarks about Anderson Cooper, his successor at CNN, were misinterpreted. In an interview before the surgery, Brown said: “I know the difference between journalism and a slogan. ‘Keeping them honest’ [tagline for ‘Anderson Cooper 360’] is a slogan.”

“I thought it was played badly,” Brown says. “I’m a big boy. It became, in my opinion, way too personal. I didn’t mean it that way at all. It’s not how I feel. It wasn’t about Anderson, it was about the slogan, the show. It was about the quality of journalism that is either done or not done.”

Brown had promised his journalism students at Arizona State he’d make it back before the end of the semester. He did, for the last two classes. “It was fun to walk into that room,” he says. “I feel a little guilty that I denied them the experience they paid for.”

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CNN responds to Aaron Brown swipe

CNN is responding to this morning’s Gail Shister interview with former CNN anchor Aaron Brown. From a spokesperson:

We wish Aaron well in his upcoming surgery, and we think viewer response to CNN’s recent coverage of historic events around the world on “Anderson Cooper 360″ and the rest of our TV and digital platforms speaks for itself.

‘I know the difference between journalism and a slogan. Keeping them honest is a slogan.’

Twenty-seven years after suffering a heart attack he didn’t know was a heart attack, CNN exile Aaron Brown will undergo triple-bypass surgery today in Phoenix.

“Some part of me has known for a long time that at some point, the piper that is heart disease is going to get paid,” says Brown, 62, the Walter Cronkite Professor of Journalism at Arizona State. “This has been 27 years in the making.”

One night in 1984, when he was an anchor at Seattle’s KING, Brown didn’t realize that the pain he was experiencing was a heart attack. He did the late news, anyway, then was rushed to the hospital.

A week ago, after a routine stress test led to an immediate angiogram, Brown’s cardiologist told him he needed a bypass – stat.

While accepting his fate, Brown says he’s angry, too. He is a planner, and heart surgery was not in his plans. The situation is beyond his control. For Brown, that is a frightening place.

“If you’re a control freak, it’s hard to let go,” says Brown, forced out of CNN in 2005. “On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d be a 12. I’ve never faced anything quite like this. I find myself fighting to get control of it, but I know it’s not healthy for me. I’m trying so hard to let go.

“It sounds crazy, but I don’t recall ever having let go. In my childhood, I had to stay focused and in control, because so many people doubted me. I grew up in a little town [Hopkins,

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‘World News Now’ Celebrates 19th Anniversary with a New Look

ABC’s overnight show “World News Now” turns 19 this week, and is moving into a new studio.

There have been many great anchors on the broadcast throughout the years — including Aaron Brown, Lisa Mcree, Ryan Owens, Anderson Cooper, and Juju Chang.

An ABC spokesperson tells TVNewser that the show debuted a new set, and “World News Now”’s sister program, “America This Morning,” will debut its upgraded new look soon.

A look back at the show over its 19 years is after the jump…
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Time for a Rules Change? ‘A lot of news viewers think journalists are biased, anyway’

MSNBC’s sudden suspension of top-rated Keith Olbermann has spurred a debate about the relevance of network rules against staffers contributing to political campaigns.

Olbermann, whom MSNBC president Phil Griffin once labeled as the network’s “rock star,” yesterday was suspended indefinitely without pay for having contributed $2,400 each last week to the campaigns of three Democratic congressional candidates. NBC News guidelines prohibit such contributions without prior approval.

Given today’s hyper-partisan political climate, some media experts say it’s time for the rules to change. At MSNBC (blue state) and Fox News Channel (red state), for example, every prime-time host espouses a clear political bias. Moreover, that bias drives their viewership.

“I am shocked, shocked, to learn that Keith Olbermann is a Democrat,” deadpans Alex S. Jones, director of Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy.

Requiring employees to be politically agnostic makes sense when they work for objective news organizations, Jones says. However, MSNBC and Fox “don’t follow that standard [in prime time], and it’s absurd to pretend anything else. It’s a fig leaf that doesn’t cover anything.”

Rich Hanley, director of graduate programs at Quinnipiac University’s School of Communications, goes so far as to call the rules “quaint and disingenuous,” particularly in light of Fox owner Rupert Murdoch’s recent $1 million-plus contributions to Republican groups.

At MSNBC, where Olbermann is paid to give opinions, the irony is inescapable to Hanley: “It’s funny how a network that calls itself ‘the place for politics’ pulls a host for being political.”

The solution, according to Hanley, is for cable to follow the model of a newspaper op-ed page and make a distinction between daytime and nighttime lineups. Before opinion-driven programs, they could run a simple disclaimer that would distance the host’s views from their own.

“Prime time could become the op-ed page of cable news,” says Hanley. “It just needs to be labeled as such.”

Exiled CNN anchor Aaron Brown is troubled by partisan media, but he says NBC “is entitled to make policy, even if it doesn’t make much sense in this instance. It just shows how crazy things are.

“At least Fox doesn’t pretend it is fair and balanced. Oh wait, it does.”

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Aaron Brown on the Political Focus of Cable News

Brown092210.jpgFormer CNN anchor Aaron Brown is interviewed by OnMilwaukee.com. Brown is now a professor at the Walter Cronkite school of journalism at Arizona State University.

The interview is interesting, as Brown expresses his displeasure at the increasingly political focus of the cable news channels:

Of TV news, Brown says he doesn’t watch that much. But he’s still high on the traditional network newscasts, despite their steady decline in viewers. He spent a decade at ABC News, which he remembers warmly, along with its late anchor, Peter Jennings

And cable news?

He’s not exactly enamored with the move toward constant political debate, with ideologues on both sides. He talks of “hundreds” of people who’ve come up to him with the same complaint:

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