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Posts Tagged ‘Albie Hecht’

As Time Warner Ends Vice Talks, A&E Plans $250M Stake in Media Company

viceThe New York TimesJonathan Mahler scoops that Time Warner has ended negotiations with Vice Media. The talks, which have been going on for months, included a plan to spin off Time Warner’s HLN network, and refashion it into a Vice channel. The Brooklyn-based media company includes a magazine, book publishing, a massive online presence, and gritty, global documentaries which are carried on Time Warner’s HBO.

The conversations collapsed after the two companies were unable to agree on a valuation of Vice. Last year, 21st Century Fox paid $70 million for a 5 percent stake in the company, valuing the company at more than $1 billion.

In June, Vice co-founder and CEO Shane Smith told the New York Times having a TV network was “the next step in our evolution. Our mobile and online stuff is going to grow exponentially, but we want a three-legged stool, and the third leg is TV.”

A week ago, the Wall Street Journal reported Time Warner had also been in talks with Glenn Beck‘s company about re-branding HLN into TheBlaze TV. But those talks also came to nothing. Earlier this year, under the new leadership of Albie Hecht, HLN intended to become “the home for the social media generation.” Primetime programs include those hosted by Nancy GraceJane Velez-Mitchell, and Dr. Drew Pinsky. Late nights and weekends are made up of true crime stories.

> More: The Financial Times reports Vice is finalizing a deal to sell a 10% stake to A&E Networks for $250 million. A&E is jointly owned by Walt Disney and Hearst. The sale could be announced as early as next week, FT reports.

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Vinnie Politan Leaving HLN

politan.vinnieVinnie Politan is leaving HLN to join the NBC affiliate in Atlanta, TVNewser has confirmed. News of Politan’s departure was first reported by Rodney Ho of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

“Vinnie has been a tremendous asset to HLN over the years.  We thank him and wish him only the best,” an HLN spokesperson told TVNewser.

Politan currently hosts “HLN Now: On the Case” weekdays from 2pm-5pmET. Before that, he was the anchor of several former HLN shows, including  “Prime News,” “After Dark” and “Making it in America.” Politan had also worked at HLN sister network truTV as the host of the “In Session” trial coverage, which ended last year. He joined Court TV (later rebranded as truTV) in 2001 and left in 2008, only to rejoin the network in 2009.

Politan’s last day at HLN will be July 3. TVSpy has more on his hire at WXIA.

Politan’s departure is the latest shakeup to HLN, which has seen lots of change over the past several months. Under Albie Hecht’s leadership, the network has rebranded itself as the television home for the social media generation, shuffling programming in primetime and daytime. Last week, it was reported that Time Warner is considering merging HLN with Vice.

HLN Adds Two Correspondents, Announces Official Roles for Lynn Berry, Brian McFayden

lynn berrySome personnel announcements from HLN today: the network has officially named Lynn Berry the host of “HLN Weekend Express” and Brian McFayden sports correspondent for “Morning Express With Robin Meade,” as well as hiring Ali Nejad and Yasmin Vossoughian as correspondents.

“The addition of Lynn and Brian to Weekend Express and Morning Express, respectively, further amps up the energy and infectiousness of two of HLN’s signature shows,” HLN general manager Albie Hecht said in a statement. “And we welcome Ali and Yasmin to the fold whose style, wit and smarts will resonate with people watching and engaging across all platforms.”

Berry has been filling in on “Weekend Express” since December. McFayden has been the sports correspondent on “Morning Express” since he joined HLN earlier this year.

As for the new correspondents: Nejad will be HLN’s Los Angeles-based correspondent covering general news and entertainment. He comes from ESPN, where he hosts a weekly “SportsCenter” segment featuring interviews with celebrities and athletes. Vossoughian, who will cover entertainment and breaking news, comes from AOL, where she is a correspondent and host.

More after the jump. Read more

At the TVNewser Show, Bret Baier, Social TV, and Drones

The TVNewser Show is underway at the New Yorker hotel. So far we’ve heard from Bret Baier, who compared covering Washington to “drinking from a fire hose — it’s nonstop.” We’ve heard about the legality of Aereo and the keys to reaching millennials from Fusion’s Alicia Menendez and HLN’s Albie Hecht. And a few minutes ago, we got a drone demonstration right here at the conference:

We’ll be a little light on posts today, but follow along with us on Twitter @TVNewser and using the hashtag #TVNewserShow.

HLN Doubling Down on Social Media

If CNN is asking viewers to “go there” with them, its sister network HLN is going directly to social media to reinvent itself.

HLN unveiled upcoming changes to its lineup at its upfront presentation Thursday in New York City, and it all revolves around social media. “The Daily Share” will premiere later this year; a one-hour news program produced in Atlanta that shows what people are watching, searching, playing, sharing, shopping, and creating on social media.

A series of currently in-development reality shows will also debut, including “2 Spouses, 3 Houses,” where YouTube star Jessica Edwards looks at couples’ social media habits to find their dream home; “What’s Trending,” hosted by co-founder of @whatstrending Shira Lazar, and more.

The network also formally announced a creative partnership with Twitter. For more, head to Lost Remote.

“I think it’s going to be evolutionary,” network EVP and GM Albie Hecht told TVNewser about HLN’s shift to becoming the social media network. Hecht will talk about HLN’s evolution and more as a panelist at the TVNewser Show on April 29 in NYC.

“It’s going to work for a news channel,” “Morning Express” host Robin Meade told us, saying the news business is shifting to more of a two-way conversation with the audience. “It’s almost like a Nielsen immediate,” she added about the instant feedback social media gives anchors about viewer interest in particular stories.

“Television is changing, and people don’t just sit there passively…they want to participate,” Jane Velez-Mitchell told us, also joking that her trademark on-air battles with guests will evolve. “I’m happy to have some Twitter battles…I’ll take the battle wherever I have to go.”

Amy Robach Inspires at NLGJA Gala, Plus a TV News Selfie

NLGJASelfie2

ABC’s Amy Robach lit up the room last night as host NLGJA’s Healdines & Headliners event. Robach, who has three more chemotherapy treatments in her fight against breast cancer told the crowd that we all have battles to face, but it’s how you fight that will determine the win.

“Until it hits you here,” she said to the crowd, pointing to her heart, “you don’t really know what it’s like to be in battle. And once you get in there and get your hands a little bloodied and you see your comrades next to you, you become so powerful.” Robach told us the support she’s gotten since her diagnosis in November has been nothing short of overwhelming.

Robach, accompanied by her husband Andrew Shue, was among 300 attendees, including dozens of TV news anchors, reporters and producers who turned out for at the annual event. “They gave me the night off,” said CNN’s Richard Quest who has been front and center for the network’s Malaysia Airlines coverage.

MeredithVieiraAmyRobachWe chatted with Shepard Smith who was trading Miami stories with his former local news colleague, now Weather Channel meteorologist Bryan Norcross. And there was a cross-network, lead-in pairing as CNN’s Noon anchor Ashleigh Banfield was accompanied by MSNBC’s 1pm anchor Ronan Farrow. Farrow told us he’s getting more comfortable each day hosting his “Ronan Farrow Daily.” The cable news newbie says he’s getting good advice from TV veterans.

Tamron Hall told us she’s still adjusting to her new schedule. The new 9am “Today” show co-host is now doing double morning duty with her MSNBC show at 11am, giving her about 45 minutes to prepare for the second show. “I have very good producers who make sure it comes together,” Hall said.

Read more

Bret Baier to Keynote TVNewser Show, April 29

BretBaierFox News “Special Report” anchor Bret Baier will be the morning keynote speaker for the TVNewser Show, April 29 in New York City. This being an election year, we’ll talk with Baier about what’s ahead for Washington, and about media coverage of policy, politics and politicians.

Baier will join decision makers and thought leaders from NBC News, ABC News, and CNN for the day-long conference. You may have seen the ads running on TVNewser and our other sites which explain the agenda, but what we’re trying to do with the show is bring the leading minds in the business in one room on one day to discuss where the business is going.

Just a week before the conference the Supreme Court will take up the case of Aereo. So we’ll talk about that. We’ll also talk about media consolidation, the second screen, newsroom diversity, how broadcasters are adapting to the growth of TV everywhere, and more. Other speakers include Tribune broadcasting president Larry Wert, Fusion anchor Alicia Menendez, CNN executive Geraldine Moriba and NBC News executive Julian March.

We’re also pleased to present the TVNewser Job Fair which will tap the resources of Mediabistro’s leading job service, bringing together the nation’s top media companies in one place, allowing attendees to meet one-on-one with hiring managers.

We’ll bring you updates about speakers and attendees in the coming weeks. We hope you’ll join us on April 29.

Rebranded HLN Plans Trivia, Cartoon Shows

hlnlogo1With HLN’s rebrand as the “new TV home for the social media generation” underway, general manager Albie Hecht has announced plans for several new shows set to debut this year.

Among the shows, which all have working titles: “Keywords,” an Internet trivia game; “I Can Haz NewsToons,” a collection of social media’s best satirical cartoons; and “One.Click.Away,” stories behind online classifieds. HLN is also developing an app, “#WhatsYourFomo,” which was conceived by HLN staffers at its all-staff meeting in Atlanta last year.

“HLN is driving a development slate with a key goal in mind: debunk the myth that the world of social media is only about videos of cats riding skateboards,” Hecht said in a statement. “News that is shared can inspire a wide spectrum of programming and HLN’s ripped from the social media headlines approach will mirror what consumers are really doing digitally.”

Like Fusion, the recently-launched cable network from ABC News and Univision, HLN is targeting millennials. More in HLN’s release, after the jump. Read more

HLN President Aims to Break ‘Wall of Authority’ Between Host and Social Media User

Albie 304In a wide-ranging interview with our sister-site Lost Remote, HLN president Albie Hecht talks about breaking down the walls of authority between hosts and viewers through the new HLN.

“We’re not the news network…you are,” Hecht said. “It’s really important that this wall of authority be broken down, and the social media star is very much on our air and part of our conversation everyday,” adding that HLN will be leveraging the resources of CNN to target a social media audience.

In a cable news business that yearns for the ad-friendly 25-54 younger viewer demo, Hecht spoke about simply being there for young viewers who have previously been underserved by TV news.

“If there’s nothing there for them, they’re not going to go there,” he said.

For longtime HLN viewers, the revamped social storytelling model won’t alter one of the network’s norms: crime coverage.

“Justice is a huge topic in social media,” Hecht said, suggesting that how social media users feel about big trials like the ongoing Michael Dunn trial is part of the story. “We want to expand the conversation to how America feels.”

“RightThisMinute” will be the first new show rolled out, premiering tonight at 10pmET.  It will report on the most viral web videos and the back stories behind them before they go viral.

HLN Intends to Become ‘Home for Social Media Generation’

hln logo_304x200HLN’s rebrand as the “new TV home for the social media generation” has begun, network President Albie Hecht announced today.

As our sister-site Lost Remote reports, the network’s social conversion will roll out throughout the year and will feature an all-in social storytelling strategy, curating news from across social platforms while highlighting the most trending and viral stories and the social users behind them.

“While others report on the conversation, HLN will be a part of it,” said @AlbieHechtHLN. “Just as MTV was adopted by a disconnected target audience that was underserved by television, HLN will be the first TV home to embrace the social media generation and champion its interests.”

“RightThisMinute” will be the first new show rolled out, premiering tonight at 10pmET. It will report on the most viral web videos and the back stories behind them before they go viral.

“Morning Express with Robin Meade,” “News Now,” Jane Velez-Mitchell, Nancy Grace, and “Dr. Drew On Call” will also be getting a social makeover.

The full press release after the jump. Read more

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