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Posts Tagged ‘Barbara Walters’

Diane Sawyer Leaving ‘ABC World News;’ David Muir Takes Over as Anchor and Managing Editor

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Breaking: ABC’s Diane Sawyer is stepping down from anchoring “World News” and will focus on primetime specials, big interviews, and enterprise reporting for the network. David Muir, who has been sole anchor of the “World News” weekend editions since 2011, will take over as anchor and managing editor of the flagship broadcast on September 2. Muir, 40, will continue to co-anchor “20/20″ with Elizabeth Vargas.

Also announced today, “Good Morning America” co-host and “This Week” anchor George Stephanopoulos takes on the new role of chief anchor of ABC News. He’ll lead special reports, breaking news and election night coverage for the network as well as continuing with “GMA” and “This Week.”

Insiders tell us Sawyer began talking with former ABC News president Ben Sherwood late last year about a transition from the anchor desk. With the retirement of Barbara Walters last month, Sawyer will now take on some of the specials and interviews that for years were part of Walters’ stock in trade.

Under Sawyer, “World News” has been gaining on “NBC Nightly News.” The broadcast won the May sweeps in the A25-54 demo for the first time in more than 6 years. Sawyer, who began anchoring “World News” in December 2009, is the second woman to solo anchor a network nightly newscast, following Katie Couric‘s 2006-2011 run at “CBS Evening News.” “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” maintains a one million viewer lead most nights on “World News” and hasn’t lost a week among total viewers in nearly 5 years.

The Sawyer, Muir and Stephanopoulos news is at the top of the agenda of ABC News president James Goldston‘s morning editorial meeting. We’ll have details if/when we get them this morning. A replacement for Muir on the weekend newscasts will come at a later date.

The Afternoon Ticker: Williams, Knight, Walters

  • The Knight Foundation has announced 19 winners of the Knight News Challenge with total awards of $3.47 million. The New York Public Library, Digital Public Library of America and Journalism Development Network are among the winners.

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‘Good Morning America’ Wins Outstanding Morning Program at Daytime Emmys

Emmys“Good Morning America” took home top morning show honors at last night’s 41st annual Daytime Emmy Awards in Beverly Hills.

The ABC morning show won outstanding morning program, beating NBC’s “Today,” “CBS This Morning,” and “CBS Sunday Morning.” ABC correspondent Nick Watt accepted on “GMA’s” behalf.

And as her now former syndicated talk show recently wrapped production, Katie Couric tied for best talk show host with Dr. Mehmet Oz. “The Ellen Degeneres Show” won for outstanding entertainment talk show, beating out “The View” in Barbara Walters‘ final season as co-host.

Kathy Griffin hosted the awards show, which was not televised on TV this year, but was streamed on the Daytime Emmy Awards website. The Hollywood Reporter has the full list of winners.

Barbara Walters’ 4 Tips to a Fulfilling Life

WaltersFredFriendlyEarlier today Barbara Walters was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Fred Friendly First Amendment Award committee at Quinnipiac University.

At the close of her acceptance speech she talked about the “qualities of leadership,” calling them the “qualities you have to have to have a fulfilling life.”

 

1) There has to be something you have to do, most important something you want to do.
2) You have to have someone to love, and to love you, not necessarily a family. Sometimes it’s just friends. I don’t have a big family. I have one child. I would be lost without my friends.
3) You have to have spirituality of some sort. I don’t mean that it has to be religion. It can be ethics. It can be a philosophy.
4) You have to have strength of purpose in mind.

Read on for video of Walters’ speech at today’s event, with the life lessons at the end…

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When Barbara Walters Misses ‘The View,’ She Thinks of Margaret Thatcher

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Barbara Walters admits, “I still have the feeling sometimes when I’m watching ‘The View,’ ‘I should be there! I should be participating…’ and then I think of Margaret Thatcher.”

Walters, honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Quinnipiac University Fred Friendly committee, reflected on a 1997 interview with Britain’s longest-serving prime minister, seven years after she resigned from office. Thatcher described her frantic, frenetic days, until one day she realized, “it’s no longer me anymore.”

“That’s the feeling I got this morning when I watched ‘The View,’” Walters joked.

Walters, who stepped aside from hosting the daytime show last month, remains an executive producer. She still has her office at ABC News headquarters, which now bears her name. And her resignation — she used air quotes around the word today — has already been interrupted. As we first told you yesterday, she’ll fly to California in the coming weeks to interview Peter Rodger, the father of Isla Vista killer Elliot Rodger.

Among those celebrating along with Walters: ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas and David Muir, ABC News president James Goldston, and executives Barbara Fedida, Susan Mercandetti and Jeffrey Schneider. From CBS, Gayle King, Norah O’Donnell and Troy Roberts, from FNC, Bill O’Reilly, Bill Hemmer and former anchor Alisyn Camerota and from CNN Christine Romans and Richard Roth.

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Barbara Walters to Interview Peter Rodger, Father of Killer Elliot Rodger

Walters specialBarbara Walters was on her first post-retirement trip last week when she got a call from ABC News HQ. ABC brass wanted to know if Walters, traveling in Berlin with Cindy Adams (who wrote about their journey this morning), would be available to interview Peter Rodger, the father Elliot Rodger who killed 6 people and himself in Isla Vista, California last month. Rodger, a Hollywood director, requested Walters for the interview.

Given the issues around mental health and this story, Walters agreed to conduct the sought-after interview. When she retired last month, ABC said Walters would be available for special projects. The interview will happen in California in the coming weeks and air as a special edition of “20/20.”

Tomorrow, Walters will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at Quinnipiac University’s annual Fred Friendly First Amendment Award luncheon.

Barbara Walters to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Barbara WaltersThe Barbara Walters send-off continues. On Tuesday, Quinnipiac University will present a Lifetime Achievement Award to the veteran journalist at the university’s annual Fred Friendly First Amendment Award luncheon.

This is just the second time the Lifetime Achievement Award is being presented. It was awarded to first amendment attorney Floyd Abrams, father of ABC’s Dan Abrams, in 2008.

“We are presenting the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award to Barbara Walters for a very simple reason,” says Lee Kamlet, dean of the School of Communications at Quinnipiac. “She epitomizes the characteristics we want our students to develop: an endless curiosity, the pursuit of knowledge and truth, regardless of whether it’s in an interview with a president, a pop star, or a person suspected of a crime, and a willingness to work harder than the next 10 competitors.”

The School of Communications has presented the Fred Friendly First Amendment Award, bearing the name of the former CBS News president, since 1994.

Previous recipients include Dan Rather, Lesley Stahl, Ted Koppel, Tom Brokaw, Robert MacNeil, Jim Lehrer, Christiane Amanpour, Tim Russert, Bob Schieffer, Charles Gibson, Morley Safer, Gwen Ifill, Martha Raddatz and Scott Pelley.

ABC News Has Best May Sweep Since Roone Arledge was In Charge

Goldston_Sawyer_Walters304ABC News is taking a victory lap after the network’s newscasts finished in first place in either the key news demo or total viewers, or, in the case of “Good Morning America,” both.

It was ABC’s best May sweep since since 1995, when legendary ABC News president Roone Arledge was in charge. As we reported earlier this week, “World News” won the A25-54 demo for the first time in more than six years. “Good Morning America” won the month in both Total Viewers and A25-54, with the largest demo lead over NBC’s “Today” in 20 years.

“This Week with George Stephanopoulos” finishes #1 in the A25-54 demo, its first win in that demo in nearly 21 years.

“Nightline” won its first sweeps period ever in Total Viewers in its new time slot out-delivering NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and CBS’ “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.” (Meyers still takes the younger demos).

And “20/20″ wins the A18-49 demo in the Friday 10pm time slot and had its strongest May sweep in 7 years in Total Viewers, since May 2007.

Arledge is credited with building a formidable team of on-air journalists including Peter Jennings, Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, and David Brinkley during his tenure as president of ABC News from 1977 – 1998, putting ABC News in a competitive position for the first time with stalwarts CBS News and NBC News. Arledge passed away in 2002.

The May wins come as a transition in leadership is underway at ABC News with James Goldston (pictured above with Sawyer and Walters on Wednesday) taking over as news president in April from Ben Sherwood who is now president of the Disney/ABC TV group.

Much more in a release, with details, after the jump…

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Barbara Walters Comes Out of Retirement to Toast Diane Sawyer

Barbara Walters dropped by her building this afternoon to make sure the rent was still being paid. Actually, she stopped by ABC News HQ to toast her friend and colleague Diane Sawyer and her “World News” team for finishing May sweeps No. 1 in the A25-54 demo. It’s the first win for “World News” in the younger demo in more than 6 years.

ABC News President James Goldston, who assembled the gathering, congratulated Sawyer as the first female evening news anchor to win a sweeps month and called the win a proud moment for Sawyer, show EP Michael Corn and everyone in the news division.

Sawyer then made some remarks, thanking Goldston and his predecessor Disney ABC TV group president Ben Sherwood, her team and all of ABC News for their dedication and hard work. She joked that she doesn’t follow the ratings closely, but that she can always tell how the show did by the look on Corn’s face every Tuesday morning when the ratings come in. After remarks from Corn, Walters appeared from the audience, and joked that she came out of retirement for the celebration. Walters was of co-anchor of “ABC Evening News” from 1976-1978.

Barbara Walters to Leave Documents to Sarah Lawrence College

Walters specialBarbara Walters made a surprise appearance in Yonkers, NY Friday at the Sarah Lawrence College commencement where she announced she is leaving her personal papers to her alma mater. The Journal News reports Walters, who retired last week, “will send a collection of papers, recordings and photographs that document her decades as a television journalist” to the school.

Walters credited the college for instilling in her a sense of journalistic fearlessness. She recalled an interview she conducted some years ago with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Saving her toughest question for last, Walters recounted asking Putin, a former KGB operative, if he’d ever killed anyone.

“He said, ‘No, that was not my department,’ ” Walters said. “So later, several people said, ‘Where did you get the nerve to ask a question like that?’ And I said, ‘It’s easy. I went to a college where I was not afraid to ask questions.’ And this is that college. That is my contribution to world peace. So I thank Sarah Lawrence for it. I have been asking questions ever since my graduation and this is one more chance today, to wish all of you a wonderful, fulfilling life and to say thank you to this college I love.”

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