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Posts Tagged ‘Barbara Walters’

What’s Your Favorite Barbara Walters Interview?

Barbara Walters ends her legendary five-decade run of interviewing the world’s most high-profile people on Friday, when she retires from ABC News.

From sitting down with polarizing world leaders, to figures that created national firestorms, Walters’ interviews were hallmarks for breaking news, legendary sound bites, and launching news cycles.

Ahead of her final day hosting “The View” Friday, we’re asking you what your favorite Barbara Walters interview was over the years. We’ll keep the poll open throughout the week, and post your top choice on Friday.

Dueling Sterlings: Anderson Cooper Interviews Donald, Barbara Walters Interviews Shelly

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It was a Sterling Sunday on TV news. Barbara Walters, who will be stepping down from ABC News later this week, interviewed Shelly Sterling, wife of the controversial LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, in New York City. Meanwhile in Los Angeles, Anderson Cooper interviewed Sterling himself who is asking for forgiveness and a second chance.

“I’m a good member who made a mistake and I’m apologizing and I’m asking for forgiveness,” Sterling tells Cooper. “Am I entitled to one mistake, am I after 35 years? It’s a terrible mistake, and I’ll never do it again.”

Cooper: Why wait so long to apologize, it’s been a couple of weeks you could have come out.
Sterling: Well that’s a very good question, I just I’m just so emotionally distraught, and the reason it’s hard for me, very hard for me is that I’m wrong. I caused the problem. I don’t know how to correct it.

Sterling’s wife Shelly told Walters if the NBA tries to force her to sell her half of the Clippers, she would “absolutely” fight to keep her stake in the team. She also says she will “eventually” divorce her estranged husband. “For the last 20 years, I’ve been seeing attorneys for a divorce,” she said, laughing. “In fact, I have here– I just filed– I was going to file the petition. I signed the petition for a divorce. And it came to almost being filed. And then, my financial advisor and my attorney said to me, ‘Not now.’”

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Barbara Walters Gets the Last Word on ‘SNL’

Gilda Radner, Cheri Oteri, Rachel Dratch and Nasim Pedrad have all played her on “Saturday Night Live.” But last night, Barbara Walters went on “Weekend Update” to show her appreciation for seeing her “groundbreaking career in journalism reduced to a cartoon character with a ridiculous voice.”

Walters, who retires on Friday from ABC News, gave some tips on how she has been able to remain in the business for 50 years. “Tip number four, do not be afraid to ask the tough questions, like, ‘if you’re a tree, what kind of a tree would you be?’ or, ‘your place or mine, Brokaw?’”

Barbara Walters: ‘My Whole Being in Front of the Camera is Such an Amazing Accident’

walters304x200As she prepares for her final week as co-host of “The View,” Barbara Walters reflects on her career in a Vanity Fair profile. Walters says her success has been a result of “an amazing accident” — finding herself in front of the camera after she was first hired as a temporary writer for the “Today” show in 1961 — and a lot of hard work:

Walters has traveled to the far corners of the earth for absurdly short lengths of time—three two-day stints in China, a one-day visit to Australia. Before cell phones, she would sit all day in a foreign hotel room, waiting to hear if an interview was going to happen. In preparation for a particular interview, she generated dozens of questions and wrote them on index cards, continuing to revise until the second filming started. “People sometimes say to me, ‘Who writes your questions?’ ” Walters told me. “And I think, Who writes my questions? I write my own stuff, and I can write the way I talk.”

[Disney/ABC Television group president Ben] Sherwood, of Walters’s trip to Syria to interview Assad, said, “This woman prepares and prepares and prepares. All the way from here to Damascus, and then all the way to the presidential palace, and all the way into the presidential palace, through the layers of security, and then all the way into the room where she was interviewing Assad, I can tell you that she was working and reworking and reworking those questions. For all of us on this side who know what it takes to get the Most Fascinating [People] on, or an Oscar special, or a big interview, it’s an incredible amount of work and she is always there. She is the one who puts her hand up and says, ‘I’ll come in at two in the morning, if you need me to update the West Coast on that piece I did.’ ”

Food Truck Day at ABC News

135807_IDA3047In recognition of ABC News employees’ “excellent work,” news division president James Goldston has deemed today “Food Truck Day” at ABC. Staffers were given vouchers for food trucks — Kimchi Taco, Taim Mobile and Milk Truck — stationed outside ABC News for lunch this afternoon (Diane Sawyer is pictured here with hers).

The trucks are outside the ABC News building on W. 66th Street, which on Monday will be named in honor of Barbara Walters, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today.

“Thank you all for everything that you do to make ABC News great,” Goldston wrote in a memo to staff yesterday.

Goldston’s note and more pictures are after the jump.

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ABC News Headquarters to be Named for Barbara Walters

walters304x200On Monday, the ABC News building at 47 W. 66th Street will be named in honor of Barbara Walters. Walters, a pioneering newswoman — the first woman to co-host network morning and evening newscasts — has called ABC News home since 1976. She is stepping down next week from ABC News and from hosting “The View.”

The 47 West building is among several buildings that make up the ABC complex along 66th St, between Columbus Ave. and Central Park West, which is also known as Peter Jennings Way, named for the longtime “World News Tonight” anchor who passed away in 2005.

Walters will keep her office in The Barbara Walters Building and will contribute to ABC News when big stories break. Next Friday, which is Barbara Walters day in New York City, she signs off from “The View.” Later that night, ABC News will air a 2-hour special on her career.

The Ticker: Halperin & Heilemann, Walters & Sterling, Shriver & Spielberg

  • Mark Halperin and John Heilemann are the new lead political team for all Bloomberg platforms – TV, radio, mobile, Web, digital and print. The first in a series of new brands, Bloomberg Politics will be led by the two veteran journalists and best-selling authors.

  • On “The View” this morning Barbara Walters talked about her attempt to interview Donald Sterling last week. “He was going to do an interview, and then he didn’t, and then he did… So it’s very erratic. It’s hard to pin down.” Walters’s interview with V. Stiviano took place 35 minutes before “20/20″ went on the air Friday night.

  • To mark the 20th anniversary of the release of “Schindler’s List,” Steven Spielberg talks with NBC News’s Maria Shriver about his new project “I Witness” which tells the true stories of genocide survivors.

Donald Trump Slams Media, Smerconish for ‘Dishonest’ Coverage of Sterling Comments

donald.trump.cnnOne Donald has been in the news a lot over the last two weeks, and this morning, Donald Trump hit back at the media for making it seem like he was defending embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

“Reporters are really dishonest, especially political reporters,” Trump said on “Fox and Friends.”

The real-estate tycoon claimed reporters took his comments about V. Stiviano being “the girlfriend from hell” out of context in order to make it appear he was defending Sterling’s controversial comments. Stiviano spoke with Barbara Walters on “20/20″ Friday.

“You have some guy named Smerconish, who I’ve never even heard of…he goes on the air and says ‘Trump is defending Sterling,’” Trump said about CNN’s newest host. Last week, Trump had told “Fox and Friends” that Sterling got set up, but added that his comments were disgusting and despicable.

Michael Smerconish thanked Trump on Twitter, and then told him they’re actually on the same page.

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Behind the Scenes at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

For the White House Correspondents’ Association, it’s a night to celebrate the free press. For Joel McHale, it’s a night where “a guy like me can stand before the president, the press and Patrick Duffy, and tell jokes without severe repercussions.” And for TVNewser, it’s a night where the people we cover all year — executives, producers, reporters and anchors from every major network — are all together in the same room: the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, which we attended this year as a guest of ABC News.

Our night began outside the entrance to the ballroom at the Washington Hilton, where we overheard now-NBC News correspdonent Cynthia McFadden ask for directions to the ABC News party. We followed her in, and a few minutes later we were chatting with Diane Sawyer, who told us she always looks forward to the Correspondents’ Dinner, and James Goldston, who said he was pleased with his first few weeks as ABC News president. In the back of the room, Fox News anchors Ainsley Earhardt and Kimberly Guilfoyle posed for a picture with Sofia Vergara; Earhardt told us afterwards that she’s “having a blast” anchoring “Fox & Friends First,” despite the crazy hours. We spotted Katie Couric chatting with former Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman and his daughter, Abby Huntsman, who is a co-host of MSNBC’s “The Cycle.”

Wolf Blitzer made the rounds with Diane Lane. We saw NBC’s Savannah Guthrie and ABC’s Lara Spencer snap a picture with Tony Goldwyn from “Scandal.” We spent a few minutes with Rebecca Jarvis, and chatted with Alicia Menendez about her participation in the TVNewser Show as well as her Twitter habit.

On the way into the ballroom, we spotted Guthrie and her husband, Mike Feldman, chatting with Bret Baier and his wife Amy. We saw Jessica Simpson and her fiance, Eric Johnson, chatting with fans. Simpson’s ex, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo, was also at the WHCD as a guest of Fox News. Read more

Barbara Walters Speaks with Donald Sterling, Gets V. Stiviano for On-Camera Interview

WaltersVABCShe may be retiring from TV news later this month, but that isn’t stopping Barbara Walters from going after the big gets.

Walters has been in Los Angeles this week trying to secure an interview with Donald Sterling, the Los Angeles Clippers owner who has been banned from the NBA for making racist comments that were made public last week. She’s also been trying to interview his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, whose voice was also heard on that recording.

“We met with them today, and both agreed to speak to me,” Walters explained on “20/20″ last night. “I went back and forth and back and forth. Finally, Donald decided not to be interviewed, but his companion did speak to me.”

“I think he’s more traumatized and hurt by the things he said himself,” Stiviano told Walters. “I think he can’t even believe or understand sometimes the things he says. And i think he’s hurt by it. He’s hurting right now.

Walters: Do you think that Donald Sterling should apologize?
Stiviano: Absolutely.
Walters: Did you discuss this with him?
Stiviano: Yes
Walters: Will he apologize?
Stiviano: Only God knows

WaltersVNBCThe interview came together so late in the day that it didn’t get the massive promotion these kinds of “gets” normally receive. The interview helped “20/20″ win its timeslot in the A18-49 demo with a 1.7 rating/5 share, but came in second in total viewers to CBS’ “Blue Bloods” (11.38M vs. 6.98M). It also got play on other media outlets, including on NBC, where the “Today” show played a clip of Watlers’ interview this morning.