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Posts Tagged ‘Dan Abrams’

Party for Jeffrey Toobin’s Latest Book, ‘The Oath’

Politics and law were the hot topics at Time Warner Center last night as colleagues, friends and family came out to fete Jeffrey Toobin and his new book, “The Oath,” about the often confrontational relationship between the Obama White House and the Supreme Court.

The book party included a discussion with CNN’s Senior Political Analyst David Gergen. Among the attendees: Mediaite’s Dan Abrams and his father, attorney Floyd Abrams; CNN anchor Ashleigh Banfield, execs Ken Jautz and Mark Whitaker; News Corp’s Joel Klein, Bloomberg’s Norm Pearlstine, The New Yorker‘s David Reminck as well as Toobin’s mother, Marlene Sanders, a former CBS News correspondent and Toobin’s wife Amy McIntosh.

TV News Veterans (And Viewers) Respond to Ann Curry’s ‘Today’ Exit

When Ann Curry announced her departure from “Today” this morning, reactions quickly poured in. On the “Today” Facebook page, every comment on the wall from visitors was about Ann, with most saying that they were not pleased with the decision. Within 4 minutes of posting the story about Ann’s new role, the story received over 2,500 comments:

Elsewhere, prominent figures in the TV news business shared their thoughts on Curry’s departure.

CNN “Piers Morgan Tonight” EP Jonathan Wald, who worked with Curry when he was EP of “Today” and “NBC Nightly News”:

“Today” correspondent Jenna Bush Hager:

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Lara Spencer Loves A Good Yard Sale, and Parties for Books about Yard Sales

Lara Spencer, once host of PBS’s “Antiques Roadshow,” loves a good roadside sale. And now she’s written a book about it.

So last night, designer Jonathan Adler hosted the GMA anchor and a crowd of tvnewsers and friends at his Madison Avenue store celebrating the publication of her new book “I Brake For Yard Sales.”

Spotted in the crowd: George Stephanopoulos and Ali Wentworth, Josh Elliott, ABC News President Ben Sherwood, (right, with Spencer) ABC SVP’s James Goldston and Jeffrey Schneider, ABC anchor Deborah Roberts, WABC anchor Diana Williams, Fox5 New York anchor Greg Kelly, ABC’s Dan Abrams and NBC’s Donnie Deutsch, among others.

Spencer outlines some of her tips in a Yard Sales 101 column on ABCNews.com.

Will Katie Couric’s Morning Return Give Rise to GMA?

ABC went dancing with its star today, and she didn’t miss a step.

Katie Couric’s guest-hosting stint on ‘Good Morning America’ came off with nary a hiccup. Despite a six-year absence from the a.m. game, she seamlessly picked up where she left off at “Today,” displaying the goofy humor and warmth that made her a star.

She laughed. She danced. She cracked wise. What’s not to love?

Did we say love? Like a shark at a shipwreck, “GMA” is moving in for the kill against “Today.” With only 137,000 viewers separating them, according to the latest Nielsen ratings, “GMA” is counting on a week of Couric to end her alma mater’s 16-year dominance.

In response to ABC’s massive promotion, “Today” announced last week that Monday’s show would feature a “legend.” (I’m a big Meredith Vieria fan, but she hardly fits the category.) Sarah Palin guest hosts tomorrow; irony abounds. It was Couric, then with CBS, who derailed Palin in ’08 by asking the vice-presidential candidate what newspapers she read.

ABC made sure Couric’s visit was treated by her colleagues like a coronation. Her co-hosts were positively giddy, and every correspondent welcomed her. At 7:21 a.m., she told an adoring George Stephanopoulos that she was “starting to relax.”

Couric did several taped bits about her return to morning TV, beginning with one in which she ran around her apartment in her jammies and drank endless cups of coffee to stay awake for her debut. In another, her driver mistakenly took her to NBC before heading to ABC’s Times Square studio.

The most blatant, self-serving skit revolved around Couric’s love fest with ABC’s hit “DWTS,” now in Week 3. She camped around backstage with host Tom Bergeron. She lusted for mucho-macho

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The Morning Ticker: Tornados, Abrams, Rodriguez…

  • Ashleigh Banfield and Soledad O’Brien will be hosting their CNN morning shows from tornado-ravaged Harrisburg, IL this morning. CNN’s Don Lemon as well as four other correspondents and meteorologists are in the Southern Illinois town. Wednesday morning’s tornado was determined to be an EF-4 the second-most powerful on the scale.
  • ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams is back co-hosting “Live with Kelly” today and tomorrow. Abrams filled in  a few weeks ago alongside Kelly Ripa. On a related note, in this week’s “So What Do You Do?” feature, “Loveline” host Mike Catherwood tells us how his turn in Regis’s chair was a career changer. “I signed with a big agency, I got Dancing with the Stars, and that’s when everything started snowballing.”
  • Janelle Rodriguez, the newly-named VP of programming for CNN, is interviewed by the IWMF. Rodriguez talks about how her degree in rhetoric — yes, rhetoric — her master’s in Film, and the 2004 South Asian tsunami all put her on the path to CNN executive-ness.

Nancy Grace Defends Her Whitney Houston Comments on GMA

HLN host Nancy Grace appeared on “Good Morning America” this morning, where she and ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams argued about Grace’s recent comments regarding the death of Whitney Houston.

“Who let her slip or pushed her underneath that water?,” Grace said earlier this week, without any sort of evidence to back up the insinuation that it was anything other than an awful accident.

On “GMA” Grace doubled-down:

“I understand that some people may consider that jarring or harsh, but there is nothing delicate or nice about a murder, a death, an unexpected death, or an autopsy,” she said.

WATCH:

TV, Wall Street Bigwigs Fete Erin Burnett at CNN Launch Party

Mark Whitaker, Jim Walton, Anderson Cooper, Erin Burnett, Piers Morgan and Ken Jautz

Last night CNN feted its newest anchor, Erin Burnett, at Robert restaurant at The Museum of Arts and Design in Columbus Circle, just a few hundred feet from CNN’s NYC headquarters. Overlooking Columbus Circle and the southwest corner of Central Park, guests watched the city fade into night, while clips of Burnett preparing for her show played on a loop on TV sets spread throughout the space.

Just after 7:30 PM, CNN/U.S. executive VP Ken Jautz and CNN managing editor Mark Whitaker made some brief remarks. Jautz commented that Burnett is extremely passionate about news, and that anyone expecting a curt reply when asking her what she is working on is in for a long conversation.

Burnett then addressed the crowd and thanked them for their support. Her manager John Ferriter was in attendance, as was her fiancee David Rubulotta. Jautz and Whitaker got shout-outs, as did CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton and CNN ad sales chief Greg D’alba, both of whom were working the room.

The party also drew a packed room of boldface names:

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Al Sharpton to host ‘PoliticsNation’ on MSNBC

He’s been hosting the 6pm hour for the better part of the summer, now Al Sharpton becomes the permanent host of the hour, which is also getting a new title: “PoliticsNation.”

“I’ve known Rev. Sharpton for over a decade and have tremendous respect for him,” said MSNBC president Phil Griffin in a statement. “I’m thrilled that he’s now reached a point in his career where he’s able to devote himself to hosting a nightly show.”

The announcement comes a month after Cenk Ugyur, who had been filling in on the 6pm hour since January excoriated the network for not making him the permanent host.

A presence on television for more than two decades, mostly for his work as a civil rights activist, this will be Sharpton’s first regular TV hosting job. But he does not come without baggage (but then, neither did this guy).

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Casey Anthony Found Not Guilty of Murder

“You are seeing the inside of a stunned courtroom.” Those were Nancy Grace‘s first words following the not guilty verdict against Casey Anthony in the murder of her daughter Caylee Anthony.

Geraldo Rivera on Fox News called it, “an absolutely breathtaking reversal of fortune” for the 25-year-old Anthony.

More than half dozen cable networks carried the verdict live, including HLN, truTV, Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, CNN International, and Fox Business.

ABC News produced a special report that went from 2:15pmET to 2:24pm with George Stephanopoulos and ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams.

CBS News did a squeeze back of programming with the verdict as a crawl. The verdict, which came down during a live edition of CBS’ daytime chat show “The Talk,” brought host Julie Chen to tears. “We are in a very somber mood right now because the verdict in the Casey Anthony…. help me out here… so the verdict has come down in the Casey Anthony trial….” Holly Robinson Peete had to jump in to read the verdicts. “Our justice system works for a reason,” said Robinson Peete, choking up, “And as upset as I am right now, you just got to say to these jurors, you know, they had a job to do.”

So now, the 3-year-long mystery of who killed Caylee Anthony will remain just that.

The judge recessed the case at 2:27pmET. Casey Anthony was found guilty on four counts of making false statements to law enforcement. She will be sentenced on those counts on Thursday.

ABC’s Dan Abrams, HLN’s Nancy Grace Get Testy in ‘GMA’ Discussion of Casey Anthony Trial

ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams and HLN host Nancy Grace got into a heated–but cordial–debate on “Good Morning America” today while discussing the Casey Anthony trial.

Both Abrams and Grace are lawyers, though they come from very different backgrounds and points of view:

“You guys are talking about this like you are out driving your Porsche on Park Avenue and you are going to just shift gears and go into second gear,” Grace said. “It’s not like that!”

“Tell me how it works Nancy, I have been waiting to learn how it works,” Abrams responded. Grace and Abrams also debated the case on last night’s “Primetime Nightline” special.

(h/t Mediaite)

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