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Posts Tagged ‘David Friedman’

TVNewser Bracket Challenge 2011: It’s On

The time has come. The very first March Madness games are underway, and with them, comes the 2011 TVNewser bracket challenge.

Last year we had executive producers from across the TV news landscape make their picks, with “BBC World News America” EP Rome Hartman emerging victorious.

Hartman is back this year to defend his crown, but we opened the field up to all senior executives, executive producers and talent.

One thing we learned: “The Early Show” crew sticks together, and CNBCers love their college basketball.

Who are our players? Find out after the jump.

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Cable News Young Gun Gets Shot at Tiffany Network

CBS News’ brand-new management team doesn’t officially take over until tomorrow, but it’s already earning high marks from former division president Andrew Heyward.

“It’s a really creative, innovative way to structure top management,” says Heyward, a consultant to media companies. “I give Leslie [Leslie Moonves, president and CEO of CBS Corp.] a lot of credit for this.”

“This” is the unusual tandem of Bloomberg alum David Rhodes as CBS News president and ’60 Minutes’ executive producer Jeff Fager as chairman, a new title. In addition to topping the division’s flow chart, Fager will continue running ’60.’

Rhodes is a young (37) CBS outsider whose entire career has been in cable. Fager, 56, has spent more than half his life at CBS, where he is universally respected as a  newsman and manager.

Frank Sesno, former CNN Washington bureau chief, labels the professional coupling  “a dream team.”

“The boss understands the heritage, preserves the legacy, articulates the vision,” says Sesno, director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. “The president brings in new blood, a new sensibility and a cable edge.”

The duo, announced Feb. 7, made its first major move Friday with the exit of Paul Friedman, executive vice president for news, and Barbara Fedida, head of talent and development.  Neither departure was unexpected.

Friedman, in particular, was strongly disliked by the troops for his brusque management

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Paul Friedman out at CBS News

TVNewser has learned another CBS News executive is out the door today. Executive VP for news Paul Friedman is leaving the company. Incoming chairman of the news division Jeff Fager made the announcement in a memo to staff a short time ago:

As David Rhodes and I prepare to take over next week we want to inform you of some changes at CBS News. Customarily when new leadership moves in, changes occur in top management to make room for the new team.

The most significant is that Paul Friedman will be leaving CBS News today.

Friedman joined CBS News in 2006 as SVP in charge of hard news. He was promoted to EVP in 2009. He is the father of David Friedman who is the executive producer of “The Early Show.”

Before CBS News, Friedman spent 21 years at ABC News, joining as producer in London in 1982 departing in 2003 as EVP and managing editor. Before ABC, Friedman spent 14 years at NBC News. He has been executive producer of both “NBC Nightly News” (1976-79) and ABC’s “World News Tonight” (1988-93 and 1997-2000).

Fager’s memo also announced the news first reported by TVNewser that Barbara Fedida would also be leaving CBS.

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David Friedman Celebrates One Year at ‘The Early Show’

CBS ‘Early Show’ executive producer David Friedman celebrated his one-year anniversary on the program Monday with the new anchor team of Jeff Glor, Erica Hill, Chris Wragge and Marysol Castro. Not only has it been one year for Friedman, but he starts off year two with essentially a whole new show.

After the jump… cake.

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What Kathy Griffin Didn’t Say During CNN’s New Year’s Eve

Is it news when something doesn’t happen? Kathy Griffin was not yanked off CNN last night. Griffin, who referred to her turn on CNN’s New Year’s Eve as “Yank Watch 2011,” kept it clean during her co-hosting gig alongside Anderson Cooper. Last year, Griffin dropped the “F” bomb and the year before she heckled an onlooker who’d been heckling her. This year Griffin got physical. She slugged Cooper a few times (above), tried to take off his clothes, and kissed his producer four minutes before midnight.

TVNewser was there again on the press platform where CNN’s Cooper and Griffin broadcast from the west end, while on the east end of the riser, high above Duffy Square, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly and Bill Hemmer hosted FNC’s “All American New Year.” In between stood two rows of local and national news anchors broadcasting in multiple languages to networks around the world.

Fox News hosts Ainsley Earhardt, Kimberly Guilfoyle and Greg Gutfeld roamed the Crossroads of the World talking with some of the 1 million revelers on a rare December night where, thanks to a 40-degree temperature, one couldn’t see their breath.

Leading up to the main events on broadcast and cable news channels, E!’s Bill and Giuliana Rancic hosted festivities for the Times Square crowed. Leading up to midnight, we ran into CBS News “Early Show” EP David Friedman who spent seven New Year’s Eves here producing Carson Daly‘s NBC special. Friedman, who joined CBS in late 2009, is back at work today doing rehearsals with the new “Early Show” anchor team which debuts Monday morning. “We’ve changed the set a bit, so we want to be ready for Monday,” Friedman told us. On the NBC special this year, NBC News’ Natalie Morales and Amy Robach worked the crowd.

Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt during FNC's New Year's Eve Special

There was the occasional star sighting from the acts who appeared on Dick Clark’s ABC special: Ke$hia, and the combined New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys, to native New Yorker Gary Marshall who’s back in the city filming a new movie and the “Old Spice” guy, Isaiah Mustafa. Photos after the jump…

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Les Moonves Holds Court at CBS Holiday Bash

CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves — sans wife Julie Chen who is fully ensconced in L.A. for her ensemble daytime show, “The Talk” — celebrated with his CBS minions, and the press who cover them, at CBS’ Black Rock headquarters last night.

CBS' annual airing of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" drew 12.2 million viewers Nov. 30.

Several stars of CBS primetime shows were there, including Tom Selleck who stars in “Blue Bloods,” and Christine Baranski and Matt Czuchry of “The Good Wife.” And while Moonves can tout having the most-watched TV network, the stars of his struggling news division also worked the room — including the new front four of “The Early Show:” Erica Hill, Chris WraggeJeff Glor and Marysol Castro. The team will be hitting the road next week, making stops at several CBS affiliates where the #3-in-the-ratings show performs relatively well. (Our sister blog TVSpy reports Wragge’s last day on WCBS is today.)

We talked with show EP David Friedman and CBS News & Sports President Sean McManus who both expressed their confidence in the team. “It’ll take some time,” said McManus, “but this is a good group. I’m excited.”

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David Carr: Anchor Changes at the ‘Early Show’ Won’t Work, The Network Needs to Think Bigger

In this morning’s edition of The New York Times, media columnist David Carr tackles the recent changes at CBS “The Early Show.”

Specifically, Carr argues that the changes being made by executive producer David Friedman and CBS News and sports chief Sean McManus are minor tweaks, while what is really needed is a rethinking of the entire morning show concept.

The morning news-and-chat hierarchy calcified a long time ago — the “Today” show, then “Good Morning America” then “The Early Show.” Calling up the farm team isn’t going to have millions of Americans waking up and saying, “Hey, let’s see what the new guys are doing over at CBS.”

Broadcast television is a business built on habit — no more so than in the morning, when viewers mindlessly flip the television on with their first cup of coffee. The inertia is profound and cuts both ways. An object in motion — in this case the “Today” show, with nearly twice the viewers of “The Early Show,” will remain in motion. It will get the hot bookings, the big guests and the tune-ins.

Carr does present some possible ideas for what can be done, although the probability of CBS actually taking him up on them are quite low. Among the ideas:

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‘Early Show’ EP David Friedman: ‘I Honestly Believe This Team is the Team for the Future’

As we reported earlier, CBS News announced sweeping changes to its morning news program “The Early Show.” Anchors Maggie Rodriguez and Harry Smith, along with weather anchor Dave Price will all leave the program, with Chris Wragge, Erica Hill, Jeff Glor and Marysol Castro taking over January 3rd.

TVNewser spoke to “Early Show” executive producer David Friedmannow almost exactly a year into his current role about the decision to relaunch the program with a new team.

TVNewser: Why did you decide to make the changes at The Early Show?

David Friedman: Well, I started here a year ago, and when I came in the goal was to continue to grow this show and be more and more competitive in the morning, I looked at every single aspect of the show, from content to bookings to staffing, talent, and my big priority was not to rush to do anything, but to soak it all in and make decisions that would take us to the next level.

This was a very long process to figure out what would do just that, and put a team in place that would make us even better than we already are and going forward. It wasn’t a rushed thing, we have been talking about different options and different teams for a quite a while, and we decided this was the way to go. I am sure it feels abrupt to everyone else, but we have put a lot of thought into it.

TVN: How did you decide on the anchor lineup that will be starting January 3rd?

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Meet ‘The Early Show’ Front Four

That didn’t take long. Here’s the new publicity photo of the new CBS “Early Show” anchor team, beginning January 3, 2011. It was announced this morning that current anchors Harry Smith, Maggie Rodriguez, and Dave Price are all being moved off the show, but have been offered jobs at the network.

(l-r) Jeff Glor moves from correspondent and anchor of The “CBS Evening News” Saturday edition to news anchor on “Early”. Chris Wragge will leave his anchor job at WCBS-TV and co-anchor of “Early Show” Saturday to become co-anchor of the weekday edition. Erica Hill moves up from newsreader and weekend co-anchor to weekday co-anchor and Marysol Castro, late of ABC’s “Good Morning America” weekend joins as weather anchor.

TVNewser’s Alex Weprin will be speaking with “Early Show” EP David Friedman about the changes this afternoon. Look for that story in a few hours.

‘Early Show’ EP on Gulf Coverage and ‘The Best Job in Television with the Worst Hours Ever’

harry_6-7.jpg

Today marks the 50th day since the BP oil leak began in the Gulf of Mexico, and CBS’s Harry Smith anchored “The Early Show” from Grand Isle, Louisiana. “We’ve been covering it,” executive producer David Friedman told TVNewser, “But when you put an anchor there, it makes it feel more important to people.”

For Monday’s broadcast, Weather anchor Dave Price as well as contributing doctors Jennifer Ashton and Deb Turner Bell were dispatched to the region.

“This was a story we spent so much time covering and we felt like day 50 was something that we should be there for,” Friedman said, explaining that plans had been put into motion over the weekend with Smith flying out after Monday’s show. CBS announced Monday that the network’s evening and morning shows would be anchored from the region weekly. “Our feeling is that the story is such a big story, everyone is watching and caring about it, as they should, and we felt like we’re going to give it as much attention as possible.”

Friedman says he’s been working closely with “Evening News” EP Rick Kaplan to coordinate, but admits that the morning show format “does present some challenges.”

“The difference is– in evening news, it’s a little bit easier to cover your broadcast: it’s only 30 minutes and most of the broadcast is designated to that coverage,” Friedman explains. “With the morning shows, they’re two hours long. And you start with oil and end with cooking. It’s a weird thing. You have Harry Smith in the Gulf, but then you still have to do the lifestyle, fitness, cooking segments. And yes, you have Harry in a place where he’s out of pocket for those, but we have the people to cover us. ”

CBS named Friedman EP late last year, and he started in January, going from producing Lady Gaga performances and NBC’s New Years Eve broadcast to producing CBS’ morning coverage of the earthquake in Haiti just a few weeks later.

We chatted with the new boss about how “The Early Show” is changing and his transition to what he calls “the best job in television with the worst hours ever.” Read our Q&A after the jump.

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