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Posts Tagged ‘David Rhodes’

Is CBS News Getting into the 24-Hour News Network Business?

RhodesA day after ABC News launched its new cable channel, CBS News is reportedly looking toward the possibility of a 24-hour service devoted to news and information programming. BuzzFeed’s Peter Lauria reports that CBS News president David Rhodes has made this a “pet project.”

The news and interactive divisions of CBS have been quietly developing a digital video service that continually streams content 24-hours a day and leverages reporting from its existing news staff and content from the broadcaster’s archives onto new distribution platforms, according to two sources close to the situation.

Rhodes, a veteran of Fox News and Bloomberg, knows a thing or two about programming a newschannel. Lauria reports Rhodes is working alongside CBS Interactive chief Jim Lanzone “who is spearheading talks with distributors and whose Interactive unit runs the digital operations for CBS News from a sales, marketing, and technological perspective.”

The news comes less than a day after ABC News and Univision launched their news and information joint venture called Fusion, which is geared toward millennials and Hispanics. As Lauria points out, CBS’s audience is decidedly older:

At first blush, the idea of CBS News creating a 24-hour digital video service seems quixotic since it features one of the oldest audiences in TV, with an average viewer age in the mid-50s. But as digital adoption increases, more and more older viewers are getting onto connected devices, mobile or otherwise.

U.S. Govt. Learned of Charlie Rose’s Assad Interview the Same Time Everyone Else Did

With a choice of having Anthony Weiner, Lady Gaga or Bashar al-Assad on his morning show, CBS News president David Rhodes will take door number 3 any day.

“If we wanted a more stark demonstration of the differences in these shows, I think this morning is a perfect example,” Rhodes tells TVNewser. “We have done more Syria on this morning show than anyone,” says Rhodes. “And we’ve been rewarded for it by viewers.”

That “CBS This Morning” co-anchor Charlie Rose got the interview should not come as a surprise. He’d interviewed Assad before, and has been working for months to secure this interview as the Syrian civil war intensified. “He’s had a track record on this story for a long time,” says Rhodes. The entirety of the interview will air tonight on Rose’s PBS program.

Rhodes’ boss, CBS News chairman and “60 Minutes” executive producer Jeff Fager put on another hat this weekend: as Rose’s producer. “When you have a situation like this, you don’t know what you’re going to find when you get there,” says Rhodes. “There’s no substitute to having people there with the experience and confidence to confront that. That Jeff was able to go, is great”

Rose and Fager spent Saturday night in Damascus, before heading to the presidential palace Sunday morning. Hours later Rose was in Lebanon phoning into CBS’s Bob Schieffer breaking the news of his interview. That’s also around the time the White House first learned about it.

Which means it came as news to Rhodes’ younger brother, Ben Rhodes, who is the White House Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communication.

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CBS Sports Ups David Berson to President

CBS has made a big promotion, upping CBS Sports Network chief David Berson to president of CBS Sports.

Berson will continue to report to CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus, and will add day-to-day responsibility of the division to his plate. He will continue to run CBS Sports Network. His promotion positions him as a strong number two to McManus, and echoes the management structure of CBS News, which has Jeff Fager as chairman and David Rhodes as president.

Berson joined CBS in 2011 to take over what was then CBS College Sports Network. It rebranded to CBS Sports Network shortly thereafter. He was a 16-year veteran of ESPN before joining CBS.

“David’s contributions and expertise in all areas of our business, including programming, production and business affairs, have managed to exceed our high expectations since he joined CBS Sports,” said McManus in a statement. “This is a natural evolution for David to assume additional responsibilities at CBS Sports, working alongside me on the day-to-day management of both CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network.”

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Is Politics Getting in the Way of News at CBS?

Politico’s Dylan Byers digs deeper into the story of CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson. Byers reports that Attkisson, who openly discussed the challenge of getting her stories on the air, is in talks to leave the network, but that CBS would like her to stay.

CBS News president David Rhodes is said to value her diligence, but there are others, most notably Pat Shevlin, the executive producer of CBS Evening News, who are wary of her motives and have even dismissed her, in private, as a partisan carrying water for Republicans. Alternatively, some sources suggested that Shevlin’s own political bias, which they described as liberal, was to blame.

“She is a dogged reporter, a good reporter, but some people here get the feeling she goes too far — that she’s agenda driven,” a source told Byers. “She’s not afraid, and that’s a great thing. But sometimes people here believe she has to be reined in.”

CBS CEO Les Moonves: ‘Great Drama Belongs In Primetime… Not At 7 In The Morning’

CBS is delivering its upfront presentation to advertisers, media buyers and the press this afternoon, and CEO Les Moonves took aim squarely at NBC and “Today” in his opening statement.

“We believe that great drama belongs in primetime between 8-11 PM, not at 7 in the morning,” Moonves quipped, as a photo of Ann Curry and Matt Lauer from Curry’s departure from “Today” appeared on stage behind him (see the photo to the left).

Of course, “CBS This Morning” also had a talent change in the last year, as Erica Hill left (eventually joining NBC) and Norah O’Donnell came on board. That said, the transition was free of drama in front of the cameras.

CBS News was given prime placement at the upfront, with Moonves introducing the division. The CBS CEO said that “under the leadership of Jeff Fager and David Rhodes there is a renaissance going on,” before introducing a clip reel with news from the last year. Scott Pelley and O’Donnell then appeared on stage to talk about CBS News.

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CBS’ Attkisson: ‘There Hasn’t Been an Appetite for the Stories I’ve Offered on Benghazi’

CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson has been one of the more aggressive reporters covering the aftermath of the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi last September. But the veteran CBS News reporter feels the story’s she’s pitched lately are getting picked up on the TV network. Attkisson tells CBN‘s David Brody, “I’ve received a lot of encouragement from the top executives… Jeff Fager, who is our CEO and David Rhodes who is our president who have certainly never said anything to try and interfere with the coverage. They’ve complimented a lot of my work and strongly supported it. On the other hand … there hasn’t been an appetite for the stories that I’ve offered on Benghazi so I’ve published a lot online because there’s unlimited content space and I’ve done a lot of my reporting there.”

WATCH:

Covering Second Term Scandals

Benghazi, the AP phone taps and the IRS scandal. It’s been quite a few days for the Obama administration and the journalists who cover it.

  • On Benghazi: while the president believes “there’s no there, there,” CNN’s Jake Tapper got his hands on an email yesterday from then-Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes (brother of CBS News president David Rhodes) written three days after the attack. It was a version of an email that Tapper’s former ABC News colleague Jonathan Karl reported on last Friday.
  • The Associated Press is not satisfied with Attorney General Eric Holder‘s statement on the breadth of phone tapping the news agency’s reporters were subjected to. Neither, for one, is the New York Times editorial board as well as dozens of other publishers, broadcasters and trade groups.
  • But the biggest scandal appears to be the IRS’s selective targeting of conservative organizations. It was the lead on the evening newscasts last night and two of the three morning shows today (“Good Morning America” and “CBS This Morning”) and continues to be a hot topic on the cable news networks.

In a Behind the Curtain column, Politico’s Mike Allen and Jim VandHei write, “(T)he press, after years of being accused of being soft on Obama while being berated by West Wing aides on matters big and small, now has every incentive to be as ruthless as can be.”

Will they?

NBC News Looks Across The Pond For President Candidates

NBC News is casting a wide net in the search for its new president. A few weeks ago, TVNewser heard that NBC was eyeing some potential candidates from England, and now we have some names, courtesy of the LA TimesJoe Flint.

One of the leading candidates, according to Flint, is ITV’s chief news executive Deborah Turness. Turness, 46, took over ITV’s news division in 2004, keeping it competitive with the revered and well-funded BBC.

NBC also has a relationship with ITV, sharing content and correspondents in places like Central Africa.

Flint also floats a few other names, including CBS News president David Rhodes (not available), former ABC News executive Jon Banner (not interested), as well as Sky News exec Sarah Whitehead and Channel 4′s Jay Hunt.

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TV News Dominates THR ’35 Most Powerful’

The Hollywood Reporter released its 2013 “35 Most Powerful People In Media” list, and TV news dominates the winners. The list looks at the most dominant media personalities in New York.

The list includes (in alphabetical order) Roger Ailes, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, Anderson Cooper, Bob Costas, Katie Couric, Jeff Fager, Pat Fili-Krushel, James Goldston, Phil Griffin, Sean Hannity, Megyn Kelly, the “60 Minutes” team, the “Today” team, Rachel Maddow, Piers Morgan, Bill O’Reilly, Scott Pelley, David Rhodes, The “Good Morning America” team, the “CBS This Morning” team, Diane Sawyer, Ben Sherwood, Barbara Walters, Brian Williams and Jeff Zucker.

Some of the recipients gave interviews, others did not. You can see the full list here.

Why Byron Pitts Joined ABC News

CBS News veteran Byron Pitts says he jumped ship to ABC for three reasons, in order of importance: “God, diversity and Diane Sawyer.”

Pitts, 52, the lone correspondent of color on “60 Minutes” and a CBS staffer since 1997, officially joined ABC yesterday as chief national correspondent. He begins April 15.

In addition to reporting, Pitts will anchor prime-time news specials as well as fill in as news reader on “Good Morning America” and on weekend news. He signed a four-year deal with a “significant” salary bump, he says.

A devout man, Pitts prays over all major decisions. ABC was no exception. “For me, God is the ultimate closer,” he says. “Once I felt I had His blessing, it was full steam ahead. I’m grateful for my time at CBS, and I’m excited about this opportunity grace has provided.”

In the Gospel According to Pitts, diversity ranks a strong No. 2. In his talks with ABC News president Ben Sherwood, Pitts says he was impressed that Sherwood made a point to bring up his (Sherwood’s) commitment to the hot-button issue.

“It was encouraging to have a network executive talk to me, openly and with enthusiasm, about the importance of racial diversity,” says Pitts. “I never had that conversation at CBS.”

Not with his division leaders, anyway.

Pitts says he and CBS Corp. chieftain Les Moonves have discussed diversity, and he admires Moonves’ passion about it. As for CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager and his lieutenant, David Rhodes, here’s how Pitts puts it:

“I don’t want to seem critical. They were certainly nice and supportive of me. But the facts are the facts. Sixteen years ago, when I joined CBS, there were 10 people of color on the air. Now there are seven. Why is that? It’s discouraging. America is becoming more diverse, not less diverse. “

According to CBS News spokesperson Sonya McNair, CBS has “more than double” Pitts’ estimate of seven correspondents of color. “We wish Byron well,” she adds. ABC News has a total of 29, says division rep David Ford.

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