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Posts Tagged ‘David Verdi’

Joe Fryer Named NBC News Correspondent

joe fryer nbc newsJoe Fryer is joining NBC News as a West Coast correspondent, SVP of worldwide newsgathering David Verdi and Los Angeles bureau chief Polly Powell announced today.

Fryer, a special projects reporter for Seattle NBC affiliate KING, has been filling in as a part-time NBC News correspondent, covering the Hannah Anderson kidnapping and the Colorado floods for the network. “His work impressed us so much, we hired him full time,” Verdi and Powell wrote in a memo to NBC News today.

Fryer will officially join NBC News on October 21. Before joining KING, he worked at stations in Minneapolis, Nashville, Green Bay and Lexington.

The note from Verdi and Powell is after the jump. Read more

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NBC News Gives Richard Engel His Own Production Unit

NBC News is handing chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel his own production unit, which will produce both short-form and long-form pieces for all NBC News broadcasts and platforms.

The company has also named Madeleine Haeringer as the EP of the unit. Haeringer worked closely with Engel for years, and was most recently senior producer of NBC worldwide newsgathering.

“The Engel unit will not only deliver robust, real-time coverage of breaking international news such as the chaos currently unfolding in Egypt — but also pursue longer-lead reporting, carry out investigations, secure newsmaker interviews, and uncover stories of human interest and global significance,” wrote David Verdi, senior VP of newsgathering in an email to staff obtained by TVNewser. “The unit will combine speed, access, and analysis to bring our viewers and readers to the front lines of international developments wherever they take place.”

NBC is in the process of staffing up the unit. More details in Verdi’s email, below.
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NBC News Shakes Up Management Team, New EP at ‘Rock Center’

NBC News has shaken up its leadership team, promoting DC bureau chief Antoine Sanfuentes (left) to senior VP of NBC News, promoting David Verdi to senior VP of newsgathering, upping Ken Strickland to DC bureau chief and naming Alex Wallace (center) EP of “Rock Center.” For Wallace, it’s a return to overseeing a Brian Williams broadcast. Wallace was EP of “Nightly News” in 2007-2008.

Rome Hartman, (right) the former longtime CBS News producer who launched “Rock Center” as EP, will be shifting to the specials unit with a focus on election coverage.

Announcing the changes, NBC News president Steve Capus highlighted that the new executive ranks all came from inside NBC.

As you read the list of promotions and changes spelled out in this note, please keep in mind I’ve decided to stay inside our talent-rich organization for each of these moves – a real testament to the contributions of these individuals and the bench strength of NBC News.

Sanfuentes, who joined NBC News as a desk assistant in 1990, rose through the producer and executive ranks and was named DC bureau chief in January 2011. In his new role he will be Capus’ chief deputy at NBC News in New York. Wallace, who had been Capus #2, will remain a senior VP and will add oversight of “Rock Center” as well as “Ann Curry’s production unit and our health initiative.”

Verdi, a longtime NBC Newser, who had been VP of newsgathering, is now a senior VP, adding oversight of news affiliate partnerships and the NBC News Channel.

Joining Strickland in DC will be Meaghan Rady, once a producer for Tom Brokaw, who rose through the ranks and will now be deputy bureau chief.

“I’m grateful to Rome for his leadership, signified by Rock Center’s first Emmy last week for Bob Costas’ breakthrough interview with Jerry Sandusky,” Capus writes in his note, which you can read in full after the jump.

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London Olympics Opening Ceremony Underway

The Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics is underway. But if you’re in the U.S., you’ll have to a wait a couple more hours to see the broadcast on NBC. The Openings will still be going on when “Nightly News,” with Brian Williams in London, and the other evening newscasts go on the air at 6:30pmET. As NBC has the rights to the games, you can bet you’ll see more coverage tonight, and for the next two weeks, than on their competitors.

The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi breaks down the numbers of how past Olympics have been covered differently by the News divisions of NBC, which as the rights, and ABC and CBS which don’t. One critic calls what we’re about to see on NBC “shameless cross promotion.”

“There’s no journalistic fig leaf to hide behind,” says Andrew Tyndall, the publisher of the Tyndall Report, which tracks the network news business. “It’s free advertising for the prime-time programming.”

NBC’s VP of newsgathering David Verdi disagrees: “You might see a little more coverage [of the event] on our broadcasts,” he said. “We’re proud of it. It generates greater interest in the news,” adding “if the question is, is our editorial process corrupted by an event like this, then the answer is no. We use the same editorial checklist to determine coverage [of the Olympics] as we would for any news event.”

News Executives Talk Syria

The situation in Syria continues to evolve, even as western news organizations evacuate their correspondents from the country. B&C’s Andrea Morabito spoke to TV news executives and correspondents (subscription required) to get to the bottom of what goes into covering such a difficult story. While it is extremely difficult and dangerous, getting a correspondent into the country assures substantial coverage on all of the news platforms.

The shortage of compelling live video footage affects how much the Syria story can be covered on television, with reporters often having to stand on the border of neighboring countries, in stark contrast to the images of ABC’s Christiane Amanpour and CNN’s Anderson Cooper getting roughed up in Cairo’s Tahrir Square a year ago during the unrest in Egypt.

“If Richard [Engel] were to get in, just by virtue of being there in a place that we don’t have normal access to and the danger that it poses to our people for being there would probably force its way high up into our network shows,” David Verdi, NBC News VP of worldwide newsgathering, says of the network’s chief foreign correspondent.

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Network Rivals Come Together for Common Cause

ABC, CNN and CBS news executives all headed to NBC’s 30 Rockefeller Center headquarters yesterday to discuss the safety and well-being of freelance journalists who increasingly serve the network news divisions worldwide.

NBC News president Steve Capus — the dean of network news executives — invited his colleagues, from ABC News, Ben Sherwood, CBS News’s David Rhodes and CNN’s Bart Feder to the gathering.

NBC’s Brian Williams wrote on his blog yesterday, “Because competition stops at the water’s edge, and because some things — like the safety of journalists — are more important, I’m proud to say we hosted a great luncheon here.”

The presentation was by Tina Carr the director of the Rory Peck Trust, an organization named in memory of Rory Peck, a New York-born freelance cameraman, killed in Moscow in 1995.

Other attendees included, Jeffrey Schneider of ABC, Barbara Levin of CNN; NBC News EPs Jim Bell and Bob Epstein, MSNBC president Phil Griffin and NBC News execs Alex Wallace, David Verdi, Cheryl Gould, Chris Hampson, Stacy Brady and Lauren Kapp. Fox News was invited to, but did not participate in the luncheon.

TV News crews in Japan on the move with radiation fears mounting

With dozens of U.S. TV news journalists now on the ground in Japan, the bosses back home are becoming increasingly concerned about the potential for radiation poisoning due to the deteriorating conditions at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

ABC’s David Muir, who was in the area of the plant yesterday and moved south after the explosion. During “Nightline” he held up a radiation meter which was not detecting anything out of the ordinary. This morning, that changed Diane Sawyer and her crew began heading back to Tokyo, explaining to George Stephanopoulos on “GMA” that radiation levels had increased through the day. “We came down this highway, the 7 1/2 hour trip,” said Sawyer. “We’re about midway through it now.” Correspondent Clarissa Ward has also moved out of the area. Her Japanese translator left the ABC News team yesterday, fearing radiation poisoning.

Weather becomes an important factor in this story as correspondents and crews watch the wind while covering the story.

“We are closely monitoring the situation, moment by moment,” David Verdi, VP of worldwide news gathering for NBC News tells TVNewser. “We are constantly consulting with our experts and tracking the wind patterns.” In addition to Lester Holt (right), Ann Curry, Chris Jansing, Ian Williams and Lee Cowan are covering for NBC/MSNBC.

CBS’s Harry Smith was in Northern Japan this morning for “The Early Show,” but he and all other CBS staffers have left. “We have moved our teams out of Sendai, Japan and we continue to reassess deployments, as the situation warrants,” says CBS News VP Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews.

CNN has 12 on-air and dozens more off-air staffers in Japan. Anderson Cooper has left the area of the nuclear plant and is heading north and will anchor from Akita, Japan, north of Sendai. “The situation is under constant review and the safety and well-being of our reporters in the field is our top priority,” says a spokesperson.

Fox News says it is constantly evaluating the situation, and has pulled its correspondents back to Tokyo. Shepard Smith, Adam Housley and Greg Palkot are in Tokyo, while David Piper is at Yokota airbase.

News Chiefs Talk Egypt Coverage

Broadcasting & Cable spoke to a number of network and cable news executives, to get their thoughts on how they have been covering the crisis in Egypt.

Each had their own perspective on the coverage, and how they will handle it going forward.

CNN’s Tony Maddox said that it is up to CNN’s journalists is they want to stay in Egypt to cover the story.

We’ve made it abundantly clear to our folks that if they want out, we’ll do all we can to help get them out as well. By and large, you’d be surprised at how many of these horrible looking stories people want to be in them, they get a sense of mission, a sense of purpose, they want to be in the thick of it. Makes you proud to work with people like that. But also some of our very bravest people are the ones that say, you know what, I’ve done all I can with this story, now I need a break from it and move on. Whenever anyone’s like that, we’re always very supportive and very quick to be able to facilitate it.

CBS News & Sports chief Sean McManus said that the coverage showed that there is still a commitment to international newsgathering:

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Bob Epstein Takes Over at Nightly News

Last week, THR reported that NBC Nightly News EP Alex Wallace would return to the front office. NBC announced today that Wallace will also have expanded duties: “Wallace’s responsibilities will include overseeing ‘Nightly News,’ news production, staffing, and in partnership with NBC News VP David Verdi, newsgathering. At the same time, Bob Epstein takes the top job at Nightly news.

Says NBC News president Steve Capus in the release, “Alex has been one of my closest advisors for years and will bring to the front office a great depth of knowledge, respect and her trademark dedication, at time when our industry needs such true leadership. She leaves Nightly News in the capable, steady hands of a true professional. Bob Epstein and I worked closely on the launch of MSNBC and through the years together on countless big assignments. He’s the right person to lead Nightly’s next chapter of success.”

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