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Posts Tagged ‘Deborah Norville’

Two Dozen Women of TV News, Barbara Walters’ Legacy, Join Her on Her Final ‘View’

WaltersView1

For weeks we’ve been writing about the legacy of Barbara Walters. This afternoon, that legacy came to life in the finale of her final “The View,” taped at ABC’s West Side studios, and airing tomorrow.

TVNewser was there as more than two dozen women TV news anchors packed the stage, each introduced by Oprah Winfrey, among the guests on Walters’ final show. One by one, they greeted a stunned Walters, beginning with Diane Sawyer and continuing with Robin Roberts, Lara Spencer, Elizabeth Vargas, Amy Robach, Deborah Roberts, Katie Couric and Meredith Vieira; also, Jane Pauley, Savannah Guthrie, Natalie Morales, Cynthia McFadden, Gayle King, Maria Shriver, Juju Chang, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford, Lisa Ling, Tamron Hall, Gretchen Carlson, Connie Chung, Paula Zahn, Deborah Norville, and Joan Lunden.

“I have to remember this on the bad days, because this is the best,” said Walters in the commercial break. “They just kept coming, and coming,” joked Sherri Shepherd. During the first part of the show, to keep it secret, the women hid out in Dr. Oz’s studio across the hall.

The show began with Hillary Clinton as the first guest. She encouraged Walters to take some time off — at least a week. Later, Walters said that’s part of her plan — a trip to Berlin is in the works, someplace she’s never been. Among the VIPs in the crowd, New York Knicks forward J.R. Smith. During another commercial break Walters’ joked to Smith that her retirement plans  include “buying the Clippers!” There are other highlights including a hilarious sketch (if you’re a Cheri Oteri fan, and we are) of Barbara interviewing Barbara.

“You’ll never see this again, folks,” Whoppi Goldberg said as the show wound down. “Only for Barbara.”

(Photos: Chris Ariens)

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Katie Couric Heading Back to the ‘Today’ Show?

katie-couric-and-matt-lauer-together-againThe New York Post reports Katie Couric is having informal conversations about filling in on the “Today” show for Savannah Guthrie when Guthrie goes on maternity leave in late Summer.

“With the Today show in a good place, we are blessed with great talent and many options to temporarily fill Savannah’s chair while she’s on leave, but there’s no plan yet,” an NBC spokeswoman tells the Post.

Merrill spotted Couric and Guthrie chatting at the NBC cocktail party ahead of the White House Correspondents Dinner Saturday night. They are said to have struck up a friendship recently.

When we interviewed Couric for “My First Big Break,” in March she recounted the last time she filled in on the “Today” show for a pregnant co-anchor. It was early 1991 when Deborah Norville, who’d been co-host of “Today” for 14 months, gave birth. Couric would go on to be named co-anchor where she’d remain for 15 years.

Couric left NBC for the “CBS Evening News” in 2006 and left CBS to host her daytime talk show produced by ABC in 2011. The association with ABC led Couric to fill in on “Good Morning America” in April 2012, when Robin Roberts went on medial leave. Couric wraps up production of her talk show next month. She continues to staff up her reporting unit at Yahoo where she is global news anchor.

The AM Ticker: Wilson, Graduate Day, RTDNA

  • TV One has named Donna Wilson the EP of its daily news program “News One Now,” which is anchored by Roland Martin. Wilson is a former producer for CNN, as well as Dr. Phil and projects for Biography Channel.

Toasting Tory Johnson for Making the ‘Shift’ and Shedding 72 Pounds

At her book party for “Shift: How I Finally Lost Weight and Discovered a Happier Life,” “Good Morning America” contributor Tory Johnson told the story about what set her on the path, once and for all, to shed unwanted pounds. It was a conversation she had with Barbara Fedida, SVP of talent development and one of her bosses at ABC News.

The advice was so meaningful, that Johnson dedicates the book to Fedida: “For telling me what I needed to hear.”

Fittingly, Fedida hosted the party the East Side home she shares with husband ESPN Radio’s Andrew Brill. Always cheerful in her “Steals & Deals” segments, Johnson says she hasn’t been truly this happy in a long time. In 20 months, she’s lost 72 pounds — equivalent to two dogs, so said her teenage twins Jake and Emma. (The family beagle Marly weighs in at 35 lbs.) And Johnson did it on the sly, without telling her “GMA” family, until it became clear she was on a mission.

Before heading to the US Weekly event where she was honored, “GMA” anchor Robin Roberts toasted Johnson for the dedication she showed. ABC News president Ben Sherwood also raised a glass, praising Johnson for her determination and her penchant for giving really BIG GIFTS, including the two giant stuffed animals she’s given to his kids over the years. Sherwood gave Johnson her “GMA” job when he was EP of the show in the mid-2000′s Johnson’s first job in TV was as an intern at ABC’s “20/20.”

TVNewser also spotted ABC News anchors Lara Spencer, Cynthia McFadden, Amy Robach and Josh Elliot; correspondents Byron Pitts, Deborah Roberts and Gio Benitez; execs Susan Mercandetti, James Goldston, David Sloan, Morgan Hertzen, Jeffrey Schneider, Eric Avram and Sandy Cannold. Former “GMA” EP Jim Murphy, now senior EP of CNN’s “New Day.” Also, David Zincenko, Dr. Richard Besser, Deborah Norville, and Barbara Corcoran, who assisted Sherwood in presenting a gift to Johnson: a box full of zero-calorie pickles — a favorite snack on her journey.

WABC anchors David Navarro, Lee Goldberg Rob Powers and Lori Stokes also attended. We had a nice chat with meteorologist Amy Freeze (her real last name) about the science behind the weather — and also raising four kids in a two-bedroom apartment in New York City. Freeze also told us she has benefited from the “Fedida plan,” as it’s become known in the halls of ABC.

The Evening Ticker: Norville, Watters, Kornacki

  • “Inside Edition” anchor Deborah Norville is joining the board of directors of media conglomerate Viacom. Norville was a longtime CBS News corespondent and an anchor at NBC. Watch her talk about her”First Big Break” after the jump.

  • Fox News Channel’s most famous producer is getting a tryout as an anchor. Jesse Watters, best know for his “ambush interviews” on “The O’Reilly Factor” will be guest-anchoring on “Fox & Friends Weekend” this weekend. Johnny $ has the video.

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The Best Of ‘My First Big Break’ In 2012

Early this year mediabistroTV launched a brand new video series called “My First Big Break.” The premise was simple: sit down with big names in the media business, and have them explain what their first big break was. We spoke to a number of huge names, including Ken Burns, Spike Lee and Dan Rather. Below is a selection of some of the best “Breaks” we saw this year. And stay tuned for “My First Big Break: Christiane Amanpour” coming Wednesday. Enjoy.

The very first episode of the series featured “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams:

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith told us about his local news days:

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Deggans: Four Problems Facing NBC’s ‘Today’

Tampa Bay Times TV critic Eric Deggans writes about NBC’s “Today,” and highlights four problems that he argues are facing the program. Among them: Matt Lauer has become the face of the show, even at the expense of his colleagues

When Curry was forced off the show amid a tearful goodbye, I cautioned that NBC couldn’t let new female co-anchor Savannah Guthrie become the hated replacement the way Deborah Norville was back when Jane Pauley left back in the late ’80s.

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Obama on Matthews: ‘Four years ago, I gave him a thrill up his leg. This time around, I gave him a stroke’

FNC’s Roger Ailes sits behind Pres. Obama, Gov. Romney and Cardinal Dolan at annual Al Smith dinner.

Pres. Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney set aside their political differences for a few minutes to poke fun at themselves, at each other, and at the media, at the annual Al Smith dinner last night in New York City. But the politicians weren’t the only ones to break bread with their rivals at the event, which this TVNewser attended: media executives and personalities from competing networks mingled over dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria.

The candidates, who sat on either side of Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the New York Catholic Archdiocese, were flanked on the dais by some of the television industry’s most famous faces. Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes sat among two people who have him to thank for their start in TV: on his left, Maria Bartiromo, who Ailes hired at CNBC in 1993, and on his right, one seat away, Chris Matthews, who Ailes hired in 1994 at the network that would become MSNBC. Katie Couric and Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson, Jr. were also seated on the dais.

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews chats with Roger Ailes.

Both candidates took aim at the media in their lighthearted speeches, which all three of the general cable networks broadcast live.

“I particularly want to apologize to Chris Matthews,” Pres. Obama said of his performance in the first Presidential debate. “Four years ago, I gave him a thrill up his leg. This time around, I gave him a stroke.”

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Katie Couric Chooses Bryant Gumbel Over Matt Lauer

Mediabistro was at Wendy Williams‘s studio yesterday where we taped our mediabistroTV series “My First Big Break.” When we got there, Katie Couric happened to be taping a segment with Williams for Couric’s upcoming daytime talk show. The exchange included a sort of “would you rather?” back and forth. At one point, Williams asks Couric who would she rather sleep with: Bryant Gumbel or Matt Lauer. Couric chose Gumbel, because, she says, she feels so close to Lauer it would just be weird. We’re told the shoot is for the debut of “Katie” which premieres Sept. 10. “My First Big Break” with Wendy Williams will launch on mediabistro.com July 26. Read more

Deborah Norville: ‘Why is the press so quick to blame the chick?’

“Inside Edition” host Deborah Norville pens an article today for The Hollywood Reporter called “Why Women Lose the Morning TV Wars.” Norville takes shots at “the suits” while “speaking up for my television sisters.” And she speaks from first-hand experience having been pushed out as co-anchor of the “Today” show more than 20 years ago.

The Couric/Palin matchup was blasted in one New York paper as though it were the Thrilla in Manila. [Ann] Curry is being portrayed as down on the mat as the referee begins his 10 count. GMA co-host Robin Roberts‘ vacation was, I suspect, anything but restful, given the way she appeared to have been dissed by the hoopla over her off-week substitute. I’ve seen this play before, and I know how it ends.

Norville adds, “I love a good fight, and the horse race between Today and Good Morning America is fun to watch. But fight fair, network dudes, and don’t let the media damage the chicks in the process.”

An industry insider pokes holes at Norville’s assessment calling it “the height of hipocracy.” TVNewser hears Norville has met with various networks recently — presumably with some of “the suits” she writes about here — for a possible role for herself. This should also be an interesting topic of discussion among “the suits” and “the chicks” at THR’s 35 Most Powerful People in Media event in New York tonight.

(Image via THR)

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