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Posts Tagged ‘Deborah Roberts’

ABC Newsers Toast Ben Sherwood

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As Ben Sherwood heads West, his East Coast colleagues sent him off in style last night at the Nomad Hotel in New York’s Flatiron District. Sherwood, named co-president of Disney/ABC TV in March, is moving his family to Los Angeles.

Insiders tell us heartfelt toasts were given by Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, David Muir and Lara Spencer. Sherwood got a big laugh when he promised Stephanopoulos a reality show, detective comedy or both.

And there were gifts: Sherwood was given a framed golden headset to remind him of his days in the control room — with the label “break in case of emergency,” while the whole family got ABC News Extreme Weather Team jackets — with “Sherwood” embroidered on the back.

Sherwood’s had three stints with ABC News, starting in 1989 as a producer at “Primetime Live.” After a run at “NBC Nightly News,” Sherwood returned to ABC in 2004 for a two-year stint as EP of “Good Morning America.” Sherwood turned to writing, penning three best-sellers, one of which was turned into a major motion picture. In 2010, he returned to ABC as News president.

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‘Today’ Anchors Throw Savannah Guthrie a Baby Shower

Savannah Guthrie‘s “Today” show colleagues — Kathie Lee Gifford, Hoda Kotb, Tamron Hall and Natalie Morales — threw the expecting mom a baby shower last week at The Glass Houses in Chelsea. Although Morales didn’t attend because she was in Brazil covering the World Cup, Guthrie was feted by NBC’s Jenna Bush Hager, Cynthia McFadden, Contessa Brewer, Dylan Dreyer and Erica Hill, as well as CBS’ Gayle King, ABC’s Amy Robach and Deborah Roberts, and CNN’s Kate Bolduan, who is also expecting

“I have never felt in my life so much genuine joy,” Guthrie said in a speech with her husband, Mike Feldman. “Because when you say that you’re happy for us and you give us a hug or you rub the belly, I know you really mean it.” Watch:

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

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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)

Barbara Walters Farewell: ‘True, I Was the First Female Co-Host… But Also True, I Was a Flop’

WaltersSawyerIt was a star-studded farewell for Barbara Walters at New York City’s Four Seasons restaurant tonight. From comedian Joan Rivers to commissioner Bill Bratton; from New York’s chronicler of scandal, Cindy Adams, to the man who plays the president on “Scandal,” Tony Goldwyn; from actor Woody Allen to attorney David Boies, But mostly, the pool room was packed with Walters’ fellow TV news colleagues and those ladies — past and present — from “The View.” Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd; Meredith Vieira and Joy Behar.

Following a best of Barbara video, Disney Chairman Bob Iger welcomed the crowd, before Walters delivered a few words of thanks and admitting it hasn’t always been easy. “True, I was the first female co-host of a network news program. But also true, I was a flop. My male co-host didn’t want a partner and neither did the audience. I was drowning, gasping for air. Then someone threw me that life preserver called Specials with the biggest stars in news and show business and I learned how to swim again.”

Current and former evening news anchors were there, including Diane Sawyer and Brian Williams who arrived with Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric and fiancé John Molner; and Connie Chung (who was part of an ill-fated co-anchor pairing with Dan Rather) and husband Maury Povich. We caught up with early risers Savannah Guthrie and George Stephanopoulos along with their spouses, Mike Feldman, and Ali Wentworth, respectively, as they were heading out. Guthrie’s “Today” colleague Al Roker and his wife, ABC correspondent Deborah Roberts made the rounds as well.

Walters continued: “I’m grateful to the legendary Roone Arledge for bringing me to ABC News; thankful to David Westin for his steady leadership; to Ben Sherwood – you made us all believe we could win and with your leadership and passion, we did; and James Goldston – I’m told that all our shows are number one at the moment – you should quit right now.” Sherwood, Goldston and Westin were all on hand, as were other ABC News executives including Barbara Fedida, David Sloan, Jeanmarie Condon and John Green.

We spotted Jenny McCarthy hand-in-hand with fiance Donnie Wahlberg; the “Nightline” team of Juju ChangDan Abrams, and Dan Harris as well as a host of correspondents and anchors from ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC and Fox, including Elizabeth VargasAmy RobachDavid MuirNorah O’DonnellJon KarlGio Benitez, Dr. Richard Besser, Tory JohnsonRick Klein, Brian Ross, Mara Schiavocampo, Thomas RobertsAlicia MenendezHoda Kotb, Greta Van Susteren and Lisa Ling, a former “View” co-host, now woking on a new show for CNN.

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ABC Toasts Robin Roberts at a Book Party For ‘Everybody’s Got Something’

A crowd of television personalities and executives gathered at George Stephanopoulos and Ali Wentworth‘s apartment last night to celebrate “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts, whose memoir, “Everybody’s Got Something,” was released today.

The memoir is Roberts’ firsthand account of her MDS diagnosis and treatment. Roberts told TVNewser she began to write the book after her return to “GMA,” using entries from the journal she kept during her recovery. When we asked if the writing process was cathartic, Roberts said the real satisfaction came when she re-read the story and realized “how strong and healthy I am.”

On hand to celebrate the book’s launch from ABC: Disney/ABC Television Group president Ben Sherwood, ABC News president James Goldston, vice president of business development Susan Mercandetti, senior vice president for talent Barbara Fedida, Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, David Muir, Dan Abrams, Lara Spencer, Ginger Zee, Michael Strahan, Charlie Gibson and Deborah Roberts. CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter and “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King were also in attendance.

Roberts tweeted a selfie with Spencer and Zee: “These three are gonna be a wee bit tired in the morning,” she wrote. Read more

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.

Juju Chang Goes Undercover As a Senior Citizen For ‘The Lookout’

The lengths reporters will go for a story. On tonight’s edition of “The Lookout” on ABC (previously known as “Nightline” primetime), correspondent and anchor Juju Chang is going undercover as a senior citizen. Chang calls TV repairmen with what should be an easy fix, and sees if they try to gouge her.

Here are the before and after photos:

The show will also feature undercover reports from Bill Weir and Deborah Roberts, though neither made a change as dramatic as Chang.

Women in the World, Brought to you by Women in TV News

NBC News special correspondent Chelsea Clinton was among the tvnewsers leading panels at today’s Women in the World conference. But it was her mother who got a thunderous applause and shouts of “2016!” when she took the stage at the fourth annual event. Hillary Clinton called women’s rights “a core imperative for every society.”

Clinton’s speech kicked off the day’s events, which featured an impressive roster of women from the television news industry: ABC’s Cynthia McFadden, Deborah Roberts and JuJu Chang and CBS’s Norah O’Donnell all moderated panel discussions on topics ranging from women in the tech industry to fostering female leaders.

Before moderating a spirited panel discussion about the epidemic of sexual abuse in India, McFadden (pictured above) talked with an Indian woman who was the victim of a rape. She sat with her back to the audience in order to conceal her identity. The woman, whose case is still pending in the Indian high court, described how she was raped by a male friend of hers four

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Al Roker’s White House Confession: ‘I Pooped My Pants’

“Dateline NBC” featured Al Roker‘s weight loss battle last night — warts and all. Roker’s trainer discussed how the NBC weatherman keeps off the weight. His wife, ABC’s Deborah Roberts, talked about what his weight loss has meant to their relationship and sex life. And Roker confessed about the time he was at the White House after his gastric bypass surgery. “You pooped in your pants,” said correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman. “I pooped my pants,” Roker concurred.

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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.

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