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Posts Tagged ‘Deborah Turness’

NBC News Boss on US Weekly ‘Today’ Show Story: ‘The Rumors are Wrong — Period’

USToday

This is NOT the “Today” show’s week.

US Weekly went waaaaay out on a limb this morning with a piece claiming that two “Today” show hosts were fired.

Co-hosts Willie Geist and Natalie Morales “were recently told they were fired,” an NBC source reveals exclusively in the new issue of Us Weekly. Morales, 42, is now in talks with ABC and Geist, 39, has lined up a gig at CBS, the insider tells Us.

None of that is true, say NBC and CBS and ABC.

When we asked whether Geist has “lined up a gig” at CBS News, spokesperson Sonya McNair told TVNewser, “No.” When we asked ABC if Morales is in talks with that network, we were told the network doesn’t comment on rumors and speculation. (Morales is under contract with NBC News for two more years, until November, 2016.)

As for NBC, network news president Deborah Turness is crystal clear: “the rumors are wrong — period:”

NBC’s TODAY has the best anchor team in morning television. The entire TODAY show anchor team — Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker, Natalie Morales, Willie Geist, Carson Daly, Tamron Hall, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb — are incredibly talented, valued and have our support. In response to the false rumors that have been circulated about our anchor team, NBC wants to be absolutely clear: The rumors are wrong — period. This is the team we are committed to. And this is the team that our viewers turn to in the morning.

The US Weekly story is a byproduct of the firing of “Today” show SVP Jamie Horowitz earlier this week. Read more

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Deborah Turness to Work with ‘Today’ Team Until GM Slot is Filled

nbc-news-senior-leadership-team

Back in January, NBC News president Deborah Turness sent out this org chart of her senior leadership team. There was a slot to fill: SVP and GM of the “Today” show. Today, that position is open again.

Jamie Horowitz, hired for the job back in May, didn’t make it to his first official day with NBC — Dec. 1. As TVNewser first reported, Horowitz was fired late Monday.

This morning, insiders tell us Matt Lauer was among those who’d lost faith in his leadership, but that any goodwill Horowitz had earned from Turness and her boss, Pat Fili-Krushel, who both recruited Horowitz from ESPN earlier this year, had run out.

Horowitz had been making the rounds at the show since September.  “He’s a really smart guy, and he’s been great at reaching out to us, getting our input, and so far we’re really impressed,” co-host Willie Geist told TVNewser two weeks ago.

It was in those meetings, from top talent, to the production assistants, that a profile began to emerge of an executive who would pit staffers against one another; a game of ‘Survivor,’ the Daily News called it, with people’s livelihoods at stake. “He was creating drama that wasn’t there,” an insider says.

Geist, who knows Horowitz personally, was among those angered by his antics. (Geist’s sister Libby worked with Horowitz at ESPN and is married to his former producing partner Kevin Wildes.)

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Jamie Horowitz Out at NBC News

JamieHorowitzBreaking: Insiders tells us Jamie Horowitz, the recently-hired SVP and GM of the “Today” show is no longer with NBC News. A source tells us Horowitz and his boss, NBC News president Deborah Turness, were not seeing eye to eye, leading to Horowitz’s departure from the network late today.

Horowitz, who was heavily recruited from ESPN for the top job at “Today” — and had to sit out several months before taking the job — only arrived at NBC a few months ago. At the time of his hiring in May, Turness wrote, “Jamie is the perfect person for this crucial role — he is a visionary leader, a creative thinker and a seasoned expert in developing and driving brands that truly connect.”

Just last week, Page Six reported that, due to some internal unrest and lackluster news ratings, Turness’ job may be on the line, and that Horowitz was among those being considered for the job. NBC shot down that report, throwing its full support behind Turness. “Deborah is not going anywhere. She’s just getting started. She has the full support of NBCU brass all the way to the top,” a spokesperson said. Turness joined NBC News 16 months ago.

More: Horowitz’s official start date was to be Dec. 1, but he had been at NBC having meetings with the “Today” show team since September.

More: In a memo to staff, obtained by TVNewser, Turness writes, “[T]ogether, he and I have come to the conclusion that this is not the right fit.”

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New York Post Stirring Up Drama at NBC News

Deborah-Turness304X200The New York Post continues to stir the pot at NBC News.

According to Richard Johnson, NBC is eyeing Bloomberg Media chief content officer Josh Tyrangiel to replace Deborah Turness as president of NBC News. The Post also mentions “Today” show boss Jamie Horowitz as a contender to replace the still-employed Turness.

The latest Post report comes only a few days after NBC had to shoot down rumors of a power struggle between Turness and “Today” show co host Natalie Morales after a “Page Six” article. Citing “sources” and “insiders,” Johnson says Turness has alienated on-air talent, is on the chopping block and doesn’t have many allies.

“Deborah is not going anywhere. She’s just getting started. She has the full support of NBCU brass all the way to the top,” and NBC spokesperson says.

NBC Shoots Down Rumors of ‘Today,’ Natalie Morales Beef

NEWnatalie-morales-cosmo“Today” show executive producer Don Nash has shot down a New York Post report that Natalie Morales is planning on leaving the show over a power struggle. The Post reported that Morales’ reps have been looking for other opportunities after an internal strife with fellow host Tamron Hall and NBC News president Deborah Turness.

“This is total nonsense,” Nash says. “As the ‘Today’ show continues to gain momentum, it sounds like someone is trying to stir up trouble that doesn’t exist. Natalie Morales is valued by everyone at the news division from the top down, and her future is with the ‘Today’ show and NBC News.”

Morales has been with the “Today” show since 2006. “Page Six” reports Turness hasn’t talked to her in months and wishes to promote Hall into a larger roll. However, Hall took to Twitter this afternoon with a subtle message that could be aimed at the report

 

Despite Criticism, Dr. Nancy Snyderman Will Return to NBC News

Dr Nancy Snyderman Ebola reportNBC News chief medical correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman will return to work, but it won’t be until next month. NBC News president Deborah Turness informed the network’s employees of the decision in an internal email this evening:

I am very pleased to share that, as of tonight, the 21-day quarantine period of Dr. Nancy Snyderman and the team will be over, which means they have cleared the range of time when Ebola symptoms typically appear (the range can be between 2-21 days after exposure but the average time symptoms appear is between 8-10 days). They remain healthy and symptom-free, which is a great relief to all.

While in Liberia Dr. Nancy and her team delivered first class, first-hand reporting from the front lines of this tragic and monumental story. Their subsequent departure from Monrovia, their return to the U.S. and period of quarantine has been a challenging time. We have encouraged them – and they have agreed – to take some time off with their families and friends to help restore some normalcy to their lives. We very much look forward to their return next month.

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Sunday Show Ratings: October 5

sunday shows_304With revised Nielsen data in for Sunday, Oct. 5, “Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer” is now No.1 in total viewers and the A25-54 demo. And compared to the same week last year it was the only broadcast to show both total viewer and demo growth.

With the restated Nielsen data, “Meet the Press” and “Fox News Sunday” both added total viewers, while “This Week” lost viewers.

“Meet the Press” was down the most of the Sunday public affairs shows: -15% in viewers and down -34% in the demo vs. the same Sunday last year which was the beginning of the government shutdown. “This Week” and “Fox News Sunday” were also down double digits in the demo.

Cable rebroadcasts of “Fox News Sunday” averaged a combined 1,734,000 total viewers and 376,000 A25-54 viewers.

“Face the Nation” is based on the first half-hour only, as the full contiguous hour aired in just 67% of the country.

The numbers for October 5:

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
CBS
“Face the Nation” 3.337M 935,000
ABC
“This Week” 2.91M 840,000
NBC “Meet the Press” 2.51M 663,000
FOX “Fox News Sunday” 1.18M 365,000
UNIV “Al Punto” 815,000 409,000

 

Report: NBC News Holding Crisis Meetings

MuirWilliams2The New York Post’s “Page Six” is reporting that NBC is holding “crisis meetings” after ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” passed the “Nightly News” in ratings.

“The NBC News morning call was very somber. A meeting was held with the ‘Nightly News’ executive producer to try to motivate the staff. There will be further crisis meetings,” according to the “Page Six” source.

The alleged meetings are a result of NBC’s newscast getting surpassed by ABC in total viewers, A25-54 and A18-49 in ratings for the week of Sept. 29. This was ABC’s first across-the-board victory in six years and comes only four weeks after Muir took over the anchor chair at “World News.”

There are also rumors being floated regarding the relationship between Brian Williams and NBC News president Deborah Turness. While one “Page Six” insider called the relationship “icy,” and NBC rep told the paper, “That is absolutely false. They talk all the time and meet multiple times a week. In fact, Deborah just drove to Philadelphia to see Brian accept an award at a lunch two weeks ago.”

Dr. Nancy Snyderman and Crew Begin U.S. Quarantine

SnydermanEbolaNBC’s chief medial correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman and her crew returned to the U.S. on a private charter last night, several hours after their colleague Ashoka Mukpo arrived for treatment of ebola at a hospital in Nebraska.

In a note to staff obtained by TVNewser, NBC News president Deborah Turness writes that Snyderman and her crew are “feeling well and are in good health.”

Even thought they are deemed “low risk,” the team will not come to work, and will be quarantined at home for 21 days where their temperatures will be taken twice a day. Turness writes: “As you saw in Dr. Nancy’s superb reporting from Liberia, she and the team have been incredibly cautious about protecting themselves and minimizing risk, and will continue to do so upon their return.”

Mukpo joined the NBC News team in Liberia as a freelance cameraman just last Tuesday. He began feeling sick on Wednesday and on Thursday was diagnosed with ebola.

Turness’ note after the jump…

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NBC News Freelancer Diagnosed with Ebola

Snyderman304Breaking: A 33-year-old American freelance cameraman working for NBC News in Liberia has tested positive for Ebola and will be flown back to the United States for treatment.

The infected freelancer was hired Tuesday to be a second cameraman for NBC News correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman. Snyderman is with three other NBC News employees on assignment in Monrovia, reporting on the Ebola outbreak. They are being monitored and will be quarantined for 21 days upon their imminent return from Africa.

On Tuesday night, Snyderman and her team reported a story titled, Inside the Ebola Hot Zone in Liberia for “NBC Nightly News.” We’re told Snyderman will phone in to ”The Rachel Maddow Show” this evening to discuss the diagnosis.

NBC says the freelancer came down with symptoms on Wednesday. As part of a routine temperature check, he discovered he was running a slight fever. He immediately quarantined himself and sought medical advice. On Thursday morning, he went to a treatment center to be tested for the virus. The positive result came back just under 12 hours later.

The cameraman, who also is a writer, has been working in Liberia on various projects for the past three years. NBC News is withholding his name at the request of his family.

“We are doing everything we can to get him the best care possible. He will be flown back to the United States for treatment at a medical center that is equipped to handle Ebola patients,” NBC News President Deborah Turness said in a note to staff.

Read Turness’ note to NBC News staff after the jump…

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