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Posts Tagged ‘Hoda Kotb’

‘Today’ Staffers Moved to Tears Over Hoda Kotb, Cyndi Lauper, Sara Bareilles Video

“Today” show anchor Hoda Kotb, along with singers/songwriters Sara Bareilles, Cyndi Lauper are joining forces as part of the “Today” show’s “Shine a Light” outreach campaign.

With the song “Truly Brave,” a mashup of Bareilles’ “Brave” and Lauper’s “True Colors,” the trio hopes to raise money for the fight against pediatric cancer. The “Truly Brave” video features young cancer patients from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. We’re told several crew members and staffers were moved to tears in the studio and control room when the video debuted on the show Thursday.

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Meredith Vieira Gets Big Surprise On Her First Show

Meredith304Meredith Vieira‘s new daytime show debuted today with Jennifer Lopez as the headliner, and cameos by the cast of “Aladdin,” the “Rockettes,” Hoda Kotb and more. Meredith’s family, husband Richard Cohen and her daughter Lily, were on set for the premiere. They shared stories about how Meredith is not the best cook, that she always puts the utensils in the dishwasher the wrong way,  and that she’s a sucker for surprises. And then she got one: Read more

Joan Rivers Funeral: ‘I Have Never Seen Anything Like It’

KathieLeeHodaBarbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, Charlie Rose, Kathie Lee Gifford, and Hoda Kotb were among the TV newsers at yesterday’s funeral for Joan Rivers.

“I have never seen anything like it — full of love, full of laughter,” said Rose on “CBS This Morning. “Inside Edition” host Deborah Norville, who’s been friends with Rivers for 25 years, delivered a eulogy. On “Good Morning America” Norville told Robin Roberts, “The woman I knew was hilariously funny. An incredible practical joker. She was kind to the core and there through thick and thin.”

Said Gifford on “Today,” “I think it was the perfect combination between the profane and the sacred. Because Joan was like that. We all know the profane part of Joan, but there was a sacred part as well.”

It’s Homecoming Week at ‘Today’

Pauley Brokaw 304As Savannah Guthrie continues her maternity leave, “Today” is calling up some other NBCNewsers to fill in. As we’ve reported, Meredith Vieira subs tomorrow, the same day her syndicated show debuts.

Brian Williams pulls double-duty on Tuesday anchoring in the morning and “NBC Nightly News.” On Wednesday, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb will have an earlier call time as they join Matt Lauer. On  Thursday, Tom Brokaw returns to the “Today” anchor chair. Brokaw (above, with Jane Pauley) co-hosted the show from 1976-1981.

On Friday, Maria Shriver will be behind the desk. Shriver co-anchored the “Today” Sunday edition from 1987-1990. NBC is calling this “Homecoming Week” on “Today.”

Networks to Pay Tribute to Joan Rivers

JoanRiversFNC304Networks will remember legendary comedian Joan Rivers this weekend.

Tonight, the newsmagazines pay tribute. At 9pmET, NBC’s “Dateline” will present “Celebrating Joan Rivers.” The hour-long special, co-anchored by Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, will feature tributes from Kathy Griffin, Dick Cavett, Donald Trump, Don Rickles, and Gilbert Gottfried.

An hour later at 10pmET, ABC’s “20/20″ will air “Joan Rivers: Living for the Laugh.”  The special, anchored by David Muir, will feature reporting from Barbara Walters, John Quinones, and Chris Connelly.

And on Sunday night, Fox News presents “Geraldo Rivera Reports: Joan Rivers” at 9pmET. Rivera will interview various guests close to Rivers and show clips from her comedy career. Rivers died yesterday at 81 a week after she stopped breathing during a throat procedure.

Bill Wolff Named EP of ‘The View;’ Brian Balthazar Joining ABC Show as co-EP

BillWolffBalthazar

A week after signing off as EP of “The Rachel Maddow Show,” Bill Wolff (above left) has been announced as the new executive producer of “The View.”

The show also made other behind-the-scenes changes including the addition of another TV news veteran, Brian Balthazar (above right) as co-executive producer. Ashley S. Gorman will be the show’s director in the new season, and Kathleen Rajsp has been named senior supervising producer.

“I am so appreciative for the privilege to work on this iconic program and to have the chance to collaborate with incredible people like Whoopi and Rosie, who each bring immense talent and boundless passion to show,” Wolff said in a statement. “I will be forever grateful to Rachel Maddow for six amazing years together. As I begin this next chapter, I cannot fully express my profound gratitude to [Disney/ABC TV president] Ben Sherwood for making it all possible.”

Balthazar, an MSNBC alum like Wolff, joins from AOL where he was head of programming. He’s also been in the talk show trenches working many years at the “Today” show. He launched the fourth hour of “Today” with Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford, before going to work as a director of programming at HGTV.

Gorman has directed thousands of hours of live shows in the U.K. and the U.S. including: “Hell’s Kitchen,” “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here…NOW!,” and “The Biggest Loser.”

Rajsp has worked on “Katie,” “Anderson” and “Dr. Phil,” among others.

The new season of “The View” begins Monday, Sept. 15.

Who’s That Guy Roaming the ‘Today’ Show Plaza?

Alex oneTwelve years ago, Alex Ficquette was a teenager shouting at the back of a “Today” show concert featuring Mary J. Blige.

“I randomly saw Al Roker buying a pretzel from a street vendor, and said ‘Hi’ to him,” Ficquette told TVNewser. Fast forward to today, where he’s been anointed “Alex on the plaza.”

The Associate Producer for the “Today” show oversees the signature outdoor plaza, interacting with fans who come from far and wide to experience the concerts, contests, and ideally, enjoy their 15 minutes — or just a few seconds — of fame with “Today’s” hosts.

Friday morning, TVNewser spent some time on the plaza as OneRepublic performed. All the while, Ficquette, 27, kept the crowd revved up as they waited for the pop-rock band to take the stage. Taking pictures, sparking conversations, and giving shout outs to the best signs is all part of being the plaza’s ringleader (Vine after the jump).

“That group outside, they’ve been up since 2:30am, and you would never know it,” he told us about one energetic group celebrating their friend’s 60th birthday. “You have to be interested in people’s stories. I feed off of their energy because they’re in amazing spirits.” When he’s not on the plaza he might appearing on the show’s fourth hour with Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford.

Ficquette’s path to the TV news business is a story in itself. “I didn’t go to school for film or production,” he said.

Read more

‘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:

Why Was the ‘Today’ Show Preempted in New Orleans Friday?

Screen Shot 2014-06-29 at 8.56.34 AMThe fourth hour of the “Today” show was preempted on NBC affiliate WDSU in New Orleans Friday, because of who was co-hosting.

With Kathie Lee Gifford off, Hoda Kotb invited her best friend Karen Swensen to sit in. One problem: Swensen is the main anchor at WDSU rival WWL, the CBS affiliate in New Orleans.

Instead of seeing Kotb and Swensen together again, New Orleans viewers were treated to a repeat of Queen Latifah’s show on WDSU. Kotb and Swensen met 20 years ago when both worked at WWL. Swensen left to anchor at NECN for a few years, but returned to WWL in 2010.

The preemption did sit well with some hometown fans.

Screen Shot 2014-06-29 at 9.06.25 AM

For its part, WDSU responded on its Faebook page: “Our decision not to air the fourth hour of the “Today Show” follows a longstanding practice. WDSU does not enable the promotion of anchors on other local television stations through roles as hosts of programs on our television station. We regret the circumstances that required us to make this decision.”

(h/t WWL.com)

VIDEO: Career Advice From Kathie Lee and Hoda at the Matrix Awards

TVNewsers were out in force at this year’s Matrix Awards, held recently at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Mediabistro’s Vicki Salemi caught up with some of the attendees — including Queen Latifah, Gloria Steinem and the event’s emcees, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb — for some career advice from the red carpet:

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