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Posts Tagged ‘James Goldston’

Mike Nichols Has Died

Award-winning director Mike Nichols has died.

Nichols, the husband of ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer and father-in-law of CNN’s Rachel Nichols, passed away suddenly last night of a heart attack. He was 83. Sawyer and Nichols celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary earlier this year. Sawyer’s mother, Jean Sawyer Hayes, passed away just four weeks ago.

Nichols is one of a handful of people to win the EGOT — an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony. And he did it long before the acronym became popularized. He won his Oscar in 1968 for “The Graduate.” In 2012, he won his 9th Tony for “Death of a Salesman,” with the late Philip Seymour Hoffman in the lead.

ABC News president James Goldston announced the news in a note to staff this morning. “The family will hold a small, private service this week, and a memorial will be held at a later date,” Goldston writes. “Until then, please join me in keeping Diane, Mike’s children, grandchildren and their families in your thoughts.” Here’s the remembrance on “Good Morning America.”


The note from Goldston after the jump…

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Matthew Olsen Joins ABC News

MatthewOlsenMatthew Olsen, a former federal prosecutor and NSA official, is joining ABC News as a contributor based in Washington, DC.

Most recently, Olsen was Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, reporting directly to President Obama and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. “Matt’s expertise and deep knowledge will be an invaluable asset to our already exceptional team,” writes ABC News president James Goldston in a note to staff. Olsen will work with Martha Raddatz, Brian Ross and Pierre Thomas, along with other ABC News counter-terrorism analysts.

“I look forward to even more great journalism and insider reporting from this powerhouse team,” Goldston writes.

‘The View’ to Be Overseen by ABC News

ROSIE PEREZ, ROSIE O'DONNELL, WHOOPI GOLDBERG, NICOLLE WALLACE“The View” is moving from the entertainment unit of ABC to the non-fiction programming group of ABC News.

Season 18 of “The View” kicked off last month with a new cast, a new studio adjacent to ABC News HQ, and a new production team. This move further aligns the daytime show with ABC News resources. The show was co-created by ABC News anchor Barbara Walters, who continues to hold the executive producer title and was informed of the news earlier this week.

While continuing their roles with ABC News, executives Tom Cibrowski, Barbara Fedida and David Sloan will work closely with Co-EPs Bill Wolff and Brian Balthazar and their team.

“Tom, Barbara and David have helped take our shows to the next level and worked on a wide range of diverse news and non-fiction programming,” ABC News president James Goldston writes in a note to staff. “Now they’ll help guide ‘The View’ in its exciting next chapter.”

We’re told the ABC News execs met with cast members Rosie O’Donnell, Whoopi Goldberg, Rosie Perez and Nicole Wallace yesterday. Wolff also introduced them to many show staffers.

“The View” is the second non-fiction unit of ABC News, joining Lincoln Square productions which produces programs for ABC and other networks and is overseen by Morgan Hertzan. “I feel incredibly fortunate that we’re now expanding our non-fiction roster to include The View. We couldn’t be more thrilled to work with its terrific team, and we look forward to exciting days ahead,” Goldston writes.

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Andrew Tyndall Offers 10 ‘Sneaky Ways’ ABC Boosts ‘World News Tonight’ Ratings

ueland_abc_boosting_ratings_mainWith the most entertaining of illustrations (right), The Hollywood Reporter today offers a guest column by Andrew Tyndall, who sees plenty of wizardry–and not as much world news–in the recent ratings rise of ABC’s “World News Tonight” with David Muir:

Under ABC News president James Goldston, World News has cut back on international and political stories and introduced a sensibility closer to that of Good Morning America, complete with tabloid true crime, sports-and-celebrity coverage, news-you-can-use service journalism and buzz around social media.

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Diane Sawyer’s Mother Passes Away

SawyerMother1Diane Sawyer‘s mother Jean Sawyer Hayes passed away Wednesday in Louisville, KY. She was 94.

Sawyer told the Courier-Journal this morning that her mother “was a force of nature, optimistic, spunky and energetic.”

Sawyer Hayes, was a longtime elementary school teacher and, later, civic leader. “Her students by the hundreds were jolted into the possibilities of their lives,” Sawyer said.

A visitation is planned for this weekend in St. Matthews, KY with a private funeral next week.

ABC News president James Goldston sent a note to ABC News staff this morning, writing that Sawyer “is with her Kentucky family now, and her ABC family will embrace her when she returns.”

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Jeffrey Schneider Leaving ABC News to Found His Own PR Firm

JeffreySchneiderJeffrey Schneider, ABC News SVP and chief spokesman, is leaving the network to start his own PR firm, TVNewser has learned.

Schneider’s deputy Julie Townsend will lead ABC News communications strategy and the PR team. Schneider calls his 14 years at ABC News “an incredible honor and privilege.”

I’m very grateful for the thrilling experiences I’ve had at the news division and embark on this new path with tremendous affection and respect for all the people of ABC News,” Schneider says.

His new firm, Schneider Global Strategy, will specialize in media relations and crisis management and counts ABC News and Disney/ABC TV as his first clients.

Schneider, who was suspended this summer following an internal incident, will remain at ABC News through the midterm elections. “Jeffrey has been our champion in great and tough times,” writes ABC News president James Goldston in a note to staff. “He’s done it with good humor, nearly superhuman drive and a deep love for this great institution.”

Townsend re-joined ABC News as VP in 2011. In her first stint at ABC News, beginning in 2001, she was PR Coordinator for “Nightline” and “This Week” in Washington, DC. “Julie is a persuasive storyteller and a passionate champion for ABC News,” Goldston writes. “She believes deeply in our team and in the importance of the work we do.

Goldston’s note after the jump…

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David Muir and Team Celebrate Ratings Victory

WNTLunch

Update 10/14/14: Nielsen has corrected error-plagued ratings data for the week of Sept. 29. “NBC Nightly News” is now No. 1 and the show’s winning streak among total viewers remains unbroken for 264 consecutive weeks. (265 weeks including the week of Oct. 6)

Original Story: ABC News celebrated the first ratings win in more than six years for “World News Tonight” this afternoon with lunch on the house. Joining anchor David Muir and EP Almin Karamehmedovic was Muir’s predecessor Diane Sawyer, who, we’re told, gave a rousing tribute to the staff. ABC News President James Goldston, SVP Tom Cibrowski and former “World News” EP and current “Good Morning America” EP Michael Corn joined in on the celebration.

While Muir feels that the show can continue to improve, he took the time to thank his staff for all the hard work that helped them pass “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.”

The Morning Ticker: Philips Deshishku, ‘Next List’, ‘With All Due Respect’

  • ABC News has named Stacia Philips Deshishku Deputy Washington Bureau Chief. “She is a passionate, innovative, and creative journalist,” ABC President James Goldston said. Phillips Deshishku comes from CNN, where she spent over two decades as a producer, assignment editor, and most recently, director of news planning.

  • CNBC unveils “The Next List” today, the top 25 “definitive list of people who will be instrumental in shaping business, finance, and thus our world, over the next 25 years.” Andrew Ross Sorkin will lead the network’s coverage of the list throughout today and this month.

  • “With All Due Respect” with Mark Halperin and John Heilemann premieres tonight on Bloomberg TV at 5pmET. The duo’s inaugural guest is former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

James Goldston: ‘Nothing is More Important Than the Safety and Security of Our People’

MonroviaAs one of its competitors deals with a freelance cameraman contracting Ebola, ABC News president James Goldston told employees today the network’s highest priority is its medical team on-the-ground in Liberia:

In a memo obtained by TVNewser, Goldston praises Dr. Richard Besser and his crew while also explaining precautionary measures being taken.

“I am so proud of the work that Dr. Rich Besser, Adam Desiderio, and our team have done on the Ebola Outbreak in Liberia. It is our highest calling—providing critical information and understanding of a complex and alarming situation, and this team has done a remarkable and courageous job. I want to stress that we are taking these measures out of an abundance of caution. Rich and Adam have taken every necessary precaution while on this assignment, and are currently not symptomatic and do not believe they are at risk. They have been taking their temperatures multiple times daily and, upon their return to New York, will continue to do so for the following 21 days.”

Goldston also points out how ABC’s plan for its journalists’ re-entry into the U.S. is different than NBC News due to the respective crews’ different levels of exposure. “Dr. Nancy Snyderman’s team falls under the CDC’s “Some Risk of Exposure” level, while Rich and Adam fall under the “No Known Exposure” level.”

While reporting yesterday, Dr. Besser stood in front of a presumed-dead body being wrapped up by an Ebola burial team. “He’s not dead,” he said as the person’s arms started to move.

Goldston’s full note to staff after the jump.

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Roxanna Sherwood Named EP of ‘Nightline’

SherwoodRoxannaRoxanna Sherwood has been named executive producer of “Nightline.”

It’s an internal move. Sherwood, a 19-year ABC News veteran, was most recently a senior producer on “20/20.” “Whether delving into major investigations, traveling to all corners of the world, or covering big entertainment stories, Roxanna is a superb storyteller,” writes ABC News president James Goldston in a note to staff. Like Goldston, Sherwood was part of the relaunch of “Nightline” in 2005.

Sherwood’s move is the last in a series of recent executive producer changes at ABC News. She replaces Almin Karamehmedovic, on “Nightline” following Karamehmedocvic’s move to “World News Tonight,” which followed Michael Corn‘s move to “Good Morning America.” At “GMA” Corn replaced  Tom Cibrowski who was promoted to senior VP of programs, newsgathering and special events.

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