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Posts Tagged ‘James Goldston’

USA-Ghana Sets Ratings Record For ESPN

ESPN’s last World Cup before turning over the broadcast rights to Fox Sports is off to a good start: Monday night’s USA-Ghana match was the most-watched men’s soccer match ever on ESPN or ESPN2, drawing 11.1 million viewers per minute.

Through the first 11 games, ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC have averaged about 3.7 million viewers, according to Bleacher Report.

Another Disney property, ABC News, is piggybacking on World Cup fever: the network has produced its own version of ESPN’s “I Believe” World Cup ad, with cameos from James Goldston and David Muir, among others. Goldston sent the video along to ABC News staffers yesterday, along with an invite to watch the game with him at PJ Clarke’s on the Upper West Side (we hear about 60 people showed up for the event).

Subrata De Leaves MSNBC for ABC News

SubrataDeABCSubrata De is joining ABC News as VP of newsgathering, TVNewser has learned.  De takes over for Kate O’Brian who left ABC last year after being named president of Al Jazeera America.

De joins from MSNBC where she had been the EP of “Andrea Mitchell Reports” since January 2012. “It has been an extraordinary privilege to work with her,” Mitchell said on De’s final show May 23. Before joining MSNBC, De was Brian Williams‘ producer, traveling with him across the country and around the world.

De started at NBC News in 1998.

More: A note from ABC News president James Goldston, which includes expanded roles for two other ABCNewsers, after the jump…

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When Barbara Walters Misses ‘The View,’ She Thinks of Margaret Thatcher

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Barbara Walters admits, “I still have the feeling sometimes when I’m watching ‘The View,’ ‘I should be there! I should be participating…’ and then I think of Margaret Thatcher.”

Walters, honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Quinnipiac University Fred Friendly committee, reflected on a 1997 interview with Britain’s longest-serving prime minister, seven years after she resigned from office. Thatcher described her frantic, frenetic days, until one day she realized, “it’s no longer me anymore.”

“That’s the feeling I got this morning when I watched ‘The View,’” Walters joked.

Walters, who stepped aside from hosting the daytime show last month, remains an executive producer. She still has her office at ABC News headquarters, which now bears her name. And her resignation — she used air quotes around the word today — has already been interrupted. As we first told you yesterday, she’ll fly to California in the coming weeks to interview Peter Rodger, the father of Isla Vista killer Elliot Rodger.

Among those celebrating along with Walters: ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas and David Muir, ABC News president James Goldston, and executives Barbara Fedida, Susan Mercandetti and Jeffrey Schneider. From CBS, Gayle King, Norah O’Donnell and Troy Roberts, from FNC, Bill O’Reilly, Bill Hemmer and former anchor Alisyn Camerota and from CNN Christine Romans and Richard Roth.

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ABC News Has Best May Sweep Since Roone Arledge was In Charge

Goldston_Sawyer_Walters304ABC News is taking a victory lap after the network’s newscasts finished in first place in either the key news demo or total viewers, or, in the case of “Good Morning America,” both.

It was ABC’s best May sweep since since 1995, when legendary ABC News president Roone Arledge was in charge. As we reported earlier this week, “World News” won the A25-54 demo for the first time in more than six years. “Good Morning America” won the month in both Total Viewers and A25-54, with the largest demo lead over NBC’s “Today” in 20 years.

“This Week with George Stephanopoulos” finishes #1 in the A25-54 demo, its first win in that demo in nearly 21 years.

“Nightline” won its first sweeps period ever in Total Viewers in its new time slot out-delivering NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and CBS’ “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.” (Meyers still takes the younger demos).

And “20/20″ wins the A18-49 demo in the Friday 10pm time slot and had its strongest May sweep in 7 years in Total Viewers, since May 2007.

Arledge is credited with building a formidable team of on-air journalists including Peter Jennings, Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, and David Brinkley during his tenure as president of ABC News from 1977 – 1998, putting ABC News in a competitive position for the first time with stalwarts CBS News and NBC News. Arledge passed away in 2002.

The May wins come as a transition in leadership is underway at ABC News with James Goldston (pictured above with Sawyer and Walters on Wednesday) taking over as news president in April from Ben Sherwood who is now president of the Disney/ABC TV group.

Much more in a release, with details, after the jump…

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Barbara Walters Comes Out of Retirement to Toast Diane Sawyer

Barbara Walters dropped by her building this afternoon to make sure the rent was still being paid. Actually, she stopped by ABC News HQ to toast her friend and colleague Diane Sawyer and her “World News” team for finishing May sweeps No. 1 in the A25-54 demo. It’s the first win for “World News” in the younger demo in more than 6 years.

ABC News President James Goldston, who assembled the gathering, congratulated Sawyer as the first female evening news anchor to win a sweeps month and called the win a proud moment for Sawyer, show EP Michael Corn and everyone in the news division.

Sawyer then made some remarks, thanking Goldston and his predecessor Disney ABC TV group president Ben Sherwood, her team and all of ABC News for their dedication and hard work. She joked that she doesn’t follow the ratings closely, but that she can always tell how the show did by the look on Corn’s face every Tuesday morning when the ratings come in. After remarks from Corn, Walters appeared from the audience, and joked that she came out of retirement for the celebration. Walters was of co-anchor of “ABC Evening News” from 1976-1978.

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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Barbara Walters on ‘Paving the Way’ for Women: ‘That’s My Legacy’

DIANE SAWYER, BARBARA WALTERS and ROBIN ROBERTSIt was a celebratory atmosphere tonight at ABC News Headquarters when the network’s Upper West Side New York City building was officially renamed the “Barbara Walters Building.”

“It’s not the interviews with presidents, nor heads of state, nor celebrities, nor even the Sterlings,” Walters said about her career legacy. “I hope that I played a small role in paving the way for so many of you fabulous women who are here tonight,” she continued, adding how pleased she is when women approach her about their achievements. “That’s my legacy” she said to a rousing applause.

Standing beside many ABC News colleagues, including Diane Sawyer, Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, and Lara Spencer; along with Walt Disney Company Chairman Bob Iger, Disney/ABC TV President Ben Sherwood, and ABC News President James Goldston, Walters joked about having a building named after her in a city where Kennedy Airport and the Lincoln Tunnel reside: ”It may not be a landmark, but a couple of pigeons have already staked it out.”

“It makes me feel wonderful,” Walters told TVNewser after the ceremony in response to taglines that say, “she didn’t just report history, she made history.”

“The fact that my career turned out this way, it’s still an amazement to me,” she told us, highlighting her start as a writer at NBC’s “Today” which wasn’t clamoring to “put me on [air].” When she started out in the business, there “were almost none [women in TV news],” Walters told us.

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Food Truck Day at ABC News

135807_IDA3047In recognition of ABC News employees’ “excellent work,” news division president James Goldston has deemed today “Food Truck Day” at ABC. Staffers were given vouchers for food trucks — Kimchi Taco, Taim Mobile and Milk Truck — stationed outside ABC News for lunch this afternoon (Diane Sawyer is pictured here with hers).

The trucks are outside the ABC News building on W. 66th Street, which on Monday will be named in honor of Barbara Walters, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today.

“Thank you all for everything that you do to make ABC News great,” Goldston wrote in a memo to staff yesterday.

Goldston’s note and more pictures are after the jump.

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Behind the Scenes at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

For the White House Correspondents’ Association, it’s a night to celebrate the free press. For Joel McHale, it’s a night where “a guy like me can stand before the president, the press and Patrick Duffy, and tell jokes without severe repercussions.” And for TVNewser, it’s a night where the people we cover all year — executives, producers, reporters and anchors from every major network — are all together in the same room: the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, which we attended this year as a guest of ABC News.

Our night began outside the entrance to the ballroom at the Washington Hilton, where we overheard now-NBC News correspdonent Cynthia McFadden ask for directions to the ABC News party. We followed her in, and a few minutes later we were chatting with Diane Sawyer, who told us she always looks forward to the Correspondents’ Dinner, and James Goldston, who said he was pleased with his first few weeks as ABC News president. In the back of the room, Fox News anchors Ainsley Earhardt and Kimberly Guilfoyle posed for a picture with Sofia Vergara; Earhardt told us afterwards that she’s “having a blast” anchoring “Fox & Friends First,” despite the crazy hours. We spotted Katie Couric chatting with former Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman and his daughter, Abby Huntsman, who is a co-host of MSNBC’s “The Cycle.”

Wolf Blitzer made the rounds with Diane Lane. We saw NBC’s Savannah Guthrie and ABC’s Lara Spencer snap a picture with Tony Goldwyn from “Scandal.” We spent a few minutes with Rebecca Jarvis, and chatted with Alicia Menendez about her participation in the TVNewser Show as well as her Twitter habit.

On the way into the ballroom, we spotted Guthrie and her husband, Mike Feldman, chatting with Bret Baier and his wife Amy. We saw Jessica Simpson and her fiance, Eric Johnson, chatting with fans. Simpson’s ex, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo, was also at the WHCD as a guest of Fox News. Read more

George Stephanopoulos Re-Signs With ‘GMA,’ ‘This Week’

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOSABC News has re-signed George Stephanopoulos to a long-term deal to continue as the anchor of “Good Morning America” and “This Week” and anchor the network’s political coverage.

“We expect him to remain with us for many, many years.  This represents what he wanted – he is committed to GMA and This Week and understands the power of those platforms,” an ABC News spokesperson said. “George is vital to the success of the news division and will continue to be a leader here at ABC News.”

Stephanopoulos has been anchor of “Good Morning America” since 2009 and of “This Week” since 2011. “GMA”  has been the top-rated morning show since 2012 and “This Week” is in a tight three-way race for the top spot among the Sunday public affairs shows.

The new deal for Stephanopoulos comes two weeks after James Goldston was named president of ABC News.

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