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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Fager’

Steve Capus: ‘I’m Very, Very Happy To Have This Be My Professional Home These Days’

Capus_CBS_LowThis summer, we’re putting a spotlight on the industry’s top producers; getting the inside story about their shows, how they got to where they are, and advice they have for future TV journalists.

After 20 years at 30 Rock, which saw him rise from producer, to executive producer to president of NBC News, Steve Capus took a break from the business last year. Not long after entering the world of academia, Capus was pulled back in to TV news signing on as EP of the “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley.”

Capus, who is one of only a few people to have overseen flagship newscasts on two networks, says the evening news is alive and well: “I’m so sick of seeing articles written about how these broadcasts are going to die off,” he tells us.

TVNewser: You’ve been in the TV news business for almost 30 years. What are the biggest changes you’ve seen?

Capus: There are a number of changes and yet the more things change, the more they stay the same. The technological changes are obvious and the ease that our audiences can consume our content has obviously been the biggest change. On the technological side, it’s so much easier these days to do a broadcast from a place like Iraq [where Scott Pelley reported from this week]. And yet, the reason I say things stay the same, what still comes into play is the fundamentals: a commitment to outstanding journalism, enterprise reporting, investigative reporting, strong storytelling; those things will never go out of fashion. If anything, the people who make those commitments to all of of those things are going to continue to stay relevant to the audience in a world where so much news information is commoditized. Making those commitments to doing those things in a unique manner is how you end up standing out from the crowd.

TVNewser: You were President of NBC News in your last 8 years there. What made you want to return to the business an an EP?

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Steve Capus Named Executive Producer of ‘CBS Evening News’

CapusSteve11Former NBC News president Steve Capus is joining CBS News as the executive producer of “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” and executive editor of the news division. He will begin in his new role in July.

Capus was president of NBC News for eight years, from 2005 to 2013. Before that he was executive producer of “NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw” and later Brian Williams from May 2001 to June 2005.  At CBS, he replaces Patrica Shevlin who is joining “60 Minutes.”

“The Evening News is an excellent broadcast, and we believe under Steve’s leadership it will get even better,” Jeff Fager, CBS News chairman said in a statement. “He is a real pro with an extraordinary record, and we are fortunate to have him joining us at CBS News.”

Capus will be the third “Evening News” EP in three years. Shevlin oversaw the show when Pelley joined as anchor in 2011. Before that, Rick Kaplan was EP of the show for four years, when it was the “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.” A few years earlier, Kaplan worked for Capus at NBC News when Kaplan was president of MSNBC. And in a further show of how small the TV news world really is, Kaplan replaced Rome Hartman as EP of “Evening News.” Hartman was later hired by Capus at NBC News to launch “Rock Center.”

Capus will now be competing head-to-head against his friend and former NBC colleague Brian Williams. Capus also produced Williams’ MSNBC show in the late 1990s before moving up the ranks at NBC News.

As Executive Editor Capus joins the CBS News management team “as a resource for colleagues around the Broadcast Center and a strategist on coverage of ongoing stories,” says David Rhodes, CBS News president.

The release and Rhodes’ note are after the jump. Read more

‘The Proverbial Perfect Storm’ of Lara Logan’s Benghazi Report

LaraLogan304In an in-depth report for New York magazine, Joe Hagan pieces together “the proverbial perfect storm” that led to Lara Logan‘s now-infamous Benghazi report on “60 Minutes” last year. The piece focuses on Jeff Fager‘s leadership of “60 Minutes,” as well as Logan’s rapid rise at CBS News, reportedly orchestrated in part because CBS chairman Les Moonves saw her “steely eyes, breathless delivery, and exotic accent as the raw material of a future star.”

Logan “delivered the kind of muscular reports that inoculated CBS against charges of a leftist agenda following the Rather incident, especially valuable in the patriotic climate after 9/11,” Hagan writes:

As Logan rose, however, Fager was left to manage the risk inherent in Moonves’s asset. Logan had a zealousness that could cross the line into recklessness, a confidence that could come off as arrogance. A common view among current and former colleagues (keeping in mind that not-for-attribution backbiting and Schadenfreude are a stock-in-trade of TV news) is that Logan’s star power blinded her superiors to her flaws. “She got everything she wanted, always, even when she was wrong, and that’s been going on since the beginning,” says a former CBS News producer who worked with her.  Read more

Bill O’Reilly Slams Press for Not ‘Giving a Damn’ on Benghazi, ‘CBS Evening News’

O'ReillyBill O’Reilly led the “O’Reilly Factor” last night taking on the “disgraceful” media for not caring enough about the newly uncovered emails from White House adviser Ben Rhodes providing talking points to former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice before her Sunday show interviews several days after the 2012 U.S. consulate terror attack in Benghazi, Libya.

“ABC should have led with it,” O’Reilly said on “World News” covering the story 10 minutes into its broadcast Wednesday night. He went on to note “CBS Evening News” didn’t cover the story that night, and that “NBC Nightly News” did a 30-second reader. “The Obama administration was completely derelict in the Benghazi terror attack, and was dishonest in the aftermath…and the national press doesn’t give a damn? Disgraceful,” O’Reilly concluded.

Later in the show, O’Reilly spoke with Fox News’ Chief White House Correspondent Ed Henry–who was on the receiving end of a barb about Fox News from White House Press Secretary Jay Carney at yesterday’s press briefing–about a “curious” connection between CBS News and the White House.

“Who’s running CBS News?” O’Reilly asked Henry, who answered Jeff Fager and David Rhodes, who is CBS News’ President. “And who’s David Rhodes?” O’Reilly followed up. “He used to work at Fox News, he’s related to Ben Rhodes…I think that’s what you’re trying to get at,” Henry responded, adding that they’re both honorable people. “I’m not casting aspersions, and certainly Mr. Fager is top of the line, but something is going on,” O’Reilly concluded.

Last night, “CBS Evening News” and “NBC Nightly News” didn’t cover the Benghazi emails story. “World News with Diane Sawyer” did a 45-second voice over covering retired Brigadier General Robert Lovell testifying in front of Congress on the attacks.

WATCH:

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TVNewsers Honored at TIME 100 Gala

TIME 100 Gala, TIME's 100 Most Influential People In The World - Cocktails

Barbara Walters and Charlie Rose at the TIME 100 Gala. (Getty Images)

TVNewsers turned up last night to celebrate TIME’s 100 most-influential people. This year, CBS’s Charlie Rose and FNC’s Megyn Kelly made this list. Former honorees Rupert Murdoch, Matt Lauer, Katie Couric, Mehmet Oz and Barbara Walters made an appearance at last night’s event to mingle with the eclectic crowd of politicians, activists, scientists and entrepreneurs.

“Feels great, [I'm] honored, I love it,” Rose told us about his appearance as an Icon in this year’s TIME 100. However, he wasn’t quite sure if “Icon” was the appropriate designation: “It sounds like a lifetime achievement thing, and I think I’m in mid-career,” he quipped. Read more

The Hollywood Reporter’s Annual ’35 Most Powerful People in New York Media’

Television news executives and personalities are well represented on The Hollywood Reporter‘s annual “35 Most Powerful People in New York Media” list.

From the executive ranks: CBS News chairman Jeff Fager and president David Rhodes; NBC News chairman Pat Fili-Krushel and president Deborah Turness; and incoming Disney/ABC Television group president Ben Sherwood and ABC News president James Goldston represent the broadcast networks. On the cable side, Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, MSNBC president Phil Griffin, CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker and Bloomberg Media Group CEO Justin Smith make the list.

The main anchors for the broadcast networks — Brian Williams, Diane Sawyer and Scott Pelley — are all on the list, as well as morning anchors from each network. For NBC, it’s Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and Willie Geist; Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell represent CBS; and for ABC, Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos and Lara Spencer. “Good Morning America” senior executive producer Tom Cibrowski and “CBS Sunday Morning” EP Rand Morrison are also named.

As for cable news talent, all three Fox News primetime hosts — Bill O’Reilly, Megyn Kelly and Sean Hannity — make the list. From MSNBC, Rachel Maddow, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough; and from CNN, Anderson Cooper.

Other notable additions: Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, Jimmy Fallon, Bob Costas, Michael Strahan and Kelly Ripa.

TVNewser will be at the party celebrating the honorees tonight.

[Images via Hollywood Reporter]

Ben Sherwood’s Champagne Toast from ABC News Colleagues

BEN SHERWOOD (PRESIDENT, ABC NEWS)ABC News president Ben Sherwood got a champagne toast from his senior team Tuesday following the news of his promotion to co-president of Disney/ABC TV. Sherwood was tapped for the top job on Monday. He’ll take over for Anne Sweeney early next year. It’s the first time an ABC News president has moved up to the top job at the network. “People are thrilled at the prospect of having an ally like Ben in Burbank,” an ABC insider tells TVNewser.

Sherwood took the red eye back to New York Tuesday morning. In the 9am editorial meeting he got a round of applause from ABC News staffers in New York and beyond. “He was very humble and gave credit to the whole news division,” says our source.

Sherwood has been the boss at ABC News a little over three years — but still the veteran news division chief having been in the job a few months longer than Jeff Fager and David Rhodes at CBS. Deborah Turness took over at NBC News last summer.

ABC News already has a sizable chunk of ABC real estate, with three hours a day of news between “GMA” “World News” and “Nightline,” as well as “20/20,” “Nightline Prime”, and other primetime specials. The news division also experimented with “Good Afternoon America” in the summer of 2012.

Sherwood’s senior staff, including show EPs, met around 3pm yesterday for a champagne toast. We hear none of them pitched Sherwood on a new ABC show… at least not yet. Sherwood’s first order of business will be to choose his successor at ABC News.

Peabody-Winning ’60 Minutes’ Producer Adrian ‘Clem’ Taylor has Died

ClemTaylorAdrian “Clem” Taylor, who won a Peabody Award for an uplifting “60 Minutes” story on an improbable orchestra in the heart of the Congo, died today. Taylor, 60, had been battling pancreatic cancer since last May and passed away at a hospital in Newark, NJ.

“Clem was a wonderful man, a great friend to so many of us, and a world-class producer,” said Jeff Fager, “60 Minutes” executive producer and the chairman of CBS News.

Taylor spent nearly twenty years at CBS News, in two different stints. He joined “60 Minutes” in 2010. In the late 1990s he was a senior producer for “The Early Show,” and before that, was a producer in the CBS bureaus in Washington and Dallas. Taylor worked the first decade of the 21st century at ABC News, where he produced for “Primetime Live,” “20/20,” and “What Would You Do?” He also spent two years at Fox News producing “Fox Files,” and also had stints at CNBC, ESPN and NPR.

Bill Whitaker Joins ’60 Minutes’

BillWhitakerNewCBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker has been named a correspondent for “60 Minutes.”

“Bill Whitaker is one of the great veterans of CBS News. He has had a distinguished career covering just about every kind of story all over the world,” said CBS News chairman and “60 Minutes” EP Jeff Fager.

“Bill is a natural fit at ’60 Minutes’ and it’s exciting that he has agreed to join us.”

Whitaker has been with CBS News for 30 years, joining in 1984 with stretches reporting from Atlanta, Tokyo, South Africa,  and Los Angeles.

He’s covered everything from earthquakes in Japan and Haiti, to presidential campaigns, to the O.J. Simpson trials, to the early stages of the Afghanistan War.

Vicente Arenas Joins CBS News

vicente arenasVicente Arenas is joining CBS News as a Miami-based correspondent, CBS News chairman Jeff Fager and president David Rhodes announced today.

Arenas comes to CBS from Houston, where he has been the weekend anchor at CBS affiliate KHOU since 2003. He will begin at CBS on March 17.

TVSpy has more details.

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