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Posts Tagged ‘Jeffrey Schneider’

Center for Public Integrity Responds: ‘Unfortunate PR Campaign by ABC News’

publici-icon-300x300The war of words between ABC News and The Center for Public Integrity is heating up.

CPI’s executive director Bill Buzenberg doesn’t mince words responding to ABC News President Ben Sherwood‘s request that the two organizations share CPI’s Pulitzer Prize.

“Thank you for your letter of last night regarding the black lung investigation, which was also sent to our full Board of Directors and the news media. I have to assume this is all part of an unfortunate PR campaign by ABC News,” Buzenberg writes.

He adds that ABC News joined the coal-mining industry investigation–one that resulted in Johns Hopkins shuttering their black-lung program, and congressional action–halfway through, and produced “sporadic” reporting geared toward TV, not print.

“Not true,” ABC SVP for Communications Jeffrey Schneider responds to TVNewser. “We were invited to join this investigation by the former executive director at the outset, which was October 2012.”

Schneider adds examples of joint reporting: “Many of our stories on ABC.com are bylined by Chris [Hamby], although he didn’t write them. Many of our on-air reports list him as a producer, even though he didn’t shoot anything, conduct on-camera interviews, or spend a moment in the editing booth.”

“ABC was a wonderful coalition partner, and did great television, but the Pulitzer Prize is specifically for print and digital companies,” Buzenberg tells TVNewser. “It’s not a TV award. They didn’t write the 2500-word story, written entirely by Chris Hamby.”

Buzenberg also included a response from Pulitzer Administrator Sig Gissler.

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ABC News Asking Center for Public Integrity to Share Pulitzer Prize

ABC-News-Logo-1ABC News is calling on the Center for Public Integrity to share their Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism, awarded to CPI’s Chris Hamby, taking issue with CPI’s Pulitzer submission that depicts ABC News as a minor partner in a year-long coal-mining industry investigation instead of equal partners.

“You seem to be determined that ABC was simply a megaphone for Chris Hamby’s work,” ABC President Ben Sherwood wrote in a four-page letter to CPI executive director William Buzenberg yesterday, adding that in CPI’s submission, they “omitted the names of ABC News reporters and sought to parse and diminish their contributions.”

Buzenberg isn’t conceding: “ABC is seeking to take credit for a large body of work that it did not produce,” he said in a draft response to Sherwood, POLITICO reports.

“That is a lie, that is an absolute lie,” ABC News SVP for Communications Jeffrey Schneider tells TVNewser in response to Buzenberg. “We take great exception to the CPI submission that diminished our work almost to the point of nonexistence, and took complete credit for this joint investigation which had so much impact,” Schneider continued.

The investigation placing ABC and CPI at odds exposed doctors and lawyers conspiring with the coal industry to deny sick miners their black-lung medical benefits. The report caused the famed Johns Hopkins Hospital to suspend its black-lung program; Congress also sought to craft legislation to help sick miners.

“We believe that Chris Hamby deserves a Pulitzer Prize for his work,” Schneider added. “What we take great exception to is Bill Buzenberg suggesting ABC had little to do with this reporting. We were invited to take part in this work before he was named executive director at CPI.”

The two organizations have recently shared awards on the coal-mining industry story. Last month, the Harvard Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting was awarded to reporters from both news outlets; next month the White House Correspondents Association will also honor both.

Sherwood’s full letter to CPI’s executive director after the jump.

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The Top Correspondents and Stories on Network Evening News in 2013 Were…

Tom CostelloNBC News correspondent Tom Costello got the most airtime on the evening newscasts in 2013 with 303 minutes on “NBC Nightly News.” David Muir was next with 296 minutes on “ABC World News,” and NBC’s Chief Foreign Affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell was third with 275 minutes on “Nightly.”

The numbers come from Andrew Tyndall‘s 2013 review of the most-covered stories and most-used correspondents.

The Boston Marathon bombing led the way in coverage, drawing 432 minutes across the three networks. CBS and NBC led the way with 157 and 156 minutes, respectively, with ABC presenting 119 minutes of coverage.

Tyndall was critical of ABC in this year’s report, suggesting 2013 was the year “ABC World News” “finally rejected” presenting a serious newscast.

ABC News is firing back: “Our mission is to give our viewers information that is relevant to their everyday lives,” ABC News SVP Jeffrey Schneider tells TVNewser. “Winning the Murrow for Best Newscast in 2013 and enjoying our best season in 5 years is far more meaningful than Tyndall’s method that confuses quantity with quality. ”

Tyndall, it should be noted, charges clients $15,000 for his subscription service. ABC News stopped subscribing about 10 years ago. CBS and NBC are still clients.

Rounding out the top five correspondents with the most airtime:

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Katie Couric Named Yahoo! News Global Anchor

katie004Katie Couric has been named Global News Anchor for Yahoo! News.

“It’s very exciting to be a part of a leading company at the intersection of content and technology,” Couric says. “I have great admiration for Marissa Mayer and her team and their commitment to bringing news, entertainment and information to the Yahoo community across multiple platforms. ”

Couric will debut on Yahoo! in early 2014. She’ll cover live world events while interviewing newsmakers and thought leaders. She’ll continue hosting her ABC syndicated daytime show “Katie” for the remainder of this season. Disney-ABC tells TVNewser a decision on season three of “Katie” will be made in mid-December.

“News is a definitive daily habit for our users,” adds Mayer. “Katie will work with our talented editorial team to pioneer a new chapter of digital journalism.”

But don’t expect a traditional newscast online. “We are trying to be very open-minded,” Couric tells Capital New York. “I don’t think it is going to be a half-hour evening news broadcast or a two-hour morning show.”

While she won’t be working directly for ABC News anymore, she’ll still turn up on ABC News digital channels.

“ABC News has a powerful alliance with Yahoo so we expect there will be all kinds opportunities to continue working together in the future,” ABC News SVP Jeffrey Schneider tells TVNewser.

Yahoo’s press release after the jump.
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Toasting Tory Johnson for Making the ‘Shift’ and Shedding 72 Pounds

At her book party for “Shift: How I Finally Lost Weight and Discovered a Happier Life,” “Good Morning America” contributor Tory Johnson told the story about what set her on the path, once and for all, to shed unwanted pounds. It was a conversation she had with Barbara Fedida, SVP of talent development and one of her bosses at ABC News.

The advice was so meaningful, that Johnson dedicates the book to Fedida: “For telling me what I needed to hear.”

Fittingly, Fedida hosted the party the East Side home she shares with husband ESPN Radio’s Andrew Brill. Always cheerful in her “Steals & Deals” segments, Johnson says she hasn’t been truly this happy in a long time. In 20 months, she’s lost 72 pounds — equivalent to two dogs, so said her teenage twins Jake and Emma. (The family beagle Marly weighs in at 35 lbs.) And Johnson did it on the sly, without telling her “GMA” family, until it became clear she was on a mission.

Before heading to the US Weekly event where she was honored, “GMA” anchor Robin Roberts toasted Johnson for the dedication she showed. ABC News president Ben Sherwood also raised a glass, praising Johnson for her determination and her penchant for giving really BIG GIFTS, including the two giant stuffed animals she’s given to his kids over the years. Sherwood gave Johnson her “GMA” job when he was EP of the show in the mid-2000′s Johnson’s first job in TV was as an intern at ABC’s “20/20.”

TVNewser also spotted ABC News anchors Lara Spencer, Cynthia McFadden, Amy Robach and Josh Elliot; correspondents Byron Pitts, Deborah Roberts and Gio Benitez; execs Susan Mercandetti, James Goldston, David Sloan, Morgan Hertzen, Jeffrey Schneider, Eric Avram and Sandy Cannold. Former “GMA” EP Jim Murphy, now senior EP of CNN’s “New Day.” Also, David Zincenko, Dr. Richard Besser, Deborah Norville, and Barbara Corcoran, who assisted Sherwood in presenting a gift to Johnson: a box full of zero-calorie pickles — a favorite snack on her journey.

WABC anchors David Navarro, Lee Goldberg Rob Powers and Lori Stokes also attended. We had a nice chat with meteorologist Amy Freeze (her real last name) about the science behind the weather — and also raising four kids in a two-bedroom apartment in New York City. Freeze also told us she has benefited from the “Fedida plan,” as it’s become known in the halls of ABC.

TV News Executives And Talent Toast ‘Top Of The Morning’ At Book Party

Last night the media elite gathered at the rooftop of The Park in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood to toast New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter‘s book Top of the Morning.

As the sun set over the Hudson River and the High Line park, guests sipped wine and nibbled on hummus, cheese and skewers of shrimp and scallops. NY1 traffic anchor Jamie Shupak, Stelter’s girlfriend, organized the affair.

Matt Lauer and Ann Curry send their regrets,” Stelter quipped in his remarks. Indeed, NBC’s “Today” was not represented at the party, though there were plenty of notable TV news attendees.

ABC News seemed to have the largest contingent, led by president Ben Sherwood, and joined by senior VP of content and development James Goldston, and senior VP of communications Jeffrey Schneider. CBS News was represented by chairman Jeff Fager and “CBS This Morning” co-host Charlie Rose (pictured below). NY1′s morning news anchor Pat Kiernan was there, as was CNN “Piers Morgan Live” EP (and former “Today” EP) Jonathan Wald. Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley, New York Post publisher Jesse Angelo and Gawker founder Nick Denton were all spotted in the crowd.
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Barbara Walters Injured in Fall at British Ambassador’s Residence

Barbara Walters following a 2012 interview with Pres. and Mrs. Obama.

ABC’s Barbara Walters, in Washington for coverage of the Inauguration, fell on a stair while visiting the British Ambassador’s residence last evening. The fall left her with a cut on her forehead. “Out of an abundance of caution, she went to the hospital to have her cut tended to, have a full examination and remains there for observation,” says ABC News spokesperson Jeffrey Schneider. “Barbara is alert (and telling everyone what to do), which we all take as a very positive sign,” he adds.

Politico’s Mike Allen was first to report the story this morning. Walters, 83, will not be able to contribute to ABC’s reporting tomorrow and may not be back on the air for several days.

ABC News Sued Over ‘Pink Slime’ Reports

ABC News, and anchor Diane Sawyer, have been named in a defamation lawsuit filed by Beef Products Inc. (BPI).

The Dakota Dunes, S.D.-based meat processor is seeking $1.2 billion in damages for roughly 200 “false and misleading and defamatory” statements about the product officially known as lean, finely textured beef, but has been refered to as “pink slime.”

ABC’s reporting “caused consumers to believe that our lean beef is not beef at all — that it’s an unhealthy pink slime, unsafe for public consumption, and that somehow it got hidden in the meat,” said Dan Webb, an attorney for BPI.

The 257-page lawsuit cites 11 TV reports and 14 online reports between March 7 and April 3, 2012. In addition to Sawyer, ABC correspondents Jim Avila and David Kerley are also named as defendants, as is a former Dept. of Agriculture microbiologist who coined the term “pink slime” in 2002. He was the “whistleblower” featured in ABC’s reports.

“The lawsuit is without merit,” says ABC News SVP Jeffrey Schneider, adding, “We will contest it vigorously.”

Watch Avila’s report from March 7, after the jump…

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ABC’s Niagara Falls Wallenda Stunt Will be on a Delay

When Nik Wallenda, of the famous flying and tight rope-walking Wallendas, makes his way above Niagara Falls next month, what you see on TV will be on a slight delay. In a story in today’s New York Times, ABC says it will put the walk on a delay, just in case:

ABC television plans to broadcast the walk in a three-hour special, but also plans a 5- to 10-second delay, just in case. “We want it to be exciting and thrilling, but we also want every parent in America to hear loud and clear that we’re going to make it comfortable for them to watch with their kids,” said Jeffrey Schneider, an ABC spokesman.

ABC News and Wallenda, a 7th-generation daredevil, came to an agreement last week on broadcasting the walk on June 15. “It’s a return to some of the great events you’ve seen on television over the years,” Schneider told the AP. “I think back to my own childhood and Evel Knievel where literally the whole country would gather around the set and watch one of these extraordinary stunts.”

Media analyst and Syracuse professor Robert Thompson says the element of danger — Wallenda will be untethered, walking without a net — becomes an issue of media ethics. “They’re planning a show where one of the pre-production activities is making sure everyone knows what happens in case this guy dies. The real tension here is not will he get from one side to the other, the tension is will he make it across without dying, and I think there are some real serious ethical issues.”

Is CNN Trying to Poach Jake Tapper From ABC?

Our sister site FishbowlDC reported this morning that CNN is actively pursing Jake Tapper, the senior white house correspondent for ABC News. Although Tapper is currently under contract with ABC, network execs at CNN — including SVP Amy Entelis, who joined CNN in January after 30 years at ABC — have their eye on him, Betsy Rothstein reports.

Tapper responded this afternoon, calling his current gig “a dream job.” “I couldn’t be happier where I am right now,” he told FishbowlDC.

“Hardly surprised to read about all kinds of poachers being interested in Jake Tapper — that’s what happens when you are at the top of your profession,” ABC News SVP Jeffrey Schneider said. “We are thrilled Jake works for ABC News and expect him to have a leadership role here for a long time to come.”

A spokesperson for CNN declined to comment.

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