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Posts Tagged ‘Jim Bell’

NBC Olympics Nominated for Four Primetime Emmys

LauerVieiraSochiAmong the Emmy nominations announced yesterday, NBC Sports is up for four Creative Arts Emmy nominations for the 2014 Sochi Opening Ceremony. The ceremony, hosted by Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira and the New Yorker‘s David Remnick, earned nominations for Outstanding Special Class Program, Outstanding Art Direction for a Variety Special, Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Special and Outstanding Technical Direction/Camerawork/Video Control for a Miniseries.

“No single event captures the world’s attention and imagination like an Olympics Opening Ceremony,” said Jim Bell, executive producer of NBC Olympics., who was EP of the Opening Cereomony coverage. “These nominations are a welcome recognition of a job well done by many people at NBC Olympics, and also by our wonderful partners.”

Lauer and Vieira, you’ll recall, also worked overtime during the Sochi games filling in for several days for the ailing Bob Costas during NBC’s primetime telecast. The winners of the 2014 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards will be announced Saturday, August 16.

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Jamie Horowitz Named SVP/General Manager of ‘Today’ Show

JamieHorowitzESPN executive Jamie Horowitz is joining NBC News as SVP and GM of the “Today” show. But his ESPN contract won’t allow him to take the job until later this year.

Horowitz, who will report to NBC News president Deborah Turness, will lead the four hours of “Today” on all platforms. Executive producer Don Nash, “Weekend Today” EP Dee Dee Thomas, and Jen Brown the GM of Today.com, will report to Horowitz.

At ESPN, Horowitz is Vice President of Original Programming and Production. He has overseen the launch of Keith Olbermann‘s ESPN2 show as well as “First Take,” “Numbers Never Lie,” and “SportsNation.” Before joining ESPN in 2006, Horowitz worked at NBC Sports. He began his career as an NBC Olympics Researcher for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.

“I am honored to join Deborah’s team and help guide ‘Today’ into the future,” said Horowitz in a news release. “This is an exciting and invigorating opportunity, and I am humbled to work with one of the most indelible brands in television. I am also grateful to John Skipper and ESPN for the opportunities and support they have given me over the past eight years.”

Horowitz is another in a line of “Today” show leaders who got their start with NBC Olympics. Former EP Jim Bell, now the EP of NBC Olympics, got his start as a producer for NBC’s coverage of the 1992 Barcelona Games. Now CNN Worldwide president, one-time “Today” show EP Jeff Zucker‘s first job at NBC was as a researcher at the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

Deadspin first reported back in January that NBC was talking with Horowitz about the job.

See Turness’ internal note to staff, after the jump…

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Tom Brokaw Hosts ‘Space Race’ Special Today

olympics nbc_sochi1Following today’s dramatic shootout Team USA win over Russia in Olympic Hockey, NBC News special correspondent Tom Brokaw takes a look at another Cold War rivalry, the conquest of space.

In “Space Race,” airing at 3pmET today on NBC, Brokaw examines the most memorable moments of Cold War battles fought in space including Sputnik; Alexei Leonov’s first-ever spacewalk; the Apollo 11 moon landing; and the joint U.S.-Soviet “Apollo-Soyuz” mission in 1975 that, according to astronaut Tom Stafford, ended the race.

“Tom Brokaw is the perfect voice to guide us through this journey, telling a powerful story through interviews with astronauts, cosmonauts, historians, and family members of those intimately involved in this epic contest,” says Olympics EP Jim Bell.

Brokaw, who turned 74 last week, worked on this special, and others, as he battles multiple myeloma.

Matt Lauer Will Be Back For Third Night of Olympics Coverage

Matt Lauer will host a third night of NBC’s Olympics primetime and late night for the ailing Bob Costas as Costas continues to battle an eye infection. Before Wednesday’s primetime, Jim Bell, who is running the show in Sochi for NBC, and worked with Lauer on “Today,” Tweeted:

And now you can add another 5+ hours as Lauer adds primetime and late night duties tonight. And the infection may be spreading to other networks. On “CBS This Morning” Norah O’Donnell motioned to Jeff Glor who was also uncharacteristically wearing specs on set: “Poor Jeff Glor has got a Costas infection going on.”

Matt Lauer Will Be Filling in for Bob Costas, As Eye Infection Spreads

CostasEyesLauerBob Costas‘s eye infection, most likely pink eye, is getting worse. So much so, that Matt Lauer will be filling in for him on NBC’s primetime coverage tonight.

The infection, which began on the first day of NBC’s Sochi coverage, has spread from Costas’ left eye to his right eye. Last night, Costas’ reddened eyes lit up Twitter.  This morning on “Today” Lauer and Al Roker talked about how they saw Costas having breakfast in the hotel. “You gotta feel for the guy,” said Lauer. Costas then called in to the show and broke the news to Lauer that he’ll be filling in. Costas used a baseball metaphor to pitch the news.

“I was trying to throw a complete game here,” said Costas. “But I think we’re going to have to go to the bullpen. And I don’t know if you’re aware of this, or not, but you’re Mariano Rivera at least tonight.”

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 9.11.40 AMLauer groaned: “So I’m going to step in for you tonight? The master of Olympic prime time?”

“I believe that’s it. And let’s hope it’s only tonight. Because right now I’m walking around — I might as well be playing Marco Polo. I have no idea where I am.”

During NBC’s late night show last night, Costas took a sip of Russian vodka adding, “My eyes can’t get any redder.” After he heard the news this morning, Lauer said, “I’ll be doing the shots of vodka starting in about 15 minutes.”

Lauer’s turn in prime time will pair him with his old “Today” show EP Jim Bell who is heading up NBC’s Olympics coverage.

Video from the “Today” show after the jump…

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Human Rights Campaign to Track NBC’s Sochi Coverage

SochiNBC304The Hollywood Reporter’s Marisa Guthrie reports that the Human Rights Campaign will be monitoring NBC’s coverage of Russia’s anti-LGBT laws during the Sochi Olympics.

The Human Rights Campaign plans to track NBC’s coverage of Russia’s troublesome anti-gay laws during the 17 days of Olympic competition. The law makes expressions of homosexuality, or “propaganda,” illegal, putting LGBT Russians and those visiting the country in legal jeopardy, but also spurring violence against many in that community.

“NBC has a unique opportunity to report on Russia’s inhumane assault on the rights of LGBT people to the millions of American television viewers tuning in to watch the Olympic Games over the next few weeks,” HRC president Chad Griffin said in a statement. “They’ve promised to not shy away from covering the issue, and we will hold them to their word.”

EP of NBC’s Olympics coverage Jim Bell told reporters that the coverage isn’t intended to “poke a sharp stick in anybody’s eyes,” but NBC won’t ignore the topic, leaning heavily on the resources of NBC News in the event of breaking news. Read more

David Remnick Joins NBC for Sochi Olympics

contributor_davidremnickphoto2013_p300_cropDavid Remnick, the editor of the The New Yorker, has been hired by NBC Olympics boss and former “Today” EP Jim Bell for NBC’s Sochi coverage.

SI.com reports the Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, a Russophile who is fluent in Russian, will offer commentary during coverage of the opening ceremony February 7 and also contribute to NBC News in other select spots.

On why he’s adding his voice to the Olympic games, Remnick cited an 18th century writer/philosopher turning down an invitation… to an orgy.

Asked why he decided to join NBC’s coverage of the Sochi Games next February, David Remnick recalled a famous Voltaire quote about turning down an invitation to an orgy, having attended one the previous night for the first time.

“You know the expression once a philosopher, twice a pervert?” said Remnick, in a phone interview on Saturday. “I think in life you ought to try something once if it is honest work and does not interfere with your main job.”

Bell thinks Remnick will bring value to the news surrounding the Olympics.
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2020 Summer Olympics Go to Tokyo

The 2020 Summer Olympics will be held in Tokyo, it was announced this afternoon by outgoing IOC president Jacques Rogge. Tokyo beat out Istanbul and Madrid as the other two possible host cities. Tokyo last held the Summer games in 1964. Japan has also twice hosted the Winter Olympics. This means the 2018 and 2020 games will both be held in Asia. The 2018 Winter Olympics will be held in PyeongCheng, South Korea.

The 2020 Olympics will be the last games for NBC in its current deal as U.S. rights holder. In 2011, NBC agreed to a $4.38 billion contract with the IOC to broadcast the 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2020 Olympics, the most expensive television rights deal in Olympic history.

Jim Bell, the former NBC News “Today” show EP, now the EP of NBC Olympics Tweeted:

 

‘Today’ Show ‘Rethinking the Plaza Experience’

On Thursday, the “Today” show marks 19 years in their “Window on the World,” Studio 1A. The street-side studio, which debuted June 20, 1994, has been a gathering spot for tourists and locals alike, as celebrities and chefs, musicians and athletes discuss their newest project or sing from their latest album. But this Summer, the studio is getting its first makeover in 7 years and as part of the process the show is “rethinking the plaza experience,” reports the New York Times’ Brian Stelter.

That doesn’t mean the plaza will be used less. In fact, the show has now put an NBC News Page on the plaza acting as a sort of MC for the crowd.

The studio makeover is a continuation of changes at “Today,” which had its 16-year winning streak broken in April 2012 by ABC’s “Good Morning America.” In the tumultuous year since, anchor Ann Curry left the show, EP Jim Bell moved to NBC Sports. And now longtime director Joe Michaels is also moving on from his position. Michaels has been named senior director and one of his first tasks is implementing the new studio. Just last week, Matt Lauer presented Michaels with a distinguished alumni award from Seton Hall University.

Here’s a clip from the first day of the Window on the World studio:

Brian Stelter On NBC’s Response to ‘Top of the Morning,’ Negative Reviews

Though the critics have skewered his first book, Brian Stelter chooses to see the coffee cup as half full.

“Honestly, I appreciate the feedback,” says Stelter, 27, author of Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV, and a media reporter for the New York Times. (Full disclosure: Stelter founded TVNewser when he was a college student)

“I’m not making this up,” he continues. “I want to learn how to be a better writer and reporter. I do think normal readers come away really happy, really entertained.”

‘Normal readers’ probably don’t include a trio of power players, past and present, from NBC. ‘Morning’ paints a less than flattering portrait of ‘Today’ co-anchor Matt Lauer; his former boss, Jim Bell; and ex-NBC News president Steve Capus.

All were involved, to varying degrees, in the ham-handed – and excruciatingly public — ouster of Lauer’s co-anchor, Ann Curry, according to the book. Bell had dubbed it ‘Operation Bambi,’ not knowing, of course, that Curry would come out looking as innocent and victimized as the white-tailed fawn in his title.

Lauer is the clear villain of the piece, prompting Entertainment Weekly to accuse Stelter of having a ‘vendetta’ against the mega-millionaire anchor.

Stelter labels the accusation as ‘preposterous.’

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