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Posts Tagged ‘Jim Bell’

Morning Show Battles to Heat Up with Summer Concerts

“Good Morning America” is out with its Summer concert lineup, complete with #hashtags. The 2013 Summer Concert Series kicks off May 24 at Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield with:

May 24 – Mariah Carey – #GMAMariah
May 31 –Pitbull – #GMAPitbull
June 7 –Little Mix and Emblem3 – #GMALittleMix / #GMAEmblem3
June 14 – Carly Rae Jepsen – #GMACarlyRae
June 21 – John Legend – #GMALegend
June 28 – Demi Lovato – #GMADemi
July 5 – Imagine Dragons – #GMADragons
July 12 – OneRepublic – #GMAOneRepublic
July 19 – Jennifer Lopez – #GMAJLo
July 26 – Selena Gomez – #GMASelena
August 2 – Ne-Yo – #GMANeYo
August 9 – Kenny Chesney – #GMAKenny
August 16 – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – #GMAMacklemore
August 23 – The Wanted – #GMATheWanted
August 30 – Alicia Keys – #AliciaGMA

The “Today” show, which has yet to release its lineup, originated the concept of televised concerts on Summer Fridays 18 years ago. “GMA” began its concerts in 2002, setting off a booking and ratings battle. Here’s an email I received from a morning show executive when the Summer concerts kicked off in 2011: “Lady Gaga failed to deliver the goods for GMA last Friday… in an epic battle of summer concert kickoffs, Rihanna & TODAY were victorious.”

In “Top of the Morning,” Brian Stelter reveals that last Spring “GMA’s” concert booker departed, leaving the show with “B- and C-level acts like Robin Thicke and the Beach Boys and a lot of blank space on its schedule. While Usher was kicking off the summer concert series on Today, GMA unveiled a summer lineup with six Fridays listed as ‘TBA.’ “They really must love this band ‘TBA,’” [Today EP] Jim Bell said in a email.”

“We are proud and excited about this incredible lineup,” Senior Executive Producer Tom Cibrowski tells TVNewser about the 2013 series. “Our entertainment team worked unbelievably hard to set up the best Summer ever on GMA.”

What Kind of Inside Access Did Brian Stelter Get for ‘Top of the Morning?’

Brian Stelter‘s new book “Top of the Morning,” about the morning show wars, excerpted over the weekend in The New York Times Magazine and this morning in Playbook, is out tomorrow. To get an inside account, Stelter had to get inside the networks as the battles were waged in what would be a tumultuous year for all three networks.

So, what kind of access did he get to the shows, anchors and producers? In “A note about sourcing” at the end of the book, Stelter writes that his visits to the control rooms and studios, “shaped the book in big and small ways.”

“NBC, ABC, and CBS insisted that most of these visits be off the record, with the understanding that they’d decide which quotes could be placed on the record later,” he writes. “I agreed to the restriction, knowing it was the only way I’d receive any access to the otherwise sealed-off studios, control rooms and production offices of the shows.”

ABC scrubbed a few curse words from producers’ mouths but allowed virtually every other quote. NBC was more heavy-handed every one of [former "Today" EP] Jim Bell‘s quotes from my control room visits were kept “off the record.” So were descriptions of Bell’s body language and his demeanor, descriptions of other staffers reacting to Bell, and some quotes from Ann Curry. NBC approved most of the rest of the control room material. Once in a while, on particularly sensitive days when the PR apparatuses of NBC and ABC denied access to their studios, I simply peered into their street-level windows like a tourist.”

More from Stelter tomorrow in Part I of our MediaBeat interview.

Today Show ‘Focused on Major News’ Not ‘Year-old Gossip’

NBC News is responding to excerpts from Brian Stelter‘s new book “Top of the Morning” in this weekend’s The New York Times Sunday Magazine. The first third of the book, out Tuesday, is about the “Today” show’s long rise and sudden fall from the top of the morning shows including inside details about those behind it: former EP Jim Bell, former NBC News president Steve Capus and of course Matt Lauer and Ann Curry.

The Magazine story has itself been excerpted dozens of times across numerous sites since it went online Wednesday. For its part, the “Today” show is trying to look the other way: “We are focused on covering several major news stories this week and producing the best show we can for our viewers, not on year-old gossip.”

Ann Curry, Jim Bell and ‘Operation Bambi’

As we told you yesterday, the first excerpts — and, in fact, the first several chapters — of Brian Stelter‘s Top of the Morning deals with Ann Curry‘s ouster from the “Today” show couch. Stelter paints a picture of the months leading up to Curry’s emotional goodbye, reporting that the chief architect of the plan was former executive producer Jim Bell, who presided over the show’s “boys club atmosphere.” Bell was was convinced Curry’s exit was vital to the show’s survival, Stelter writes:

At one point, the executive producer, Jim Bell, commissioned a blooper reel of Curry’s worst on-air mistakes. Another time, according to a producer, Bell called staff members into his office to show a gaffe she made during a cross-talk with a local station. (Bell denies both incidents.) Then several boxes of Curry’s belongings ended up in a coat closet, as if she had already been booted off the premises. One staff person recalled that “a lot of time in the control room was spent making fun of Ann’s outfit choices or just generally messing with her.” On one memorable spring morning, Curry wore a bright yellow dress that spawned snarky comparisons to Big Bird. The staff person said that others in the control room, which included 14 men and 3 women, according to my head count one morning, Photoshopped a picture of Big Bird next to Curry and asked co-workers to vote on “Who wore it best?” Read more

Palace Intrigue During ‘Today’ Show Changes

Joe Hagan‘s 6,400-word New York magazine cover story on the “Today” show’s troubles includes intriguing behind-the-scenes details that TV producers would love to dramatize for an audience — if so many TV producers weren’t involved. Hagan writes about the acrimony between two now-departed NBC News executives, Jim Bell the longtime “Today” show EP and his boss, Steve Capus, who departed NBC News after 20 years last month.

Bell’s direct boss was Steve Capus, president of NBC News, who’d risen to power as the aggressive producer of Nightly News. Capus was involved in some of those conversations and agreed that Curry was a problem. But that wasn’t Capus’s only issue. He was rankled by Bell’s close relationship with [NBCU CEO Steve] Burke, worrying that Bell was consolidating power and angling to replace him. The two jockeyed for control over the Curry situation, sending mixed messages and sowing confusion, which made the trouble much harder to resolve.

And while Capus and Bell have moved on — Bell to NBC Olympics — the changes did not end there. The two people now in charge of “Today” had also “eyed the door,” reports Hagan:

Read more

Who’s In Line to Take Over at NBC News?

In his farewell note to staff, departing NBC News president Steve Capus writes, “I have much I hope to accomplish in the next phase of my career.” So, too, do the men and women vying to replace Capus. Capus says NBCU News group Chairman Pat Fili-Krushel “will be meeting with people throughout the division, and articulating her vision for the NBCUniversal News Group.”

There are strong internal candidates, some of whom, it has been announced by Fili-Krushel, will take on additional duties. Alex Wallace (above, right), who oversees “Today,” and “Rock Center” will now oversee “Nightly News,” where she was once EP. Wallace, who’s been with NBC since 2005, would be the first female news president after nine men have held the job since 1968.

Phil Griffin will likely be considered for the job. As president of MSNBC for the last 4 and a half years he has given the network an identity and boosted ratings, consistently topping CNN — a network his close friend Jeff Zucker now runs. A front office and internal concern would be the progressive programming on the network, often not in line with NBC News standards. Mark Hoffman, president of CNBC, cannot be ruled out. Nor can Capus’ deputy, Antoine Sanfuentes, (above, left) who will run day-to-day in the interim.

External candidates are also plentiful…

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Female Debate Moderators Candy Crowley, Martha Raddatz Make THR’s ‘Rule Breakers’ List

CNN’s Candy Crowley and ABC’s Martha Raddatz were the female moderators of this year’s Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates, landing the pair on The Hollywood Reporter’s annual year-end “Rule Breakers” list. Crowley and Raddatz reflect on the experience:

Crowley, 63, maintains she didn’t think too much about breaking the decades-long dry spell, but when the letters from women — young and old — came pouring in, “It hit me,” she says. “The optics matter.” And when in pre-debate interviews on CNN and elsewhere Crowley said she would attempt to get the candidates off of their talking points by pressing them with follow-up questions, both campaigns privately protested — a move criticized as defensive and vaguely sexist.

So would the women subject themselves to the debate ringer again? “In a heartbeat,” says Crowley. Raddatz agrees. “You walk off the stage, and you say, ‘Oh, thank God it’s over.’ And then you think, ‘That was fun.’ I used to say about summer in Iraq [where she has traveled 21 times]: ‘It’s so horrible; I’m never going back in the summer.’ And then you forget, and you go back.”

Also on the list: NBC’s Bob Costas and Jim Bell, who helmed NBC’s coverage of the 2012 Olympics, and ABC’s “Good Morning America” team, who overtook “Today” to become the top morning show in 2012. The list was a topic of conversation on “GMA” this morning, with Lara Spencer calling the show “the bad boys of morning TV.”

‘Today’ Toasts Jim Bell

The cast and crew of NBC’s “Today” (including former co-anchor Meredith Vieira) held an on-air toast to honor executive producer Jim Bell today. Bell is moving to NBC Olympics, where he will lead the network’s coverage of the Games. NBC has the rights to the 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020 games.

“He will do a fantastic job at that, and we want you to know that you have been a great producer, and also a great friend,” Matt Lauer said.

WATCH:

Morning Show Ratings: Week of November 19 & November Sweeps

“Good Morning America” has won its first November sweeps in more than 18 years ranking as the #1 morning show in total viewers (first since Nov. 1995) and A25-54 viewers (first since July 1994).

“GMA” led “Today” by +467,000 total viewers and +28,000 younger viewers for the month. Compared to the previous sweeps month, July (which “GMA” took in Total Viewers and “Today” won in younger viewers), “GMA” was up +17.

“GMA” had its largest November audience in 8 years.

The averages for the 2012 November Sweep:

  • Total Viewers: ABC: 5.314M / NBC: 4.847M / CBS: 2.773M
  • A25-54 viewers: ABC: 2.023M / NBC: 1.995M / CBS: 1.048M

For the week of November 19, Jim Bell‘s penultimate week as executive producer of “Today,” the NBC show notched a win in younger viewers. Bell moves to NBC Sports while senior broadcast producer Don Nash starts Monday as the show’s EP. “GMA” still wins the week in Total Viewers and compared to the same week last year is up +4% in total viewers and up +5 in younger viewers. “Today” is down -16% / -15% while “CBS This Morning” is +9% / -5%

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, ABC’s and NBC’s weekly averages are based on three days (Mon-Wed), while CBS’ average is based on two days (Mon and Tues).

The averages for the week of November 19, 2012:

  • Total Viewers: ABC: 5.174M / NBC: 4.688M / CBS: 2.672M
  • A25-54 viewers: ABC: 1.976M / NBC: 2.005M / CBS: 925K

Jim Bell Talks About Olympics Gig

Former NBC “Today” EP Jim Bell talks to Sports Business Daily about his jump to running NBC’s Olympics coverage full-time. Bell just returned from a trip to Sochi, Russia, one of many he will make in advance of the 2014 games. Bell left “Today” this week, and was replaced by Alex Wallace as executive in charge of the program and Don Nash as EP.

Q: Why do you want this job?
Bell: Part of it goes back to being a kid and watching the Olympics, as an 11 year old, watching the Miracle on Ice. The global aspect of it is particularly appealing to me. Particularly at a time when the world could use its share of positive moments, the Olympics are a particularly great example of the world coming together. That may sound trite to some. But having done my share of Olympics, it doesn’t to me.

Bell also talked about leaving “Today”:
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