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Posts Tagged ‘Jon Banner’

Diane Sawyer Bears Down on Chicago

Nationally, she anchors the #2 network evening newscast, but in Chicago, ABC’s Diane Sawyer is #1, thanks to the very strong sign-on to sign-off showing of Chicago O&O WLS. So today, Sawyer is in Chicago where she will anchor tonight’s “World News.” The Chicago Tribune’s Phil Rosenthal talked with Sawyer and her EP Jon Banner ahead of today’s visit to … Oprahville.

Another change on the horizon that could have impact on “World News” is next month’s final edition of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” The Chicago-based talk show airs on ABC’s biggest stations, and on every station but WLS it’s a lead-in to the local news that leads in to Sawyer.

“Our competition always likes to point out when we do well, it’s because of Oprah, and when we do poorly, it’s because we stink. Both can’t be true,” Banner said. “There’s always opportunity and risk in change, but … we’ll be just fine.”

Sawyer is attending the Chicago Network’s 22nd Annual Women in the Forefront Luncheon today and will be interviewed by WLS anchor Kathy Brock. Tonight’s “World News” will include an interview with the president of Oak Brook-based McDonald’s, Jan Fields.

Where Does Diane Sawyer Get her Ratings Info?

We like to think we’re the one-stop blog for TV and cable news news. The most popular posts we write on any given day are the ratings posts: the daily cable news Scoreboard, the evening news ratings on Tuesdays and the morning show ratings on Thursdays. We like to think a lot of the people who work in TV news get their ratings information from us. And here’s further proof that it’s true.

During the Kalb Report discussion at the National Press Club Tuesday, broadcast on C-SPAN Wednesday, ABC’s Diane Sawyer, who was the honored guest, was asked whether she looks at her ratings.

Marvin Kalb: Do you look after the ratings?

Diane Sawyer: I know you won’t believe this. [laughter] Ratings sail into me occasionally when I see TVNewser, or when someone looks very glum, but I don’t check them myself. I’ve told Jon Banner, our executive producer to check them someplace else. I would rather not. I get as excited as anyone when I know something that we cared about connected with an audience. I love that. But I simply don’t want to be hostage to that.

TVNewser Bracket Challenge 2011: It’s On

The time has come. The very first March Madness games are underway, and with them, comes the 2011 TVNewser bracket challenge.

Last year we had executive producers from across the TV news landscape make their picks, with “BBC World News America” EP Rome Hartman emerging victorious.

Hartman is back this year to defend his crown, but we opened the field up to all senior executives, executive producers and talent.

One thing we learned: “The Early Show” crew sticks together, and CNBCers love their college basketball.

Who are our players? Find out after the jump.

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Former ABC News Staffer Dies At 25

Former ABC News Investigative Unit staffer Rehab El-Buri died on Sunday at the age of 25, after battling cancer.

El-Buri started at ABC as a desk assistant, and worked her way up to become a key member of the Investigative Unit led by Brian Ross. She left the unit last year dedicate her time and attention to battling the cancer.

“Rehab was wise beyond her years and brought important insights to all of ABC News,” said Brian Ross, chief investigative correspondent.

“She was a fighter,” recalled Jon Banner, executive producer of ABC World News with Diane Sawyer.

Read ABC’s memorial to El-Buri here.

Weekend ‘World News’ is Now ‘World News with David Muir’

ABC News president Ben Sherwood announced today that David Muir has been named the sole anchor of weekend “World News” editions — which is now “World News with David Muir.”

“David breathes clarity and wisdom into all his reporting,” “World News” EP Jon Banner said in a statement, “His original voice and his ability to reach far beyond the headlines into heart of a story follows in the great tradition of Diane, Charlie and Peter.”

Muir joined ABC News eight years ago as the anchor of the overnight news program “World News Now.” The multiple Emmy-award winner has anchored “World News” in many locations including Cairo, London, Tucson, AZ, and Beijing.

Sherwood emailed the following to staff on Monday:
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‘World News’ On the Road Again with Diane Sawyer

“World News” airs from Shanghai, China again tonight, where Diane Sawyer has been since Saturday.

This is Sawyer’s third week in a row on the road. Last week, she was in Phoenix, Ariz. to accept the Crokite Award. And the week before that, she was interviewing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the new leader of the Republican majority John Boehner in Washington, DC.

When the anchor landed in China, she got behind the camera as the crew was leaving the airport. “World News” EP Jon Banner made a cameo in the video after the jump… Read more

Who’s on the Short List for the top job at ABC News?

B&C’s Marisa Guthrie has an update on the search for David Westin‘s replacement at ABC News. Guthrie reports Disney-ABC Television Group president Anne Sweeney was at ABC News headquarters in New York last week:

According to multiple sources, Sweeney held meetings with a handful of current executives at ABC News, including James Goldston and Jim Murphy, executive producers at Nightline and Good Morning America, respectively. Sweeney also met with Kate O’Brian, senior VP of news coverage. Jon Banner, executive producer of World News with Diane Sawyer, had a meeting with Sweeney at an earlier occasion.

Multiple names from the ABC station group including O&O president Rebecca Campbell and Emily Barr, the president and general manager of WLS-TV, the ABC O&O in Chicago, have been disavowed.

By the way, we still have our poll open on the subject. What do you think?

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ABC News Staffers Take on New Roles

A couple staffing changes at ABC News.

Dan Arnall
has been promoted to senior producer of business coverage at the network. In a memo to staff, obtained by TVNewser, ABC News president David Westin calls the six-year ABC News vet “a key member of our award-winning editorial team covering the economy and financial crisis.” And “World News” EP Jon Banner upped staffer Judy Isikow to senior producer of futures and features for the Diane Sawyer broadcast. Isikow joined “World News Tonight” as Peter Jennings‘ assistant.
A couple staffing changes at ABC News.

Dan Arnall
has been promoted to senior producer of business coverage at the network. In a memo to staff, obtained by TVNewser, ABC News president David Westin calls the six-year ABC News vet “a key member of our award-winning editorial team covering the economy and financial crisis.” And “World News” EP Jon Banner upped staffer Judy Isikow to senior producer of futures and features for the Diane Sawyer broadcast. Isikow joined “World News Tonight” as Peter Jennings‘ assistant.

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Westin Announces Leadership Rearrange at ABC News

westin_8-26.jpgABC News President David Westin sent a memo to staff, obtained by TVNewser, earlier today outlining the new/altered management responsibilities for leadership at the network. While most of the changes add responsibilities for various senior staffers, some are shifting their roles, including “Nightline” EP James Goldston who will now oversee “This Week with Christiane Amanpour” as well.

The announcements are a part of the restructuring of the news division that Westin began instituting earlier this year. Most of today’s changes stem from the departure of Dave Davis, who had a number of people reporting to him.

The biggest surprise might be that Goldston, who EPs the successful “Nightline” from New York, will now also oversee the Sunday program “This Week,” which is based in D.C., with EP Ian Cameron reporting to him.

With Davis’ departure, Westin appears to be getting more closely involved with the big NYC shows, telling the EPs of “World News,” “GMA,” “20/20,” and “Nightline” that they’ll be reporting directly to him.

And as longtime ABCer Phyllis McGrady shifts to a consultant role, David Sloan, EP of newsmagazines, will take responsibility of all long-form programming, though Goldston will oversee primetime programming featuring Amanpour whose arrangement with the network includes “primetime documentaries on international subjects.”

In addition, “World News” EP Jon Banner will now oversee the political and special events units. Special events EP Marc Burstein will now report to Banner.

The full memo with more specifics after the jump…

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Six Months In, Diane Sawyer’s ‘World News’

Sawyer_6.28.jpgWaPo’s Howard Kurtz profiles ABC World News anchor Diane Sawyer, now six months in to her new job. Kurtz:

Despite her superstar status at ABC and CBS, Sawyer admits she feels the extra weight of the anchor mantle. In her eyes, she is carrying on the tradition of Peter Jennings and [Charlie] Gibson, of Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather.

Kurtz touches on Sawyer’s role as the second female network evening news anchor as which “seems to be a non-issue.”

“The joy is that we can be individuals and different, and yes, being a woman is one of those things I am, for sure. And I hope it informs what I think about,” the Kentucky native says, twisting the ring on her finger as if the question is an unwelcome distraction.

As for the show’s performance, it remains second behind NBC Nightly News, which the show’s EP Jon Banner doesn’t like.

Since taking over the anchor chair, Sawyer has held on to nearly all of Gibson’s audience. She has averaged 7.6 million viewers, compared with 8.8 million for Brian Williams‘s “NBC Nightly News” and 5.8 million for Couric’s “CBS Evening News.” “I am deeply frustrated by that,” Banner says, adding that promotion has been so meager that he meets people who still think Sawyer is co-hosting “Good Morning America.” “I more than anything want to get back into first place. It’s something she deserves.” In the past month, Sawyer has reduced NBC’s lead to 710,000 viewers.

• Earlier on TVNewser: Video: Diane Sawyer on the “great honor” of hosting the Peabody Awards

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