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Posts Tagged ‘Kathie Lee Gifford’

Bill Wolff Named EP of ‘The View;’ Brian Balthazar Joining ABC Show as co-EP

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A week after signing off as EP of “The Rachel Maddow Show,” Bill Wolff (above left) has been announced as the new executive producer of “The View.”

The show also made other behind-the-scenes changes including the addition of another TV news veteran, Brian Balthazar (above right) as co-executive producer. Ashley S. Gorman will be the show’s director in the new season, and Kathleen Rajsp has been named senior supervising producer.

“I am so appreciative for the privilege to work on this iconic program and to have the chance to collaborate with incredible people like Whoopi and Rosie, who each bring immense talent and boundless passion to show,” Wolff said in a statement. “I will be forever grateful to Rachel Maddow for six amazing years together. As I begin this next chapter, I cannot fully express my profound gratitude to [Disney/ABC TV president] Ben Sherwood for making it all possible.”

Balthazar, an MSNBC alum like Wolff, joins from AOL where he was head of programming. He’s also been in the talk show trenches working many years at the “Today” show. He launched the fourth hour of “Today” with Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford, before going to work as a director of programming at HGTV.

Gorman has directed thousands of hours of live shows in the U.K. and the U.S. including: “Hell’s Kitchen,” “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here…NOW!,” and “The Biggest Loser.”

Rajsp has worked on “Katie,” “Anderson” and “Dr. Phil,” among others.

The new season of “The View” begins Monday, Sept. 15.

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The Sunday Ticker: Kathie Lee’s Musical, Claman’s Triathlon, Murdoch’s Bid

  • Kathie Lee Gifford revealed this week that she has written a musical about the “Today” show.  The 18-minute musical, titled “Not Today and Tomorrow’s Not Looking Good Either,” features all the show’s anchors and crew. “It’s going to be live and it’s going to be so much fun,” Gifford said on “Today” Friday.

  • Fox Business anchor Liz Claman does a pair of interviews — with the Star-Ledger and Well + Good — about competing in her sixth New York City triathlon today. Claman is raising money for Building Homes For Heroes, a charity for wounded war veterans. “They embraced me and I embraced them and, to date, I’ve brought in $350,000 since I started raising money for them four years ago,” Claman said.

  • Variety reports on how far Rupert Murdoch will go to acquire Time Warner, which a managing director at RBC Capital Markets calls “the $64,000 question.” “It’s not purely what Time Warner’s worth, it’s what Fox can pay,” he says.

Who’s That Guy Roaming the ‘Today’ Show Plaza?

Alex oneTwelve years ago, Alex Ficquette was a teenager shouting at the back of a “Today” show concert featuring Mary J. Blige.

“I randomly saw Al Roker buying a pretzel from a street vendor, and said ‘Hi’ to him,” Ficquette told TVNewser. Fast forward to today, where he’s been anointed “Alex on the plaza.”

The Associate Producer for the “Today” show oversees the signature outdoor plaza, interacting with fans who come from far and wide to experience the concerts, contests, and ideally, enjoy their 15 minutes — or just a few seconds — of fame with “Today’s” hosts.

Friday morning, TVNewser spent some time on the plaza as OneRepublic performed. All the while, Ficquette, 27, kept the crowd revved up as they waited for the pop-rock band to take the stage. Taking pictures, sparking conversations, and giving shout outs to the best signs is all part of being the plaza’s ringleader (Vine after the jump).

“That group outside, they’ve been up since 2:30am, and you would never know it,” he told us about one energetic group celebrating their friend’s 60th birthday. “You have to be interested in people’s stories. I feed off of their energy because they’re in amazing spirits.” When he’s not on the plaza he might appearing on the show’s fourth hour with Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford.

Ficquette’s path to the TV news business is a story in itself. “I didn’t go to school for film or production,” he said.

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‘Today’ Anchors Throw Savannah Guthrie a Baby Shower

Savannah Guthrie‘s “Today” show colleagues — Kathie Lee Gifford, Hoda Kotb, Tamron Hall and Natalie Morales — threw the expecting mom a baby shower last week at The Glass Houses in Chelsea. Although Morales didn’t attend because she was in Brazil covering the World Cup, Guthrie was feted by NBC’s Jenna Bush Hager, Cynthia McFadden, Contessa Brewer, Dylan Dreyer and Erica Hill, as well as CBS’ Gayle King, ABC’s Amy Robach and Deborah Roberts, and CNN’s Kate Bolduan, who is also expecting

“I have never felt in my life so much genuine joy,” Guthrie said in a speech with her husband, Mike Feldman. “Because when you say that you’re happy for us and you give us a hug or you rub the belly, I know you really mean it.” Watch:

‘Today’ Show Women Defend Matt Lauer’s Question to GM CEO

LauerThis morning, Matt Lauer readdressed the controversy surrounding a question he asked General Motors CEO Mary Barra last week about whether she can do a good job at being both a mom and a CEO.

And some of the “Today” show’s women came to his defense.  “I was surprised at the reaction you got, Matt,” Kathie Lee Gifford said.

“It was something she [Barra] had already said, so Matt was asking her about it…and you said it very, very respectfully. Certain people are just very, very sensitive about it.”

Tamron Hall pointed out that the day Lauer interviewed Barra, he himself made a sacrifice.  “I’ll point out it was Matt’s son’s 13th birthday, and he as a working father, was there at the time, missing his son’s birthday.”

“I’m sitting interviewing Mary Barra, missing my son’s 13th birthday,” Lauer added.

WATCH:

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Why Was the ‘Today’ Show Preempted in New Orleans Friday?

Screen Shot 2014-06-29 at 8.56.34 AMThe fourth hour of the “Today” show was preempted on NBC affiliate WDSU in New Orleans Friday, because of who was co-hosting.

With Kathie Lee Gifford off, Hoda Kotb invited her best friend Karen Swensen to sit in. One problem: Swensen is the main anchor at WDSU rival WWL, the CBS affiliate in New Orleans.

Instead of seeing Kotb and Swensen together again, New Orleans viewers were treated to a repeat of Queen Latifah’s show on WDSU. Kotb and Swensen met 20 years ago when both worked at WWL. Swensen left to anchor at NECN for a few years, but returned to WWL in 2010.

The preemption did sit well with some hometown fans.

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For its part, WDSU responded on its Faebook page: “Our decision not to air the fourth hour of the “Today Show” follows a longstanding practice. WDSU does not enable the promotion of anchors on other local television stations through roles as hosts of programs on our television station. We regret the circumstances that required us to make this decision.”

(h/t WWL.com)

Brian Williams Raps ‘Baby Got Back’

It’s probably a good thing Jimmy Fallon is 1,000 miles away from 30 Rock this week. As he kicked off a week of shows from Orlando, the “Tonight Show” host debuted another Brian Williams mash-up. This time, Williams rapped Sir Mix-A-Lot’s classic “Baby Got Back,” with an assist from Kathie Lee Gifford and some other familiar NBCNewsers.

A few months ago, Williams went on the “Tonight Show” to make clear he doesn’t knowingly participate in the Fallon videos. “You’ve done this to me 7 times!” Williams said. “We’ve done this for you,” Fallon shot back.

VIDEO: Career Advice From Kathie Lee and Hoda at the Matrix Awards

TVNewsers were out in force at this year’s Matrix Awards, held recently at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Mediabistro’s Vicki Salemi caught up with some of the attendees — including Queen Latifah, Gloria Steinem and the event’s emcees, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb — for some career advice from the red carpet:

Bret Baier Stops By ‘Today,’ ‘O’Reilly Factor’ on Book Tour

Bret Baier‘s book about his son’s heart problems, “Special Heart: A Journey of Faith, Hope, Courage, and Love,” is out today. The Fox News Channel anchor stopped by the fourth hour of the “Today” show this morning with his wife Amy and his two sons, Paul and Daniel, to share their story.

“The reason I wrote the book is because, one, Paul is doing fantastic. And, two, we thought this book could help other people. Everybody has something, or knows somebody,” Baier told Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb. “And hopefully we can be an inspiration and make some awareness out there.” Watch:

Baier also appeared on CSPAN over the weekend and Bill O’Reilly‘s Fox News program last night. Watch after the jump. Read more

Is Willie Geist ‘the Next Matt Lauer’?

willie geistSince Willie Geist joined the “Today” show in 2012, rumors have swirled that he is the heir apparent to Matt Lauer, whose current deal with the NBC morning show expires early next year. In a New York Observer profile, Geist addresses the succession speculation:

“I think with respect to people who say that, it’s just that—speculation. It’s totally meaningless,” says Mr. Geist. “It’s fun for people to talk about, but I can tell you honestly that I never had one single conversation about that, ever. Matt is the host, and he’s the best morning show host in the history of morning show hosts, and he’ll be there as long as he wants to be there. So there’s no point in me thinking about it. All I do is try to do a good job in our hour, and when they ask me to fill in for him, I fill in for him.”

And if the powers that be at NBC called him? “I would certainly take the phone calls from my superiors at work, but I’ve never received one like that. If it happens, I’ll answer, and we’ll see.”

Geist also appeared on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live” this week, where he was asked about his craziest experience with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hota Kotb. Watch after the jump. Read more

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