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Posts Tagged ‘Kathie Lee Gifford’

NBC News Boss on US Weekly ‘Today’ Show Story: ‘The Rumors are Wrong — Period’

USToday

This is NOT the “Today” show’s week.

US Weekly went waaaaay out on a limb this morning with a piece claiming that two “Today” show hosts were fired.

Co-hosts Willie Geist and Natalie Morales “were recently told they were fired,” an NBC source reveals exclusively in the new issue of Us Weekly. Morales, 42, is now in talks with ABC and Geist, 39, has lined up a gig at CBS, the insider tells Us.

None of that is true, say NBC and CBS and ABC.

When we asked whether Geist has “lined up a gig” at CBS News, spokesperson Sonya McNair told TVNewser, “No.” When we asked ABC if Morales is in talks with that network, we were told the network doesn’t comment on rumors and speculation. (Morales is under contract with NBC News for two more years, until November, 2016.)

As for NBC, network news president Deborah Turness is crystal clear: “the rumors are wrong — period:”

NBC’s TODAY has the best anchor team in morning television. The entire TODAY show anchor team — Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker, Natalie Morales, Willie Geist, Carson Daly, Tamron Hall, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb — are incredibly talented, valued and have our support. In response to the false rumors that have been circulated about our anchor team, NBC wants to be absolutely clear: The rumors are wrong — period. This is the team we are committed to. And this is the team that our viewers turn to in the morning.

The US Weekly story is a byproduct of the firing of “Today” show SVP Jamie Horowitz earlier this week. Read more

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Kathie Lee Gifford Accepts Regis Philbin’s ‘Giant of Broadcasting’ Award

chuckTVNewser attended the 12th Annual Giants of Broadcasting luncheon in New York City today. Prominent members of the broadcasting, media and corporate communities attended the event, which honors distinguished leadership or performance in TV and radio.

“Today” show fourth hour co-host Kathie Lee Gifford spoke on behalf of her former “LIVE” partner, Regis Philbin, who could not accept his award in person.

She joked that Regis asked, “Am I’m not already a Giant of Broadcasting?” Chuck Scarborough longtime anchor of  WNBC’s “News 4 New York” was also honored and jokingly thanked NBC for “not firing me.”

Sylvester L. “Pat” Weaver, a pioneer who created the “Today” show and “The Tonight Show” among others, was honored posthumously. His daughter and Academy Award nominated actress Sigourney Weaver spoke on his behalf.

Other honorees included Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill – co-anchors and managing editors of PBS “NewsHour,” and Fred Silverman, former CBS, ABC, and NBC executive who brought some of the most iconic programs of the 1970s and 1980s to broadcast TV.

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Joan Rivers Funeral: ‘I Have Never Seen Anything Like It’

KathieLeeHodaBarbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, Charlie Rose, Kathie Lee Gifford, and Hoda Kotb were among the TV newsers at yesterday’s funeral for Joan Rivers.

“I have never seen anything like it — full of love, full of laughter,” said Rose on “CBS This Morning. “Inside Edition” host Deborah Norville, who’s been friends with Rivers for 25 years, delivered a eulogy. On “Good Morning America” Norville told Robin Roberts, “The woman I knew was hilariously funny. An incredible practical joker. She was kind to the core and there through thick and thin.”

Said Gifford on “Today,” “I think it was the perfect combination between the profane and the sacred. Because Joan was like that. We all know the profane part of Joan, but there was a sacred part as well.”

It’s Homecoming Week at ‘Today’

Pauley Brokaw 304As Savannah Guthrie continues her maternity leave, “Today” is calling up some other NBCNewsers to fill in. As we’ve reported, Meredith Vieira subs tomorrow, the same day her syndicated show debuts.

Brian Williams pulls double-duty on Tuesday anchoring in the morning and “NBC Nightly News.” On Wednesday, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb will have an earlier call time as they join Matt Lauer. On  Thursday, Tom Brokaw returns to the “Today” anchor chair. Brokaw (above, with Jane Pauley) co-hosted the show from 1976-1981.

On Friday, Maria Shriver will be behind the desk. Shriver co-anchored the “Today” Sunday edition from 1987-1990. NBC is calling this “Homecoming Week” on “Today.”

Networks to Pay Tribute to Joan Rivers

JoanRiversFNC304Networks will remember legendary comedian Joan Rivers this weekend.

Tonight, the newsmagazines pay tribute. At 9pmET, NBC’s “Dateline” will present “Celebrating Joan Rivers.” The hour-long special, co-anchored by Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, will feature tributes from Kathy Griffin, Dick Cavett, Donald Trump, Don Rickles, and Gilbert Gottfried.

An hour later at 10pmET, ABC’s “20/20″ will air “Joan Rivers: Living for the Laugh.”  The special, anchored by David Muir, will feature reporting from Barbara Walters, John Quinones, and Chris Connelly.

And on Sunday night, Fox News presents “Geraldo Rivera Reports: Joan Rivers” at 9pmET. Rivera will interview various guests close to Rivers and show clips from her comedy career. Rivers died yesterday at 81 a week after she stopped breathing during a throat procedure.

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

BillWolffBalthazar

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.

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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