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Posts Tagged ‘Keith Olbermann’

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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Keith Olbermann Won’t Be Getting In a Car With Anyone From MSNBC

ESPN anchor Keith Olbermann‘s departure from MSNBC in 2011 was certainly not warm and fuzzy, and today he compared watching his former network with a very dangerous act.

Earlier this year, Olbermann declined to comment on an MSNBC segment, claiming he hadn’t watched the channel since 2009–when he was still hosting “Countdown.”

The sports anchor returned for a second stint at ESPN last summer, hosting “Olbermann Live” on ESPN2. Before that, he was fired by Current TV, which was eventually sold to Al Jazeera.

Does MSNBC Have a Fundraising Double Standard?

ScarboroughWith “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough scheduled to deliver a keynote address at a Republican fundraiser in New Hampshire in May, MSNBC’s political fundraising policy is back in the spotlight.

Earlier this year, Ed Schultz cancelled a scheduled appearance at a Florida Democratic fundraiser. MSNBC claimed Schultz didn’t realize the event was a fundraiser, and cancelled the appearance when he did.

MSNBC has suspended top talent before for crossing the line between on-air advocacy and off-air activity; Scarborough and then-MSNBC host Keith Olbermann were both suspended for donations to their respective political parties in 2010.

The event Scarborough will speak at costs $50 for general admission, and $35 for Young Republicans. The money goes straight to the Republican Party.

We’ve reached out to MSNBC for comment, but have not heard back.

Keith Olbermann Explains How His Shingles Makes Him a ‘Danger to Humanity’

ESPN’s Keith Olbermann explained his infrequent hosting as of late on Thursday’s “Olbermann,” telling his audience the effects of his shingles medicine is making him a “danger to humanity.”

“So let me tell you about shingles,” he started, explaining that the drugs he’s taking for his shingles are so strong, he didn’t feel the effects of breaking a ceramic, glass wall fixture with his head.

“I can play through the pain, I can play through the drugs, I can play through the limp,” he continued, but revealed there’s one thing he can’t play through: the drugs screwing up his sleep.

Keith Olbermann Explains ESPN Absence

Keith Olbermann was off-air last night for ESPN, and took to Twitter today to explain.

Olbermann then linked falling on the wrong side of the all-important A25-54 demo to his health woes. Read more

How ‘Network’ Predicted the Future of TV News

NetworkIf you work (or have worked) in TV news, and we know many of you do, you’ve probably seen “Network,” the 1976 classic which takes a cynical look at the news business as fictional TV network UBS exploits its anchorman for corporate profit. (If you haven’t seen it, get to Netflix, stat.)

Today Dave Itzkoff, a culture reporter for The New York Times, is out with a new book about the film. The book’s title, Mad as Hell: The Making of Network and the Fateful Vision of the Angriest Man in Movies, includes the the outcry which would be immortalized in pop culture. “Network” won 4 Acadamy Awards, including one for Peter Finch who played the “Mad as Hell” anchorman and who died just weeks before the Oscars. (If you’ve seen the film, you’ll get the tragic irony).

Actor Rob Lowe, writing the New York Times Book Review calls the film “darkly funny and breathtakingly prescient” and says Itzkoff’s “engrossing, unfolding narrative contains the perfect amount of inside-baseball moviemaking stories and anecdotes about stars.”

MadAsHellItzkoffThe Wall Street Journal review covers how the film was received in the TV news world of the mid-1970s

The TV establishment was predictably infuriated. Though his daughter, an actress, had a small role in the film, Walter Cronkite issued increasingly dismissive comments, calling it “a rather amusing little entertainment.” Worse, “they cut my daughter’s part down to almost nothing.” In the midst of the storm, [screenwriter Paddy] Chayefsky wrote craven letters to Cronkite and his NBC counterpart, John Chancellor. “Please know,” he told Chancellor, “I never dreamed television people would be angry about the film”—showing that the screenwriter was either disingenuous or delusional.

USA Today calls “Mad as Hell” “absorbing and revealing,” noting that Itzkoff speaks “with some admirers who became prominent writers and TV personalities — among them Stephen Colbert, Aaron Sorkin and Keith Olbermann.” “You wish Chayefsky would come back to life long enough to write The Internet,” Sorkin says.

NBC News Close to Filling ‘Today’ SVP Job

Remember that org chart that NBC News boss Deborah Turness shared a couple weeks ago — this one, with the gaping hole where the SVP of the “Today” show should be.

nbc-news-senior-leadership-team

Well, according to Deadspin, the network is close to filling that gap. Sources tell the site ESPN vice president Jamie Horowitz is in talks with NBC. Insiders tell TVNewser, Horowitz isn’t the only candidate Turness is talking to for the job, which came open when Alex Wallace‘s duties shifted to the DC bureau and “Nightly News.” Horowitz, who worked for NBC previously in the Olympics unit, is currently under contract. At ESPN, he has overseen several shows and talent, including former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann.

The 10 Biggest TV News Stories of 2013

Screen Shot 2013-12-20 at 11.51.18 PM

How to describe a year in which TV news had more turnovers than Pepperidge Farm? Business as usual.

The dramatic departures and arrivals of A-List talent weren’t the only big story of 2013, of course. Two new networks launched. Fox News made some major changes in its prime-time lineup. Serious health issues affected at least three anchors. And CBS’s venerable ‘Sunday Morning’ continued to kick ass on the Sabbath.

Herewith my choices for TV news’ Top 10, in no particular order:

Open mouth, insert foot.

Hosts Martin Bashir and Alec Baldwin both left MSNBC after making what could charitably be called offensive comments.

On his November 15 broadcast, Bashir suggested that someone should defecate in the mouth of ex-vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin because of remarks she had made about slavery. Instead, it was Bashir who was forced to eat doo-doo. He resigned Dec. 4.

Actor-activist Baldwin hit the bricks Nov. 26, two weeks after he was caught on video calling a paparazzi a ‘cocksucking fag.’ His weekly show, ‘Up Late,’ lasted exactly five episodes. Maybe replacing ‘Lockup’ was bad karma.

Lara’s theme.

Ace ’60 Minutes’ correspondent Lara Logan was forced to take a leave of absence after her October 27 piece on the Benghazi attack was discredited. Politico says she’ll return early next month. CBS isn’t talking.

A CBS internal inquiry labeled Logan’s report ‘deficient in several respects.’ Among them: Over a full year’s reporting, she and her team somehow missed the fact that her major source, security contractor Dylan Davies, was a liar. Oops.

In a dubious distinction, Logan’s story led to ‘60’ winning Poynter’s Error of the Year award. If you call that winning.

A pair of newbies.

While other networks endured layoffs, two new cable channels debuted — Al Jazeera America on August 20 and Fusion on October 28.

AJA hired hundreds of journalists and staff – including many from U.S. networks. Among them: CNN chief business correspondent Ali Velshi, its first big-name hire; CNN International’s Joie Chen; MSNBC exile David Shuster and NBC’s John Seigenthaler.

AJA, whose corporate parent is based in Qatar, boasts 12 domestic bureaus and three broadcast centers. It reaches about 48 million homes.

Fusion, a joint production of Disney-ABC and Univision, features news and pop-culture fare targeted at English-speaking millenials. Based outside of Miami, it represents Univision’s first major foray into English-language programming.

Would you like your anchors scrambled or poached?

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Keith Olbermann: ‘I’ll Always Deliver What an Employer Wants’

keith-olbermann_lAs Keith Olbermann settles into his new role at ESPN, he gives an introspective interview to GQ. Olbermann — who says he would like to change his reputation for contentious exits — gets a shot in at one of his former employers while considering his identity:

I don’t think there are huge divergences between my personality and what they see on TV. And I think that’s why I have been gainfully employed doing this. I’ll always deliver what an employer wants. At some point they decide the result is more trouble than they want, or they convince themselves that they have created all this success that I created for them. As in my last prominent employer at NBC, which they’re learning that perhaps they were wrong about that. In my pre-introspective life, the idea that I had that script in front of me meant a profound difference. It allowed me to say what I wanted to say and be who I wanted to be.

Larry King To Guest-Host Keith Olbermann’s ESPN2 Show

KingOlbFormer CNN host Larry King will be able to add yet another line on his resume next month: ESPN host. King will be filling in for Keith Olbermann on his 11 PM show on ESPN 2 next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Olbermann will be covering the Major League Baseball playoffs for TBS during that time. King will be a guest on Friday’s edition of the program as well.

“I am a great admirer of Keith Olbermann who I think is the quintessential sports host,” said King in a statement. “Sports have always been my avocation – they’re part of my being.  Having the chance to come back to my hometown of New York and host Keith’s show for several days is a terrific joy for me and a return to my first love.”

Other guest-hosts during Olbermann’s absence will include Jeremy Schaap and Colin Cowherd.

King is a noted sports fan, particularly of baseball, which will surely be one of the big sports stories of the day when he guest-hosts. After he left CNN, King pitched MLB Network on a new show, where he could serve as “Bob Costas West.”

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