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Posts Tagged ‘Keith Olbermann’

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

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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.”

Howard Kurtz’s ‘MediaBuzz’ Projects ‘Authority, Energy and Pace’

It’s been a rough year for Howard Kurtz, but you wouldn’t know it by today’s launch of “MediaBuzz” on Fox News Channel.

After his sudden departures from CNN’s “Reliable Sources” and Tina Brown’s Daily Beast, Kurtz appears to have made a seamless transition to Fox News. “MediaBuzz” projected authority, energy and pace.

Clearly, Kurtz was in his comfort zone. Most of his guests were familiar faces from his 15-year run at “Reliable Sources” – David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun, Washington Post’s Nia-Malika Henderson, media entrepreneur Lauren Ashburn.

In fact, Ashburn, a Fox News contributor, had so much face time, she served as a de facto co-host. Along with appearing in the opening two segments, she co-hosted “Digital Download,” and was on set with Kurtz for his sign-off.

Kurtz has a complicated history with Ashburn. His involvement in her new venture, Daily Download, a Daily Beast competitor, did not endear him to Brown, who later fired him. Ashburn showed up regularly on “Reliable Sources” and followed Kurtz to Fox News.

I couldn’t help but notice that Ashburn, like so many Fox News females, is blonde.

Ditto for guest Michelle Cottle, Washington reporter for The Daily Beast, and Fox’s Jamie Colby, who anchored a news break during the show. The only non-blonde was the Post’s Henderson, who is African American.

“MediaBuzz” opened with a lively panel discussion on media criticism of President Obama’s handling of Syria. Kurtz used the opportunity to take a shot, albeit a mild one, at his new employer. (Since joining the network in June, Kurtz had been criticized for avoiding negative assessments of Fox.)

After MSNBC contributors Robert Gibbs and David Axelrod, both former Obama officials, were lambasted by a panelist for being mouthpieces for the President, Kurtz said it was “fair to question” whether Fox regulars Karl Rove and Rick Santorum were also “pushing an agenda.” At Fox, that passes for napalm.

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The AM Ticker: Coatney, Nigeria, Olbermann/Morgan

  • Al Jazeera America has hired Tumblr’s former media director Mark Coatney as senior VP of digital media. Coatney served as Tumblr’s liaison to media companies, and was one of its earliest employees. More after the jump.

  • A Nigerian man who pretended to be a CNN correspondent to secure money from officials seeking press coverage has been arrested. Reuters has more (via J$P).

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Keith Olbermann Gets Meta For First Edition Of New ESPN2 Show

Last night, “Olbermann” debuted just after 11 PM on ESPN2, following live coverage of the US Open. It marked a return to nightly television for Keith Olbermann, the former anchor for MSNBC, Current TV and, yes, ESPN, who had been off the air since a very public split from Current last year.

It was also a return to the Olbermann of the 90′s, with a lighthearted tone and a focus on sports. Yes, “Worst Persons in the World” was there, as was a long monologue about the New York Jets, a topic close to this writer’s heart, but it was decidedly unlike his politics and news programs.

Olbermann also got meta, playing old clips from his first run at ESPN, and talking a good deal about the state of sports journalism. No, the ESPN/”Frontline” controversy didn’t come up, but he did talk about a NY Daily News item about the Jets that he felt was drummed up in the name of controversy.

“We need somebody watching the watchers,” his first guest Jason Whitlock said. “It needs to happen to us, so we have more empathy for the celebrities that we are covering.”

“Every reporter should spend one day as the only story in the world,” Olbermann responded.

He would know.

WATCH:

Keith Olbermann: Politics ‘pretty much burned out of me’

Tonight at 11 PM, Keith Olbermann returns to the nightly TV beat, with a new show on ESPN2. It also marks a return to ESPN and the world of sports for Olbermann, who has spent the better part of 10 years in the world of politics at MSNBC and Current TV.

According to James Andrew Miller in the NY Times, he doesn’t seem inclined to go back.

“No, I won’t miss politics,” he said. “My understanding of my own emotions relative to politics was really clarified in the past year. I was invited on ‘This Week With George Stephanopoulos.’ I did it twice, and they invited me on many more times. We talked about doing it on a regular basis, but I found myself coming up with really bad excuses to not do it, like my dog needs my attention. I finally figured out I just didn’t like the subject matter anymore.

“If you cover politics for eight years without interruption like I did, you need a change,” he said. “After all, we retire our presidents after eight years. Why you should make anybody cover our political system beyond that is a mystery to me. It was pretty much burned out of me.”

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Izzy Povich Upped at MSNBC

Izzy Povich, who’s been with MSNBC nearly from the start in 1996, has been promoted to Vice President of Talent and Development, a new position at the network. Povich has worn many hats in her years at MSNBC, as head of central guest booking, before moving to supervising producer, senior producer and executive producer of some of the network’s biggest shows, including “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” and more recently as Senior EP of “Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.” Greg Kordick continues as EP of “Last Word.”

“As MSNBC grows, Izzy will be instrumental to the evolution of MSNBC programming,” writes network president Phil Griffin in a note to staff, obtained by TVNewser. “Part of what makes MSNBC so unique is our core group of ‘originals’ who’ve been here since the beginning. Izzy knows who we are and where we are going,” Griffin writes.

Keith Olbermann: Current TV Co-Founder And Former VP Al Gore Was a ‘Clod’

Soon-to-be ESPN2 host Keith Olbermann is the subject of a lengthy profile by THR’s Marisa Guthrie. Olbermann talks about how he came to join ESPN, repairing the bridges he “napalmed” the last time he was there, and also his rather tumultuous end at Current TV.

Guthrie also reveals that ESPN was talking to NBC’s Seth Meyers about hosting a late-night show, until he inked the “Late Night” gig at NBC, and that Olbermann met with ABC News president Ben Sherwood as his time at Current neared a close.

Then there are his comments on his former boss, Vice President Al Gore. THR teases it right at the top of the story, “there is name-calling.”

“When you’re working for somebody whom you admired politically, who turns out to be a clod,” says Olbermann, referring to Gore, “the scales fall from your eyes. Sorry. Al underdelivered. I mean that’s just simply the case. I don’t want to dwell on it, but it’s true.”

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