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Posts Tagged ‘Ken Jautz’

Personalities–And a Former President–Toast Dr. Sanjay Gupta At Book Party

Gupta, Couric, Gupta's father Subhash

Just how well-liked is CNN correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta? So much so that his book release party, held at The Setai Hotel last night, had more boldface names in attendance than many TV premieres. Gupta’s first novel, Monday Mornings, was released this week.

Former President Bill Clinton, former CBS News anchor Katie Couric, daytime talk-show host Dr. Oz, “The Daily Show” correspondent Aasif Mandvi, Fox News Channel’s Bill Hemmer and former CNN anchor Kiran Chetry were all there. And that is before you get into the CNN contingent, which included Soledad O’Brien, Don Lemon, Ivan Watson, Jeffrey Toobin, Ashleigh Banfield and Christine Romans, among others.

Nearly every top CNN executive was there, including CNN Worldwide chief Jim Walton, CNN U.S. chief Ken Jautz, CNN managing editor Mark Whitaker, CNN International chief Tony Maddox and HLN chief Scot Safon. We also spotted CBS News president David Rhodes mingling with the crowd.

Clinton held court close to the entrance to the bar, with guests approaching him to chat throughout the night. Gupta worked through the crowd, saying hello to everyone, posing for photos and signing copied of his book. “Enjoy your stay in Chelsea General!” he wrote in one, referring to the fictional hospital in the book.

Gupta also said that the television adaptation of his novel for TNT continues to progress, and production started this month.

“Clearly Sanjay is a man of many many talents, he is possibly the busiest human being I have ever met,” said Walton during the reception, before quipping “Here is his book by the way.”

Many more pictures below.

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CNN’s Janelle Rodriguez Upped to VP of Programming

Janelle Rodriguez has been promoted to vice president of programming for CNN, EVP Ken Jautz announced today.

Rodriguez has been CNN’s director of programming, overseeing the network’s Atlanta-based programs, since 2010. Prior to that, she served as a New York-based executive producer for the network.

“Her drive and passion for the news are  hallmarks of the best of CNN,” Jautz wrote in a memo to staffers announcing the promotion.

Read the full announcement after the jump.

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Piers Morgan Plans to Get ‘More Opinionated’ In Year Two of ‘Piers Morgan Tonight’

Sitting at a long table at the Landmarc restaurant in New York’s Time Warner Center, CNN host Piers Morgan looks quite relaxed. He says he feels it, too, having survived one year of his 9 PM program, a year that included earthquakes, tsunamis and revolutions.

Having to toggle between covering breaking news on CNN and judging dancing Christmas trees on “America’s Got Talent” began to take its toll however, and late last year Morgan was released from his NBC obligations, and focused his attention on his CNN program.

That program, “Piers Morgan Tonight,” will be undergoing a transformation this year.

“I think we will be evolving the show into a more structured format, bringing more of my personality into it,” Morgan said over a lunch with a small group of media reporters. “If you ask me what my favorite shows are on cable, it would be Bill O’Reilly and Jon Stewart, on network it would be [David] Letterman. The shows where they have a basic structure you get familiar with, stuff to look forward to.”

The goal is to make the program “a bit more mischievous, certainly more humor, more opinionated,” Morgan says.

“PMT” will be adding signature segments, and injecting more of Morgan’s personality into it.

“We will still have long-format interviews where appropriate, but less,” he says. “It will have a much newsier, and I hope humorous tone to it as well.”

While Morgan admires talent like Stewart and O’Reilly, he also says he has no intention of copying them. He wants to put his own stamp on it.

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NewsPro Names ’10 Most Powerful in Television News’

TVWeek’s NewsPro magazine has announced its “10 Most Powerful in Television News,” and the 2011 list features executives from all the broadcast and cable networks.

Fox News CEO Roger Ailes is recognized as being the force behind “one realm of News Corp.’s journalism empire that has stayed above the fray” of the News of the World hacking scandal. CNN president Jim Walton and EVP Ken Jautz are both on the list, as is MSNBC president Phil Griffin.

For the broadcast networks, ABC News president Ben Sherwood was named, as well as his NBC News counterpart Steve Capus. CBS News is represented by both chairman Jeff Fager and president David Rhodes, and the pair are cautiously applauded for charting a new, and unconventional, course for the network:

CBS News, with journalists now in charge, is the most intriguing. Its move to hard news, particularly in the morning hours, is admirable, but there will be lots of “told you so’s” if it doesn’t work.

See the full list here.

Rare Get-together for CNN’s Foreign Correspondents as They Reflect on 2011

CNN’s Anderson Cooper hosts a year end special with CNN’s foreign correspondents, including (l-r) Ben Wedeman, Arwa Damon and Nic Robertson

It’s a good thing today was a relatively quite international news day because most of CNN’s foreign correspondents were gathered in New York talking about about the incredible year that was. From the Arab Spring to the triple tragedy in Japan, reporters Nic Robertson, Ben Wedeman, Arwa Damon, Hala Gorani, Matthew Chance, Sara Sidner, Kyung Lah and Ivan Watson crowded into Piers Morgan‘s studio at Time Warner Center where Anderson Cooper, who’s also reported from many of the world’s hotspots this year, lead the discussion.

CNN International EVP Tony Maddox tells TVNewser the get-together, which happens once every few years, “was the greatest gathering of foreign journalists on the planet.”

Before the taping we asked Robertson what is his most remarkable moment of this remarkable year. Robertson, who started as an engineer with CNN in 1990, says it was the uprising in Bahrain in February. “We were approaching Pearl Square and all hell was breaking loose.” Robertson used his iPhone to report live on CNN. Later, as he was rushed out of the area, he used the phone to record more video and his audio for a package that was edited in Atlanta. “That’s a far cry from 36 boxes of equipment we used to use,” added CNN EVP Ken Jautz

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Ali Velshi and Christine Romans Are ‘Odd Couple’ Authors of ‘How to Speak Money’

TVNewser stopped by a book party for “How to Speak Money,” written by CNN anchors Ali Velshi and Christine Romans, last night.

Romans and Velshi were praised by CNN executive vice president Ken Jautz, who called the pair “the odd couple.”

“No names, but one of them is the kid who always has her homework done — her homework,” Jautz joked. “One of them, the dog always ate the homework. One of them gets a little nervous as the chapter deadline approaches, and one of them doesn’t have that problem because he’s not aware that it’s there.”

“Ali’s very into investing, I’m into budgeting,” Romans said. “Ali is a spender, and I am a saver. So the yin and the yang was there for us.”

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CNN Chief: Programming Should Have a Point of View, But Remain Non-Ideological

In the latest issue of Broadcasting & Cable, Andrea Morabito has a wide-ranging interview with CNN/U.S. executive VP Ken Jautz (subscription required).

The lineup changes Jautz has led come up a number of times, as do the recent comments made by Roger Ailes about Wolf Blitzer. The result sees Jautz arguing that CNN programs should have a point of view reflective of their anchors, but should also strive to be non-ideological:

Would you consider another political debate show in the future?

We do provide opinion from various sides of an issue. We’ve attempted to move away from the he-said-she-said, down the middle journalism and programming. We do in fact provide more analysis and more opinion and more debate within these various programs.

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Soledad O’Brien on her return to CNN mornings: ‘Absolutely, positively everything is different’

The least of Soledad O’Brien‘s concerns as she returns to anchoring CNN mornings: that early alarm clock. “I already get up that early,” says O’Brien. “I have four kids. Four kids who all put themselves to bed, brush their teeth. I had my twins when I was doing ‘American Morning.’”

That was in 2004. And that’s not all that’s different this time around.

“Absolutely, positively everything is different,” says O’Brien, who will lead an ensemble of contributors for the second two hours (7-9amET) of CNN’s revamped four-hour morning show, debuting in January.

We talked with O’Brien this morning not long after CNN announced the changes.

TVNewser: You’ve been on the record saying you were fired from the morning show the first time around in 2007, what’s different this time?

O’Brien: Everything is different. The format is different. I think the landscape of mornings is different. I’ve spent the last five years doing something very different [reporting documentaries for CNN's In America series]. My style of interviewing is different. Absolutely, positively everything is different.

TVNewser: Ken Jautz has said he wants the morning block to “complement our direction in primetime.” What do you take that to mean?

O’Brien: Well, I think Ken Jautz wants this morning show to do well (laughter). We all do. We want to do a really strong, smart show that people are proud of. The kind of show that gets people to say: ’I can’t wait to watch it tomorrow.’

TVNewser: You’ve got strong competitors on Fox, MSNBC even HLN. How is your show going to be different from those?

O’Brien: I think that what we will do is cover a wide range of topics. Talk about stories that aren’t always covered on the news and dig down a little deeper. And bring on real people and contributors, who are involved in these stories. It’s what we’ve been doing with the documentaries … find a compelling story, tell that story and surround it with people who can add to it.

TVNewser: And who are you thinking for contributors?

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Soledad O’Brien Returns to the AM at CNN; Ashleigh Banfield, Zoraida Sambolin Join Revamped Mornings

It’s been discussed for several weeks, and now CNN has made it official: Soledad O’Brien will return to anchoring two hours of CNN’s new revamped morning show, leading a team of contributors and guests from 7-9amET.  CNN EVP Ken Jautz promises the shows will “complement our direction in primetime.”

Ashleigh Banfield, the former MSNBC, CourtTV and ABC News correspondent and anchor will join CNN to co-anchor the 5-7amET hours alongside another new CNN hire, Zoraida Sambolin who leaves her morning show co-anchor gig at WMAQ (NBC) in Chicago.

Despite the weeks of speculation, insiders tell us O’Brien only sealed her new deal Tuesday. And just yesterday, Shannon High — recruited from NBC to be the EP of the four-hour morning block — signed her deal with CNN. The shows will launch in January.

Release after the jump…

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In His Memoir, CNN EVP Mark Whitaker Turns a Journalistic Eye on Himself

TVNewser stopped by a book party last night for CNN EVP Mark Whitaker, held at the Upper West Side apartment of HBO Video President Henry McGee and his wife, Celia. (HBO and CNN are both owned by Time Warner.) Whitaker’s family memoir, My Long Trip Home, will be released Tuesday.

In a room packed with colleagues and friends — people he called his “journalistic families” from stints at Newsweek, NBC and CNN — Whitaker (pictured here with his wife, Alexis Gelber) chronicled the experience of writing the memoir, which tells the story of his parents, an interracial couple who met in the 1950s.

“What really got me going and kept me going was not so much writing from memory, which I started to do at the beginning,” he said. “But when I realized that there were a lot of gaps in the story that needed to be filled, and I started to report. And it was really the reporting of the story that I became obsessed with.”

See who else was at the party after the jump.

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