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Posts Tagged ‘Lara Spencer’

Two Dozen Women of TV News, Barbara Walters’ Legacy, Join Her on Her Final ‘View’

WaltersView1

For weeks we’ve been writing about the legacy of Barbara Walters. This afternoon, that legacy came to life in the finale of her final “The View,” taped at ABC’s West Side studios, and airing tomorrow.

TVNewser was there as more than two dozen women TV news anchors packed the stage, each introduced by Oprah Winfrey, among the guests on Walters’ final show. One by one, they greeted a stunned Walters, beginning with Diane Sawyer and continuing with Robin Roberts, Lara Spencer, Elizabeth Vargas, Amy Robach, Deborah Roberts, Katie Couric and Meredith Vieira; also, Jane Pauley, Savannah Guthrie, Natalie Morales, Cynthia McFadden, Gayle King, Maria Shriver, Juju Chang, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford, Lisa Ling, Tamron Hall, Gretchen Carlson, Connie Chung, Paula Zahn, Deborah Norville, and Joan Lunden.

“I have to remember this on the bad days, because this is the best,” said Walters in the commercial break. “They just kept coming, and coming,” joked Sherri Shepherd. During the first part of the show, to keep it secret, the women hid out in Dr. Oz’s studio across the hall.

The show began with Hillary Clinton as the first guest. She encouraged Walters to take some time off — at least a week. Later, Walters said that’s part of her plan — a trip to Berlin is in the works, someplace she’s never been. Among the VIPs in the crowd, New York Knicks forward J.R. Smith. During another commercial break Walters’ joked to Smith that her retirement plans  include “buying the Clippers!” There are other highlights including a hilarious sketch (if you’re a Cheri Oteri fan, and we are) of Barbara interviewing Barbara.

“You’ll never see this again, folks,” Whoppi Goldberg said as the show wound down. “Only for Barbara.”

(Photos: Chris Ariens)

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Barbara Walters on ‘Paving the Way’ for Women: ‘That’s My Legacy’

DIANE SAWYER, BARBARA WALTERS and ROBIN ROBERTSIt was a celebratory atmosphere tonight at ABC News Headquarters when the network’s Upper West Side New York City building was officially renamed the “Barbara Walters Building.”

“It’s not the interviews with presidents, nor heads of state, nor celebrities, nor even the Sterlings,” Walters said about her career legacy. “I hope that I played a small role in paving the way for so many of you fabulous women who are here tonight,” she continued, adding how pleased she is when women approach her about their achievements. “That’s my legacy” she said to a rousing applause.

Standing beside many ABC News colleagues, including Diane Sawyer, Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, and Lara Spencer; along with Walt Disney Company Chairman Bob Iger, Disney/ABC TV President Ben Sherwood, and ABC News President James Goldston, Walters joked about having a building named after her in a city where Kennedy Airport and the Lincoln Tunnel reside: ”It may not be a landmark, but a couple of pigeons have already staked it out.”

“It makes me feel wonderful,” Walters told TVNewser after the ceremony in response to taglines that say, “she didn’t just report history, she made history.”

“The fact that my career turned out this way, it’s still an amazement to me,” she told us, highlighting her start as a writer at NBC’s “Today” which wasn’t clamoring to “put me on [air].” When she started out in the business, there “were almost none [women in TV news],” Walters told us.

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Lara Spencer Apologizes for ‘GMA’ Cinco de Mayo Segment

“Good Morning America” co-anchor Lara Spencer apologized yesterday for getting carried away during a Monday segment celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

John Quinones, an ABC News correspondent, accepted Spencer’s apology.

On Monday’s show, Spencer donned a sombrero, held a margarita, and celebrated “Cinco de Drinko,” aka “the biggest day of the year for margarita sales.” This morning, MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts apologized for a similar Cinco de Mayo segment on “Way Too Early” Monday.

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Behind the Scenes at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

For the White House Correspondents’ Association, it’s a night to celebrate the free press. For Joel McHale, it’s a night where “a guy like me can stand before the president, the press and Patrick Duffy, and tell jokes without severe repercussions.” And for TVNewser, it’s a night where the people we cover all year — executives, producers, reporters and anchors from every major network — are all together in the same room: the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, which we attended this year as a guest of ABC News.

Our night began outside the entrance to the ballroom at the Washington Hilton, where we overheard now-NBC News correspdonent Cynthia McFadden ask for directions to the ABC News party. We followed her in, and a few minutes later we were chatting with Diane Sawyer, who told us she always looks forward to the Correspondents’ Dinner, and James Goldston, who said he was pleased with his first few weeks as ABC News president. In the back of the room, Fox News anchors Ainsley Earhardt and Kimberly Guilfoyle posed for a picture with Sofia Vergara; Earhardt told us afterwards that she’s “having a blast” anchoring “Fox & Friends First,” despite the crazy hours. We spotted Katie Couric chatting with former Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman and his daughter, Abby Huntsman, who is a co-host of MSNBC’s “The Cycle.”

Wolf Blitzer made the rounds with Diane Lane. We saw NBC’s Savannah Guthrie and ABC’s Lara Spencer snap a picture with Tony Goldwyn from “Scandal.” We spent a few minutes with Rebecca Jarvis, and chatted with Alicia Menendez about her participation in the TVNewser Show as well as her Twitter habit.

On the way into the ballroom, we spotted Guthrie and her husband, Mike Feldman, chatting with Bret Baier and his wife Amy. We saw Jessica Simpson and her fiance, Eric Johnson, chatting with fans. Simpson’s ex, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo, was also at the WHCD as a guest of Fox News. Read more

ABC Toasts Robin Roberts at a Book Party For ‘Everybody’s Got Something’

A crowd of television personalities and executives gathered at George Stephanopoulos and Ali Wentworth‘s apartment last night to celebrate “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts, whose memoir, “Everybody’s Got Something,” was released today.

The memoir is Roberts’ firsthand account of her MDS diagnosis and treatment. Roberts told TVNewser she began to write the book after her return to “GMA,” using entries from the journal she kept during her recovery. When we asked if the writing process was cathartic, Roberts said the real satisfaction came when she re-read the story and realized “how strong and healthy I am.”

On hand to celebrate the book’s launch from ABC: Disney/ABC Television Group president Ben Sherwood, ABC News president James Goldston, vice president of business development Susan Mercandetti, senior vice president for talent Barbara Fedida, Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, David Muir, Dan Abrams, Lara Spencer, Ginger Zee, Michael Strahan, Charlie Gibson and Deborah Roberts. CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter and “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King were also in attendance.

Roberts tweeted a selfie with Spencer and Zee: “These three are gonna be a wee bit tired in the morning,” she wrote. Read more

Lara Spencer Named Co-Host of ‘Good Morning America’

LaraSpencer Lara Spencer has been promoted to co-host of “Good Morning America,” joining George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts, ABC News President James Goldston announced today.

“Lara is clearly an essential ingredient in the success we have enjoyed and I am so pleased to announce that Lara has been elevated to co-host of the program along with Robin and George,”  Goldston wrote in an email to staff marking the two-year anniversary of “GMA” snapping “Today’s” reign as TV news’ number-one morning show.

Spencer re-signed with “GMA” last month. “This was a simple decision,” Spencer said then. “I love what I do and I adore the people I work with. I am thrilled to be on this team and look forward to many more years.”

Goldston’s full email to staff after the jump.

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The Hollywood Reporter’s Annual ’35 Most Powerful People in New York Media’

Television news executives and personalities are well represented on The Hollywood Reporter‘s annual “35 Most Powerful People in New York Media” list.

From the executive ranks: CBS News chairman Jeff Fager and president David Rhodes; NBC News chairman Pat Fili-Krushel and president Deborah Turness; and incoming Disney/ABC Television group president Ben Sherwood and ABC News president James Goldston represent the broadcast networks. On the cable side, Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, MSNBC president Phil Griffin, CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker and Bloomberg Media Group CEO Justin Smith make the list.

The main anchors for the broadcast networks — Brian Williams, Diane Sawyer and Scott Pelley — are all on the list, as well as morning anchors from each network. For NBC, it’s Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and Willie Geist; Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell represent CBS; and for ABC, Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos and Lara Spencer. “Good Morning America” senior executive producer Tom Cibrowski and “CBS Sunday Morning” EP Rand Morrison are also named.

As for cable news talent, all three Fox News primetime hosts — Bill O’Reilly, Megyn Kelly and Sean Hannity — make the list. From MSNBC, Rachel Maddow, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough; and from CNN, Anderson Cooper.

Other notable additions: Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, Jimmy Fallon, Bob Costas, Michael Strahan and Kelly Ripa.

TVNewser will be at the party celebrating the honorees tonight.

[Images via Hollywood Reporter]

‘GMA’ Anchors Share Who’s Inspired Them

gma inspirationAhead of the release of Robin Roberts‘ memoir — which is about people who inspired her during her battle with MDS — the “Good Morning America” anchors shared who has inspired them this morning.

Lara Spencer talked about her father and George Stephanopoulos talked about his friend Loring Henderson, who runs a homeless shelter in Lawrence, Kansas. Ginger Zee talked about Brad Edwards, a reporter for the CBS affiliate in Chicago that suffers from a rare disease that affects his balance, and Amy Robach talked about the “GMA” viewers, who have sent “boxes and boxes” of support letters as she continues to battle breast cancer.

“I want everyone to know what an impact that has had on me,” Robach said. “When my alarm clock goes off at 4 o’clock in the morning, I’m inspired by everyone who says, ‘Go get it. You’ve got this. Fight like a girl.’”

Anchors from the “Today” show devoted a week in November to a similar topic.

Video of the “GMA” segment is after the jump. Read more

Lunch with Lara Spencer & Amy Robach: Rumors, Ratings & the Revolving Door

"GMA" anchors Amy Robach and Lara Spencer show off their manicures April 1. (via @laraspencer)

“Good Morning America” anchors Amy Robach and Lara Spencer show off their manicures on the show April 1. (via @laraspencer)

It has been a busy few months at “Good Morning America.” Since December, Sam Champion and Josh Elliott have departed, Ginger Zee and Amy Robach have joined the team and Robin Roberts and Lara Spencer have extended their contracts with ABC News. Through it all, “GMA” remains steadfast in the ratings, despite the fact that both Champion and Elliott — “our brothers,” as Spencer calls them — have decamped for NBC.

As “GMA” prepares to mark two years as the most-watched morning show, TVNewser caught up with Spencer and Robach over lunch at Bobby Flay‘s Bar Americain Tuesday. They told us about their new roles on the show, how the team is really getting along, and why the “GMA” rumor mill has been in high gear the past few weeks. Before talking shop, we asked Robach, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in October, how she is feeling.

Amy Robach: I am feeling pretty darn good considering where I am in my treatments. I have two more chemotherapy rounds left – my next one is on Thursday. My final one is April 24. And then I have one more surgery in June. I’m going to work every day, and that means a lot to me mentally which I think helps me physically.

My memory is not amazing right now. It’s a little nerve wracking, feeling not mentally sharp all the time, but luckily there’s a teleprompter in front of me, and a good team that picks up any mental malfunctions I may have in the middle of a sentence or a thought.

Lara Spencer:  You haven’t missed a beat. You are radiant and smiling – she’s a rock star. She comes in, she brings her A-game. I haven’t noticed the memory at all. She’s remarkable. She’s being very modest.

TVNewser: Do you feel like you’ve processed your promotion yet? Read more

Hillary Clinton Sees Media Double Standard Toward Women

abc_hillary_clinton_nightline_interview_lpl_130129_mnAt a “Women in the World” event in New York City last night, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed her view of a double standard in how women are talked about in the media, Politico’s Maggie Haberman reports.

“There is a double standard,” Clinton said. “The double standard is alive and well, and I think in many respects the media is the principal propagator of its persistence,” she added.

She added advice for women, suggesting they not take criticism personally, but instead seriously. Clinton’s comments about the media’s gender double standard come a day after a new Women’s Media Center report showed a different issue when it comes to females and the media: a wide gap between the number of female media figures and their male counterparts.

We tallied the cable and brodcast news ratios for you (after the jump).

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