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Posts Tagged ‘Laura Ling’

Lisa Ling on ‘Our America,’ Her Sister, & Oprah’s 2am Emails

Lisa Ling, who has made the rounds on ABC, CNN and MSNBC in recent years, has a new show debuting tonight on OWN. “Our America” is a single-subject, weekly documentary hosted by Ling. TVNewser talked with her this morning about her Alma Mater “The View,” her sister Laura Ling‘s recovery after five months in North Korean custody, and her new boss Oprah Winfrey.

TVNewser: Your new show debuts tonight. What topics are you most excited about?

Lisa Ling: The first episode is about faith healing. We profiled this well-known faith healer who’s covered in tattoos and he lays hands on a man who has been wheelchair bound for years. And really, it’s about the phenomenon of faith healing, because over 80% of Americans believe that God can heal them of their ailments. This guy in a wheelchair had heard this voice of God telling him that he would walk on the last day during the last hour of this faith healing conference. I can’t tell you what happened, but I will say it was a completely shocking experience for me and really changed my notion of faith completely.

TVNewser: Do you talk with Oprah Winfrey often about the direction of the show?

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Current TV’s ‘Twin Pillar’ Strategy to Gain Relevance

The Daily Beast’s Peter Lauria writes about Current TV, the news network co-founded by former Vice President Al Gore. Current was originally conceived as a news channel for young people where much of the content came from user generated material.

The network failed to gain traction with viewers and distributors, and has since been undergoing a radical revamping.

While consultant Brian Graden looks to be focusing on the entertainment side of things, Current also has plans to make a larger push for TV news, with a focus on documentaries and investigative reporting, two areas where the cable news channels have dedicated less resources over the last few years.

There will also be a notable holdover from the network’s existing program lineup:

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Current TV’s Identity Crisis

current.jpg062410.jpeg Current TV, the network founded by former Vice President Al Gore and his business partner Joel Hyatt, is preparing for a major format change that will alter the face of the network’s programming.

That is the takeaway from an in-depth feature on the channel by The Hollywood Reporter‘s Andrew Wallenstein.

A big part of the network’s new strategy comes from Brian Graden, the former head of programming for MTV, who the network has brought on as a consultant.

Wallenstein reports that Graden has been tasked with reworking the channel, moving away from the short-form and viewer submitted content, and toward more typical programming found on other cable television networks.

It will also mean less, or at least very different, news and non-fiction programming:

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Lisa Ling: ‘CNN was Vital’ to Sister’s Release From North Korean Prison

Journalists Lisa Ling and Laura Ling were on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” yesterday, and spoke to Howard Kurtz about the media strategy behind the effort to free Laura and her Current TV colleague Euna Lee from a North Korean prison cell.

Among the revelations was that Lisa, upon learning of her sisters arrest, lobbied cable news executives, producers and correspondents to limit coverage of the story. The fear was that it could upset the unpredictable leadership in the totalitarian state, and could put her sister in jeopardy.

Upon finding out that North Korean leaders may have had access to CNN, they changed their strategy, making an effort to appeal directly to the North Korean government on the channel.

Lisa Ling told Kurtz:

CNN was vital, CNN we believe is the only American news channel the North Koreans see. doing an hour with Larry king and Anderson Cooper’s show, which aired the morning of the trial, was absolutely essential for us.

Later on, Lisa says she reached out to CNN U.S. president Jon Klein and asked him if the netwrk could televise Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s call for amnesty “and play it as often as they could,” in an effort to send a message to the North Korean government.

The full interview is below.

Laura Ling and Euna Lee Post Thank You Video

CurrentTV journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who were detained in N Korea for 140 days until being returned last week, have posted this thank you message on Current’s web site for everyone who supported them:

Lisa Ling on AC360: “They Touched North Korean Territory Very, Very Briefly”

lisa_ling_ac360_8_6.jpgLast night, CNN special correspondent Lisa Ling, sister of Laura Ling, spoke with Erica Hill—sparingly—about the details of the ordeal her sister and fellow Current TV journalist Euna Lee went through as they were held captive in North Korea prior to this week’s return:

“We’ve talked very briefly about it. And she definitely wants to divulge exactly what happened. And I think she’s going to write an editorial very, very soon that addressing it. And I want to let her do it. She did say that they touched North Korean territory very, very briefly. And then beyond that, I want to let her tell the story.”

She later continued:

“It was something that, you know, they were never planning to do originally. I mean, I said this before, that when they left U.S. soil they never intended to cross into North Korea. And, you know, they — I mean she said it was maybe 30 seconds. And then, you know, everything just sort of got chaotic.”

Until this week, it had been somewhat unclear whether the two had actually crossed over the border or if they were captured before crossing. In the interview, Lisa Ling stated that her sister claimed to be treated very well by her captors, but added that she is still recovering:

“She’s still quite weak and exhausted and incredibly emotional. You know, she’s been in relative isolation for months and months and, you know, she doesn’t even like to be alone. Yesterday she was so exhausted and she wanted to take a quick nap. And she kept asking me, are you going to be here when I come back? Are you going to be here when I come back?”

The Ticker: Style-’Today’, Lisa Ling, Two Hunks…

> B&C reports NBC will repurpose some “Today” show content for a new program on the Style Network called “Tips Today.” Sytle Network is not one of the many channels owned by NBCU, instead it is owned by Comcast.

> Anderson Cooper will interview Lisa Ling tonight, sister of Laura Ling who was released from North Korean captivity Tuesday. In the past, Lisa Ling has been a special correspondent for CNN and has worked on projects for MSNBC.

> The Houston Chronicle has a list of the top 13 “Web Hunks” and two tvnewsers made the list: MSNBC’s Carlos Watson and ABC’s Jake Tapper. (Yes, “Web Hunks.”) Congratulations to all parties involved…

Overheard During the Laura Ling – Euna Lee

LeeLing_8.5.jpgThis morning, from the time the plane carrying Laura Ling and Euna Lee touched down until Ling came to the mic to speak, there was that sometimes awkward news coverage downtime – at least a half hour, by our count. And during these kinds of events we invariably end up overhearing lots of interesting, improvised and sometimes (we’re lookin’ at you today, Carlson) inaccurate remarks from the tvnewsers. Here are some of our favorites:

FNC’s “Fox & Friends”:

Steve Doocy: We heard from one of the fathers of one of the young women saying, you know, ‘I’m going to let her have it’ from being that close out there.


Gretchen Carlson: Much will be discussed about how this all happened and whether or not they should have even been this close to the Iranian border or in fact, were they in Iran? Many say they were not in Iran when they were taken…

ABC News correspondent Martha Raddatz on GMA:

In July, they called their parents and said the North Koreans had told them that if President Clinton came to North Korea, they would be freed. Apparently, they did not want Al Gore to go over there.

CNN “American Morning” co-anchor John Roberts:

Sun coming up on that aircraft as they open the doors. It’s like out of a Harrison Ford movie, isn’t it?

NBC’s “Today” show:

Andrea Mitchell: [Hillary] said she talked to [Bill] and very briefly, she didn’t have a lot of details because his cell phone went out. I know from being over there how bad the connections are. So he tried to tell her how exciting it was to have the moment with these two young women.

That one’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

Laura Ling, Euna Lee, Back in U.S.

All the broadcast and cable news and business networks were live over Bob Hope airport in Burbank, CA at 5:50amPT this morning as the plane carrying freed CurrentTV journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee landed. Their release was negotiated by former Pres. Bill Clinton yesterday, who accompanied the women home this morning on a plane owned by Shangri-La Entertainment.










> More: The broadcast networks continued special coverage into the 9amET hour as Ling and Lee disembarked from the plane and were reunited with their families at 9:15amET.




Laura Ling describes being called to a meeting yesterday only to realize former Pres. Clinton was in the room: “We were shocked but we knew instantly in our hearts that the nightmare of our lives was finally coming to an end and now we stand here home, and free.”

Clinton (Bill, Not Hillary) Heads to North Korea to Negotiate Release of Laura Ling and Euna Lee

FishbowlDC reports former Pres. Bill Clinton has arrived in North Korea to help negotiate the release of CurrentTV journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee who’ve been in custody since March.

Clinton’s VP, Al Gore, is a founder of CurrentTV.

> Earlier on TVNewser: Laura Ling, Euna Lee Convicted; Sentenced to 12 Years

> More: The AP reports Clinton met today with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. Clinton “courteously” conveyed a verbal message from Pres. Obama, the official Korean Central News Agency said in a report from Pyongyang. Kim expressed his thanks, and engaged Clinton in a “wide-ranging exchange of views on matters of common concern,” the report said.

“While this solely private mission to secure the release of two Americans is on the ground, we will have no comment,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement. “We do not want to jeopardize the success of former President Clinton’s mission.”