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Posts Tagged ‘Les Moonves’

CBS Eyes October Launch of Digital Channel

CBSEyesCBS News is in hiring mode for the new CBS News digital news channel and is looking at a launch in October, TVNewser has learned.

The channel is being championed by CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves, with CBS News president David Rhodes heading up the effort. Rhodes is a veteran of the cable game, having worked the early years at Fox News Channel and later as head of U.S. TV for Bloomberg.

We’re told Mosheh Oinounou, who worked with Rhodes at both Fox News and Bloomberg and Nancy Lane, head of editorial for CBSNews.com, are doing most of the candidate interviews. Lane is also a cable news veteran, having worked at CNN for 29 years. Oinounou has been with CBS since 2011. CBS is looking to have a staff of around 60 people for the launch, including interactive, technical and editorial, many plucked from current cable TV news ranks.

In May, Moonves told Bloomberg’s Trish Regan, “Wouldn’t it be a good idea to do a 24-hour digital channel taking all the resources that CBS News has…all over the world. And there is so much information that we get every day that doesn’t fit into a 22-minute newscast at 6:30, or ‘CBS This Morning.’ So we can do that.”

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Les Moonves on Aereo: ‘It’s a Very Good Day for our Future’

ReganMoonvesBloomberg’s Trish Regan talked with CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves about the Supreme Court decision on Aereo. “We are very pleased,” says Moonves. “Justice was served. We expected to win, but it certainly feels good to win as decisively as we did.”

CBS was among the plaintiffs in the case along with other networks and local stations. “What Aereo was doing was not about technology, it was about theft,” Moonves said. He says the decision also protects broadcasters from “future Aereos.” WATCH:

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Les Moonves Confirms CBS is Developing Digital News Channel; David Rhodes Oversees

cbsnews304CBS is in the “early stages” of developing a 24-hour digital news network, CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves says. Appearing on Bloomberg today, Moonves told Trish Regan the digital channel will be “an exciting alternative to cable news.” BuzzFeed first reported in October that CBS was considering the idea of an all-news network.

“With all the content going digital right now, wouldn’t it be a good idea to do a 24-hour digital channel taking all the resources that CBS News has…all over the world. And there is so much information that we get every day that doesn’t fit into a 22-minute newscast at 6:30 or ‘CBS This Morning.’ So we can do that.”

CBS News president David Rhodes, who is a veteran of Fox News and Bloomberg TV, is heading up the effort.

Watch: Read more

Barbara Walters Farewell: ‘True, I Was the First Female Co-Host… But Also True, I Was a Flop’

WaltersSawyerIt was a star-studded farewell for Barbara Walters at New York City’s Four Seasons restaurant tonight. From comedian Joan Rivers to commissioner Bill Bratton; from New York’s chronicler of scandal, Cindy Adams, to the man who plays the president on “Scandal,” Tony Goldwyn; from actor Woody Allen to attorney David Boies, But mostly, the pool room was packed with Walters’ fellow TV news colleagues and those ladies — past and present — from “The View.” Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd; Meredith Vieira and Joy Behar.

Following a best of Barbara video, Disney Chairman Bob Iger welcomed the crowd, before Walters delivered a few words of thanks and admitting it hasn’t always been easy. “True, I was the first female co-host of a network news program. But also true, I was a flop. My male co-host didn’t want a partner and neither did the audience. I was drowning, gasping for air. Then someone threw me that life preserver called Specials with the biggest stars in news and show business and I learned how to swim again.”

Current and former evening news anchors were there, including Diane Sawyer and Brian Williams who arrived with Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric and fiancé John Molner; and Connie Chung (who was part of an ill-fated co-anchor pairing with Dan Rather) and husband Maury Povich. We caught up with early risers Savannah Guthrie and George Stephanopoulos along with their spouses, Mike Feldman, and Ali Wentworth, respectively, as they were heading out. Guthrie’s “Today” colleague Al Roker and his wife, ABC correspondent Deborah Roberts made the rounds as well.

Walters continued: “I’m grateful to the legendary Roone Arledge for bringing me to ABC News; thankful to David Westin for his steady leadership; to Ben Sherwood – you made us all believe we could win and with your leadership and passion, we did; and James Goldston – I’m told that all our shows are number one at the moment – you should quit right now.” Sherwood, Goldston and Westin were all on hand, as were other ABC News executives including Barbara Fedida, David Sloan, Jeanmarie Condon and John Green.

We spotted Jenny McCarthy hand-in-hand with fiance Donnie Wahlberg; the “Nightline” team of Juju ChangDan Abrams, and Dan Harris as well as a host of correspondents and anchors from ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC and Fox, including Elizabeth VargasAmy RobachDavid MuirNorah O’DonnellJon KarlGio Benitez, Dr. Richard Besser, Tory JohnsonRick Klein, Brian Ross, Mara Schiavocampo, Thomas RobertsAlicia MenendezHoda Kotb, Greta Van Susteren and Lisa Ling, a former “View” co-host, now woking on a new show for CNN.

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The AM Ticker: Licht, Nagler, Silberwasser

  • CBS Radio News VP Harvey Nagler will be awarded the John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award from the RTDNA. The award, to be presented at the RTDNA conference September in Nashville, recognizes an individual’s contributions to the journalism profession.

  • Luis Silberwasser has been named President of Telemundo Network. Silberwasser is currently EVP of Discovery Networks International based in London. He will report to Joe Uva, Chairman, of NBCU’s Hispanic Enterprises and Content and will be based in Miami.

‘The Proverbial Perfect Storm’ of Lara Logan’s Benghazi Report

LaraLogan304In an in-depth report for New York magazine, Joe Hagan pieces together “the proverbial perfect storm” that led to Lara Logan‘s now-infamous Benghazi report on “60 Minutes” last year. The piece focuses on Jeff Fager‘s leadership of “60 Minutes,” as well as Logan’s rapid rise at CBS News, reportedly orchestrated in part because CBS chairman Les Moonves saw her “steely eyes, breathless delivery, and exotic accent as the raw material of a future star.”

Logan “delivered the kind of muscular reports that inoculated CBS against charges of a leftist agenda following the Rather incident, especially valuable in the patriotic climate after 9/11,” Hagan writes:

As Logan rose, however, Fager was left to manage the risk inherent in Moonves’s asset. Logan had a zealousness that could cross the line into recklessness, a confidence that could come off as arrogance. A common view among current and former colleagues (keeping in mind that not-for-attribution backbiting and Schadenfreude are a stock-in-trade of TV news) is that Logan’s star power blinded her superiors to her flaws. “She got everything she wanted, always, even when she was wrong, and that’s been going on since the beginning,” says a former CBS News producer who worked with her.  Read more

The Morning Ticker: Velshi Expanding, ‘Today’ Gets SiriusXM, CEOs Score

  • Starting today, Al Jazeera America’s “Real Money with Ali Velshi” will expand to one hour. Velshi says the goal of the program, which airs Monday-Friday at 7pmET, “[I]s to shed a light on the needs of millions of Americans – not only by looking at Washington and policymakers, but by talking to real families and Americans experiencing economic struggles.”

  • SiriusXM and NBC News will launch “Today Show Radio” June 26. The new channel 108 will give SiriusXM listeners across the country access to live audio feeds of the show, including replays. “Today” joins other NBU channels on SiriusXM including CNBC on channel 112, and MSNBC on channel 117.

  • The Wrap is out with its 2013 Compensation Survey. CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves pulled in $66.9 million, a +7.6% gain over 2012. Steve Burke, president and CEO of NBCUniversal, earned $31.1 million, an increase of $4.8 million over the previous year, and Disney CEO Bob Iger took a -14% pay cut, still pulling in $34.3 million.

If Aereo Wins, Here’s a Plan B for Broadcasters

aereo_logo 304x200If Aereo loses its Supreme Court case, to be argued a week from today, it does not have a plan B.

Broadcasters, on the other hand, do. The Wall Street Journal reports today that CBS, one of the broadcasters that has sued to shut down the service, alleging that it steals their content, has a backup plan. CBS Corp. chairman Les Moonves has said the broadcast network could move to cable, preventing Aereo from taking the signal which now goes out over the air. Another option: beat Aereo at its own game. From the WSJ:

[A] person familiar with the situation said CBS has the ability to launch a service that would stream its programming over the Web simultaneously with its television broadcasts. CBS would charge a few dollars a month and show ads, the person said. Such a service would also likely offer on-demand programming. It could include Showtime, the CBS-owned premium cable channel, which would increase the subscription fee, the person said. CBS would use technology company Syncbak, in which it owns a minority stake, to power streaming of local TV stations’ signals over the Web, the person said.

Katie Couric will be interviewing Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia. The interview will be on Yahoo! Thursday morning. And to learn more about Aereo, and its fight with broadcasters, we’ll be debating it at the TVNewser Show, two weeks from today: BIA/Kelsey SVP Mark Fratrik, Internet attorney Tim Bukher and U.S. Law Week’s Tom Taylor will join us. Click here for more information, and to register.

Stephen Colbert to Succeed David Letterman as Host of ‘The Late Show’

stephen colbertIt’s official: Stephen Colbert will take over as the host of CBS’ “The Late Show” when David Letterman retires next year.

Specifics of Colbert’s show — including the premiere date, producers and location — will be determined after the timeline is decided for Letterman’s retirement, CBS said. Colbert has hosted his Comedy Central show, “The Colbert Report,” since 2005.

“Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television,” CBS president and CEO Les Moonves said in a statement. “David Letterman’s legacy and accomplishments are an incredible source of pride for all of us here, and today’s announcement speaks to our commitment of upholding what he established for CBS in late night.”

“Simply being a guest on David Letterman’s show has been a highlight of my career,” Colbert added. “I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave’s lead.”

The release is after the jump. Read more

David Letterman to Leave ‘Late Show’

GagaMurrayLetterman

During the taping of tonight’s “Late Show,” David Letterman announced next year will be his last on the show he’s hosted for more than two decades. Letterman, who turns 67 next week, signed a contract extension in October. He has spent almost half his life hosting a late night TV show: 11 years at NBC’s “Late Night,” and since 1993 fronting CBS’s “Late Show.”

“What this means now, is that Paul and I can be married,” Letterman, joked, referring to his sidekick of more than three decades, Paul Schaffer. Here’s the statement from CBS Corp. Chairman Les Moonves:

“When Dave decided on a one-year extension for his most recent contract, we knew this day was getting closer, but that doesn’t make the moment any less poignant for us. For 21 years, David Letterman has graced our Network’s air in late night with wit, gravitas and brilliance unique in the history of our medium. During that time, Dave has given television audiences thousands of hours of comedic entertainment, the sharpest interviews in late night, and brilliant moments of candor and perspective around national events. He’s also managed to keep many celebrities, politicians and executives on their toes – including me. There is only one David Letterman. His greatness will always be remembered here, and he will certainly sit among the pantheon of this business. On a personal note, it’s been a privilege to get to know Dave and to enjoy a terrific relationship. It’s going to be tough to say goodbye. Fortunately, we won’t have to do that for another year or so. Until then, we look forward to celebrating Dave’s remarkable show and incredible talents.”

The news was first reported on Twitter by the show’s bassist Mike Mills just after 4pmET. Here’s how the news networks followed up on Twitter:

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