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Posts Tagged ‘Les Moonves’

The Morning Ticker: More Moonves, Walters/Lohan, Piers’ Prez Pick

  • CBS CEO Les Moonves has inked a contract extension that will keep him at the Eye network through mid 2017. “I look forward to all Leslie will continue to do as the genius that he is.” said CBS chairman Sumner Redstone in a statement.
  • ABC’s Barbara Walters has scored an exclusive primetime sit down with troubled actress Lindsay Lohan. The interview will air on “20/20″ Friday, November 16, tied to the debut of Lohan’s Lifetime movie “Liz and Dick,” in which she plays Elizabeth Taylor.

CBS CEO: Scott Pelley’s Ratings An Improvement Over Predecessor ‘Whose name I will not mention’

CBS CEO Les Moonves spoke at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch media conference today, and talked briefly about CBS News.

“The status of CBS News right now is much higher than it was two or three years ago, Scott Pelley’s ratings are up significantly from what his predecessor’s, whose name I will not mention,” Moonves said, referring to Katie Couric. “The morning show is significantly,  qualitatively a better show, the ratings are up a little bit. [the news divison] is in profit.”

Moonves was also asked about the long-rumored deal between CNN and CBS News.

“Are you referring to one [network] in particular that is having some struggles over there?” Moonves quipped in response to a question about the talks. “At the time it didn’t seem to make sense, economically. It is tough to do joint ventures with big media companies,  are there shared services that could be done? Probably.

For any of these troubled networks, they can reach out and we will take their calls,” he added.

A (Very Important) Day In The Life of Scott Pelley

Broadcasting & Cable‘s Andrea Morabito shadowed “CBS Evening News” anchor Scott Pelley for a few days as the anchor celebrated his one-year anniversary at the news program (subscription required).

Morabito weaves a compelling “tick tock” of the day, including all of Pelley’s meetings with producers, and his daily early afternoon workout. She also describes how he splits his time between the “Evening News” and “60 Minutes,” which has offices across the street from the CBS Broadcast Center. Along the way, she reveals this fascinating tidbit:

He has come for an 11 a.m. meeting with Harry Radliffe, a 60 Minutes producer, with Bill Harwood, CBS News’ NASA consultant, on the phone, to discuss an email complaint Pelley received from Neil Armstrong—yes, that Neil Armstrong—late the night before. The former astronaut is upset with what he argues was a misrepresenting of his congressional testimony in a piece Pelley did on the SpaceX company. Armstrong claims he has been trying to reach 60 Minutes for months without success, which distresses Pelley.

After a 15-minute meeting, it is agreed that the reporting of the segment was solid, but Pelley still wants to publicly acknowledge Armstrong’s response, either on the Website or on-air, given his prominence. Pelley instructs the two others to draft a letter to Armstrong that he can review later that day.

There are lots of great moments in the piece, but this one, involving CBS CEO Les Moonves, sticks out:

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Les Moonves: ‘Partisanship is Very Much a Part of Journalism Now’

The LATimes writes up Pres. Obama’s LGBT fundraiser in Los Angeles last night attended by about 600 supporters including Ellen DeGeneres, Cher and her son Chaz Bono. Another boldface name in the crowd: CBS Corp. CEO and chairman Les Moonves and his wife, “The Talk” co-host Julie Chen, who, in the past, anchored CBS News’s “The Early Show.”

Before the event began, a long line of partygoers waited on the sidewalk outside the hotel to check in. CBS chief Les Moonves and his wife, Julie Chen, waited patiently for their wristbands. Obama, Moonves said, “has shown great leadership” on the issue of gay marriage.

Though he heads a news division, Moonves said, “ultimately journalism has changed … partisanship is very much a part of journalism now.”

He hastened to add that despite his presence, “I run a news division. I’ve given no money to any candidate.”

Wonder how this is going over in the CBS Newsroom. We’ve got a call in to find out.

High Praise For ‘CBS This Morning’ At CBS Upfront

CBS held its upfront presentation at Carnegie Hall yesterday, and while most of the show was focused on primetime, there was also high praise about “CBS This Morning” from both CBS CEO Les Moonves and CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler.

“CBS This Morning” Co-anchors Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Erica Hill were all in attendance (see picture right).

In his introductory speech, Moonves said, “At CBS News there is a true renaissance going on under the leadership of [CBS News chairman] Jeff Fager and [CBS news president] David Rhodes, and we are thrilled with the results. The new “CBS This Morning” is the best broadcast we have ever had in the morning.”

Tassler, in giving an overview of current programming, said “It is a distinctive broadcast that is getting our day off to its best start in decades.”

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CNBC Looks at the Future of TV

As the TV networks, and increasingly online video networks, prepare to pitch their new shows to advertisers at the annual upfronts, CNBC is looking at the future of the industry. Monday night, CNBC’s Media and Entertainment reporter Julia Boorstin takes viewers inside the companies competing to shape the new connected-TV reality. MTV founder Tom Freston, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, CBS CEO Les Moonves, Disney CEO Robert Iger, even actor Ashton Kutcher all weigh in on the future of television.

“Stay Tuned…The Future of TV,” premieres Monday at 9pmET/PT on CNBC.

TIME & People Throw WHCA Cocktail Party

The parties are underway in Washington D.C. ahead of the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. Last night at the St. Regis, TIME and People threw a cocktail party with drop-ins from a bunch of boldface tvnewsers all enjoying custom flavored custards by Shake Shack.

TIME‘s Managing Editor Rick Stengel (below with Savannah Guthrie) along with and DC bureau chief Michael Duffy, People‘s Managing Editor Larry Hackett, and DC correspondent Sandra Sobieraj Westfall hosted the party.

Spotted at the party: Gayle King (below with Andrea Mitchell), Chris Matthews, Julie Chen and hubby CBS CEO Les Moonves (right with Wolf Blitzer), Greta Van Susteren, Wolf Blitzer, , Thomas Roberts, Kelly O’Donnell, Ed Henry, Willie Geist, Dana Bash, Erica Hill, Chris Wallace, Tamron Hall, Norah O’Donnell, Alex Wagner, Donna Brazile; ABC News president Ben Sherwood, NBC News president Steve Capus, “Meet the Press” EP Betsy Fischer and “Face the Nation” EP Mary Hager also CNN execs Mark Whitaker and Sam Feist.

(Photos: Getty Images)

CBS News Toasts One Year Of New Leadership Under Jeff Fager and David Rhodes

On Wednesday, CBS News celebrated the one year anniversary of its new leadership under chairman Jeff Fager and president David Rhodes. CBS brought in a giant cake and plenty of champagne for staff to enjoy, with satellite offices calling into the newsroom to hear the speeches.

“CBS Evening News” anchor Scott Pelley toasted Fager and Rhodes, and other attendees included the “CBS This Morning” team of Charlie Rose, Gayle King, Erica Hill and CBS CEO Les Moonves also stopped by, according to an attendee.

(L-R) Charlie Rose, Chris Licht, Jeff Fager, Scott Pelley and David Rhodes

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Ted Koppel, Al Gore Argue For Independent and Focused Media, Criticize Cable News in the Process

In celebration of its 80th anniversary, Broadcasting & Cable magazine asked a number of high-profile TV executives and personalities to weigh in on the business. In addition CBS CEO Les Moonves, NFL commentator Al Michaels, Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, the magazine asked former ABC anchor and current “Rock Center” contributor Ted Koppel to weigh in on the state of TV news, and former Vice President and current Current TV chairman Al Gore to weigh in on independent media (subscription required).

Koppel has often spoken about his distaste with the current state of media, and his essay focused on the impact of social media, and the polarization of news. As he has done in the past, he called out Fox News and MSNBC for harming the public discourse:

Thirty or forty years ago, I used to tell audiences, with a mixture of pride and chagrin, that while doctors and lawyers needed a license to practice, that while everyone needed a license to drive, or hunt, or fish; nobody needed a license to be a journalist. Of course, back then, the only way to communicate with a national audience was to get a job with a national news magazine, like Time or Newsweek, or with a national broadcasting network, of which there were only three. So, the opportunity was more theoretical than real. Still, with the advent of the Internet, I used to tell college students that the capacity to communicate globally was now, literally, in their hands.

I never actually expected them to do it.

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CBS CEO Les Moonves On News Division: ‘We wouldn’t be a network without it’

Yesterday CBS CEO Les Moonves was interviewed as part of the HRTS “Newsmaker” series. Among many other topics, Moonves discussed his network’s new morning show, and the state of broadcast news as a whole. He also briefly addressed the long-rumored on again off again partnership with CNN.

With regards to the revamped “Early Show,” Moonves was bullish on the new concept:

“To do a poor imitation of the Today Show or GMA is not the way to go,” Moonves said. “It’s going to be a different kind of show.”

Given the unusual pairing of Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Erica Hill, and the statements made by CBS News executives, it certainly sounds like it will be different.

Moonves was also bullish on broadcast news as a whole, though he acknowledged that it would never bring in the money that the entertainment side of the business does:

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