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Posts Tagged ‘Lester Holt’

John Palmer Has Died

Longtime NBC News correspondent and anchor John Palmer has died at the age of 77 after a “short, sudden illness”, the network reported tonight.

Calling Palmer a “dear colleague and friend”, NBC Nightly News weekend anchor Lester Holt described a journalist “many of you welcomed into your living rooms for a good many years…’Been there, done that’ only begins to describe John’s career. There was no one better in the trenches, and as a colleague, no one more liked.”

A Tennessee native, Palmer long served as a foreign correspondent for NBC News before moving over to the White House beat in 1979.  He went on to cover five presidents.  In 1982 he joined the Today show, where for seven years he was news anchor alongside hosts Jane Pauley and Bryant Gumbel.

The veteran newsman left NBC News in 1990, rejoining the division four years later. In a 2008 interview, Palmer shared with TVNewser that it was Tim Russert who gave him that second chance.

Palmer met his wife Nancy at NBC News, and currently two of his daughters are division journalists.  One of them, Today producer Molly Palmer Cowan, married CBS News correspondent Lee Cowan last year. At the time of their engagement, a delighted Palmer told TVNewser that he and Nancy were “not losing a daughter, just adding another journalist to the family, and a fine one he is!”

Update: The AP is reporting the cause of death as pulmonary fibrosis.

Full statement and bio from NBC News, after the jump… Read more

Brian Williams Taking Leave Of Absence For Knee Replacement Surgery

“NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams will undergo replacement surgery on his right knee next week and will be off the program for at least a few weeks. His knee problems date back to a high school football injury.

Williams dedicated a segment on “Nightly” tonight to the procedure, bringing on Dr. Nancy Snyderman to explain it. Snyderman reported it can take anywhere from three weeks to three months before those who undergo the procedure can walk somewhat normally, and up to a year for a full recovery.

Lester Holt will fill in for Williams while he is out.

Williams joked about it on “Late Show with David Letterman” a few weeks ago: “I want to come back almost a little TOO early, gooned on medication – I think it’ll be great viewing.” See that after the jump…

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George Zimmerman Found Not Guilty in Shooting Death of Trayvon Martin

The broadcast news divisions and cable news channels had been waiting all day for a verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. It finally came just before 10pmET, leading the broadcast networks to produce rare, live, primetime special reports for the not guilty verdict. But one network, ABC News, began their special report too late and missed the verdict. ABC joined as the jurors were being polled. The network was showing the canceled “666 Park Avenue,” and even promoted the live verdict in a crawl.

On NBC, Lester Holt anchored a special report, interrupting the final seconds of a made-for-TV movie based on the American Girl doll Saige. Holt took viewers to the verdict, seconds before it was being read. NBC’s report lasted until 10:08.

CBS was first on the air at 9:58, joining during the closing credits of “48 Hours” in the Eastern and Central time zones. The Jim Axelrod-anchored special also went off the air at 10:08.

Despite missing the verdict live, the timing for ABC could not have been better. The network already had “20/20″ on the schedule. The live special report anchored by David Muir began with the verdict then recounted the 16-month long case through the 10pm hour.

The cable news channels had been on verdict watch all day, following 15 hours of deliberation by the six female jurors. By the time the verdict came Don Lemon anchored for CNN, Harris Faulkner on Fox News, Chris Jansing anchored on MSNBC and Nancy Grace was on HLN. “It’s a stunner, Nancy!” said a breathless Jane Velez-Mitchell. “Shock and awe… It’s just…uh.”

Coverage continues on the cablers with news conferences, live chopper shots and other remote cameras on the lookout for verdict reaction.

> More: CNN’s Martin Savidgewho was in the courtroom, said the notice of a verdict came less than 10 minutes before it was read. “It was a race to get to the elevators. Probably 36 reporters and on top of that the legal teams and family members that had to get into place. We barely got into the courtroom.”

Will we hear from the jurors? Here’s what the judge said to them following the verdict:

The law gives you a unique privilege not to speak about the jury’s work. Although you are at liberty to speak with anyone about your deliberations, you are also at liberty to refuse to speak to anyone. A request to discuss either your verdict or your deliberations may come from those who are simply curious from those who might seek to find fault with you, from the media, from the attorneys or elsewhere. It will be up to you to decide whether to preserve your privacy as a juror.

Weekend Evening News Ratings: Q2 2013

Like its weekday counterpart, “NBC Nightly News” leads the competition in both Total Viewers and A25-54 viewers on the weekends. But “ABC World News” is closing the gap: in the second quarter of 2013, the two shows were separated by the smallest Total Viewer margin in 10 years on Saturdays and the smallest in 11 years on Sundays.

“World News,” anchored on the weekends by David Muir, grew in both ratings measurements compared to the year-ago quarter, up +7% in Total Viewers and +1% in the A25-54 demographic. “CBS Evening News,” anchored by Jim Axelrod, was up +3% in Total Viewers but down -10% in the demo, while “NBC Nightly News,” anchored by Lester Holt, was down -3% and -5%, respectively. “World News” delivered its smallest quarterly margins in 10 years in Total Viewers and in four years in the A25-54 demographic.

On Sundays, ABC is again the only show to be up in both ratings measurements, +6% in Total Viewers and +7% in the demo, compared to the year-ago quarter. NBC is up +1% and down -6%, while CBS is down -5% and -15%, respectively.

The Saturday averages for Q2 2013:

NBC ABC CBS
• Total Viewers: 4,253,000 4,128,000 3,245,000
• A25-54: 974,000 875,000 684,000

 

 

 

The Sunday averages for Q2 2013: Read more

Cable, Broadcast Networks Cover San Francisco Plane Crash

A Boeing 777 operated by Asiana Airlines crashed while landing at San Francisco International Airport this afternoon. The flight originated in Seoul, South Korea.

Fox News reported on the crash at the top of the 3 p.m. hour of “America’s News Headquarters,” with Gregg Jarrett and Heather Childers anchoring. CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield was next at 3:07 p.m. MSNBC reported on the crash at 3:08 p.m., with Craig Melvin anchoring.

ABC News produced a special report, with David Muir anchoring, from 3:15 p.m. to 4:02 p.m. NBC News’ Lester Holt anchored a three-minute special report at 3:30 p.m. On CBS, Jim Axelrod anchored a special report at 3:55 p.m.

“All of a sudden, I saw the back tail hit the grounds and I saw the smoke and flames,” a witness told Muir. “It looked like it slid and then both tires were coming out … it happened so fast. I was shaking.”

> More: The cable networks are planning extended coverage in primetime. Fox News Channel’s Greta Van Susteren will anchor a two-hour special from 9-11pmET.

>More: Fox News will have an extended “Fox Report” from 7-9pmET. After Van Susteren’s special, Marianne Rafferty and Rick Folbaum will anchor from 11pm-1amET. “Fox & Friends First” will begin at 5amET tomorrow morning.

>More: ABC News has assigned Cecilia Vega and David Wright to the story. They will report across all platforms for ABC.

Weekend Morning Show Ratings: May 2013 Sweeps

It was a split decision for the weekend morning shows during the May sweeps period. On Saturdays, ABC’s “Good Morning America” won in Total Viewers and NBC’s “Today” won in the A25-54 demographic. On Sundays, “CBS Sunday Morning” won in both ratings measurements.

“GMA Saturday’”s Total Viewer-win is the show’s first May sweeps win since the debut of its current format in 2004. It was the largest-ever overall May sweeps audience for the show’s Saturday edition, which improved upon the year-ago sweep by +17% in Total Viewers. “GMA Saturday” also won in the C3 ratings (commercial ratings + 3 days playback) in both ratings measurements for the first time ever.

On Sundays, “Today” beat “GMA” by +90,000 Total Viewers and +40,000 A25-54 viewers. As usual, ratings stalwart “CBS Sunday Morning” was the most-watched Sunday morning newscast in both Total Viewers and A25-54 viewers, making “GMA” third in both ratings measurements.

The Saturday averages for May 2013 sweeps:

  • Total Viewers: ABC: 3.63M / NBC: 3.54M / CBS: 1.74M
  • A25-54 viewers: NBC: 1.21M / ABC: 1.18M / CBS: 559K

The Sunday averages for May 2013 sweeps:

  • Total Viewers: CBS: 5.75M / NBC: 3.47M / ABC: 3.38M
  • A25-54 viewers: CBS: 1.78M / NBC: 1.11M / ABC: 1.07M

Vanity Fair’s ‘Best Dressed Newsmen’

Vanity fair presents a list of the top 10 “best dressed newsmen.” What was the magazine looking for in style?

“His wardrobe should be dynamic enough to hold our attention but not so outré as to distract from the evening broadcast,” it says.

The big question: what serious anchors made the clothing cut?

NBC’s Matt Lauer, Brian Williams, Lester Holt and Willie Geist, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Don Lemon and Anderson Cooper, CBS’ Anthony Mason and Charlie Rose and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough. You can see them all in slideshow fashion here.

Update: There is a women’s list too, including Barbara Walters, Megyn Kelly and Savannah Guthrie. The full list is here.

Broadcasters Plan Extended Evening Newscasts, Special Coverage Of Tornado Aftermath

The broadcast networks are planning to give their news organizations extra space tonight to update viewers on the aftermath of the devastating tornado that ripped through a suburb of Oklahoma City. In addition to expanded evening newscasts, NBC and ABC will have dedicated programming to coverage of the devastation and recovery.

NBC: NBC News will have a special from 8-9 PM live from Oklahoma, anchored by Brian WilliamsLester Holt, Ann Curry, Harry Smith and Kate Snow will be among the contributors. “NBC Nightly News” will also offer an hour-long newscast to affiliates this evening.

CBS: CBS News will not have a primetime special, however Scott Pelley will host a special edition of the “CBS Evening News” from 6:30 PM until 8 PM, offered to affiliates.

ABC: ABC News will be offering a one hour edition of “ABC World News” to affiliates. Diane Sawyer will be in New York, with David Muir in Moore. In addition at 12:35 AM “Nightline” will be special edition dedicated to Oklahoma.

Also: Muir, Ginger Zee and Mike Boettcher will reportfrom Oklahoma this afternoon on “Katie.”

President Obama To Speak at 10 AM, As More Correspondents Descend On Oklahoma

President Obama is scheduled to comment on the disaster in Oklahoma at 10 AM and it is likely that all of the broadcast networks will break into regular programming to cover it.  ”CBS This Morning” went into the 9 AM hour to cover the fallout. We hear that “CTM” will stay live until 12 PM on the east coast covering the damage, and 10 AM pacific.

Update: “Our prayers are with the people of Oklahoma today,” Obama said. “Oklahoma needs to get everything that it needs right away.”

“If there is hope to hold onto, not just in Oklahoma but around the country, it is the knowledge that the good people there in Oklahoma are more prepared than most, and what they can be certain about is that Americans around the country will be right there with them,” he added.

Meanwhile, the news channels are sending their A-teams to Oklahoma to cover the fallout from the tornado.

As we noted yesterday, NBC has Brian Williams,  Lester HoltAnn CurryHarry SmithKate SnowAnne Thompson and Dr. Nancy Snyderman in Oklahoma, as well as the Weather Channel team of Jim CantoreMike Bettes, and Mike Seidel.

ABC News has Sam ChampionGinger ZeeDavid Muir and Alex Perez in Oklahoma. Byron Pitts, Mike Boettcher, and Cecilia Vega are also either in Moore or en route.

CBS has Norah O’Donnell anchoring from Moore, and Anna Werner on the ground, and Scott Pelley will anchor the “CBS Evening News” there this evening.
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‘I Guess I Started Working Thursday at 5:00 a.m. and Have Been Working Straight Through’

Friday night capped off a long week for local, state and federal investigators, the people of Watertown, Cambridge and Boston and the media covering the manhunt for 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and this longer than most week in Boston. A few of the correspondents still on the scene last night had put in some of the longest days in a long time. “I guess I started working thursday at 5:00 a.m. and have been working straight through,” said NBC’s Kerry Sanders, a Boston area native, not long after Tsarnaev was taken into custody last night. “It’s hard to keep clear everything that’s been going on.”

CNN’s Jake Tapper began reporting Thursday morning too, through the chaotic overnight events of Friday morning, into late Friday afternoon. FNC’s Bill Hemmer reported for about 32 hours straight Thursday into Friday. And NBC’s Lester Holt, stationed in Watertown, a city which had been under siege all day, finally jubilant as local, state and federal officials made their way out of town. “They were preparing for the worst. Now they are basking in the applause of the crowd. I may be punchy because I have gone 40-some hours without sleep,” said Holt, adding, “I have a big grin on my face. This does take me back to one of the very few good memories of the time related around 9/11. That was when we recognized the hard job our first responders do. They got their credit. That’s what we are seeing here in Watertown tonight.”

Holt, Sanders and dozens of other correspondents and anchors — network and local — who’ve worked long hours all week, are back on the air this morning as the full investigation into the bombings gets underway.

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