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Posts Tagged ‘Lori Stokes’

Toasting Tory Johnson for Making the ‘Shift’ and Shedding 72 Pounds

At her book party for “Shift: How I Finally Lost Weight and Discovered a Happier Life,” “Good Morning America” contributor Tory Johnson told the story about what set her on the path, once and for all, to shed unwanted pounds. It was a conversation she had with Barbara Fedida, SVP of talent development and one of her bosses at ABC News.

The advice was so meaningful, that Johnson dedicates the book to Fedida: “For telling me what I needed to hear.”

Fittingly, Fedida hosted the party the East Side home she shares with husband ESPN Radio’s Andrew Brill. Always cheerful in her “Steals & Deals” segments, Johnson says she hasn’t been truly this happy in a long time. In 20 months, she’s lost 72 pounds — equivalent to two dogs, so said her teenage twins Jake and Emma. (The family beagle Marly weighs in at 35 lbs.) And Johnson did it on the sly, without telling her “GMA” family, until it became clear she was on a mission.

Before heading to the US Weekly event where she was honored, “GMA” anchor Robin Roberts toasted Johnson for the dedication she showed. ABC News president Ben Sherwood also raised a glass, praising Johnson for her determination and her penchant for giving really BIG GIFTS, including the two giant stuffed animals she’s given to his kids over the years. Sherwood gave Johnson her “GMA” job when he was EP of the show in the mid-2000′s Johnson’s first job in TV was as an intern at ABC’s “20/20.”

TVNewser also spotted ABC News anchors Lara Spencer, Cynthia McFadden, Amy Robach and Josh Elliot; correspondents Byron Pitts, Deborah Roberts and Gio Benitez; execs Susan Mercandetti, James Goldston, David Sloan, Morgan Hertzen, Jeffrey Schneider, Eric Avram and Sandy Cannold. Former “GMA” EP Jim Murphy, now senior EP of CNN’s “New Day.” Also, David Zincenko, Dr. Richard Besser, Deborah Norville, and Barbara Corcoran, who assisted Sherwood in presenting a gift to Johnson: a box full of zero-calorie pickles — a favorite snack on her journey.

WABC anchors David Navarro, Lee Goldberg Rob Powers and Lori Stokes also attended. We had a nice chat with meteorologist Amy Freeze (her real last name) about the science behind the weather — and also raising four kids in a two-bedroom apartment in New York City. Freeze also told us she has benefited from the “Fedida plan,” as it’s become known in the halls of ABC.

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HLN Gets a New Name: Hysterical Ladies Network (and Dr. Drew)

To say it’s been a rough year for the “Today” show, would be an understatement.

The once-dominant morning program is settling in to second place, as new top producers, on-air talent and show segments meld in the hopes of catching on with viewers and regaining the top spot. Meanwhile, star anchor Matt Lauer continues to find himself in the unenviable position of taking the licks — and the responsibility — for the show’s woes.

But last night, Lauer didn’t want to dwell on the downside. Instead it was a night to celebrate with his co-anchor Savannah Guthrie, and hundreds of other media luminaries, at the 18th annual National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association Headlines and Headliners benefit. “Today” national correspondent and news anchor Natlie Morales was the host for the evening which raised more than $75,000 for scholarships and program activities.

Morales delivered a few zingers during her speech, including giving a new name to HLN — “the hysterical ladies network.”

HLN anchor Jane Velez-Mitchell, who hosted this event last year, missed the joke as she was still taping her show. But she took it in stride when we told it to her later. They may be hysterical, but HLN ratings of late, thanks to coverage of the Jodi Arias trial, are nothing to laugh at.

We chatted with ABC’s Amy Robach, whose star has risen at “Good Morning America” since leaving NBC News last year. Robach and husband Andrew Shue are leaving today for a Caribbean vacation. Gayle King represented for “CBS This Morning,” while CNN’s Christine Romans, John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin chatted with guests. We caught up with MSNBC’s Alex Witt, FNC’s Rick Reichmuth and CNBC’s Mandy Drury, who’s heading home to Australia next week to catch up with family. On the local news scene, WABC’s Lori Stokes and WNBC’s Contessa Brewer worked the room. And we couldn’t pass up the chance to talk with The Weather Channel’s Bryan Norcross, the father of the named Winter storms. “Everything needs a hashtag now,” says the longtime meteorologist. “What better way than to name the storms?” Of course, an unending Winter helps. Did you hear Winter Storm Virgil is on the way this weekend?


(l-r) “Today” show publicist Megan Kopf Stackhouse, Andrew Shue, CNN’s Javier Morgado, NBC’s Natalie Morales, ABC’s Amy Robach

More photos after the jump…

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Gayle King: ‘I’m a big, big, big TV news junkie’

“CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King is the latest subject of The Atlantic Wire’s “What I Read.” King details her daily media diet and shares her thoughts on some of her favorite newscasters:

I have a TV in every single room of my house. I’m a big, big, big TV news junkie. I think it starts with my background in local news. I love the news. My DNA is very news driven and news oriented. I like Lori Stokes. I see her in the morning. She’s on ABC. At our place I like Terrell Brown. That’s my morning team that I tune into see. I like Scott Pelley for evening news because I’m a team player. I always like to see what we’re doing. I’m a big Anderson Cooper fan. I like to watch his show at night it’s really great to catch up on the day’s news with Anderson. He seems to cover all the bases, or certainly things I’m interested in, whether it’s a local story breaking news or national breaking news. I find I can get a lot out of his show. CNN is big for me, MSNBC is big, and during the campaign I was watching Fox because I was curious to see what they were saying.