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Posts Tagged ‘Marc Burstein’

Sam Champion, Lara Spencer and Josh Elliott Put On Another Kind of Show

“Good Morning America” anchors Sam Champion, Lara Spencer, and Josh Elliott hosted a gallery opening in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan last night showing the works of Champion’s fiance Rubem Robierb.

Among the guests: “Live” co-host and former New York Giant Michael Strahan, MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts, ABC News SVPs James Goldston and Barbara Fedida and “GMA” Senior EP Tom Cibrowski and super agent Olivia Metzger.

Cibrowski told us he called it an early night on Tuesday. “Once I saw the 10 O’clock states come in, I kind of knew what to expect,” Cibrowski tells TVNewser. “And I had to be up in a few hours to get ["GMA"] on.”

Back at Times Square Studios, the lights had not yet gone out. Elliott told us he felt slightly guilty about the power outage which happened just before 11pmET. Stationed outside the studio in a 30 degree chill, the electricity used to light and heat his live shots may have caused the outage inside. “It’s completely dark,” recounted Elliott as he looked up to the second floor of the studio. “And I hear in my ear, ‘We’ve lost the lights, we need you to stretch.’” ABC elections EP Marc Burstein kept the network on the air by utilizing Elliot, reporters in the field and shuffling Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos in another part of the studio until the lights came back.

Back to last night’s show, Champion couldn’t have been more proud of Robierb, while facing the prospect that many of the works would soon have new homes. “I hope no one buys that one,” said Champion of the $10,000 lithograph at the front of the gallery. “That one’s been in the living room.”

A portion of the proceeds from last night’s sales from The Bullet-Fly Effect will be donated to the American Red Cross.

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Jon Banner Leaves ABC News, TV News Business

ABC News senior executive producer Jon Banner is leaving ABC News after more than 25 years at the company. Banner is leaving the TV news business altogether, joining beverage and snack behemoth PepsiCo as senior VP of global strategy and planning.

“On a personal level, I’ve known Jon since around the time we both started out in this business,” ABC News president Ben Sherwood wrote in a note to staff this morning. “I’ve always valued his friendship and admired his news judgment and competitive drive.  For the last couple of years, he has been a wise counselor and steady hand.”

Banner was named EP of “ABC World News” in 2003, leaving to take on a division-wide role in 2011. Later that year he added oversight of “This Week.”

Marc Burstein is taking over Banner’s political duties and oversight of “This Week,” until a replacement is named.

Sherwood’s note, and the press release from Pepsi, after the jump.

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Bin Laden Killed: News Chiefs Talk Through What Happened

Broadcasting & Cable‘s Andrea Morabito spoke to a number of TV news executives about their experiences Sunday night.

Among them was CNN political director Sam Feist, who explained where his correspondents were when word of the President’s news conference broke, including John King, who many viewers noted looked very tired when he first appeared on the channel:

I called Wolf Blitzer, who was at home in Maryland watching the Washington Capitals game. And I said, “Get in. Now.” He said, “What is it?” I said, “I don’t know, but it’s important.” So he grabbed a jacket and a tie and he raced downtown to CNN Washington bureau. At the same time, our chief national correspondent John King was at the hockey game with his daughter, and he raced to the Washington bureau. And our chief White House correspondent Ed Henry was at the hockey game and he raced to the White House. All not knowing what this was, we didn’t know what the content of the statement was; we had no idea what the news was.

She also spoke to ABC News EP of special events Marc Burstein, who said that ABC has drilled for the Osama Bin Laden news for years:

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Networks, Cablers Gearing Up For Royal Wedding

With the Royal Wedding less than 48 hours away (Note: TVNewser will be liveblogging the coverage starting at 4 AM on Friday), the networks and cablers are beginning to gear up for coverage.

CNN’s Piers Morgan gives a brief peek at CNN’s production tent near Buckingham Palace, while also explaining why he thinks he gives CNN’s coverage an edge that the other channel’s do not have

“This accent, and this face—as these security guys will tell you– is a free pass for me anywhere in London,” he says.

Elsewhere, NBC News’ international news director Chris Hampson tells The Hollywood Reporter that coverage of the Wedding is “our biggest international technical build-out ever.”

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Westin Announces Leadership Rearrange at ABC News

westin_8-26.jpgABC News President David Westin sent a memo to staff, obtained by TVNewser, earlier today outlining the new/altered management responsibilities for leadership at the network. While most of the changes add responsibilities for various senior staffers, some are shifting their roles, including “Nightline” EP James Goldston who will now oversee “This Week with Christiane Amanpour” as well.

The announcements are a part of the restructuring of the news division that Westin began instituting earlier this year. Most of today’s changes stem from the departure of Dave Davis, who had a number of people reporting to him.

The biggest surprise might be that Goldston, who EPs the successful “Nightline” from New York, will now also oversee the Sunday program “This Week,” which is based in D.C., with EP Ian Cameron reporting to him.

With Davis’ departure, Westin appears to be getting more closely involved with the big NYC shows, telling the EPs of “World News,” “GMA,” “20/20,” and “Nightline” that they’ll be reporting directly to him.

And as longtime ABCer Phyllis McGrady shifts to a consultant role, David Sloan, EP of newsmagazines, will take responsibility of all long-form programming, though Goldston will oversee primetime programming featuring Amanpour whose arrangement with the network includes “primetime documentaries on international subjects.”

In addition, “World News” EP Jon Banner will now oversee the political and special events units. Special events EP Marc Burstein will now report to Banner.

The full memo with more specifics after the jump…

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ABC News Completes Cuts; 350-400 Jobs Slashed

ABC_4.28.jpgThe process of cutting up to 25% of the jobs at ABC News is all but complete.

Twenty two ABC News employees were laid off in a round of involuntary cuts yesterday. Those layoffs came after more than 300 staffers, many more than had been anticipated, agreed to take a voluntary buyout. In February, ABC News president David Westin announced a massive reorganization which meant staff cuts between 300-400. The actual number, between 350-400, is right in line with that expectation. In addition, TVNewser has learned, 39 staffers were promoted to positions being vacated by those taking a buyout.

In a note to staff today, obtained by TVNewser, Westin writes, “We have much yet to do as we move to make full use of what new technology makes possible and we implement fully the structural and organizational changes that we’ve begun throughout the division. The full extent of these changes will be realized over the summer and into the fall.”

The cuts come from across the network and from around the world. In bureaus and from broadcast shows and from every platform as well as the businesses that support the news division.

The special events unit has effectively been dismantled with the shows and anchors now responsible for producing and anchoring breaking news special reports depending on the time of day. The unit, headed by longtime ABC News staffer Marc Burstein, will continue to plan long-range special programming including election coverage and the production of obituaries of the well-known.

The buyout, a standard severance plus 20%, may have been attractive enough for the 300+ who took up ABC’s offer. One insider tells us there was concern early on that only a few dozen might volunteer, meaning the layoffs would have been much greater. The remaining staff cuts will occur over the next few months as the contracts of some employees expire.

• Our earlier coverage:

Feb. 23: Westin on ABC Cuts: “This Doesn’t Have Anything to do with Seniority or How Much Anybody Gets Paid”

March 24: Brian Rooney, Laura Marquez, Lisa Fletcher Among the ABC News Correspondents Cut

March 26: Deadline for ABC News Voluntary Buyouts is Today

April 2: Betsy Stark Latest ABC News Correspondent Cut

April 22: Andy Rooney on son Brian Rooney: “He’s good. He won’t be out of work forever”

April 23: Changes at ABC News Assignment Desk

David Westin‘s note, after the jump…

Related, Los Angeles Times’ Matea Gold: “…staffers within the news division describe the cutbacks as an excruciating and demoralizing chapter that has left many of them questioning how the pared-down news division will be able to compete.”

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O’Hearn Out at This Week, Moves to Special Events

OHearn_7.3.jpgB&C’s John Eggerton reports Kathy O’Hearn is leaving her post as EP of This Week with George Stephanopoulos and will now produce special-event political coverage for ABC News. O’Hearn will be working with the group headed up by EP Marc Burstein in New York.

A source tells Eggerton that O’Hearn, who’s been EP of This Week for three years, will remain until a replacement is named.

“We have accomplished a lot in just three years,” O’Hearn said in an e-mail to staffers late today, “and I feel that I have achieved what I set out to do.”

The source tells Eggerton the move has been in the works for some time. “It was a mutual decision. She decided she wanted to try something new, and [ABC was] open to it.”