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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Nelson’

Major Changes at CNN. Nelson Leaving, Matthews Moving, ‘More Than a Dozen’ Jobs Created

Feder_11.4.jpgFirst on TVNewser: A shake-up announced today at CNN. Mark Nelson, who has overseen CNN Productions since 2005, is leaving the network while Atlanta-based head of live programming Scott Matthews leaves that position to head up a combined CNN Productions and Investigative unit. Matthews will remain in Atlanta, while the search is on for his replacement.

Additionally, CNN/U.S. President Jon Klein announced that Soledad O’Brien‘s “In America” franchise, which Nelson had overseen, will be expanded in 2010. The unit, will add “more than a dozen positions” writes Klein in an email to staff, obtained by TVNewser. That unit will be headed up by CNN’s SVP of current programming Bart Feder (pictured). Current CNN Productions staffers will have the first opportunity to apply for the positions.

Feder and Matthews joined CNN in January 2008.

A longtime-ABC News “Nightline” staffer, Nelson joined CNN in 2004 as the senior executive producer of “Paula Zahn Now.” In addition to his departure, Jody Gottlieb, CNN Productions’ Executive Director, is also leaving as a result of the restructuring.

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CNN’s ‘Latino in America’

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Wednesday night we headed up to Harlem for the New York screening of CNN’s “Latino in America.” On the panel after the screening, (l-r) Julian Zugazagoitia, Director, El Museo del Barrio; Lillian Rodriguez Lopez, President of the Hispanic Federation; reporter/host Soledad O’Brien; Maite Junco, Editor, VIVA New York, Daily News; Franc Reyes, Director, writer, producer; Mark Nelson VP/Senior EP, CNN Productions. “Latino in America” debuts on CNN Oct. 21 and 22nd at 9pmET.

Related: CNN’s Soledad O’Brien Growing up Latina in a White Long Island Town…

Barbara Walters Given Lifetime Achievement at News and Doc Emmys

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Marc Bryan-Brown Photography

TVNewsers flocked to Lincoln Center last night for the 30th Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards. In addition to the competitive awards, Barbara Walters was honored with a Lifetime Achievement award.

A tribute to Walters came first from Katie Couric. Then ABC News President David Westin presented the award. “Barbara Walters is a true legend in television news,” Westin said. “Even more special, she keeps on adding to that legend each and every day. It is an honor to present the Lifetime Achievement award to Barbara Walters, but it is even more of a pleasure to give it to such a good friend.”

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Marc Bryan-Brown Photography

The President’s Award went to CNN Productions for their “longstanding commitment to long-form documentaries.” The award was accepted by Jon Klein with Christiane Amanpour and Soledad O’Brien who’ve each hosted documentary series for the network. CNN Productions EP Mark Nelson also accepted.

The biggest network winner was PBS, which was awarded six Emmys. CBS News won five. In a note to the staff this morning, CBS News and Sports president Sean McManus wrote, “The diversity of subject matter for which CBS News won awards is indicative of our strength and leadership in every area of journalism.”

“NBC Nightly News” had a big night, picking up two awards for their Afghanistan coverage and one for breaking coverage of the financial collapse last September. In an internal email, EP Bob Epstein congratulated the staff on their hard work writing, “This is a terrific night for everyone at Nightly and NBC News.”

Other notable winners:

• “CBS Evening News” won an investigative journalism award.
• NBC News won for election night coverage.
• “60 Minutes” won three newsmagazine Emmys.
• “ABC News Primetime” and “Nightline” each won a newsmagazine award.
• “CBS News Sunday Morning” won a feature story Emmy.

You can see the full list of winners here.

Network totals:

ABC: 2 / CBS: 5 / CNN: 1 / NBC: 5 / PBS: 6

The Inspiration Behind “Black in America 2″

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John Rice, Malaak Compton-Rock, Dr. Steve Perry, Soledad O’Brien, Cicely Tyson and CNN EP Mark Nelson at last night’s “Black in America 2″ screening in Harlem, NY.

Last night we headed up to Harlem for the New York screening of CNN’s “Black in America 2.” The four-hour documentary is a continuation of the Soledad O’Brien series which drew 16 million viewers over several airings last year.

This time around, O’Brien and her team report on the stories of successful community leaders who are improving the lives of African-Americans, including Malaak Compton-Rock, the wife of comedian Chris Rock, who, along with O’Brien traveled to South Africa with two dozen teens for two weeks of volunteer service in shanty towns and orphanages. Actor/producer/director Tyler Perry gives O’Brien a tour of his movie studio – not in Hollywood – but in Atlanta. And there’s the story of John Rice, the brother of U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice (and brother-in-law of “This Week” EP Ian Cameron) who created the “Management Leadership for Tomorrow” program.

In the crowd, Oprah’s BFF Gayle King, actress Cicely Tyson, who is featured in the special, and Warner Music EVP Kevin Liles.

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“If You Tell the Story Right and Know Your Audience, You’re Going To Be Successful”

Gail Shister
TVNewser Columnist

MarkNelson_7.28.jpgIf, as CNN’s Mark Nelson says, good planning makes for good luck, then “Black in America” is one damn lucky documentary.

When CNN began planning “BIA” about 18 months ago, the comet that is Barack Obama had yet to soar, says Nelson, vice president and senior executive producer of CNN Productions.

At that point, “we were capitalizing on the 40th anniversary of the Martin Luther King assassination,” he says. “It was fortuitous that Obama caught fire.”

Fortuitous and Nielsen-friendly.

The debuts of “BIA: The Black Woman and Family” on Wednesday and “BIA: The Black Man” on Thursday together averaged an impressive 2.3 million total viewers over four hours. Both led their respective nights in adults 25 to 54.

Obama’s historic presence as presumptive Democratic nominee has made race an issue in the presidential campaign, says Nelson, a 20-year ABC veteran who joined CNN in 2004 from the National Geographic Channel.

“Race matters. People really care about race. To say there’s not an Obama factor would be wrong. There is.”

Nelson says he and his producers “never thought about” interviewing Obama. His face time is limited to a 20-second clip from his stirring speech about race, delivered in March from Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center.

That speech “caught the attention of the country and got another dialogue about race started,” Nelson says. “He brought it front and center.”

“BIA,” anchored by Soledad O’Brien, was the outgrowth of CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton‘s Diversity Council in 2005.

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