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Posts Tagged ‘Martin Savidge’

Where Are They Now? Bobbie Battista

Battista1TVNewser continues a multi-week series, catching up with some tvnewsers of yesterday to learn about their lives now, and their perspectives on the industry.  Today we hear from former CNN anchor Bobbie Battista. In two weeks: former Fox News Channel anchor Linda Vester.  

As Bobbie Battista will tell you, sometimes it all boils down to “being in the right place, at the right time, having made a lucky decision.”

And heeding some wise counsel from a parent.

It was 1981, and Battista had risen from a secretarial position to shatter a glass ceiling as the first woman anchor at Raleigh powerhouse WRAL-TV.  Alongside colleague Charlie Gaddy, the duo’s evening newscasts pulled in stratospheric ratings.

In short order, Battista started fielding a slew of offers from larger local markets. Another intriguing invitation came from a fledgling, 24-hour cable news operation called CNN.

“My father thought [CNN] was a good move,” Battista tells TVNewser.  After weighing her options, she decided to take her dad’s advice.

Little did Battista know that the move to Atlanta would put her on track to make broadcast news history once again.

In the eighties, as CNN started to be seen in a growing number of American homes, so too did it become available in previously-unreachable corners of the earth.

“I was hugely known in Poland!” Battista remembers with a laugh. CNN founder Ted Turner had struck an unheard-of deal, to have several minutes of network programming featured each evening on state-run television in the Communist country.  The time slot coincided with Battista’s anchor shift.

A hit with Iron Curtain viewers, Battista was sent to Poland for a ten-day goodwill tour. “It wasn’t really even something you could grasp,” she reflects. “What you were struck by was the influence that CNN was beginning to have in the world.”

The network’s ascendancy intensified during the Gulf War.

“Everyone involved in that conflict – politically, militarily – they were watching CNN,” says Battista.  “It was an amazingly important responsibility.”

Over the next many years, she’d go on to cover the Challenger tragedy, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the crumbling of the Soviet Empire, and every presidential election along the way.

By 2002, feeling “a little burned out” – and after a slew of what she viewed as disappointing changes at CNN in the wake of the AOL-Time Warner merger – Battista decided to leave the network after 22 years.

More than a decade later, she still watches CNN every day, but is wary of what she sees as “brand erosion.”  She says viewers have come up to her over the years to ask, “What happened to CNN?”

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The Morning Ticker: Reporter Explains, ‘Meet’ Rumors, Kickstart CNN

  • Sky News reporter Colin Brazier, lambasted for rifling through the belongings of those killed on MH 17, offers what he calls “another view” of his reporting. “The crash site is like the set of a horror story. Except that movies are never allowed to show what we saw,” he writes.

  • NBC News is dismissing a Page Six story which, once again, claims David Gregory‘s days at “Meet the Press” are numbered. “We heard the same false rumors and suggest you take them with a grain of salt, as we did,” an NBC spokesperson tells the Post.

  • “The Daily Show” has launched a campaign to crowd-fund the acquisition of CNN. Dubbed “Let’s Buy CNN,” for $10 you can be added to a 21-box, for $10 billion, you get a Martin Savidge couch simulator.

CNN’s Martin Savidge Goes From Flight Simulator to Submarine

The search for missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 continued in the Indian Ocean this week. With an unmanned U.S. Navy submarine joining the search this week, CNN’s Martin Savidge switched his focus from the air search to the underwater search, reporting live from inside a submarine 50 feet below the water’s surface in Canada. Watch:

The company that CNN used for the flight simulator reports, uFly, fired the instructor assigned to Savidge this week, saying he ““shamed Canadians” with the way he dressed during his television appearances.

Canadian Company Fires Flight Instructor Who Appeared Frequently on CNN

CNN flight simulatoruFly, a Canadian flight simulator company, has fired one of its employees who appeared frequently on CNN during the network’s coverage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The company said the employee, Mitchell Casado, “shamed Canadians” with the way he dressed during his television appearances, the Associated Press reports:

uFly company owner Claudio Teixeira said he fired Mitchell Casado on Wednesday in part for refusing to dress professionally and making Canadians “look very bad all over the world.”

Casado’s relaxed style of jeans and plaid shirts attracted wide attention during CNN’s constant coverage of the search for the missing flight. CNN’s Martin Savidge and Casado logged many hours reporting from the fake cockpit located at the company’s office in near the Toronto airport, which has a simulator that is the same model of the lost plane.

[...] Teixeira says he received many email complaints about the instructor’s way of dressing during the time he appeared on CNN. “Even though I let him be on TV he shamed us Canadians and shamed my company with the way he was dressing like he was 15 years old,” he said. “People were complaining that it wasn’t professional at all … If you go to any plane you don’t see them in shorts and sandals.”

CNN Hits New Digital Heights in March

CNN MalaysiaWhen March cable news ratings come out tomorrow, CNN will show a vast improvement over last March, likely finishing second to Fox News Channel in several measures. This morning, CNN Worldwide chief Jeff Zucker is taking an early victory lap and thanking his team.

In a note to staff obtained by TVNewser, Zucker writes, “Your work, from Malaysia, Australia and Beijing, to Ukraine, Crimea and Moscow, to Pretoria and Washington state (and yes, Mississauga, Ontario, too), has once again shown the global power of CNN.” Mississauga is where CNN’s Martin Savidge has been holed up for the better part of three weeks in a Boeing 777 flight simulator.

March is expected to be the best month ever in page views and video streams across the CNN sites. “We will likely have more unique users across our global sites than any month in our history,” Zucker adds.

Zucker’s full note, after the jump…

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Georgia Gov. Talks with CNN, After Saying He Won’t Go on CNN

DealCNN

Following a news conference yesterday which included an apology about the lack of preparation for Tuesday’s snow and ice storm, CNN’s Martin Savidge asked Gov. Nathan Deal if he would grant the network an interview. “No” was the short answer.

“If they don’t get their predictions correct about the facts still saying we had children in school overnight — they have to show some credibility on their part,” said Deal of the network which has called Atlanta home for more nearly 35 years. “I just want them to get their facts and apologize for telling the world we had children in school for two nights when we did not,” he said.

Politico has the video.

Following the news conference, Atlanta-based anchor Brooke Baldwin was even less confident of getting a one-on-one. “CNN has been trying to get Gov. Deal to do an interview,” said Baldwin. “His office is just a couple of blocks away from me here at the world headquarters of CNN. Thus far, no dice.”

A few hours later, the Governor did sit for an interview with Washington-based anchor Wolf Blitzer, a soundbite of which ran in Blitzer’s 6pm “Situation Room.”

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.

George Zimmerman Trial: MSNBC Plans ‘in-depth, continuing coverage’

The George Zimmerman trial starts on Monday, and the cable news channels are gearing up for live coverage on the proceedings.

Most interesting is MSNBC, which is planning “in-depth, continuing coverage” as part of its regular programming.

“MSNBC will provide in-depth, continuing coverage of the trial of George Zimmerman beginning Monday, June 10,” an MSNBC spokesperson says. “The network will cover the criminal proceedings live as news warrants during our regularly scheduled programs.”

MSNBC president Phil Griffin said recently that his channel is “not the place” for breaking news, but rather is doubling down on politics. The Zimmerman trial is breaking news, though it has energized politicians and political pundits in a way that no other recent trial has.

CNN says that it will be covering the trial during its programming “as news warrants,” leaving the in-depth coverage to sister network HLN. HLN will be going wall-to-wall with coverage of the trial, in much the same was as it did with the Jodi Arias trial. George Howell will cover the trial in the mornings, Martin Savidge will cover in the afternoon, and David Mattingly will cover for “OutFront.”

Fox News says it will be streaming every minute of the trial live online and will “present live coverage” during the week on TV. It will also stream the trial live online. Phil Keating will be in Florida covering the trial for the channel.

CNN Secures Interview With Castro Brothers

CNN has secured one of the big “gets” to come out of the shocking kidnapping story in Cleveland. Pedro and Onil Castro, the brothers of kidnapping suspect Ariel Castro, broke their silence to correspondent Martin Savidge.

The interview was conducted over the weekend, and aired this morning on CNN. The Castro brothers say that in light of the kidnapping news, Ariel is a “monster.”

WATCH:

CNN’s Martin Savidge Uses Secret Passwords, Changes Vehicles to Interview McAfee Founder

CNN’s Martin Savidge is in Belize where he interviewed John McAfee, the founder of McAfee anti-virus software who has been on the run for weeks accused of a murder he says he didn’t commit. McAfee has done phone interviews with CNBC and others. But Savidge’s is the first on-camera interview since he went on the run. Savidge says Friday’s interview was one of the most bizarre of his television career. Before seeing McAfee, he had to utter secret passwords, jump into different vehicles and met with people in disguise who took him to McAfee.

WATCH:

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