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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Corn’

Alexandra Wallace: ‘Nightly News’ ‘Completely Focused on Correcting’ Demo Ratings

BRIAN-WILLIAMSThe Hollywood Reporter‘s Marisa Guthrie takes a behind-the-scenes look at “several ongoing ratings and personnel challenges” at NBC News. On the heels of “Today” and “Meet the Press” falling from the top spots in the ratings, ABC’s “World News” has been keeping NBC’s “Nightly News” in a tight race for the top spot in the A25-54 demographic, something that is not sitting well with the “Nightly” staff, according to THR:

Sources say Brian Williams, 55, has been rankled by the ratings slide. But NBC News senior vp Alexandra Wallace, who has oversight of Nightly News and Meet the Press, cites the shows’ growth among younger viewers. NBC News ratings crunchers apparently have narrowed the weakness to viewers at the older end of the 25-to-54 spectrum, specifically 45-to-54.

“Brian, like all of us who work on Nightly News, is less than happy about the one small demo issue we have and [we] are completely focused on correcting it,” Wallace tells THR. “We’re competitive people, so we want to win everywhere.”

Of course, the consensus at NBC News is that the horse race between Williams and Diane Sawyer won’t last. But World News executive producer Michael Corn begs to differ. “We’re growing,” he says. “To us, this is the very beginning of a long-range plan. It’s a nice start, but we have a long way to go.”

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Barbara Walters Comes Out of Retirement to Toast Diane Sawyer

Barbara Walters dropped by her building this afternoon to make sure the rent was still being paid. Actually, she stopped by ABC News HQ to toast her friend and colleague Diane Sawyer and her “World News” team for finishing May sweeps No. 1 in the A25-54 demo. It’s the first win for “World News” in the younger demo in more than 6 years.

ABC News President James Goldston, who assembled the gathering, congratulated Sawyer as the first female evening news anchor to win a sweeps month and called the win a proud moment for Sawyer, show EP Michael Corn and everyone in the news division.

Sawyer then made some remarks, thanking Goldston and his predecessor Disney ABC TV group president Ben Sherwood, her team and all of ABC News for their dedication and hard work. She joked that she doesn’t follow the ratings closely, but that she can always tell how the show did by the look on Corn’s face every Tuesday morning when the ratings come in. After remarks from Corn, Walters appeared from the audience, and joked that she came out of retirement for the celebration. Walters was of co-anchor of “ABC Evening News” from 1976-1978.

After a Quick Transition, James Goldston Gets Down to Work at ABC News

GoldstonSherwood Ben Sherwood, recently named co-president of the Disney/ABC TV Group, handed the ABC News reins to James Goldston this morning, calling him the “brilliant architect” of some of the most successful ABC News shows of the last decade.

Goldston, (near right) a London native, joined ABC News in 2004. He took “Nightline” to new heights in late night and later helped take “Good Morning America” to No. 1 in the mornings. Sherwood’s mantra to the 1,000 global staffers of ABC News has been consistent: PYG, or Play Your Game.

“The secret,” says Sherwood, “is that the game that we’ve played for the last three years is the game that we devised as a team: ["GMA" senior EP] Tom Cibrowski and James and I, with the great anchors there and the staff. And [EP] Michael Corn and the whole staff at ‘World News.’”

“The key is the consistency of the approach,” says Sherwood. “And I know that James has more plans up his sleeve.” TVNewser chatted with Sherwood and Goldston about the challenges ahead as both take on new roles:

TVNewser: First, congratulations to you both. James, what’s the first order of business?

Goldston: We’re going to work out a transition period. I’ve worked very closely with Ben these last three years. I’m going to be talking to the team a lot in the days and weeks ahead. Ben has been a fantastic, inspirational figure in the news division and I still have much to learn from him.

TVNewser: Ben, how much do you think you’ll be in New York in the coming weeks or months as you transition to your new job?

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Jon Banner Moves Off of ‘ABC World News’ to Division-Wide Role, Michael Corn Named EP

Banner

After eight years at the helm of “ABC World News,” Jon Banner will be moving off of the program to a division-wide role. Banner will become senior EP of division wide initiatives, where he will have oversight over many of the networks special projects. He will also continue to oversee ABC’s political coverage. Banner first joined ABC news as a desk assistant in 1989.

“For years, Jon has been one of the rocks of ABC News, helping to hold the division together during the twin traumas of Peter’s death and Bob’s wounding in Iraq,” write ABC News president Ben Sherwood in a memo to staff.

In his place at “World News,” Michael Corn will become EP. Corn had been senior producer on the broadcast.

Corn

“I came to know Michael well during my tenure at Good Morning America – we worked closely at all hours of the day and night – and I am confident that his energy, creativity, competitive zeal and news judgment will lead the program to new heights,” Sherwood wrote.

With Banner’s departure, all three network evening newscasts will end the year with different executive producers than they had when they began the year. In July, Bob Epstein left “NBC Nightly News” to an executive role, while Rick Kaplan left CBS News in May following Katie Couric‘s departure.

Sherwood’s full memo is after the jump.

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