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Posts Tagged ‘Oprah Winfrey’

‘Michael Sam’ Documentary Airs Tomorrow on OWN

SamOprah Winfrey Network will air the exclusive documentary, “Michael Sam,” tomorrow night at 9 pm ET. Sam, the first openly gay player in NFL history, is currently out of football after being released by the Cowboys’ practice squad in October.

Following the documentary special, Oprah Winfrey will speak exclusively with Sam in his first television interview since being released by Dallas. The special episode of “Oprah Prime” will air at 10:30 pm ET.

This is the same documentary that was originally supposed to be a multi-episode series, but that plan was scrapped when Sam decided to focus on football. The new version is 90 minutes and gets up close and personal with Sam. He openly discusses a childhood filled with tragedy and poverty, as well as his emotional decision to come out as a gay man in the world of pro sports.

“Michael Sam” captures the moment when the St. Louis Rams made history by drafting Sam. It also documents the intense media scrutiny that immediately followed, and Sam’s struggle to stay focused despite the pressure and chaos. Veiwers will also get an inside look at Sam’s relationship with his boyfriend Vito and the challenge of balancing his personal life alongside his pursuit of NFL stardom.

ESPN’s NFL guru Adam Schefter reported last month that a few teams have been in contact with the free agent defensive end, but it appears Sam’s quest to play in a regular-season game will have to wait until at least next season.

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Barbara Walters Brings Back ‘Most Fascinating’ Special

Walters specialLast year was supposed to the final Barbara Walters‘ “10 Most Fascinating” special. But ABC has decided there are just too many fascinating people around not to do another one.

So Walters returns for the 2-hour special on Sunday, Dec. 14. Oprah Winfrey, Neil Patrick Harris, Chelsea Handler, and Scarlett Johansson have made the cut. Walters always save the No. 1 most fascinating person for the night of the special.

“[Y]ou never pass up the opportunity to interview Oprah, Neil, Chelsea, or Scarlett,” Walters says about returning for the 2014 edition.

The special is executive produced by Walters and Bill Geddie, who, until this summer was the co-executive producer of “The View.” Geddie also directs the 2014 “Most Fascinating” special.

Syracuse Cuts Ribbon on Upgrades At S.I. Newhouse School

LichtControlRoomCBS News VP Chris Licht now has a TV news control room named for him. It’s one of the new control rooms at Syracuse University’s new Dick Clark Studios and Alan Gerry Center for Media Innovation.

The $18 million upgrade at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications includes five studios, replacing two studios, built decades ago and used by countless Syracuse alum including Ted Koppel, Bob Costas, Steve Kroft, Jeff Glor, Contessa Brewer and Licht.

Oprah Winfrey was the featured guest at today’s celebration. The two major donations of $5 million each, came from the Dick Clark estate (Clark is a 1951 Syracuse graduate) and Alan Gerry, the founder of Cablevision Industries.

DCNewsers In Profile: Greta, Andrea, Jake

  • greta_indecisiongameFNC’s Greta Van Susteren has been deemed one of the 100 most powerful women in the world by Forbes, the only on-air journalist on the list: “As the longest-running cable news anchor in the U.S., Van Susteren has managed to keep On the Record as the No. 1 show in its time slots for more than a decade.” Angela Merkel is #1, Michelle Obama is #8, Oprah Winfrey is #14.

  • NBC’s Andrea Mitchell talks with the Washingtonian about how she got into news: “I was an English major and a violinist at the University of Pennsylvania, and the radio station needed someone. I covered politics for the Ivy League radio network, which led to an internship at NBC’s local affiliate.”

  • CNN’s Jake Tapper talks with AdWeek about his political beliefs: “I don’t believe in inefficient government; I don’t believe in wasting money, but I don’t assume that people come to my show because they want to see their worldview affirmed. We’re looking to have a cafeteria of ideas.”

Two Dozen Women of TV News, Barbara Walters’ Legacy, Join Her on Her Final ‘View’

WaltersView1

For weeks we’ve been writing about the legacy of Barbara Walters. This afternoon, that legacy came to life in the finale of her final “The View,” taped at ABC’s West Side studios, and airing tomorrow.

TVNewser was there as more than two dozen women TV news anchors packed the stage, each introduced by Oprah Winfrey, among the guests on Walters’ final show. One by one, they greeted a stunned Walters, beginning with Diane Sawyer and continuing with Robin Roberts, Lara Spencer, Elizabeth Vargas, Amy Robach, Deborah Roberts, Katie Couric and Meredith Vieira; also, Jane Pauley, Savannah Guthrie, Natalie Morales, Cynthia McFadden, Gayle King, Maria Shriver, Juju Chang, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford, Lisa Ling, Tamron Hall, Gretchen Carlson, Connie Chung, Paula Zahn, Deborah Norville, and Joan Lunden.

“I have to remember this on the bad days, because this is the best,” said Walters in the commercial break. “They just kept coming, and coming,” joked Sherri Shepherd. During the first part of the show, to keep it secret, the women hid out in Dr. Oz’s studio across the hall.

The show began with Hillary Clinton as the first guest. She encouraged Walters to take some time off — at least a week. Later, Walters said that’s part of her plan — a trip to Berlin is in the works, someplace she’s never been. Among the VIPs in the crowd, New York Knicks forward J.R. Smith. During another commercial break Walters’ joked to Smith that her retirement plans  include “buying the Clippers!” There are other highlights including a hilarious sketch (if you’re a Cheri Oteri fan, and we are) of Barbara interviewing Barbara.

“You’ll never see this again, folks,” Whoppi Goldberg said as the show wound down. “Only for Barbara.”

(Photos: Chris Ariens)

TVNewsers Honored at TIME 100 Gala

TIME 100 Gala, TIME's 100 Most Influential People In The World - Cocktails

Barbara Walters and Charlie Rose at the TIME 100 Gala. (Getty Images)

TVNewsers turned up last night to celebrate TIME’s 100 most-influential people. This year, CBS’s Charlie Rose and FNC’s Megyn Kelly made this list. Former honorees Rupert Murdoch, Matt Lauer, Katie Couric, Mehmet Oz and Barbara Walters made an appearance at last night’s event to mingle with the eclectic crowd of politicians, activists, scientists and entrepreneurs.

“Feels great, [I'm] honored, I love it,” Rose told us about his appearance as an Icon in this year’s TIME 100. However, he wasn’t quite sure if “Icon” was the appropriate designation: “It sounds like a lifetime achievement thing, and I think I’m in mid-career,” he quipped. Read more

The Ticker: George Will, David Muir, Oprah

  • Per Playbook, George Will will make his debut as a Fox News contributor on “Special Report with Bret Baier” tonight. He will make his “Fox News Sunday” debut this weekend, after more than 30 years with ABC News.

  • After being featured in a report from ABC News anchor David Muir, the Himalayan Cataract Project–a non-profit that helps people with vision problems in developing countries get surgery to help them–says it has raised almost $140,000. ABC News has more.

Away From Daily News Grind, Soleded O’Brien Continues to Chart New News Path

Soledad O’Brien continues to blaze a trail for what she sees as a new news model — where journalists produce stories for any number of outlets, reporting on things they are passionate about, while immersing themselves in the communities they cover.

Today, along with actor Hill Harper, O’Brien will host the “Let Freedom Ring” 50th anniversary commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. O’Brien, who left CNN earlier this year, will end up appearing on all the networks at some point during today’s ceremony.

Tomorrow, O’Brien premieres her sixth installment of “Black in America” at Bishop T.D. Jakes‘ Megafest in Dallas. On Friday, O’Brien will return to CNN to promote “Black in America” on “New Day” — a show which replaced her morning program “Starting Point” a few months ago. She’ll then hit to road again for the People en Espanol festival in San Antonio.

All the while, two of her four children will be in tow. O’Brien phoned in from the top of Toronto’s CN Tower Tuesday — hours before a flight would take her to Washington — part of a 9th birthday trip for twins Charlie and Jackson, which included a Yankees-Blue Jays game (with Derek Jeter keepsakes), and visits with the Toronto Police marine and mounted units.

“What I have really enjoyed is I get to concentrate on the things I am passionate about,” says O’Brien who spent 10 years  at CNN and, before that, 7 years at NBC. “The challenge now is to say ‘no.’ You could book yourself constantly.”

Upon leaving CNN, O’Brien created Starfish Media Group. CNN is now one of her clients. She’s also putting together three stories following a recent trip to Haiti for another client, Al Jazeera America, (O’Brien will also be live on AJAM this morning from Washington) and she’s got two stories in the can for HBO’s “Real Sports.”

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Bonnie Bernstein Takes Over Oprah’s Studio

Back in the day, Oprah Winfrey would give away new cars from her Harpo Studios in Chicago. Part of the iconic studio has turned a corner and was recently taken over by CampusInsiders.com, a site devoted to college sports. The face of the venture is Bonnie Bernstein, the veteran CBS Sports and ESPN reporter. Beginning next week, she’ll host a new daily show from Harpo.

How will this sports show be different from everything else out there? In part II of our Media Beat interview, Bernstein tells us it’s all about the insiders.

‘Today’ Getting Into Book Club Game

The book club wars are heating up.

After Oprah Winfrey left her daytime show, TV was left with a hardcover-shaped void. Who would step in to provide the book club that will keep America reading? Lest we fall into the trap of forgoing literature in favor of, say, “Duck Dynasty.”

As it happens, Oprah rebooted her book club on OWN, but with its relatively low ratings, the network morning shows are stepping in to try and get America reading again.

The latest addition is NBC’s “Today,” which launched “The Today Book Club” this morning. The show will select a book and encourage viewers to read it. A few weeks later, it will host a Google Hangout with the author and readers.The first book is called The Bone Season, which is being released today by 21-year old author Samantha Shannon. Natalie Morales will interview her in a Hangout on Monday, September 16.

The “Today” book club follows in the footsteps of “CBS This Morning”‘s own literary effort, “CBS This Morning Reads.” That book club launched last October, with the only real difference being that the author is interviewed on “CTM” at the end, rather than in a Google Hangout.

More details on the “Today Book Club” below.
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