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Posts Tagged ‘Paul Friedman’

David Friedman Joins ‘GMA’ as Creative Executive

David Friedman is joining ABC’s “Good Morning America” as Creative Executive.

Friedman started his career at NBC’s “Today” and went on to be executive producer of CBS’ “The Early Show.” This new job means Friedman has worked for all three network morning shows.

He’s the son of veteran network executive Paul Friedman who also worked for all three networks. He was EP of “NBC Nightly News” (1976-79) and ABC’s “World News Tonight” (1988-93 and 1997-2000). So this makes it a double-triple, in TV news.

David Friedman’s sister — Paul’s daughter — Emily also works for ABC as a digital reporter

Since leaving CBS, Friedman has worked on a number of special projects, including a talk show pilot hosted by Jenny McCarthy and the live finale of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.”

“Having produced everything from news to entertainment to major specials will help all of us on a daily basis,” “GMA” senior executive producer Tom Cibrowski says of Friedman. “I’m thrilled that he is joining our team as we all take GMA to new heights.”

Cibrowski’s full note is after the jump. Read more

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Paul Friedman Expands on Evening Newscasts Story

Following his much talked-about article in CJR on the evening newscasts, NBC, ABC and CBS veteran Paul Friedman went on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” alongside Andrew Tyndall to talk about the story and how the evening newscasts are trying to differentiate themselves.

The Network Evening Newscast, Courtesy of CNN?

Buried in CJR’s big story on the network evening newscasts was a very interesting nugget of news. As we have covered, the networks–particularity CBS and ABC, which do not have the benefit of a lucrative cable news operation–have long been seeking to partner with a a cable news channel. Bloomberg TV and CNN have had conversations with both networks.

The problem, as noted by the author of the CJR piece, Paul Friedman (himself a former senior executive at both CBS and ABC News), is that the networks are union shops, while the cablers are not. This would make the logistics of a merger very difficult. Friedman notes another option that was apparently discussed inside the broadcast networks:

One alternative that has been discussed is to get around the union barriers by licensing CNN to produce an evening newscast for a network, for a fee that would be less than what the network spends to maintain its own staff and facilities.

In other words, if you can’t make a merger work, why not outsource the least-profitable newscast to another company, in this case CNN. Given Friedman’s background, it is almost certain that this possibility was raised at either CBS or ABC in recent years.

In the Evenings, Something For Everyone

Network news veteran Paul Friedman has been keeping a close eye on the three evening newscasts of late and has written about their current state for the Columbia Journalism Review. Friedman’s engrossing 4,000-word dissection of the network newscasts boils down to this:  There’s the lofty one (CBS), the light one (ABC) and the one somewhere in between (NBC).

While NBC and ABC live by research, CBS despises it. Says CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager: “I don’t look at the research. I don’t believe in it. You do what you do well.”

And then there are the anchors: the one with the dramatic delivery (Diane Sawyer), the one with the dry wit (Brian Williams) and the one who rarely smiles (Scott Pelley).

And when added up, the three evening newscasts are watched by 20 million viewers every night.

Friedman knows better than most how these three news operations work, because he’s worked for all three. (Friedman writes how “CBS, like the other networks, has drastically cut back its foreign coverage resources.” In fact it was Friedman, while at CBS, who had to personally oversee many of those cuts.)

As we said, it’s a chock-full piece. But the section about celebrity coverage sticks out, as it’s where the three broadcasts seem to differ the most, something NBC Nightly News anchor Williams is deeply aware of.

[H]e is fully aware that Sawyer’s ratings got closer than ever to his when she began her program one night with a report on the trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor, while NBC was leading with the economy and politics.

“Hasn’t that always been the dirty little secret that we know that third rail is there?,” Williams says. “We all know exactly where it is and sometimes you have to walk real close to it. I happen to think people don’t tune into the Nightly News to see the Michael Jackson story. There’s a lot we won’t do.”

CBS News chairman Jeff Fager goes one further, telling Friedman: “the country is so sick of all the celebrity stuff, which we’re completely drowning in. The same thing with crime; it starts to look the same. If someone said to me, ‘Look Jeff, you have to go downmarket,’ I’d say, ‘Find someone else to do it.’”

(It should be noted CBS News has found success in crime coverage on its “48 Hours Mystery” program.)

But back to the evening newscasts and why one show is successfully and unapologetically forging its own path.

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Former ‘Early Show’ EP David Friedman Resurfaces

Former CBS “Early Show” executive producer David Friedman has resurfaced. According to B&C‘s Paige Albiniak, Friedman served as EP on a talk show pilot hosted by actress/model Jenny McCarthy. NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution is behind the pilot, which was shot at NBCU’s studios in Stamford, Connecticut.

Friedman is no stranger to NBC. He served as an executive producer on “Last Call with Carson Daly” and “Last Comic Standing” for the network. CBS announced that Friedman was out at “The Early Show” in May.

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Paul Friedman Joins Quinnipiac as ‘Professional-in-Residence’

Quinnipiac University is adding former CBS and ABC News executive Paul Friedman to its staff. Friedman will be “professional-in-residence” for the 2011-2012 academic year.

In that role, Friedman will “work with students in writing and production courses and help expand internship possibilities,” and will also work with Quinnipiac School of Communications Dean Lee Kamlet on creating a distinguished speaker series for the school.

Friedman left CBS News in February following he arrival of the new leadership team of Jeff Fager and David Rhodes.

More information, after the jump.

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David Friedman out as CBS ‘Early Show’ EP

Breaking: CBS Early Show EP David Friedman called a Noon meeting for his staff today announcing that he’ll be leaving the show. TVNewser has learned Friedman will be leaving the broadcast in the next few weeks.

Friedman, who is the son of former CBS News EVP Paul Friedman, himself cut from CBS News during a management shake-up in February, joined “Early” in January 2010. Whoever replaces Friedman will be the fifth EP of the show in the last 3 years and 9 months.


> More: In a note to staff, obtained by TVNewser, CBS News president David Rhodes writes, “David is a strong producer who has worked very hard and we intend to help him find the right place at CBS or elsewhere. We will be announcing the new leadership at ‘The Early Show’ within a
few days.”

Memo after the jump…

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Cable News Young Gun Gets Shot at Tiffany Network

CBS News’ brand-new management team doesn’t officially take over until tomorrow, but it’s already earning high marks from former division president Andrew Heyward.

“It’s a really creative, innovative way to structure top management,” says Heyward, a consultant to media companies. “I give Leslie [Leslie Moonves, president and CEO of CBS Corp.] a lot of credit for this.”

“This” is the unusual tandem of Bloomberg alum David Rhodes as CBS News president and ’60 Minutes’ executive producer Jeff Fager as chairman, a new title. In addition to topping the division’s flow chart, Fager will continue running ’60.’

Rhodes is a young (37) CBS outsider whose entire career has been in cable. Fager, 56, has spent more than half his life at CBS, where he is universally respected as a  newsman and manager.

Frank Sesno, former CNN Washington bureau chief, labels the professional coupling  “a dream team.”

“The boss understands the heritage, preserves the legacy, articulates the vision,” says Sesno, director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. “The president brings in new blood, a new sensibility and a cable edge.”

The duo, announced Feb. 7, made its first major move Friday with the exit of Paul Friedman, executive vice president for news, and Barbara Fedida, head of talent and development.  Neither departure was unexpected.

Friedman, in particular, was strongly disliked by the troops for his brusque management

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Paul Friedman out at CBS News

TVNewser has learned another CBS News executive is out the door today. Executive VP for news Paul Friedman is leaving the company. Incoming chairman of the news division Jeff Fager made the announcement in a memo to staff a short time ago:

As David Rhodes and I prepare to take over next week we want to inform you of some changes at CBS News. Customarily when new leadership moves in, changes occur in top management to make room for the new team.

The most significant is that Paul Friedman will be leaving CBS News today.

Friedman joined CBS News in 2006 as SVP in charge of hard news. He was promoted to EVP in 2009. He is the father of David Friedman who is the executive producer of “The Early Show.”

Before CBS News, Friedman spent 21 years at ABC News, joining as producer in London in 1982 departing in 2003 as EVP and managing editor. Before ABC, Friedman spent 14 years at NBC News. He has been executive producer of both “NBC Nightly News” (1976-79) and ABC’s “World News Tonight” (1988-93 and 1997-2000).

Fager’s memo also announced the news first reported by TVNewser that Barbara Fedida would also be leaving CBS.

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Sean McManus Leaving as CBS News Chief, Jeff Fager New CBS News Chairman, David Rhodes President

Sean McManus

Breaking: Sean McManus, the president of CBS News and Sports, will be vacating his role as head of CBS News, the company confirms. McManus will become chairman of CBS Sports in the new reporting structure.

In his place, “60 Minutes” executive producer Jeff Fager will become chairman of CBS News, while David Rhodes, currently in charge of Bloomberg TV, will become president of CBS News. Before Bloomberg, Rhodes spent 12 years at Fox News Channel, starting as a PA and eventually leading the network’s newsgathering division. Fager will continue to oversee “60 Minutes” while serving as chairman

“In these two great news professionals, we get the best of both worlds: the quintessential insider with deep knowledge of the business and all the moving parts at CBS News, as well as a dynamic young executive with strong news management experience and a tough, fresh point of view,” said CBS CEO Les Moonves in a statement.  ”They will inherit a proud and dedicated organization that has been well positioned for success in the future by their predecessor.  Together, they make the ultimate winning team.”

Paul Friedman, currently executive VP at CBS News, will remain in that role.

More information in the official announcement, after the jump.

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