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Posts Tagged ‘Peter Jennings’

ABC News ‘Has Lost Its Way As a Hard News Organization’

LOGO_Nightline_2013_1280A former local radio and television news director and producer has posted a blistering analysis of ABC News, arguing ABC “has lost its way as a hard news organization.” Frank Gottlieb wrote on Facebook “gravitas is what Ted Koppel brought to ‘Nightline’. With Roone Arledge at the helm and Peter Jennings anchoring, ABC became a well regarded news organization. They have become Disneyfied to the public detriment.”

Gottlieb said he was disgusted by Tuesday’s “Nightline’, which aired hours after the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture–which dominated network newscasts. “There was not a word about the report on the broadcast. It would have been the only story during the Ted Koppel era.”

Read the entire post after the jump:
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Diane Sawyer Signs Off ‘World News:’ ‘I’ll See You Right Back Here on ABC News, Very Soon’

SawyerFinalIn what may be the most subdued evening news transition since John Chancellor handed off “NBC Nightly News” to Tom Brokaw and Roger Mudd in 1982, Diane Sawyer signed off “World News” tonight. ABC hadn’t announced when Sawyer’s final show would air. That news came in a tweet from Sawyer this afternoon.

After a first block of news of the day, the second block included a David Muir “Made in America” report, a franchise which started under Sawyer’s watch. Muir said the ABC team has produced 154 reports and three updates since the series started three years ago. Sawyer then passed the torch her successor. “You know his command and commitment to bringing you the news, and let me just say to you personally right here, I cannot wait to see you in high gear. Let it begin.”

The third block took viewers behind the scenes, with a piece on those who put the show together: producers, writers, editors, correspondents, graphic designers, production crew and more. “Our teams across the country, our teams around the globe working under tight deadlines every single day,” said Sawyer, who then gave viewers a live peek into the control room. Here’s Sawyer’s final block goodbye:  Read more

Former CBS News President David Burke Dies

DavidWBurkeFormer CBS News President David W. Burke has died at the age of 78, TVNewser has learned.

Burke served as CBS News chief from 1988-1990, overseeing the network’s coverage of the Tiananmen Square protests, Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, and the First Gulf War. He also suspended the late “60 Minutes” commentator Andy Rooney for comments that offended homosexuals.

Before CBS, Burke  served as executive vice president at ABC News, where he helped lift the network to first place in the ratings while also building Peter Jennings into a major figure. At ABC, Burke oversaw the creation of “Nightline” with Ted Koppel and “20/20″ with Barbara Walters. Following his two tumultuous years at CBS News, the Los Angeles Times wrote that Burke, was ”an outsider in the most inside of institutions.”

Burke worked in politics before his time as a broadcast executive, as an aide to Senator Ted Kennedy and New York Governor Hugh Carey. Later in life, he was appointed by President Clinton to serve as the first chairman of Broadcasting Board of Governors, which today hands out an award in Burke’s name.

Carole Radziwill on Her Move to Reality TV: ‘Journalists Are All Attracted to Spectacle’


Carole Radziwill is not the type of person you’d expect to find on reality TV. She started her career at ABC News in 1989 working for Peter Jennings‘ documentary unit, where she reported from Cambodia, Haiti, India and Israel. Radziwill has won three Emmy awards and produced segments for 20/20, Primetime Live and Day One.

After leaving TV news, Radziwill penned What Remains, a memoir that delves into the deaths of her husband and friends John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessett-Kennedy. And now she’s debuting her first novel (on dating) and is one of the stars of The Real Housewives of New York City, which premieres next month on Bravo. Radziwill talked to Mediabistro about why a journo would end up on reality TV:

I think journalists are all attracted to spectacle, whether it’s war, politics or cultural phenomenon. I’m also an experience junkie and this was an experience. It’s something I’ll do for a few years, and when I’m 80, I’ll look back and say, ‘Oh, that’s why I did it.’ If it’s the worst thing I ever did in my life, I’m OK with that. But I don’t think it will be.

To hear more from Radziwill, including the challenges she’s faced this season on RHONY, read: So What Do You Do, Carole Radziwill, Journalist, Author and Reality TV Star?

ABC News Reopens Beirut Bureau

With all eyes on Syria, ABC News has announced plans to reopen a bureau in Beirut, Lebanon. The network’s first bureau there was opened in 1968 by Peter Jennings and closed in the 1990s.

“Beirut was a city Peter Jennings made his own. So it’s fitting – and timely – that ABC News is returning to a place that is one of the best listening posts in the Middle East,” managing editor of international news Jon Williams said in a statement.

ABC News correspondent Alexander Marquardt will be based in the Beirut bureau. In his first assignment since taking on the role of chief foreign correspondent, Terry Moran will report from Beirut on the escalating conflict in Syria for all ABC News platforms beginning today.

How Real is ‘The Newsroom?’ Real TVNewsers Speak Out

No one expects total realism from HBO’s “The Newsroom,” but a scene in Sunday’s Season 2- opener would be virtually impossible in real life, technically speaking, say numerous network professionals.

In the segment, an off-site reporter for cable news network ACN dictates a few words of important corrected information – via cellphone — for his package, which is then instantaneously re-tracked in the control room just in the nick of time on Will McAvoy’s (Jeff Daniels) show.

“Any suggestion you can drop new audio into a package a few seconds before air is definitely unrealistic; make that impossible,” says Candy Crowley, anchor of CNN’s ‘State of the Union.’

“I’ve seen some very exciting things happen in the control room,” says David Westin, ABC News president from 1997 through 2010, “but I never saw anything like that, or even heard about it. I can’t imagine running that kind of risk.”

Ditto, says CNN weekend anchor Don Lemon. “I’ve never seen nor heard of anyone adding audio via cellphone. Some people do narrate on their iPads, but it sounds like crap.”

Rand Morrison, executive producer of  ”CBS News Sunday Morning,” argues that the “huge” difference in audio quality would be “a small price to pay for accuracy.” He describes the ‘Newsroom’ scenario as “far-fetched, but not inconceivable. “

Sue Green of Arizona State’s Cronkite School of Journalism, formerly executive director at New York’s WABC, agrees that it can be done, but it shouldn’t have to be. “If the reporter had done his job correctly in the first place, the fix would not have been needed. That’s what is important here.”

Regardless, Green is a ‘Newsroom’ fan, particularly of executive producer MacKenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer.) “I can relate to having an anchor who doesn’t listen, and the frustrations an EP has to go through in dealing with feelings and egos” of a newsroom.

Speaking of egos, any similarities between McAvoy and the late, great Peter Jennings, David Westin?

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Robin Roberts Returns to ‘GMA’: ‘It Felt So Right. I Felt at Ease’

On the set of “Good Morning America” Wednesday, Robin Roberts took her seat at the anchor desk, adorned with a huge red bow, for the first time in 173 days with nervous anticipation.

“It felt good, to have butterflies after all this time. After doing the first block — like butter,” Roberts joked with TVNewser after the show. “It felt so right. I felt at ease.”

Today’s show marked the continuation of a return to a full workload for Roberts, who will be on the air a few days a week at first as she gets stronger. She is finished with her treatments, a result of a bone marrow transplant five months ago, though still under the watchful eye of doctors and nurses. The primary health concern now is her weakened immune system, which dictates behavior on the set: stashes of hand sanitizer tucked throughout the studio, elbow bumps instead of hugs for her co-workers.

It is the beginning of a new chapter for Roberts, who pushed to be strong enough to return before the Oscars. It was at that event last year — on February 26, 2012 –  that she began to feel sick, a feeling she described as “bone-weary fatigue.”

“From talking to my doctors, they said it would be a tremendous boost to know in a year’s time that I was back there and on the road to recovery,” Roberts says. “Well on the road to recovery.”

Roberts’ mix of excitement and nerves for Wednesday’s show was echoed by her co-hosts. Lara Spencer said she felt like it was Christmas morning. Josh Elliott said he and Roberts spent an hour on the phone last night to “marinate in our mutual insomnia.”

“I didn’t know what it was going to feel like. It came much quicker than all of us expected,” George Stephanopoulos said. “She knocked on my door a little after quarter to five this morning and just said, ‘you got my back today, right?’ and I said, ‘I got your back every day.’ And I could tell she was just set and ready to go.”

It was a happy change for the “GMA” team, who have been in a fluid state since Roberts — the show’s “team captain”– went on medical leave in September.

For the five months that she was off the air, ABC News president Ben Sherwood noted there was “no master plan,” but said the network’s approach to Roberts’ illness was influenced by the memory of Peter Jennings‘ battle with lung cancer.

“Peter went on the air one night and with a very hoarse voice announced that he was facing lung cancer and he would be back. And Peter never anchored another show,” said Sherwood, who was an ABC producer at the time. “We brought a lot of those lessons from that time — which was a really dark, tough time at ABC News — we brought a lot of those lessons to thinking about how we wanted to handle and approach [this].”

Sherwood was adamant that the show’s approach to covering the illness was dictated not by the competitive ratings battle with NBC’s “Today,” but by Roberts’ feeling that “her mess is her message.”

“This is not some television ploy. This is a real person having a real life experience, and we have tried to resonate as authentically with her, and with the show and the team and the audience, as

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Keith Summa Joins Univision From CBS News

Keith Summa, who has headed up CBS News’ investigative unit since 2007, is joining Univision as vice president of news partnerships.

In his new role, which begins today, Summa will work with journalists at Univision, as well as the soon-to-be-launched joint venture between Univision and ABC News, “to support and expand the culture of investigative and enterprise reporting,” according to Univision. He will also serve as Univision’s liaison to ABC News for the channel.

In a statement, Univision president Isaac Lee praised Summa as “someone who is at the forefront of reporting on relevant issues and shedding light on topics that matter most to the community.”

Prior to his five years at CBS, Summa spent 15 years as a producer for ABC News and Peter Jennings Productions.

>Update: The Univision announcement is after the jump.

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Cubes: Tour of ABC News Headquarters

Here’s an inside look at ABC News.  In this episode of mediabistroTV’s “Cubes,” David Muir, weekend anchor of “World News,” gives us a behind-the-scenes tour of the ABC News headquarters.

The ABC complex on Manhattan’s upper west side is home to ABC News, “Live! with Kelly,” and local New York station WABC.  Diane Sawyer also makes a cameo in the video (as do her dozens of Emmys).

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ABC’s Martha Raddatz to Receive First Amendment Award from Quinnipiac University

Martha Raddatz of ABC News will receive Qunnipiac Unversity’s 19th annual Fred Friendly First Amendment Award next month.

Raddatz has been ABC’s senior foreign affairs correspondent since 2008. In a statement, Lee Kamlet, dean of Quinnipiac University’s school of communications, said Raddatz’s reporting is “accurate and fair, the two elements that are indispensable to a journalist’s credibility.”

Past recipients of the award include Dan Rather, Lesley Stahl, Ted Koppel, Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings and Christiane Amanpour. Raddatz will be presented with hers on June 7.