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Posts Tagged ‘Phil Alongi’

NBC News, MTV Execs Behind Republican National Convention Staging

A lot goes into staging the Democratic and Republican national conventions. The stages and sets need to look good and get the political message across, while the speeches and entertainment need to be tightly packaged and timed.

The New York Times profiles the people behind the upcoming RNC, who are working to ensure that Mitt Romney and the other speakers look as good as possible, while expressing warmth and accessibility, along with policies.

To serve as executive producer, the Republican Party brought in Phil Alongi, a former politics producer with NBC News. Mr. Alongi has helped the Romney campaign fine-tune its programming so it fits neatly into the tight, one-hour block that the broadcast networks have dedicated to airing the convention in prime time. He has advised them on how to avoid certain pet peeves of producers, like running long at the top or bottom of the hour, when the networks have to cut away for commercial breaks.

Mr. Alongi, with his knowledge of what cameramen and producers will be looking for, has also ensured that Republican Party branding is placed in camera lines of sight. “When they’re flipping through the channels at home, I want them to know this is the Republican National Convention,” he said.

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One Golden Ring

Former NBC News special projects EP Phil Alongi and his wife are going to be planning a wedding in 2011. Their son, Philip Jr., who’s an opera singer, had a backup plan when his engagement proposal was delayed by the blizzard of 2010.

Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford featured the story on the fourth hour of “Today” earlier this week:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Mark Lukasiewicz to Head up NBC News Specials & Digital

Mark Lukasiewicz has been named Vice President of NBC News Specials and Digital Media. For the last several years, Lukasiewicz has headed up NBC News’ digital efforts and now takes on the additional responsibility of overseeing Specials across all the NBC News platforms. Lukasiewicz was the EP of the recent “Inside the Obama White House” special on NBC.

Lukasiewicz joined NBC News as Executive Producer in October, 2000. Prior to NBC, he was a producer at ABC News for shows including “Prime Time Live,” and “World News Tonight with Peter Jennings,” and he was EP of “Good Morning America.”

The NBC News Specials unit was previously run by Phil Alongi who left NBC earlier this year.

After the jump, a TVNewser interview with Lukasiewicz at this year’s CES…

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Two More Newsers Say So Long

More last days to tell you about today.

Alongi_2.27.jpgAs we reported last month, NBC News specials EP Phil Alongi (left, packing boxes today) is leaving 30 Rock after more than 30 years with the company. (Although he’s expected to be back with NBC News later this year to help with planning for the Vancouver Winter Olympics).

The NYObserver’s Felix Gillette reports Alongi is already on to his next move: Alongi Media Solutions. “What I really love to do is to pull together major events,” Alongi tells Gillette. “I love coming up with a theme, figuring out how to organize it, how will it play out, how to present a cohesive message, and how do you keep the interest of the audience either in person or via television. That’s the kind of stuff that I’m really hoping to get my hands into.”

Also leaving, for the second time, is CBS News public relations guru Leigh Farris. Farris was the publicist for the CBS Evening News before departing in 2007. She returned last year as a PR consultant to assist the Evening News through the election. She’s returning to her life in San Francisco.

Having worked with both Alongi (in my old media life) and Farris (in my new media life), I wish them nothing but the best in their futures.

Phil Alongi to Depart NBC News

NBC News specials executive producer Phil Alongi, who’s been with NBC for more than 30 years, is leaving the network at the end of February. Alongi, who’s been with the specials unit since 1987 and before that with NBC Nightly News, says simply the time has come to try something different. “After this exciting and exceptional two-year run with this election, now’s the time to step aside,” Alongi tells TVNewser.

Alongi is neither taking a buyout nor being laid off, but rather he’s being let out of his contract and will take an early retirement. He plans to start his own consulting firm which could include broadcasters, new media, political groups and think tanks as clients. Says Alongi, “This is something that I’ve been thinking about for a while.”

As EP of specials Alongi was charged with coordinating breaking news and special event coverage for NBC News, including election and inauguration coverage; the Papal transition in 2005 and Olympics coverage in Athens, Torino, and Beijing.

During the past few years NBC and MSNBC have coordinated their special report efforts leading some to believe that with Alongi’s departure, MSNBC will produce all special report coverage for NBC News.

We’re told that’s not the case and that a search is on for Alongi’s replacement.

“I’m just looking forward to something new,” says Alongi. “There are so many different opportunities out there.”

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Departing NBC News specials EP Phil Alongi with NBC’s Marian Porges and NBC’s Chris Jansing in May, 2007. (photo ICN)

Steve Sando, Formerly of CBS News, Dies

sando_12-29.jpgFormer CBS Newser Steve Sando died Tuesday at the age of 48. Sando, who lived in St. Paul, MN, had a number of health issues. He was hospitalized several weeks ago with problems relating to his heart and diabetes.

Most recently Sando was the broadcast technical manager for the 2008 Republican National Convention.

In 1990, Sando was named operations director of special events for CBS News. He later served as director of operations for London and all of Europe for the network and headed up CBS’ presidential election coverage in 1996.

After the jump, some reflections from TVNewsers on Sando’s passing…

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Convention Bites: Day #2

Philip Alongi Jr., son of NBC News convention coverage executive producer Phil Alongi, is singing the National Anthem tonight at the start of this evening’s session.

• According to preliminary numbers, CBS News’ prime time Hurricane/RNC special anchored by Katie Couric in New Orleans, finished first in New York City, ahead of NBC’s Dateline and ABC’s 20/20. The Couric special finished #2 in the metered markets.

• FNC anchors Bret Baier, Brit Hume and Megyn Kelly took a trip to the Mall of America earlier this week, and Kelly showed the picture of the trio this morning riding the roller coaster.

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