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Posts Tagged ‘Rick Kaplan’

‘Primetime LIVE!’ 25 Years Later

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There was a big reunion last night to commemorate the 25th anniversary of ABC’s “Primetime Live.”

About 100 former correspondents, editors, researchers, PAs, APs, and photographers celebrated at the home of author Holly Peterson, who was a researcher on the show. Diane Sawyer was in attendance. Her co-anchor Sam Donaldson sent his regards from Albuquerque, where he now lives.

ABC News president Roone Arledge created the show in 1989. He wooed Sawyer away from “60 Minutes” to be the co-anchor for the new live primetime newsmagazine. Donaldson was fresh from covering the White House for ABC News. The first episode included live studio audience. As Donaldson put it, the audience participation “was not [like] Oprah or Donahue… They are terrific shows, but that’s not us.” Fox News’ Chris Wallace and the late Judd Rose were correspondents.

Early staffers in attendance last night included Disney ABC TV Group president Ben Sherwood, who was an associate producer on the show; correspondent Jay Schadler; producers Betsy West, now with the Columbia Journalism School, Neal Shapiro, now with WNET, Mark Lukasiewicz, now with NBC, David Doss, now with Al Jazeera America; also Ira Rosen and Rick Kaplan, plus Jeanmarie Condon and Marc Burstein, who now have executive roles at ABC News.

Insiders tell us Sawyer delivered a toast to the team, for their passion and hard work, while Burstein read a note from Donaldson sending regrets and sharing how proud he was of the work he did at “Primetime (as he used to say) LIVE!”

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Bush Library ‘Had No Editorial Control’ Over ’41 on 41′

41on41AilesTVNewser was at the screening last night for the new CNN Films presentation of “41 on 41,” which will air this Sunday, Father’s Day, on CNN.

The film features 41 people sharing intimate stories about the 41st president, George H.W. Bush, as a politician, a president, a father and a grandfather.  In some cases — like that of Pierce Bush, one of 24 Bush grandchildren — the portrait is very intimate. (Listen closely for the story about what was found on Barbara Bush‘s laptop).

“41 on 41″ is executive produced by President Bush’s former White House speechwriter, Mary Kate Cary, and Rick Kaplan, the former president of CNN, and later MSNBC. “It’s good to have Rick back in the building,” said CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker in his introduction of the screening.

The film is backed by the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library, but in the Q&A following the screening, Cary noted the Library “had no editorial control” of the documentary and only provided funding. “This was made as any other independent film would have been made,” said Cary. She said the “41″ theme played throughout the 10-month film-making process, which included 45-minute sit-downs with the 41 participants. In all, the crew traveled 41,000 miles gathering the interviews.

Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes and NBC News special correspondent Tom Brokaw are featured back-to-back sharing stories of Pres. Bush’s military service. Cary says while it was a challenge to get the list down to just 41, there are a few people she wished could have made the film, including former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who couldn’t participate due to health reasons, and Tiger Yang, who was assigned to the Bushes during his role as U.S. Liaison to Beijing in 1974-75 and is now a high-ranking Chinese politician. Cary said it was a challenge to get the Chinese government to participate at all in the project.

As for the 41st president, he’s seen the film and enjoyed it. “He was very humbled,” said Cary. “In a Lou Gehrig way, he said, ‘I’m the luckiest guy in the world.’”

Steve Capus Named Executive Producer of ‘CBS Evening News’

CapusSteve11Former NBC News president Steve Capus is joining CBS News as the executive producer of “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” and executive editor of the news division. He will begin in his new role in July.

Capus was president of NBC News for eight years, from 2005 to 2013. Before that he was executive producer of “NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw” and later Brian Williams from May 2001 to June 2005.  At CBS, he replaces Patrica Shevlin who is joining “60 Minutes.”

“The Evening News is an excellent broadcast, and we believe under Steve’s leadership it will get even better,” Jeff Fager, CBS News chairman said in a statement. “He is a real pro with an extraordinary record, and we are fortunate to have him joining us at CBS News.”

Capus will be the third “Evening News” EP in three years. Shevlin oversaw the show when Pelley joined as anchor in 2011. Before that, Rick Kaplan was EP of the show for four years, when it was the “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.” A few years earlier, Kaplan worked for Capus at NBC News when Kaplan was president of MSNBC. And in a further show of how small the TV news world really is, Kaplan replaced Rome Hartman as EP of “Evening News.” Hartman was later hired by Capus at NBC News to launch “Rock Center.”

Capus will now be competing head-to-head against his friend and former NBC colleague Brian Williams. Capus also produced Williams’ MSNBC show in the late 1990s before moving up the ranks at NBC News.

As Executive Editor Capus joins the CBS News management team “as a resource for colleagues around the Broadcast Center and a strategist on coverage of ongoing stories,” says David Rhodes, CBS News president.

The release and Rhodes’ note are after the jump. Read more

The Ticker: Fuse, Oliver, Tapper

  • Fuse News, which was initially produced by former ABC, CBS, and CNN executive Rick Kaplan, has been cancelled. “We reached an agreement to sell Fuse to SiTV Media, and these changes are part of that transition,” a spokesperson tells TVNewser.

  • New HBO host John Oliver tells The Daily Beast covering cable news is like absorbing poison, and CNN perplexes him. “What CNN are doing at the moment is more baffling to me. At least Fox are efficient at what they’re trying to do…I find that whole world very dispiriting.”

  • CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper” will air Tapper’s interview with former President George W. Bush this afternoon. Tapper will speak with the former president about veterans’ issues.

Former President of MSNBC and CNN Discusses TV News Reporting in the Social Media Age

TV news stations used to be the go-to source for breaking news, but in the social media age, that’s changing. Now organizations can communicate their messages directly to the public in real-time. There’s more pressure than ever for news reporters to cover stories with speed and accuracy.

How have the major networks adapted to this change? And how are they incorporating social into their programming to enhance the viewer experience?

Rick Kaplan, the Emmy Award winning former president of MSNBC and CNN, will discuss how he has taught networks to be bold and smart as they manage social media and breaking news.  Learn how to manage new technologies and balance being first with being accurate. Understand how to use Twitter as a lead, not a source; and determine which social networks are most valuable for news gathering and reporting.

This online webcast will be held on Wednesday, July 10 from 4-5pm EST. Click here to register: http://mbist.ro/183yW6j

Chris Matthews And Ashleigh Banfield Among ‘The Newsroom’ Paid Consultants

With season two of HBO’s “The Newsroom” right around the corner, The Hollywood Reporter reveals that HBO and Aaron Sorkin put together an all-star list of paid consultants to help make the show as “real” as possible.

Among the notable names: MSNBC host Chris Matthews (whose son Thomas Matthews is an actor on the show), CNN anchors Ashleigh Banfield and Natalie Allen (CNN is a sister network to HBO), MSNBC’s S.E. Cupp and Alex Wagner and former CNN and MSNBC president Rick Kaplan. The full list is here.

“I’ll be coming to you for everything from simple research questions to: ‘What kinds of conversations would there be about how to cover Trayvon Martin? Sandra Fluke? The contradictory stories about the circumstances under which Bin Laden was shot?’” he wrote in a lengthy welcome note to the group last fall.

THR also wrote a lengthy cover story about season two of “The Newsroom.” You can read it here.

‘Fuse News’ To Debut Tonight

“Fuse News,” a new music and pop culture news program being produced by former ABC, CBS and CNN executive Rick Kaplan, will debut on the cable channel at 8 PM tonight. “ET Canada” contributor Matte Babel and former MTV host Alexa Chung will anchor the new program.

With the Grammy Awards on Sunday, previewing the event will be the top story on the show this week.

“We think there is a tremendous opportunity for Fuse News to fill a void and become the trusted, go-to destination for music fans,” said Kaplan in a statement.

More information after the jump.
Read more

Who’s In Line to Take Over at NBC News?

In his farewell note to staff, departing NBC News president Steve Capus writes, “I have much I hope to accomplish in the next phase of my career.” So, too, do the men and women vying to replace Capus. Capus says NBCU News group Chairman Pat Fili-Krushel “will be meeting with people throughout the division, and articulating her vision for the NBCUniversal News Group.”

There are strong internal candidates, some of whom, it has been announced by Fili-Krushel, will take on additional duties. Alex Wallace (above, right), who oversees “Today,” and “Rock Center” will now oversee “Nightly News,” where she was once EP. Wallace, who’s been with NBC since 2005, would be the first female news president after nine men have held the job since 1968.

Phil Griffin will likely be considered for the job. As president of MSNBC for the last 4 and a half years he has given the network an identity and boosted ratings, consistently topping CNN — a network his close friend Jeff Zucker now runs. A front office and internal concern would be the progressive programming on the network, often not in line with NBC News standards. Mark Hoffman, president of CNBC, cannot be ruled out. Nor can Capus’ deputy, Antoine Sanfuentes, (above, left) who will run day-to-day in the interim.

External candidates are also plentiful…

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Rick Kaplan’s New Tune: Music News

Rick Kaplan, the former CBS, ABC, CNN and MSNBC executive, has a new beat these days. He’s creating a new music news show for the Fuse Network.

Kaplan left ABC News this summer when he launched Kaplan Media Partners. The veteran producer and news executive is working with networks and programs, both news and entertainment. His client list so far includes HBO where he is working as a creative consultant on Aaron Sorkin‘s “Newsroom.”

But Kaplan is particularly energized by the Fuse gig. He is launching a show called Fuse News. “It’s a daily news program about the music business — entertainers, acts, events and new trends,” says Kaplan calling it, “A serious attempt to cover the music business.” Kaplan a former president of CNN and later MSNBC, was most recently the executive producer of the “CBS Evening News” and — in his second stint with ABC — was EP of “This Week.”

Fuse is owned by MSG Inc. which was spun off from Cablevision in 2010 and is run by music lover and Cablevision scion James Dolan. Knowing that it has the backing of the top boss should tell you this news, is serious business.

Perhaps best of all, Kaplan is hiring — and fast. The network is planning to shoot pilots next month, with a launch in January or early February. “We’re looking for producers, associate producers,” says Kaplan. “We’re looking for great camera people who can edit. This is the real deal.”

If you’re interested drop Kaplan a line at his email here.

A Few More Minutes with Andy Rooney

Friends and colleagues from across the TV spectrum joined Andy Rooney‘s four children this morning at Rose Hall, bidding farewell to the CBS News essayist, who died November 4 following complications from minor surgery.

Rooney’s son Brian Rooney, a longtime correspondent at ABC News, hosted the memorial service which included remarks from Andy Rooney’s three daughters, Ellen Rooney, Emily Rooney and Martha Fishel and Rooney’s girlfriend of 7 years, former “Today” show “girl” Beryl Pfizer, who had known Rooney since 1950. Rooney’s grandchildren were there, including Justin Fishel Pentagon producer for Fox News Channel.

Brian Rooney talked about how, over the past several weeks he’s gone through his father’s belongings and found everything from a $6,000 uncashed check from CBS, to a diary entry dated March 8, 1941: “Went to Gallagher’s. Don’t get chicken at a steakhouse.”

“What you saw, was the same show that we had at dinnertime,” said Rooney.

CBS News chairman and “60 Minutes” EP Jeff Fager as well as Rooney’s “60″ family: Morley Safer, Steve Kroft and Scott Pelley all spoke at the service.

Safer talked of Rooney’s “rich, eccentric legacy.” A man who filled American homes “like a piece of the Sunday furniture, like a portrait on the wall, like the TV itself.”

Safer then introduced a video which included outtakes of his interview with Rooney conducted last Spring. Showing a picture of the early correspondents: Harry Reasoner, Mike Wallace and Diane Sawyer, Rooney stopped at Sawyer — who was not able to attend. “She’s the prettiest girl I

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