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Posts Tagged ‘Rick Kaplan’

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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Jon Banner takes over as EP of ‘This Week with George Stephanopoulos’

As George Stephanopoulos prepares a return to moderating “This Week,” the Sunday public affairs show is also getting a new Executive Producer.

Former “World News” EP Jon Banner (left), who recently moved to the role of Senior Executive Producer for division wide initiatives, has been named EP of “This Week” effective January 8, when Stephanopoulos returns. It is a return to “This Week” for Banner who led the show from 2000-2003.

Current EP Rick Kaplan (right) remains with ABC overseeing ABC’s New Hampshire debate next Saturday. Kaplan returned for his third stint at ABC in May, after a four year run as EP of the “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.”  ABC News president Ben Sherwood calls it “a sensible time to make this move.” Kaplan will also take on other projects and continue to play a big role in ABC’s election year coverage.

Sherwood’s note to the staff, after the jump…

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Despite Occasional Bursts, Ratings For Amanpour’s ‘This Week’ Failed to Turn Heads

The news yesterday that Christiane Amanpour would be stepping aside from ABC’s “This Week” did not take many TV news professionals by surprise. Despite a highly-publicized launch, and a decidedly different take on the Sunday public affairs format, the program largely failed to resonate with viewers from the very start.

Amanpour debuted on ABC August 1, 2010, and that month the program finished a solid #2 behind NBC’s “Meet the Press,” before fizzling out. Over the next year and a half, the program would only occasionally dip into second place, and even then it was often in the key news demo of adults 25-54, rather than total viewers.

The highlight for Amanpour’s run came earlier this year, when the “Arab Spring” protests and the devastating tsunami in Japan became big news here in the U.S.

Amanpour’s experience as a foreign correspondent shined during those events, and led “This Week” to some of its highest ratings under her stewardship, though the program still found itself third most weeks. The most-watched “This Week” during her run came the week after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot, though all of the Sunday shows saw large ratings bumps, and ABC’s program still placed third.

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Scott Pelley, Diane Sawyer, Brian Williams and More Turn Out to Remember Lane Venardos

Longtime CBS News executive Lane Venardos was fondly remembered Wednesday in a moving service at the Paley Center in New York City.

Venardos who died August 19 at his home in Maui, spent 30 years at CBS News producing live news, special events and documentaries. He would go on to produce the “Survivor” live finales for Mark Burnett on CBS.

More than 200 luminaries from across the television industry attended the memorial, including CBS News chairman Jeff Fager, News president David Rhodes; Charles Osgood, Scott Pelley, Bob Schieffer, Lesley Stahl, and Rita Braver; current “CBS Evening News” EP Pat Shevlin, CBS News VP Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews (who currently has the job Venardos once held) and “Sunday Morning” EP Rand Morrison.

Also Diane Sawyer, now with ABC News, who worked with Venardos during her time at CBS and from NBC: Brian Williams, News president Steve Capus and former CBSer, now EP of “Rock Center” Rome Hartman, were there, as was former CBS News president Andrew Heyward. ABC’s “This Week” EP Rick Kaplan, and former “GMA” boss Jim Murphy, both former CBS Newsers, attended.

Former CBS News and CBS, Inc. president Howard Stringer, who worked closely with Venardos during his years at CBS and who is now CEO of Sony, spoke via video. Other speakers included Pelley, Stahl, Williams and Venardos’s daughter Kelly who is a producer for “NBC Nightly News.” CBS News “48 Hours” EP Susan Zirinsky presented a video tribute (after the jump). The service concluded with a vocal solo performed by Venardos’s son, Kevin.

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Sam Donaldson on Co-Anchor ‘Jealousies’ and Why ‘The News Business Has Moved On’

There is no trick involved in tonight’s Halloween treat for Boomer news junkies — Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts really are co-anchors again.

The hosts of ABC’s ‘This Week’ from 1996 to ’02, Donaldson and Roberts have reunited to front ‘Primary Issues,’ a four-part election series that launches tonight at 9pmET on RLTV. It continues each night through Thursday.

Donaldson and Roberts will host from Washington, with business journalist Consuelo Mack in New York and former ‘Today’ regular John Palmer in the field. Ben Stein will provide commentary.

Donaldson, 77, who owns a ranch in New Mexico, says it was easy to get back in the saddle with Roberts, 67.

“Cokie and I have a mutual respect,” he tells TVNewser. “One of the problems with co-anchors is that jealousies sometimes show up on the air. I can’t deny that I’ve had some of that in the past, but never with Cokie. We never had a dispute. We shared everything.”

A 42-year ABC veteran, Donaldson works mostly in the radio division. He just re-upped with

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Jon Banner Moves Off of ‘ABC World News’ to Division-Wide Role, Michael Corn Named EP


After eight years at the helm of “ABC World News,” Jon Banner will be moving off of the program to a division-wide role. Banner will become senior EP of division wide initiatives, where he will have oversight over many of the networks special projects. He will also continue to oversee ABC’s political coverage. Banner first joined ABC news as a desk assistant in 1989.

“For years, Jon has been one of the rocks of ABC News, helping to hold the division together during the twin traumas of Peter’s death and Bob’s wounding in Iraq,” write ABC News president Ben Sherwood in a memo to staff.

In his place at “World News,” Michael Corn will become EP. Corn had been senior producer on the broadcast.


“I came to know Michael well during my tenure at Good Morning America – we worked closely at all hours of the day and night – and I am confident that his energy, creativity, competitive zeal and news judgment will lead the program to new heights,” Sherwood wrote.

With Banner’s departure, all three network evening newscasts will end the year with different executive producers than they had when they began the year. In July, Bob Epstein left “NBC Nightly News” to an executive role, while Rick Kaplan left CBS News in May following Katie Couric‘s departure.

Sherwood’s full memo is after the jump.

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ABC News Launches Redesigned Election Graphics

ABC News unveiled redesigned election graphics, along with a new slogan, this morning on “Good Morning America”: “Your Voice, Your Vote 2012.”

ABC’s previous election coverage has long been branded only as “Vote” — “Vote 2008″ and “Vote 2010,” for example — and more closely resembled the NBC and CBS slogans, which are “Decision 2012″ and “Campaign 2012,” respectively.

“We believe that this new branding of our election coverage will be more engaging for our viewers,” Rick Kaplan, executive producer of “This Week,” told Politico. “It makes a clear statement about our coverage of politics and the mission of ABC News heading into 2012, which is to provide viewers with the big picture understanding they need to make informed decisions at the ballot box.”

What is the Future of News?

If you can answer that question — via a video — then this is for you.

The Shorenstein Center at Harvard’s Kennedy School is calling on aspiring journalists, filmmakers and media consumers to help them think about the future of news. Create a video of no more than two minutes that answers the question, “What is the future of news?”

The winner gets $2,000 plus an awesome weekend at Harvard, attending the 25th anniversary gala of the Shorenstein Center.

But beware, the judges are tough: they include Rick Kaplan, former CBS, MSNBC, and CNN executive, now EP of “This Week with Christiane Amanpour,” and Mark Whitaker, the former Newsweek and NBC News executive, now EVP and ME at CNN.

Here’s more on the contest, the rules and deadlines.

Newsers Turn out to Remember Jeff Gralnick

The heads of the big three news networks convened at the penthouse of the Le Parker Meridien hotel this morning for a memorial service for Jeff Gralnick who worked at ABC News, CBS News, and NBC News during his TV news career.

NBC President Steve Capus spoke at the event as did Av Westin, the longtime ABC News and CBS News producer and executive. NBC News anchor Brian Williams “brought the house down” says one insider who was there. “He had people rolling on the floor with one vivid description of a certain part of the anatomy of Gralnick’s doberman pincer.”

Williams also recounted some of the emails he gotten over the years from Gralnick, including “Get the stick out of your ass” and “what are you doing wearing that jacket with those shoulder pads?”

When he got up to speak, NBC’s Tom Brokaw joked that he never got those kinds of emails. Gralnick was EP of “NBC Nightly News” during Brokaw’s years bringing the newscast from third to first place.

Former ABC News correspondent Lynn Sherr also spoke at the tribute. CBS News chairman Jeff Fager, ABC News president Ben Sherwood “Today” show co-anchor Ann Curry, “This Week” EP Rick Kaplan, and CBS Sports president Sean McManus, and about 200 others attended.

Gralnick died May 10.

Chris Dinan jumps from CBS News to ABC News

Chris Dinan is leaving CBS News and joining ABC News, TVNewser has learned.

Dinan has been senior broadcast producer of the “CBS Evening News” since September 2007. Both the former anchor of the broadcast — Katie Couric, and its executive producer — Rick Kaplan, now work for ABC News. Kaplan is the EP of “This Week” and Couric will be contributing to ABC News this summer has she plans her weekday talk show beginning next fall.

It’s not clear yet what Dinan will be doing at ABC News. Dinan was a CBS lifer joining as a desk assistant for CBS Radio News in 1987. He moved up to writer, editor and producer for CBS’s morning show before joining “Evening News” in 2007.

> Update: Dinan has been named a senior producer on “World News with Diane Sawyer.” Note from “World News” EP Jon Banner after the jump…

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