- Diane Sawyer, who is anchoring “World News” from Afghanistan tonight: “Katie has so many unique gifts as a journalist, an interviewer and a broadcaster. She is also a friend and, as she knows, I’m so happy she’s joining the team at ABC News.”
- Barbara Walters: “Katie and I are good friends and have stayed closely in touch through the years. I am very happy to welcome her to the ABC family and I know she will be a great success.”
Posts Tagged ‘Rick Kaplan’
First on: TVNewser has learned Katie Couric‘s final “Evening News” broadcast will be next Thursday, May 19. Couric will make the announcement tonight on the show. Last night was the final broadcast for her executive producer, Rick Kaplan. Couric’s contract with CBS runs until June 4. A source tells TVNewser, no further announcement about Couric’s future is immediately forthcoming.
Today’s news means three of the biggest names in all host-dom will be departing their programs within a three-week span.
Katie Couric will be departing in a couple weeks, but today was “CBS Evening News” EP Rick Kaplan‘s final show. Earlier in the day we reported where he’s going next — to ABC News as EP of “This Week with Christiane Amanpour.” Here’s how Couric signed off tonight:
And before we leave you tonight, we want to take a moment to wish our executive producer, Rick Kaplan, the very best. This is his last broadcast at CBS News .. and while we could go on, as Rick has told me many times .. we’re tight on time. So from all of us at CBS News…THANK YOU, Rick…goodnight and good luck.
After the show, there was a gathering in the newsroom where artist Peter Max presented a drawing of Kaplan he’d created — a gift from the Evening News staff. We’re told staffers, including Couric, then headed across W. 57th St. to CBS watering hole Jake’s Saloon for cocktails.
Couric and Kaplan could be reunited at ABC. Couric is weighing a deal at Disney/ABC for a syndicated daytime show along with contributions to ABC News. Couric’s contract with CBS ends early next month.
He’s not even out, and he’s already back in.
Rick Kaplan, whose final “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric” production is set for tonight, is about to undertake his third tour of duty at ABC News as he joins the network to head up political coverage and executive produce “This Week with Christiane Amanpour.”
After CBS, Kaplan spent 18 years at ABC (1979-1997) first as senior producer of “World News Tonight,” then EP of “Nightline” from 1985-1989; creator and EP of “Primetime LIVE” from 1989-1994 and finally EP of “World News Tonight with Peter Jennings” from 1994-1996.
Kaplan returned to ABC News in 2003-2004 as SVP responsible for the division’s hard news programs and political coverage. Insiders remember when he wrapped the ABC News bus for 2004 presidential campaign coverage.
Not only is this a return to ABC for Kaplan, who’s also a past president of MSNBC, but it reunites him with Amanpour with whom he worked in the late 1990′s when Kaplan was president of CNN.
Kaplan will be based in New York and, like Amanpour, commute to Washington for Sunday’s shows.
ABC News president Ben Sherwood‘s note after the jump…
Shevlin, who currently is the executive producer of the CBS Evening News Weekend Editions, joins Pelley’s show when it debuts June 6.
“Pat has a wealth of experience and has shown tremendous dedication to CBS News,” said CBS News president David Rhodes in a news release. “I know she will inspire the team that puts together Scott’s broadcast each day. We’re looking forward to making the ‘Evening News’ more competitive than ever.”
Shevlin, who has been with CBS News since 1973 has been the executive producer of the weekend newscasts since January 2000.
From 1975 to 1982, Shevlin was an associate producer for several CBS News broadcasts, including “In the News.” In 1982, she joined the CBS Morning News, and from 1989 to 2000 was a producer and later Senior Producer on the “CBS Evening News with Dan Rather.”
CBS Evening News executive producer Rick Kaplan announced in an afternoon meeting that Thursday would be his last day with the broadcast and with CBS News, departing even before the show’s anchor, Katie Couric.
Insiders tell us the decision was Kaplan’s.
At the newsroom meeting, CBS News chairman Jeff Fager as well as Couric praised Kaplan for his production and management of the broadcast.
Kaplan re-joined CBS News in 2007 to take over the “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.” During his four-year run, he also did double duty for a time overseeing “The Early Show.”
Before joining CBS, Kaplan was president of two cable networks: MSNBC from 2004-2006 and CNN/U.S. from 1997-2000. Kaplan served two tours at ABC News from 1979-1996 and again from 2003-2004.
But it was at CBS News where Kaplan got his start, first in Chicago, then New York on the CBS Morning News and later as an associate producer on the “CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite.”
“I’m not going to deny that I’m proud of the fact he’s a Texan,” says Rather. “Texans, generally speaking, have a strong sense of place, a strong tie to the land. I admire his record of slugging his way up from bottom.”
Pelley, 53, a San Antonio native and 21-year CBS veteran, yesterday was named managing editor and anchor of “CBS Evening News,” effective June 6. He was the heavy favorite to replace Katie Couric, who’s stepping down at the end of her five-year contract June 4.
Rather had campaigned for Pelley, off and on, for years. (Not that Rather’s endorsement carried any weight at CBS.) Given their similar career paths – Texas local news, then CBS and the White House, foreign wars, “60 Minutes” and anchordom – Rather probably sees himself in the younger newsman.
Pelley “burns with the hot, blue flame to report news,” says Rather, 79, managing editor and anchor at HDNet. “He’s relentless on a story. He has news in his id, his DNA. He cares about it. He knows it’s important. I think that translates to viewers. They connect with people they believe really care about the news.”
Moreover, Pelley is “steeped in the CBS tradition and history. He’s a true believer in the CBS mission. He knows the organization top to bottom because he came up from the bottom to the top. He has newsroom cred. He’s very good about thanking people up and down the line.”
But can Pelley, who will continue to report for ’60,’ make a difference in what Rather himself describes as “a damaged franchise?” For that matter, can anyone?
Update: CBS News president David Rhodes denies all facts of the story. “It’s not happening, it’s not going to happen,” he tells us. “This story is just wrong.”
Rome Hartman tells TVNewser, “Your report this morning is untrue. Flat wrong. Unfair to me, and unfair to CBS. I’m fully engaged in and excited about my job with BBC News.
Earlier: TVNewser had reported that former CBS Evening News EP Rome Hartman was to return to CBS News and that Patricia Shevlin, long-time EP of the weekend “Evening News,” was expected to replace David Friedman as e.p. of the “Early Show.”
CBS News president David Rhodes tore into his morning news program, “Early Show,” today telling staffers in an email, “CBS News had a great weekend. And a bad Monday morning.”
Rhodes, who’s been on the job just shy of two months, sent an email to the staff and cc’d the show toppers of the weekend shows, “60 Minutes,” “48 Hours” and “Sunday Morning.”
Rhodes was miffed that while the weekend shows broke news or had newsmaking interviews, none of it turned up on Monday’s “Early.”
“Many of you on the Early Show have asked for clarity on what we want. Several times we have talked about sustained coverage of stories which are our own—I mentioned this several times the week after our story on Orlando’s motel homeless. Let’s get with it. Where’s our reporting? Make sure it’s in our show.”
“Early” has been mired in third place since it debuted in 1999; the anchor team was replaced earlier this year, before Rhodes took over; and the show has had four different executive producers in the last 3 and a half years (five if you include interim EP Rick Kaplan). This morning’s memo, sent just 15 minutes after the show ended, is directed squarely at current EP David Friedman who’s been with the show for 13 months.
Rhodes’ memo after the jump…
- “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams is on his way to Cairo right now. He left New York Sunday afternoon arriving in Amman, Jordan and is now en route to Egypt. He’s expected to arrive in time for “Nightly News.”
- CBS’ Katie Couric, after a weekend in Miami Beach, is leaving for Egypt today. “Evening News” EP Rick Kaplan will travel with her. Harry Smith will be filling in at the anchor desk tonight.