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Posts Tagged ‘Roone Arledge’

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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ABC News Has Best May Sweep Since Roone Arledge was In Charge

Goldston_Sawyer_Walters304ABC News is taking a victory lap after the network’s newscasts finished in first place in either the key news demo or total viewers, or, in the case of “Good Morning America,” both.

It was ABC’s best May sweep since since 1995, when legendary ABC News president Roone Arledge was in charge. As we reported earlier this week, “World News” won the A25-54 demo for the first time in more than six years. “Good Morning America” won the month in both Total Viewers and A25-54, with the largest demo lead over NBC’s “Today” in 20 years.

“This Week with George Stephanopoulos” finishes #1 in the A25-54 demo, its first win in that demo in nearly 21 years.

“Nightline” won its first sweeps period ever in Total Viewers in its new time slot out-delivering NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and CBS’ “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.” (Meyers still takes the younger demos).

And “20/20″ wins the A18-49 demo in the Friday 10pm time slot and had its strongest May sweep in 7 years in Total Viewers, since May 2007.

Arledge is credited with building a formidable team of on-air journalists including Peter Jennings, Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, and David Brinkley during his tenure as president of ABC News from 1977 – 1998, putting ABC News in a competitive position for the first time with stalwarts CBS News and NBC News. Arledge passed away in 2002.

The May wins come as a transition in leadership is underway at ABC News with James Goldston (pictured above with Sawyer and Walters on Wednesday) taking over as news president in April from Ben Sherwood who is now president of the Disney/ABC TV group.

Much more in a release, with details, after the jump…

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WNBA to Honor Katie Couric With Inspiration Award

Katie Couric, the first solo female evening news anchor, will be honored with the 2011 WNBA Inspiration Award, the league announced today. Couric will receive the award at a luncheon in New York City next Tuesday, May 24.

“Katie Couric’s incredible leadership in the news industry along with her selfless efforts to increase cancer awareness and screenings has made her a true inspiration not only in her field but for the millions of women and young people who aspire to do great things just like her,” said WNBA president Laurel Richie. “The WNBA is thrilled to recognize Katie and her outstanding accomplishments with the 2011 WNBA Inspiration Award.”

Carole Simpson: Once & Always a ‘News Lady’

ABC’s Carole Simpson was the subject of Howard Kurtz‘s piece in “The Daily Beast” today — where she spoke about being black in the news biz, what has changed over the years, and her new book, “News Lady.”

Simpson was the first black woman hired by NBC’s DC bureau — where a drunken NBC producer told her at the Republican convention: “You think because you’re black and you’re a woman you can get anything you want. And you slut, you don’t deserve it.”

At NBC in 1974, the black newswoman heard that she was regarded as “lazy” after a long period of not being on the air. Simpson wrote about the incident in her new book:

To me that was a racial epithet. Black people—to ignorant people—don’t want to work, are stupid, and unqualified.

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Attorney Ron Konecky Passes Away

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Konecky and wife, Isobel, at a 2007 event

Ron Konecky, the New York attorney who represented some of the biggest names in television news, passed away this morning TVNewser has learned. He was 80.

Konecky’s client list included Walter Cronkite, Morley Safer, Stone Phillips, Don Hewitt, Roone Arledge, Barbara Walters, Alec Baldwin, Harry Smith, Frank Gifford, Rick Kaplan, Budd Schulberg, and ABC’s Roger Goodman. His son-in-law Bob Wheelock, a former ABC News Senior Producer, said that Konecky had cut back some after a November surgery, but “never officially retired” and was still caring for clients’ affairs and estates in recent weeks.

He is survived by wife, Tony-nominated producer and performer Isobel Robins-Konecky, his daughter, ABC News producer Jennifer Konecky, and his son-in-law as well as two grandsons.

In addition to his work with television news legends, Konecky was heavily involved in the New York theater scene, where he and his wife were on the boards of The American Theatre Wing and The New Dramatists. Wheelock tells us that his father-in-law was “as proud of the theater work as anything.”

30 Years Later: Ted Koppel on Nightline‘s Evolution

Nightline 2.jpgIt was the fall of 1979, and Iranian militants had seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran, taking 53 Americans hostage.

The late Roone Arledge, then president of ABC News, wanted extended network coverage.

“Roone had decided a long time before,” Ted Koppel tells TVNewser, “that any time a big news story [broke], ABC News was going to do a special broadcast at 11:30 at night. And one day, it was his dream that there’d be a story that had such legs to it, that was so enduring, that he would actually be able to seize the time period.”

He did just that. The ‘temporary’ program America Held Hostage: The Iran Crisis launched November 8, 1979 — four days after the Americans were taken. Frank Reynolds was named anchor. Koppel, then ABC’s chief diplomatic correspondent, was a contributing reporter.

A few months later, Koppel took over anchoring duties at Hostage, a program slated to continue as long as the crisis lasted. But as the show gathered a following, it was re-born as Nightline, and has been a part of ABC’s late-night lineup ever since.

Nightline debuted March 24, 1980, with Koppel at the helm — but only, he says, after both Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw declined offers to anchor the new program. Koppel, of course, became synonymous with Nightline, anchoring until his retirement from the program in 2005. Ted Koppel talks with TVNewser thirty years after it all began.

TVNewser: What was the impact of the program during the hostage crisis?

Koppel: Arguably, not the program, but the event — which was clearly magnified by the program — I think the event cost Jimmy Carter the [presidential] election [of 1980]…

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Chris Wallace Compares Ailes to Arledge

FOX News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace is profiled in this week’s Broadcasting & Cable.

Of former ABC News president Roone Arledge: “[Roone] understood why people watch TV and what attracts an audience. It’s one of the things he shares with another great boss I’ve had, [Fox News Chairman] Roger Ailes.”

Of his move to cable: “It struck me as almost silly to work at a news organization that wasn’t on the air most of the time.”

Sam Donaldson, praising his former competitor: “If there had never been a Mike Wallace, we would just be looking at Chris as one of the premier interviewers.”