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Posts Tagged ‘Sam Donaldson’

‘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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Connie Chung Recalls Workplace Sexism During ‘Anchorman’ Era

katie couric anchormanOn a recent episode of “Katie” about “Anchorman 2,” Katie Couric talked with Sam Donaldson and Connie Chung about workplace sexism.

“Ron Burgundy, I have worked with you for 35, 40 years,” Chung said to Will Ferrell. “Every single guy I worked with was just like you — and I have so enjoyed despising you.” Chung described the men as “egotistical” and “self-absorbed.”

When Donaldson pointed out that “Walter Cronkite is turning over his grave,” Chung said Cronkite was different — “and you weren’t, because I didn’t really work directly with you,” she assured Donaldson. Couric said she experienced it, too, although both she and Chung declined to name names.

Huffington Post Media has the video.

The Evening Ticker: Kotb, Baier, Donaldson…

  • Hoda Kotb has signed a new contract with NBC News where she will remain the co-host of the 4th hour of “Today.” Kotb has been with NBC since 1998.

  • Bret Baier has inked a book deal to write SPECIAL HEART: A Journey of Faith, Hope, Courage & Love. The Fox News anchor will recount caring for his critically ill son, Paul. The book comes out in June.

The Best Of ‘My First Big Break’ In 2012

Early this year mediabistroTV launched a brand new video series called “My First Big Break.” The premise was simple: sit down with big names in the media business, and have them explain what their first big break was. We spoke to a number of huge names, including Ken Burns, Spike Lee and Dan Rather. Below is a selection of some of the best “Breaks” we saw this year. And stay tuned for “My First Big Break: Christiane Amanpour” coming Wednesday. Enjoy.

The very first episode of the series featured “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams:

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith told us about his local news days:

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Sam Donaldson Arrested For DUI

Former ABC News anchor Sam Donaldson was arrested for driving under the influence earlier this month. TMZ first reported the news this afternoon.

Donaldson was pulled over December 1st in Delaware and failed a field sobriety test. He was subsequently taken to a nearby police station, was booked, and released.

“Law enforcement notes that Donaldson was very cooperative.” TMZ notes.

Donaldson was twice ABC’s White House correspondent, and also served as co-anchor of “PrimeTime Live” with Diane Sawyer and “This Week” with Cokie Roberts. He is retired from ABC, though he still serves as a contributor to ABC News programming.

The AP Profiles Fox’s Man In The White House, Ed Henry

The AP’s David Bauder profiles Fox News White House correspondent Ed Henry. The forrmer CNN correpondent is keenly aware of the different pressures he faces since he jumped ship.

More than anyone, he understands how the natural adversarial role of reporting on the highest level of government has become complicated in recent years by the rise in partisan media and online critics who parse every word reporters and anchors say.

“It definitely puts pressure on all of us,” Henry said, “and if you step out and ask tough questions, you’re somehow seen as a partisan now , even if it’s a substantive question and even if it’s a fair question.”

He also has no problem admitting that he doesn’t always agree with some of the things the commentators on the network say, as with the situation in Benghazi:
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Deborah Norville’s Run-In With Sam Donaldson

Tomorrow’s installment of the mediabistroTV series “My First Big Break” tells the story of how “Inside Edition” anchor Deborah Norville got her foot in the TV news door. Her tale involves former President Jimmy Carter, but also a brush with the bushy eyebrows of fame. Norville–still a kid, fresh in the local news game–had a run-in with the esteemed ABC News anchor Sam Donaldson:

The History of Law, As told by Ed Bradley and Diane Sawyer

This TVNewser is doing his civic duty, having been summoned for jury duty today. The jury assembly room in the 1927 Supreme Court of the State of New York building has wifi, which is nice. And the friendly jury lady got a round of applause when she announced she had lobbied to replace the hard wooden benches with comfy chairs. Also nice.

There’s also an introductory video about the history of law — serious, ancient history — as well the juror process. While newer than those wooden benches, the video must be at least 15 years old as it is hosted by Ed Bradley, the “60 Minutes” correspondent who died in 2006 and by ABC’s Diane Sawyer, who appeared to be between shoots for “Primetime LIVE!”, half expecting Sam Donaldson to jump in front of the camera.

I haven’t summoned the courage to ask the nice jury lady how old the video is, for fear of being marked as a wise-ass and then put on a 10-week trial. Damn. My name was just called.

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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Sam Donaldson, Cokie Roberts and John Palmer to Host New Political Program… On RLTV

RLTV (formerly Retirement Living TV) has picked up a political news and commentary program–”Primary Issues”– to be hosted by former ABC News journalists Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts, as well as former NBC News correspondent John Palmerwho joined RLTV in 2006 — and PBS host Consuelo Mack. Fox News Channel regular Ben Stein will contribute regular commentary pieces to the program, which will debut Monday at 9pmET and run through November 3.

More information, after the jump.

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