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Posts Tagged ‘Sam Donaldson’

A Brief History of the TV Newsmagazine

“One night a week is plenty for us right now,” “Rock Center” EP Rome Hartman tells THR‘s Marisa Guthrie. “We neither want to be considered filler nor do we have any plans for world domination.”

With the launch of “Rock Center” a little more than two weeks away, it occurred to us that this will be the first launch of a new broadcast network newsmagazine in nearly a decade, when FOX launched “The Pulse” anchored by Shepard Smith in 2002. “The Pulse” ran that Summer and returned briefly in the Winter of 2003.

Spinoffs of established shows have been the norm for the last 20 years on network television. Mostly, newsmagazines have been filler for networks when more expensive scripted shows fail.

The granddaddy of them all, CBS’s “60 Minutes,” debuted in 1968. Its spinoff, “60 Minutes II” debuted in 1999. In 2004, the show’s name was changed to “60 Minutes Monday (and later Wednesday).” That name lasted until the following summer, but by then the show was on the chopping block because of “RatherGate.” At the time CBS Chairman Les Moonves said the cancellation, “was a ratings call and not a content call.” “60 Minutes II” had its last broadcast in September 2005.

ABC’s “20/20″ debuted in 1978. A second ABC Newsmagazine, “Primetime LIVE” with Sam Donaldson and Diane Sawyer, left, launched in 1989. In the late 1990s ABC put the shows together, using the “20/20″ branding. There was a “20/20 Monday,” “20/20 Wednesday,” “20/20 Thursday,” and the original “20/20″ on Friday. That lasted until 2000, when ABC relaunched “Primetime.” But even today, the brands are muddled. “Primetime” runs occasionally with Diane Sawyer interviews or true crime hours, while “20/20″ airs on Fridays and reports news of the day, newsmaker interviews as well as crime stories which are ratings grabbers.

NBC got into the newsmagazine business in 1992 with the launch of “Dateline NBC” anchored by Jane Pauley and Stone Phillips. For years, it has been used to plug holes in NBC’s primetime. NBC News had another brief run in primetime with “Now” which was anchored by Katie Couric and Tom Brokaw. The show would last a year in 1993-94 and would later be folded into “Dateline.” As you can see by the show’s open, right, it also used the iconic symbol of Rockefeller Center, the Prometheus statue.

Former ABC News President Elmer Lower Dies at 98

Elmer Lower (Holding magazine)

Former ABC News president Elmer Lower, who led the company’s news division from 1963-1974, died yesterday at age 98.

Lower, who worked for all three broadcast news divisions, oversaw the expansion of ABC News from 250 employees to more than 750, and switched the evening newscast from a 15 minute format to a 30 minute one.

As ABC News president Ben Sherwood notes in a memo to staff, also hired some familiar faces, including Peter Jennings, Ted Koppel, Frank Reynolds and Sam Donaldson.

You can read more about Lower in Sherwood’s memo, after the jump.

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Lesley Stahl, Sam Donaldson Named ‘Giants of Broadcasting’

CBS News correspondent Lesley Stahl and ABC News anchor Sam Donaldson were among the honorees at the 2010 Giants of Broadcasting awards, handed out by the Library of American Broadcasting. FishbowlNY’s Jerry Barmash was at the event, which also posthumously honored CBS, CNN and NPR correspondent Daniel Schorr. You can read Barmash’s report here.

Lesley Stahl, Sam Donaldson Named 2010 ‘Giants Of Broadcasting’

LesleyStahl.jpgCBS’s Lesley Stahl and ABC’s Sam Donaldson have been named two of the 2010 “Giants of Broadcasting” by the Library of American Broadcasting.

CBS’s Charles Osgood will serve as master of ceremonies for the October 6 awards ceremony in New York.

Other honorees include:
• TV and radio legend Dick Clark
• Writer Norman Corwin, often called America’s “poet laureate of radio”
Edward Fritts, former President of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB)
• Radio and TV pioneer Hal Jackson
All My Children and One Life to Live creator Agnes Nixon

A posthumous award goes to veteran CBS, CNN, and NPR newsman Daniel Schorr, who died in July. Others being honored posthumously: radio and TV host Art Linkletter, actress Rue McClanahan, and TV documentary and film producer David Wolper.

Located at the University of Maryland, The Library of American Broadcasting is self-described as a “national information resource” for the TV, radio, and academic communities.

Tapper’s Last ‘This Week:’ Geithner, Christie, Snooki

Sunday marked ABC News White House correspondent Jake Tapper‘s last day as interim host of “This Week.” Next Sunday Christiane Amanpour takes over the role full-time.

Tapper made the most of his last day, talking to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner about the economy and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, about… Snooki.

During the roundtable segment, Cokie Roberts, Sam Donaldson, Donna Brazile and Stephen Hayes discussed the Shirley Sherrod incident. Video of that discussion is after the jump.

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Donna Brazile Thinks Larry King is a ‘Hottie’

On today’s “Morning Mix” on “Good Morning America,” Democratic strategist Donna Brazile called CNN’s Larry King “a hottie.” George Stephanopoulos, along with ABC’s Sam Donaldson, USA TODAY’s Christine Brennan, and Brazile also discussed some of the week’s most talked about stories, including Ben Roethlisberger and the Supreme Court vacancy.

Christiane Amanpour on the ‘New Perspective’ She’ll Bring to Sunday

amanpour_3-16.jpgAs we reported earlier today, Christiane Amanpour is leaving CNN after nearly 27 years with the network and heading to ABC News where she’ll succeed George Stephanopoulos as moderator of that network’s Sunday public affairs show, “This Week.”

TVNewser spoke with Amanpour this evening for a Q&A about working on a D.C.-based political show (she’ll still live in New York) and her thoughts about departing the network where she’s been such a prominent figure.

What are your feelings about leaving CNN?

Amanpour: I thought about this long and hard. Clearly, as you can imagine, it was an intense decision-making process. I’ve spent 26 and a half years at CNN and together with my colleagues we’ve built this incredible place. I have a great amount of respect and admiration for CNN.

It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to become a part of this honored tradition that is “This Week” and to build on it with an international perspective, and build on what “This Week” has forged over the years.

What kind of changes are you planning for the program?

Amanpour: The nuts and bolts are a work in progress. This is a show that’s established in viewers’ minds and in their hearts and in their interests. What we’re doing is building on it to include the international perspective. We’ll focus on the vital domestic policies and issues of the day and the international policies and issues of the day. We’ll use the perspective that I’ve gained over the years of being around the world and interviewing world leaders all over the place.

The round table will continue with the amazing people like George Will, who’s a national treasure, Paul Krugman, Donna Brazile and the ABC correspondents, Jake Tapper, Jonathan Karl, Martha Raddatz, who’s had incredibly distinguished career. I’m very very proud to be able to join in a collegial way with all these people.

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One Year Later: The President and the TV Press

J Hall.jpg“There’s a difference between governing,” says media critic Jane Hall, “and getting elected.”

One year ago today, Pres. Barack Obama began to govern — and the nets and cablers started covering his administration.

So how have they done?

“I think many reporters in the White House press corps have been asking tough questions,” says Hall, an associate professor at American University’s School of Communication and a former Fox News contributor. “I think Obama’s getting more scrutiny out of the gate certainly than [George W.] Bush did, because of 9/11.”

Carlson Tucker.jpgHall cites ABC’s Jake Tapper as a particularly assertive questioner. “[I]n some ways [he] looks to me as if he’s taken on some of the Sam Donaldson-David Gregory role” in the White House press briefing room.

Overall, tvnewsers “have been more rigorous in their coverage [of Obama] than they were during the campaign,” says Fox News contributor Tucker Carlson, co-founder of The Daily Caller. “Some kind of hangover, breakup — pick your metaphor — is inevitable. The love affair was so intense between the press and Obama the candidate…The expectations were always unsustainable.”

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Recognizing Veterans in TV News

veterans11_11.jpgIn honor of Veterans Day, TVNewser would like to take a moment to recognize the following TV news anchors, reporters, and technicians who’ve served in the U.S. armed forces. We apologize for those missing, of which there are likely many, but here is a brief list:

  • Bob Schieffer, “Face the Nation” host

    U.S. Air Force
  • Oliver North, Fox News “War Stories” host

    U.S. Marine Corps, retired Lieutenant Colonel
  • Chris Lawrence, CNN Pentagon correspondent

    U.S. Navy Reserve
  • Russel L. Honoré, CNN Preparedness Contributor
    U.S. Army, Retired Lieutenant General
  • Steve Kroft, “60 Minutes” correspondent

    U.S. Army, and worked for Stars and Stripes in Vietnam
  • Charlie Gibson, ABC “World News” Anchor

    U.S. Coast Guard
  • Don Teague, CBS News Correspondent
    U.S. Army, trained at Fort Hood
  • Andy Rooney, “60 Minutes” personality

    U.S. Army, and wrote for Stars and Stripes in WWII
  • Greg Kelly, “Good Day New York” host, former FNC host/correspondent
    U.S. Marine Corps, (and currently a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves)
  • Jack H. Jacobs, MSNBC military analyst

    U.S. Army, former Colonel Medal of Honor recipient
  • Clark Howard, HLN Host

    U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War, Captain in the Georgia State Defense Force.
  • Ray Bribiesca, “60 Minutes” cameraman

    U.S. Marine Corps
  • Andrew Soto, “60 Minutes” editor

    U.S. Army
  • Joe Murania, “60 Minutes” editor

    U.S. Navy
  • Sam Donaldson, ABC News reporter/anchor

    U.S. Army, rising to the rank of Captain, USAR
  • David Martin, CBS News correspondent

    U.S. Navy, Officer for 3 years aboard a destroyer in Pearl Harbor during Vietnam
  • Herb Schwartz, Pat Gillen, and Mike Pelech of CBS News

Newsers on Millionaire

millionaire_8-18.jpgTonight, PBS’ Gwen Ifill will appear as a part of the “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” special, primetime run. For the 10th Anniversary celebration of the show, original host Regis Philbin returned and introduced a new life-line called “Ask the Expert” where contestants can talk to a different celebrity expert each night.

So far, most of the experts have been familiar newser faces including Sam Donaldson, George Stephanopoulos, Wolf Blitzer, Cokie Roberts, Candy Crowley, and Connie Chung.

You can see some full episodes from the past week here.