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Posts Tagged ‘Scot Safon’

HLN Launching New Weekday Show ‘Making It in America’

As we teased earlier this year, HLN is launching a new weekday program anchored by longtime anchor Vinnie Politan. The new program is called “Making It In America,” and will air on HLN from 4-5 PM ET.

The new program launches this afternoon, with the focus on “news stories, trends and newsmakers that illustrate how Americans are surviving and, in some cases, thriving in today’s challenging economic climate,” according to the network. Politan has been part of the Turner family for years, starting as an anchor for CourtTV, before shifting to InSession and later HLN. He most recently worked on HLN’s “Prime News” and “Special Report.”

“While achieving the American Dream seems elusive to many these days, you would be surprised how people are embracing the challenges and persevering,” said HLN executive VP Scot Safon in a statement. “They’re inventing new economies, creating new solutions, partnering and innovating. Fully covering the topic of ‘Making It In America,’ means capturing the challenges, the victories, the inventiveness and the struggles.”
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Kyra Phillips Moves from CNN to HLN; Ashleigh Banfield Moves Off ‘Early Start’ to Late Mornings

Some changes announced at CNN and HLN this morning.

First, Kyra Phillips, who has been an anchor with CNN since 1999, is leaving the network and moving a few floors away at CNN Center, to HLN where she will anchor a new daytime program launching later this summer.

Also, Ashleigh Banfield is moving off “Early Start” and will anchor her own hour later in the morning in Phillips’ previous CNN timeslot of 11amET. John Berman, who left ABC News for CNN, will now co-anchor “Early Start” with Zoraida Sambolin as well as contribute to other CNN programs and to

All the changes take effect in a few weeks.

Recently, Phillips had been anchoring daytime hours on HLN and Banfield has been anchoring daytime hours on CNN, so the moves are not unexpected.

HLN executive Scot Safon says, Phillips’ program “will highlight her strengths as a journalist as well as her insights and observations on the news and the people at the center of the stories.”

Memos from Safon and CNN EVP Ken Jautz, after the jump…

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HLN to Broadcast Daytime Emmy Awards

HLN made it official today, announcing it will broadcast the 39th annual daytime Emmy Awards next month. The daytime Emmys will be presented Saturday, June 23 at 8pmET, at The Beverly Hilton hotel.

“HLN is thrilled to work with NATAS to celebrate some of television’s best programs and performances,” said HLN SVP and general manager Scot Safon. “Every day we focus on the news and information people talk about, and that has included extensive coverage of the Daytime Emmys in the past. This year, we’re very excited to also be carrying the event itself.”

At next month’s event, Barbara Walters will present Bill Geddie, Executive Producer of “The View” and the “Barbara Walters Specials,” with the Daytime Lifetime Achievement Award.

Anderson Cooper is nominated as best talk show host, along with Dr. Oz, Rachel Ray, Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa and the doctors from “The Doctors.” “Anderson” is also nominated in the Best Informative Talk Show category alongside “Dr. Oz” and “The Doctors.”

CBS has televised the broadcast the last two years. In 2009, the CW aired the show. And in prior years, the Daytime Emmys aired on ABC, CBS and NBC.

HLN Adapting ‘Morning Express’ For The Evening, Launching ‘Evening Express’

HLN is launching a new late afternoon/early evening program called “Evening Express.” As the name suggests, the format is based on the channel’s successful morning program, “Morning Express with Robin Meade.”

The show will originate from Atlanta and will air from 5-7 PM, beginning Monday, June 4. Ryan Smith will host the show, joined by Clark Howard and Ishe Sesay, who joins HLN from sister network CNN. Angie Massie will serve as EP.

From 5-6 PM HLN currently airs “HLN Special Report,” and “Prime News” from 6-7 PM. Those shows will no longer air, but HLN says there won’t be any staff reductions, as staff will either work on “Evening Express,” or move to another show. Host Vinnie Politan will continue to anchor during In Session, and we hear he will be getting a new daytime show soon as well.

More, after the jump.

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Personalities–And a Former President–Toast Dr. Sanjay Gupta At Book Party

Gupta, Couric, Gupta's father Subhash

Just how well-liked is CNN correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta? So much so that his book release party, held at The Setai Hotel last night, had more boldface names in attendance than many TV premieres. Gupta’s first novel, Monday Mornings, was released this week.

Former President Bill Clinton, former CBS News anchor Katie Couric, daytime talk-show host Dr. Oz, “The Daily Show” correspondent Aasif Mandvi, Fox News Channel’s Bill Hemmer and former CNN anchor Kiran Chetry were all there. And that is before you get into the CNN contingent, which included Soledad O’Brien, Don Lemon, Ivan Watson, Jeffrey Toobin, Ashleigh Banfield and Christine Romans, among others.

Nearly every top CNN executive was there, including CNN Worldwide chief Jim Walton, CNN U.S. chief Ken Jautz, CNN managing editor Mark Whitaker, CNN International chief Tony Maddox and HLN chief Scot Safon. We also spotted CBS News president David Rhodes mingling with the crowd.

Clinton held court close to the entrance to the bar, with guests approaching him to chat throughout the night. Gupta worked through the crowd, saying hello to everyone, posing for photos and signing copied of his book. “Enjoy your stay in Chelsea General!” he wrote in one, referring to the fictional hospital in the book.

Gupta also said that the television adaptation of his novel for TNT continues to progress, and production started this month.

“Clearly Sanjay is a man of many many talents, he is possibly the busiest human being I have ever met,” said Walton during the reception, before quipping “Here is his book by the way.”

Many more pictures below.

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HLN SVP Bill Galvin Moving to CNNI; CNNI’s Katherine Green Moves to HLN

Some changes are coming to CNN and HLN in the new year, starting with some movement among three top network executives: Bill Galvin, Katherine Green and Mike McCarthy.

TVNewser has learned that after two years as HLN’s senior vice president, Galvin will move to CNN International as SVP of business development and sports programming, responsible for special coverage and sponsored content of CNNI. He will also be in charge of sports coverage across CNN Worldwide.

Green will move into the role of SVP and managing editor at HLN. She has served as the SVP of programming at CNNI since 2007. McCarthy, currently VP of coverage and feature programming at CNNI, will be promoted to her former post.

After the jump, read the internal memo to staffers sent earlier today by Tony Maddox and Scot Safon.

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Joy Behar’s HLN Show Canceled

Joy Behar is ending her HLN run after a little more than two years on the network.

HLN executive in charge Scot Safon is holding a meeting with staff at this hour announcing the change. The show will end its run mid-next month, with repeats until the end of December. One of HLN’s primetime shows — perhaps Nancy Grace — is expected to re-air in Behar’s timeslot in the New Year.

Behar debuted on HLN in September 2009 at 9pmET, but moved to 10pmET earlier this year with the launch of “Dr. Drew.” Behar’s ratings held. And thanks in part to coverage of the Casey Anthony trial, the show’s third quarter saw a +38% improvement from Q3 2010. Behar will continue on “The View.”

“I am very proud of the show that we created at HLN and I owe tremendous thanks to the show team who made it possible,” Behar says in a statement.

Rumblings of a change have been in the air. Last Wednesday, Behar EP Conway Cliff was spotted having lunch with CNN executive Bart Feder at the CNN Center.

“Joy and her team produced over 500 episodes of a show that featured news-making interviews, great conversation and plenty of humor,” says Safon. “We thank Joy for the many memorable moments she gave the HLN audience.”

An unknown number of staffers will be laid off with their positions eliminated on January 3. As always with these kinds of changes, they can apply for other jobs within CNN.

HLN Finally Launches a Website To Call Its Own

HLN’s web presence has long been relegated to a subsection of That in and of itself is not a bad thing, as CNN has one of the strongest digital presences of any news organization. But as the focus of coverage by CNN and HLN have diverged, executives at the company decided that CNN’s sister channel deserved a website to call its own.

Last week, HLN quietly launched Scot Safon, the executive VP in charge of HLN, says that the has been in the works for about a year, and is still in “beta.”

“It is like a Broadway show, it is in previews right now,” Safon told TVNewser, explaining that while the look is about right, the site as a whole is still a work in progress. “Where the site is three weeks from now is probably more reflective of what It ultimately will be.” will continue to serve as the publisher of, though HLN will have editorial control of the site. In August, HLN laid off a number of employees as it changed its editorial structure to more closely align TV and digital production. That new structure results in a web presence that shares a voice with the TV programs, Safon says.

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For 2012, HLN Planning to Focus on the People Behind the Politics

Think HLN will be forgoing political coverage in 2012? Think again.

“We are definitely focused on that story, because that is going to be driving the news water cooler in this country in 2012,” HLN executive VP Scot Safon tells TVNewser.

HLN is planning to cover the 2012 elections from a decidedly different angle than the other cable news outlets however. The channel is planning to focus on the people behind the politics, by telling viewers more about the politicians themselves, as well as their families and staff.

Safon points to the recent interview Herman Cain gave to Robin Meade, as well as the follow-up stories from the channel, as what they were looking to accomplish:

As an example, Safon mentioned HLN’s 9 PM host Dr. Drew Pinsky, and how he might approach coverage of politicians:

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Nancy Grace Goes Dancing, While HLN Parties

Last night, HLN host Nancy Grace did the cha-cha on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.” Grace started by sitting behind what appeared to be her desk:

Meanwhile, at HLN headquarters in New York, a viewing party was held. Italian food from Carmine’s was brought in, and HLN executive VP and GM Scot Safon joined the team to cheer Grace on. Decorations, noisemakers and lots of garlic bread and pasta were on hand:

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