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Posts Tagged ‘Shelley Ross’

‘Either Do What’s Necessary, Or Admit You’re Not Up To It’: The Other ‘Today’ Manifesto


The memo described in brutal detail the changes that needed to be made to NBC’s “Today.” Some of the show’s top talent were targeted: “this guy’s killing us and no one’s even trying to rein him in.” Of course, those words were written in 1989 by Bryant Gumbel, who was speaking of Willard Scott.

And yet it all sounds so much like this week’s dismissal of “Today” show GM Jamie Horowitz. Several insider accounts of the departure make reference to a “manifesto”, wherein the former ESPN producer described in detail what was wrong with “Today”, and how he intended to fix it. By all accounts, it was not warmly received:

A week ago, according to an informed source, Horowitz presented Turness with a written “manifesto” outlining his scheme; on reading it, she “took umbrage” and was horrified.

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Double Mastectomy Isn’t Slowing Down Shelley Ross

Add Shelley Ross’ name to the growing list of disciples of the Sisterhood of St. Angelina.

Ross, former executive producer of ABC’s “Good Morning America” and CBS’ “Early Show,” underwent a double mastectomy last month after discovering that she, too, carried the BRCA gene, which greatly increases the risk of developing breast cancer.

Ross says it was Jolie’s stunning Op Ed in the New York Times last Tuesday that convinced her to go public, the same day, via her blog, daily Xpress.

“I was literally shocked when I read about her,” Ross, 60, says. “I thought what she did was so smart. It’s an opportunity to expand the dialogue. Like her, I was able to write down all the details. Nobody can interpret this as if I’m dying.”

In this case, “nobody” is Ross’ code for media, which over the years has run some brutal (mostly anonymous) slams against the producer. Still, it was common knowledge that Ross’ uber-intensity had alienated her from many of her coworkers.

Says Ross: “I got the shit end of the stick from the media. It was like a feeding frenzy.”

With her mastectomy, Ross was determined not to repeat that experience, so she told no one outside a small group of friends. They kept her secret, she says.

“My real concern, to be perfectly honest, was with outlets … that have printed false, libelous, damaging, actionable reports, regardless of what I tried to correct,” says Ross.

“If it [mastectomy] got out to what is certainly a small handful of detractors, I would have read about some anonymous person ‘hearing a death rattle.’ I’m not dying and I’m not dead.”

In fact, after six months’ chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, a hysterectomy and an infection that hospitalized her last week, Ross is so not dead that she’s juggling several major projects.

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ABC News Pours The Champagne to Celebrate First ‘GMA’ Weekly Win Since 1995

(l-r) ABC News SVP James Goldston, Josh Elliott, Robin Roberts, ABC News president Ben Sherwood, George Stephanopoulos, Sam Champion, Lara Spencer, GMA EP Tom Cibrowski

More than 200 ABC News staffers packed the 5th floor newsroom this morning for a toast and celebration of “Good Morning America” breaking the “Today” show’s winning streak that lasted 16 years and 16 weeks.

ABC News president Ben Sherwood, who was executive producer of the show when it came within striking distance in 2005, gave two toasts: first to his colleagues at NBC, acknowledging the streak, and a second to his team and all those who came before, including former longtime executives David Westin, Jim MurphyPhyllis McGrady and Shelley Ross, who was EP of the show for more than five years, beginning in 1999.

One longtime ABCNewser emailed, “The energy in the building is electric.” Sherwood, who first joined ABC News in 1989 talked about how before the streak, “We’d win a week, they’d win a week, then we’d win.” The back-and-forth ended on Dec. 11, 1995 when “Today” began its until-now unbroken 852-week winning streak. Sherwood himself jumped to NBC News in 1997 working on “Nightly News” before returning to ABC to oversee “GMA” in 2004. Sherwood talked about how many of the the show’s current staffers were in junior high or high school in 1995. News anchor Josh Elliott had just graduated from college.

Diane Sawyer and Chris Cuomo, former anchors on the show were in attendance while the current team of Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Sam Champion, Lara Spencer and Elliott said a few words.

James Goldston who oversees the show as SVP, as well as Senior EP Tom Cibrowski also spoke. There was a lot of hugging, an insider tells us.

More pictures after the jump…

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Nancy Grace On The Amanda Knox ‘Get’

On “Access Hollywood” last night, one of the topics of discussion was the next big “Get,” the first TV interview with Amanda Knox.

HLN host Nancy Grace, who has long said that she believes Knox to be guilty, said that she believes someone will pay up:

“Our show on HLN has never paid guests,” Grace said. “I imagine her interview will have some dollar amount fixed to it.”

Former ABC “Good Morning America and CBS “Early Show” EP Shelley Ross and “Early Show” and NBC “Today” EP Steve Friedman discussed the matter with the program as well.
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The $500 Million ‘Today’ show question

The AP’s David Bauder tries to make sense of this week’s double whammy at the $500 million (that’s what it earned last year) “Today” show — the reports that one, if not both, of the primary anchors might be leaving when their contracts are up. Bauder talked with two former TV news executives for the story — former ABC News president David Westin and former “GMA” and “Early Show” EP Shelley Ross.

First, Meredith Vieira, and the report this week that she may step aside in September.

“If they proved they could replace Katie Couric without a hiccup, they can replace Meredith without a hiccup,” says Ross.

Easy money is on show veteran Ann Curry as the new co-anchor. Westin says she has consistently tested well with viewers. But, Bauder writes:

If NBC went elsewhere, there’s a good chance they would have two positions to fill: Human nature suggests someone who’s been at the same job for 15 years (as Curry has) and is passed over twice for promotion would want to move on.

The Matt Lauer news is a whole other story.

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Former ‘GMA’ Co-Anchor Kevin Newman On ‘Morning Glory’ And His ‘GMA’ Tenure That ‘Never Happened’

Former “Good Morning America” co-anchor Kevin Newman uses the recent movie Morning Glory as a starting point to discuss his nine-month tenure at the ABC morning show in Maclean’s, and it makes for an interesting read.

Much like former “GMA” EP Shelley Rossreview of the film, Newman points out the parts that hit close to home, as well as where it deviates from reality. He also recalls how he landed the job in the first place:

It took me years to repair what nine months as GMA’s male co-host did to my confidence and career. I was offered the prestigious post in a hasty mid-afternoon phone call from the then-president of ABC News, David Westin. I remember thinking, “Shouldn’t this be a bigger deal than a short call?” I should have listened to that instinct…

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Former ‘GMA,’ and ‘Early Show’ EP Shelley Ross Reviews ‘Morning Glory’

TVNewser already gave you a roundup of some of the reviews for the new movie “Morning Glory,” which stars Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton and Rachel McAdams as the anchors and executive producer of a fictional network morning show, “Daybreak.”

There was, however, one more review we wanted to highlight.

Former “Good Morning America” and “Early Show” executive producer Shelley Ross reviewed the film for Newsweek, and it is a great read.

I more than humbly acknowledge that I bear no resemblance to the stunning McAdams or her fictional character. Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton, however, are, hauntingly at times, dead ringers for Charlie Gibson and Diane Sawyer, whom I produced for more than five years in the morning.

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Shelley Ross, Rene Syler Talk Sexism in the Media

Former “Good Morning America” and “CBS Early Show” EP Shelley Ross appeared on Joy Behar‘s HLN show last night to discuss sexism in the media, specifically the recent flap with ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser. Former “Early Show” anchor Rene Syler also took part in the conversation.

Changes May Be Coming to ‘The Early Show’

Shalev_12.4.jpgTVNewser has learned CBS News boss Sean McManus may be making a change atop his morning show.

Zev Shalev, who has been EP of “The Early Show” since June 2008, may soon be out the door. Multiple sources tell TVNewser that, while Shalev is still on the job, a search is on for his replacement.

We’re told the move may be timed to take advantage of the anchor changes at “Good Morning America.” “The Early Show” has been stuck in third place behind #1 the “Today” show and #2 ABC’s GMA since at least 1987, when people meters began.

Shalev was brought on as a senior producer in March 2008 by then-interim EP Rick Kaplan who had taken over the show after the brief stint of Shelley Ross.

A CBS News spokesperson tells TVNewser, “We don’t comment on rumors. The fact is, we are extremely pleased with the quality and growth of ‘The Early Show’ and look forward to the change in the competitive landscape in January.”

Shalev: “I’d Rather Be In Third And Growing Than In Second And Dropping”

shalev_6-17.jpgThe New York Observer’s Felix Gillette spent a rainy Friday at the U.S.S. Intrepid last week for a profile of The Early Show EP Zev Shalev.

He talked about the gains made by the 3rd place network morning show. “I’d rather be in third and growing than in second and dropping,” he said. “There’s less pressure. We have the luxury of experimenting.”

Shalev, who was born in Israel and raised in South Africa, said of foreign coverage: “Sometimes I think American media can be very shut off from the rest of the world. There are a lot of interesting stories out there. You just have to find the right way in.”

Shalev talked about the calm and good attitude at the CBS program now, after a tumultuous time before he took over. Or, as Gillette describes it, “the ghost of Shelley Ross felt long since exorcised.”

Said Shalev, “I think that we have a real spirit now that is terrific.”