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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Capus’

Steve Capus: Not in Scott Pelley’s ‘DNA’ to Simply Show Up and ‘Have Presence’

PelleyScott Pelley was the only evening news anchor to report from Iraq this week as President Obama announced his plans for action against terror group ISIS. And “CBS Evening News” executive producer Steve Capus says Pelley’s reporting helps separate CBS News from the rest of the pack.

“When I first started talking about taking over this job,” Capus told us Friday, “Scott said to me the commitment to first hand reporting is what stands out at CBS News, and it’s a differentiator for us.”

That reporting found Pelley in Kurdistan, a northern region in Iraq, right in the middle of the Kurdish military’s fight with ISIS. He also interviewed a man who narrowly escaped being murdered by ISIS, escaping from a mass grave (watch after the jump). “When I was hit [by ISIS bullets], I didn’t want to make a sound, because anybody that made a noise, they’d come over and shoot them in the head,” Sayid told Pelley. “When it was all over, Sayid crawled out of the grave,” Pelley said.

“We can see speeches from Washington DC, we can have reporters standing on the lawn of the White House giving us reporting, but the real context is going to come from the people who make the commitment to cover the stories,” Capus continued. “Scott’s a reporter, and that’s what brought him to this job in the first place. It’s not in his DNA to simply show up and ‘quote unquote’ have presence on the scene.”

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Steve Capus: ‘I’m Very, Very Happy To Have This Be My Professional Home These Days’

Capus_CBS_LowThis summer, we’re putting a spotlight on the industry’s top producers; getting the inside story about their shows, how they got to where they are, and advice they have for future TV journalists.

After 20 years at 30 Rock, which saw him rise from producer, to executive producer to president of NBC News, Steve Capus took a break from the business last year. Not long after entering the world of academia, Capus was pulled back in to TV news signing on as EP of the “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley.”

Capus, who is one of only a few people to have overseen flagship newscasts on two networks, says the evening news is alive and well: “I’m so sick of seeing articles written about how these broadcasts are going to die off,” he tells us.

TVNewser: You’ve been in the TV news business for almost 30 years. What are the biggest changes you’ve seen?

Capus: There are a number of changes and yet the more things change, the more they stay the same. The technological changes are obvious and the ease that our audiences can consume our content has obviously been the biggest change. On the technological side, it’s so much easier these days to do a broadcast from a place like Iraq [where Scott Pelley reported from this week]. And yet, the reason I say things stay the same, what still comes into play is the fundamentals: a commitment to outstanding journalism, enterprise reporting, investigative reporting, strong storytelling; those things will never go out of fashion. If anything, the people who make those commitments to all of of those things are going to continue to stay relevant to the audience in a world where so much news information is commoditized. Making those commitments to doing those things in a unique manner is how you end up standing out from the crowd.

TVNewser: You were President of NBC News in your last 8 years there. What made you want to return to the business an an EP?

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Pelley: Part of Steve Capus’ Job is to ‘Help Us Get Up to Number Two, and on to Number One’

SteveCapus1Variety‘s Brian Steinberg speaks to “CBS Evening News” anchor Scott Pelley and Executive Producer Steve Capus about propelling the third-place CBS broadcast up the ratings ranks. Last week, the program saw the most younger viewer growth among the evening newscasts.

At one time, Capus oversaw – among many other things – the nation’s most-watched evening newscast, NBC’s “Nightly News” with Brian Williams, as president of NBC News between 2005 and 2013. . Now he has come aboard CBS News as an executive editor, as well as the new overseer of the evening newscast. His new mission? He wants to boost “Evening News” out of its third-place roost, without abandoning CBS’ old-school reliance on in-depth reporting, despite a competitor, ABC, that has made strides by featuring a faster-paced program. Part of Capus’ job “is to help us get up to number two, and on to number one,” says Scott Pelley, the anchor and managing editor of the broadcast, in an interview held in his office in the “CBS Evening News” studio.

And Capus says the program will succeed without gimmicks.

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‘Pimped Out’ Returns. New Clinton Book Details Old Cable News Firestorm

shuster“Clinton Inc.,” another new book about the former, and perhaps future, White House occupants dredges up a cable news moment that regular readers of this site will recall.

In February 2008, as the Democratic primary for president was heating up, then-MSNBC anchor David Shuster waded into the debate about the Clinton family dynamic and how it plays out on the campaign trail. “Doesn’t it seem like Chelsea’s sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?,” Shuster asked.

That line set off a firestorm from the Clinton camp to the highest levels of NBC and even its corporate parent at the time. Politico reports on an excerpt from the book by Daniel Halper:

According to a source close to the situation, the Clintons called people on the board of NBC’s parent company General Electric to say, “Well, this is outrageous, how NBC News and MSNBC are handling this, and we need to do something about it.” Before long, GE’s chairman Jeffrey Immelt was on the phone with Jeff Zucker, the president and CEO of NBC Universal at the time, and (former NBC News president) Steve Capus asking, “What the hell is going on over there? Why are my board members talking about the reporter, and why is your reporter referring to Chelsea as a prostitute?”

Shuster was suspended for the remark. His employment with MSNBC came to an abrupt end in April 2010 when it was revealed that he took part in the taping of a pilot for CNN. Shuster had been with MSNBC since 2002 following a six-year run at Fox News Channel. He is now an anchor with Al Jazeera America. Ironically, Chelsea Clinton would go on to work as a special correspondent for NBC News.

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Evening News Ratings: Week of June 30

EveningNewsNew“World News with Diane Sawyer,” which saw David Muir sitting in Monday through Thursday, was the only newscast to show year-over-year growth in both total viewers and the A25-54 demo compared to the same week last year: up +4% in viewers and up +7% in the demo.

The ABC broadcast also won the week in younger viewers with a +157,000 (+9%) viewer lead over “Nightly News with Brian Williams.” For the 251st week in a row, “Nightly” won among total viewers, but by its smallest gap in 21 months. Just 68,000 viewers separated “Nightly News” and “World News.” The NBC broadcast was down -2% in viewers and down -14% in the demo. The “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley,” which this week sees a new executive producer in former NBC News president Steve Capus, was flat in viewers and down -9% in the demo year-over-year.

All three evening newscasts are based on a 4-day average (Mon-Thurs) due to the July 4th holiday.

Numbers for the week of June 30, 2014:

NBC ABC CBS
• Total Viewers: 7,506,000 7,438,000 5,746,000
• A25-54: 1,726,000 1,883,000 1,316,000

Evening News Ratings: Week of April 28

EveningNewsNewFor the third time in four weeks “World News with Diane Sawyer” takes the younger viewer demo. Sawyer edged “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” by just 8,000 viewers in the A25-54 demo. “Nightly” was No. 1 in total viewers — for the 242nd straight week — with a +932,000 lead over the ABC broadcast.

“Nightly” was also up the most in total viewers compared to the same week last year, +14%, while “World News” was up the most in the demo: +20%. “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley,” which will get a new executive producer in Steve Capus in a few weeks, was also up year-over-year: up +12% in viewers and up +10% in the demo.

Numbers for the week of April 28, 2014:

NBC ABC CBS
• Total Viewers: 9,026,000 8,094,000 6,991,000
• A25-54: 2,136,000 2,144,000 1,727,000

Steve Capus Named Executive Producer of ‘CBS Evening News’

CapusSteve11Former NBC News president Steve Capus is joining CBS News as the executive producer of “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” and executive editor of the news division. He will begin in his new role in July.

Capus was president of NBC News for eight years, from 2005 to 2013. Before that he was executive producer of “NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw” and later Brian Williams from May 2001 to June 2005.  At CBS, he replaces Patrica Shevlin who is joining “60 Minutes.”

“The Evening News is an excellent broadcast, and we believe under Steve’s leadership it will get even better,” Jeff Fager, CBS News chairman said in a statement. “He is a real pro with an extraordinary record, and we are fortunate to have him joining us at CBS News.”

Capus will be the third “Evening News” EP in three years. Shevlin oversaw the show when Pelley joined as anchor in 2011. Before that, Rick Kaplan was EP of the show for four years, when it was the “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.” A few years earlier, Kaplan worked for Capus at NBC News when Kaplan was president of MSNBC. And in a further show of how small the TV news world really is, Kaplan replaced Rome Hartman as EP of “Evening News.” Hartman was later hired by Capus at NBC News to launch “Rock Center.”

Capus will now be competing head-to-head against his friend and former NBC colleague Brian Williams. Capus also produced Williams’ MSNBC show in the late 1990s before moving up the ranks at NBC News.

As Executive Editor Capus joins the CBS News management team “as a resource for colleagues around the Broadcast Center and a strategist on coverage of ongoing stories,” says David Rhodes, CBS News president.

The release and Rhodes’ note are after the jump. Read more

NBC News Toasts Cheryl Gould: ‘She Came to the Newsroom With a Fresh Perspective’

NUP_163612_0024.JPGCurrent and former NBC News talent, executives and producers gathered at 30 Rock last night to celebrate Cheryl Gould, who is retiring after 37 years at the network.

Gould was toasted by Tom Brokaw, former NBC News presidents Steve Capus and Bill Wheatley, and Andrea Mitchell, who called Gould a “pioneer” and “role model” for women in journalism. Among many other roles at NBC, Gould was the first female executive producer of “Nightly News.”

“She came to the newsroom with a fresh perspective — the idea that we can constantly raise the bar, that we’ve got to be reaching for the heights in terms of our obligation to our audience on a daily basis,” Brokaw said. “…She knew what she had to do was to change the DNA of news so that it had a wider lens attached to it.”

Also in attendance: Deborah Turness, Brian Williams, Matt Lauer, Bob Hager, Alexandra Wallace, David Corvo, Patrick Burkey, Don Nash, Ken Strickland, Liz Cole and Mark Whitaker, along with Gould’s fiancé and longtime partner, attorney Reid Weingarten.

It’s Official: Tamron Hall Joins ‘Today’ as 9 a.m. Co-Host

tamron hallTamron Hall is officially joining “Today” as a co-host of the third hour. As we’ve been reporting, Hall’s new deal gives her an expanded role on “Today” while she continues to anchor her MSNBC show, which moves to 11amET today.

“We’re really excited to officially welcome Tamron into the TODAY family,” “Today” executive producer Don Nash said in a statement. “She brings wit, enthusiasm and a keen sensibility to an all-around fantastic team, and I think Tamron, Al, Natalie and Willie will have a lot of fun together hosting the third hour.”

During the announcement of her new role, which came at the end of the 8 a.m. hour on “Today,” Hall shared the story of how her mother, standing on Rockefeller plaza with Hall a year before she was hired by MSNBC said, “Next year you’re going to be working here.” The two snapped a picture on Hall’s new camera.

“So a year to the day I’m going in to be hired and I show Steve Capus, who was the president of NBC News at the time, the date [on the picture],” Hall recalled. “And we both started crying. It was a year to the day.”

>Update: NBC’s official announcement is after the jump. Read more

The Morning Ticker: Farrow, Capus, Jost

  • MSNBC host Ronan Farrow has bought a $1.495 million pad in Joe Scarborough‘s neighborhood. The 982-sq. foot, Upper West Side unit is in a doorman building with a landscaped rooftop with views of the Hudson River, just like in a Woody Allen movie.

  • “Saturday Night Live” head writer Colin Jost will be the new co-anchor of “Weekend Update” with Cecily Strong starting March 1. Jost takes over for Seth Meyers who begins hosting “Late Night” on NBC on February 24.

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