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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Capus’

Al Jazeera America On The Hunt For Chief

TheWrap’s Sharon Waxman weighs in on Al Jazeera America, which is currently on the lookout for a chief executive to run the new channel, which will take over the channel space of Current TV later this year.

Waxman has a list of names that she says are in consideration, and there are many familiar faces. Current TV chief David Bohrman is said not to be in the running, while Steve Capus is said to be “skeptical.”

One of the leading candidates, according to Waxman, is former CNN/U.S. chief Jonathan Klein:

Klein, who was fired in 2010, has the news experience and is believed to want the job. According to an individual with knowledge of his thinking, Klein believes there is a ripe opportunity for a news network to occupy the niche that CNN used to — in other words, hard-core reporting with serious journalists.

Others on the list include former CNN managing editor Mark Whitaker, former ABC News president David Westin and former CBS News president Andrew Heyward.

Brian Stelter On NBC’s Response to ‘Top of the Morning,’ Negative Reviews

Though the critics have skewered his first book, Brian Stelter chooses to see the coffee cup as half full.

“Honestly, I appreciate the feedback,” says Stelter, 27, author of Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV, and a media reporter for the New York Times. (Full disclosure: Stelter founded TVNewser when he was a college student)

“I’m not making this up,” he continues. “I want to learn how to be a better writer and reporter. I do think normal readers come away really happy, really entertained.”

‘Normal readers’ probably don’t include a trio of power players, past and present, from NBC. ‘Morning’ paints a less than flattering portrait of ‘Today’ co-anchor Matt Lauer; his former boss, Jim Bell; and ex-NBC News president Steve Capus.

All were involved, to varying degrees, in the ham-handed – and excruciatingly public — ouster of Lauer’s co-anchor, Ann Curry, according to the book. Bell had dubbed it ‘Operation Bambi,’ not knowing, of course, that Curry would come out looking as innocent and victimized as the white-tailed fawn in his title.

Lauer is the clear villain of the piece, prompting Entertainment Weekly to accuse Stelter of having a ‘vendetta’ against the mega-millionaire anchor.

Stelter labels the accusation as ‘preposterous.’

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NBC News Looks Across The Pond For President Candidates

NBC News is casting a wide net in the search for its new president. A few weeks ago, TVNewser heard that NBC was eyeing some potential candidates from England, and now we have some names, courtesy of the LA TimesJoe Flint.

One of the leading candidates, according to Flint, is ITV’s chief news executive Deborah Turness. Turness, 46, took over ITV’s news division in 2004, keeping it competitive with the revered and well-funded BBC.

NBC also has a relationship with ITV, sharing content and correspondents in places like Central Africa.

Flint also floats a few other names, including CBS News president David Rhodes (not available), former ABC News executive Jon Banner (not interested), as well as Sky News exec Sarah Whitehead and Channel 4′s Jay Hunt.

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Today Show ‘Focused on Major News’ Not ‘Year-old Gossip’

NBC News is responding to excerpts from Brian Stelter‘s new book “Top of the Morning” in this weekend’s The New York Times Sunday Magazine. The first third of the book, out Tuesday, is about the “Today” show’s long rise and sudden fall from the top of the morning shows including inside details about those behind it: former EP Jim Bell, former NBC News president Steve Capus and of course Matt Lauer and Ann Curry.

The Magazine story has itself been excerpted dozens of times across numerous sites since it went online Wednesday. For its part, the “Today” show is trying to look the other way: “We are focused on covering several major news stories this week and producing the best show we can for our viewers, not on year-old gossip.”

Al Jazeera America Now Expected in Late Summer

The launch of Al Jazeera America may not happen until late Summer, the New York Post reports. The channel, which will take over Current TV, had hoped to be on the air in June but a source tells the post: “June is not going to happen. The best guess is August or September.” The Post also reports that finding a news chief is the top priority. Names in the mix include former NBC News president Steve Capus and former CNN president Jon Klein, as well as former NBC and CNN executives David Bohrman and David Doss. Bohrman had also been president of Current TV, which Al Jazeera acquired in January.

Matt Lauer Speaks: How Katie Couric Almost Returned To ‘Today’

More than half a year after Ann Curry left the “Today” show, Matt Lauer opens up about exactly what happened behind the scenes. The Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz spoke to Lauer, NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke and former NBC News president Steve Capus about the decision.

The story paints the decision to remove Curry as a corporate one, and Lauer as valiantly trying to slow the process down. That said, Lauer acknowledged that their chemistry wasn’t great, and that he was reluctant about Curry before she officially became co-anchor. Curry had a guarantee in her contract that gave her the slot.

Then there was this bombshell about Katie Couric, now with ABC:

At the outset, though, Lauer would have preferred to anchor with someone else. Before Curry was formally promoted to co-host in 2011, Lauer quietly reached out to an old friend. He asked Katie Couric if she would be willing to return to Today, where they had ruled the time period for nearly a decade.

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Photos: NBC News Anchors Toast Steve Capus

As we noted earlier this week, Monday was NBC News president Steve Capus‘ last day at the company. He was feted at a going-away party that night in 30 Rockefeller Plaza’s legendary Studio 8H, the home of “Saturday Night Live.”

With the “Saturday Night Live” band providing musical accompaniment, Capus was roasted by a number of colleagues, and presented with gifts, including a miniature NASCAR car emblazoned with his name. Capus, like “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams, is a huge NASCAR fan.

Capus had been with NBC for 20 years, joining affiliate news service NBC Newschannel in 1993.

Tom Brokaw toasts Steve Capus in NBC’s Studio 8H

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As Steve Capus Is Feted At Going Away Party, No Word On New NBC News President

Today was NBC News president Steve Capus‘ last day at NBC News.

Capus announced his departure just over a month ago in an email to staff, after 20 years with the company. TVNewser hears that he is being feted this evening at a party being held in 30 Rockefeller Plaza’s famed Studio 8H, the home of “Saturday Night Live” (more on that tomorrow).

With Capus’ departure, NBC News is without a chief, though Pat Fili-Krushel, the chairman of the NBC News Group–which includes NBC News, MSNBC, NBC News Digital and CNBC–is leading the search for Capus’ successor.  The News Group is holding a joint upfront presentation for media buyers and advertisers in a few weeks, so the announcement of a new leader could be on the way.

Longtime NBC News Foreign Correspondent Tom Aspell Dies

Tom Aspell, a veteran foreign correspondent for NBC News, died Monday from lung cancer. He was 62.

Aspell began his career in television as a scriptwriter and cameraman in 1970 and joined NBC News in 1985 as a Cyprus-based producer.

“From Southeast Asia to the Middle East… to the Balkans … to Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and dozens of other ‘hot spots,’ Aspell made his mark on behalf of NBC News for 28 years. To a person, all of his colleagues will tell you Tom was great company in the field who loved sharing stories at the end of a day spent documenting history,” NBC News president Steve Capus said in a note to staff.

On Tuesday’s “Nightly News,” Brian Williams described him as a journalist with “an intense brand of cool under fire.”

Capus’ full note is after the jump. Read more

Who’s In Line to Take Over at NBC News?

In his farewell note to staff, departing NBC News president Steve Capus writes, “I have much I hope to accomplish in the next phase of my career.” So, too, do the men and women vying to replace Capus. Capus says NBCU News group Chairman Pat Fili-Krushel “will be meeting with people throughout the division, and articulating her vision for the NBCUniversal News Group.”

There are strong internal candidates, some of whom, it has been announced by Fili-Krushel, will take on additional duties. Alex Wallace (above, right), who oversees “Today,” and “Rock Center” will now oversee “Nightly News,” where she was once EP. Wallace, who’s been with NBC since 2005, would be the first female news president after nine men have held the job since 1968.

Phil Griffin will likely be considered for the job. As president of MSNBC for the last 4 and a half years he has given the network an identity and boosted ratings, consistently topping CNN — a network his close friend Jeff Zucker now runs. A front office and internal concern would be the progressive programming on the network, often not in line with NBC News standards. Mark Hoffman, president of CNBC, cannot be ruled out. Nor can Capus’ deputy, Antoine Sanfuentes, (above, left) who will run day-to-day in the interim.

External candidates are also plentiful…

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