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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Friedman’

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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Dylan Ratigan, MSNBC’s Man of Steel

This episode of ‘The Dylan Ratigan Show’ is being brought to you by the letters N, U, C, O and R.

The new partnership between Ratigan’s MSNBC show and steel manufacturer Nucor Corp. is all about sunny days and chasing the clouds away, he says, comparing the union to that of ‘Sesame Street’ and PBS.

“It comes down to how clear your narrative is,” says Ratigan. Nucor CEO Dan DiMicco “understands my values system and what I advocate for. We couldn’t be more mutually aligned.”

Tops on Ratigan’s political agenda: Creating jobs, despite the United States’ “rigged trade policies, rigged tax policies and rigged banking system.”

Nucor’s sponsorship, currently limited to Ratigan’s “Steel on Wheels” bus tour, could expand, he says, and may eventually be added to the title. He’s also talking to other companies about similar deals. (Starbucks has a daily presence on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe.’) Such coalitions are the future for the cash-strapped industry, he adds.

Critics view Nucor’s “brand integration,” in Ratigan’s words, as an unholy alliance, rife with potential conflicts of interest.

Not gonna happen, says the former host of CNBC’s ‘Fast Money.’ The show’s content will remain sacrosanct, he promises.

“I won’t talk about Nucor on the air, absolutely not,” Ratigan says. “It’s not like Nucor is trying to sell steel to the home consumer.” He does acknowledge, however, that a scandal involving the CEO or the company “would be a personal conflict, I suppose.”

The naysayers should chill out, says executive producer Steve Friedman, former boss of ‘Today’ and CBS’s morning programming.

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As ‘Early’ Overhauls, ‘Today’ Celebrates 15 Years at #1

It’s good to be king. Ask Jim Bell.

The executive producer of NBC’s “Today” – No. 1 for 15 years, as of Dec. 11 – is not exactly quaking in his loafers about the all-new lineup for CBS’s third-place ‘Early Show.’

Erica Hill, Chris Wragge, Jeff Glor and Marysol Castro will replace the team of Harry Smith, Maggie Rodriguez and Dave Price beginning Jan. 3, the network announced Tuesday.

While hesitant to react to the changes himself, Big Jim confesses he was tickled by a tweet from The Daily Beast’s Kate Aurthur that read: “In theory, I like Maggie Rodriguez and am sad she’s gone from ‘CBS Early Show.’ In practice, I watch ‘Today’ like everybody else.”

The question, of course, is how CBS will pull itself out of the Nielsen basement it has occupied, seemingly, since the invention of the cathode ray tube.

“I don’t know if anything will make a difference, but they’re willing to try, and we have to take it seriously,” says Bell.

Comparing the move, as have some bloggers, to re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic is “an unfair and mean-spirited characterization that unfortunately seems to play well in places where people can post anonymous comments,” Bell says.

Steve Friedman, executive producer of MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan show, did two tours at CBS running the morning program and was e.p. of “Today.” Given the money at stake, he says CBS had no choice but to try, try, try again.

“I applaud them for saying, ‘OK, we’re going to start over.’ These are ensemble shows. There’s no such thing as ‘I do good and you don’t.’ The ensemble wasn’t working. To hold the new guy running the show [David Friedman, no relation] responsible for other anchor teams is crazy.”

Equally crazy, he says, is the notion that CBS is somehow cursed in the mornings.

“You’re cursed until you’re not. You fail until you succeed. Today’s cursed failure is

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Former ‘Today,’ ‘Early Show’ EP Steve Friedman’s Next Project: Dylan Ratigan

Friedman_7.15.jpgSteve Friedman, a 40-year veteran of TV news, has his next act: MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan show.

“I look forward to joining the Ratigan team at MSNBC,” said Friedman, who began his TV news career in 1970 at NBC’s KNBC in Los Angeles. “I’ve always believed the stronger the talent, the better the show. And Dylan with his ‘mad as hell at the system’ message matches the tenor of our times. Joining Dylan and my old and dear friend [MSNBC president] Phil Griffin at 30 Rock is a dream come true for me and I can’t wait to get started.”

Friedman was Griffin’s boss when Friedman was EP of the “Today” show, a job he held from 1980-1987.

He was behind the “Today” show’s streetside studio, which has been a staple of morning TV since 1993. (The second floor of that studio, is home to MSNBC’s “Countdown with Keith Olbermann“).

From 1999-2002, Friedman was Senior EP of “The Early Show” on CBS. He’s also launched several cable shows including “Cold Pizza” on ESPN2, the “Dennis Miller Show” on CNBC, “Tucker Carlson Unfiltered” on PBS, and the re-launch of “Squawk Box” on CNBC.

The Ratigan EP job came open earlier this month when, as we first reported, Shannon High left MSNBC daytime for the network’s Peacock Productions.

More in the release after the jump…

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Is ‘Good Morning America’ a Stopover for Stephanopoulos?

GSteph_12.11.jpgWhile many wonder how brainiac George Stephanopoulos will adjust to the bathetic world of morning television, it may be a moot point.

Judging by ABC’s recent history, “Good Morning America” anchors are next in line for the “World News” throne.

The newest, Diane Sawyer, leaves “GMA” after today’s show to anchor “World News” beginning Dec. 21, the day before her 64th birthday. She replaces her former “GMA” co-anchor, Charlie Gibson, 66, whose “World News” finale is Dec. 18.

Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric followed the same route – both left NBC’s “Today” to anchor “NBC Nightly News” and “CBS Evening News,” respectively.

For Stephanopoulos, however, it’s sort of a reverse commute. He’s going from host of “This Week” in Washington – a job he was born to do in a town that breathes politics – to New York’s “GMA,” where politicians share the stage with reality show rejects.

“‘This Week’ plays to all of George’s strengths,” says Bob Thompson, director of Syracuse University’s Center for the Study of Popular Television. “He’s an intellectual, an egghead. Perfect for Sunday. All his credentials point to it.

“I can’t see him showing up on Halloween dressed like Peter Pan.”

Regardless, Thompson adds, “GMA” is “the price he has to pay to be the face of ABC News in the future. It’s the quickest way.”

How quick? At 48, Stephanopoulos is almost 16 years Sawyer’s junior. But with her genes, drive and political savvy, there’s no telling how long she’ll hold the chair.

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“If They’re Going for a Big Name to Replace a Big Name, Who’s Bigger than George?’

George_10.21.jpgWe’re curious – is it George?

Despite media reports to the contrary, George Stephanopoulos‘ coronation as new co-anchor of “Good Morning America” is not a fait accompli, ABC insists.

“There is no frontrunner,” says network spokesman Jeffrey Schneider. “It’s not done, by any stretch of the imagination. We’re taking our time to do it right.”

What ignited another round of Stephanopoulos speculation was ABC’s announcement that the moderator of “This Week” would sit in for Diane Sawyer on “GMA” today through Friday.

No biggie, Schneider says. Stephanopoulos has hosted “GMA” “plenty of times.” This run will not affect ABC’s timetable for naming the successor to Sawyer, who in January replaces Charlie Gibson as “World News” anchor.

“As we’ve made crystal clear from the moment we announced about Charlie and Diane [in late August], this is a deliberate process that will take four months. We’re about a third of the way through that process.”

Still, ABC insiders say Stephanopoulos is the obvious choice to pair with Robin Roberts on the network’s most valuable cash cow.

With a new deal designating him as Sawyer’s No. 1 “World News” backup and as co-anchor of special events coverage, his stock at ABC is soaring. Come January, he will be the news division’s No. 2 star, behind only Sawyer.

“If they’re going for a big name to replace a big name, who’s bigger than George?,” says an ABC correspondent, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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What’s Next For David Gregory?

Gregory_7.23.jpgThe NYObserver’s Felix Gillette takes a moment from Sunday’s Meet the Press, and ponders whether David Gregory has become NBC’s “lame duck.” Gillette observes that Gregory, NBC’s long-serving White House correspondent, may not be doing himself any favors by anchoring MSNBC’s Race for the White House if his true aspiration is to be the next moderator of Meet the Press. Gillette talks with several TV insiders and veterans about Gregory’s future with the network:

Ken Auletta, The New Yorker: “If you think he has real talent-and boy he does, he’s a good ad-libber, he’s good on his feet-you would think that NBC would think twice about building that brand before they mix news with opinion. On the other hand, if he does not develop an opinion voice, is he vanilla as an anchor on MSNBC?”

Andrew Tyndall, the Tyndall Report: “It’s not particularly good practice for Meet the Press, where you’re having formal interviews with newsmakers. I don’t think he ever has newsmakers on there. The function of the show is to showcase NBC’s in-house political analysts. There’s not much heavy lifting there for him to do. His current job is merely debriefing.”

Steve Friedman, former NBC & CBS morning show exec.: “I think David Gregory views himself as a news anchor, and I think that’s where his future is. You have to choose what’s open.”

Reese Schoenfeld, former CNN president: “I don’t think David Gregory should waste his talents becoming an anchorman. I think he’s a terrific reporter. But I don’t know if he’s anything more than a normal anchor guy.”

Of course, it was Schoenfeld who banned a young Katie Couric from CNN’s air after disapproving of her high-pitched voice.