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Posts Tagged ‘Stone Phillips’

The PM Ticker: Soboroff, Phillips, Aaronson

  • Former NBC News anchor Stone Phillips will be on the July 30 edition of Golf Channel’s news magazine show “In Play with Jimmy Roberts.” Phillips will report on the tricky debate over golf course water usage and conservation.

  • Al Jazeera America is adding Trevor Aaronson to its investigative journalism unit. A veteran of the Miami New Times and Commercial Appeal, he is also co-founder and associate director of the nonprofit Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.

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A Tribute to Ann Curry, and a Rap From Lester Holt, at ‘Dateline’ 20th Anniversary Celebration

NBC News threw a party last night, celebrating the 20th anniversary of its primetime newsmagazine “Dateline.”

While the mood was celebratory, it was hard to escape the elephant in the room. In an address to guests at the event, senior EP David Corvo paid tribute to a number of former “Dateline” staffers, including former anchor Ann Curry who bid farewell to the “Today” show earlier in the day.

“Ann had her own sweet, persistent way of coming into my office, day after day, trying to push us to do certain types of stories that we weren’t doing,” Corvo said. “Her legacy probably on the show more than anything else is ‘America Now,’ which has gotten a lot of awards, was fun to produce and made a difference in some people’s lives, which is what Ann is dedicated to.”

Dateline EP Liz Cole likened the party to a “family reunion,” and it did feel that way. TVNewser spotted Hoda Kotb (who at one point danced in the DJ booth), correspondents Chris Hansen, and Keith Morrison, original anchor Jane Pauley (but not Stone Phillips) and former “Dateline” correspondent and current Fox News anchor Jon Scott. The event, held at Catch in New York’s Meatpacking District, was the second 20th anniversary party for the series in less than a year (see our report from the first one, here). Former NBC News president and “Dateline” EP Neal Shapiro was there, as was current NBC News chief Steve Capus, who praised the program:

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‘PBS Newshour’ To Broadcast Stone Phillips Report On Youth Football Injuries

Former NBC News anchor Stone Phillips is returning to broadcast television. On Monday, April 2, the “PBS Newshour” will broadcast Phillips’ report on head injuries in youth football. Phillips originally released the story online through his website,

In February TVNewser spoke to Phillips about the story, and his decision to publish online. Of course, as the PBS news shows, just because something begins its life online, it does not mean it needs to stay there.

Stone Phillips Takes To The Web To Report Story On Head Injuries In Youth Football

Former NBC “Dateline” anchor Stone Phillips is returning to the world of TV news, only this time his reports will be online.

Phillips, who left “Dateline” and NBC nearly five years ago, has launched a website,, and has posted his first investigative piece for the site, “Hard Hits, Hard Numbers,” a look at head injuries in youth football.

“This is a big week, this is Super Bowl week, a lot of people are thinking about football,” Phillips tells TVNewser. “There are 2,000 NFL players, there are 3.5 million players ages 6-13. When you think about the number of people playing the game, and where we need to be focused in terms of safety and exposure to risk, certainly more work needs to be done here.”

For Phillips, the story is also a deeply personal one.

“I played football, I started playing when I was 12,” Phillips says. “During my years both in high school and college football I had two concussions, so this has always been on my radar screen.”

The anchor funded the project himself, calling on his wife Debra, who he says was “the associate producer, the still photographer and the accountant, all rolled into one” and former colleagues like Rich White (camera operator) and Steve Cheng (producer) to help.

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A Brief History of the TV Newsmagazine

“One night a week is plenty for us right now,” “Rock Center” EP Rome Hartman tells THR‘s Marisa Guthrie. “We neither want to be considered filler nor do we have any plans for world domination.”

With the launch of “Rock Center” a little more than two weeks away, it occurred to us that this will be the first launch of a new broadcast network newsmagazine in nearly a decade, when FOX launched “The Pulse” anchored by Shepard Smith in 2002. “The Pulse” ran that Summer and returned briefly in the Winter of 2003.

Spinoffs of established shows have been the norm for the last 20 years on network television. Mostly, newsmagazines have been filler for networks when more expensive scripted shows fail.

The granddaddy of them all, CBS’s “60 Minutes,” debuted in 1968. Its spinoff, “60 Minutes II” debuted in 1999. In 2004, the show’s name was changed to “60 Minutes Monday (and later Wednesday).” That name lasted until the following summer, but by then the show was on the chopping block because of “RatherGate.” At the time CBS Chairman Les Moonves said the cancellation, “was a ratings call and not a content call.” “60 Minutes II” had its last broadcast in September 2005.

ABC’s “20/20″ debuted in 1978. A second ABC Newsmagazine, “Primetime LIVE” with Sam Donaldson and Diane Sawyer, left, launched in 1989. In the late 1990s ABC put the shows together, using the “20/20″ branding. There was a “20/20 Monday,” “20/20 Wednesday,” “20/20 Thursday,” and the original “20/20″ on Friday. That lasted until 2000, when ABC relaunched “Primetime.” But even today, the brands are muddled. “Primetime” runs occasionally with Diane Sawyer interviews or true crime hours, while “20/20″ airs on Fridays and reports news of the day, newsmaker interviews as well as crime stories which are ratings grabbers.

NBC got into the newsmagazine business in 1992 with the launch of “Dateline NBC” anchored by Jane Pauley and Stone Phillips. For years, it has been used to plug holes in NBC’s primetime. NBC News had another brief run in primetime with “Now” which was anchored by Katie Couric and Tom Brokaw. The show would last a year in 1993-94 and would later be folded into “Dateline.” As you can see by the show’s open, right, it also used the iconic symbol of Rockefeller Center, the Prometheus statue.

Attorney Ron Konecky Passes Away

Konecky and wife, Isobel, at a 2007 event

Ron Konecky, the New York attorney who represented some of the biggest names in television news, passed away this morning TVNewser has learned. He was 80.

Konecky’s client list included Walter Cronkite, Morley Safer, Stone Phillips, Don Hewitt, Roone Arledge, Barbara Walters, Alec Baldwin, Harry Smith, Frank Gifford, Rick Kaplan, Budd Schulberg, and ABC’s Roger Goodman. His son-in-law Bob Wheelock, a former ABC News Senior Producer, said that Konecky had cut back some after a November surgery, but “never officially retired” and was still caring for clients’ affairs and estates in recent weeks.

He is survived by wife, Tony-nominated producer and performer Isobel Robins-Konecky, his daughter, ABC News producer Jennifer Konecky, and his son-in-law as well as two grandsons.

In addition to his work with television news legends, Konecky was heavily involved in the New York theater scene, where he and his wife were on the boards of The American Theatre Wing and The New Dramatists. Wheelock tells us that his father-in-law was “as proud of the theater work as anything.”

NBC Rushes Farrah Fawcett Special To Air; Will Run Against ABC’s Barbara Walters Special


After the news of her death, NBC scheduled a “Dateline NBC” special on Farrah Fawcett, called “The Life and Death of an Angel.”

The hour-long tribute at 10pmET/PT will share recent interviews with Ryan O’Neal, Alana Stewart, her dad, sister, fellow “Charlie’s Angel” Kate Jackson, and never before aired parts of a 1997 interview with Stone Phillips.

Tomorrow night at 9pmET/PT NBC News will re-broadcast “Farrah’s Story,” the two-hour documentary about Fawcett’s battle with cancer which first aired in May.

> Earlier: ABC Rushes Barbara Walters Farrah Fawcett Special to Air

Colbert on Geraldo, Stone, and “Papa Bear”

phillips_10-6.jpgrivera_10-6.jpgStephen Colbert shed the Stephen Colbert persona and got serious at a New Yorker Festival panel last weekend.

The Huffington Post’s Rachel Sklar writes about the discussion with the fake newsman. Colbert reveals the basis of his character was not Bill O’Reilly, but a combo of two other tvnewsers — Stone Phillips and Geraldo Rivera. “National reporters with a real sense of mission,” described Colbert.

“Then he looked around and realized that the real bombast was coming from commentators…like Bill O’Reilly. And it went from there,” writes Sklar.

Colbert also described a “key point” in playing an O’Reilly role. “He trumpets his power while in the same breath declaring his victimhood,” he said.