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Posts Tagged ‘Susan Mercandetti’

ABC Newsers Toast Ben Sherwood

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As Ben Sherwood heads West, his East Coast colleagues sent him off in style last night at the Nomad Hotel in New York’s Flatiron District. Sherwood, named co-president of Disney/ABC TV in March, is moving his family to Los Angeles.

Insiders tell us heartfelt toasts were given by Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, David Muir and Lara Spencer. Sherwood got a big laugh when he promised Stephanopoulos a reality show, detective comedy or both.

And there were gifts: Sherwood was given a framed golden headset to remind him of his days in the control room — with the label “break in case of emergency,” while the whole family got ABC News Extreme Weather Team jackets — with “Sherwood” embroidered on the back.

Sherwood’s had three stints with ABC News, starting in 1989 as a producer at “Primetime Live.” After a run at “NBC Nightly News,” Sherwood returned to ABC in 2004 for a two-year stint as EP of “Good Morning America.” Sherwood turned to writing, penning three best-sellers, one of which was turned into a major motion picture. In 2010, he returned to ABC as News president.

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The A.M. Ticker: Journalist Killed, Transgender Seal, Moving On

  • AP video journalist Simone Camilli was killed today after ordnance left over from fighting in Gaza exploded. Camillia, an Italian national and his translator, Palestinian Shehda Abu Afash were killed as they reporting on the aftermath of the war. Following the news, AP president Gary Pruitt sent a note to the AP’s global staff about the dangers of their work.

  • CNN’s latest documentary tells the story of a U.S. Navy SEAL whose service included 13 tours of combat duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. But when Christopher Beck became Kristin Beck, the real battles began. “LADY VALOR: The Kristin Beck Story” is produced by Mark Herzog and Christopher G. Cowen. The two-hour film premieres on CNN Thursday, Sept. 4.

  • Susan Mercandetti is leaving ABC News to start her own media consulting company. Mercandetti has had two stints at ABC. She returned in April 2011 as VP of business development. Mercandetti has already lined up Disney/ABC, Univision and Fusion as her first clients, says Disney/ABC TV president Ben Sherwood. His note after the jump…

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When Barbara Walters Misses ‘The View,’ She Thinks of Margaret Thatcher

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Barbara Walters admits, “I still have the feeling sometimes when I’m watching ‘The View,’ ‘I should be there! I should be participating…’ and then I think of Margaret Thatcher.”

Walters, honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Quinnipiac University Fred Friendly committee, reflected on a 1997 interview with Britain’s longest-serving prime minister, seven years after she resigned from office. Thatcher described her frantic, frenetic days, until one day she realized, “it’s no longer me anymore.”

“That’s the feeling I got this morning when I watched ‘The View,’” Walters joked.

Walters, who stepped aside from hosting the daytime show last month, remains an executive producer. She still has her office at ABC News headquarters, which now bears her name. And her resignation — she used air quotes around the word today — has already been interrupted. As we first told you yesterday, she’ll fly to California in the coming weeks to interview Peter Rodger, the father of Isla Vista killer Elliot Rodger.

Among those celebrating along with Walters: ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas and David Muir, ABC News president James Goldston, and executives Barbara Fedida, Susan Mercandetti and Jeffrey Schneider. From CBS, Gayle King, Norah O’Donnell and Troy Roberts, from FNC, Bill O’Reilly, Bill Hemmer and former anchor Alisyn Camerota and from CNN Christine Romans and Richard Roth.

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ABC Toasts Robin Roberts at a Book Party For ‘Everybody’s Got Something’

A crowd of television personalities and executives gathered at George Stephanopoulos and Ali Wentworth‘s apartment last night to celebrate “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts, whose memoir, “Everybody’s Got Something,” was released today.

The memoir is Roberts’ firsthand account of her MDS diagnosis and treatment. Roberts told TVNewser she began to write the book after her return to “GMA,” using entries from the journal she kept during her recovery. When we asked if the writing process was cathartic, Roberts said the real satisfaction came when she re-read the story and realized “how strong and healthy I am.”

On hand to celebrate the book’s launch from ABC: Disney/ABC Television Group president Ben Sherwood, ABC News president James Goldston, vice president of business development Susan Mercandetti, senior vice president for talent Barbara Fedida, Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, David Muir, Dan Abrams, Lara Spencer, Ginger Zee, Michael Strahan, Charlie Gibson and Deborah Roberts. CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter and “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King were also in attendance.

Roberts tweeted a selfie with Spencer and Zee: “These three are gonna be a wee bit tired in the morning,” she wrote. Read more

Toasting Tory Johnson for Making the ‘Shift’ and Shedding 72 Pounds

At her book party for “Shift: How I Finally Lost Weight and Discovered a Happier Life,” “Good Morning America” contributor Tory Johnson told the story about what set her on the path, once and for all, to shed unwanted pounds. It was a conversation she had with Barbara Fedida, SVP of talent development and one of her bosses at ABC News.

The advice was so meaningful, that Johnson dedicates the book to Fedida: “For telling me what I needed to hear.”

Fittingly, Fedida hosted the party the East Side home she shares with husband ESPN Radio’s Andrew Brill. Always cheerful in her “Steals & Deals” segments, Johnson says she hasn’t been truly this happy in a long time. In 20 months, she’s lost 72 pounds — equivalent to two dogs, so said her teenage twins Jake and Emma. (The family beagle Marly weighs in at 35 lbs.) And Johnson did it on the sly, without telling her “GMA” family, until it became clear she was on a mission.

Before heading to the US Weekly event where she was honored, “GMA” anchor Robin Roberts toasted Johnson for the dedication she showed. ABC News president Ben Sherwood also raised a glass, praising Johnson for her determination and her penchant for giving really BIG GIFTS, including the two giant stuffed animals she’s given to his kids over the years. Sherwood gave Johnson her “GMA” job when he was EP of the show in the mid-2000′s Johnson’s first job in TV was as an intern at ABC’s “20/20.”

TVNewser also spotted ABC News anchors Lara Spencer, Cynthia McFadden, Amy Robach and Josh Elliot; correspondents Byron Pitts, Deborah Roberts and Gio Benitez; execs Susan Mercandetti, James Goldston, David Sloan, Morgan Hertzen, Jeffrey Schneider, Eric Avram and Sandy Cannold. Former “GMA” EP Jim Murphy, now senior EP of CNN’s “New Day.” Also, David Zincenko, Dr. Richard Besser, Deborah Norville, and Barbara Corcoran, who assisted Sherwood in presenting a gift to Johnson: a box full of zero-calorie pickles — a favorite snack on her journey.

WABC anchors David Navarro, Lee Goldberg Rob Powers and Lori Stokes also attended. We had a nice chat with meteorologist Amy Freeze (her real last name) about the science behind the weather — and also raising four kids in a two-bedroom apartment in New York City. Freeze also told us she has benefited from the “Fedida plan,” as it’s become known in the halls of ABC.

Ben Sherwood Names 3 to Executive Team; Barbara Fedida, Susan Mercandetti return to ABC News

Four months into the top job at ABC News Ben Sherwood is building his executive team, and he’s tapped two former colleagues for leadership roles.

As we’ve been reporting, and is now official, Barbara Fedida is making a return to ABC News as SVP of talent and business. Fedida was talent VP at CBS News until February, departing amid an executive shuffle there. Fedida joined CBS News from ABC News in 2006, where she’d spent the previous 17 years, rising from production associate to producer to talent recruitment and development director.

Susan Mercandetti is also returning to ABC, after a run as executive editor at Random House. Mercandetti spent more than a decade at ABC News on “Good Morning America” and “Nightline.”

Sherwood is also bringing on Aol executive Joe Ruffolo as Senior VP of ABC News Digital. At Aol, Ruffolo was VP of AOL.com and Head of Current Programming. Ruffolo replaces Paul Slavin who, after 33 years with ABC News, left the company last week.

Fedida takes over for Amy Entelis who is leaving ABC News for Sucherman Consulting where she will be EVP of talent.

Fedida and Ruffolo start tomorrow. Mercandetti joins May 2.

> Update: Sherwood’s letter to staff, after the jump.

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