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Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Roberts’

TVNewsers Head to South by Southwest

SXSWSouth by Southwest Interactive starts today (the music portion starts Monday) and various tvnewsers will be there.

MSNBC’s Alex Wagner will be a on a panel today. “Way Too Early” host Thomas Robertsand MSNBC.com executive editor Richard Wolffe sit on a panel Tuesday. (A TVNewser tipster spotted Wolfe on an Austin-bound JetBlue flight this morning enjoying his Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.) JJ Ramberg, host of Your Business, will be on a panel of business reporters and editors on Tuesday as well.

CNN will have correspondent Laurie Segall and editorial folks on the ground at the conference, but no public-facing presence this year. During 2012′s SXSW, an Austin restaurant became “CNN Grill.”

Bloomberg TV’s Emily Chang is moderating a fireside chat with AOL co-founder Steve Case on Saturday.

Fox News will also be sending a correspondent to the conference. HLN, which recently rebranded itself as the “TV home of social media,” won’t have a presence at SXSW this year. ABC News won’t be sending a correspondent this year.

Kara Swisher of Re/code, which is backed by the NBCU News Group, will be on a technology journalism panel on Monday.

Mediabistro’s Angela Washeck will also be at the conference. Look for her reports on our sister sites SocialTimes and 10,000 Words and on Twitter.

Thomas Roberts: If NFL Can Overlook Alleged Murderers, Why Not ‘Nice, Clean-Cut Gay Guy’

Thomas Roberts 304Football and TV news personalities alike have been responding to the first potentially gay NFL player after Missouri lineman Michael Sam came out on Sunday in interviews with The New York Times and ESPN.

Sam’s interview with the Times appears to have been pre-produced well ahead of time with a companion video with Sam opening up about his sexuality: “I didn’t want anyone to break a story without me telling it…I want to tell it the way I want to tell it.”

Speaking with ESPN’s Chris Connelly, Sam revealed what coming out to his college teammates was like: “They took it great. They rallied around me and supported me. I couldn’t ask for better teammates.”

And on “Morning Joe” this morning, openly gay MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts expressed support.

“If the league can overlook alleged murderers, wife beaters, and people who don’t pay child support, I don’t think letting in a nice clean-cut gay guy is going to hurt anybody.”

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MSNBC Changes ‘Will Strengthen the Flow of our Programming,’ Says Griffin

msnbclogo_304x200News in the morning. Opinion in the afternoon. That sums up the changes coming to MSNBC’s daytime schedule.

The network’s progressive turn, which is a proven success in the evenings, will now begin much earlier, at 1pmET as diplomat and writer Ronan Farrow joins the schedule. Joy Reid, who often filled in for Martin Bashir, follows at 2pm. “The Cycle,” a politics and pop culture chat show remains at 3, and Alex Wager‘s “Now” stays at 4pm.

“I’m confident the changes and additions to our lineup will strengthen the flow of our programming, ” MSNBC president Phil Griffin writes in a note to staff, obtained by TVNewser.

The afternoon additions will also create flow in the mornings where “Morning Joe” leads into Chuck Todd‘s DC-based politics hour, following by Chris Jansing‘s newscast. Tamron Hall‘s “NewsNation” follows at 11am with Andrea Mitchell moving back an hour to Noon. “Andrea Mitchell is so critical to msnbc and I’ve always thought her show should be at noon,” Griffin says. “Andrea brings on the biggest newsmakers of the day and the new time slot will help showcase her work.”

As previously reported, former CBS, ABC, and CNN executive producer Kathy O’Hearn will oversee Farrow’s show. MSNBC original Omnika Thompson will be joining as senior producer. Thompson had overseen Thomas Roberts‘ show before he moved to the mornings.

Griffin’s note to the staff after the jump…

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MSNBC Shaking up Daytime Schedule

ReidFarrowFirst on TVNewser: MSNBC is set to announce changes to its daytime lineup, perhaps as early as today.

Cable news newcomer Ronan Farrow (far right) will host his new show at 1pmET, sources tell TVNewser, while Joy Reid (near right), the managing editor of NBC’s TheGrio.com, who has been filling in on MSNBC, is expected to be named host at 2pmET.

Currently, NBC’s chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell anchors “Andrea Mitchell Reports” at 1pm and Tamron Hall anchors “NewsNation” at 2pm. Hall is negotiating a new contract that would give her an expanded role at the “Today” show while also keeping her on the MSNBC schedule, likely at 11am which has been vacant since Thomas Roberts moved to “Way Too Early.” Meanwhile, the Noon hour has seen fill-in anchors since Alex Wagner moved to 4pm two weeks ago.

Much of MSNBC’s daytime schedule will be in flux for two weeks, starting next week, as the network carries Olympic Hockey and Curling from the Sochi Games.

>Update, 11AM: MSNBC has made it official. The changes take effect after the Olympics. Read the release after the jump. Read more

Will Tamron Hall Stay with NBC?

Tamron Hall 304It’s contract time for MSNBC anchor Tamron Hall, who also fills in on “Today.” TVGuide reports Hall is negotiating for a co-host role on the third hour of “Today,” currently hosted by Willie Geist, Natalie Morales, and Al Roker.

As we’ve noted before, CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker is fond of Hall. Zucker’s had success to date prying prominent talent away from other networks, Chris Cuomo and Bill Weir to name two.

We’ve heard even if Hall stays and moves to “Today,” she would likely still host a show for MSNBC. She currently anchors “News Nation” at 2pm.

With 11am and noon hosts Thomas Roberts and Alex Wagner on the move, MSNBC has been having Richard Lui and Craig Melvin fill in on those hours with news coverage this week.

NBC News and MSNBC declined comment to TVNewser. We’ve also reached out to Hall’s agent, but have not heard back.

Thomas Roberts Makes ‘Way Too Early’ Hosting Debut

Thomas Roberts_smallThomas Roberts debuted as the new host of “Way Too Early” this morning energized.

“And we are ready for this everybody!” Roberts said. “I am your new club president for news loving insomniacs and early birds.”

He went on to cover the ongoing New Jersey bridge fiasco, former defense secretary Robert Gates’ first interviews on his controversial book, and the “60 Minutes” interview with Alex Rodriguez’s alleged performance enhancing drug supplier Anthony Bosch.

Over on “Morning Joe”, Roberts made his first appearance as a panel regular, analyzing “Breaking Bad” and star Bryan Cranston’s Golden Globe victories:

“If we look at the Hollywood Foreign Press, and what they like…they love meth-heads, they love people who lose lots of weight, if you’re bipolar you’re going to get a statuette. They like to take people who have taken all of us on a ride.”

Both of Roberts debut segments after the jump. Read more

Rotating Cast to Host MSNBC’s Noon Hour

ari melberAri Melber, of MSNBC’s “The Cycle,” will be among a rotating cast of hosts for the network’s Noon hour, when Alex Wagner moves to 4pmET.

Joy Reid, who had been filling in at 4pm since the departure of Martin Bashir last month, is also expected to fill in at NoonET. MSNBC hasn’t made any final decisions, so the fill-in situation is still very fluid.

The network also has a vacancy at 11am as Thomas Roberts moves to the early morning hours starting Monday.

MSNBC has tried out hosts temporarily before permanently giving them a show in the past, including Rev. Al Sharpton who filled in at 6pm for most of the summer in 2011 before being named permanent host.

No word yet on the plan for 11am or when and where Ronan Farrow will land on the MSNBC schedule.

>Update: An MSNBC spokesperson denies Ari Melber and Joy Reid will be part of the host rotation.

MSNBC Disputes Report Rachel Maddow Influences Management, Personnel Decisions

msnbclogo_304x200MSNBC is disputing a National Review Online report that suggests Rachel Maddow holds significant power in both network editorial vision and personnel decisions.

“This is categorically false,” Rachel Maddow said. “I have never had any role in any management decision at MSNBC.  Any source who says otherwise is wrong.”

An MSNBC spokesperson tells TVNewser Maddow’s show keeps her busy.

“Rachel has absolutely no role in network management decisions. Writing her show every night is more than enough work. She gladly leaves talent management to her bosses.”

NRO also reports former “Ed Show” and “Countdown” EP Rich Stockwell has been tasked with reviewing scripts before they go on-air following the recent string of crude comments. Read more

‘There Will Be a Time When Coming Out is Not a Big Story’

RobertsChampionWolfe

By any measure, 2013 was the Year of the Queer, especially for network anchors.

In addition to the death of DOMA, the increasing acceptance of same-sex marriage, and the Boy Scouts of America’s pledge of allegiance to sexual diversity, ABC’s Robin Roberts and Sam Champion and NBC’s Jenna Wolfe joined the growing pantheon of openly-gay anchors.

All three of their revelations were greeted with virtually unanimous support, which leads me to wonder: Have we reached a societal tipping point for acceptance of homosexual news personalities? Or does the culture of celebrity require that such disclosures launch blazing headlines?

Yes and yes.

“As long as we keep progressing, there will be a time when coming out is not a big story,” says CNN’s Don Lemon, 47, who disclosed his sexuality in his 2011 memoir. “… Maybe not in the near future; maybe over the course of a decade. I’m not an authority on when that will be. I’m not Nostradamus. I can’t predict things.”

To MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts, we’re already at that point. Out since 2006, his September 2012 wedding to Patrick Abner was featured in the Sunday New York Times ’‘Vows” section.

“Times have changed,” Roberts, 41, says. “We have a President who believes in marriage equality, and a Supreme Court that believes in marriage equality, and more and more states that are enacting laws to recognize marriage equality. I think it’s fantastic.”

The momentum from this cultural sea change has enabled “great, wonderful people” such as Robin Roberts et. al “to step up and claim their rightful spots,” Roberts adds. “They’re showing that a successful personal life and a successful professional life can live within the same sphere.”

Roberts and Lemon point out that such exposure is crucial in the face of raging homophobes like ‘Duck Dynasty’ star Phil Robertson. Robertson is “free to cast aspersions,” Roberts says. “He throws gay people on the fire and uses the Bible as an excuse.”

Amen. Got a match?

Robin Roberts’ and Sam Champion’s approaches to acknowledging their sexuality publicly represent another cultural tipping point. Eschewing methods of the past — declarations on national magazine covers, for example — both chose a subtle, understated approach.

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It’s Official: Thomas Roberts Named Host of MSNBC’s ‘Way Too Early’

thomas robertsThomas Roberts has officially been named host of MSNBC’s “Way Too Early.” He will begin in his new role on January 13, MSNBC president Phil Griffin announced this morning.

“Thomas’ unique personality and point of view are just the right mix to lead-in to ‘Morning Joe.’ Thomas has really found his voice in the past year and joining the ‘Morning Joe’ table gives him the opportunity to further develop it,” Griffin said in a statement.

Roberts takes over for Brian Shactman, who has been hosting the early-morning show since Willie Geist was named co-anchor of the 9 a.m. hour of “Today.”

The Daily Caller reported yesterday that Roberts’ move to the morning shift was an attempt to make MSNBC’s early-morning hours more “diverse.”

“Mika and I worked with Thomas in Oklahoma City after last spring’s tornado and became fans,” Joe Scarborough said in a statement provided to TVNewser. “Despite internet speculation, he was chosen based strictly on merit and not politically correct considerations.”

Read the full release from MSNBC after the jump. Read more

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