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Posts Tagged ‘Tim Russert’

The Afternoon Ticker: O’Donnell, Baier, Current TV

  • CBS News correspondent Norah O’Donnell is one of Elle’s “10 Most Powerful Women in DC.” “‘The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that Norah O’Donnell’s departure…may be the biggest defection NBC has endured in nearly two decades,’ wrote one wonk”
  • FNC’s Bret Baier talks to Michigan Avenue about tonight’s Illinois primary, as well as who his mentors were in television: “My mentor Brit Hume was always someone I looked up to. I also looked up to Tim Russert in the way he conducted interviews and the preparation and effort he put into all of his interviews on Meet the Press.”
  • Current TV’s new morning lineup will debut Monday, March 26 at 6 AM. The new lineup features simulcasts of radio programs hosted by Bill Press and Stephanie Miller. In addition, Current will break into the programs at the top of every hour to provide two-minute political news breaks.

FNC’s Bret Baier: ‘A Very Gentle Demeanor With A Very Tough Underlying Message’

A Politico profile of Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier gives some insight on how the “Special Report” anchor — whose recent sit-down with Mitt Romney has made headlines — prepares, and conducts, his interviews:

“I always respected the way Tim Russert conducted interviews: Not only was he well prepared with a lot of backup material and quotes and that sort of thing, but he listened and, thereby, changed the follow-up question to be able to dig deeper on a certain issue that perhaps advances the ball in one way or another. So I think the key thing for me in those big interviews is listening to the person I’m interviewing and being able to react [in] real time.”

[...] A Republican consultant who has studied the interviews called Baier “a Boy Scout with a very sharp knife.” Read more

Former MTP Moderator Marvin Kalb Says the New Sunday Morning Ratings Battle ‘Almost Inevitable’

He was one of CBS’s “Murrow’s Boys”, then a moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press, now a Fox News contributor.  Not surprisingly, Marvin Kalb has a lot to say about television news.

TVNewser caught up with Kalb, 81, during a visit to Chicago’s Pritzker Military Library Thursday night, during a speaking tour for a book he co-authored with his daughter Deborah KalbHaunting Legacy: Vietnam and the American Presidency From Ford to Obama addresses how the shadow of the war continues to affect White House decision-making to this day.

TVNewser: In your talk tonight you said that “today’s reporters are better educated about the military than they’ve ever been”. Which current tvnewsers do you think do a good job of covering the Pentagon, the military?

Kalb: Jim Miklaszewski at NBC does a very fine job. At CBS, David Martin is a highly-experienced, skillful, knowledgeable reporter who’s about as solid in covering the Pentagon as anybody you can find.  And there are many others as well, but those are two first-rate TV reporters.

TVNewser: I want to ask you about Andy Rooney, whom you know well and who’s in the hospital right now.  Do you know anything about his condition?

Kalb: No I don’t…Andy is a remarkable example of a reporter who started in World War II, and right up to the present day, was able to observe the nuttiness of life.  And reported with a touch of humor and class.  And he will always be among my favorites.

TVNewserFox News CEO Roger Ailes recently talked about a “course correction” for the network.  As an FNC contributor, what are your thoughts on that?

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NBC News GOP Debate Set for Eve of Florida Primary

About an hour after CNN announced it was partnering with the Florida GOP for a presidential debate days ahead of the primary there, NBC News announced a date for its GOP debate, in collaboration with National Journal and the St. Petersburg Times.

NBC News will hold its debate January 30, the night before Floridians go to the polls for their primary. As first announced in April, the debate will take place at the St. Pete Times Forum in downtown Tampa — where the GOP will hold its nominating convention next August — and will air on MSNBC and NBC affiliates throughout Florida.

It was NBC’s own Tim Russert who famously predicted “Florida, Florida, Florida” on election night 2000. And in late January, 2012 all political eyes will again be on Florida.

CNN’s Mark Whitaker: Anderson Cooper is the Anchor of the Future

CNN executive VP and managing editor Mark Whitaker gets interviewed by Ad Week. Among other things, Whitaker talks about the state of magazines (he used to be editor of Newsweek), diversity in media, ad Tim Russert‘s legacy.

He was also asked who he believes to be the “anchor of the future.”

I think we’re in a day and age when you can have all the qualities of a great journalist but have a human side as well, and even a sense of humor. In many ways Anderson Cooper is the model that we increasingly are going to, not that everyone has to be Anderson Cooper. But he has qualities that I think we want to see in our anchors and reporters. Anderson is not ideological, but he is demanding accountability; he’s asking tough questions; he’s not histrionic. He manages to relay the importance of events without being theatrical or over-the-top in any way.

Dads Are a Focus of TV News on Fathers Day

It is Fathers Day here in the U.S., and to help celebrate, dads were top of mind for many a TV news personality the last few days. On Fox Business Network Friday, David Asman invited his father, former NBC News special events producer Robert Asman, to talk about lessons learned from the great depression:


Elsewhere, in Parade magazine, NBC’s Luke Russert writes about his father, the late, great Tim Russert:

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Antoine Sanfuentes on his NBC Rise: ‘It’s a humbling experience.’

Newly-minted NBC News Washington bureau chief Antoine Sanfuentes is in Chicago this week, where last night his predecessor Tim Russert was honored posthumously with the Lincoln Leadership Prize.

This morning, TVNewser caught up with Sanfuentes at the “Morning Joe” taping at Chicago’s RL Restaurant.

Sanfuentes, who’s officially been on the job since Monday, began with NBC in 1989 as an intern at WRC-TV. “Twenty years later, here I am as bureau chief,” he tells TVNewser. “And it’s a humbling experience.”

Sanfuentes holds twice daily editorial meetings in the Tim Russert Conference Room, converted from Russert’s old office. “In some respects, it’s the heart of our bureau…And every single time we go in there, and we talk about what we’re going to do, we feel like there’s this towering presence that helps guide us to do the right thing. It’s a really powerful thing.”

Sanfuentes is at the helm just in time for the ramp-up to the 2012 Presidential election. “The adrenaline is already pumping, anticipating this political season,” says Sanfuentes, who was David Gregory‘s producer at the the White House during the Bush administration. As bureau chief, Sanfuentes also oversees Gregory’s “Meet the Press.”

The show “is number one for a reason,” he says. “It comes down to the moderator, and what they can do, and the way they do it.  And David is a natural.”

Networks Plan Special Reports for Obama Statement on Egypt

As the cable news networks continue to cover the revelry in the streets of Cairo, following the announcement that Hosni Mubarak has stepped down as president, the broadcast networks are preparing special reports for their networks as Pres. Obama plans to address the situation at 1:30pmET now scheduled for 3pmET. Brian Williams, who has been going back and forth today on MSNBC and NBC, and who put up “Nightly News” best ratings in six years during coverage from Cairo last week, will anchor coverage for NBC. Diane Sawyer will anchor for ABC alongside Christiane Amanpour who also spent last week in Cairo. Katie Couric, who also reported from Cairo last week, will anchor CBS’ special report.

The cable news channels continue live, uninteruppted coverage of the revelry in Tahrir Square. Including live reports on MSNBC from NBC’s chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel, who speaks Arabic, and has been translating what he’s hearing from the crowds.

Earlier today, NBC News president Steve Capus, in Chicago for an event honoring the late Tim Russert and attending a taping of “Morning Joe,” told TVNewser’s Alissa Krinsky, “It helps enormously to have somebody with the experience of a guy like Richard Engel, who actually used to live in Cairo. And we’ve had a Cairo bureau for decades, and the depth of that experience really comes into play when something like this happens.”

> Update: Pres. Obama spoke from 3:06pm – 3:12pm. He took no questions.

Brokaw: ‘Where it got sticky is when our commentators were anchoring political coverage’

NBC's Tom Brokaw, Tim Russert, and Russert's white board, on election night 2000.

The Chicago Tribune‘s Phil Rosenthal talks with NBC Newman Tom Brokaw ahead of Brokaw’s visit to Illinois next week. Brokaw talked about the Comcast deal, the “incompatible roles” of MSNBC hosts and the state of media today. As for MSNBC, the news division’s senior statesman says:

“Listen, we’re better off than (ABC and CBS) because we do have cable. Where it got sticky is when our commentators were anchoring political coverage. Those are, in some ways, incompatible roles. We worked our way through that.”

That was the case on election night 2010. With Keith Olbermann‘s departure, it is yet to be seen how MSNBC execs will incorporate the other opinion hosts — Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz and Lawrence O’Donnell — into 2012 primary and general election night coverage.

On the topic of Olbermann, Brokaw told Rosenthal: “You’re not going to get me to go there,”

“All of our component parts — NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC –are much bigger than one player, and I include myself in that,” Brokaw said.

Brokaw will be in Chicago next Thursday to honor the late Tim Russert at a benefit for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

Mark Whitaker Jumps From NBC News to CNN

Breaking: CNN Worldwide has named Mark Whitaker executive VP and managing editor, reporting directly to CNN Worldwide chief Jim Walton. Whitaker had been the Washington bureau chief for NBC News.

Whitaker joined NBC News in 2007, and was named DC bureau chief in 2008, following the unexpected death of Tim Russert.

In a note to NBC News employees, Steve Capus praised Whitaker’s leadership:

“I am so grateful to Mark for all of his amazing work— from helping coordinate our coverage of the 2008 and 2010 elections, to David Gregory’s transition as Moderator of “Meet the Press,” overseeing the growth of our DC operations, and strengthening our team of reporters and producers,” Capus said. “All of his work is critical to our success today and I can’t imagine where we would be without his remarkable leadership.”

The newly created EVP/managing editor position for CNN was announced in September, with Walton saying at the time that “the managing editor will come in and he or she will be a strong editorial mind who will help shape our coverage.”

CNN’s full announcement, and Capus’ note to NBC News staffers are after the jump.

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