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Posts Tagged ‘Tory Johnson’

Barbara Walters Farewell: ‘True, I Was the First Female Co-Host… But Also True, I Was a Flop’

WaltersSawyerIt was a star-studded farewell for Barbara Walters at New York City’s Four Seasons restaurant tonight. From comedian Joan Rivers to commissioner Bill Bratton; from New York’s chronicler of scandal, Cindy Adams, to the man who plays the president on “Scandal,” Tony Goldwyn; from actor Woody Allen to attorney David Boies, But mostly, the pool room was packed with Walters’ fellow TV news colleagues and those ladies — past and present — from “The View.” Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd; Meredith Vieira and Joy Behar.

Following a best of Barbara video, Disney Chairman Bob Iger welcomed the crowd, before Walters delivered a few words of thanks and admitting it hasn’t always been easy. “True, I was the first female co-host of a network news program. But also true, I was a flop. My male co-host didn’t want a partner and neither did the audience. I was drowning, gasping for air. Then someone threw me that life preserver called Specials with the biggest stars in news and show business and I learned how to swim again.”

Current and former evening news anchors were there, including Diane Sawyer and Brian Williams who arrived with Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric and fiancé John Molner; and Connie Chung (who was part of an ill-fated co-anchor pairing with Dan Rather) and husband Maury Povich. We caught up with early risers Savannah Guthrie and George Stephanopoulos along with their spouses, Mike Feldman, and Ali Wentworth, respectively, as they were heading out. Guthrie’s “Today” colleague Al Roker and his wife, ABC correspondent Deborah Roberts made the rounds as well.

Walters continued: “I’m grateful to the legendary Roone Arledge for bringing me to ABC News; thankful to David Westin for his steady leadership; to Ben Sherwood – you made us all believe we could win and with your leadership and passion, we did; and James Goldston – I’m told that all our shows are number one at the moment – you should quit right now.” Sherwood, Goldston and Westin were all on hand, as were other ABC News executives including Barbara Fedida, David Sloan, Jeanmarie Condon and John Green.

We spotted Jenny McCarthy hand-in-hand with fiance Donnie Wahlberg; the “Nightline” team of Juju ChangDan Abrams, and Dan Harris as well as a host of correspondents and anchors from ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC and Fox, including Elizabeth VargasAmy RobachDavid MuirNorah O’DonnellJon KarlGio Benitez, Dr. Richard Besser, Tory JohnsonRick Klein, Brian Ross, Mara Schiavocampo, Thomas RobertsAlicia MenendezHoda Kotb, Greta Van Susteren and Lisa Ling, a former “View” co-host, now woking on a new show for CNN.

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Tory Johnson’s ‘The Shift’ Debuts at No. 1 on NYT Best-Sellers List

ToryJohnson“Good Morning America” contributor Tory Johnson‘s new book “The Shift” debuts No. 1 on the New York Times Best-Sellers list. In “Shift,” Johnson recounts how she lost 72 pounds in 20 months.

Meanwhile, Bill O’Reilly‘s latest in a series of killer books, “Killing Jesus,” goes on sale tomorrow and is already poised to top several best-sellers lists. O’Reilly’s “Killing Lincoln,” and “Killing Kennedy” each were New York Times best-sellers.

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.

‘GMA’s’ Tory Johnson Makes the ‘Shift,’ Losing 72 pounds in 20 Months

“Good Morning America’s” Steals & Deals guru Tory Johnson had a wake-up call in December 2011. One of her bosses told her the clothes she was wearing weren’t doing any favors during her TV segments. She got the message. This morning, Johnson revealed that since that wake-up call, she’s lost 72 pounds. She writes all about it in her new book, “Shift: How I Finally Lost Weight and Discovered a Happier Life.” It’s out today.

An emotional Johnson recalls, “being fat when you don’t want to be fat, it’s like being in shackles it’s like being in a prison you can’t escape. You feel like there’s no way out.”

GMA’s Jobs Expert Helps Viewers Through Crisis, After Going Through Her Own

GMA_12.9.jpgGood Morning America is not just reporting on job losses, they’re doing something about it. Last month, the ABC morning show sponsored job fairs in Atlanta and Chicago. They’ve been such a success, they’re putting on another in Miami this Thursday.

The AP’s David Bauder talks with Tory Johnson, the show’s workplace contributor. Johnson has been reporting for GMA for four years and knows first hand what it’s like to lose a job:

She worked in public relations at NBC News in the early 1990s, and was swept out of her job as part of a housecleaning in the wake of an embarrassing scandal in which “Dateline NBC” rigged a truck crash for a story. “I was very young — 22 years old — and I thought my career had crumbled before it had even started,” she said.

Bauder reports Johnson went on to build a company that helped women seeking work called Women For Hire. As for the first fair in Chicago, it worked for some &mdash Aramark Uniform Services hired nine people who turned out for the fair.

“We have every intention of serving the audience as well as we can under the circumstances,” said GMA EP Jim Murphy. “What matters more to the American people than about what is going on with their economic life and their economic future?”