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Posts Tagged ‘Victor Neufeld’

Victor Neufeld’s Next Act

Former ABC News, CBS News CNN executive producer Victor Neufeld is joining public relations firm Fenton in a new role with a familiar title: Executive Producer.

PRNewser has the details.

When we heard the news of Neufeld’s new job we asked the longtime “20/20″ EP what he thought of last night’s debut of NBC’s “Rock Center.”

“I think the program was professional, very smart and extremely competent,” says Neufeld. “However if you look at the tone and content of the long running successful newsmagazines that air at 10PM ["20/20" and "Dateline] they consistently aim at an intense, powerful, high interest, very compelling, even emotional approach to storytelling, the formula developed from lessons learned over the years, an almost ‘ratings Darwinism’”

“‘Rock Center,’ which was sophisticated, witty and almost erudite, was a contrast to those two programs.”

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Using A Familiar Model, ‘GMA’ Narrows Ratings Gap With ‘Today’

Today’s Wall Street Journal examines the narrowing ratings gap between NBC’s “Today” and ABC’s “Good Morning America,” declaring that morning television is “back in play.” The article notes that the ratings growth at second-place “GMA” comes as senior executive producer James Goldston has made a number of familiar tweaks to the program:

Earlier, GMA also began copying a number of signature “Today” segments, such as summer concert series. And last month, Mr. Goldston and the network moved GMA to a new set on the first floor of ABC’s Times Square studio so that anchors could more easily venture outdoors.

“Little by little, ‘Good Morning America’ has come to replicate what has always been the ‘Today’ show’s secret sauce—the ensemble,” says Victor Neufeld, a former executive producer of CBS’s “Early Show” and ABC’s “20/20.” “The chemistry is working,” he says, and GMA has become a “Today” alternative, “like Coke and Pepsi.”

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Ben Sherwood: ‘An insider and outsider there, and that’s what ABC was looking for’

While most industry types were surprised by yesterday’s announcement of Ben Sherwood as ABC News president, Jonathan Wald was not among them.

“Benjie is both an insider and outsider there, and that’s what ABC was looking for,” says Wald, Sherwood’s boss at ‘NBC Nightly News’ in the late ‘90s. “He understands the culture, but he’s breathing fresh air, too.”

A stealth candidate, Sherwood’s name had not surfaced anywhere as a replacement for 13-year president David Westin, scheduled to step down at the end of this month.

On paper, it’s an unusual hire, to say the least. Sherwood, 46, a best-selling writer and digital media entrepreneur, has been out of TV news since 2006.

After two years as exec producer of ABC’s ‘Good Morning America,’ he returned to California in ’06 to resume his writing career. His 2009 book, ‘The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life,’ was a best-seller.

Ironically, he had left NBC earlier for the same reason. His 2004 novel, ‘The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud,’ became a best seller. The same year, he came back to ABC for a second stint. “I discovered that I could leave the news business, but the news business didn’t leave me,” he said in a 2004 interview.

“Charlie St. Cloud” was adapted to a feature film last summer. Sherwood’s 2000 book, “The Man Who Ate the 747,” is also being developed as a movie and Broadway musical.

“As evidenced by his peripatetic career, Benjie’s open for anything,” says Wald, now e.p. of CNN’s Piers Morgan show, to debut next month. “As another child of television, I see in him a short attention span. He masks it very well.”

Media consultant Victor Neufeld, a 25-year ABC News veteran, acknowledges he was taken aback, at first, when he learned of Sherwood’s appointment.

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CNBC Toasts Jonathan Wald

Wald_3.31.pngNothing like a little Veuve Clicquot to round out a 16-year career with NBC.

This was Jonathan Wald‘s last day on the job as CNBC SVP. At 4pm, co-workers gathered in the CNBC boardroom for a goodbye toast. In attendance, CNBC president Mark Hoffman, and anchors Michelle Caruso-Cabrera and Margaret Brennan, among others. CNBC’s Pharmaceutical Reporter Mike Huckman Tweeted about it: “At sendoff 4 CNBC VP Biz News Jonathan Wald. He’ll be missed.”

Wald’s first job with NBC News was in 1983 as a desk assistant. His father, Richard, is a past president of the news division.

It’s not known where Wald’s next stop will be, but the NYPost reports at least two venerable names in news are in the mix to fill the vacancy, including former ABC/CNNer Victor Neufeld who, the Post reports, interviewed for the job last Friday.