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Posts Tagged ‘Vinnie Malhotra’

Here’s the Reason Behind CNN’s ‘Poaching’ From ABC

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The New York Post reports on a Disney shareholder who asked Disney CEO Bob Iger whether his ABC News division is becoming a “training ground” for talent who eventually flee to CNN. Jake Tapper, Chris Cuomo, Bill Weir, and John Berman have all left ABC for CNN in the last 18 months. Rachel Nichols also left Disney-owned ESPN for CNN.

One key reason for the departures, which was not mentioned in the NYPost story, is that former ABC News VP of talent and strategy Amy Entelis is now head of talent and content development at CNN. Others who’ve made the move to CNN include SVP Vinnie Malhotra who spent 15 years at ABC and ESPN, and Andrew Morse who also spent 15 years at ABC and is now CNN’s SVP of domestic newsgathering.

Iger is unfazed by the departures, telling shareholders ABC has “a deep bench,” adding “in some cases we were trying to make way for a new generation, a new crop of talent.” The Post reports Iger singled out ABC News reporter David Muir, who is rumored to be a contender to replace Diane Sawyer on “World News.”

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CNN Launches Documentary Acquisition Unit

cnnlogoCNN is launching CNN Films Presents, a new unit for acquiring documentary films. All the new brand’s documentaries will be acquired films that have previously premiered on other television networks.

CNN Films Presents will kick off the year with “March of the Penguins,” which won an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature in 2006, on January 2 and “The Impostor” on January 23.  Like CNN Films, CNN Films Presents will be curated by SVP of development and acquisitions Vinnie Malhotra and SVP of talent and content development Amy Entelis.

CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker recently said the network needs “more shows and less newscasts.” CNN’s films and original series some of the highest-rated programming on the channel this year.

More from CNN after the jump. Read more

Morgan Spurlock, CNN’s New ‘Inside Man,’ In His Element

Photo Credit: Alex Weprin

Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock has been busy the last few months, weaving between tales of immigrants, marijuana growers and–yes–John Stamos and English boy band One Direction. At any given moment his production office is buzzing with people juggling TV shows, films and web series.

Spurlock says he is “platform agnostic,” though he acknowledges that each platform has its own advantages and disadvantages.

“The beauty of television is deadlines, you could fuck with a movie forever,” Spurlock says, reclining in a leather chair in his New York City office. “Having deadlines forces you to make choices, and being in a position where you have to make a choice and make it now, is fantastic. With movies—Picasso once said about paintings, you never finish paintings, you merely abandon them—and that is what happens with movies, with documentary films you abandon them at some point, because you can’t work on them forever.”

Spurlock’s new CNN series, “Inside Man,” debuts Sunday at 10 PM, and all but one episode has been delivered to the channel. His production crew is hard at work on a film (in 3D) about One Direction called “This Is Us,” which will be released August 30th. They are also staffing up for a web series starring Stamos.

“For season two we will do ‘Inside Man’ in 3D!” Spurlock quips.

“Inside Man” came to fruition fairly quickly. Spurlock had been meeting with CNN for some time, including with former managing editor Mark Whitaker, but it was during a meeting with CNN development senior VP Vinnie Malhotra that the show came to life.

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Zucker: ‘Parts Unknown’ ‘The True Measure of What We Want This Network to Be’

Calling it a “huge part of what CNN is going to to be,” CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker welcomed hundreds of guests to Porter House at Time Warner Center for a launch event for the network’s newest show hosted by Anthony Bourdain. “Parts Unknown” debuts Sunday night at 9pmET/PT.

CNN is, in fact, venturing into parts unknown with what Bourdain is cooking up. Bringing in a well-known non-news talent for a weekly one-hour travel/food/cultural awareness show is a departure for the network. Still, Zucker calls “Parts Unknown,” “the true measure of what we want this network to be.”

“We have a true television star in our midst,” said Zucker, who was quickly reminded of the dozen other on air talent in the room. “Not that we don’t have great television stars at CNN …Brooke Baldwin,” said Zucker, noticing the daytime anchor in the crowd, “You’re a television star.” We also spotted Anderson Cooper, (who dropped in before his show) Piers Morgan, Ashleigh Banfield, A.J. Hammer, Christine Romans (above with Bourdain and Baldwin) and John Berman.

Zucker heaped praise on CNN’s SVP of talent and content development Amy Entelis and Vinnie Malhotra, SVP of development and acquisitions, who began courting Bourdain a year ago. Bourdain had hosted “No Reservations” on Travel Channel since 2005.

“I’m grateful to be with CNN,” Bourdain told the crowd. “I got my official CNN ID today so I guess the cavity searches are over.”

The first of 8 original episodes airs Sunday. A second season is set for the Fall. The network is also developing a show with documentarian Morgan Spurlock, and this week announced it would add a Friday night studio audience talk show with CBC host George Stroumboulopoulos.

More pictures from last night after the jump…

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It’s Official: CNN Creates ‘CNN Films’ Banner

As TVNewser first told you back in April, CNN is launching its own feature film banner, CNN Films. The company officially announced the banner today, along with its first film, and development deals with two directors.

The first non-fiction film CNN has acquired is Girl Rising, which tells the story of several girls across the globe. It will debut on CNN in early 2013. CNN has also signed development deals with directors Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room, Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer) and Andrew Rossi (Page One: Inside the New York Times). Senior VP of talent Amy Entelis and senior VP of development Vinnie Malhotra will oversee acquisitions.

The new banner was created after CNN reorganized its long-form documentary units in March. The new model focuses on acquiring documentaries produced from outside the company, with a few tentpole features developed in-house by well-known directors.

Two CNN staffers familiar with the reorganization tell TVNewser than one of the driving forces behind the reorg was Tom Yellin, the president of The Documentary Group, which produces non-fiction programming for theatrical release and television, and would benefit from another TV network to sell content to. Yellin is an executive producer on Girls Rising.

Update: CNN says that the network held meetings with Yellin specifically to acquire his documentary, and was not related to the decision to move toward acquired programming. The decision to launch CNN Films was obviously made well-before I reported the news back in April.

“CNN Films will bring distinguished, thought-provoking documentary programming to our global audiences on all our television, online and mobile platforms,” said CNN Worldwide managing editor Mark Whitaker. “We want these documentaries to tell compelling stories and stimulate important discussions across CNN’s other programs and websites.”

More information below.

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Ramon Escobar Joins CNN as VP of Talent Development

Ramon Escobar, the former VP of live news programming at MSNBC and later EVP of Network News at Telemundo, has been named VP of talent recruitment and development at CNN. Escobar, who will be based in New York, will report to Amy Entelis, who joined CNN in January after running talent development at ABC News.

The newly-created Talent and Development department is overseen by CNN EVP Mark Whitaker. Entelis is the executive in charge of recruiting and developing talent, developing new programming and overseeing acquisitions strategy for CNN, HLN and other CNN platforms. Vinnie Malhotra, formerly of ABC, oversees program acquisitions and development for CNN and HLN out of Los Angeles.

The department is also bringing on Lizzie Kerner as director of development. Kerner, a Sundance Channel alum, will be based in Los Angeles and will report to Malhotra.

Vinnie Malhotra Named SVP at CNN

Vinnie Malhotra has been named senior vice president of development and acquisitions at CNN, managing editor Mark Whitaker announced today.

Malhotra began his career at ABC News in 1997. He worked on “Nightline” and “World News Tonight,” where he was a producer for Peter Jennings for three years. Malhotra was part of the ABC News convoy in Iraq when Bob Woodruff and his cameraman, Doug Vogt, were hit by an IED in 2006.

Since 2010, Malhotra has been ESPN’s vice president and executive producer for content development.

Malhotra will be based in Los Angeles, where he will “pursue development opportunities with outside production companies on behalf of the various networks of CNN Worldwide.”

CNN’s full release is after the jump.

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