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Posts Tagged ‘Woody Allen’

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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Ronan Farrow Won’t Be Talking About Family Controversy

ronan farrow_304x200A Page Six story this morning reports new MSNBC host Ronan Farrow‘s team are making reporters sign a form promising not to ask questions about his personal family controversy during a benefit he’ll be honored at tonight.

Farrow — who has publicly stood behind his sister Dylan’s accusations that she was sexually abused by Allen when she was 7, and tweeted about the abuse allegations during the Golden Globes — is receiving the Cronkite Award for Excellence in Exploration and Journalism at Reach the World’s 14th annual benefit at the Princeton Club. Reporters have been issued a tip sheet that includes stern “conditions” not to ask anything about Allen.

“The theme of the evening is global education and service,” it says. “All press are required to stay strictly on message. Any press who ask guests or Mr. Farrow about off-message topics will be immediately escorted out of the event.”

We’re hearing from MSNBC insiders that neither the network nor Ronan requested restrictions forbidding personal questions, and it’s the event’s PR firm making that condition.

“Ronan and his team did not request any restrictions on reporters questions,” a spokesperson for Farrow tells us. He’s set to receive the Cronkite Award for Excellence in Exploration and Journalism at tonight’s Reach the World benefit.

In two days on-air at MSNBC, Farrow has not mentioned anything relating to his personal life, which has been mired lately with back-and-forth allegations and denials of molestation between father Woody Allen and sister Dylan Farrow playing out in the media. Read more

The Ronan Reviews Are In…

RonanFarrowDebut

Ronan Farrow Daily” is about to take to the air for its second outing. Here’s what media reporters are writing about the first:

  • Entertainment Weekly‘s Darren Franich thinks cable news is in need of saving, but Farrow is not yet its hero. “But Farrow is also young — and looks younger, and sounds even younger — and so the debut of ‘Ronan Farrow Daily’ was also an awkward mix of tones.” The EW review also suggested Farrow’s attempts at humor are part of the problem, as his joke about growing up with Murrow, Cronkite, and Colbert only emphasizes he is too young to have real newsmen to admire. Franich’s overall grade: C-
  • The New York Post’s Michael Starr notes a lack of fireworks in the premiere—particularly no mention from Ronan about father Woody Allen and sister Dylan Farrow‘s recent back and forth over Dylan’s molestation charge. Even without a buzzworthy moment to offer “something we haven’t seen before,” the Post credits the show with not embarrassing itself, and Farrow for looking quite comfortable on camera.
  • Variety‘s Brian Steinberg writes about Farrow’s “detached,” “bemused” stance toward the stories he reported on, observing that the 26-year-old did not come off as a “cheerleader” for any one cause. Noting that Farrow targeted a younger audience with numerous social media mentions, he still might have a problem reaching the youth: “Farrow’s challenge will be to gain momentum during a time slot that is not known for luring the millennials who might form his natural audience.”

Ronan Farrow Not Celebrating Woody Allen Lifetime Achievement Award

Soon-to-be MSNBC host Ronan Farrow was not cheering from the sidelines after the man who is most likely his father—film director/actor Woody Allen—received a lifetime achievement award at last night’s Golden Globe Awards.

Farrow was referring to Allen’s adopted daughter Dylan, who accused him of molesting her more than 20 years ago.

In a show of support, Ronan’s mother Mia Farrow retweeted his tweet, and Ronan added to his point by retweeting fans who showed support. Read more

Ronan Farrow Joins MSNBC, Will Host Weekday Show

RonanFarrowRonan Farrow is joining MSNBC where he will host a new Monday-Friday program for the network. Farrow is a writer and lawyer, and son of actress/humanitarian Mia Farrow and, most likely, film director/actor Woody Allen.

“Ronan has established himself as a provocative, independent journalist capable of challenging people’s assumptions and empowering audiences,” said MSNBC president Phil Griffin in his announcement. “His show will be a game changer for MSNBC, representing a fresh approach to how we deliver news.”

“This is a new generation of news show for a new, more engaged generation of viewers,” says Farrow. “It’s a show about why the news matters to you – and what you can do to be a part of the story.”

He adds, “I’m excited to shake up people’s expectations for cable news. And to get a ton of Twitter followers.” He’s currently slacking with just 133,000 followers.

Farrow is a member of the New York bar, he has written about human rights and foreign policy for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal, he was a foreign policy official in the first Obama administration, and has been a spokesperson for UNICEF.

“Ronan has packed more experience into his 25 years of life than most people have in a lifetime,” added Griffin.

Farrow’s one-hour show does not yet have a name, time period or launch date.

News of talks between Farrow and MSNBC was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter earlier this month.

How Charlie Rose Backed Into Alec Baldwin Interview About Paparazzi Scuffle

Alec Baldwin went on Charlie Rose‘s PBS show last night to talk about his new movie, “To Rome with Love.” But the conversation quickly turned to Baldwin’s incident earlier in the day with a Daily News photographer who claims Baldwin punched him as Baldwin and his fiancee left a the marriage license bureau in New York City.

Rose posed the question, first discussing issues of fame and personal privacy, then getting at the heart of the matter. Appropriate for this setting.

Rose: “When you have an incident like you did, is it because you get upset somebody’s invading your privacy?”

Baldwin: “The guy almost hit me with a camera.”

Rose: “What happened?”

Baldwin: “There was a person in front of me, and I was blocking him and he lunged and he almost hit me in the teeth with the lens of the camera. And I pushed him away.”

Daily News photographer Marcos Santos tells it differently, and has filed an assault charge.

Baldwin and his “Rome” co-star Penelope Cruz went on to talk about the challenges of fame, a subplot in the Woody Allen movie. Baldwin says social media — which he used multiple times yesterday defending himself — exacerbates the problem.

“You have your political opposition and they get on the internet, and within 30 minutes the misrepresentation of the story is out there,” said Baldwin. “You go on Twitter or Fox Nation says, ‘Baldwin punches photographer.’ No true.”

Despite starring in a show on NBC, Baldwin has recently criticized “Today” for its coverage of him and his fiancee.

The network morning shows all reported the incident. “Today” and “GMA” did not use any of Baldwin’s interview with Rose, choosing a statement from his publicist Matthew Hiltzik instead. “CBS This Morning,” which Rose hosts, excerpted it at length.

Video after the jump…

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