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Posts Tagged ‘Diane Sawyer’

Court Orders Retrial as Amanda Knox Preps for Publicity Tour

Amanda Knox Waiting to be HeardWe in PR know that bad publicity almost never doubles as good publicity, but exceptions do stand out. Accused/acquitted/accused again murderer Amanda Knox, for example, got $4 million to write a book despite the fact that — according to The Daily Beast, at least — she has “already lost” in the court of public opinion and can never again “control how she is seen.” (And yes, her family did hire a PR firm to manage her image.)

Today brings news that Italy’s top court has ordered a retrial for Knox, who was acquitted and freed after serving nearly four years in prison for the murder of her roommate in Italy (but you already knew that). Our point? This new twist is just icing on the cake for a story that will continue attract millions of eyes around the world.

We’re not too familiar with the details of this case, but we know that Knox is media gold: last month Diane Sawyer scored her first official promo interview and even that announcement was big news. It’s set to air on April 30, the same day the memoir hits shelves — and everyone will be covering it, because the public loves both train wrecks and apology tours (unless they involve Lance Armstrong).

The question: if you have a client like Knox, how do you play off her notoriety while insisting that she was innocent all along?

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Diane Sawyer: Have a Made-in-America Holiday, Create 200,000 Jobs

Made in AmericaThe average American plans to spend $700 on holiday gifts, trimmings, and trappings this year (that’s $465 billion!). It’s no wonder we find our radios, TVs, in-boxes and mailboxes  inundated with ads from retailers, each hoping to get a piece of that hefty sum of cash.

While we frantic gifters try to find the best deals among the glitter and bold print and endless exclamations of “Sale!”, ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer decided to run a different kind of campaign geared toward holiday shoppers. This campaign focuses less on spending money and more on investing it — Sawyer wants each of us to commit to spending at least $64 of our holiday spending budget on American-made merchandise. If we all actually did this, World News says we would create 200,000 new jobs — a new spin on a gift that keeps on giving!

In case you don’t have the time or patience to read the labels on every potential present (who does?), ABC compiled a list of made-in-America gift ideas, organized into categories like sports and games, clothing and accessories, toys, etc. There’s even a form you can fill out to tell ABC you’re “in” that includes space to share your story and upload a corresponding photo or video of your patriotic gifting–a few lucky participants may even find themselves featured on Sawyer’s show. Fifteen minutes of fame, job creation, and holiday cheer? Now that’s a campaign!

Revolving Door: Le HuffPo, NY Times’ Abramson to Debut at Davos, NBC Publishing eBooks, and More

NY Times' Jill Abramson

Le Huffington Post made its debut on Monday in France with Anne Sinclair as editorial director. Sinclair, a former TV anchor, is the wife of infamous former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn, aka DSK. At the press conference Sinclair reassured the audience that there would be no conflicts of interest between her new role and her private life. (via New York Times)

ABC News‘ partnership with Yahoo! has spawned two new Web shows about politics that launched this week. The shows are extensions of long-running blogs from George Stephanopoulos and Jake Tapper. George’s Bottom Line debuted on Monday and Political Punch with Jake Tapper appeared on Tuesday. (via TVNewser)

NBC News established a new eBook imprint called NBC Publishing. The unit will release enhanced eBooks with videos inside, and the launch follows the media company’s success in the eBook business. (via GalleyCat)

Jill Abramson, executive editor at The New York Times, will make her grand entrance at the Davos World Economic Forum this week. She will be joined by NYT publisher Arthur Sulzberger, who is hosting a dinner on Abramson’s behalf. She will also lead a panel of women leaders in a discussion. (via Capital New York)

Newt Gingrich is continuing his attacks on the media. Last week Gingrich critiqued CNN for questioning him about his second marriage at the start of the South Carolina debate. After the Florida debate this week Gingrich complained that NBC did not allow the audience to clap, saying “Media doesn’t control free speech.” (via FishbowlDC)

Diane Sawyer was criticized by James Spann, chief meteorologist at Birmingham ABC-affiliate WBMA, for her report on the Alabama tornadoes on Monday evening’s World News. Spann took issue with Sawyer’s claim that there was no tornado warning, saying “This event was forecast days in advance.” (via TV Spy)

Click through for more media changes.

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Will the Yahoo!/ABC News Partnership Change Your Media Strategy?

ABC News brought out the big guns this morning — Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Barbara Walters, George Stephanopoulos, and more — to announce an enhanced partnership between ABC News and Yahoo! on Good Morning America. According to the press release, ABC News and Yahoo! News editorial teams will be working together to create “premium content” and cover big news events; there will be new original Web series, including “Newsmakers,” which launches today with an interview between President Obama and Stephanopoulos at 2:35 ET; and Good Morning America now has a co-branded website.

It’s been noted already across the media that Yahoo! and ABC News partnered more than a decade ago, but the partnership was dubbed “brand new” during the announcement this morning. Yahoo News has more unique visitors than any other website, The New York Times says.

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PR Joins in the Royal Wedding Festivities

Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

I have to admit — I’m pretty caught up in the Royal Wedding. And there are some among the PR industry who are as well. Who says T-Mobile gets to have all the fun.

Euro RSCG Worldwide is hosting an international Royal Wedding Tweetup. Anyone using the #EuroTwedding hashtag can participate. And there will be a microsite with curated coverage.

Waggener Edstrom has also plugged a few numbers into its Influence Toolkit to come up with the reception seating chart based on a social media hierarchy. Click here to find out what that would look like. Go Mr. Bean!

Omnicom firm Hall & Partners also did a little research into the digital buzz that was generated by the wedding.

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Townsend Joins ABC News as VP of Comms

From left to right: Fiona Conway ABCNewsOne executive director; Levine; and Kris Sebastian, senior producer of 'GMA' at a party for Levine. Ben Sherwood, ABC News president, in back.

Cathie Levine has stepped down from her role as VP of communications for ABC News. She had been with the organization since 2001 when she joined as a publicist for World News Tonight. Since then, she’s worked with a number of ABC’s news anchors, including Peter Jennings and Diane Sawyer, promoted coverage of the 2004 and 2008 Presidential elections, and managed anchor turnover at the network.

Julie Townsend is stepping into the role. Most recently, she was a VP at Emanate Public Relations working with clients including Bank of America. She also previously spent six years with ABC, rising to the level of director of the PR department and launching ABC News Now before leaving for NBCUniversal.

Robert Gibbs: ‘We Have Had Some Problems With BP’s Lack of Transparency’


Watch CBS News Videos Online

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs CBS’s ‘Face the Nation’ yesterday, where he told Bob Schieffer in regards to the Gulf Coast oil spill:

There’s no doubt that we have had some problems with BP’s lack of transparency: We asked that a video feed be made public, and that took 10 days. We have sent letter recently in order to get them to post their air-and-quality data.

Schieffer also asked the oft-repeated question, “Is this your administration’s Katrina?”

“I think the difference in this case, is we were there immediately,” said Gibbs.

The “CBS Evening News” with Katie Couric and “ABC World News” with Diane Sawyer both do their shows from the Louisiana coast tonight.

Note to BP CEO: Please Stop Talking

As the situation in the Gulf Coast continues to get more challenging, how have the media responded in terms of reporters covering the story live from the region?

They’re all over the story, and the executives involved keep giving them tons of fodder. Take this quote today from BP CEO Tony Hayward to the Guardian:

The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume.

Wow.

BP’s PR and other woes aside, PRNewser reached out to Fox News, CNN, NBC News, ABC News and CBS News as to their current and past coverage plans. Here’s what they told us.

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PR Implications Of The ABC News Layoffs

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ABC News has begun the process of eliminating 300 to 400 positions in its news division by asking employees to participate in a buyout of their services, TVNewser reports.

In an interview with TVNewser, ABC News division president David Westin would not comment if the layoffs would affect specific shows, bureaus or jobs. However, he did say, “it’s really substantial, larger than anything, in terms of reduction in the 13 years since I’ve been here.”

What are the implications for PR? First, we know that the layoffs will take time – approximately 60-70 days. Second, reporters will carry more responsibility for their stories. “There will be less layers, less people touching a piece,” Westin said.

Third, there will be no more separate weekday and weekend staffs for shows including “Good Morning America” and “World News with Diane Sawyer.”

Lastly, of course, a lot of people are losing their jobs. It makes sense to be a bit more considerate than usual when reaching out to your contacts at ABC News.

ABC News Media Relations Director Leaving To Start Consultancy

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First on PRNewser: ABC News Director of Media Relations Paige Capossela Green is leaving the company to start, “a new venture as a communications/pr consultant.”

As PRNewser previously reported, David Ford has been promoted to publicist and will now represent “World News with Diane Sawyer.”

Capossela Green’s email to friends and colleagues after the jump.

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