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Revolving Door

Michael Strahan Joins ‘Good Morning America’

Michael Strahan is joining “Good Morning America” as a contributor. Just like in his NFL days, Strahan emerged from a GMA tunnel, giving high fives from fans, ending at the anchor desk, where Robin Roberts announced Strahan would join the show “a couple days a week.” He’ll mostly appear in the 7am hour, so he can get back uptown to his other day job, co-hosting “Live” which airs at 9am. Just so he wouldn’t miss a hit, George Stephanopoulos gave Strahan an alarm clock. “It’s a pleasure to get up early, because you guys have been so good to us, and Kelly and I appreciate it. It’s family,” Strahan said.

Strahan’s role wasn’t defined beyond that he’ll be weighing in on certain stories. “I watch every mooring and I sit there going, ‘that’s a good point.’ Now instead of talking to the TV, I can talk with you.” The addition of Strahan comes a few days after the show added ESPN host Tony Reali to the show’s “Social Square.” WATCH:


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Michael Isikoff Out at NBC News

IsikoffFirst on TVNewser: This is Michael Isikoff‘s last day at NBC News, TVNewser has learned.

Isikoff joined NBC News in 2010 as a Washington, DC-based investigative correspondent, after 16 years with Newsweek.  The news comes three months after fellow NBC News investigative reporter Lisa Myers left the network, and just two weeks after NBC hired Cynthia McFadden away from ABC, naming her senior legal and investigative correspondent.

“Michael has done terrific work for NBC News on stories ranging from revealing which government official leaked the US Stuxnet virus attack on Iran’s nuclear program to a groundbreaking examination of the Obama Administration drone strike program,” Richard Esposito, senior EP for NBC News’ Investigative Unit, tells TVNewser. “We’re grateful for all he’s done and wish him the very best.”

Zain Verjee Leaving CNN

zain verjeeAfter 14 years at CNN, Zain Verjee is leaving the network to start her own production company. Verjee anchors “World One” on CNN International.

“It’s been 14 years of friendship, growth, excitement and the greatest privilege anyone could ask for. From Nairobi to Atlanta, to Washington and New York to London and every major capital around the world in between,” Verjee wrote in a note sent to CNN staff this morning. “The assignments have been incredible.  I would like to thank each and every one of you for making it so special and so genuine for me.”

Verjee says she will be “creating and writing which I find personally fulfilling.” Read her full note after the jump. Read more

Tony Reali Joins ‘Good Morning America’

TonyRealiAs part of Tony Reali‘s new contract with ESPN, the longtime host of “Around the Horn” will also join “Good Morning America” as a social media contributor.

“I am thrilled to be hosting ‘Around the Horn’ on ESPN for four more years. To move the show to New York and become a member of the ‘GMA’ family is a dream,” said Reali.

As a contributor to GMA, Reali will engage with fans, monitor social media activity and highlight trending from the recently unveiled “Social Square.”

Reali as born on Staten Island and grew up in Morganville, NJ. He joined ESPN in 2000 as a writer and researcher for the quiz show, “Two Minute Drill.”

After a Quick Transition, James Goldston Gets Down to Work at ABC News

GoldstonSherwood Ben Sherwood, recently named co-president of the Disney/ABC TV Group, handed the ABC News reins to James Goldston this morning, calling him the “brilliant architect” of some of the most successful ABC News shows of the last decade.

Goldston, (near right) a London native, joined ABC News in 2004. He took “Nightline” to new heights in late night and later helped take “Good Morning America” to No. 1 in the mornings. Sherwood’s mantra to the 1,000 global staffers of ABC News has been consistent: PYG, or Play Your Game.

“The secret,” says Sherwood, “is that the game that we’ve played for the last three years is the game that we devised as a team: ["GMA" senior EP] Tom Cibrowski and James and I, with the great anchors there and the staff. And [EP] Michael Corn and the whole staff at ‘World News.’”

“The key is the consistency of the approach,” says Sherwood. “And I know that James has more plans up his sleeve.” TVNewser chatted with Sherwood and Goldston about the challenges ahead as both take on new roles:

TVNewser: First, congratulations to you both. James, what’s the first order of business?

Goldston: We’re going to work out a transition period. I’ve worked very closely with Ben these last three years. I’m going to be talking to the team a lot in the days and weeks ahead. Ben has been a fantastic, inspirational figure in the news division and I still have much to learn from him.

TVNewser: Ben, how much do you think you’ll be in New York in the coming weeks or months as you transition to your new job?

Read more

James Goldston Named President of ABC News

GoldstonJames Goldston is the new president of ABC News. Goldston and his predecessor Ben Sherwood, who was named co-president of Disney/ABC TV two weeks ago, just broke the news to ABC News staffers on the fifth floor at ABC’s New York headquarters, to applause, insiders tell us.

For the last two years, Goldston has been Senior Vice President at the news division of the ABC network.

Goldston joined ABC News in 2004 from Britain’s ITV. Following a stint as Senior Producer of primetime specials and investigations, he was promoted to Executive Producer of “Nightline,” a position he held until 2011. Goldston then joined “Good Morning America” as Senior EP as the show gained on, and eventually overtook NBC’s “Today” as the most-watched morning show.

Sherwood will assist with the transition over the next couple of weeks, before devoting his attention to his new job as co-president of Disney/ABC TV. He’ll fully take over the top job at the ABC network when Anne Sweeney steps down early next year.

Insiders tell us Sherwood started the 9am editorial meeting, attended by staffers around the world, before giving up his seat, literally, to Goldston, who praised Sherwood for having “big dreams.” Also on the editorial call, Goldston’s parents who phoned in from England. Goldston thanked them for sacrificing so much to allow him to be the first person on either side of his family to graduate from college — Jesus College at Oxford, no less.

With Goldston’s appointment, two of the heads of the big three American broadcast news divisions are British. NBC News president Deborah Turness, also an ITV alum, is from Hertfordshire, north of London.

The full news release, after the jump…

Read more

Longtime ‘Today’ Show Anchor Jane Pauley Joins CBS News

PauleySchiefferJane Pauley, who has spent her professional life at NBC News, is joining CBS News as a contributor to “CBS Sunday Morning.”

The news was revealed last night in Texas at the annual Schieffer Symposium, hosted by CBS Newsman Bob Schieffer where Pauley was a guest discussing her new best-selling book Your Life Calling: Reimagining the Rest of Your Life.

“Jane is taking her own advice,” said Schieffer to the crowd. “She’s reinventing herself and is coming to work at CBS News.

After much applause, Pauley said, “I can’t tell you—my heart is doing strange things. Is there a doctor in the house? Actually there are all kinds of doctors in the house and on stage, but thank you. My pulse is absolutely racing at that news—CBS.”

“We’re really, we’re really really happy to have you,” said Schieffer. “And I can’t think of a better place for you to tell a story. Because you’re a great storyteller – and Sunday Morning is one of my favorite, favorite broadcasts.”

Pauley was the co-anchor of the”Today” show for 13 yeas starting in 1976, first with Tom Brokaw and later with Bryant Gumbel. She then anchored “Dateline NBC” from 1992 to 2003 and has been an on-and-off contributor to “Today.”

TVNewser caught up with Pauley in January as she and Brokaw spoke to a crowd at the 92Y about her book.  Of her early days at “Today,” she told us, “I’ve always been future-oriented, but in terms of my career, I felt like I was living minute-to-minute.”

(Photo via @ishamdc)

NBC News Centralizes Guest Bookings

NBCPeacockNBC News president Deborah Turness has named Matt Zimmerman VP of booking. Zimmerman will head up a new consolidated booking unit, reporting to Turness. Zimmerman has been the senior booking producer at “Today” for the last five years, where he will continue to devote much of his time.

“[G]iven that we live in an increasingly competitive environment, it is crucial that we leverage our scale and mount a highly coordinated effort to get the big prizes,” writes Turness in a note to staff.

Additionally, Aretha Marshall, a 16-year NBC News veteran who has worked at “Dateline” as well as for Peacock Productions will become senior EP of Special Projects, reporting to Alex Wallace. Marshall will work with the new booking unit on big newsmaker and personality bookings for “Nightly News” and “Meet the Press.”

Turness’s note on the changes, after the jump…

Read more

Fusion Hires a Chief Cannabis Correspondent

nerzRyan Nerz is joining the ABC/Univision network Fusion as Chief Cannabis Correspondent. It’ll be the first such job title at a news network. Nerz, who has written for NPR, Esquire, and the History Channel, will contribute regularly to Fusion’s digital and TV platforms. The Yale-educated Nerz is the author of MARIJUANAMERICA: One Man’s Quest to Understand America’s Dysfunctional Love Affair with Weed.

Nerz’s hire comes a few months after the legalization of recreational marijuana in two states: Colorado and Washington. Nine other states allow medical marijuana use and decriminalize recreational use. In November, The Denver Post named entertainment reporter Ricardo Baca to the marijuana beat.

The coverage of cannabis has also been a boon to networks like CNBC which have generated strong ratings for documentaries on the subject.

Josh Elliott Leaves ABC for NBC Sports: ‘No News Role Has Been Discussed’

josh elliottJosh Elliott is joining NBC, not to be the next Matt Lauer, he says, but because he “grew up with a love of sports that is unrivaled.” Elliott was introduced as the newest NBC Sports talent by division chairman Mark Lazarus during a conference call with reporters this afternoon.

“No news role has been discussed with me,” Elliott says, adding, “I hope Matt Lauer is here when I step away from this gig, 30 years down the road. I love being a part of a team and the team I’m on now is a fantastic one.”

Elliott joins NBC Sports after three years at ABC News, as a co-host of “Good Morning America.” He doesn’t know if he’ll be back on “GMA” for a final farewell. “Those sorts of decisions aren’t mine to make,” he says.

“I was really happy to see my teammates wish me so well on Monday morning,” Elliott added. He says he remains “eternally thankful for all the people who helped me along the way. None more so than Ben Sherwood.” Sherwood, still new to his job as president of ABC News, plucked Elliott from ESPN in 2011. A year later, the longtime No. 2 morning show had toppled the “Today” show’s 16-year reign at No. 1.

“Everything I have today I owe to Ben,” Elliott says. “[ABC] put a generous offer on the table. They made this for me, simply, a qualitative choice.”

Not only will his commute get easier, NBC Sports is “a couple exits down I95″ in Stamford, CT, but Elliott will now get to fulfill a childhood dream: “A profound and essential part of my being has always been to be a part of an Olympics broadcast.” That wish will be fulfilled in two years in Rio. His first NBC Sports assignment is the Kentucky Derby next month.

Elliott says his only discussion about working with NBC News has been “ways to provide sports content to them.” Lazarus jumped in, adding, “that’s something I would discuss with NBC News, down the line.”

“I feel like the luckiest man in TV today, because of what has been a wondrous near-decade at Disney and a glorious 3 years at ABC News and ‘GMA,’” said Elliott.

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