Long awaited Christmas parties for “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer” and “Good Morning America,” canceled the night Nelson Mandela passed away in December, finally happened last night. Insiders tell us Sawyer paid for the “World News” party and, as usual, encouraged a whole lot of dancing. GMA’s anchors treated the morning show staff to a blow out with George Stephanopoulos getting the award for most pictures taken with spouses and significant others of those in attendance. Stephanopoulos and his wife Ali Wentworth then made the mad dash to 30 Rock where they appeared on Bravo‘s “Watch What Happens Live.”
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Wentworth, who is active in the Humane Society Animal Rescue program, talked about the animals she’s rescued, joking about her biggest rescue yet: her husband.
“I rescued my husband, George Stephanopoulos from a lifetime of singledom.”
She also expressed sympathy for Baldwin, who’s under fire for comments he made while shouting at a videographer Thursday. His MSNBC show has been suspended two weeks over the incident.
“I think he’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever met,” says Wentworth. “I think he’s incredibly charming. I think he’s incredibly talented. I’ve been watching all this stalker stuff—crazy as a loon. I do feel for him because I think he gets taunted a lot by the press.”
When he was first tapped to take over on GMA for Diane Sawyer, some wondered whether Stephanopoulos — who hosts This Week, ABC’s Sunday morning public affairs program, and served as communications director for President Clinton — was too serious for the morning show. His wife knew better.
“He’s really not that serious,” insists Wentworth, whose online chat show Daily Shot recently featured the family guinea pigs in a fashion show judged by Paulina Porizkova and Tim Gunn. “This guy who can tell you about nuclear proliferation … you tell a fart joke, and he falls off his chair. He loves to laugh, to have fun, right?” she says, turning to George.
“Yes,” he says, smiling. “Otherwise,” she deadpans, “I don’t know what I’m doing here.”
As we told you yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter is out with its annual “35 Most Powerful People in Media” list. The honorees were feted at a “power-soaked New York party” at the Four Seasons restaurant Wednesday night.
From CBS News, chairman Jeff Fager was there, along with “CBS This Morning” co-hosts Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell, “60 Minutes” correspondent Morley Safer, “Evening News” anchor Scott Pelley and “Sunday Morning” correspondent Mo Rocca. CNN’s Piers Morgan was there, as was Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly. The “Today” show’s Willie Geist and “Live!” co-hosts Michael Strahan and Kelly Ripa attended, along with talk show hosts Wendy Williams and Katie Couric. And from ABC News, president Ben Sherwood, “The View” anchor Barbara Walters, senior VP for content and development James Goldston and “Good Morning America” anchors Lara Spencer and George Stephanopoulos, who was with his wife, Ali Wentworth.
More pictures of the event in THR’s gallery.
- The New York Post‘s Claire Atkinson reports that among the changes CNN is considering to its lineup are shifting Piers Morgan from 9 PM to 10 PM “or even later.” Not surprisingly, it seems unlikely that CNN will continue to repeat “AC360,” at 10 PM, instead giving Anderson Cooper one slot or the other.
Obama campaign senior adviser David Axelrod spent his final night with his mustache at New York’s Four Seasons Restaurant raising awareness — and money — for epilepsy research. Axelrod and his wife Susan hosted many Manhattan luminaries at the CURE New York reception at which Mayor Mike Bloomberg was presented an award for his support. In his brief remarks, Bloomberg caught sight of NBC’s Tom Brokaw in the crowd: “There’s Tom Brokaw. He’s my neighbor …. and my golf partner. Maybe he’ll even give me a few strokes next round.”
TVNewser spotted Fox News chairman Roger Ailes giving a warm hello to Susan Axelrod and Arianna Huffington as David Axelrod gave his remarks. The Axelrods established CURE: Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy as the family struggled to come to terms with their daughter Lauren’s epilepsy. Now 31, Lauren experienced her first seizure at seven months old.
We chatted with “CBS This Morning” anchor Charlie Rose, who, with his co-hosts Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell, is treating the “This Morning” staff to a holiday party next week. “It takes two jobs to be able to do it, but we’ll do it,” joked Rose, who also hosts “Charlie Rose” on PBS and Bloomberg TV.
Lara Spencer, once host of PBS’s “Antiques Roadshow,” loves a good roadside sale. And now she’s written a book about it.
So last night, designer Jonathan Adler hosted the GMA anchor and a crowd of tvnewsers and friends at his Madison Avenue store celebrating the publication of her new book “I Brake For Yard Sales.”
Spotted in the crowd: George Stephanopoulos and Ali Wentworth, Josh Elliott, ABC News President Ben Sherwood, (right, with Spencer) ABC SVP’s James Goldston and Jeffrey Schneider, ABC anchor Deborah Roberts, WABC anchor Diana Williams, Fox5 New York anchor Greg Kelly, ABC’s Dan Abrams and NBC’s Donnie Deutsch, among others.
Spencer outlines some of her tips in a Yard Sales 101 column on ABCNews.com.
Comedian Ali Wentworth was on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” yesterday to talk about her book and her recently-launched Yahoo! show, which is broadcast daily from her kitchen. Wentworth told Howard Kurtz how her husband, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, “always comes in, and so I can turn to him.”
“I let him have a small role in my show,” she joked. “I don’t understand why he won’t put me on the roundtable, but I do invite him on my show.” Watch:
Also on hand: Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Morticia Addams from “The Addams Family, Elvis Presley and, yes, a giant AARP card.
“That’s not something to celebrate about,” Stephanopoulos quipped.
Fired, maybe rehired, Deptartment of Agriculture employee Shirley Sherrod continues to make the rounds, showing up this morning on “The View.”
HLN/”The View”‘s Joy Behar thinks Andrew Breitbart owes her an apology. “I have heard not one word from him,” said Behar. Elisabeth Hasselbeck thinks so too: “Obviously there should be some face-to-face apology to you.” Sherrod: “I think he should.”
Wentworth: Can I give you some advice? When you meet with Obama next week at the White House, ask for the position of Agriculture Secretary. I think you’d be great at it.
Behar chimed in, “That’s how George Stephanopoulos got the job on “GMA.”
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