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Posts Tagged ‘Rand Morrison’

The Hollywood Reporter’s Annual ’35 Most Powerful People in New York Media’

Television news executives and personalities are well represented on The Hollywood Reporter‘s annual “35 Most Powerful People in New York Media” list.

From the executive ranks: CBS News chairman Jeff Fager and president David Rhodes; NBC News chairman Pat Fili-Krushel and president Deborah Turness; and incoming Disney/ABC Television group president Ben Sherwood and ABC News president James Goldston represent the broadcast networks. On the cable side, Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, MSNBC president Phil Griffin, CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker and Bloomberg Media Group CEO Justin Smith make the list.

The main anchors for the broadcast networks — Brian Williams, Diane Sawyer and Scott Pelley — are all on the list, as well as morning anchors from each network. For NBC, it’s Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and Willie Geist; Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell represent CBS; and for ABC, Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos and Lara Spencer. “Good Morning America” senior executive producer Tom Cibrowski and “CBS Sunday Morning” EP Rand Morrison are also named.

As for cable news talent, all three Fox News primetime hosts — Bill O’Reilly, Megyn Kelly and Sean Hannity — make the list. From MSNBC, Rachel Maddow, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough; and from CNN, Anderson Cooper.

Other notable additions: Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, Jimmy Fallon, Bob Costas, Michael Strahan and Kelly Ripa.

TVNewser will be at the party celebrating the honorees tonight.

[Images via Hollywood Reporter]

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How Real is ‘The Newsroom?’ Real TVNewsers Speak Out

No one expects total realism from HBO’s “The Newsroom,” but a scene in Sunday’s Season 2- opener would be virtually impossible in real life, technically speaking, say numerous network professionals.

In the segment, an off-site reporter for cable news network ACN dictates a few words of important corrected information – via cellphone — for his package, which is then instantaneously re-tracked in the control room just in the nick of time on Will McAvoy’s (Jeff Daniels) show.

“Any suggestion you can drop new audio into a package a few seconds before air is definitely unrealistic; make that impossible,” says Candy Crowley, anchor of CNN’s ‘State of the Union.’

“I’ve seen some very exciting things happen in the control room,” says David Westin, ABC News president from 1997 through 2010, “but I never saw anything like that, or even heard about it. I can’t imagine running that kind of risk.”

Ditto, says CNN weekend anchor Don Lemon. “I’ve never seen nor heard of anyone adding audio via cellphone. Some people do narrate on their iPads, but it sounds like crap.”

Rand Morrison, executive producer of  ”CBS News Sunday Morning,” argues that the “huge” difference in audio quality would be “a small price to pay for accuracy.” He describes the ‘Newsroom’ scenario as “far-fetched, but not inconceivable. “

Sue Green of Arizona State’s Cronkite School of Journalism, formerly executive director at New York’s WABC, agrees that it can be done, but it shouldn’t have to be. “If the reporter had done his job correctly in the first place, the fix would not have been needed. That’s what is important here.”

Regardless, Green is a ‘Newsroom’ fan, particularly of executive producer MacKenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer.) “I can relate to having an anchor who doesn’t listen, and the frustrations an EP has to go through in dealing with feelings and egos” of a newsroom.

Speaking of egos, any similarities between McAvoy and the late, great Peter Jennings, David Westin?

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CBS Correspondent Mo Rocca: ‘Sunday Morning has this dedicated and very active viewership’

Mo Rocca is the subject of Mediabistro’s latest “So What Do You Do?” interview. Rocca is a correspondent for “CBS Sunday Morning” — his most recent report was on the birther controversy surrounding the 21st President, Chester Alan Arthur — and a host on the Cooking Channel. He shares his thoughts on everything from using Twitter to find stories to picking the topics of his “Sunday Morning” reports:

I’m my own personal Nielsen ratings survey. If I walk down the street, what people respond to me is very telling. The day after my first Sunday Morning piece six years ago, a couple of people walked up to me and told me they loved it. And I realized that I had done The Tonight Show for years, and it was fun doing reports for them. But people watch a program like The Tonight Show very passively. No one would ever say anything about them.

But Sunday Morning has this dedicated and very active viewership. The executive producer, Rand Morrison, is rightly revered in the news business and he’s given me a lot of latitude. My job is basically like going back to college and taking only electives. It’s what I always wanted to do. So I can go from Columbus Day, to the Electoral College, to men who dye their hair, to the birther controversy over President Chester Alan Arthur.

Charles Osgood: ‘It Amuses Me When People Are Surprised That We Have Younger Viewers’

In case you haven’t noticed lately, “CBS News Sunday Morning” is not just for the dentured set.

“It amuses me when people are surprised that we have younger viewers,” says Charles Osgood, 79, the show’s anchor and poet-in-residence. “They said the same thing about ’60 Minutes.’ It’s part of the reason the show is so good.”

And so popular. Week in and week out, the quirky, understated ‘Sunday Morning’ routinely beats NBC’s “Sunday Today” and ABC’s “Good Morning America Sunday” in terms of households, viewers, and adults 25-54.

With a median age of 59.8, viewers of “Sunday Morning” are certainly not young, but they are the youngest of the troika, if only by a matter of months. It rankles Osgood to no end that advertisers consider adults 55 and older as the walking dead.

“It’s a mistake to think that people over 54 don’t buy anything and don’t go anywhere,” says Osgood, who succeeded the late, great Charles Kuralt in 1994. “It’s patently untrue, as all of us, including advertisers, are aware.

“Being 65 does not mean you’re old anymore. You’ve got a lot of living to do. You’re not going to sit around and watch Lawrence Welk.” (To those under 60, check Wikipedia.)

Like Osgood, executive producer Rand Morrison objects to the stereotype of “Sunday Morning” as a show for old folks. (He prefers to think of them as grown-ups.)

“I deny the allegation,” says Morrison, 61. “My niece has a “Sunday Morning” app. Younger people come up to me and voice their opinions about the show. People, at different times of

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Former Fake News Correspondent Now a Real News Correspondent

Satirist Mo Rocca, who first became known to many viewers as a “correspondent” on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” is now a real TV news correspondent. Rocca has been named as a correspondent for CBS News, focusing on “CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood.”

Rocca has been a contributor to the program since 2006. He also contributes to the NPR program “Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me!”

“His title is Correspondent, but we see Mo, as we see all our Sunday Morning contributors, as a ‘columnist,’ bringing his own unique – and it is unique – perspective to everything he does,”said “Sunday Morning” EP Rand Morrison in a statement.

Scott Pelley, Diane Sawyer, Brian Williams and More Turn Out to Remember Lane Venardos

Longtime CBS News executive Lane Venardos was fondly remembered Wednesday in a moving service at the Paley Center in New York City.

Venardos who died August 19 at his home in Maui, spent 30 years at CBS News producing live news, special events and documentaries. He would go on to produce the “Survivor” live finales for Mark Burnett on CBS.

More than 200 luminaries from across the television industry attended the memorial, including CBS News chairman Jeff Fager, News president David Rhodes; Charles Osgood, Scott Pelley, Bob Schieffer, Lesley Stahl, and Rita Braver; current “CBS Evening News” EP Pat Shevlin, CBS News VP Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews (who currently has the job Venardos once held) and “Sunday Morning” EP Rand Morrison.

Also Diane Sawyer, now with ABC News, who worked with Venardos during her time at CBS and from NBC: Brian Williams, News president Steve Capus and former CBSer, now EP of “Rock Center” Rome Hartman, were there, as was former CBS News president Andrew Heyward. ABC’s “This Week” EP Rick Kaplan, and former “GMA” boss Jim Murphy, both former CBS Newsers, attended.

Former CBS News and CBS, Inc. president Howard Stringer, who worked closely with Venardos during his years at CBS and who is now CEO of Sony, spoke via video. Other speakers included Pelley, Stahl, Williams and Venardos’s daughter Kelly who is a producer for “NBC Nightly News.” CBS News “48 Hours” EP Susan Zirinsky presented a video tribute (after the jump). The service concluded with a vocal solo performed by Venardos’s son, Kevin.

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Bill Geist Gets Star on Walk of Fame

A big honor this afternoon for CBS News “Sunday Morning” correspondent Bill Geist. He got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His son, MSNBC anchor Willie Geist spoke at the dedication ceremony. (The honor was mentioned this morning on “Way Too Early,” with Peter Alexander filling in.)

Bill Geist is being honored for his 25 years of entertaining and informing TV viewers.

In addition to Willie Geist, his sister Libby Geist, a two-time Peabody-award winning producer (take that Willie!) at ESPN Films was also there; also Geist’s CBS colleagues EVP and Chief Communications Officer Gil Schwartz, Geist’s producer Amy Rosner and “Sunday Morning” EP Rand Morrison. Geist’s CBS colleagues back in New York are able to watch the ceremony on an in-house channel.

“I wasn’t sure how I felt about getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame,” said Geist after the ceremony. “It’s really cool!”

Willie Geist added, “We’re all thrilled for my dad. He’s always viewed himself as the Clark Gable of off-beat news. Now it’s official. He’s a star.”

TV Jobs Are Out There, but ‘Salaries are Going Down’

At today’s Bulldog Reporter Media Relations Summit in New York, CBS Sunday Morning EP Rand Morrison said TV news jobs are still available, they just don’t pay what they used to. Morrison: “We’re hiring people too” [but] “salaries are going down.”

PRNewser’s Joe Ciarallo was at the event. Here’s his coverage.

Couric Accepts duPont Award for Palin Interviews: ‘I Did the Job That I Was Supposed to Do’

katiecouric1-22.jpgLast night, TVNewser attended the Alfred I. duPont Columbia University awards in Broadcast News, where CBS News and Katie Couric book-ended the evening among the year’s winners.

CBS News and Sports president Sean McManus was on hand to accept an award for the “CBS Reports: Children of the Recession” series with a number of CBS News EPs including Rick Kaplan from the “Evening News” and Rand Morrison of “Sunday Morning.”

Couric recieved an award for what ceremony host Gwen Ifill described as “apt and determined questioning of Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin [that] prompted the most revealing remarks and had the greatest impact on the presidential campaign. And on late night comedy.”

In her acceptance speech, Couric admitted watching the interviews, even “for the 78th time,” makes her “kind of uncomfortable.” She described them as “certainly the most talked about interviews that I have ever done” and said, “cab drivers in New York and fellow travelers at the airport still comment on these interviews — some say thank you, some don’t — even though it’s been well over a year since they aired.”

Couric said her “only agenda” was to “find out where Governor Palin stood on a variety of critically important issues and help her communicate those positions to the American people.” She also said, “I feel I did the job that I was supposed to do.

To a room that included a number of journalism students and faculty, Couric said, “I think this series of interviews proves that followup questions are absolutely critical in an era where, all too often, non-answer answers are given and too-readily accepted.”

In her thank-yous, she singled out Brian Goldsmith, the associate producer who helped her research and craft questions for hours. “Who knew that an off-the-cuff one about magazines and newspapers would get so much attention,” she said.

An excerpt from Couric’s remarks after the jump:

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