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Posts Tagged ‘Rick Kaplan’

Rick Kaplan Leaving CBS News

CBS Evening News executive producer Rick Kaplan announced in an afternoon meeting that Thursday would be his last day with the broadcast and with CBS News, departing even before the show’s anchor, Katie Couric.

Insiders tell us the decision was Kaplan’s.

At the newsroom meeting, CBS News chairman Jeff Fager as well as Couric praised Kaplan for his production and management of the broadcast.

Kaplan re-joined CBS News in 2007 to take over the “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.” During his four-year run, he also did double duty for a time overseeing “The Early Show.”

Before joining CBS, Kaplan was president of two cable networks: MSNBC from 2004-2006 and CNN/U.S. from 1997-2000. Kaplan served two tours at ABC News from 1979-1996 and again from 2003-2004.

But it was at CBS News where Kaplan got his start, first in Chicago, then New York on the CBS Morning News and later as an associate producer on the “CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite.”

Dan Rather on Scott Pelley: He ‘burns with the hot, blue flame to report news’

One Texan to another, Dan Rather is downright bullish on Scott Pelley.

“I’m not going to deny that I’m proud of the fact he’s a Texan,” says Rather. “Texans, generally speaking, have a strong sense of place, a strong tie to the land. I admire his record of slugging his way up from bottom.”

Pelley, 53, a San Antonio native and 21-year CBS veteran, yesterday was named managing editor and anchor of “CBS Evening News,” effective June 6. He was the heavy favorite to replace Katie Couric, who’s stepping down at the end of her five-year contract June 4.

Rather had campaigned for Pelley, off and on, for years. (Not that Rather’s endorsement carried any weight at CBS.) Given their similar career paths – Texas local news, then CBS and the White House, foreign wars, “60 Minutes” and anchordom – Rather probably sees himself in the younger newsman.

Pelley “burns with the hot, blue flame to report news,” says Rather, 79, managing editor and anchor at HDNet. “He’s relentless on a story. He has news in his id, his DNA. He cares about it. He knows it’s important. I think that translates to viewers. They connect with people they believe really care about the news.”

Moreover, Pelley is “steeped in the CBS tradition and history. He’s a true believer in the CBS mission. He knows the organization top to bottom because he came up from the bottom to the top. He has newsroom cred. He’s very good about thanking people up and down the line.”

But can Pelley, who will continue to report for ’60,’ make a difference in what Rather himself describes as “a damaged franchise?” For that matter, can anyone?

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Update: Hartman Return to CBS News not Happening

Update: CBS News president David Rhodes denies all facts of the story. “It’s not happening, it’s not going to happen,” he tells us. “This story is just wrong.”

Rome Hartman tells TVNewser, “Your report this morning is untrue. Flat wrong. Unfair to me, and unfair to CBS. I’m fully engaged in and excited about my job with BBC News.

Earlier: TVNewser had reported that former CBS Evening News EP Rome Hartman was to return to CBS News and that Patricia Shevlin, long-time EP of the weekend “Evening News,” was expected to replace David Friedman as e.p. of the “Early Show.”

David Rhodes memo to CBS ‘Early Show’: ‘Let’s get with it’

CBS News president David Rhodes tore into his morning news program, “Early Show,” today telling staffers in an email, “CBS News had a great weekend. And a bad Monday morning.”

Rhodes, who’s been on the job just shy of two months, sent an email to the staff and cc’d the show toppers of the weekend shows, “60 Minutes,” “48 Hours” and “Sunday Morning.”

Rhodes was miffed that while the weekend shows broke news or had newsmaking interviews, none of it turned up on Monday’s “Early.”

“Many of you on the Early Show have asked for clarity on what we want. Several times we have talked about sustained coverage of stories which are our own—I mentioned this several times the week after our story on Orlando’s motel homeless. Let’s get with it. Where’s our reporting? Make sure it’s in our show.”

“Early” has been mired in third place since it debuted in 1999; the anchor team was replaced earlier this year, before Rhodes took over; and the show has had four different executive producers in the last 3 and a half years (five if you include interim EP Rick Kaplan). This morning’s memo, sent just 15 minutes after the show ended, is directed squarely at current EP David Friedman who’s been with the show for 13 months.

Rhodes’ memo after the jump…

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Are the Network Anchors going to Cairo?

  • “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams is on his way to Cairo right now. He left New York Sunday afternoon arriving in Amman, Jordan and is now en route to Egypt. He’s expected to arrive in time for “Nightly News.”

Happy Birthday, Andy Rooney

Andy Rooney is 92 today.  His birthday comes exactly one week after that of a fellow CBSer, who was surprised when Rooney and many other Tiffany network colleagues made cameos in a birthday video tribute to her.

Les Moonves, Sean McManus, Rick Kaplan, and Susan Zirinsky appear, along with a certain Today show anchor. The identity of the birthday girl, after the jump…  Read more

Les Moonves Holds Court at CBS Holiday Bash

CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves — sans wife Julie Chen who is fully ensconced in L.A. for her ensemble daytime show, “The Talk” — celebrated with his CBS minions, and the press who cover them, at CBS’ Black Rock headquarters last night.

CBS' annual airing of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" drew 12.2 million viewers Nov. 30.

Several stars of CBS primetime shows were there, including Tom Selleck who stars in “Blue Bloods,” and Christine Baranski and Matt Czuchry of “The Good Wife.” And while Moonves can tout having the most-watched TV network, the stars of his struggling news division also worked the room — including the new front four of “The Early Show:” Erica Hill, Chris WraggeJeff Glor and Marysol Castro. The team will be hitting the road next week, making stops at several CBS affiliates where the #3-in-the-ratings show performs relatively well. (Our sister blog TVSpy reports Wragge’s last day on WCBS is today.)

We talked with show EP David Friedman and CBS News & Sports President Sean McManus who both expressed their confidence in the team. “It’ll take some time,” said McManus, “but this is a good group. I’m excited.”

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CBS & ABC to Launch On-Going Specials

CBS launches its new series “Tough Choices” tonight on the CBS “Evening News with Katie Couric” at 6:30pmET.  The launch is in conjunction with the bipartisan Federal Deficit Commission’s final report. “In the near term, there is no more pressing domestic issue for America than the deficit,” said Executive Producer Rick Kaplan said.

ABC News is starting an on-going special of their own titled “Afghanistan: Can We Win?” which will air across all ABC platforms. The series kicks off with George Stephanopoulos co-anchoring “Good Morning America” from Kabul on Monday and continues throughout the week with reports from Martha Raddatz, Nick Schifrin, Bob Woodruff, and Mike Boettcher.

The press releases for the specials are after the jump…

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Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer Glam up for Glamour Women of the Year Event

Katie Couric and Diane Sawyer were among the presenters at last night’s Glamour Women of the Year awards ceremony.

ABC’s Christiane Amanpour appeared in taped message presenting an award. Other tvnewsers in the audience at Carnegie Hall: CBS Evening News EP Rick Kaplan, CNN correspondent Suzanne Malveaux and Oprah BFF and former local news anchor Gayle King.

Winfrey presented an award to Julia Roberts. Other winners included Fergie, Donatella Versace, four female heads of state and Cher, who was presented a lifetime achievement award.

Barbara Walters was presented a lifetime achivement award in 1999 and Couric was given awards in 1992, 2002 and 2006. This was the 20th year anniversary of the mag’s Women of Year Awards.

Kurtz on Couric: ‘Signs Point to her Staying Put’

Katie Couric‘s 5-year contract with CBS is nearing its end, but the anchor told Howard Kurtz, who joined “The Daily Beast” this month, that she’s too busy on the campaign trail to  worry about the future: “I’ll have to think long and hard about the choices I have going forward.”

“When she’s on the road—in Iraq with David Petraeus—she has a great way with people,” Rick Kaplan, Couric’s executive producer, told Kurtz “People like her and she likes them. There are anchors who consider being on the road a pain in the butt. She really looks for opportunities to feel the earth and touch people.”

“It’s great for me to get out of the chair and into the world,” Couric said to Kurtz, “I started out as a reporter, and I still enjoy reporting.”

While on the move as a reporter during the election, Couric seems (at least to Kurtz) that she is staying put at CBS. As for her salary…Couric stays mum on the issue: “I’ve never really talked about my salary. I think a lot of people in my business are paid handsomely.”

Unlike her salary, Couric was happy to talk about her 100,000 Twitter followers. “My friends accuse me of becoming a bit of a Twitter addict,” Couric told “The Daily Beast.”