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Posts Tagged ‘Ryan Seacrest’

Brian Stelter Makes ‘Reliable Sources’ Debut

StelterRS304Brian Stelter, who filled in a few times on “Reliable Sources” the last few months, made his debut as host of the CNN media criticism show this morning. Stelter covered this week’s revolving media door, President Obama‘s media criticism, and the death of Nelson Mandela.

Stelter opened with a panel on Martin Bashir‘s resignation and Sam Champion‘s move to The Weather Channel.

NPR media critic Eric Deggans criticized MSNBC for not suspending Bashir immediately for Bashir’s vile comments toward Sarah Palin, while The Washington Post’s Paul Farhi doubted Bashir’s resignation, suggesting MSNBC President Phil Griffin probably asked him to leave, and allowed Bashir to resign. American University professor Jane Hall said if Bashir didn’t leave, MSNBC would be in the uncomfortable position of looking less bothered by vile comments toward women than about Alec Baldwin‘s anti-gay slurs.

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Brian Stelter: CNN’s offer was ‘Irresistible’

BrianStelter“I would not leave the Times for a television job” doesn’t occupy the same pantheon as “Read my lips, no new taxes” or “I never had sex with that woman,” but it still presents a bit of sticky wicket for Brian Stelter, who debuts Sunday as host of CNN’s ‘Reliable Sources.’

In late July, Stelter told The Washington Post that he wouldn’t quit his day job as media reporter for The New York Times if he were chosen to succeed longtime ‘Reliable Sources’ host Howard Kurtz, now with Fox News. During his CNN tenure, Kurtz had juggled full-time jobs elsewhere with his ‘Reliable Sources’ gig.

So what prompted Stelter’s change of heart?

“I meant it when I said it,” he says. “Everyone at CNN imagined that the next host would be part-time.“ After Stelter’s third stint as guest host, however, “a part-time job became a full-time job. I had never imagined what CNN sketched out, and it was very appealing.”

In addition to hosting the weekly ‘Reliable Sources,’ senior media correspondent Stelter files daily for cnn.com and does live hits on other CNN shows. Had it been a full-time anchor job, he wouldn’t have been as interested.

“I’m a writer and reporter at heart,” says Stelter, 28, who as a college freshman created the site that became tvnewser. “I think I can become more of an expert in the field by writing and reporting than I can by anchoring. It’s how I’ve grown up. I fell in love with print.”

As luck would have it, two big media stories broke on Stelter’s first day on the job last week — Lara Logan’s forced leave of absence from CBS and Alec Baldwin’s dismissal from MSNBC. Stelter did four live hits and wrote a story for the website.

He hasn’t stopped since. Stelter left for L.A. late yesterday to tape an interview today with ubiquitous TV/radio host-producer Ryan Seacrest. Stelter labels him as “a king of media” and “one of the highest-profile media makers in the world.” He hopes to run the piece Sunday.

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If Matt Lauer Leaves ‘Today,’ Who Will Succeed Him?

matt-lauer“Today” is actively building its bench of male hosts in the event Matt Lauer leaves the show at the conclusion of his contract in 2015, according to The Hollywood Reporter’s Marisa Guthrie.

Guthrie’s piece reports on the current NBC personalities—and potential outsiders—who might replace the long tenured anchor if he exits.

Which member of the NBC family could possibly fill Lauer’s shoes? Both Willie Geist, who is the co-host of “Today’s” 9amET hour, and “Meet The Press” moderator David Gregorycould be in the running. Both of their Q scores, which measures audience likability toward on-air personalities, are higher than Lauer’s, with Gregory’s standing out highest among the key adult women demo at 18 compared to Geist’s 14.

Other contenders mentioned in the piece—albeit long shots—are Ryan Seacrest and “Today” digital host Carson Daly, with the latter having  ”the weakest emotional connection” to female viewers, according to a Q  score executive.

Outside the streets of Rockefeller Plaza, Anderson Cooper is also mentioned as a possibility, but unlikely since he is negotiating a new deal with CNN while also continuing to contribute to “60 Minutes.”

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Final Piece of New ‘Today’ Show Set Arrives Just in Time

As the “Today” show took the wraps off its new set this morning, main anchor Matt Lauer was 1,700 miles away in Colorado covering the catastrophic flooding there. “Savannah, Natalie and Al nice to see you there in the new studio 1A. The scene here in Colorado is not good at all,” said Lauer.

As the show progressed, viewers got a peak at all the new elements, including one that arrived just in the nick of time the main anchor desk which now sits in the middle of the studio. It sits on a lazy susan and can have a variety of backdrops. Carson Daly also showed off the Orange Room, and Ryan Seacrest, who is in the middle of hosting NBC’s primetime game show Million Second Quiz, dropped by.

The mood dampened a bit in the 8:30 half hour as reports of a mass shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC began coming in. “Today” reported the news at 9am. By then NBC O&O WRC was in continuing coverage.

Set designer Jeremy Conway lead a team of 200 people with a 30-day deadline. They got a toast at the end of the show.

Wolf Blitzer Becomes Latest ‘SWATting’ Victim

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer became the latest public figure to become the victim of a “SWATting” attempt. “SWATting is when a hacker spoofs a phone call or text message from the target, pretending that they are in danger. Police and/or SWAT teams may respond expecting a dangerous confrontation, often terrorizing the unsuspecting victim. NBC News contributor Ryan Seacrest fell prey to the scam earlier this year.

Luckily, the person targeting Blitzer did so on Saturday night, and the CNN anchor was not in his Maryland home. The Washington Post has the details:

In the case involving Blitzer, the person or people behind the fraud wrote some form of text message, Starks said. The message was set up to seem like it was from Blitzer himself, and it included his address. It appeared to have been sent through a mobile phone company’s “relay” system, which is part of an arrangement to pass on urgent messages to the police’s emergency communications center, Starks said. But exactly where the message originated remains unclear, he said.

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HuffPost Live Joins The Cable News Ranks

HuffPost Live–The Huffington Post’s web-TV outfit–is coming to cable TV.

AXS TV, the cable channel owned by Mark Cuban, AEG, CAA and Ryan Seacrest, will now simulcast HuffPost Live programming from 10 AM-4 PM. HuffPost Live has been seeking cable distribution for months (as we have noted), though the deal with AXS will not result in lucrative carriage fees that makes cable such an appealing place for programmers, according to the NY TimesBrian Stelter.

In an interview, Roy Sekoff, the president and co-creator of HuffPost Live, did not rule out full-blown cable distribution in the future. He said AXS provided “a way to get on now,” emphasizing “now.”

The telecast will start on May 13. It will be shown weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time (the first half of HuffPost Live’s daily output), replacing the random assortment of repeats that AXS currently schedules during the day. Mr. Sekoff said The Huffington Post was not paying for the distribution, and AXS is not paying for the programming; the arrangement is mutually beneficial, he suggested, something that Mr. Cuban affirmed in a separate interview.

The deal also unites The Huffington Post with Dan Rather, the former “CBS Evening News” anchor who now hosts “Dan Rather Reports” on the channel.

How Matt Lauer Almost Joined ABC News: NY Mag Story Hits NBC News ‘Like a Ton of Bricks’

New York magazine’e Joe Hagan files an impressively reported story on the trials and tribulations of NBC’s “Today” for this week’s cover. The PDF of the story was forwarded throughout the NBC News offices, studios and newsrooms yesterday in advance of its release online.

“It hit like a ton of bricks,” one NBC News staffer told TVNewser. “It was a rough day.”

The article tells the behind-the-scenes drama of what went down on NBC’s “Today,” including the departure of Ann Curry. There are also some new revelations, including just how close Matt Lauer came to joining ABC News. According to Hagan’s sources, all the parties involved believed that the deal was done, and that Lauer could be joining Katie Couric on her new ABC talk show:

And at the moment they informed him of Curry’s exit, Lauer himself appeared halfway out the door. Three months earlier, Lauer had been angered by a press leak that [Steve] Capus and [Jim] Bell were talking to Ryan Seacrest about possibly replacing him. (Lauer learned of the leak while being forced to stand outside the security gate at the White House Christmas party because Ann Curry had forgotten her driver’s license.) In trying to placate Lauer, Burke had given him a window to explore other jobs, but they made it clear that Seacrest was really just an insurance policy; they didn’t want Lauer to leave. But Lauer, possibly as a negotiating tactic, was taking leaving pretty seriously. He’d begun working closely with Zucker to develop an idea for ABC: the Katie Couric daytime talk show with Matt Lauer—together again. Lauer met with Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney, ABC’s parent company, who made a strong effort to recruit Lauer.

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CBS And Dan Rather: Together Again

This afternoon CBS acquired a minority stake in AXS TV, the cable channel formerly known as HDNet.

In addition to CBS, AXS is owned by Mark Cuban, Ryan Seacrest, live events company AEG and talent agency CAA. According to the companies, CBS will provide the network with live programming, and will offer marketing support.

The deal also reunites CBS with Dan Rather, the former “CBS Evening News” anchor.

AXS is the TV home for “Dan Rather Reports,” the investigative journalism series Rather launched after his memorable and ignominious departure from the broadcaster. Rather and CBS ended their decades-long partnership after a story about President Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service was put in doubt. Rather would end up suing CBS, spending more than $2 million of his own money on the lawsuit.

By becoming a minority owner in AXS, CBS now has a rooting interest for “Dan Rather Reports” to succeed.

Anderson Cooper on Scantily Clad Kathy Griffin: ‘That Sort of Thing, It’s Not My Demo’

Anderson Cooper talked with Kathy Griffin the other night about their upcoming New Year’s Eve special — their sixth together on CNN. Cooper: “Every year, I have to fight to get you to be quiet during the sweetest, most special time of the night, when the ball drops.”

“We’re not doing that this year,” said Griffin. “That’s the moment where we’ve just got to punch Ryan Seacrest in the face, hard.”

The Ticker: Pastor, Francis, Seacrest

  • One of Spain’s top journalists is joining CNN. Ana Pastor (right) will contribute newsmaker interviews for CNNI and CNN En Espanol.

  • How does Melissa Francis book the guests for her FBN show? Covergirl Francis opens up in the September issue of Resident magazine.

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