Meredith Vieira on Ann Curry and Today: "Shit Happens"

There are a lot of reasons to like Meredith Vieira. First and foremost is the woman is as honest as the day is long.

Vieira will always give you and honest answer and in a business that is full of liars, that's very refreshing.

The Hollywood Reporter sat down with Vieira to talk about her new talk show. They also asked about The Today Show, her old show and about how NBC dumped Ann Curry from Today.

In true Vieira fashion, she pulled no punches:

"That was such a bad time," says Vieira, referring to the botched handover from Ann Curry, who replaced Vieira, to Savannah Guthrie in 2012. "I really felt for Matt a lot. And I felt for Ann, too. It turned so nasty, really nasty. Every day you're reading this stuff that is just beyond cruel from angry, angry people who felt that Ann had been slighted and embarrassed and humiliated. And they basically pointed to one person on whom to take out all of their anger. I don't know if I would have survived that."

She says she did not offer Lauer advice through the turmoil. "I just told him I loved him and I was there for him. But I never sugarcoated what had happened. I thought it had not been handled smartly from the very beginning, because I don't think they ever felt that was the right fit for Ann so they should never have put her in that position to begin with. And then the ending was so mishandled. But you know what, shit happens. People make mistakes. We all do."

NBC Cast Main Role for Peter Pan Live

On December 4th, NBC is going to broadcast Peter Pan Live and the star of the show will be Allison Williams.

Allison is one of the stars on HBO's Girls and she is also a classically trained singer. So, NBC's choosing her was not way out of left field.

But, Williams might have had a bit of an in with the big wigs at NBC. Her dad is also live on NBC each weeknight doing the Nightly News.

Brian Williams daughter said that she has wanted to play Peter Pan since she was 3 years old.  

“What could go wrong in a live televised production with simultaneous flying, sword fighting and singing?” Allison said.

Heck....sounds like Dad's show every night. 

Oh Come On Now! Really?!

Sometimes you just have to shake your head....

There was a water break near the UCLA Campus that flooded Sunset Blvd and like other LA stations, KABC was covering the story.

The station then took a call from the DWP Spokesperson Louis Slungpue....yes that is slung poo. You would have thought just that name would have never gotten the prank caller on the air. But, he made it on the air and the KABC Anchors interviewed him.

Mr. Slungpue told the station that the water break was caused by someone putting a cherry bomb down a toilet, or that someone "took a very large dump."

And EVEN after that statement, one Anchor continues to try an interview him.

Are you freaking kidding me?!

Let's go to the video:

The Reason Stations are Adding Newscasts

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It seems that not a week goes by without FTVLive reporting that some station, in some market is adding more news to their schedule.

But, do you know why all these stations are adding more news?

I'm sure you'll be shocked to know that it is all about money.

I know, you were thinking it was about community service and keeping viewers informed....right?

Nope, it's just a cash grab.

You see, from now until the elections in 2016, more political advertising money will be spent on TV than ever before. It's a big pie and TV stations are trying like hell to get the biggest piece.

When politicians and political parties buy ad time on a TV station, the first place they look is news. They figure that the people that are watching a newscast are more likely to vote that say someone watching 'Keeping up with the Kardashians."

In battleground markets newscasts will be able to fill their entire ad inventory with political spots. They will sell every spot available and still campaigns will be looking for more time in newscasts that they can buy.

So, TV stations are adding newscasts wherever they can, because they know they will be able to fill the available commercial time with political.

From now to the 2016 elections, many stations will bring in record profit, because of political advertising. 

Of course, since you guys are the ones doing all the work as new newscasts are being added, I'm sure your station will share all that money with each and every one of you, by giving you all huge raises.

Maybe not.....

New Newscast with an Old Face

And speaking of expanding news....

KHON in Hawaii is launching a new newscast on September 8th and they are bringing back a familiar face to do it.

Veteran newscaster Howard Dashefsky is returning to the news desk with the launch of the new 9PM show.  

“We look forward to offering Hawaii viewers a comprehensive late news option at 9 p.m. We have been wanting to add a 9 p.m. news for a while, and we think the time is right and Howard is the perfect addition to our newsteam,” said Kristina Lockwood, KHON2 general manager. “We are committed to serving the viewers of Hawaii and providing more local news content both on-air and online.”

“I‘m excited about coming back to KHON2,” Dashefsky said. "I still have great passion for television news and look forward to teaming up once again with some great friends including Joe (Moore, KHON2 anchor). He and I worked together more than 20 years ago. I’m excited to be working together again, and to have his support is immeasurable.“

Moore calls Dashefsky a tremendous addition to the news team. “Howard‘s a class act, and I‘m delighted my old pal is rejoining us,“ he said.

“In recent years, Dashefsky developed a communications consulting business, served as a writer, producer and host for his Emmy-award-winning show “Sports People Hawaii,“ and served as an on-air personality for OC Sports.

Former Reporter Returns Across the Street as The Deuce

Former KSAT Reporter Jennifer Dodd is returning to San Antonio TV news, but she is doing so across the street at KENS.

She also won't be on air. 

Dodd is going behind the scenes and will work as KENS’ new Assistant News Director.

KENS News Director Triston Sanders said she’s happy to have Dodd on her team. “She is a familiar face to San Antonio viewers,” Sanders wrote in an e-mail, adding: “Her role as the ‘Eyewitness News’ assistant news director is of critical importance. We are happy to have her knowledge of this unique and growing city.

She starts August 25th. 


Hey ESPN......Little Late Aren't We?

ESPN finally did something that they should done days ago.

They suspended Stephen A. Smith for his comments.

ESPN says that have removed Smith from  programming for about a week in the wake of controversial remarks the popular host made about women and domestic violence.

Variety reports that Smith's controversial comments came last Friday when, during a discussion of the NFL’s two-game suspension of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice over allegations he beat his fiancée. Smith suggested that victims of abuse might also be responsible for provoking it. “In Ray Rice’s case, he probably deserves more than a two-game suspension, which we both acknowledged,” he said. “But at the same time, we also have to make sure that we learn as much as we can about elements of provocation. Not that there’s real provocation, but the elements of provocation.”

The remarks drew the ire of ESPN personality and host Michelle Beadle, who took to Twitter to voice her concern about what Smith had said.  Beadle’s tweets illustrate the divisive nature of the Smith remarks, as it is likely rare for one ESPN host to take on another in a social-media venue.

“ESPN announced today that Stephen A. Smith will not appear on First Take or ESPN Radio for the next week.  He will return to ESPN next Wednesday,” the Walt Disney-owned outlet said in a statement.

Ummmmmm.... well I guess better late than never.

Bumped Up at NBC News

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NBC News announced that Madeleine Haeringer has been promoted to Executive Producer of International News. 

In her new role, she will manage the editorial agenda for NBC’s foreign news coverage as well as continue to lead Richard Engel’s production unit (talk about a busy job).

Here is the internal note to staff from David Verdi, SVP of Newsgathering:

I am pleased to announce that Madeleine Haeringer has been promoted to Executive Producer of International News.  In this expanded role, Madeleine will manage the overall editorial agenda for the network’s foreign news coverage, and identify and develop our long-range international story planning. She will also continue to lead Richard Engel’s production unit as well as maintain oversight of our Olympics news coverage. Madeleine will continue to report to me and will work closely with Adrienne Mong, our Director of International News Gathering, to shape and drive NBC News’ international reporting across all platforms.  

Madeleine spent more than a decade in the field covering wars, revolutions, and political transitions around the world.  She was part of our award winning team covering the tumultuous events of the 2011 Arab Spring, including the revolutions that toppled the entrenched regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya.  As Richard Engel's lead producer covering the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Madeleine earned almost every major broadcast journalism award, including six News & Documentary Emmy Awards, five Edward R. Murrow Awards, two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, a Peabody Award,  and an Overseas Press Club Award.  Most recently, Madeleine oversaw NBC's in-depth coverage of the election of Pope Francis, the death of Nelson Mandela, and the Sochi Olympics.

I am certain that we have the best international team in the business and, under the leadership of Madeleine and Adrienne, we are poised to produce the most compelling journalism from all over the world for our audiences here at home.   Please join me in congratulating Madeleine in her new role.


Cox Moving Another Anchor to Jacksonville

When WTEV/WAWS decided to blow out all their anchors, so far the station is bringing in replacement anchors from other Cox properties. 

FTVLive told you back on the 16th of this month that Action News Jax has hired John Bachman from sister station WSB in Atlanta.

Now word comes that the Jacksonville station has readied another Cox station for a female anchor hire. Tenneco Smith will be leaving Charlotte's WSOC to join WAWS/WTEV.

Let's go to the made up quotes by the Creative Services Department:

“Tenikka is an exceptional storyteller,” said Bob Longo, news director of WAWS/WTEV. “She’s both smart and talented and has a knack for finding the exact right emotional tone to communicate those stories to viewers so they get the most from them. Whether it’s on the set anchoring or in the field reporting, Tenikka always works to deliver the newest details and information that matters to them.

"I am very excited to join the CBS47 and FOX30 Action News family as we continue our mission to provide viewers quality coverage and original content,” Tenikka said. “My husband and I look forward to being a part of the community and calling Jacksonville home."

Really? She has never worked at the station, yet she wants to help "continue our mission"?

Who makes up this crap?

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