R.I.P. ‘60 Minutes’ Producer Adrian Taylor

By | Friday March 21, 2014 @ 12:55pm PDT

138The Peabody- and Emmy-winning producer of CBS’ 60 Minutes died today of complications from pancreatic cancer at Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, NJ. Adrian “Clem” Taylor was 60. He won the Peabody Award last year for his uplifting 60 Minutes segment about an improbable orchestra in the heart of the Congo, broadcast on Easter Sunday 2012. It also won an Emmy, one of eight he earned during his career. Born in in Doylestown, PA, Taylor spent nearly 20 years at CBS News, the last four at 60 Minutes. He held a variety of producing jobs in the news division, rising to Senior Producer for The Early Show in the late 1990s. Before that, he was a producer in Washington, Dallas, and New York, and traveled to more than 20 countries for the network. His years assigned to the White House during the Reagan administration had Taylor covering many of the most important news stories of the 1980s, including the summit of Presidents Reagan and Gorbachev in Reykjavik, Iceland. He also worked for a decade at ABC News, where he produced reports for Primetime Live, 20/20, and the broadcast What Would You Do? He also produced for Fox News, CNBC and ESPN.

Related:
R.I.P. Bill McLaughlin
R.I.P. Newsman Bruce Dunning

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Bill Whitaker Joins ‘60 Minutes’ As Correspondent

By | Thursday March 6, 2014 @ 12:15pm PST

BillWhitakerCBS News has named veteran Bill Whitaker a 60 Minutes correspondent, it was announced today by Jeff Fager, the executive producer of the newsmag and the chairman of CBS News. Whitaker, who has been based in Los Angeles, will move to the New York area and begin appearing in the fall on the CBS newsmagazine, which is America’s most-watched news program. The newsmag got nicked in its reputation when Lara Logan took  a leave in the wake of the program’s since-discredited story on the Benghazi attacks. Read More »

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CBS’ ‘60 Minutes’ Posts ‘American Hustle’ Swindler’s 1981 Interview With Mike Wallace: Video

By | Wednesday February 26, 2014 @ 12:01pm PST

In advance of Sunday’s Oscars, CBS News has posted a 60 Minutes Overtime “Rewind” — Mike Wallace’s April 12, 1981 interview with real-life self-described swindler Mel Weinberg, who was portrayed by Christian Bale in American Hustle, which has a total of 10 Oscar noms, … Read More »

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UPDATE: Sochi Olympics’ Second Sunday Ratings Dip From Vancouver 2010, Up From Torino 2006 But Down From Last Week

By | Monday February 17, 2014 @ 12:55pm PST

nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821UPDATE, 12:55 PM:  A week and a half into the Winter Games for NBC, the Olympics ratings ranking is looking ice clear – Sochi 2014 is no Vancouver 2010 but it’s basically even with Torino 2006. Up from the 9.6/17 national household rating and 17.1 million viewership lows of Saturday, the final numbers give last night’s tape-delayed 7 PM-11 PM Olympics broadcast a 12.1/9 rating and an average audience of 21.3 million. That’s down 8% and 8.5% respectively from the virtually live comparable night of the virtual Vancouver 2010 games with their 13.2/21 rating and 23.3 million viewers. Compared to 8 years ago, NBC’s Sochi 2014 is up a slender 4% from the 11.6/18 rating that the Torino Games drew on the second Sunday of the 2006 Games. Last night’s NBC coverage was also up almost 10% in viewership from the 19.2 million that the Torino games had on the comparable night. Looking back at the first Sunday of the 2014 Games, last night’s household rating is down 15% from the 14.3/23 of February 9. Last Sunday’s total viewership was 26.3 million – almost 20% more than last night’s result. Among the key adults 18-49 demographic NBC’s Sochi Games coverage is down 15% from Vancouver 2010 so far and 3% from Torino 2006, while down 12% in total viewers from the former and up a touch from the latter.

Related: Bob Costas Discusses Twitter-Trending Eye & Return To Air

PREVIOUS, 8:49 AM: After hitting ratings lows on Valentine’s Day and Saturday, NBC ’s Sochi Olympics coverage was up a bit last night. With Matt Lauer sitting in again for still ailing but about-to-return Bob Costas, the network’s tape-delayed primetime broadcast drew a 4.8/13 rating and 21.1 million viewers according to early fast nationals. That’s down 19% and 9%, respectively, from the 5.9/14 rating and 23.3 million viewers who watched the comparable night of the Vancouver Games on February 21, 2010. It is also down 30% from the 6.9/18 and the audience of 25.42 million that NBC lauer feb 16pulled in on the first Sunday of the Sochi Games on February 9. However, with ice dancing, skiing, and snowboarding on-air, last night’s ratings are up from the Sochi-low 4.2/13 rating and 16.58 million viewers that NBC saw in fast nationals Saturday, and the 19.08 million viewers and a 4.5/19 rating the network received on the traditionally low-watched February 14. Right now, NBC’s Sochi coverage is down 15% overall in the demo in comparable days to Vancouver and 3% from Torino 2006.

Related: NBC Asks Bode Miller To Defend Reporter Ripped For Bringing Him To Tears

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Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Unveils ‘Octocopter’ Drone Delivery Plan, Floors ’60 Minutes’ Crew: Video

By | Sunday December 1, 2013 @ 7:10pm PST

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had the 60 Minutes gang agog on Sunday night’s program when he surprise-announced Amazon’s plan to build an army of delivery drones that will drop purchases at your doorstep within 30 minutes. Here’s anchor Charlie Rose and the … Read More »

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Deadline’s Best TV Stories Of The Week

By | Saturday November 30, 2013 @ 2:27pm PST

Family Guy BrianA Dog Mystery: Is ‘Family Guy’s Brian Gone?
By Nellie Andreeva Family Guy fans are up in arms this morning over the shocking death of the show’s talking dog Brian, hit by a car in last night’s episode. There is already a petition calling for the dog’s resurrection. While Brian was definitely positively dead and buried by the Griffins in the episode, some fans are suspicious.

MSNBC’s Next Headache: What To Do About Martin Bashir
By Lisa de Moraes MSNBC‘s joint announcement today with Alec Baldwin’s camp that they had mutually decided to end Baldwin’s Up Late interview show leaves the cable news network with just one on-air talent headache: Martin Bashir, whose apology for graphic comments he made about Sarah Palin hasn’t ended chatter as to whether he should be punished.

alec baldwinAlec Baldwin Won’t Be ‘Up Late’ On MSNBC Any More
By Lisa de Moraes MSNBC and Alec Baldwin‘s camp announced jointly that Baldwin’s Friday show is toast: “We are jointly confirming that Up Late will not continue on MSNBC,” MSNBC and Baldwin rep Matthew Hiltzik said. Added MSNBC: “This is a mutual parting and we wish Alec all the best.”

’60 Minutes’ Benghazi Fallout: Lara Logan, Producer Take Leave Of Absence
By Lisa de Moraes Lara Logan, the reporter behind 60 Minutes‘ now-discredited story on the Benghazi attacks, has agreed to take a leave of absence from CBS News. Also taking a leave is producer Max McClellan. Read More »

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‘60 Minutes’ Benghazi Fallout: Lara Logan, Producer Take Leave Of Absence

By | Tuesday November 26, 2013 @ 11:07am PST

Lara Logan, the reporter behind 60 Minutes‘ now-discredited story on the Benghazi attacks, has agreed to take a leave of absence from CBS News. Also taking a leave is producer Max McClellan. The move comes after an internal investigation was released today and an announcement to staffers by CBS News chairman and 60 Minutes exec producer Jeff Fager in a memo obtained by Deadline, and included in this post. Also obtained is the full summary of findings by Al Ortiz, CBS News’ Executive Director of Standards and Practices.

It’s unclear whether the report and Fager’s memo will placate media critics, who were skeptical of the steps CBS was taking, in re the botched 60 Minutes segment, before even knowing the results. Two Sundays ago, media-centric Sunday shows on cable news networks CNN and Fox News Channel, weighed in, and neither show was impressed with the idea of a CBS internal review of the newsmag’s Benzhazi segment, which CBS News had said was reported out for a year, based on bum information given by a now discredited security contractor who’d written a now-discredited book about the incident for CBS’ publishing division. Some of the talking heads on those shows noted CBS News exec producer Al Ortiz will take the now-dlsclosed results of his investigation into the failure of 60 Minutes exec producer Fager to the chairman of CBS News — Fager. “60 Minutes needs to re-report this story and share the results with the public,” advised CBS News alum Terence Smith on CNN’s Reliable Sources. Lara Logan’s day of apologizing “isn’t enough,” chimed in Fox News’ MediaBuzz host Howard Kurtz, who also called for an outside investigation, adding his boilerplate “We all make mistakes — myself included.” Contacted for comment, a CBS News rep told Deadline today, “The 60 Minutes journalistic review is concluded, and we are implementing ongoing changes based on its results.”

Logan has won multiple awards including Emmys and is CBS News’ Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent based in DC. She has contributed to 60 Minutes and CBS News since 2002; in 2011, while on assignment in Egypt, she was sexually assaulted in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and spent four days in the hospital — then told the story of the attack in a 60 Minutes segment.

Here’s Fager’s memo about the decision:

By now most of you have received the report from Al Ortiz about the problems with the 60 Minutes story on Benghazi.

There is a lot to learn from this mistake for the entire organization. We have rebuilt CBS News in a way that has dramatically improved our reporting abilities. Ironically 60 Minutes, which has been a model for those changes, fell short by broadcasting a now discredited account of an important story, and did not take full advantage of the reporting abilities of CBS News that might have prevented it from happening.

As a result, I have asked Lara Logan, who has distinguished herself and has put herself in harm’s way many times in the course of covering stories for us, to take a leave of absence, which she has agreed to do. I have asked the same of producer Max McClellan, who also has a distinguished career at CBS News.

As Executive Producer, I am responsible for what gets on the air. I pride myself in catching almost everything, but this deception got through and it shouldn’t have.

When faced with a such an error, we must use it as an opportunity to make our broadcast even stronger. We are making adjustments at 60 Minutes to reduce the chances of it happening again.

There is a lot of pride at CBS News. Every broadcast is working hard to live up to the high standard set at CBS News for excellence in reporting. This was a regrettable mistake. But there are many fine professionals at 60 Minutes who produce some of the very best of broadcast journalism, covering the important and interesting stories of our times, and they will continue to do so each and every Sunday.

Jeff Fager
Chairman, CBS News
Executive Producer, 60 Minutes

Logan was set to host the Committee to Protect Journalists’ annual press freedom awards tonight in New York. She is a board member of the organization. But she was replaced at the last minute by CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley, Politico reports.

Here is Ortiz’s report: Read More »

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Media Critics Scoff At CBS’ Internal Investigation of Botched ‘60 Minutes’ Benghazi Report: Video

By | Monday November 18, 2013 @ 7:59am PST

You know who loves the MSNBC Puts Alec Baldwin’s New Show On Two-Week Suspension After Alleged Homophobic Rant story? CBS News, which is happy for any bright shiny light that distracts media finger-waggers from its botched 60 Minutes Benghazi report. Unfortunately, the two media-centric Sunday shows, on cable news networks CNN and Fox News Channel, weighed in anyway, though no damning new revelations or accusations came to light. Neither show was impressed with CBS’ internal review of the newsmag’s Benzhazi segment, which CBS News has said was reported out for a year. It was based on bum information given by a now discredited security contractor who’d written a now-discredited book about the incident for CBS’ publishing division. Some of Sunday’s talking heads noted CBS News exec producer Al Ortiz will be taking the results of his investigation into the failure of 60 Minutes exec producer Jeff Fager to the chairman of CBS News — Jeff Fager. “60 Minutes needs to re-report this story and share the results with the public,” advised CBS News alum Terence Smith on CNN’s Reliable Sources. Lara Logan’s day of apologizing “isn’t enough,” chimed in Fox News’ MediaBuzz host Howard Kurtz, who also called for an outside investigation, adding his boilerplate “We all make mistakes — myself included.”

Related: ’60 Minutes’ Wraps Ups With Another Apology For Botched Benghazi Report

Watch both shows: Read More »

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WME Signs ‘CBS Evening News’ Anchor Scott Pelley

By | Wednesday November 13, 2013 @ 11:27am PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Scott Pelley is a star 60 Minutes correspondent and landed the anchor chair at a broadcast nightly newscast without an agent. Imagine what he can do with one. The CBS Evening News anchor and … Read More »

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Stephen Colbert Gets Scoop On ‘60 Minutes’ Botched Benghazi Report From “Insider”: Video

By | Tuesday November 12, 2013 @ 10:23am PST

Like you, Stephen Colbert noticed the similarity between how the story of 60 Minutesbotched Benghazi report is playing out, and Aaron Sorkin‘s prescient second-season storyline on HBO‘s The Newsroom.

Here’s the result:

Related: CBS News’ Wraps Up Read More »

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UPDATED: CBS News’ Wraps Up ’60 Minutes’ With Another Apology For Botched Benghazi Report

By | Sunday November 10, 2013 @ 6:05pm PST

UPDATED, SUNDAY 6:05 PM: 60 Minutes ended its report tonight with CBS News’s most detailed account to date of its error in its October 27th broadcast about the attack on the American special mission compound in Benghazi. As she had on CBS This Morning on Friday, Lara Logan delivered the apology. It was Logan who had interviewed security officer Dylan Davies in that October 27th broadcast, in which he described his activities the night of the attack – an account that has now been discredited by an FBI report about the incident. As with her comments on the morning news program, and with 60 Minutes exec producer Jeff Fager (who is also chairman of CBS News), there was no mention as to what steps CBS News will take to determine how the mistake was made, or whether any staffers will be suspended or dismissed.

Related: CBS News Admits Benghazi Attack Report Was “Wrong”: Video

Here is what Logan said:

“We end our broadcast tonight with a correction, on a story we reported October 27th about the attack on the American special mission compound in Benghazi, in which Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed. In the story, a security officer working for the State Department, Dylan Davies, told us he went to the compound during the attack, and detailed his role that night.

“After our report aired, questions arose about whether his account was true, when an incident report surfaced. It told a different story about what he did the night of the attack. Davies denied having anything to do with that incident report, and insisted the story he told us was not only accurate, it was the same story he told the FBI when they interviewed him. On Thursday night, when we discovered the account he gave the FBI was different than what he told us, we realized we had been misled, and it was a mistake to include him in our report. For that, we are very sorry. The most important thing to every person at 60 Minutes is the truth. And the truth is, we made a mistake.” Read More »

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UPDATE: CBS News Admits Benghazi Attack Report Was “Wrong”: Video

By | Friday November 8, 2013 @ 6:40am PST

UPDATE, 6:20 AM: “We were wrong,” 60 Minutes correspondent Lara Logan said on CBS This Morning about the newsmagazine’s report on the Benghazi attack in 2012 that was based on an interview with Dylan Davies, who had worked for the State Department in Libya. “We apologize to our viewers,” she added. The apology comes at the end of a week in which press reports called into question the truth of Davies’ claims in the interview — and a book, published by CBS. That includes new details of an interview Davies did with the FBI after the attack, of which Logan said CBS News was aware but had not seen when it broadcast its segment. Logan said Davies had insisted the FBI interview would corroborate his interview with the newsmag; this week CBS News learned it did not, Logan said. Taking a page from the Crisis Management Handbook, reps for the news division advised reporters the brouhaha was politically motivated earlier in the week. Then, late last night, CBS News issued a statement that it was looking into the new information. The admission of error and apology came 12 hours after that. “We were misled,” Logan told Norah O’Donnell and Jeff Glor. 60 Minutes will apologize on-air this Sunday and set the record straight, she said. Between now and then expect much media ruminating about that other botched 60 Minutes report, on George W. Bush’s National Guard service, helmed by Dan Rather in 2004, and whether this new embarrassment will cost anyone at the news division their jobs.

Here’s the video, followed by the transcript:

Here’s the transcript:

NORAH O’DONNELL: “60 MINUTES” has learned of new information that undercuts its October 27th account of an ex-security officer who called himself Morgan Jones. His real name is Dylan Davies, and he recounted to Lara Logan, in great detail, what he claimed were his actions on the night of the attack on the Benghazi compound. Lara joins us this morning. Lara, good morning. What can you tell us?

LARA LOGAN: The most important thing to every person at “60 MINUTES” is the truth, and today the truth is that we made a mistake. That’s very disappointing for any journalist. It’s very disappointing for me. Nobody likes to admit that they made a mistake, but if you do, you have to stand up and take responsibility and you have to say that you were wrong. And in this case, we were wrong. We made a mistake. And how did this happen? Well, Dylan Davies worked for the State Department in Libya, was the manager of the local guard force at the Benghazi Special Mission compound. He described for us his actions the night of the attack, saying he had entered the compound and had a confrontation with one of the attackers, and that he had seen the body of Ambassador Chris Stevens in a local hospital. And after our report aired, questions were raised about whether his account was real, after an incident report surfaced that told a different story about what he’d done that night. He denied that report and said that he told the FBI the same story he told us. But what we now know is that he told the FBI a different story from what he told us. That’s when we realized that we no longer had confidence in our source, and that we were wrong to put him on air, and we apologize to our viewers.

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CBS Big Winner At News And Documentary Emmy Awards

By | Wednesday October 2, 2013 @ 7:30am PDT

CBS was the big winner at the News and Documentary Emmy Awards ceremony last night, bagging 12 statuettes — more than CNN (3), NBC (2), and ABC (1) combined. PBS was CBS’ closest competition with 9 Emmys, followed by HBO’s 6. Sunday newsmag 60 Minutes scored half of CBS’ statuettes. CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley won 3 Emmys  last night, the total wins for CBS Sunday Morning is 3 and it shared an award with CBS This Morning. (An earlier academy tally had incorrectly placed one of the newscast’s wins in the CBS Sunday Morning column). CBS’ award-winning reports covered a wide range of topics, from SEAL Team 6 to congressional lobbying to Glen Campbell’s farewell tour, to the front lines of Syria’s civil war. Read More »

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CBS Pre-Empting ‘60 Minutes’ For NFL And Primetime Emmy Awards

By | Thursday September 19, 2013 @ 11:21am PDT

CBS announced this morning it will pre-empt 60 Minutes this Sunday for NFL football and the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards. Scrubbing this Sunday’s newsmag edition gives CBS its best hope for starting Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: NBA Finals Game 5 Dips From 2012, ‘Miss USA’ Down

By | Monday June 17, 2013 @ 7:39am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

NBA Finals Ratings Game 5After Game 5 of the NBA Finals last year, the Miami Heat were celebrating a championship. At the same mark this year, LeBron James & Co. are in a very different position, trailing … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Fox Repeats Win Night In Demo, ‘Women’s Concert For Change’ Soft, ’60 Minutes’ Hits Season Low

By | Monday June 3, 2013 @ 9:02am PDT

Amidst a night of almost all encores, Sunday saw the second benefit concert in a week on NBC as the only original on TV besides 60 Minutes. Hosted by Today’s Savannah Guthrie, The Women’s Concert for Change: Live From London (0.8/2) was watched by 2.98 million, which is well below the 8.4 million viewers and 1.9/5 rating for the one-hour live tornado-relief concert Healing In The Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert on May 29. Concert For Change did match the ratings of Fox’s one-hour Rihanna 777 music documentary special May 6. Growing by 14% in adults 18-49 from its first to second hour, Concert For Change won the 10-11 PM time slot up repeats of The Mentalist (0.7/2) and ABC’s new Motive (0.5/2). The concert featured performances from Jennifer Lopez, John Legend, Florence + The Machine and Beyonce and a cameo by Jay-Z, and appearances by Madonna, Jada Pinkett Smith, Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Zoe Saldana, James Franco, Salma Hayek Pinault and Zero Dark Thirty’s Jessica Chastain. Not technically live from London despite its title, the 9-11 PM broadcast was recorded June 1 in London’s Twickenham Stadium. Read More »

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CBS News Twitter Accounts Hacked

By | Saturday April 20, 2013 @ 2:10pm PDT

CBS News confirmed that its 48 Hours and 60 Minutes accounts were compromised earlier today: “We have experienced problems on Twitter accounts of #60Minutes & @48Hours; We apologize for the inconvenience; Twitter is resolving Read More »

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Maggie Smith On ‘60 Minutes’: Video

By | Thursday February 14, 2013 @ 8:53pm PST

The acclaimed actress says she’s never watched Downton Abbey. Why not? “Because it’s frustrating. I always see things that I would like to do differently and think, ‘Oh, why in the name of God did I do that?’” It looks like Smith, who says she’ll watch “when it’s all … Read More »

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Obama And Clinton On ’60 Minutes’: Video

By | Friday January 25, 2013 @ 11:27pm PST

President Barack Obama and outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sat down together for an interview that will air Sunday on CBS’ 60 Minutes. It was their first joint interview and the president’s first sit-down with anyone other than First Lady Michelle Obama. The interview follows Clinton’s grilling in Read More »

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