4th UPDATE, 4:31 PM: NBC, ABC and CBS and cable news networks CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC intend to go early, long and live with the Nelson Mandela memorial tomorrow morning. Broadcasting the NBC Nightly News tonight and Tuesday from Pretoria, Brian Williams will front the network and MSNBC’s coverage of the memorial at Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium starting at 1 AM PT. Among the heads of state in attendance, President Obama, who traveled to South Africa today with the First Lady, is scheduled to speak. Former Presidents Carter, Bush II and Clinton will be there too as will former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Obama will fly back to the U.S. later in the day. ABC’s Good Morning America hosts George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts will anchor their network’s special report coverage at the same time from NYC with Terry Moran and Byron Pitts reporting from South Africa. CBS’ Anne-Marie Green will cover the memorial from New York during the network’s Up To The Minute show in the early hours. All the nets plan to stream the memorial on their websites and platforms.
ABC News and Katie Couric are breaking up. Couric, meanwhile, is close to a deal with Yahoo which would include doing an interview show for the Internet giant. Yahoo, ironically, has a news-sharing contract with ABC News.
ABC News was on the hook for a much smaller portion of Couric’s reported $20 million paycheck with the company than is the syndication operation, with which she has a deal for her daytime talk show Katie. The ABC News gig was seen by some as a vanity thing tacked to her talk show by those who have noted she’s not done much for ABC News in the past year. Anyway, it’s no longer the case that ABC News will be paying part of her paycheck.
“Katie is an incredible journalist and this was an opportunity that she couldn’t pass up. Thanks to the powerful association between ABC News and Yahoo we know that Katie will continue to work closely with us and welcome her on our air anytime,” an ABC News exec with knowledge of the situation told Deadline. Yes, it sounded pretty don’t-let-the-door-hit-you-on-the-way-out to us too.
Couric’s talk show is now in its second — and, it’s been widely speculated for some time, final — season, though syndication axes don’t generally fall until after all November sweep stats are in. The show has been plagued with exec producer changes and shifts in direction since its initial good launch, and station execs are not happy with the product. Most expect the show to end its run after fulfilling its two-year commitment with the ABC Stations in May. There had been speculation that ABC might try to get another year at a lower price while preparing a replacement, but that does not appear likely.
ABC News’ Amy Robach, whose cancer diagnosis after an on-air mammogram made news, says her double mastectomy has revealed a second, previously undetected malignant tumor. “My prognosis is good, I got very lucky finding the cancer through our ABC sponsored mammogram and I got lucky choosing an aggressive approach, bilateral mastectomy, because while in surgery last week my surgeon found a second, undetected malignant tumor,” Robach said today in a memo to Good Morning America staff.
UPDATE, 2:15 PM: When ABC News put out word this morning that Nightline anchor Bill Weir was leaving ABC News for “another opportunity in the news business,” The Reporters Who Cover Television began preparing their “Weir Heads To CNN” reports, figuring there was a high likelihood he would follow colleagues Jake Tapper, Chris Cuomo and John Berman to the cable news network. The development bore the signs of another Amy Entelis strike. Entelis, a 30-year ABC News vet who left as VP Talent and Strategy, and who in January 2012 was named to the newly created position of SVP Talent and Content Development at CNN Worldwide, had been given credit for the hires of the aforementioned ABC News staffers. When, several hours later, CNN made the announcement it had in fact hired Weir as an anchor – without naming any program — as well as Chief Innovation Correspondent, some of those reporters began to pick up Mediaite’s report, citing an unnamed source, that Weir had been promised all, or half, of Piers Morgan’s CNN time slot some time many months from now. CNN issued a statement “Bill Weir was not brought to CNN to replace Piers Morgan.” That seemed to put a lid on it, though some media reports continued to mull Morgan’s future at the network.
“At a time when CNN is expanding the definition of news, the former anchor of ABC News’ Nightline will work with producers to develop original programming across the schedule,” CNN had explained in its Weir announcement. “Bill’s range, sensibility and curiosity set him apart,” chimed in CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker. “He brings a unique storytelling style, perspective and sense of humor to CNN, and he will be a key player as we continue to expand our lineup.”
I’m delighted to share that Erle Norton joins us today as the new Executive Producer of ABC News Digital, overseeing editorial and video operations across ABCNews.com.
Growing ABC News Digital is one of our most important priorities. Erle will work closely with Joe Ruffolo and the product, editorial and video teams to further enhance the editorial experience and to ensure greater integration across all our platforms. And he’s charged with developing our lifestyle, tech and enterprise verticals; continuing to improve the user experience on mobile and tablet devices; and expanding live stream and digital video opportunities.
Emmy-winning former ABC News Deputy Political Director Teddy Davis started his campaign today to become the next Los Angeles councilman for the city’s Fourth District. Stretching from Hancock Park to Hollywood, the district is currently represented by longtime Councilman Tom LeBonge, who can’t run again in 2015 because of term limits. While Davis can’t officially file as a candidate until next November, he did put in paperwork today to be able to start fundraising for the March 3, 2015, election. “It’s Official! I’m running for City Council from the part of LA where I grew up (CD 4),” the Los Feliz-born Davis tweeted today.
I am pleased to announce that Aditi Roy is joining ABC News as a Los Angeles-based correspondent reporting for all our broadcasts and platforms.
For much of the past decade viewers in Philadelphia have watched Aditi anchoring morning and evening newscasts for NBC10. She has done extensive reporting on education issues, focusing on the impact of violence in urban schools along with innovative approaches to boosting achievement. Aditi also spent several months in 2011 and 2012 reporting for NBC News broadcasts from Los Angeles.
Jonathan Greenberger is returning to ABC News as executive broadcast producer of This Week With George Stephanopoulos. He replaces Sandy Cannold, who was upped to exec producer/senior business editor at ABC News earlier in the year. Greenberger will report to Robin Sproul, Washington Bureau Chief and executive in charge of This Week. Greenberger, who started at ABC News as an intern in its political unit, last year served as a senior producer on the broadcast when it re-launched with Stephanopoulos’ return in the anchor chair. Greenberger left briefly to finish getting his law degree and recently received his JD from Stanford Law School. ABC News chief Ben Sherwood’s memo to staff: