Bianna Golodryga Departs ABC News For Yahoo, Paula Faris Joins ‘Good Morning America’ Weekend Anchor Team
‘Katie’ EP Rachel Miskowiec Joining ‘Good Morning America’ As EP At 8 AM; Chris Vlasto Upped To VP At 7
Chris Vlasto has been promoted to executive producer of Good Morning America’s 7 AM hour. Rachel Miskowiec — most recently exec producer of Disney’s soon-to-be-defunct syndicated talk show Katie – is joining ABC News as executive producer of the program’s 8 AM hour.
This morning’s memo to staff from Tom Cibrowski, senior exec producer of GMA:
ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer told World News viewers tonight that she is taking a new role at the division at the end of the summer, then welcomed incoming World News anchor David Muir to the set. “What a humbling day this has been for me,” Muir said, then began to reminisce about his childhood dream of being a reporter alongside Sawyer. “There have been so many stories … Bin Laden captured and killed, collecting our thoughts in Joplin,” he remembered fondly, reiterating that she is “the captain here.” He added, “You and I have so much planned.”
1) Diane Sawyer likes to go out on top. ABC World News won the May sweep in the news demo – the newscast’s first sweep demo win in more than six years. Last time ABC’s newscast won a sweep was February of ’08, with Sawyer’s predecessor, Charles Gibson. Sawyer took over the show in December of ’09. “Look at Diane’s career – she always likes to go out on top,” said one industry observer. “She won the May book, why not go out on top – that’s very typical of her,” said another.
2) ABC News is trying to split the baby. Giving to David Muir the World News chair, while naming Chief Anchor title and giving him Sawyer’s chair during breaking news events and specials (presidential election coverage, etc.) had navel lint gazers trying to figure out “who won.” Some say Stephanopoulos got “passed over,” but others dismiss that as old school, noting Stephanopoulos co-anchors the news division’s morning show, which is more important these days. (Matt Lauer, the reigning king of morning infotainment TV recently re-signed at NBC’s Today for more than $20 million a year, which eclipses the reported $12 mil a year Sawyer has been making). George Stephanopoulos to the new …
This morning, as ABC News announced Diane Sawyer was stepping down from her anchor gig — David Muir takes the chair during the evening news, but George Stephanopoulos gets the throne for all breaking news broadcasts and specials as ABC News’s Chief Anchor — the three tweeted out their spins on the situation. Extra points if you guessed David Muir is having an incredibly humbling day.
— David Muir (@DavidMuir) June 25, 2014
— GeorgeStephanopoulos (@GStephanopoulos) June 25, 2014
— Diane Sawyer (@DianeSawyer) June 25, 2014
Diane Sawyer Stepping Down As ‘ABC World News’ Anchor, David Muir New Anchor, George Stephanopoulos Named Chief Anchor Of ABC News
Diane Sawyer will lead “new programming,” the network said, “tackling big issues and extraordinary interviews.” George Stephanopoulos, who anchors Good Morning America and This Week, will add the title Chief Anchor of ABC News — he will be the chief anchor during all special reports and breaking news. David Muir, who has anchored newsmag 20/20 since 2013 as well as the weekend newscast, will become anchor and managing editor of World News starting September 2.
ABC News has snagged NBC News’s Subrata De to become VP of Multi-Platform Newsgathering. ABC News President James Goldston announced De’s hire this morning in a memo to staff. De most recently had been exec producer of MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports since January of ’12. Before that, she was producer for NBC News’s Brian Williams. In her new gig, De will have oversight of ABC News’s domestic, foreign, digital and social media newsgathering; the new post is intended to unify the division’s editorial operation—”expanding cooperation across our broadcast and digital platforms to improve our reporting and to use our resources more effectively,” as Goldston explained. The job is an expansion of the one held by Kate O’Brian, until she departed ABC News last year to become president of Al Jazeera America. Today’s announcement also includes news of expanded roles for David Reiter and Wendy Fisher.
More from Goldston’s memo after the jump:
This is the first time in six years that ABC News has won the top network TV honor in the RTNDA’s National Edward R. Murrow Awards. In addition to the prize for the TV division, ABC News took awards for Continuing Coverage and Hard News. ABC News Radio also won the Overall Excellence award in its category. But CBS News walked away with the most awards, five in TV and three radio. They include Best Newscast for CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley, and two for 60 Minutes — Best Video Investigative Reporting and Best Video News Series. NBC News won two awards, one for its coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings and another, to Dateline, for Use of Video. Univision Network News was honored for having the best network television website, and ESPN took the prize for News Documentary and Sports Reporting.
Barbara Walters will interview Peter Rodger, the father of Santa Barbara shooting suspect Elliot Rodger, for an upcoming special edition of ABC’s 20/20. News of the segment with Rodger, a second-unit director on The Hunger Games, will air on an upcoming Special Edition of 20/20 and other ABC News platforms and comes less than a month after Walters appeared on her last episode of The View after 17 years, ending her day-to-day journalism career. On May 23, Elliot Rodger killed six people, injured 13 and then killed himself near the campus of UC Santa Barbara.
Four days after Hillary Clinton was a “surprise guest” on Barbara Walters’ final day on ABC’s The View, the network announced Diane Sawyer would interview Clinton during a one-hour ABC News primetime special on Monday, June 9 at 9 PM, in conjunction with Clinton’s new book, Hard Choices. But, even before that primetime special, excerpts from the interview will air that night on World News With Diane Sawyer at 6:30 PM. Excerpts from that sit-down also will run across other ABC News programs and platforms, including Nightline, ABCNews.com, ABC News Radio, ABC NewsOne and Fusion.
Then, if that’s not enough Clinton, Robin Roberts will have the first live interview with the former Secretary of State, Senator and FLOTUS on ABC’s Good Morning America the next morning, June 10.
Clinton’s book is published by Simon & Schuster – a division of CBS Corp.
ABC News announced a return date for its hospital docu-series franchise, this time called NY Med: Tuesday, June 24 at 10 PM ET. The eight-part series, the news division says, toggles between “the orderly operating rooms of Manhattan’s New York-Presbyterian Hospital – the primary venue for the series – where renowned surgeons perform feats of medical brilliance, and the sometimes hectic trauma wards of Newark’s University Hospital where skilled doctors gallantly struggle to treat a flood of gunshot, stabbing and life-threatening trauma cases”. It’s from the producers of ABC News’ Hopkins, and Boston Med.
“We are thrilled that the team is locked in and that the [Stephanopoulos] deal was done so quickly,” ABC News said this morning. That in marked contrast to the long-running storyline about the division’s talks with GMA regulars Josh Elliott and Sam Champion — both of whom wound up being poached by NBC. Elliott went to NBC Sports and Champion to NBC co-owned The Weather Channel. Lara Spencer, whose contract came up around the same time as Elliott’s and Champion’s, re-signed to GMA in March, and recently was promoted to co-anchor. Elliott and Champion were replaced by Amy Robach and Ginger Zee, respectively.
Stephanopoulos’ contract was not set to expire until the end of the calendar year. But, given the GMA talent churn, the deal was an important one to close for new ABC News chief James Goldston, who is in his second week on the job. Terms of the deal, which sources said locks in Stephanopoulos for more than three years, were not disclosed. “We expect him to remain with us for many, many years,” ABC News said coyly of the anchor, who has been with GMA since 2010. Robin Roberts signed a lucrative deal to remain with GMA last December.
Weekly Column: Few things in this world are more painful than the realization that an estrangement has occurred between two news organizations who had worked amiably together investigating doctors and lawyers squashing benefits claims of miners dying of black lung, at the behest of the coal industry. That is just what has happened after the Center for Public Integrity won a Pulitzer Prize this week for an investigation into this medical travesty, after other organizations had jointly awarded CPI and ABC News for the report. ABC claims CPI threw its staffers under the bus to soak up all the Pulitzer glory; CPI claims ABC News doesn’t deserve to share the Pulitzer because it only parachuted in periodically on the lengthy investigation, produced “sporadic” reports for television — not print — and repeatedly had to be saved from making embarrassing factual errors on its broadcast segments about the investigation.
Meanwhile, White House Correspondents Dinner organizers took on the air of folks being pushed towards dangerous machinery in which they would prefer not to become entangled. That group already has announced it is giving its Edgar A. Poe Award to CPI and ABC News for the black-lung report, specifically because the two organizations “showed how a true collaboration between media partners can break significant new ground on an already well-reported story.” Joel McHale, who’s been booked to provide comedy at that annual black-tie dinner/celebrity petting zoo, is going to have a hard time topping that one for laughs.
ABC made a pro forma announcement this morning, officially naming ABC News SVP James Goldston to replace Ben Sherwood as president of the news division. Last month, when Sherwood was promoted to co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group, following Anne Sweeney’s surprising decision to step down as president of the Disney/ABC Television Group to become a TV director, the list of possible Sherwood replacements read like this:
1) James Goldston
2) James Goldston
3) James Goldston
Goldston’s the guy credited with saving Nightline from oblivion, and turning Good Morning America into the franchise that deposed NBC’s Today as king of the morning show ratings — though Goldston already had been upped to Sherwood’s No. 2 guy, and Tom Cibrowski, who’d worked with Goldston on GMA, had been promoted to GMA chief when the program actually went in for the kill. Discussions about Goldston generally include the expression “golden gut” and he is said to be well-liked in the news division. He’s also considered so valuable to the news operation that discussion of Sherwood-replacement plans didn’t seem to include any other names.
ABC‘s World News With Diane Sawyer posted a video touting the fact it hit 1 million Facebook “likes” and is the only broadcast network newscast that’s grown this season to date in the news demo. NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams is up 5% season to date among ages 18-49 while remaining flat in the older 25-54 news demo. Conversely, Sawyer’s newscast is up 4% in the news demo and flat among 18-49ers. CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley is up 7% in overall viewers but down 5 % in the news demo and 3% with the younger group. Williams newscast is up 8% in total viewers and Sawyer’s is up 3%. Yes, counterintuitively, more people are watching broadcasts evening news this TV season, including an average of 9.52 million watching Williams, 8.34 million watching Sawyer, and 7.27 million watching Pelley. In the news demo, Williams remains the front-runner, standing firm at 2.4 million 25- to 54-year-old viewers; Sawyer’s now up to 2.19 million and Pelley is clocking 1.81, season to date.
UPDATE, 6:40 AM: GMA gang this morning told viewers that Josh Elliott is leaving the show to go to work for NBC Sports, marking the second successful poaching of a GMA cast member by NBCU, and that he would be replaced as news anchor by Amy Robach, who was on the scene – Elliott himself was on “vacation.” Meanwhile, over at NBC, Al Roker publicly congratulated Elliot, via Twitter, for his “conscious uncoupling” from GMA/ABC. Watch here:
ABC US News | ABC Business News
UPDATE, 6:30 AM: Josh Elliott‘s former Good Morning America colleague Sam Champion weighed in this morning on Elliott’s announced exit from the ABC morning infotainment show to go to work for NBC Sports. Champion, who was also poached by NBCU and now works at The Weather Channel, called it “a great opportunity for Josh’s heart,” adding, “I know that fans of GMA are not loving it.” Watch here:
PREVIOUS, SUNDAY PM: After an intense negotiation with ABC News, Good Morning America news anchor Josh Elliott is leaving the network for NBC Sports. ABC News wasted no time in announcing his replacement: Amy Robach, who has been part of the GMA team for some time, including filling in for Robin Roberts at various moments when she was out for medical reasons. Elliott, who had been making about $1.2 million salary at GMA, turned down an offer to stay with the show for $4-$5 million. After his fellow anchor Lara Spencer nailed down a lucrative multiyear contract Thursday, Elliott raised his ask to $10 million a year. With Elliott, NBC is getting a strong sports guy — a next generation Bob Costas — who previously worked at ESPN. Per the terms of Elliott’s exit, he cannot appear on NBC’s Today for six months according to people familiar with the situation. Elliott is the second member of the ensemble team that put GMA in first place in the morning show ratings race, and to depart for an NBCUniversal property. In December, NBCU successfully poached longtime GMA weatherman Sam Champion who is now a bigwig at their Weather Channel. In much the same way they did today, ABC announced Champion’s replacement, Ginger Zee, minutes after it was reported that he was leaving. In the wake of Champion’s departure, GMA has scored some of its highest ratings ever.
UPDATE, 1 PM: That didn’t take long. ABC News has promoted special correspondent and substitute anchor Juju Chang to co-anchor of Nightline joining fellow anchors Dan Harris and Dan Abrams. News division president Ben Sherwood sent a memo to staff announcing the changes today, bidding a fond farewell to McFadden. Check out the full memo below the original story.
PREVIOUS, 12:31 PM: ABC‘s Nightline co-anchor Cynthia McFadden has departed for NBC News, where she will become senior legal and investigative correspondent. McFadden spent the past 20 years at ABC News as an anchor and correspondent before being named a correspondent for the network’s late-night news broadcast. She has served as Nightline’s co-anchor for the past nine years. Based in New York, McFadden will join the NBC News investigative unit and she will contribute across all broadcasts and platforms of NBC News. “Cynthia McFadden is a rare talent — passionate about journalism, compassionate in her view of the world, truly gifted in the art of storytelling,” NBC News chief Deborah Turness said in today’s announcement. Said McFadden: “While it is not easy leaving the Nightline anchor chair, the opportunity NBC offered to make a deep dive into the kind of reporting I am most passionate about — legal and investigative — was just too appealing to resist,” McFadden said.
Incoming Disney/ABC TV Group President Ben Sherwood On Getting The Big Job, His Learning Curve & ABC Topper Paul Lee
It has been a whirlwind of three months for Ben Sherwood. In December, he signed a new long-term contract with ABC News, which he had led since December 2010. Now he has been given the keys to a much bigger Disney TV kingdom, named the successor to Anne Sweeney as co-chairman, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group. “It was as quick as it seems,” Sherwood said of the hiring process. He said he learned the surprising news that Sweeney would be stepping down in February 2015 to become a TV director along with everyone else when she and Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger made the announcement less than two weeks ago. “There was a very clear succession plan,” Sherwood said. “(Iger) had a number of conversations with people internally and reached the decision pretty quickly.” However, Sherwood acknowledges that the plan may have been hatched over the six-month period in which Iger and Sweeney had been discussing her exit before making it public.
Sherwood could be working with ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee, who had been negotiating a new contract, something Sherwood welcomes. “I’ve worked with Paul for the past few years, and I know he is an incredibly bright and talented guy,” Sherwood said. “He’s had share of hits and is primed for more, and I’m really excited about this development cycle.”
As for his own replacement atop ABC News, “we follow the same blueprint and have a robust succession process,” Sherwood said, noting that “we have a deep bench at ABC News.” He called fining a successor “a top priority.”
“Honored” by the new job, Sherwood said he plans to approach it as a journalist in the next 12 months when he will be learning the ropes as a co-president (and understudy) to Disney/ABC Television Group alongside Sweeney. “I have a great deal of curiosity, and, as a journalist, I’ll be asking a lot of questions, I’ll be digging deep and learning a lot.” He has ideas he wants to bring to the job overseeing a portfolio of networks but declined to share them. “I approach this with humility, and I think it would presumptuous for me to lay out particular ideas,” he said.
With ABC News chief Ben Sherwood named today to replace Anne Sweeney as president of Disney/ABC Television Group, betting money is on James Goldston, senior vice president of ABC News, stepping in to replace Sherwood at the helm of the news division. ABC News declined to comment.
Goldston’s the guy credited with saving Nightline from oblivion, and turning Good Morning America into the franchise that deposed NBC’s Today as king of the morning show ratings — though Goldston already had been upped to Sherwood’s No. 2 guy, and Tom Cibrowski, who’d worked with Goldston on GMA, had been promoted to GMA chief when the program actually went in for the kill. Discussions about Goldston generally include the expression “golden gut” and he is said to be well-liked in the news division. He’s also considered so valuable to the news operation that discussion of Sherwood-replacement plans don’t seem to include any other names.