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ESPN Leads All Networks With 30 Sports Emmy Noms, Fox In Second Place

By | Wednesday March 26, 2014 @ 3:20pm PDT

imgresIt’s an awards ceremony that’s will see Ted Turner take home a Lifetime Achievement Award and ESPN hard pressed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. With a lead almost double its nearest competitor, the cable channel scored 30 noms from NATAS today as the 35th Annual Sports Emmy Emmy__120829153557-e1346254570840Awards nominations were announced. Fox is in second place with 18 noms, while HBO  has 15, NBC and NBC Sports Network pulled in 14 nominations each and MLB Network got a lucky 13. Overall, ESPN’s various channels and platforms got 46 noms while NBC Sports Group snagged 33 and CBS-owned channels got 18 nominations. The Sports Emmys has 39 categories including Outstanding Live Sports Special, Outstanding Live Sports Series, Outstanding Playoff Coverage, Outstanding Sports Documentary and Outstanding Sports Journalism. Coming off a Winter Olympics in which he was laid low by an eye infection, NBC’s Bob Costas is nominated in the Sports Personality – Studio Host Category along with CBS/Showtime’s James Brown, CBS’ Greg Gumbel, Golf Channel’s David Feherty and network multitasker Dan Patrick, who appears on NBC, NBCSN and DirecTV. With America’s Cup winner, former Atlanta Braves owner and CNN founder Turner getting the Lifetime Achievement honor, the Sports Emmys winners will be announced May 6 at the Time Warner Center in NYC. In the meantime, check out the full list of nominations here.

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NBC The Star Of Its Really Big Sochi Moments

By | Monday February 24, 2014 @ 8:05am PST

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198What with the recently wrapped Winter Olympics competition results being known well in advance of  NBC‘s various Olympics broadcasts, and the United States coming in fourth in number of gold medals scored, behind Russia (13), Norway (11), and Canada (10) (U.S. was No. 2  in overall medal count, behind Russia), many of NBC’s most buzz-worthy Sochi moments were all about — NBC. Which, presumably, is the future of broadcast network primetime Games coverage. How successful was NBC? Here’s a look at the 4 Big NBC Moments At Sochi:

Pinkeye

“I’m Bob Costas, sitting in tonight forcostas24 Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira,” Costas joked when he finally returned as NBC’s Primetime Games anchor after six days on the sick list while doctors treated his Twitter-trending double eye infection. The incident was historic, because it broke Costas’ 14-year Olympic anchoring streak and Vieira became the first woman ever to get the gig, if only temporarily.

Bode Miller’s Tears

When Olympian Bode Miller doubled over weeping as NBC peppered him with questions about his dead brother, after winning the Super-G bronze medal, social media response was savage. NBC Olympics EP Jim Bell insisted it would have been “irresponsible” of the network not to have asked bodemiller1Miller about his brother, who died in April, after setting up that storyline before Bode’s run. But what saved NBC, ironically, was Miller coming to the network’s rescue the next morning on Today show, saying interviewer Christin Cooper is “a sweetheart of a person” who he knows “didn’t mean to push” adding, “I do not blame her at all. I feel terrible that she’s taking the heat for that.” For years NBC has used this super-personal strategy in its Olympics coverage, thinking it connects viewers with the athletes and the Games. Also at Sochi, Meredith Vieira asked silver medalist Noelle Pikus-Pace about a miscarriage she suffered a few years ago and the role it played in her decision to come back from Olympics retirement. Read More »

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UPDATE: TJ Quinn Filling In Tonight For Keith Olbermann At ESPN

By | Thursday February 20, 2014 @ 2:07pm PST

UPDATE, 2:07 PM: ESPN responded to a question asking what is the plan while Keith Olbermann is out sick with a statement from Olbermann: “I’m day to day. We’re all day to day.” We hear Quinn is filling in — at least tonight.

keith-olbermann_20110705164910PREVIOUS, 11:50 AM: First Bob Costas was felled by pink eye – now Keith Olbermann has succumbed to shingles. Viewers who learned the ESPN host was out Wednesday night may have thought “here we go again” but Olbermann took to Twitter today to assure them he’s not engaged in another death match with his employer – he’s suffering from shingles, suggesting it was fate’s way of punishing him for falling out of the 25-54 demographic last week when he celebrated his 55th birthday. Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash and that is itself caused by the chickenpox virus that stays in the body for years. In 2003, CBS late night star David Letterman was out for about a month with shingles.

Olbermann’s tweets: Read More »

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UPDATE: Bob Costas Makes Return To NBC Olympics Coverage With Joke and Apology

By | Monday February 17, 2014 @ 5:10pm PST

SochiOlympicsNBCUPDATE, 5 PM PT: “Welcome to NBC’s primetime coverage on this Monday — I’m Bob Costas, sitting in tonight for Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira,” Costas joked at the top of tonight’s NBC primetime Sochi Olympics coverage. He was returning to Games coverage for the first time after nearly a week off while doctors treated an infection in both of his eyes. A few moments later, more seriously, he offered “sincere thanks to Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira – two friends and true pros who stepped in for me on short notice. My thanks as well to all of you who expressed your concern, and my apologies to everyone for the unavoidable but uncomfortable circumstance of a broadcasters ill-timed affliction getting in the way, even for just a few moments, for what we all came here for – the Olympic Games.”

Related: Sochi Olympics’ Second Sunday Ratings

PREVIOUS, 12:02 PM:  “Our long nightmare is over,” NBC Olympics EP Jim Bell said this morning to kick off a phone conference call with the media in re Bob Costas’ return to the network’s primetime Sochi Olympics coverage. Costas returned to the NBC Olympics studios at the International Broadcast Center in Sochi, Russia, on Sunday to prepare to resume his primetime and late-night hosting duties tonight. Costas is better, but his eye condition still is  noticeable and he will wear glasses again. On today’s phone call, Costas joked of his eyes, “It won’t look as bad as it did the last night I was on the air, and probably it will look better 10 days from now — but the Olympics will be over.” His absence, since last Tuesday, ended his streak of 157 consecutive appearances as NBC’s Olympics anchor in primetime; it was the first time since 1988 that Costas had not hosted the primetime coverage. Read More »

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Deadline’s Best TV Stories Of The Week

By | Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 5:47pm PST

Miss Deadline’s top TV stories? Catch up on the week now:

Bob Costas Olympics returnBob Costas Returns To Sochi Olympics Coverage Monday (Photo)
By Lisa De Moraes – Bob Costas returned to the NBC Olympics studios at the International Broadcast Center in Sochi, Russia, today to prepare to resume his primetime and late night hosting duties tomorrow night.

‘Snake Salvation’ Star Dead From Snake Bite; NatGeo To Air Tribute Episode
By Jen Yamato – With the first season fully filmed National Geographic had no plans for a second season of Snake Salvation, says a network rep. Now in the wake of Jamie Coots‘ death NatGeo is working up a special tribute episode “so people can understand Pastor Jamie and his method of worship and see that he died doing what he believed was his calling.”

Actors Added To Fox’s Matt Hubbard, ABC’s Jeff Lowell Comedy Pilots
By Nellie Andreeva – Ely Henry (Suburgatory) and Asif Ali have been cast as leads in Cabot College, Fox‘s multi-camera comedy pilot from Matt Hubbard, Tina Fey and Robert Carlock.

Ralph WaiteR.I.P. ‘The Waltons’ Patriarch Ralph Waite
By The Deadline Team – The man who played the patriarch on CBS’ long-running series The Waltons has died. Ralph Waite was 85. He also had been recurring since 2008 as Papa Gibbs, the father of Mark Harmon’s character, on NCIS.

Greta Gerwig To Topline CBS’ ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Spinoff
By Nellie Andreeva – Indie darling Greta Gerwig will lead the cast of How I Met Your Dad, CBS’ spinoff from long-running comedy series How I Met Your Mother. Read More »

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Bob Costas Returns To Sochi Olympics Coverage Monday (Photo)

By | Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 11:33am PST

Bob Costas Olympics returnBob Costas returned to the NBC Olympics studios at the International Broadcast Center in Sochi, Russia, today to prepare to resume his primetime and late night hosting duties tomorrow night. Matt Lauer is back tonight as NBC’s Sochi Olympics primetime anchor for one more night before Costas returns to NBC’s air. Costas, who has battled  an infection that began in his left eye and quickly spread to the right  soldiered on the first few days of the network’s Sochi coverage before calling Lauer in from the “bullpen” on Tuesday. In interviews, Costas said the studio lights made it impossible for him to continue working with the eye condition.

Costas is better, but his eye condition is still noticeable and he will wear glasses again tomorrow night, an NBC Sports rep said today. Costas was at the NBC studio in Sochi today for about two hours, seeing how the light affects his eyes and having meetings to discuss his return tomorrow. His absence last week ended his streak of 157 consecutive appearances as NBC’s Olympics anchor in primetime; it was the first time since 1988 Costas had not hosted the primetime coverage.

Lauer last week pulled double duty for three days, co-anchoring Today from Sochi while also filling in for Costas in primetime. Meredith Vieira stepped in Friday and Saturday, becoming the first woman ever to anchor NBC’s Games coverage in primetime.

Related: Read More »

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Matt Lauer Back As Sochi Olympics Primetime Anchor; Bob Costas Still “Day To Day”

By | Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 7:10am PST

Matt Lauer is back as Bob Costas‘ fill-in tonight as NBC’s Sochi Olympics primetime anchor, after Meredith Vieira did the subbing two nights and made TV history. NBC Sports still says nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821Costas is “day to day.” Lauer last week pulled double duty for three days, co-anchoring Today from Sochi while also filling in for Costas in primetime.  Costas  is battling an infection in both eyes. Late last week, Costas told Ryan Seacrest in a radio interview he hoped to be back in the studio over the weekend. That’s not going to happen, which is sure to raise questions as to whether Costas will be able to return to the anchor desk before the Games wrap. Last Friday, NBC’s Olympics EP Jim Bell brushed off press suggestions the network might be ready to  “shut down” Costas as its primetime anchor. “Getting into next week, it may become a topic of conversation, but we’re not there,” Bell said Friday.

This morning, NBC Sports was still saying “day to day” in response to questions about Costas’s condition and odds of return. In various interviews last week, Costas said he feels okay but can’t come back to work because of the specific nature of his eye infection — in some reports suggesting studio lighting, and makeup, may have exacerbated his condition.

Costas continues to deal with the effects of the infection that began in his left eye and spread to his … Read More »

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Meredith Vieira To Anchor Second Night Of NBC’s Primetime Sochi Games Coverage As Bob Costas Recovers

By | Saturday February 15, 2014 @ 8:20am PST

Meredith Vieira will host NBC’sMeredithVieira110913221045-275x275 primetime coverage of the Sochi Olympics again tonight. Last night she made history, becoming the first woman to ever anchor NBC’s primetime Olympics coverage. She’s filling in for Bob Costas, whose nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821eye condition is “improving” but is still “day to day,” NBC Sports told Deadline. Vieira, who’d been brought to Sochi to co-host the Opening Ceremony with Matt Lauer and has since been doing segments for Today on U.S. athletes to watch at the Games, was tapped yesterday to replace Costas as the network’s primetime Games anchor. She took over for Lauer, who’d pulled double duty for three days. Costas still is battling an infection in both eyes that makes studio lighting his enemy, though he too may have made TV history: first anchor on record with Twitter trending eyes.

NBC’s Games EP Jim Bell said in a phoner with the press Friday that Vieira was likely on duty for two nights as Costas continues to recover from pink eye. Bell called her the best choice for the gig among a considerable stable of talent at Sochi because her schedule was most flexible. For a TV veteran whose new syndicated daytime talk show is set to launch in the fall, the Sochi exposure is a gift. Before Costas, former Today anchor Bryant Gumbel served as primetime host of NBC’s Olympic coverage and … Read More »

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UPDATE: Meredith Vieira Steps In For Bob Costas At Sochi Games, Makes TV History

By | Friday February 14, 2014 @ 6:34pm PST

MeredithVieira110913221045-275x275UPDATE, 6:30 PM: “At an Olympics, there is no way to know what will happen at the moment everything matters most — no guarantee you’ll turn all that preparation into perfection,” Meredith Vieira said tonight at the International Broadcast Center in Sochi as she kicked off NBC’s primetime broadcast of Olympics competition held earlier in the day. The comment was particularly appropriate under the circumstances: Vieira, who’d been brought to Sochi to co-host the Opening Ceremony with Matt Lauer and had been doing segments for Today on U.S. athletes to watch at the Games since, was tapped to replace Bob Costas as the network’s primetime Games anchor, taking over for Lauer, who’d pulled double duty for three days. Costas still is battling an infection in both eyes that makes studio lighting his enemy.

Related: Sochi Olympics’ First Wednesday Ratings Free-Fall From 2010

nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821Vieira is on duty for at least one night – possibly two, according to NBC’s Games EP Jim Bell, who called her the best choice for the gig among a considerable stable of talent at Sochi because her schedule was most flexible. For a TV veteran whose new syndicated daytime talk show is set to launch in the fall, the Sochi exposure is a gift. Before Costas, former Today anchor Bryant Gumbel served as primetime host of NBC’s Olympic coverage and was preceded by Curt Gowdy and Bill Henry, making Vieira the first woman to do the job. Hannah Storm, Mary Carillo, Gayle Gardner and Jane Pauley have previously hosted NBC’s daytime and late-night Olympic coverage.

“It’s so funny, I woke up this morning and I was feeling fine, and now my eyes are killing me,” Vieira joshed on Today this morning when her new assignment was announced. “I watched you guys [Lauer and Al Roker] attempt the luge. I think I’m going blind.” Read More »

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Bob Costas Out Third Day At Sochi But Hopes To Return By Weekend; Matt Lauer Back In Primetime Tonight

By | Thursday February 13, 2014 @ 8:44am PST

Bob Costas has had to call in sick a third day at SochiNBC Sports tweeted this morning that Costas, who’d been missing from the past two nbcsochi__131202172913days of Olympics broadcasts owing to a nasty case of pinkeye, will sit out tonight’s primetime coverage. Once again, NBC News’ Matt Lauer will step in. “I’m hoping that I’m back by the weekend and I certainly think I’ll be able to do the second half of the games,” Costas told Ryan Seacrest on his radio program this morning, adding, “The virus, they tell me, won’t run its course for two or three weeks, but the symptoms will crest at their worst and start to get better pretty soon. As soon as the symptoms get to the point where I can be in the studio, I’ll be there.” Seacrest, like Costas, is part of NBCU-parent Comcast’s family — hence the interview going to Seacrest. Comcast calls it “symphony.”

MattLauerCostas, NBC‘s primetime and late-night Olympics anchor, has been absent from NBC’s Games broadcasts since Tuesday, when his Twitter-trending swollen pink eyes forced him into what he called “involuntary” absence. Costas, via telephone, explained on NBC’s Today show his eyes had become so “blurry and watery…and so light sensitive” even dim light caused them to start weeping, making it impossible for him to work in the studio.

Related: … Read More »

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UPDATE: NBC’s Sochi Olympics 5-Day Ratings Even With Vancouver 2010, Leaps Ahead Of Torino 2006

By | Wednesday February 12, 2014 @ 2:25pm PST

nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821UPDATE, 2:25 PM: Maybe Matt Lauer should sit in for Bob Costas more often on NBC’s Olympics primetime coverage. Costas’ eye infection may have taken the veteran Olympics broadcaster out of the chair for a bit but the ratings are moving up for the network. With last night’s results proving a big help, NBC now finds its national household 5-day average of 14.4/23 steady with Vancouver over the same period (14.5/24) and up 13% from the same span at Torino (12.7/20). That’s an apples to apples average counting the 5-days since the Opening Ceremony on February 7 with the same periods from the last two Winter Games. What’s also of note is that the coverage from the Sochi games is tape-delayed while coverage from our nearby West Coast Northern neighbor was essentially live.

Related: NBC Says Olympics Ratings Proves Primetime Strategy Is Working

What made this a real Olympic tie was the final numbers from last night. NBCs Sochi broadcast on Tuesday solidified its best result yet compared to the Vancouver 2010 games. The net’s 8 PM – 11:03 PM coverage scored a 13.7/22 national household rating and averaged 23.7 million viewers. That’s a 12% rise over the national HH ratings on the comparable night of Vancouver 2010 on February 16 that year and a 17% jump in viewership from the 20.3 million who watched that night 4 years ago. In contrast to the last European held Winter Games, NBC surged up 21% over the 11.3/18 result of the similar night of the Torino 2006 Winter Games. Last night’s coverage leaped up 29% from the 18.4 million who watched the network’s prime broadcast 8 years ago.

PREVIOUS, 8:44 AM: The absence of Bob Costas due to an eye infection, his replacement Matt Lauer and no gold medal for U.S. snowboarder Shaun White were the big stories of NBC‘s Olympics primetime coverage last night. Not that those surprises were a bad thing ratingswise: the first Tuesday of the Sochi Games drew a 6.6/18 in preliminary ratings among adults 18-49, up a strong 20% from the 5.5 of the comparable night of the Vancouver Winter Games on February 16, 2010. With more of the ever-popular lauer 1skating, freestyle skiing and women’s luge, NBC’s broadcast Tuesday was watched by 23.7 million, a 16% rise in total viewers over the 20.5 million who watched the same night in Vancouver. The night marked the biggest viewers and demo gains over the Vancouver Games that NBC has seen since it started its Sochi coverage on February 6. Facing repeats and a spattering of originals except on Fox, NBC easily won the night. Fox and Univision tied for the ratings silver with a 1.2/3, while CBS’ encores hooked in 7.76 million viewers

Last night’s Olympics primetime package drew a 14.5/22 in overnight metered-markets, with Minneapolis again proving the No. 1 market with a 21.8/36.  To put things in a bit more context, the first Tuesday of the Vancouver Games garnered a national rating of 12.2/19 with 20.3 million viewers in the final numbers. The comparable night of the Torino 2006 games drew an 11.3/18 national rating. We’ll update with Tuesday’s final numbers when they come in.

Read More »

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Bob Costas Out Another Day As NBC’s Sochi Olympics Primetime And Late-Night Anchor

By | Wednesday February 12, 2014 @ 6:14am PST

Bob Costas, NBC‘s primetime and late-nightnbcsochi__131202172913 Olympics anchor, is out a second day — felled by swollen, weepy eyes. “I don’t know if I’m the first person to break it to you, but you’re coming out of the bullpen again tonight, Matt,” Costas phoned in to Matt Lauer this morning during the What’s Trending portion of Today show in Sochi. Costas and his pink-ish, teary eyes had been trending for a while — Costas having LauerCostas__140212022317-275x155shown up last Thursday to anchor early Games coverage sporting a badly swollen left eye, glasses, and an apology to viewers. Tuesday was a big/bad day for NBC, with both Costas and Shaun White suffering the end of their streaks. White, who NBC had hoped would be its Big Story of the Sochi Games, lost out on his bid for a third consecutive gold in the halfpipe, going home with no medals from Sochi; Costas ended his uninterrupted run as anchor of NBC’s Olympics broadcasts since the late ’80s.

Lauer made his debut asmatt-lauer-2014-winter-olympics (1) fill-in anchor last night, telling viewers Costas’ eyes were so infected he looked like the loser in a prize fight. “How are you doing? So many people are rooting for you and worrying about you a little bit,” Savannah Guthrie asked Costas this morning — after noting Lauer’s  “great reviews” for replacing him. Read More »

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UPDATE: Matt Lauer Shuns Bob Costas’ Vodka-Shot Therapy As He Fills In On NBC’s Primetime Olympics Coverage

By | Tuesday February 11, 2014 @ 6:03pm PST

UPDATE, 5:50 PM PT: SochiOlympicsNBC__131021180345__140123184857“We’re back now with a good opportunity to welcome in our Mary Carillo, and she’s about to bring us our nightly dose of Russian culture and no vodka tonight – please. You saw what happened last night,” Matt Lauer joked tonight as he fills in for Bob Costas on NBC‘s primetime Olympics coverage. LauerCostasHe’s referring to the previous night’s primetime coverage when Costas abandoned NBC doctors’ treatment for his ever-worsening eye infections, and went instead with vodka, telling Carillo during one of her Russian-culture segments as he downed what was billed as a good-ish dose of  the Russian booze: “My eyes can’t get any redder.” Polishing off his drink, he predicted, “Tomorrow morning I’ll be lying on a curb in Minsk.”

PREVIOUS, 4:30 PM PT: “I’m Matt Lauer, in for Bob Costas tonight. If you’ve been following along the last several days you know Bob’s been battling — and that’s an understatement — an eye infection that’s traveled a little bit,” Lauer said at the top of tonight’s NBC primetime coverage of Tuesday competition. ” I saw him in the hotel this morning — he looked a little like the loser in a prize fight.”

Walking up to the primetime coverage, NBC’s evening newscaster Brian Williams told viewers, “Bob Costas took himself out of the lineup for tonight as he deals with that eye infection,” ending a “Ripkin-like iron man streak of 157 straight primetime Olympics broadcasts that goes back to Barcelona in ’92.”

Related: NBC’s Brian Williams Newscast Attracts 16 Million Viewers From Sochi On Sunday

Read More »

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UPDATE: Media Mulls Bob Costas’ Eyes, Johnny Weir’s Blazer At Sochi Olympics (Video)

By | Tuesday February 11, 2014 @ 9:50am PST

2ND UPDATE: 9:30 AM: NBC commentator Johnny Weir’s Tuesday Olympics blazer is being discussed in various outlets as an homage to Bob Costas‘ eyes:

pinkeye

UPDATE, 8:30 AM: NBC has issued a news release about Bob Costas’ decision to end his streak of 157 nightsnbcsochi__131202172913 of Olympics coverage.  The network reiterated what Costas announced this morning on Today: that Matt Lauer will host NBC’s Olympic primetime and late-night shows tonight in place of Costas, who has an eye infection. In the news release, Costas says he bowed out tonight because, “as a practical matter, I simply couldn’t do my job because my eyes had become so blurry, watery and sensitive to light.” He added: “I’m hopeful the symptoms will improve in the next couple of days and I can return to the broadcast. Also, the last thing I want is to go through the rest of my life owing Matt Lauer a bunch of favors.”

bob costasTonight marks the first time since CBS presented the Nagano Olympic Winter Games in 1998 that someone other than Costas will host an Olympics primetime show. It’s also the first time since 1988 that someone other than Costas will host the Olympic primetime show on NBC — a remarkable 157 straight nights. “I’m happy to keep his chair warm. Although I might Purell it before I sit in it!” Lauer said in the announcement, which noted Costas is listed as ‘day to day’ on the NBC injury report.

Costas’ full statement: Read More »

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NBCU Adds Controversial Russian Journalist Vladimir Pozner To Olympics Coverage

By | Wednesday December 11, 2013 @ 8:59am PST

Two days after announcing it had hired New Yorker editor (and former Washington Post Moscow bureau chief) David Remnick to provide SochiOlympicsNBCguest commentary on the network’s air during its coverage of the upcoming Sochi Winter Games, NBCUniversal announced it had hired Moscow-based TV journalist Vladimir Pozner as a correspondent for its Olympics coverage in Sochi. Pozner will appear with Bob Costas on a late-night program, offering a Russian perspective of the Games, the company said.

Vertu Constellation Launch Party In Moscow, Russia to Celebrate The Launch of the New Constellation Touch Screen Handset - Inside“With his deep Russian roots and American upbringing, Vladimir Pozner is uniquely qualified to provide a Russian outlook to our audience during the Sochi Olympics,” said Jim Bell, Executive Producer, NBC Olympics, in this morning’s announcement, calling this “another significant moment in Russia’s history.” Costas, know for his outspoken commentary, recently told The Associated Press he won’t comment on Russia’s so-called “gay propaganda” law that’s causing people to protest NBC’s participation in the upcoming Games because he’s hoping to land an interview with what AP called “responsible people.”

Pozner’s a controversial guy. About  a year ago, Radio Free Europe reported he’d blasted the state of justice in Russia, over the abduction and alleged torture of opposition activist Leonid Razvozzhayev, as well as the prison sentences of Pussy Riot members. He’s not controversy-free in this country either.  Pozner’s U.S. media experience, NBCU noted,  includes co-hosting Pozner/Donahue –  a syndicated weekly, issues-oriented roundtable program that aired on CNBC from 1991-1996 –  and numerous appearances across the landscape, including NBC’s Today, and ABC’s Nightline.

Here’s what Nightline’s original anchor, Ted Koppel had to say, in 2004, about Pozner’s first appearance on the newsmag on January 23, 1980, ” the night of what would turn out to be Jimmy Carter’s last State of the Union Address.” when the Soviet Army had recently invaded Afghanistan…and Carter had some tough things to say about that.

“We turned to someone who was described to us as a Radio Moscow Commentator. His name … Vladimir Pozner,” Koppel said. His comments, on ABC’s website, are followed by an excerpt of Pozner’s appearance on Nightline that night:

POZNER: You realize that I do not agree with what you call an invasion. I’m very happy to have the opportunity to say our viewpoint, and I want to thank you for it.
TED KOPPEL: Please do.
POZNER: The Soviet Union, as you know, has agreements with Afghanistan and sent in military aid at request of the Afghanistan government. We do not see that at all as an invasion. But, as simply, honoring our commitment. And I’d like to make that absolutely clear.

Koppel added, in 2004: “It used to drive my colleague George Will crazy when I introduced Vladimir Pozner as a Soviet Journalist. ‘It’s a contradiction in terms,’ George would insist. ‘The Soviet Union doesn’t have journalists in the sense that we do.’ And he was right.” Read More »

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NBC Signs David Remnick To Handle Russian Politics During Olympics Coverage With Guest Commentary

By | Monday December 9, 2013 @ 7:38am PST

NBC announced how it intends to handle coverage of Russia’s so-called “gay propaganda” law during its coverage of the upcoming Winter nbcsochiOlympics in Sochi: guest commentary. Sorry, Bob Costas. The network announced this morning it has hired New Yorker editor (and former Washington Post Moscow bureau chief) David Remnick to provide guest commentary on the network’s air during its coverage of the Games. Remnick, will contribute to NBC’s coverage of the Opening Ceremony and will offer commentary for NBC News in Sochi, the network said.

“We are facing an Olympics that have a number of issues around them — substantial, meaty, news issues,” NBC’s Olympics exec producer Jim Bell told Sports Illustrated over the weekend. “For us to be able to have an opportunity to address them with someone like David made perfect sense. We would be remiss not to rely on some of the best and brightest minds to help present this to our viewers the right way.”

Added Remnick: “I think they want to have someone who has a familiarity with Russian politics and culture, various controversies, Vladimir Putin and all these questions I have stepped in for a very long time.”  Bell said Remnick will kick off his in-Games commentary during the “creative part” of the opening ceremonies. Remnick served as a Moscow bureau chief for The Washington Post and he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1994 for his book Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days Of The Read More »

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Bob Costas To Helm NBC’s Primetime And Late-Night Olympics Coverage

By | Wednesday November 20, 2013 @ 6:57am PST

Bob Costas will host the network’s primetime and late night coverage of the 2014 Sochi Winter Games in February. No big surprise there — Costas has served as primetime host for every Olympics on NBC since 1992. But it’s only the second time he’s hosted both in primetime and late night (he did same during the 2000 Sydney Olympics). With the 2014 assignment, he becomes U.S. television’s first 10-time Olympic primetime host. The previous record-holder, Jim McKay, hosted eight times for ABC. (Costas  served as NBC’s late night host at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.)

In today’s announcement, Costas, who has the longest tenure of the network’s sports announcers (34 years), called the Olympics “a three-week miniseries which, if done well, should bring viewers not only compelling athletic performances, but a sense of the host city and country, and an appreciation of what is a truly global gathering.” Read More »

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Bob Costas: CBS Turned Blind Eye To Masters’ “History Of Racism And Sexism”

By | Saturday April 13, 2013 @ 4:12pm PDT

The no-holds-barred  critic and sports host has already tongue-lashed his own network NBC. (Is Bob Costas TV’s Most Powerful Man?) Now he’s starting on competitors. On Friday he excoriated CBS for ignoring the Augusta National Golf Club’s legacy of excluding black and female members from its ranks. “What no CBS commentator has ever alluded to, even in passing, even during a rain delay, even when there was time to do so, is Augusta’s history of racism and sexism. Even when people were protesting just outside the grounds — forget about taking a side — never acknowledging it… I just think somebody ought to have had the guts to do it along the way… Broadcaster, executive, somebody”. CBS has exclusively covered the Masters since 1956. Here’s Costas unloading on the Dan Patrick Show:
Read More »

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Is Bob Costas TV’s Most Powerful Man?

By | Tuesday December 4, 2012 @ 10:47am PST

These days, when most TV folks express personal comments on-air they have to apologize so they can keep their jobs. Bob Costas is not one of those people. The NBC broadcaster’s latest show of ultimate power (remember when he bashed his own network’s Olympics coverage on Conan?) came this weekend when he weighed in on the subject of gun control during Sunday Night Football. (See the video below.) Costas was commenting on Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, who shot and killed his girlfriend and then himself on Saturday morning. Afterward, Costas told The New York Times he received a barrage of text and phone messages about his editorializing – but “I am emphatically not backing off from anything I said… I do not think the Second Amendment should be repealed and I do not think, under reasonable circumstances, that people should be prohibited from having guns.” But, “I think most reasonable people think we do not have sufficient controls on the availability of guns and ammunition.” So far not a peep out of NBC over Costas holding firm. Here’s what he said in the first place:

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