Brad Bessey, executive producer of CBS TV Distribution’s Entertainment Tonight spinoff The Insider, also is taking the reins of the mothership series, adding executive producer duties for ET. ET‘s current executive producer DJ Petroro, who had been groomed to take over from long-time ET and The Insider executive producer Linda Bell Blue, is departing. Bell Blue is transitioning into a new role as president of ET Studios in May. Also as part of the reshuffling, Monique Chenault joins The Insider as co-executive producer. Linda Fuller continues with ET as an Executive Producer. “After more than 15 years in the ET-Insider family, Brad knows ET inside and out and is the perfect person to continue to grow the brand and keep the show on top,” Hilary Estey McLoughlin, president of creative affairs for CBS TV Distribution said.
Related: DJ Petroro and Linda Fuller Take the Reins of Entertainment Tonight
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D.J. Petroro, who is Linda Bell Blue‘s No. 2, and Linda Fuller will be taking the reins of the show, CBS Television Distribution made official today. Bell Blue will remain in her job through the end of the current season, with the new team taking over for the show’s 33rd season in the fall. Her pending departure from Entertainment Tonight was first reported in September. Bell Blue, who has spent 19 years as executive producer of the iconic syndicated Hollywood-centric show, has signed a multi-year deal to transition into a new role as president of the newly created Entertainment Tonight Studios. In her new gig, she will oversee the creation of Entertainment Tonight-branded series and specials for cable, broadcast and digital platforms. This is not a stretch — during her nearly two decades on the show, she executive produced loads of CBS primetime specials: the ABC reunion special Entertainment Tonight Presents: Laverne & Shirley Together Again; the recently produced Entertainment Tonight Presents: The Katy Perry Experience for TVGN; and four ET-branded specials on weight, plastic surgery, unsolved mysteries, and scandals and drug use in Hollywood. Read More »
Linda Bell Blue joined the venerable showbiz newsmag as executive producer in 1995, at the start of its 15th season. She will exit Entertainment Tonight in September 2014 after 19 years on the job, a source confirms to Deadline. Bell Blue also is leaving her EP post on the nightly newsmagazine omg! Insider. She now is eyeing a creative exec gig with CBS Television Distribution, which produces and distributes ET. D.J. Petroro, who joined ET in 2005 and is Bell Blue’s No. 2, will take over when she exits.
More anchor moves at Entertainment Tonight. Rocsi Diaz, a co-host of BET’s music video show 106 & Park, has been named weekend co-anchor and a daily correspondent for the syndicated newsmagazine. She will co-anchor weekends with Rob Marciano, who was hired away from CNN in November and also anchors the weekday show with Nancy O’Dell. The CBS TV Distribution show’s correspondents roster now includes Diaz, Christina McLarty and Chris Jacobs.
Rob Marciano has been named co-anchor of CBS Television Distribution’s celebrity newsmagazine Entertainment Tonight. He will co-anchor with Nancy O’Dell beginning in January 2013. Marciano succeeds Mark Steines, who left in July after 17 years. Marciano comes to ET from CNN, where he has been a news and weather anchor since 2003. He also has served as a field correspondent and fill-in anchor at the cable news network.
20th Century Fox TV PR executive Tracey Raab has joined CBS TV Distribution as VP Communications. She will oversee publicity for the company’s flagship entertainment newsmagazine Entertainment Tonight and its offshoot The Insider. She will report to John Wentworth, EVP Communications, CTD. Raab most recently was Executive Director of Media Relations for 20th TV, overseeing publicity and marketing campaigns for such primetime series as Modern Family, Last Man Standing and Sons Of Anarchy. Last month she won a Publicist Guild Award for her work on the Modern Family publicity campaign. This marks Raab’s return to the CBS family. Before 20th TV, she worked as a senior publicist at CBS.
UPDATED: There were Internet claims at the time of retiring ET host Mary Hart’s announcement that The Insider‘s Lara Spencer had been chosen as her replacement. But we knew they weren’t true. Instead, we reported that CBS Corp CEO Les Moonves, CBS Television Distribution President John Nogawski, and ET’s producers “would look at her and other outside candidates”. And that’s exactly what they did. They went to the competition and fixed on Nancy O’Dell, veteran co-host of rival Access Hollywood, who will succeed Hart when she departs Entertainment Tonight after almost 30 years. O’Dell will join ET in January as a special correspondent and substitute anchor, and will assume her permanent role as co-anchor alongside Mark Steines after Hart’s departure at the end of the 2010-2011 TV season. “When Mary Hart told us she planned to leave ET at the end of this season, we went into denial,” ET executive producer Linda Bell Blue said. “But we also knew we had one tough job to do — find someone to fill that seat. In Nancy we have found that someone.”
Lotsa Internet sites are claiming just now that The Insider‘s Lara Spencer already has been chosen to replace Mary Hart as host of Entertainment Tonight. I, too, heard the rumor that Spencer was contractually guaranteed the gig during her last negotiation. But not so fast… “It hasn’t been promised to her. Her people planted that,” an insider tells me. I hear CBS Corp CEO Les Moonves, and CBS Television Distribution President John Nogawski, and ET‘s producers “discussed that she would do The Insider and we would look at her and other candidates outside so there was total transparency.” Spencer might still get the gig: she has that chirpy cheerful quality TV execs choose. But, jeez, who cares? I don’t even know her name. And lame celeb shows like ET are a dime a dozen on the tube these days and suffer from the same blandness.
I just saw Brad Garrett of Fox’s Til Death interviewed by Entertainment Tonight‘s newest correspondent: an M&M. A red one. Garrett didn’t even look embarrassed. Needless to say, the candy was more hard-hitting than Mary Hart.