Discovery Channel’s Mount Everest Jump Date In Question After Avalanche Kills 13: Video

EverestNBC News, whose Peacock Productions is producing Discovery’s Mount Everest live jump, said this morning “the future of the production will be assessed at the appropriate time” after the deadliest disaster ever recorded at the peak killed 13 Sherpa guides last night. The guides were carrying equipment and supplies to camps for climbers getting ready for peak trekking season — including those preparing to participate in Discovery Channel‘s Everest Jump Live, produced by the NBC News division.

Related: ‘Everest’ Movie Crew OK After Tragic Avalanche

Discovery, which had just announced Monday the live two-hour event would air May 11, said this morning its star Joby Ogwyn was at base came at the time of the avalanche, which struck a group of about 50 — mostly Nepalese sherpas — at more than 20,000 feet. Four people remain missing, according to Nepal’s Tourism Ministry. Discovery said it has has not had conversations as to how the disaster might impact its plans. ”The avalanche last night on Mt. Everest is a terrible tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers are with those who are lost and with their families. The immediate priority for Joby and the team is to assist the search and rescue efforts in anyway possible.”

Related: Discovery Channel Preps For Big Leap With Five Nights Of ‘Everest: Live From Base Camp’

NBC News said its crews were on Mt. Everest preparing for Discovery’s special — in which Ogwyn is scheduled to climb Everest and leap from the summit wearing only a winged suit equipped with cameras – when the avalanche struck.

“The biggest tragedy of this is that it’s the very beginning of the [climbing] season and to lose this number of people at the very beginning of the season may be the end of the season here,”  cameraman Ed Wardle told NBC’s Today show co-host Savannah Guthrie.

“I think a lot of people are wondering whether it’s appropriate to go on, given the scale of this tragedy,” Guthrie quickly jumped in when Wardle’s “biggest tragedy” talk took that cold turn.  (Video after the jump)

NBC News issued a statement this morning saying, “We are grateful and relieved that the seven NBC News staffers on site are all accounted for and unharmed. Tragically, 13 Nepalese sherpas from a number of expedition companies who prepare the mountain each year for climbing season lost their lives, and the rescue mission continues. We are working closely with the team on the ground to assist however we can, and our thoughts and prayers are with the affected families.”

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ABC’s ‘World News Tonight’ Beats ‘NBC Nightly News’ In News Demo, With ‘Mad Men’ Pitching In

dianesawyerabcABC World News With Diane Sawyer ranked as the No. 1 evening newscast in the news demo for the week of April 7 — its first weekly demo win this season. Sawyer beat NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams by 12,000 Adults 25-54 (1.882 million vs. 1.870 million).  It was ABC evening newscasts first demo win since the week of July 22, 2013. Last July — one year after ABC’s Good Morning America snapped NBC’s Today show weekly winning streak, ABC’s evening newscast outstripped NBC’s in the news demo by 38,000 demo viewers, ending NBC’s  newscast’s ratings winning streak of nearly five years. During the week of April 7, Sawyer’s newscast covered breaking news –  high school stabbings in Pennsylvania, California bus crash, Terry Moran in Central African Republic with UN Ambassador Samantha Power covering refugees and violence — but the newscast also featured a broadcast exclusive with Mad Men stars and creator as they debuted the AMC series’ final season.  The week of April 7 also marked the newscast hitting 1 million likes on Facebook, which some have correlated to the weekly demo win. ABC’s was the only broadcast up in the demo from one year ago during the comparable week (1%) – NBC’s newscast tumbled by 18% and CBS’s Scott Pelley-anchored newscast dropped 10% in the demo.
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NBC News Unveils New Guest Booking Unit

By | Friday April 4, 2014 @ 12:50pm PDT

Deborah Turness NBC News chief Deborah Turness today officially announced that streamlined booking has come to the division. NBC has been working for months to streamline guest booking across its various programs — news and entertainment. Here’s Turness’ memo about the new unit: Read More »

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UPDATE: ‘Nightline’ Names JuJu Chang Co-Anchor Replacing NBC News-Bound Cynthia McFadden

By | Thursday March 27, 2014 @ 1:00pm PDT

UPDATE, 1 PM: That didn’t take long. ABC News has promoted special JujuChangcorrespondent 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 CynthiaMcFaddendeparted 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. Read More »

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NBC News Spotlights Children Of Syria Over Two Days

By | Monday March 10, 2014 @ 7:17am PDT

nbcnews logoNBC News will present a two-day cross-platform event, Forgotten? Syria’s Children Of War: A Live Documentary, on Tuesday and Wednesday.  More than 5 million Syrian children have had their lives scarred by conflict, the news division says, including children displaced inside the country, another million living under seige and a million who are now refugees. The project will span Today, NBC Nightly News, NBCNews.com and social media, creating what the division is calling a “live documentary” — aka a continuous stream of reports from inside and outside Syria’s borders. From the announcement: Read More »

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NBC News Adds Ambassador To Russia To Analyst Lineup

By | Tuesday March 4, 2014 @ 3:56pm PST

Clinton Swears In Ambassador-Designate To Russia Mike McFaulAs Secretary of State John Kerry lent support to Ukraine’s fledging government today and took another verbal shot at Russia, NBC News said this afternoon it has added former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael A. McFaul as an analyst. McFaul will contribute across the NBCUniversal News Group — including NBC News, MSNBC, and CNBC — contributing his perspective and expertise to coverage of foreign affairs and national security.  McFaul’s post in Russia ended last week. He already appeared Monday night on NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams and this morning on Today and MSNBC’s Morning Joe to discuss the situation unfolding in Ukraine. Read More »

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R.I.P. TV Newsman Garrick Utley

By | Friday February 21, 2014 @ 8:23am PST

Garrick_UtleyVeteran TV journalist Garrick Utley has died following a long battle with cancer, NBC News said today. He was 74. Utley began his career at NBC News in 1963, reporting for the next 30 years for the network. In … Read More »

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BBC Three Orders Amanda Knox Docu From NBC News’ Peacock Productions

By | Wednesday February 12, 2014 @ 6:59am PST

BBC Three has ordered a docu onamandaKnox4-300x194 the Amanda Knox case update from NBC News’ Peacock Productions — Peacock Prods’ first UK commission out of its new London office. bbcthreePeacock predicts its one-hour special, Is Amanda Knox Guilty? will be the first TV docu on the case since an Italian judge announced the second guilty verdict on January 30 — it’s scheduled to air on BBC Three on Monday, February 17. Read More »

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NBCU News Group Taps Mark Kornblau To Be Communications SVP

By | Wednesday February 5, 2014 @ 5:39am PST

NBCUniversal News Group logoNEW YORK – February 5, 2014 – NBCUniversal named Mark Kornblau Senior Vice President, Communications for the NBCUniversal News Group. He will report to Pat Fili-Krushel, Chairman, NBCUniversal News Group. Kornblau succeeds Kathy Kelly-Brown who recently was tapped to lead the newly created Global Talent Booking division for NBCUniversal.  He will begin February 17.

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ABC News Adds Schiavocampo, Kristol

By | Monday February 3, 2014 @ 6:34am PST

abc-news110915165209ABC News president Ben Sherwood made it official this morning, announcing Mara Schiavocampo has joined ABC News as a New York-based correspondent. Schiavocampo, who’d been with NBC since 2007, becoming Early Today anchor in ’10 and also anchoring MSNBC’s First Look, left that network in December. At ABC News she will be a New York-based correspondent reporting on all platforms.

One day earlier, George Stephanopoulos announced on This Week that Bill Kristol, the editor and publisher of The Weekly Standard, had joined ABC News as a contributor. Kristol’s decade-long contributor relationship with Fox News ended last summer — owing to a cooling of his relationship with Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, or rather because FNC made a lot of changes and no longer needed his services and there was no cooling at all, depending on your source.
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NBC Newscast Widens Overall Audience Lead But Loses Ground In News Demo

By | Wednesday January 22, 2014 @ 8:27am PST

NBC Nightly News widened its total viewer advantage over ABC World News by 50% last week, compared to the same week last year. Brian nbc-news-logo__120406030256Williams’ newscast finished last week 936,000 viewers ahead of ABC. But in the news demo, … Read More »

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NBC News: Ann Curry To Report On Humanitarian Crisis In Bangui

By | Wednesday January 8, 2014 @ 12:55pm PST

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198Is this the big assignment NBC News was referencing when it denied a report it would not renew Ann Curry‘s pricey contract?Ann-Curry__120721051757 The news division said today Curry will report from Bangui in the Central African Republic for tonight’s NBC Nightly News, on NBCNews.com, on Curry’s YouTube channel, and on tomorrow’s TodayThe announcement comes a couple days after a report surfaced that NBC News would not renew Curry’s $12 million contract; Curry segued into that contract after she exited as co-anchor of the network’s morning infotainment series, which has been trying to recover from the image problem it created ever since. At the start of this week, NBC News unveiled some of its plans to get Today back on its feet, including a new “Rise to Shine” tagline to help viewers forget its bungled dumping of Curry. Read More »

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NBC News Keeps Busy Refuting Reports On Ann Curry, David Gregory, Rachel Maddow

2014 is getting off to a busy start for NBC News. No sooner does the division announce its priority is getting Today back up on its feet nbc-news-logo__120406030256with a new tagline “Rise to Shine” that will help viewers forget its bungled dumping of show co-anchor Ann Curry, than a report surfaces that NBC News will not renew Curry’s $12 million contract — the one she got when she was shoved off Today. The network has denied the Radar report, noting that Curry has been given an actual big assignment which, presumably, is what happens when you pay someone $12 mil a year.

Related: ‘Today’ Ad Blitz Unveiling Upstaged By Robin Roberts Coming Out On ‘GMA’: Video

Gregory ToddMeanwhile, the division’s Sunday Beltway show Meet The Press got its fourth quarter numbers, and they’re the franchise’s worst in its history in the news demo. MTP also suffered its smallest fourth-quarter total-viewer crowd since ’91. This news forced the news division to have to insist to Politico that it has no plans to replace anchor David Gregory, because the site’s media columnist had suggested just that.

And MSNBC has had to refute a report in National Review that Rachel Maddow dictates the cable news network’s editorial direction and has a lot to say about personnel decisions. This after MSNBC anchors Martin Bashir and Alec Baldwin got the hook over separate incendiary comments, and a teary apology by Melissa Harris-Perry for an episode of her program in which she and a bunch of comics poked fun at little black grandson Kieran sitting on Mitt Romney’s knee in the family’s Christmas photo.

Related: Will MSNBC’s Host Apology Streak End As Mitt Romney Accepts Latest Mea Culpa? Read More »

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NBC News Names Bill Neely Chief Global Correspondent

By | Monday November 25, 2013 @ 9:33am PST

NBC News this morning named ITV News’ international editor Bill Neely as its new Chief Global Correspondent, based in London. The hire reunites Neely with NBC News president Deborah Turness, who was formerly editor of ITV News from ’04-13. You’ve already seen Neely appear with some regularity on NBC News, through the news division’s partnership with ITN. Neely, who has spent more than two decades with ITV, will cover major international news and events for all of NBC News’ broadcasts and digital platforms. Neely previously served as ITV News Washington Correspondent for six years, covering five of the last six presidential elections, as well as the Oklahoma City bombings, the Atlanta Olympics, and superstorm Sandy. Read More »

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ITV’s Online Director Julian March Named Senior VP Editorial/Innovation at NBC News

By | Monday November 11, 2013 @ 11:18am PST

NBC News‘ Brit chief Deborah Turness has named the current director of online for ITV in the UK and former Sky News exec, Julian March to be her news operation’s senior VP of editorial and innovation. March will move to New York in early ’14. Reporting to Turness, March will be a key editorial leader at NBC News, overseeing all digital businesses, including NBCNews.com, as well as the news division’s editorial units. NBC News said this will allow for further integration of broadcast TV news and digital operations.

At ITV, March is credited with coming up with the strategy and delivery of the network’s entire online business. Prior to ITV, he spent 11 years at Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News, where he launched the Sky News app, and produced over 3,000 hours of live television, including coverage of major breaking news stories such as the 7/7 London bombings and the Indian Ocean tsunami. Read More »

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UPDATE: NBC To Trot Out Second Pilot For ‘Dateline’ Skydiver Collision Special After ‘GMA’ Beats ‘Today’ Skydivers Edition

By | Wednesday November 6, 2013 @ 2:35pm PST

UPDATE, 2:35 PM: NBC will air its Dateline special, using the helmet-cam video of the skydivers who survived that mid-air collision 12,000 feet above Wisconsin last weekend, this Friday at 8 PM on a Dateline special called Miracle On The Sunset Dive. Sure enough, NBC News was saving that second plot — the one whose plane caught fire and broke into pieces, and who was not seen on Tuesday’s Today show — for the Dateline special. “For the first time, hear from the pilot whose plane lost both of its wings and plummeted to the ground,” NBC News emoted in this afternoon’s scheduling announcement.

Related: ‘Today’s Lauer And Roker To Get Live Prostate Exams

PREVIOUS, 10:17 AM: Word that NBC News had paid “in excess” of $100,000 for exclusive rights to helmet-cam video of skydivers who’d miraculously survived a recent mid-air collision in Wisconsin had some media critics harrumphing mightily, accusing NBC News of “checkbook journalism” albeit on a Hollywood-cappuccino-money level — but that’s not the point. In fairness, the news did not offend some media-watchers’ moral sense — no doubt because they don’t have one, you’re thinking. Read More »

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NBC News’ Vivian Schiller Confirms She’s Headed To Twitter As Head Of News

By | Thursday October 24, 2013 @ 12:54pm PDT

“Excited to join @Twitter as Head of News in January. Leaving @NBCNews at year’s end. Grateful to my beloved colleagues for 2+ great years,” NBC News’ Chief Digital Officer of Vivian Schiller tweeted today, … Read More »

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Henry Waxman Spanks Time Warner Cable Over Lobbyist’s Obamacare Email

By | Friday October 4, 2013 @ 5:48pm PDT

U.S. Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Calif) wonders why a Time Warner Cable lobbyist is emailing Republicans in the House and Senate, telling them “next time you think about helping broadcasters” they should first read a Weekly Standard article taking NBC News to task for its weeklong look at the Affordable Care Act. “Could you please explain why this email was sent and what purpose it serves?” Waxman, the ranking member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, said this afternoon in a terse letter addressed to TWC CEO Glenn Fritt.

The Weekly Standard article to which the unnamed lobbyist linked was called “NBC Launches Week of Programming to ‘Help’ Obamacare Succeed.” The Weekly Standard appears to have looked askance at an announcement NBC News emailed around last week – we got a copy too – detailing plans for this week’s “Ready or Not, the New Healthcare Law”  — a “multi-screen experience to help Americans get the most out of the Affordable Care Act.” NBC’s coverage included results from a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, conducted in conjunction with NBC News, that details public opinion and awareness about the ACA. And, NBC Nightly News aired an interview between NBC News’ Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Doctors, nurses, employers and patients all have a stake in how the Affordable Care Act will play out,” said Snyderman. “The sweeping federal law is confusing.  We will clarify parts of the law, explain how states differ and tackle many of the challenges associated with it.  We are committed to answering questions and serving as a guide as this legislation is implemented.” Read More »

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NBC & CBS Forced To Retract Name Of Navy Yard Shooter After Getting It Wrong

By | Monday September 16, 2013 @ 12:27pm PDT

In the midst of a stream of breaking news around the shootings today at the Navy Yard in Washington DC, NBC and CBS stumbled. At around 1 PM ET, both networks reported that the shooter of at least 11 people at the DC facility as Rollie Chance, a Navy officer. “NBC News I-Unit head RT @REspositoNBC: Shooter identified as a Rollie Chance #NavyYardShooting,” tweeted NBC News’ Chuck Todd just before 1 PM ET. CBS reported the shooter’s name soon afterwards too. The problem was both NBC and CBS were wrong and had to retract the information. “BREAKING. @johnmillercbs advises the initial reports identifying the suspected shooter as Rollie Chance are wrong,’ tweeted CBS producer Charlie Kaye just before 1 PM. “NBC News: we are now NOT reporting name of shooter; retracting that report. deleting those tweets,” tweeted Todd at 1:05 PM. Less than half and hour later, Todd added, “The confusion over the shooter name had to do with an I.D. card found near dead gunman; What led to bad initial reporting.” Todd didn’t stop there. “I know folks are relishing an opportunity to get out their hatred for media; I’m just trying to provide context for what we got wrong,” he added. At 2:46 PM, NBC News’ Pete Williams identified the shooter as civilian contractor Aaron Alexis based on reports from federal officials. The gunman was killed in a shootout with police today. Police officials did not confirm or deny that other shooters were involved. Shots first were reported at around 8:15 AM ET. Read More »

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