Are there any questions left to ask the cast and creator of AMC‘s Mad Men? ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer gives it a whirl on her World News tomorrow night; additional portions of the interview will follow on Nightline and Friday’s Good Morning America. Part 1 of Mad Men’s final season kicks in Sunday, April 13. Here’s a preview of the interviews:
Cynthia McFadden, who left ABC News after 20 years to become NBC’s new senior legal and investigative correspondent, made her debut on her new network’s Today this morning to discuss Oscar Pistorius taking the stand in his own murder trial. Last month, McFadden jumped from her job as co-anchor of ABC News’ Nightline to join NBC. Watch her debut here:
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.
Almin Karamehmedovic has been named executive producer of Nightline, ABC News said this morning. Current EP Jeanmarie Condon has been named senior exec producer of content and development for the news division. Both will report to James Goldston, ABC’s SVP News. Condon will develop a range of special projects and series for broadcast, digital and cable, focusing on enterprise reporting and on the division-wide deep-dive journalism she is known for spearheading, ABC president Ben Sherwood said in this morning’s announcement. She will continue to oversee Nightline Primetime.
Karamehmedovic has been senior producer, then senior broadcast producer of Nightline for the past four years. In 2001, he became one of the first journalists to gain access to Tora Bora, Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden was holed up, and in 2003 he embedded with the U.S. Army during the invasion of Iraq and spent much of the next three years there. In 2005, he was one of the first journalists to travel to Darfur/Sudan to report on the genocide there, and in 2006 he covered the war in Southern Lebanon, Sherwood noted.
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.”
ABC News President Ben Sherwood made the announcement this morning, noting that Bill Weir gave notice that he was departing “for another opportunity in the news business.” Dan Harris, who has co-anchored the weekend edition of Good Morning America since 2010, will replace Weir as co-anchor of Nightline alongside Cynthia McFadden and Dan Abrams while continuing in his role at GMA Weekend. Weir, former sports anchor for Los Angeles’ KABC-7, helped launch GMA Weekend in 2004 and served as co-anchor until moving to Nightline in 2010, succeeded by Harris. “Bill’s style is singular; his voice unique; and we will miss him and, yes, his turkey frying safety tips,” Sherwood said.
UPDATE, 8:40 AM: ABC News just announced Terry Moran‘s replacement. Regular Good Morning America contributor Dan Abrams has been named a Nightline anchor and Chief Legal Affairs Anchor for ABC News. He will continue his regular legal segments on GMA, will launch a new branded GMA segment “on a wide range of topics,” and join the other Nightline anchors on ABC’s The Lookout.
PREVIOUS 7:20 AM: Nightline anchor Terry Moran will be leaving the late-night newsmagazine to relocate to London later this summer, where he will serve as a London-based anchor and chief foreign correspondent for ABC News. A veteran court reporter, Moran also will continue to contribute to ABC News’ coverage of major Supreme Court decisions. Moran’s departure comes as Nightline, now airing at 12:35 AM, draws less than half its previous audience at 11:35 PM. Moran joined Nightline after a 1999-2005 stint as a White House correspondent for ABC News where he has been since 1997.
The road to a post-sweep premiere date for Nightline: Two Truths And A Lie had been in the works for a while. Certainly since Nightline was bumped from its longtime nightly perch to 12:30 AM when ABC shifted Jimmy Kimmel Live! into the traditional late-night talk show slot at 11:30. The new weekly hourlong show will air at 10 PM beginning May 29 and is billed as a “survival guide to the modern consumer jungle”, offering “a mix of compelling undercover investigations and lively dispatches separating fact from fiction about how you spend your money”. Nightline’s Cynthia McFadden and Bill Weir will co-anchor, with reports from ABC News correspondents. Jeanmarie Condon is executive producer, and David Scott is senior broadcast producer.
Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal said in an interview to air tonight on ABC’s Nightline that no classified documents were used in the making of Zero Dark Thirty, which details the Navy SEAL mission that killed Osama bin Laden. The pair told ABC News’ Martha Raddatz that claims they received top-secret help from the Obama administration on the details of the raid came down to partisan politics. “I certainly did a lot of homework, but I never asked for classified materials; to my knowledge, I never received any”, Boal said. “And I think as far as the controversy goes, you know, how can I put this — it was an election year. It was surreal and bizarre to have … I mean there were major players in the Republican Party characterizing the script and the movie before I had written a word, and I found that just really baffling”.
Boal did tell Nightline that he spoke to people with intimate knowledge of the Navy SEAL mission, including some in the military and the CIA, but that their identities are shielded in the film. “They were proud of what they had done, but they had more or less resigned themselves to the fact that what they had done is not something they could talk about publicly,” he said. “But one of the things a movie allows people to do is talk in a way that is a little bit freer because they know that movies can change the way people look, [and] that I don’t have quite the same standards of having to reveal sources as I would if I was, let’s say, running a front-page piece in the New York Times.”
Jimmy Kimmel’s star at ABC continues to rise. After a decade of slow build in awareness and ratings and on the heels of landing its first best series Emmy nomination, Jimmy Kimmel Live will move to the prime 11:35 slot in January, facing veterans The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and The Late Show With David Letterman. The shift, which has been years in the making, will have venerable newsmagazine Nightline move to 12:35 AM. Kimmel will enjoy his new late-night perch for at least two years as he has signed a new two-year extension to his contact with ABC.
Jimmy Kimmel Live originally started at 12:05 AM. In January 2011, its start time shifted to 12 AM, with Nightline‘s length shortened to 25 minutes. JKL will take over the 11:35 PM slot on January 8. Additionally, ABC will add a permanent primetime edition of Nightline in the Friday 9 PM slot, beginning March 1. (When it shortened Nightline last year, ABC committed to 13 primetime editions.) The slot had been occupied primarily by ABC News with its successful What Would You Do? franchise.
ABC’s decision to pull the trigger on the long-rumored switcheroo stems from JKL‘s ratings momentum — Jimmy Kimmel Live was the only late-night broadcast talk show to increase its viewership this past season, its most-watched in 5 years. It also …
Nightline executive producer James Goldston has been named senior executive producer of Good Morning America where he will be partnered with Tom Cibrowski, who continues as executive producer. Goldston succeeds Jim Murphy who earlier this week left to become an executive producer on Anderson Cooper’s upcoming daytime talk show. Taking Goldston’s spot as executive producer of Nightline is Jeanmarie Condon who had been working with Goldston for the past five years.
British talk show hosts seem to be hot commodity for cable news networks these days. As CNN is reportedly pursuing Piers Morgan to replace Larry King, MSNBC has lured Nightline co-anchor Martin Bashir to anchor his own daily afternoon show and a contribute to NBC’s primetime newsmagazine Dateline NBC. Bashir, who rose to fame in the US with his 2003 documentary Living with Michael Jackson, will make the network switch in September. Bashir became a regular on US television when he joined ABC’s newsmagazine 20/20 in 2004. He became a Nightline co-anchor a year later. On Nightline, he will be replaced by Bill Weir, co-anchor of the weekend edition of Good Morning America.