NBC made a big headline at its upfront presentation today regarding Donald Trump. Trump took the stage to deliver the news: “After getting so many calls from (top NBC executives), I’ve decided that we are going to continue onward with Celebrity Apprentice. I will not be running for president, as much as I’d like to, and I want to thank everybody very much,” he said. “This will be our 12th season, and I have to say, I love Celebrity Apprentice.” Over the past few months, Trump had been publicly flirting with the idea of running for president. At some point, he mulled announcing his final decision on the season finale of Celebrity Apprentice but then scrapped that idea. Just yesterday, NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said on a conference call that NBC was working on plans to replace Trump on The Apprentice should he decide to run. After Trump’s statement, which drew big applause from the audience of ad buyers, Greenblatt quipped, “Every network wants to make news at its upfront. Try topping that!” UPDATE: At NBC’s lunch after the presentation, I heard that Trump informed NBC brass on Friday that he wanted to come to the upfront. Greenblatt told me that the network executives had a hunch that he might announce that he would stay on The Apprentice but didn’t know for sure until this morning.
After month-long negotiations, veteran TV executive-turned-producer Mark Pedowitz today was named president of the CW. The former ABC Studios president and top ABC business affairs executive is starting today. As his title suggests, he is not a direct replacement for CW entertainment president Dawn Ostroff, who is leaving after the end of the broadcast season to move back to New York. Pedowitz will oversee programming, sales, marketing, distribution, finance, research and publicity. Those duties are currently split between Ostroff and COO John Maatta. There has been speculation that the new structure, in which Maatta reports to Pedowitz, would lead to Maatta’s departure. Pedowitz today said that “it is my intention for John to remain at the CW. He has done a yeoman’s job in what he’s done in a tough economic environment, and I hope he would stay.” One job Pedowitz will certainly need to fill is head of marketing, as EVP Rick Haskins is set to depart in August.
Meanwhile, as expected, CW’s EVP drama Thom Sherman is poised to get a promotion, probably overseeing all creative aspects of the network, including unscripted programming. I hear an announcement will be coming in the next few days. Pedowitz declined to comment on his plans for Sherman, with whom he has had a long and close relationship going back to their days at ABC. “Tom is an extraordinarily talented executive whom I know very well, and I’m happy to … Read More »
According to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll, Mitt Romney appears the early front-runner for the Republican nomination for U.S. president in the 2012 race, but Celebrity Apprentice‘s Donald Trump is running second. Yikes, this yutz? So now I’m asking: Who from Hollywood would you put in The Donald administration?
Stephen K. Friedman has been promoted to president of MTV. He had previously served as General Manager, a position he held since the fall of 2008. In this role, Friedman oversees MTV, MTV2, mtvU, MTV.com, MTV Hits and MTV Jams. “Since Stephen took over the helm at MTV 2½ years ago, he has done an incredible job helping spearhead the reinvention of the MTV brand for millenials,” said Van Toffler, President, MTV Networks Music & Logo Group. During Friedman’s tenure, MTV has posted five consecutive quarters of growth during which the network has launched such hit series as Jersey Shore, Teen Mom, 16 & Pregnant, The World of Jenks and Life as Liz, along with making a foray into scripted with The Hard Times of R.J. Berger. Before being named General Manager of MTV, Friedman was the GM of mtvU, the channel catering to college students that he helped launch in 2004. He joined MTV in 1998 to found MTV’s Strategic Partnerships and Public Affairs department, during which he created the Emmy Award-winning Fight for Your Rights campaigns, along with helping manage the political campaign Choose or Lose.