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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CBS Television Distribution has signed a deal with Yahoo to combine their celebrity/entertainment news entities The Insider and omg!, respectively. Under the deal, CTD’s syndicated entertainment newsmagazine The Insider will be renamed omg! Insider in January 2013 to become “a multiplatform entertainment news series.” Kevin Frazier and Brooke Anderson will continue to host the TV show, as well as such Yahoo talent as Kristen Aldridge (omg! NOW) and Michael Yo (The Yo Show on Yahoo!). In addition, Yahoo!’s omg! entertainment news site, visited by nearly 30 million users each month, will be the exclusive home to video provided by the TV show. Online, Yahoo’s omg! will provide continually updated coverage, including video clips, celebrity interviews, photo galleries, editorial and several interactive social features. On air each evening, the TV show will offer a mix of informal in-studio conversations with celebrities and personality-driven discussions around the day’s hottest topics and trends. Read More »
CNN’s Brooke Anderson has been named co-anchor of CBS Television Distribution’s daily showbiz newsmagazine The Insider. She will join co-anchor Kevin Frazier in May. Anderson replaces Lara Spencer, who is leaving in May to return to ABC News’ Good Morning America. Anderson has been at CNN since 2000, currently covering entertainment for the main network and co-hosting Showbiz Tonight on sister channel HLN.
After seven years as co-anchor/anchor of syndicated entertainment newsmagazine The Insider, Lara Spencer will exit to join Good Morning America in May as lifestyle anchor. Based in New York, she will cover issues like family, parenting, health, fitness and work/life balance and will be involved in the morning program’s entertainment and celebrity coverage. In addition, Spencer will contribute to ABC News’ Nightline.
Spencer started off on WABC-TV in New York and worked for GMA as a national correspondent for four years before going to The Insider in 2003. Last year, Spencer was considered the lead candidate to succeed retiring Mary Hart on The Insider’s sister newsmagazine ET, but the job eventually went to Nancy O’Dell. “Lara and I have incredible memories together, so it’s bittersweet to say goodbye,” The Insider/ET executive producer Linda Bell Blue said. “We respect her decision to accept this exciting opportunity and wish her every success in her new job.”
Last week, Kevin Frazier started as co-anchor of The Insider, replacing Chris Jacobs who left to become ET correspondent. This is part of a larger restructuring according to Aaron Meyerson, President of Programming and Development for CBS Television Distribution. He added that a new co-anchor for The Insider will be announced soon. Spencer’s deal with GMA was brokered by WME’s Jon Rosen.
UPDATED: The Insider today named Kevin Frazier co-host along Lara Spencer, the first time an African American presenter has co-hosted a syndicated entertainment newsmagazine Monday-Friday in 3 decades, since Ahmad Rashad anchored Entertainment Tonight. (Shaun Robinson co-hosts the weekend edition of Access Hollywood.) Frazier will succeed Chris Jacobs who moves to Insider‘s sister program Entertainment Tonight as correspondent.
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.