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Brian Williams: ‘I Am Presently Too Much A Part of The News, Due to My Actions’ (TVNewser)
Brian Williams will step aside from NBC Nightly News for the next \»several days\» to address questions raised about a story Williams told of being in a helicopter hit by an RPG over Iraq in 2003 — a story widely discredited. TVNewser NBC’s Lester Holt reported on Brian Williams‘ decision to remove himself from NBC’s flagship broadcast for the next several days. Holt then read Williams’ statement but did not mention he’d be filling in for Williams while he’s away. New York Daily News Richard Esposito has been assigned to investigate the embattled NBC Nightly News anchor for lying about dodging danger while reporting in Iraq, sources said Friday. TVNewser Williams is under fire for the error-filled retelling of a story during his coverage in the early days of the Iraq War. He claimed the chopper he was in was hit by an RPG. It wasn’t. He apologized Wednesday. But in the time since, other recollections have been called into question, from his reporting in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans to his work as a volunteer firefighter in New Jersey. FishbowlNY On Jan. 29, Williams accompanied U.S. military veteran Tim Terpak to a Rangers hockey game; his subsequent Nightly News report about the excursion is what lit the match, via Facebook. Deadline Williams will not appear on the Late Show With David Letterman Thursday, canceling a long-scheduled appearance in the wake of the investigation.
Rosie O’Donnell to Leave The View (TVNewser)
Rosie O’Donnell will make this week her last week at The View as she deals with family issues. THR / The Live Feed O’Donnell returned to The View in September 2014 after having held a seat on the show during the 2006-2007 season. She joined during a rebuilding period for the show, which saw Barbara Walters sign off in May 2014. Along with O’Donnell, the show welcomed Rosie Perez and Republican political analyst Nicolle Wallace. Variety Sources close to the situation said O’Donnell had been struggling with the stress related to her divorce as well as the pressure on the View set. The show’s lineup opened strongly in the ratings in September but viewership quickly tailed off. There has been much discussion at ABC about making further changes or additions among the hosts. Sources close to the situation suggested that O’Donnell decided to jump, citing her personal reasons, before she had to face the prospect of getting pushed. Deadline In the announcement of the move, ABC News did not say who it was mulling to replace O’Donnell. But given that the news unit inherited this panel when it took over the show in late October — just one month after the new cast had been announced — it would not be surprising if it went with someone with a news background.
HLN to Show Movies (TVNewser)
TBS has been successful with its Dinner & A Movie series since 1996. Now, its sister network, the re-branded HLN, is launching News And A Movie, beginning Thursday with the 1989 film Glory. Capital New York HLN, CNN’s sister channel, is in the midst of a rebranding effort to become the \»social media network.\» CNN already airs films, including original documentary films that it has funded or acquired. HLN’s strategy differs, however, in that it is seeking to run scripted entertainment films that it has acquired the rights to, not original films, and not necessarily docs. Mediaite According to HLN’s press release, HLN will utilize multiple platforms, not just TV, to drive social engagement around the airing of the film, like HLN’s website, Facebook and Twitter. The big twist here, though, is that throughout the hours-long block, there will be a \»dedicated celebrity media panel primed to explore issues sparked by the film, its place in pop culture, and the current creative and critical climate of Hollywood.\» Variety Keith Brown, HLN senior VP of programming, said the discussion around Glory would tie in to Black History Month, which is celebrated in February, and look not only at how actor Denzel Washington won an Oscar for his performance in the film, but at the fact that no actors from a minority background were included in the current set of Oscar actor nominations.
NYT Names 2016 Election Editor (FishbowlNY)
The New York Times has named David Halbfinger its 2016 presidential campaign editor. Halbfinger is a deputy metro editor, who has been with the Times since 1997. HuffPost The Halbfinger move comes on the heels of executive editor Dean Baquet announcing management changes in anticipation of the upcoming election. Baquet wrote that Carolyn Ryan would continue as Washington bureau chief, but would need additional managerial support as her focus turns to 2016. Baquet named Elisabeth Bumiller as Washington editor. The Times is also looking to assign reporters to key early voting states, according to sources. So far, the paper has assigned reporter Trip Gabriel to cover Iowa and is looking for a reporter for New Hampshire.
BuzzFeed to Interview President Obama (FishbowlNY)
Mr. President, which era of Taylor Swift are you? If we’re lucky, that will be one of the questions posed to President Obama, during BuzzFeed’s first presidential interview. The session will take place Feb. 10, with BuzzFeed’s editor-in-chief Ben Smith asking Obama questions during a sit-down at The White House. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media It’s the first presidential interview for the website, which has been rapidly expanding in the past few years beyond viral lists and cat videos, bulking up its news apparatus and establishing offices around the world. Smith will also participate in a Facebook Q&A session ahead of the interview, where readers will be able to weigh in with questions for Obama.
Lucky Magazine Axes 12 Staffers (New York Post)
The Lucky Group, formed last year when Condé Nast spun off Lucky magazine as a joint venture with e-commerce company Beachmint, laid off about a dozen people, sources said. FishbowlNY According to the New York Post, around 15 staffers were let go last week; Lucky Group president Gillian Gorman Round puts the number at less than 10: \»We were just doing some readjusting on the editorial side,\» Gorman Round said. And when the Post‘s Keith Kelly asked if Lucky magazine is profitable, Gorman Round beat a-gorman-round the bush: \»She declined to say if the venture was profitable, before adding, ‘We are very financially robust.’\»
Fairfax Media Beats Out Yahoo!7, News Corp for HuffPost Australia Partnership (FishbowlNY)
\»We expect big things from Australia.\» So says Huffington Post chief executive officer Jimmy Maymann of the outlet’s plans to launch a 14th international edition in the second quarter of 2015. The move, officially declared Monday morning AU time, comes on the heels of similar moves by BuzzFeed and Mashable. Mashable HuffPost plans more international expansion on the horizon — including Mexico and China. The digital media publication will be launching in Australia in the second quarter of 2014 in partnership with Fairfax Media, a local Australian firm. Australia represents one of the last western markets that HuffPost had not yet tapped. After this, its focus turns to the more challenging — and arguably more lucrative — non-Western markets.
Politico Names New Campaign Czar, Other Moves (FishbowlDC)
Friday morning, Politico’s Susan Glasser announced several moves, both internal and external, in a staff memo including the return of Charlie Mahtesian from NPR — where he had been political editor and deputy Washington Desk chief. He will now serve as the senior politics editor. Poynter / MediaWire At Politico, Mahtesian will be responsible for supervising coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign and help lead the outlet’s editorial team. Mahtesian was previously national politics editor at Politico before he left in 2013 to coordinate NPR’s online political coverage.
BBC Drama Controller Ben Stephenson in Talks to Leave Broadcaster (Deadline)
Ben Stephenson, responsible for the commissioning of all drama programs on BBC television and online, is in talks to leave the broadcaster. Sources say that one possible destination for Stephenson, one of the most powerful execs in the U.K., could be J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot. Variety Stephenson is believed to be looking to move into an internationally focused role, in which he can help forge co-production deals for big-budget drama projects. Since replacing Jane Tranter in 2008, Stephenson has commissioned ratings hits like Call The Midwife, Sherlock and Wolf Hall.
Super Bowl 2015 Ads: YouTube Views Up More Than 4 Percent vs. All of Last Year (Variety)
Super Bowl XLIX is over, but the ads continue to thrive on Google’s YouTube. Through Feb. 6, Super Bowl ads and teasers have been watched on YouTube so far more than 4 percent in 2015 than during all of SB ad views in 2014, according to YouTube. For NBC, Super Bowl XLIX hit an all-time ratings high, with a record with 114.4 million viewers.
Amazon Hires Caroline Palmer Away From Vogue (WWD)
Amazon has poached its latest fashion hire from Vogue. Caroline Palmer joined Amazon Fashion last week as its new director of editorial and social, where she will be in charge of driving which clothing, footwear and accessories trends populate the site and its corresponding social platforms.
AMC Networks Adds Cablevision’s Gregg Seibert as Vice Chairman (Variety)
Cablevision vice chairman Gregg Seibert has been tapped for the same role at AMC Networks and MSG, two of Cablevision’s spinoff companies. Seibert will work with AMC Networks prexy-CEO Josh Sapan and others to provide strategic and financial guidance on business initiatives and transactions.
Serial Subject Adnan Syed Granted Appeal (THR)
The subject of the popular podcast Serial will be allowed to appeal his murder conviction, a Maryland court has ruled, a development that gives the man his best chance at a new trial or a change to his life sentence.
Ukraine Bans All New Russian Film Releases (THR)
Ukraine has banned all new Russian film releases and expanded the criteria on its ban of earlier Russian films. Ukraine’s parliament, the Supreme Rada, amended the Ukrainian law to state that the exhibition of all films produced by Russian companies or private individuals after Jan. 1, 2014 is banned.
Egypt Sets Retrial Date for Jailed Al Jazeera Staff (Al Jazeera)
Egyptian authorities have set a date for the retrial of jailed Al Jazeera journalists Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy. The two journalists will appear in court on Feb. 12 after spending 407 days in prison.
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