Stossel, whom I recall as a staunch consumer reporter and a man who liked to tear down hypocrisy at every turn, has been a regular at ABC News for nearly three decades. Now, he's moving on to Fox Business Network where he'll have a weekly show, and Fox News where he'll make frequent guest appearances.
The Daily Beast story claimed that his reaction came from a unnamed source, and that's what Variety's BLTV was writing about today. He suggested that perhaps the reporter, Rebecca Dana, had relied too much on scuttlebutt and chose to believe that Gibson was ticked off and, thus, went with the story.
Wow. Busy day in celebrity deaths. First we hear that Farrah Fawcett finally lost her battle to cancer, then suddenly we hear that, after being rushed to a LA hospital in cardiac arrest, Michael Jackson also died. He was only 50, and he was about to embark on a comeback concert stint in London that he hoped would revive his career.
ABC News was already scrambling to move up the Farrah special they had planned to air on 20/20 this coming Friday. That special, where Barbara Walters interviews Ryan O'Neal, will be shown tonight at 10 PM ET. They also just announced that they will be airing an MJ retrospective at 9 PM ET.
Other networks are following suit with their own specials, according to THR.com.
It's interesting how most news outlets aside from Fox didn't confirm MJ's death even though our friends at TMZ had the news first. I guess it wasn't legitimate enough for them. Either way, it's a shockingly sad day in the entertainment biz, no matter what you may have thought of Farrah or Jackson.
It took me a couple days to figure out how to write about it, because I really hated it and I wasn't even sure why. Maybe it was Lucy's fictional narrative, shown in static drawings instead of computer imagery or special effects. Telling us about the ocean levels rising and changing the map may have had more impact if you'd shown us that map? Hell, their image for the flooding of the subways was a photo of a subway tunnel with poorly layered running water where the tracks are. You're not going to scare people into changing with 1960s era effects.
The site will feature news from several ABC programs, like Good Morning America, 20/20, Nightline, ABC World News, and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. And, as a bonus, we get the "Quick Fix" segment, which ABC called "a daily dose of wit and occasionally wisdom" from ABC correspondents.
He will be missed, especially at the network. Anchorman Charles Gibson acknowledged as much when he told the Washington Post that Donaldson's retirement "really is a loss of the bedrock" for ABC. These days, the big three have struggled to maintain their dominance in the news business with cable outlets offering so much blanket coverage compared to the nets. Sam Donaldson has been synonymous with ABC. He can't help but be missed. To this day, I think Ted Koppell is missed as well.
It's the high school prom all over again.
The New York Times reports that ABC is considering switching Jimmy Kimmel Live with Nightline's time slot sometime before or after Conan O'Brien makes his move from Late Night to The Tonight Show. That means Kimmel would no longer be messing with the natural order of late night television. He would be a direct competitor to Conan's new show when it hits the air later this year.
I live in a pretty small town that's chock full of poor, uneducated people and I can assure you that most of those citizens still think of computers as that fancy technology they use in them colleges and whatnot. And the Internets, well that's where you go for sin! But the young people, who have grown up with computers and the web are more savvy than their parents and if they can afford a computer, then they're online. Most are playing World of Warcraft, but they're still on there.
"I have wanted to work with Lisa for a long time," said James Goldston, ABC News and Nightlines' executive producer. "She is a terrific journalist with a very distinctive style that fits really well with the Nightline sensibility."
Lisa will continue with her Oprah appearances. She will also host National Geographic Ultimate Explorer.
Lisa's initial report for Nightline debuts tonight. It's a look at the growth of luxury retirement communities. If you're thinking Del Boca Vista, the Seinfeld show condominium where Jerry's parents lived, so did I.
According to Reuters, Affleck has made three trips out to the Congo, and he contacted ABC News to see if they wanted to send a camera crew along with him. He also wrote an essay about his trips for the late-night news program's website. It's a refreshing view from Ben, whose trips to the war-torn country have mostly been under wraps.
"I view this as a long and ongoing learning experience to educate myself before making any attempt to advocate or 'speak out,'" Affleck writes. He also says that "it makes sense to be skeptical about celebrity activism. There is always the suspicion that involvement with a cause may be doing more good for the spokesman than he or she is doing for the cause."
The first ABC News On Campus bureaus will be located at Syracuse University, Arizona State University, University of Florida, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and University of Texas at Austin. Each bureau will consist of mainly upper-class undergrads and graduate students, but all students are encouraged to submit their own ideas and suggestions for content.
The winners, chosen by the Peabody board -- which is part of the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication -- will receive the awards on June 16 at a luncheon at New York's Waldorf Astoria. NBC News anchorman Brian Williams will be the emcee.
A roundup of TV people from in front of the camera and behind the scenes who have passed away.
- John McWethy: He was a veteran journalist who was the chief national security and Pentagon reporter for ABC News from 1979 to 2004. He reported on everything from foreign affairs, the military, and the Oklahoma bombing to 9/11. He died while skiing in Keystone, CO. He was 60. ABC News President David Westin released this statement.
Today on TV Squad Daily:
- Don't miss your chance to own The Tonight Show's old furniture.
- George Takei just had an asteroid named after him.
- ABC News has a new, money-saving plan for bringing us news from far away places.
I feel sorry for celebrities who have to sit in a chair and answer inane questions from journalists (like me). They answer the same question 400 times and probably aren't even sure who they're talking to most of the time because it's just one interviewer after another. And when you get someone who doesn't even know what they're doing...
Case in point: this reporter from ABC News Now, who has the born-to-work-on-an-entertainment-show name of Merry Miller. She's interviewing Holly Hunter about her new TNT show Saving Grace, and I have to agree with Best Week Ever when they say that it's like a teenager got into the press junket. You'll rarely see someone as nervous and ill-prepared, and thanks to the web you can watch it over and over and over again! My favorite part is when she tells viewers at the end to go to NBCnews.com. Video after the jump (original video on ABC is here, edited for less awkwardness.)
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