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WaPo: Decision regarding Brian Williams’ fate at NBC News ‘likely to come soon’

The Washington Post

Newly-appointed NBC News chairman Andy Lack is likely to make a determination about Brian Williams’ future at the network soon, Paul Farhi writes for The Washington Post.

Lack’s hand may be forced by the NBC’s forthcoming “upfront,” a slew of meetings between network officials and advertisers aimed at securing ad buys. Farhi explains:

People on both sides of the negotiations, including some at NBC, say it is unlikely that Lack and NBC will go into the upfronts without resolving Williams’s status beforehand. Given the critical role anchors play in the success of a news broadcast, uncertainty over who will anchor “Nightly News” would hurt NBC’s negotiating position with advertisers.

And at the moment, the betting seems to be against Williams’s return.

Williams received a six-month, unpaid suspension from the “NBC Nightly News” anchor desk in February after he was discovered to have made false claims about a reporting trip in Iraq. Read more

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The Hollywood Reporter: How much do morning news shows plug other TV products?

The Hollywood Reporter

Everyone knows that the three major networks’ morning news shows spend an awful lot of time cross-promoting the networks’ sports and entertainment projects, but The Hollywood Reporter decided to calculate exactly how much time. Reviewing the week of March 9-13, Hollywood Reporter staff timed each segment dedicated to “corporate synergy” and have published the results.

The king of self promotions, the Hollywood Reporter claimed, is ABC’s “Good Morning America,” with 36:30 minutes of corporate synergy out of a total of 15 hours of airtime, including commercials. Highlights include a segment on shoes from the movie Cinderella, which was rolled out by ABC’s parent company Disney, as well as a visit to the set from the stars of the latest season of the reality show “The Bachelor.”

CBS took second place, as “This Morning” clocked in 26:12 minutes of cross promotion, including six minutes for actress Patricia Arquette to plug her show “CSI: Cyber” and a segment on the boxing bout between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiano, which the CBS-owned Showtime network will air. Read more

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Brian Williams reportedly lobbied to succeed David Letterman

Good morning! Here are 10 media stories.

  1. More tales of tumult from inside NBC News

    Gabriel Sherman's much-anticipated longread about the turmoil surrounding Brian Williams' suspension from the anchor chair dropped Sunday. Among the juiciest tidbits: Williams asked CBS CEO Les Moonves to be considered as a replacement for David Letterman upon the comedian's retirement from "Late Show," according to "a high-level source"; Four NBC and NBCUniversal officials visited Williams at his apartment to notify him he was being taken off the air; Richard Esposito, the investigative producer at NBC News conducting a review of Williams, "delivered a 45-minute presentation at [NBCUniversal CEO Steve] Burke’s apartment" that unearthed "more issues" with Williams' disputed claims; Williams can't talk to the press under the terms of his suspension and "can’t wait until he can speak" publicly about the situation, according to "a close friend." (New York) | "If Brian Williams proposed to CBS that he take over when Letterman retires, that alone is reason he should not return" (@jayrosen_nyu) | "Last weekend, workers at NBC's Rockefeller Center headquarters briefly wiped away promotional photos of Brian Williams." They went back up the next day.

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Andy Lack leaves post at Broadcasting Board of Governors

Andy Lack, the former NBC executive rumored to be considering a return to the network, has stepped down from his position as CEO and director of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the agency announced Wednesday.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors announced today that CEO and Director Andrew Lack will be departing the agency. The agency will now begin work to attract an equally talented executive to help continue to transform our agency.

Lack did not specify a reason for his departure, but he will be in next week to explain his decision, a spokesperson for the Broadcasting Board of Governors told Poynter.

News of Lack’s departure tracks with reports that he’s angling for “a top job” at NBC, perhaps as chairman of NBC News Group, as Politico’s Dylan Byers reported Tuesday. Read more

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Brian Williams to take hiatus from ‘NBC Nightly News’

Embattled “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams told NBC News staff in a memo Saturday he will stop hosting the daily broadcast “for the next several days.”

While Williams takes a hiatus, “Nightly News” weekend anchor Lester Holt will fill in for long enough for NBC News “to adequately deal with this issue,” according to the memo. When his break ends, Williams says he will continue “my career-long effort to be worthy of the trust of those who place their trust in us.”

Here’s the memo:

In the midst of a career spent covering and consuming news, it has become painfully apparent to me that I am presently too much a part of the news, due to my actions.

As Managing Editor of NBC Nightly News, I have decided to take myself off of my daily broadcast for the next several days, and Lester Holt has kindly agreed to sit in for me to allow us to adequately deal with this issue.

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Brian Williams

Pilot of Brian Williams’ helicopter in Iraq: ‘We took small arms fire’

Update: The pilot interviewed by CNN and quoted in this article is no longer standing by his story. In a text message to CNN’s Brian Stelter Friday morning, the pilot said the following:

“The information I gave you was true based on my memories, but at this point I am questioning my memories that I may have forgotten or left something out.”

Brian Williams gained some support Thursday from the pilot of the Chinook helicopter that Williams was aboard during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

CNN, landed an exclusive interview with retired Chief Warrant Officer 4, U.S. Army Rich Krell, who told CNN he was piloting Williams’ chopper.

Krell provided key details that may explain inconsistencies in what Williams reported and what soldiers said actually happened. Read more

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Brian Williams and the resistance of memory

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Veterans force NBC’s Brian Williams to apologize

NBC News anchor Brian Williams said on the evening broadcast Wednesday that he made a mistake when he said on air last week that he had been in a military helicopter that was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in the early days of the American invasion of Iraq 12 years ago.

On Friday, Williams had told a story on air about a veteran he met in Iraq. They stayed in touch over the years and Williams invited the soldier to a hockey game. At the game, they were surprised that the game announcer told the crowd about the chance encounter after Williams’ chopper was shot down.

Williams said on the air:

“The story actually started with a terrible moment a dozen years back during the invasion of Iraq when the helicopter we were traveling in was forced down after being hit by an RPG. Read more

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Weather Channel’s Mike Seidel was not caught with his pants down

The Weather Channel’s Mike Seidel has taken a lot of ribbing about what he was doing live on network TV this weekend.  But he didn’t do what online news sites and YouTubers suggest he did.

Seidel was reporting from Sugar Mountain, North Carolina Saturday where an early season storm dropped 10 inches of snow. NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt introduced Seidel while the meteorologist’s back was turned to the camera. Seidel was hunched over fiddling with something. To an awful lot of people who saw Holt dump out of the live shot, it appeared Seidel was zipping up his pants, having answered nature’s call.

The NY Daily news headline taunted, “NBC meteorologist Mike Seidel appears to relieve himself during broadcast.”

But that is not what happened at all, said Shirley Powell, the Weather Channel’s spokesperson.  Read more

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Former NBC Journalist/Executive Paula Madison Finds the Story of Her Life

Paula Madison shocked her colleagues when she walked away from television in October, 2011. She was 58 and an executive vice president at NBC.

“I wanted to find my family,” she told me. “I knew that everything I had done, from majoring in black studies at Vassar College to studying the Caribbean and China, then being a reporter and developing my world view, all of this, I realize was getting me ready for something.”

It was getting her ready to report the greatest story of her life.  Her own.

Photo Courtesy Madison Media Management

Paula Madison (Photo Courtesy Madison Media Management)

Paula Williams Madison and her brothers Elrick and Howard grew up in Harlem, raised by their immigrant single mother Nell Vera Lowe.  There was a time when they depended on welfare to get by. Read more

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