There Goes 'Team Couric'
June 19, 2006 12:00 AM
The Katie Couric era is officially under way now at CBS News, where Ms. Couric is to begin her new life as anchor of "CBS Evening News" and contributor to "60 Minutes" this fall. Her team from NBC News, where she was co-anchor of "Today" for 15 years, already is being installed at CBS News. CBS News and Sports President Sean McManus last week announced that Bob Peterson, an award-winning editor and producer and 22-year veteran of NBC News, is now creative director of CBS News. He will oversee the creation of a new and more unified look for all CBS News broadcasts, especially "CBS Evening News With Katie Couric." Mr. Peterson spent 13 years with NBC News in Washington, where Ms. Couric worked before joining "Today." In the past nine years he has been in New York, where he has worked extensively with Ms. Couric on her prime-time specials, "Dateline NBC" contributions and on "Today." Last week also brought an internal written introduction from "Evening News" executive producer Rome Hartman of "four new CBS News colleagues" who are making the switch from NBC News with Ms. Couric. They are producer Lori Beecher, who started at NBC News in 1993 as an associate producer on "NOW With Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric"; longtime "Today" producer Nicolla Hewitt; and producer Matt Lombardi, who started at NBC in 1989 as an intern on "Today"; and last but not least, Lauren Mitchell, Ms. Couric's assistant since 2002. Ms. Hewitt clearly is a glutton for change; she's also getting married in a couple of weeks, Mr. Hartman wrote. -Michele Greppi
When Ozwald Met Miller
When Miller Genuine Draft wanted a more upscale image, it was up to brand strategy firm Conductor to obtain it. Conductor, the company behind Axe cologne's award-winning, male-skewing "Evan and Gareth" Web site, was already in business with production company Reveille on developing an "Evan and Gareth" TV show, and as we know, it's all about being in the right place at the right time. In a meeting with Conductor executives, including President Tom Cotton, Reveille's Ben Silverman spoke enthusiastically about his upcoming Sundance reality series "House of Boateng," which profiles British luxury menswear designer Ozwald Boateng, shown at left, as he brings his line to the U.S. It was then that Mr. Cotton had a "Eureka!" moment: Wed MGD to the high-end Mr. Boateng. "We realized there is this commonality," Mr. Cotton said. Reveille filmed an episode in which Mr. Boateng visits the Miller brewing plant in Milwaukee and later agrees to design a bottle for the beer brand. "It's a very natural marriage," Mr. Cotton said. "House of Boateng" premieres Thursday.
'It's A New Day' At 'Today'
It is indeed a new day at "Today," and that fact has been put to music in a new song that is airing on the network as part of promos heralding Meredith Viera's arrival as co-anchor this fall. Dressed especially for the occasion (or a photo op-ya think?) are "It's a New Day" songwriter Greg Barnhill, left, and 615 Music President Randy Wachtler, flanking NBC Agency Senior VP Frank Radice at the 615 Studios in Nashville. Mr. Wachtler was Emmy-nominated for the last tune he produced for the morning show, "Live for Today." -Tom Gilbert
'Shield': Magnet For Directors
"The Shield" showrunner Shawn Ryan landed a publicity and artistic coup a few seasons back when famed writer-director David Mamet offered to direct a third-season episode of the FX cop drama. Now, for 2007's penultimate sixth season, Mr. Ryan's show has attracted another big name: Frank Darabont, the writer-director of "The Shawshank Redemption," "The Green Mile" and the upcoming remake of Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451." Last week Mr. Darabont shot a pivotal episode of the show, of which FX recently ordered a final 13-episode seventh season. But even with heavy-hitting Hollywood screenwriting credentials, figures such as Mr. Darabont and Mr. Mamet are welcome only in the director's chair, FX sources said. The scripts remain the turf of Mr. Ryan and his writing team. -James Hibberd
Networks, Labels Hook Up
With networks diving into the digital media space, some are joining forces with fellow online content providers-record labels-in new cross-promotional partnerships. Last week Cartoon Network's Adult Swim announced it will team with music label Chocolate Industries to create "Chocolate Swim," a free six-song music collection available for download on the network's Web site. Also last week, USA announced a more linear partnership with Virgin Records for the label to be the exclusive provider of music for its advertising and promotions. "We saw this as an opportunity to provide music to our viewers that we, as Adult Swim employees, like," said Jason DeMarco, head of music for Adult Swim. "I can't quite say if it will become a trend. I think USA could only do an exclusive deal with a label the size of Virgin. For us, it was trying to dip our toe in and provide some content for our site." -James Hibberd