Feb 22, 2018
1:51 pm

CBS Names New Anchor for ‘Face the Nation’ (TVWeek)

CBS has named a new moderator for its long-running Sunday morning political talk show “Face the Nation,” replacing John Dickerson. Taking over the position on a permanent basis starting this Sunday, Feb. 25, will be Margaret Brennan.

Brennan, who has been the White House and senior foreign affairs correspondent for CBS News, has been substituting as a moderator on “Face the Nation” along with Nancy Cordes and Major Garrett since Dickerson exited the program to join “CBS This Morning.”

CBS News President David Rhodes announced the appointment today. Brennan will continue to report on foreign affairs for the network, but will exit her White House position.

Brennan has been covering politics, international affairs and global markets since 2002, and joined CBS News in 2012. She has been White House and senior foreign affairs correspondent since 2017, working with Vice President and Washington Bureau Chief Christopher Isham.

“’Face the Nation’ is one of the longest-running traditions in television,” said Rhodes. “Margaret’s coverage of the White House and the world make her the ideal moderator for this legendary CBS News franchise at this moment in time.”

Added Mary Hager, executive producer of “Face the Nation”: “Margaret’s ability to ask newsmakers tough but fair questions in a deft and respectful manner, her sharp news instincts, and her tremendous ability to make complicated subjects understandable make her the perfect person to lead us into the next chapter of the broadcast.”

Brennan commented: “Both domestically and globally, news is breaking at an unrelenting pace. ‘Face the Nation’ has long been the place that viewers across the country rely on to make sense of it all by cutting through the noise to break down what matters and how it affects our daily lives. I am deeply honored and excited to carry on ‘Face the Nation’s’ tradition of helping provide this crucial context to our viewers.”

Margaret Brennan

Feb 22, 2018
1:44 pm

Taco Bell Overtakes Burger King to Become the Fourth-Largest U.S. Restaurant Brand — Can You Name the Top 3? (We Couldn’t) (Bloomberg)

Taco Bell eclipsed Burger King in U.S. sales last year to become the fourth-largest domestic restaurant brand, Bloomberg reports, citing a preliminary report by research firm Technomic.

The top three remained unchanged. McDonald’s Corp. holds down the No. 1 spot — by a lot — followed by Starbucks Corp. at No. 2 and Subway Restaurants in third place.

“Taco Bell’s systemwide sales — the total sales of restaurants that carry the brand — jumped 5 percent in the U.S. to about $9.8 billion in 2017,” Bloomberg reports. “The company, owned by Yum! Brands Inc., has made inroads with indulgent fare, along with $1 items that appeal to budget-strapped millennials.”

The Technomic report will be finalized in March, but the preliminary data shows McDonald’s at close to $38 billion in sales, Starbucks with about $18 billion, Subway at around $11 billion, Taco Bell’s $9.8 billion and Burger King just behind at about $9 billion.

Feb 22, 2018
1:31 pm

Report: 21st Century Fox and Sinclair Putting Finishing Touches on Station Sale (Variety)

“21st Century Fox is closing in on an agreement with Sinclair Broadcast Group to buy at least six TV stations, a transaction that stems from Sinclair’s pending $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media,” Variety reports.

“The deal is understood to encompass Tribune-owned Fox affiliates in five markets — Seattle, Denver, Salt Lake City, Sacramento and Cleveland — and Tribune’s CW affiliate that serves the Miami market,” the report adds. “The pact also ensures [that] Sinclair will lock in long-term Fox Broadcasting Co. affiliation deals for dozens of other stations it owns that are currently Fox affiliates.”

The report notes that the fine points of the agreement are still being hammered out, with the possibility that more stations may be added.

“The sale is contingent on Sinclair closing its acquisition of Tribune Media,” Variety adds. “The regulatory review process on the Sinclair-Tribune merger is coming to a head at the FCC and Justice Department now that Sinclair has filed its plan for station divestitures. The Tribune acquisition will put Sinclair well over the limit of the FCC’s TV station ownership rules, forcing some divestitures.”

Feb 22, 2018
12:27 pm

CNBC Rolls Out New Prime-Time Series
(TVWeek, CNBC)

CNBC today announced a new prime-time original series. Premiering Wednesday, April 11, will be the entrepreneurial series “Staten Island Hustle.”

The announcement says the six-episode series “follows a group of animated friends and businessmen from Staten Island who have yet to come up with an idea or product too far-fetched for them to invest in. Without MBAs (or even college degrees) these men prove that grit, ingenuity, and imagination may be the real key to success. Of course, it helps that somebody’s always ‘got a guy’ with the right connection or a good hook-up.”

Click here for details about the cast members and other information on the show.

Here’s a look …

Feb 22, 2018
12:21 pm

Veteran Station Executive Announces Retirement (TVWeek)

A longtime television executive who has been serving as president and general manager of the ABC flagship station WABC-TV has announced his retirement. Dave Davis will retire after more than 40 years in the business.

Davis was first named president and general manager of WABC-TV in 2003. From 2007-2010 he served as executive vice president of ABC News before returning to WABC in 2010 as president and general manager.

Davis commented: “It has been a privilege to have spent the majority of my career with the ABC Owned Station Group and the past 15 years with WABC. Our job is to reflect and serve the many local communities of the greater New York region, and I’m very proud of the work done by the team to make it the most watched station in the country.”

Please click here to read the full announcement, with additional details about Davis’ career.

Dave Davis (ABC/Steve Fenn)

Feb 22, 2018
12:17 pm

Actress and Comedian to Host ‘2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards’ (TVWeek, ABC)

An actress, comedian and best-selling author who has been on a roll lately has just landed yet another gig. MTV announced today that Tiffany Haddish will host the “2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards.”

The ceremony is set for Monday, June 18, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The 2018 categories and nominees will be announced at a later date.

“Tiffany Haddish is quickly establishing herself as one of the most sought-after actresses and comedic talents in television and film,” MTV said in its announcement. “She exploded onto the scene after her breakout performance in the blockbuster hit ‘Girls Trip,’ recently released a New York Times bestselling book, ‘The Last Black Unicorn,’ and late last year became the first black female stand-up comedian to host ‘Saturday Night Live.’ Haddish’s viral appearance on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ led her to become the face of Groupon and appear in the company’s 2018 Super Bowl commercial.”

Haddish is also set to star opposite Tracy Morgan in the TBS sitcom “The Last OG” and will appear alongside Kevin Hart in Universal’s “Night School,” premiering later this year.

Feb 22, 2018
9:19 am

Oprah Responds to Trump’s Tweet Attacking Her — and Ellen Uses Humor to Respond to It on Oprah’s Behalf … Watch Both Clips Below
(USA Today, The Hill, )

Whether or not they will become political rivals, the hostilities between Donald Trump and Oprah Winfrey are getting a lot of attention — and now Ellen DeGeneres is getting involved.

USA Today reports that Winfrey responded on Ellen’s show after Trump called Winfrey “very insecure” and critiqued her recent panel discussion on “60 Minutes.” Winfrey told Ellen: “I don’t like giving negativity power.”

Here’s a clip of that part of the “Ellen” interview …

The Hill posted a second clip in which DeGeneres addresses Trump, saying: “Oprah is my friend, and when you mess with Oprah, you mess with me.”

Here’s that clip …

Feb 22, 2018
9:07 am

Showtime Launches New Digital Sports Talk Show (TVWeek)

Showtime Sports has announced the launch of a new digital talk show. Today’s announcement says “Below the Belt” will launch Wednesday, Feb. 28.

The show will be a twice-monthly, 30-minute program running on Showtime Sports digital platforms, hosted by Brendan Schaub. The announcement was made today by Stephen Espinoza, President, Sports and Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc.

Showtime notes that the premiere comes days before American heavyweight Deontay Wilder defends his WBC title against Luis Ortiz.

Click here for details in Showtime’s announcement.

Feb 22, 2018
8:44 am

OWN Special to Honor Four Hollywood Game-Changers (TVWeek)

OWN announced plans today for a special program that has become an Oscar week tradition for the network. Essence’s 11th annual “Black Women in Hollywood Awards” will run as a prime-time special event on Saturday, March 3, at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

“For over a decade, the star-studded celebration has been at the forefront of honoring Hollywood’s most creative and accomplished African-American female visionaries, both in front of the camera and behind the scenes,” OWN noted in the announcement. The event will run on OWN for the fourth consecutive year.

The women being honored are actress and award-winning playwright Danai Gurira (“Black Panther”); comedian and award-winning actress Tiffany Haddish (“Girls Trip”); actress and activist Tessa Thompson (“Westworld”); and Emmy Award-winning writer and actress Lena Waithe (“Master of None”).

This year’s event, held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., will shift back to a daytime luncheon.

Feb 22, 2018
3:20 am

In Effort to Win Approval of Deal, Sinclair Plans to Sell Tribune’s WPIX-TV in New York and WGN-TV in Chicago (Reuters)

“Sinclair Broadcast Group has agreed to sell [WGN-TV] in Chicago and [WPIX-TV] in New York, both owned by Tribune Media Co. as part of its bid to win approval to acquire Tribune,” reports Reuters.

Sinclair wrote about the plans in “a filing on Wednesday with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission,” the story says, adding “Sinclair, which is already the largest U.S. broadcast station owner, announced plans in May to acquire Tribune’s 42 TV stations in 33 markets, extending its reach to 72 percent of American households, in a $3.9 billion deal.”

The article continues, “in a joint filing by the two companies, Tribune said it will file an application to sell WGN-TV in Chicago and WPIX-TV in New York ‘in order to come into compliance’ with FCC ownership rules. And Sinclair said it does not plan to acquire Tribune station KSWB in San Diego.”

Reuters also reports that “Sinclair said in the filing that to meet other ownership limits it will divest one or more stations in eight markets: Seattle; St. Louis; Salt Lake City; Oklahoma City; Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem, North Carolina; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Richmond, Virginia; and Des Moines-Ames, Iowa.

“Sinclair said it is asking the FCC for consent to retain two stations in each of three markets in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Indiana.”

To read more details about this item, please click here to read the full Reuters article.





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