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TV News Notes

Jan 5, 2004  •  Post A Comment

MSNBC is expected to announce this week that Deborah Norville, who has anchored King World’s “Inside Edition” since 1995, will host an hour-long weeknight show starting sometime in January. A source familiar with Ms. Norville’s new deal said King World insisted the MSNBC show look nothing like “Inside Edition,” so her new format is not expected to include any of the packages that appear on other shows on the news network. Instead, it is expected to be built on interviews and talk.
Ms. Norville’s show, which will take the place of the 9 p.m. repeat of “The Abrams Report,” will be produced by Bruce Perlmutter. He joined MSNBC last summer after leaving CNN, where he was executive producer of “Connie Chung Tonight.” “Chung” was canceled last spring after News Group President Jim Walton declared it too tabloid-like for CNN. Ms. Norville will continue to host “Inside Edition” at least through the 2004-05 season. MSNBC declined to comment.
In another MSNBC programming change, “Jesse Ventura’s America” is going dark indefinitely. MSNBC President Erik Sorenson notified the staff at the all-news channel Dec. 23 that Mr. Ventura will continue to serve as a political commentator during the 2004 campaign season, but the Saturday show is gone less than three months after it launched. Taking its place will be taped documentary programming.
Parents of JonBenet Ramsey Sue Fox News
The Fox News Channel has been sued for defamation by the parents of JonBenet Ramsey, who are demanding $12 million in a federal lawsuit. The suit charges that a story on Fox News marking the sixth anniversary of the 6-year-old’s death incorrectly made the parents appear to be suspects in the case.
The suit was filed last month in Atlanta by John and Patsy Ramsey, who have maintained their innocence all along. The child was strangled and beaten to death Dec. 26, 1996, in the basement of the family home in Boulder, Colo. Since then, prosecutors and a federal judge have indicated there is evidence that an intruder killed the child. The lawsuit relates to an interview in which a man stated there is no evidence linking an intruder to the killing.
Neither Mr. nor Mrs. Ramsey, now living in Atlanta, has ever been charged with any crime. A Fox News spokesman did not return a call seeking comment on the lawsuit.