Tuesday, June 20, 2006

"It is not the voice that commands the story: it is the ear" Italo Calvino

Word around midtown this morning has it that today is the day. Dan Rather and CBS will announce Dan is leaving the network after 44 years. Dan's contract is up in November. What's next? Harvard? HDNet? His News & Guts startup?

Look for a piece by Anthony Mason on tonight's Evening News, a tribute on Friday.

Dan Rather Signs Off. Sean McManus makes the announcement here

UPDATE: According to Rather's assistant Kim Akhtar, Richard Leibner, Rather's agent, will be releasing a statement later today.

UPDATE 2:According to CBS spokeswoman Sandy Genelius, Rather was given the opportunity to comment in the release and chose not to do so. More via Vaughn & PublicEye here

UPDATE 3: McManus told the Los Angeles Times' Matea Gold: "We just couldn't come up with a schedule of assignments on '60 Minutes' that was satisfactory for both him and CBS. There's nothing disrespectful whatsoever in that we've tried to do this in a very fair and equitable way, knowing that we couldn't come to an agreement on a contract extension. It was an ongoing process that from our perspective was as cordial, lengthy and respectful as we could have made it."

Max Robins writing at B&C says...So what's really going on here? It's obvious that the CBS brass think Rather is radioactive. The National Guard fiasco only encouraged Rather's many critics on the political right, and with the youthful Couric set to take over at the CBS Evening News in September, nobody wants the old guy to hang around and kill the buzz. More here

Connie Chung has now done it all and her MSNBC farewell proves it, WHAT was she thinking, why didn't the show runner kill this at the concept stage and save her? The video via YouTube here

Sean Ross has posted a well written first take on what he is calling African-American News/Talk...

If that format finally takes off after more than two decades' worth of attempts, WAMJ will be the station that made it possible. And even in a market with plenty of well-entrenched local personalities, and even given the strength of market leader WVEE (V103), it's hard to imagine that an FM station with Steve Harvey and Michael Baisden will not do something.

Bravo Sean! Thanks for putting this one on the radar. It would be KISMET for WAMJ to lead a format breakthrough, Atlanta being the birthplace of legendary WERD (btw, the station where my dad got his first job in broadcasting). Read Sean's A Breakthrough For African-American News/Talk with comments here