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3 items from 2014

‘Good Morning America,’ ‘Today’ Borrow Tricks From Nik Wallenda

25 November 2014 10:50 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Good Morning America” meteorologist Ginger Zee looks nothing like tightrope-walking daredevil Nik Wallenda. Yet for one agonizing block of time on a recent Friday, the two seemed more similar than different.

On the Friday, November 7 edition of the venerable ABC morning program, Zee made a tandem jump from a plane nearly 13,000 feet over Homestead, Florida, with a member of the U.S. Army Parachute team. As “Gma” co-anchor Lara Spencer brought her hands to her mouth and openly fretted – “Oh my gosh! Ginger, be careful!” – Zee smiled and plummeted at 120 miles per hour, all with wireless GoPro cameras showing the action from her point of view. Once all was well, she started chatting with her co-hosts as though she were back in the studio.

“When the door to the plane opened and we were about to jump, all I was thinking was …’I’m hungry!’” Zee said in an emailed response to questions, »

- Brian Steinberg

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Julie Chen: I'm a 'Little Bit Dirtier, a Little Bit Raunchier' Than People Think

17 October 2014 | | See recent news »

Julie Chen is no Chenbot. Sure, the co-host of CBS' The Talk loves the Chenbot nickname that she earned while hosting the long-running reality show Big Brother, but she says it's been a long time since she looked and behaved like the robotic, picture-perfect newsreader from CBS' The Early Show, where she worked from 1999 to 2011. "People went into watching The Talk thinking I was a certain way - a bit cold, a bit full of herself, not the fun girl to hang out with at the party," Chen, 44, told People. "My hair was always big and curly, sprayed perfectly. That »

- Lynette Rice, @lynetterice

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Could Savannah Guthrie’s Pregnancy Herald Even More Personal Chatter At ‘Today,’ ‘Gma’?

17 March 2014 8:41 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

In the grand scheme of things, Savannah Guthrie’s newly-announced pregnancy means very little to the world at large. But in the ongoing drama that is morning TV, this development could mean everything.

Guthrie, who was named co-anchor of “Today” last year, announced to the show’s audience this morning that she had gotten married over the weekend, and, what’s more, is four months pregnant. In times past, news anchors might have kept their personal lives separate from the tableau they present on camera, but, in these days of Am-show teams functioning more as a coffee klatch than a group of journalists, that era is over.

Now, the question will be whether NBC chooses to seize upon Guthrie’s happy news and use it as the latest salvo against ABC News and “Good Morning America,” where personal revelations seem to fly so fast they could make viewers stop to »

- Brian Steinberg

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