Katie Couric’s CBS departure announcement expected soon

One of the worst kept secrets in network news is expected to be confirmed in the weeks ahead when CBS will announce the departure of CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric.

The New York Times is reporting that an announcement will be made in the first week of May, immediately following Couric’s return from London where she will be hosting coverage of the Royal Wedding.

The frontrunner for the Evening News chair is understood to be former White House chief correspondent and current 60 Minutes reporter Scott Pelley.

It has been reported by both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal that Couric is developing a daytime talk show possibly with her former Today colleague Matt Lauer.

– Dan News


VIDEO Watch Katie Couric moments you were never meant to see:

Absolutely Fabulous to return

Popular sitcom Absolutely Fabulous is set to make a return to our screens.

Although Jennifer Saunders is yet to write the scripts, it is expected to go in to production later this year.

A BBC spokesperson told the Telegraph: ‘We’re putting the finishing touches to the deal to bring it back and as soon as we’re in a position to confirm it we will.’

Saunders is currently writing ‘Uptown Downstairs Abbey’ and ‘Spice Girls: The Musical’.

Absolutely Fabulous first went to air in 1992, and ran for four years.  It returned in 2001 with two more series and two TV specials.

SKY TV releases iPhone/iPad app

The new app, packed with great features around SKY’s electronic programme guide is a one stop shop for listings for more than 111 channels including all SKY’s channels plus all the free-to-air listings.

The portable access provided to this extensive listing information will benefit not only SKY’s 808,000 plus subscribers but any TV viewer in NZ.

The SKY TV app delivers many useful features to make TV viewing even more convenient. After downloading the app users can remote record shows to their MY SKY decoders, set reminder alerts for their favourite programmes, create their own personal guide with favourite channels or share what they like through Facebook, Twitter, SMS or email. SKY subscribers can even book a recording of SKY Box Office movies or SKY ARENA events, like the upcoming Sonny Bill Williams fight, through their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

SKY believes the most used feature will be the search functionality. The ability to search for a programme on every channel through a portable device without interrupting television viewing should be hugely popular.

John Fellet, SKY Chief Executive said, “I’m so impressed with this new app I can’t wait for all New Zealand TV viewers to experience it. The app is so easy to use and brings so much convenience to television viewing being both portable and available 24/7. We’re sure it will be well used and we certainly plan to release more functionality in the near future”.

New features are already under development and will be released at a later date. They are planned to include the ability to add services and channel packages to SKY subscriptions and a recommendations feature.

The SKY Television app is in the Apple store today. To download text SKY to 898 or search for SKY TV in the app store.



Broadcaster Kerry Smith loses battle with cancer

Broadcaster Kerry Smith passed away this morning after a courageous battle with melanoma.

Kerry took medical leave from her role as 10am – 2pm announcer on radio station The Breeze in January, to focus on treatment and recovery.

MediaWorks Group Managing Director Sussan Turner said: “Kerry was a respected broadcaster and a very treasured member of the MediaWorks family.

“Our thoughts are with Kerry’s family and close friends at this incredibly sad time.”

The Breeze Programme Director Ian Avery said: “Kerry was a hugely talented radio host, the ultimate professional, and a dear friend.

“Listeners loved her, and her colleagues loved her dearly. She will be greatly missed.”

Kerry Smith’s broadcasting career spanned radio and television. She was a foundation member of radio station The Breeze, hosting the 10am – 2pm show from 2006 until 2011, and also worked as a presenter on Radio Pacific and RadioLIVE.

Her extensive television career included the iconic role of sharp-tongued deputy editor Magda on classic 80s TV Series Gloss, and she worked as a television continuity announcer, a weather presenter, and the host of home improvement show Changing Rooms.

Kerry Smith’s family expressed their appreciation of the thoughts and condolences they have received today. They will be respecting Kerry’s wish for a family funeral.

A tribute to Kerry, a celebration of her life, will be broadcast on The Breeze in the coming days.

Video: Lotto presenters Doug Harvey and Kerry Smith wish everyone a Merry Christmas in 1989. Recorded December 24 1989.

– MediaWorks

TVNZ to fight ‘incomprehensible’ BSA decision in High Court

TVNZ will appeal to the High Court against a decision by the Broadcasting Standards Authority which the broadcaster describes as ‘incomprehensible’.

TVNZ says the issue at stake is the right of adult New Zealanders to hear – for the first time – the exact exchange that took place between the Aramoana gunman David Gray and the policeman who then shot him dead.

This moment of extreme tension, during one of the nation’s most notoriously violent and terrifying events, included the word ‘f***ing’ – which was recounted by the police officer who spoke publicly about the highly-charged encounter during the course of an interview on TV ONE’s Sunday programme marking the 20th anniversary of the massacre.

The Broadcasting Standards Authority today ruled in a majority decision that the use of the word breached standards of good taste and decency and did not adequately consider children’s interests.

In a dissenting opinion the chairman of the BSA, Peter Radich, noted that warnings on content and language had been given twice and said: “I find it difficult to hold that a programme about the mass murder of men, women and children is within broadcasting standards as they apply to children but that the use of the word “f***ing” in that programme takes the programme to an unacceptable level.” He considered that “to have bleeped or otherwise obscured the words would have been purposeless, inappropriate and demeaning of the policeman..”.

TVNZ agrees absolutely with Mr Radich’s opinion, and is disturbed to note that his commonsense approach did not prevail amongst his colleagues.

TVNZ rarely appeals to the High Court on BSA decisions but the broadcaster says in this case it feels it has no option because to let the ruling stand would be to damage the right to freedom of expression in reporting on matters of such high public interest and historical significance to this country.