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The HeldenFiles Online

Mixed notes Thursday

By Rich Heldenfels Published: April 10, 2014



Steve Harvey is coming to Akron for a couple of events. I first interviewed Steve almost 20 years ago, and here's my look at his impressive career.

Today's mailbag is here.

Buzzfeed has a fascinating discussion of the life and career of the great Tom Lehrer. I have been carting around Lehrer records for (mumble mumble) years, and have had his songs stuck in my head since reading the Buzzfeed piece this morning. A sample is above.

"Justified" wrapped up another season, one that ended vividly but had disappointments along the way (still not thrilled with the Ava-in-prison arc and its abrupt completion). But the season finale spent a surprisingly large amount of time setting up the next season, which will be the last; the setup, though, made me wish that season was starting now.

I had made note here of the plan to integrate "Agents of SHIELD" into the timeline set up in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," but was still amazed at how much of "Winter Soldier" was given away in "Agents" this week. Clearly ABC assumed that most "Agents" fans had been in the opening-weekend crowd for "Winter Solider." If you were not in that crowd, I'd suggest saving "Agents" until after you have seen the movie.

ABC News has a new president, rising through its ranks. The official word:

As part of the ongoing succession process, Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group, today announced that ABC News Senior Vice President James Goldston has been named president, ABC News, replacing Ben Sherwood, who was recently promoted to co-president, Disney/ABC Television Group.

In this role, Mr. Goldston will be responsible for all editorial and business aspects of the News Division, including all ABC News programs on the ABC Television Network, ABC News Radio, ABC and ABC News NOW.

In making the announcement, Ms. Sweeney stated, “James has been an integral part of the resurgence at ABC News, lending his insight and expertise to our News programs as they’ve experienced tremendous success and momentum. He’s smart, strategic and fearless in his pursuit of creative excellence.”

In a note to ABC staff, Mr. Sherwood said, “An award-winning journalist, masterful programmer, and innovative businessman, James has helped steer ABC News in moments of triumph and adversity,” said Mr. Sherwood. “I am confident he is the right person to lead ABC News to an even brighter and better future.”
“Coming to ABC News has been the most exciting and rewarding time in my life. The people of ABC News amaze me every day with their dedication, creativity, hunger for the truth and sense of duty to our vitally important mission,” said Mr. Goldston. “Over the past three years, Ben inspired the division with the two most important things we needed – confidence in the future and a belief that if we dreamed big dreams we could accomplish anything. Armed with those, I know our incredible team will take ABC News to even greater heights.”

Mr. Goldston was named Senior Vice President for Content and Development of ABC News in March 2012. In this role, he oversaw ABC News programs and Executive Producers and led the development of new shows for broadcast, cable and other distribution.

Prior to his role as Senior Vice President, Mr. Goldston was the Senior Executive Producer of “Good Morning America” from February 2011-March 2012, the historic and pivotal time in which “Good Morning America” closed in on “Today’s” 16-year winning streak to ultimately become the number one morning show in April 2012. 

Mr. Goldston joined ABC News in 2004 as Senior Producer of primetime specials and investigations and was promoted shortly thereafter to Executive Producer of “Nightline,” a position he held until 2011. Under his leadership, “Nightline” rose to the number one program in late night and was honored with many awards, including a duPont, a Murrow and multiple Emmy Awards.

Before joining ABC News, Mr. Goldston led Britain’s most watched current affairs program, ITV1's “Tonight with Trevor McDonald,” from 2002-2004. During his tenure as both Producer and Executive Producer, “Tonight” was honored with the prestigious Program of the Year Award three times in five years.

A graduate of Jesus College, Oxford University, Mr. Goldston began his career in television as a producer for several BBC News programs, including “Newsnight,” the network's nightly news analysis show, as well as BBC's flagship current affairs program, “Panorama.”

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