Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Dan Abrams, the next Isiah Thomas of cable news?

Entertainment: If you are serious about making MSNBC something other than taking space on the channel lineup, I don't see how you can pick the guy because he sent emails.

NBC News president Steve Capus says he chose Abrams after being impressed by regular e-mails from him in recent months suggesting programming ideas. "In these unconventional times, why not put an unconventional player at the heart of the organization?" says Capus, who made a similar move when he tapped NBC Sports producer Jim Bell to run Today. Capus says that by having Griffin at NBC News in New York and Abrams at MSNBC in New Jersey, he hopes to bridge gaps between network and cable staffs. CBS Early Show chief Steve Friedman, an NBC News alumnus, says that after years with MSNBC in third place, executives seem ready for a shake-up. "They're saying, 'We've got to change. We've been playing for a decade, and nothing has helped us.' "

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