James Goldston, welcome to the morning show booking wars.
On his first day as EP of “Good Morning America” the show got scooped by cross-town rival NBC News. Here’s how it all went down.
ABC’s Andrea Canning got an interview with troubled actor Charlie Sheen at his LA home on Saturday. Canning paved the way for an interview by exchanging texts with Sheen last week about what led to the shut-down of his hit CBS show “Two and a Half Men.” And not long after crews packed up their gear, ABC began promoting the interview as part of a Tuesday night “20/20” special with excerpts airing today and tomorrow on GMA.
But by that time, NBC News correspondent Jeff Rossen was on his way to Los Angeles with hopes of getting an interview with the CBS star. The Sheen folks agreed to an interview Sunday morning and by Sunday afternoon, Rossen was at his front door. The NBC News PR department went into high gear calling their sit-down Sheen’s “first television interview since his contentious public comments against CBS and “Two and a Half Men” co-creator Chuck Lorre.” Which isn’t accurate since ABC’s interview was 24 hours before of NBC’s.
Anyway, we wondered if this is a story of two highly competitive, rival network correspondents. It’s not so much.
It turns out Rossen and Canning are friends. In fact, the two New York-based correspondents were spotted at an Upper West Side restaurant last week having dinner, along with “Today” show senior producer Noah Kotch and their spouses. Kotch used to work for ABC. Rossen did too, as a reporter at WABC. Rossen is married to Danielle Rossen, who is the senior producer in charge of the ABC News series “What Would You Do?”
As for CBS, there was no mention of Charlie Sheen on this morning’s “Early Show.”