Morning Media Newsfeed: Williams Steps Aside | O’Donnell to Leave The View

Brian Williams takes a break from NBC Nightly News. Rosie O'Donnell to leave The View. These stories and more in today's Morning Media Newsfeed

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Brian Williams: ‘I Am Presently Too Much A Part of The News, Due to My Actions’ (TVNewser)
Brian Williams will step aside from NBC Nightly News for the next “several days” to address questions raised about a story Williams told of being in a helicopter hit by an RPG over Iraq in 2003 — a story widely discredited. TVNewser NBC’s Lester Holt reported on Brian Williams‘ decision to remove himself from NBC’s flagship broadcast for the next several days. Holt then read Williams’ statement but did not mention he’d be filling in for Williams while he’s away. New York Daily News Richard Esposito has been assigned to investigate the embattled NBC Nightly News anchor for lying about dodging danger while reporting in Iraq, sources said Friday. TVNewser Williams is under fire for the error-filled retelling of a story during his coverage in the early days of the Iraq War. He claimed the chopper he was in was hit by an RPG. It wasn’t. He apologized Wednesday. But in the time since, other recollections have been called into question, from his reporting in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans to his work as a volunteer firefighter in New Jersey. FishbowlNY On Jan. 29, Williams accompanied U.S. military veteran Tim Terpak to a Rangers hockey game; his subsequent Nightly News report about the excursion is what lit the match, via Facebook. Deadline Williams will not appear on the Late Show With David Letterman Thursday, canceling a long-scheduled appearance in the wake of the investigation.

Rosie O’Donnell to Leave The View (TVNewser)
Rosie O’Donnell will make this week her last week at The View as she deals with family issues. THR / The Live Feed O’Donnell returned to The View in September 2014 after having held a seat on the show during the 2006-2007 season. She joined during a rebuilding period for the show, which saw Barbara Walters sign off in May 2014. Along with O’Donnell, the show welcomed Rosie Perez and Republican political analyst Nicolle Wallace. Variety Sources close to the situation said O’Donnell had been struggling with the stress related to her divorce as well as the pressure on the View set. The show’s lineup opened strongly in the ratings in September but viewership quickly tailed off. There has been much discussion at ABC about making further changes or additions among the hosts. Sources close to the situation suggested that O’Donnell decided to jump, citing her personal reasons, before she had to face the prospect of getting pushed. Deadline In the announcement of the move, ABC News did not say who it was mulling to replace O’Donnell. But given that the news unit inherited this panel when it took over the show in late October — just one month after the new cast had been announced — it would not be surprising if it went with someone with a news background.

HLN to Show Movies (TVNewser)
TBS has been successful with its Dinner & A Movie series since 1996. Now, its sister network, the re-branded HLN, is launching News And A Movie, beginning Thursday with the 1989 film GloryCapital New York HLN, CNN’s sister channel, is in the midst of a rebranding effort to become the “social media network.” CNN already airs films, including original documentary films that it has funded or acquired. HLN’s strategy differs, however, in that it is seeking to run scripted entertainment films that it has acquired the rights to, not original films, and not necessarily docs. Mediaite According to HLN’s press release, HLN will utilize multiple platforms, not just TV, to drive social engagement around the airing of the film, like HLN’s website, Facebook and Twitter. The big twist here, though, is that throughout the hours-long block, there will be a “dedicated celebrity media panel primed to explore issues sparked by the film, its place in pop culture, and the current creative and critical climate of Hollywood.” Variety Keith Brown, HLN senior VP of programming, said the discussion around Glory would tie in to Black History Month, which is celebrated in February, and look not only at how actor Denzel Washington won an Oscar for his performance in the film, but at the fact that no actors from a minority background were included in the current set of Oscar actor nominations.