Steve Friedman made The Today Show #1 in the 80’s. He engineered NBC’s street-level studio in the 90’s. He created The Early Show for CBS in 1999. And now he has been tapped to “accelerate the growth” of his baby.
The oft-quoted Friedman has been named vice president for morning broadcasts at CBS News, Sean McManus announced today. Friedman will oversee The Early Show, CBS Morning News, and Up To The Minute. He starts today.
Here is Friedman’s carefully-worded quote:
“The greatest success for morning programs comes from strong producer-executive teams,” Friedman said. “I’m looking forward to working with Michael and his staff at THE EARLY SHOW. They’ve nurtured the ‘baby’ we created in 1999; I’m looking forward to returning to the broadcast as it nears its seventh birthday.”
The full press release is after the jump…
STEVE FRIEDMAN IS NAMED VICE PRESIDENT,
MORNING BROADCASTS, CBS NEWS
Steve Friedman, former executive producer of NBC News’ “Today” and senior executive producer of CBS News’ THE EARLY SHOW, has been named Vice President, Morning Broadcasts, CBS News, it was announced by Sean McManus, President, CBS News and Sports. Friedman will oversee THE EARLY SHOW, THE SATURDAY EARLY SHOW, the CBS MORNING NEWS and UP TO THE MINUTE. The appointment is effective today.
“Steve is one of a small group of people who have had an enormous impact on morning television over the past few decades,” said McManus. “Along with Senior Executive Producer Michael Bass and his team, I am confident Steve will accelerate the growth of THE EARLY SHOW.”
“The greatest success for morning programs comes from strong producer-executive teams,” said Friedman. “I’m looking forward to working with Michael and his staff at THE EARLY SHOW. They’ve nurtured the â€˜baby’ we created in 1999; I’m looking forward to returning to the broadcast as it nears its seventh birthday.”
Friedman’s long career in television news and production began with success at “Today,” where he served as executive producer (1979-87). At that time, he resurrected the morning format and moved the program into the number one position. Friedman returned to “Today” (1993-94), once again raising the broadcast to top ratings levels. He also had built a street-level studio on 49th Street in midtown Manhattan, a network first which quickly became a major tourist attraction and elevated the broadcast’s profile even further.
In between his work at “Today,” Friedman served as the executive producer of the “NBC Nightly News” (1990-93). In the fall of 1991, his duties expanded to include weekend editions of the program. He also was the executive in charge and one of the creators of “Dateline NBC.”
He was senior executive producer of CBS News’ THE EARLY SHOW (May 1999-June 2002), which debuted on Nov. 1, 1999, in a new, state-of-the-art broadcast facility on Fifth Avenue in New York City, from where the broadcast still emanates. Under Friedman’s leadership, the program enjoyed increased viewership, improved demographics and positive attention for a greater emphasis on hard news.
Before that, he was Vice President and Station Manager, WCBS-TV New York (1997-99). During that time, the 5:00 PM newscast finished second for the first time in eight years (February 1999) and every WCBS-TV newscast improved in market share.
Friedman joined WCBS-TV from Savoy Pictures, where he was president of the company’s television operation and production and worked to develop new programming (1995-97).
For the past four years, he has served as executive producer and/or consulting producer on a number of diverse projects, including a series of quarterly specials, “Flashpoints USA,” co-anchored by Bryant Gumbel and Gwen Ifill and “Cold Pizza,” the morning program on ESPN2.
Friedman has won five national Emmy Awards.
He was born in Chicago and was graduated from the University of Illinois in 1968.