The A.M. Ticker: Journalist Killed, Transgender Seal, Moving On

By Chris Ariens 

  • AP video journalist Simone Camilli was killed today after ordnance left over from fighting in Gaza exploded. Camillia, an Italian national and his translator, Palestinian Shehda Abu Afash were killed as they reporting on the aftermath of the war. Following the news, AP president Gary Pruitt sent a note to the AP’s global staff about the dangers of their work.

  • CNN’s latest documentary tells the story of a U.S. Navy SEAL whose service included 13 tours of combat duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. But when Christopher Beck became Kristin Beck, the real battles began. “LADY VALOR: The Kristin Beck Story” is produced by Mark Herzog and Christopher G. Cowen. The two-hour film premieres on CNN Thursday, Sept. 4.

  • Susan Mercandetti is leaving ABC News to start her own media consulting company. Mercandetti has had two stints at ABC. She returned in April 2011 as VP of business development. Mercandetti has already lined up Disney/ABC, Univision and Fusion as her first clients, says Disney/ABC TV president Ben Sherwood. His note after the jump…

From: “Sherwood, Ben”
Date: August 12, 2014 at 10:56:37 AM EDT
Subject: Susan Mercandetti

I wanted to share some news about our colleague and friend Susan Mercandetti who recently let me know that she is leaving ABC News to start her own media consulting business. While I’m excited for Susan and confident that she will enjoy great success in this new venture, I am sad to see her leave our ranks.

In early 2011, as we planned a turnaround at ABC News, I invited Susan to join our senior team. She has been a trusted advisor, confidante and partner in every facet of our work. Most of all, she is a human reservoir of big ideas and inspiration and she has helped forge countless new partnerships, relationships and opportunities at ABC News.

Indeed, Susan was instrumental in the creation of Fusion; as our friend Isaac Lee says, it would not have happened without her. Over the past year, Susan participated in the Sulzberger fellowship program at Columbia University where executives work on exploring and fixing core challenges in their media organizations. As part of the program, Susan has taken on the important task of working with the editorial and advertising divisions at ABC News to identify and develop new ways to engage audiences.

As you may know, Susan returned to the network after many successful years in magazine and book publishing. She edited several number one bestsellers including our own Bob Woodruff’s “In An Instant.” Susan was in the starting lineup at Nightline from its inception and served as an Emmy award winning producer for over a decade, covering everything from the American hostage crisis in Iran to three Presidential elections. Susan is a rare talent who has successfully journeyed from broadcast to print and back to broadcast in her career.

Please join me in thanking Susan for her leadership, friendship, can-do spirit, and her wisdom and irresistible laughter that have lifted us through bad times and good.

Though she will no longer hang her heels at 47 West, I am pleased to say that Disney ABC, along with Univision and Fusion, will be among Susan’s first clients.

We all wish her the very best and we find comfort knowing that she will never go too far from ABC.