Ticker: Ike Ejiochi, Richard Leibner, Presidential Debates, Arwa Damon

By Mark Mwachiro 

  • ABC News has announced that Ike Ejiocjhi has been promoted to correspondent based in New York City. He has been with ABC News since 2021, joining as a multiplatform reporter for ABC News’ affiliate service, ABC NewsOne. In a note to staff, ABC News president Kim Godwin said, “Ike was instrumental in covering a number of important stories, including the trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd and the deadly tornadoes in Paducah, Ky., in 2021.” Ejiochi has reported on a number of stories, including the Nightline special Swimming While Black, which was nominated for an Emmy and won the national Edward R. Murrow Award as a part of ABC News Radio.
    Profile picture of Ike Ejiochi

    Picture courtesy of ABC News

  • The TV news industry is mourning the loss of Richard Leibner, a high-profile talent agent, who died from cancer on Tuesday at the age of 85. Among those who could say they were a client of his were Dan Rather, Mike Wallace, Ed Bradley, Morley Safer, Bob Simon, Steve Kroft, Bill Whitaker, Diane Sawyer, Chuck Scarborough, Paula Zahn, Brian Stelter and Fareed Zakaria, among others. Regarding Leibner’s passing, Stelter said on social media, “There’s so much I want to say about Richard. He was my agent for many years. More importantly, he was my friend, mentor and most reliable viewer.”
  • A prepared joint letter urging President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump to take part in TV debates before November’s presidential election was endorsed by the major TV news outlets, including ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, NewsNation and NBC News. The draft version, as obtained by The New York Times, read, “We, the undersigned national news organizations, urge the presumptive presidential nominees to publicly commit to participating in general election debates before November’s election.” The letter, which is not final, has not been sent out as the news networks are looking to get more signatories from other major news organizations, including newspapers.
  • Former CNN senior international correspondent Arwa Damon reappeared on CNN on Monday evening as The Lead’s Jake Tapper interviewed her live from Cairo, Egypt. Tapper interviewed Damon, who left CNN in 2022, regarding her recent trip to Gaza as well as her work helping children affected by the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. Damon, the president and founder of INARA (International Network for Aid, Relief and Assistance), said what she saw in Gaza was a teaming mass of humans searching for basics like food and medicine and identifying loved ones.

  • The Deadline Club’s 2024 Awards finalists were announced on Wednesday, with ABC News, CBS News, NBC News and CNN each receiving nominations. NBC News received the most nominations, with six; ABC News received five; CBS News received four; and CNN received three nominations. The Deadline Club’s 2024 Awards, which received over 550 entries, are one of New York’s most prestigious awards covering work that was published or broadcast. MSNBC’s Way Too Early anchor, Jonathan Lemire, is one of two journalists headlining the awards dinner, which will be held on May 16 at the Harvard Club in New York.
  • Meanwhile, CNN on Tuesday received a Sports Emmy nomination for Outstanding Journalism for its CNN Flash Doc Blindsided, which dealt with former NFL-er Michael Oher, who found out that he had not been adopted but was in a conservatorship. The 45th Annual Sports Emmy Awards will take place on Tuesday, May 21, at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York.

  • Finally, CNN’s Nada Bashir was honored by Forbes as she was named to the 2024 Forbes Under 30 Europe list. Forbes singled out the London-based international correspondent “for covering a range of leading stories and amplifying underrepresented voices to the 347 million worldwide households that tune into CNN International.”