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TV Note: 11/19/02

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

New 'Today' leader

Tom Touchet, who worked at ABC's competing "Good Morning America" for more than five years, is the new executive producer in charge of NBC's "Today" show.

Touchet began work at morning television's top-rated news show yesterday.

His immediate predecessor, Jonathan Wald, was removed in October amid reports of behind-the-scenes friction with host Katie Couric. Wald had the tough task of succeeding Jeff Zucker, now NBC's entertainment president, who led "Today" to its current dominance.

Touchet was widely considered the lead contender for the job but needed to wait before becoming contractually available to NBC.

At "Good Morning America," which has become increasingly competitive with "Today" over the past few years, Touchet produced coverage of the 2000 presidential election and special events after the Sept. 11 attacks. Before joining ABC in 1995, he was a producer at "Fox Morning News" in Washington, D.C.

(Associated Press)

Ling leaving 'View'

Co-host Lisa Ling will leave ABC's "The View" Dec. 5 to host "National Geographic Explorer" on MSNBC. Current "Explorer" host Boyd Matson will develop other National Geographic TV projects.

Producers of "The View" have not named a replacement for Ling; celebrity guests will fill her seat in the coming months.

(AP)

Channel surfing

It's down to the final three in "The Caroline Rhea Show's" talent competition. Country singer Jayson Bridges of New Kensington remains in the running and will compete again on Thursday's show (11 a.m., WPXI) ... According to USA Today, MSNBC is likely to cancel Phil Donahue's low-rated talk show by year's end. ... Daily Variety reports Sabrina Lloyd ("Sports Night") will guest star on six episodes of NBC's "Ed" as a lawyer who joins Ed's practice. ... CBS will produce a fourth edition of "The Amazing Race."

(Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor)

Brown leaving WPXI

Channel 11 reporter Natasha Brown will leave the station Nov. 27 to take a job as a reporter with KYW, the CBS affiliate in Philadelphia.

Brown joined WPXI in November 1999 and often worked as a fill-in anchor on Channel 11.

News director Pat Maday said her position will be filled.

(R.O.)

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