[09/21/05 - 12:00 AM]
Geraldo Rivera to Launch New News Program from Twentieth Television in November

[via press release from Twentieth Television]

Geraldo Rivera to Launch New News Program From Twentieth Television in November

Live Half-Hour Strip 'Geraldo at Large' to Embrace Breaking News and In-Depth Investigative Reports

NEW YORK, Sept. 21 -- Twentieth Television today unveiled "Geraldo at Large," a live first-run half-hour news strip hosted by Emmy and Peabody award-winning journalist Geraldo Rivera scheduled to launch on the Fox owned-and-operated stations in November. The announcement was made today by Jack Abernethy, CEO of Fox Television Stations, Inc.

Produced in New York and distributed by Twentieth Television, "Geraldo at Large" will take the most compelling stories we hear, see and read about each day and produce them in a fast, informative and exciting way. "Geraldo at Large" will be on the scene of top stories, with special correspondents and field teams delivering exclusive reports, in-depth reporting, breaking news and top newsmakers.

Regarding the announcement, Abernethy stated, "Strong news reporting and the delivery of comprehensive information to the viewer are key ingredients to success and ones we are going to incorporate into our program strategy. News is a key driver for the Fox owned-and-operated stations and 'Geraldo at Large' will serve as a strong complement to our local stations' newscasts."

Bob Cook, president and COO of Twentieth Television, noted, "'Geraldo at Large' will take our news programming strategy to an entirely new level. Viewers are demanding more topical coverage and stronger investigative reporting in their news. With Geraldo's strong background and experience, we elected to further evolve our news program strategy by launching this show, as it will help us satisfy this requisite among the audience."

"Geraldo at Large" will replace time periods on the Fox O&Os currently held by "A Current Affair," which will remain on the air through October.

Cook continued, "We are very proud of the effort put forth into 'A Current Affair,' which displayed some exceptional work but has not resonated with audiences in the larger markets as well as we would have liked. I want to thank the 'A Current Affair' team, including Peter Brennan, John Tomlin, host Tim Green and the entire staff, for their dedication to the show. I also wish to thank our partner stations on 'A Current Affair.' We are grateful for their support and look forward to discussing with them how 'Geraldo at Large' will better meet their programming needs."

One of Fox News' top journalists, Rivera has covered some of the world's largest news stories for the channel, most recently Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. A legendary television journalist celebrated for his investigative reports, he recently was promoted to correspondent at large for the channel. Rivera joined Fox News in November 2001 as a war correspondent. He was immediately stationed in Afghanistan to cover Operation Enduring Freedom and later in Bethlehem to cover the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Rivera began his career as a reporter for WABC-TV in New York, where he presented a series exposing the deplorable conditions at the Willowbrook State School for the mentally ill. These award-winning reports led to a government investigation and the institution was eventually shut down.

Before becoming a member of the original cast of ABC's "Good Morning America," Rivera presented the first television broadcast of the infamous Abraham Zapruder film of the assassination of President John Kennedy as host of ABC's "Good Night America." He then began an eight-year association with ABC's "20/20" as an investigative reporter. One of his hour-long reports, "The Elvis Cover-Up," was for more than two decades "20/20's" highest rated shows. In 1987, he began producing and hosting his first-run syndicated talk show "The Geraldo Rivera Show" for 11 years. In 1998, he hosted a series of investigative specials on NBC.

The winner of the 2000 Robert F. Kennedy journalism award (his third) for his NBC News documentary on "Women In Prison," and the Scripps Howard Foundation national journalism award for "Back to Bedlam," Rivera has received more than 170 awards for journalism, including the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award, three national and seven local Emmys, two Columbia-Dupont and two additional Scripps Howard Journalism Awards.

Rivera is a veteran foreign correspondent who has been on the frontlines in virtually every international conflict since 1973. He has expertise in the Afghanistan region, covering the international drug wars of tribal territories in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. His vast war experience has spanned the violent coup in Chile and the Yom Kippur War to the civil wars in Guatemala, the Philippines and Nicaragua, as well as the ethnic conflicts in Lebanon (1980-83) and Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo (1998-1999). In 2000, he went to Colombia to cover the country's civil war.

Prior to joining Fox News, Rivera served as host of CNBC's number-one rated prime time show, "Rivera Live," where his critically-acclaimed coverage of the O.J. Simpson civil trial verdict set an all-time CNBC ratings record. Rivera is a graduate of the University of Arizona and Brooklyn Law School, and is the author of seven books.

The Fox Television Station group, one of the nation's largest owned-and- operated network broadcast groups, comprises 35 stations in 26 markets, covering nearly 45% of U.S. television homes. This includes five duopolies in the top 10 markets, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Washington D.C., as well as duopolies in Houston, Minneapolis, Phoenix and Orlando.

A leader in the domestic program production and distribution arena, Twentieth Television provides a wide array of first-run and off-network programming, as well as feature film packages, to the syndication and cable marketplaces. First-run programs distributed by Twentieth Television include the news magazine "A Current Affair," the popular court show strip "Divorce Court" and the new court show "Judge Alex," which debuted this fall. Twentieth Television also oversees the domestic sales of one of the most extensive libraries of off-net programming in the entertainment industry. This fall, the company is launching the groundbreaking drama "24," starring Kiefer Sutherland, and The Peabody Award-winning sitcom "The Bernie Mac Show" in off-net syndication.

SOURCE Twentieth Television
Web Site: http://www.fox.com

  [september 2005]  

· 20/20 (ABC)
· 24 (FOX)

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