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Ted Koppel to "This Week?"


koppel Photo Credit: ap



  Interesting story in Politico this morning by Mike Allen: He reports that ABC is trying to get Ted Koppel to host "This Week" - been rumored for weeks, but this is the first hard story I've seen that confirms the talks are hot.

  Says Allen:

ABC News is negotiating with "Nightline" founder Ted Koppel, a 42-year veteran of the
network, for a potential return to anchor “This Week” three Sundays a month, broadcast industry sources said.

ABC News executives said no offers have been made.Under the proposed Koppel arrangement, the fourth Sunday would rotate among potential future anchors from the network's Washington bureau.

  But here's a teeny bit of background not in the Politico scoop. ABC went after Ted years ago for this job, but he rejected - most notably because he wanted to be Secretary of State.  I kid you not. It sounds like a case of over-weaning ego, and very well may be, but K is old pals with Henry Kissinger and I  imagine HK told him he too could have his own Nixon and have Sey Hersh write damning books about him as well.

  I also once heard, and believe some of this, that Bob Iger - Mouse House topper, to borrow some Variety-ese - was very worried after Ted ankled "Nightline." He thought it would be a huge blow to the news division, and that it would look awful  all round. He came up with an idea of getting Ted on "This Week" and moving George Stephanopoulos to "Nightline." Not sure if this last part is in fact true, but the idea was floating around, as they say. 

  Ted was not interested - wanted to move on, and get on with production. He subsequently signed a deal with Discovery and produced some particularly fine documentaries for the network. But the TDC deal kind of withered - I'm guessing ratings - and suddenly Ted wasn't quite as busy as he had been.

  Enough with the background. This'd be a great coup for ABC News if he returned, and it sounds like a smart move to rotate anchors. That way,  major prospects like Terry Moran and Jake Tapper don't get their noses too outta joint. Besides, Hill already has the State job. 


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