Top News Executives to Meet With Donald Trump Over Coverage

Brian Steinberg
Variety

Top executives from the nation’s TV-news outlets are slated to meet Monday afternoon with President-elect Donald Trump Monday afternoon as questions loom over how much access his team will grant to journalists during his term as the leader of the United States.

The meeting will offer a chance for the the people who run of some of the most-watched independent news sources in America to open a dialogue with Trump and express interest in coverage, according to four people familiar with the meeting. Bill Shine and Jack Abernethy, co-presidents of Fox News Channel attended, according to these people, along with Deborah Turness, president of NBC News; Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide; James Goldston, president of ABC News; and Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC. David Rhodes, president of CBS News, was unable to be present, these people said. It was not immediately clear when the meeting was organized, but some news executives are expected to be on vacation this week due to the coming Thanksgiving holiday.

The meeting was organized by officials with the Trump transition team, these people said. A separate meeting with top executives from print media is expected and could take place as soon as Tuesday, according to one of these people.

The news executives will meet with the President-elect as questions about access and coverage of him have surfaced. The U.S. President and President-elect both typically travel with a “protective pool” of reporters in tow, but in at least two instances in recent days, Trump has moved without a press entourage. He and his family went out for dinner without notifying a pool assigned to him, and he also traveled to Washington, D.C., without press alongside him. The executives may also ask questions about his recent tendency to critique media outlets via a popular account he uses frequently on Twitter.

Several prominent anchors and editors also attended the meeting: Erin Burnett and Wolf Blitzer from CNN; John Dickerson of CBS’ “Face the Nation”; Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell from “CBS This Morning”; Chris Isham, Washington Bureau Chief of CBS News; George Stephanopoulos and Martha Raddatz from ABC News; and Lester Holt and Chuck Todd of NBC News.  Jay Wallace executive vice president of news for Fox News; Brian Jones, executive vice president of Fox Business Network; and Suzanne Scott, executive vice president of programming for Fox News, were also in attendance.

The meeting is believed to be off the record, so that the items being discussed will not be disseminated through official means. That will likely not keep certain details from surfacing.

 

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