O’Donnell confronted Ahmadinejad with an underling’s declaration that Iran was supplying aid to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s military crackdown on his own people. The Iranian leader chuckled, denied the statement and made it clear that he saw the interview more as sport than a way to provide information.
Licht said he’s seen O’Donnell come in and change the direction of segments based on some reporting calls she had made the night before.
“She has sources,” he said. “She goes on the air with information not that she’s gotten from a one-sheet but from picking up the phone and calling sources. She’s going to bring a totally different dynamic and very specific reporting than you’re going to find with most anchors.”
O’Donnell did have something of a blank look on her face one day last week as she sat at the anchor desk with Rose, King and musician Dwight Yoakam. She winced recalling an admittedly star-struck chat with Serena Williams. Morning TV requires a command over a broad range of subject matter, and that’s something O’Donnell needs to work on.
“I am so used to concentrating on facts and what politicians have said in the past and what votes they’ve made, that it is sort of a different experience for me to step back and have a conversation with people who are successful in sports or music or innovation in business,” she said.
There are plenty more of those opportunities to come.
EDITOR’S NOTE _ David Bauder can be reached at dbauder(at)ap.org or follow him online at http://www.twitter.com/dbauder
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