Lange exec producer on ‘Extra’

Local news veteran Steven Lange will succeed David Friend as executive producer of Warner Bros.’ syndie newsmagazine “Extra” at the end of the month.

Friend is said to be in the running to take over exec producer duties on ABC’s “Good Morning, America” (Daily Variety, May 28), but sources at ABC said no decision had been made as of Friday.

WB said Friend resigned “to pursue new challenges.” Friend has been with “Extra” since its inception in 1994, rising from senior supervising producer to executive producer in February 1996.

“It’s the nature of the business we’re in that sometimes it takes a fresh perspective to take a show to its next level,” said Jim Paratore, president of Warner Bros.’ Telepictures Prods.

Insiders said the studio is mulling changes in the show’s anchor team as well, but Paratore said those decisions will be made by Lange once he’s settled into the job. Rumor has it that Maureen O’Boyle, whose Warner Bros.-produced syndie talkshow is not expected to return for a second season this fall, will return to “Extra” as an anchor.

Lange, who takes the reins at “Extra” June 30, has been news director of the CBS-owned station in Chicago, WBBM-TV, for the past two years. Before joining WBBM, where he’s credited with launching the station’s first morning newscast, Lange worked as a news director and producer for WCBS New York and KNBC Los Angeles.

(Gary Levin in New York contributed to this report.)

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