NEW YORK — Paramount Domestic TV’s “Entertainment Tonight” has engineered its first change of co-anchors in eight years, promoting Mark Steines to succeed the departing Bob Goen as co-host with Mary Hart.
Move comes just three days after Par formally anointed Pat O’Brien as sole host of “The Insider,” which premieres as a half-hour daily showbiz magazine this fall.
Paramount also hired Kevin Frazier, the ESPN veteran who hosts “NBA Studio” programming and is one of the anchors of “SportsCenter,” to take over from Steines as anchor of “Entertainment Tonight Weekend.”
Steines begins his new role immediately; Frazier joins “ET Weekend” Sept. 18.
Meanwhile, NBC Universal’s “Access Hollywood” renewed the contract of executive producer Rob Silverstein.
On Steines taking over for Goen on “ET,” Bill Carroll, VP and director of programming for the Katz TV rep firm, said, “Paramount is clearly trying to revitalize the program, giving it new energy with Steines, who could help to lower the average age of the show’s viewers.”
All long-running shows tend to get older the longer they’re on the air, and “ET” is now in its 23rd season. But it still tops the ratings of its three syndie competitors, “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition” and “Extra.”
New rival looms
One reason for the unusual number of changes in the showbiz-magazine category is their producers/distributors are girding for the fifth show in the category, “The Insider.”
Steines joined “ET” as a correspondent and substitute anchor in 1995. He became anchor of “ET Weekend” in 1998 while continuing as correspondent and substitute anchor on the daily version. Before “ET,” Steines was a sports reporter for KCAL-TV Los Angeles.
Frazier joined ESPN in July 2002 as a “SportsCenter” anchor and NBA studio host. Since ESPN partnered with TNT to buy rights to NBA games two years ago, Frazier has served as host of pregame, halftime and postgame shows. Before ESPN, Frazier was an anchor and reporter for the Fox Sports Network for seven years.
When his contract expires in August, Goen will leave “ET.” But Paramount said he has agreed to a development deal with the studio.
“Access Hollywood” hired Silverstein as a weekend producer in 1996, promoting him to senior broadcast producer a year later. Silverstein got his exec producer stripes in 1999.