‘Pauley’ taps topper

Exec leaves World Series coverage for daily talk show

Veteran television producer Michael Weisman has been tapped exec producer of “The Jane Pauley Show.”

Weisman, who has racked up 20 Emmy wins in his 30-year career, most recently worked for NBC Sports and Fox Sports. In accepting his “Jane Pauley” position, he was released from his commitments from both networks for the Athens Olympics and the World Series, respectively.

“I don’t think anyone in the history of TV has walked away from the World Series for a daily talk show,” Weisman said to Daily Variety. Although his most recent credits stem from the sports arena, Weisman’s extensive experiences are all founded on live television.

“What led me to this was the challenge,” Weisman said, while noting his background would transfer into the talk sphere. “As an executive producer, one of the things you have to do is keep people focused on the objective of the show and keep people happy.”

Furthermore, marching orders from NBC Enterprises prexy Ed Wilson were “think big. Don’t think small. There’s nothing we can’t do with this show,” recalled Weisman.

“When we set out to hire an executive producer, we wanted to find someone who could produce the best possible show, and we found that person in Michael Weisman,” Wilson said. “Michael’s extensive background in live television and his picture sensibility will make him a perfect match for Jane.”

“I can’t think of two people I have more faith in,” NBC Entertainment Jeff Zucker said on the pairing. Zucker’s relationship with Weisman dates back to 1986.

Weisman previously worked with Pauley in 1988, as the exec producer of the Seoul Summer Olympics. At that time, Pauley was co-hosting the “Today” show and hosting the morning segment of the Games.

Weisman will relocate to Gotham, as the yakker will tape from NBC’s headquarters at Rockefeller Center.

With Weisman now in place as exec producer, show is rapidly moving forward to prepare for its fall launch.

“Our priority is NATPE,” said Linda Finnell, senior VP of NBC Enterprises. “And we’re putting together senior staff, meeting director candidates — everything you need to do, we’re doing right now.”

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