Tag Archive: CBS

Amanda Knox’s dad: ABC producer gave kids her room


NEW YORK (AP) — The courtship of Amanda Knox’s family by American television networks eager to win an exclusive interview with her extended to providing temporary accommodations for two of her younger sisters.

Knox’s father, Curt Knox, said Friday that an ABC producer let his daughters Ashley, 16, and Delaney, 13, stay in her room while court was in session. He said a CBS producer did, too, and an NBC producer offered to.

Amanda Knox, 24, returned to the United States on Tuesday after an Italian court overturned her murder conviction in the death of her roommate. The former exchange student from Seattle had been in custody since 2007.

Networks are competing for an interview with her, even before it’s clear if she’ll even tell her story in that venue. There has been increased attention lately on how networks get these interviews, with ABC declaring this summer it would no longer pay interview subjects to license photos or videos, seen as a dodge of the common journalistic practice of not paying people to tell their stories.

Producers might be able to help the Knoxes see if they could find care for their teenage daughters, but offering something with a specific monetary value — their hotel rooms — isn’t a good idea, said Kelly McBride, senior faculty member for ethics at the Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank.

Even without a specific expectation of something in return, “it is unfair to the source because they are in a position of vulnerability,” McBride said.

Curt Knox said that although ABC producer Nikki Battiste permitted his children to use her room, she was doing her job and did not babysit the teenagers. He said Battiste wasn’t in the room with them.

ABC News spokeswoman Jeffrey Schneider said the network didn’t have a problem with Battiste’s actions.

Knox said that CBS producer Sabina Castelfranco also permitted the children to use her room. But CBS spokeswoman Sonya McNair denied this, saying Castelfranco turned down the request when asked and checked out of the small hotel. McNair said it was unclear whether the room was made available to the children after Castelfranco checked out.

Knox said NBC producer Stephanie Siegel offered her room but it wasn’t used. NBC spokeswoman Lauren Kapp denied that such an offer was made.

Battiste and Siegel also accompanied Knox’s wife and the two girls on a shopping trip near the Italian courtroom but didn’t buy anything for the family, he said.

It’s unclear whether any efforts by networks to ingratiate themselves with Knox will make any difference.

“The kind gesture to allow my younger daughters, who couldn’t get into the courtroom due to age, will not have any influence as to which network, if any, that Amanda may choose to go with in the future,” he said.


By Ryan Greene

Some aspects of the NCAA tournament should just never be changed, and CBS essentially is admitting that it should have known that in the first place.

After just one highly criticized crack at it, Jennifer Hudson has been replaced as the resident crooner in the network’s wildly popular post-NCAA title game highlight montage — One Shining Moment.

CBS is going back to using the Luther Vandross rendition of the song, which it used from 2003-2009. He suffered a stroke in 2003 and passed in 2005. His stamp on the montage was the longest run of any singer since the tradition was born following the 1987 NCAA tournament.

“Both versions are great. She [Hudson] did a great job,” said Harold Bryant, CBS Sports’ vice president for production. “We just felt like we wanted to go back to Luther.”

For whatever reason, Vandross’s version was replaced last season, and the 2010 rendition was met with some harsh criticism, for reasons that were both in and out of Hudson’s control.

Her version of the tune fell short, especially in an all-over-the-map final minute. It’s worth noting that Hudson was likely doomed from the start, as the similar sounds of Vandross and Teddy Pendergrass had a stranglehold on the piece for the better part of two decades and were truly beloved. It was too much of a break from the norm for those who look forward to One Shining Moment on the first Monday of every April (I’ll proudly raise my hand to that).

The kicker was the five completely unnecessary cutaway shots of Hudson singing in the recording studio, which drew major uproar. Again, it’s hard to blame that on her, because we don’t know exactly whose call it was.

Still, in sports, there are certain things you just don’t mess with. This is one of them.

CBS did the right thing in switching back, and both the network and Hudson will be forgiven.

But that mess might never truly be forgotten.

Ryan Greene also covers UNLV and the Mountain West Conference for the Las Vegas Sun. Read his Rebels coverage and follow him on Twitter.

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