By Staff -- Broadcasting & Cable, 7/18/2004 8:00:00 PM
Lara Spencer has been named New York anchor for Paramount's The Insider. She joins Pat O'Brien, who will host the show from Los Angeles. Spencer comes to The Insider from ABC's Good Morning America, where she has been a national correspondent since 1999. Besides anchoring The Insider, Spencer will continue to host PBS's Antiques Roadshow.
Also at Paramount, Mark Steines is joining Mary Hart as anchor of Entertainment Tonight. Steines replaces Bob Goen, who will leave ET at the end of August to pursue other entertainment opportunities. Goen also has accepted a development deal with the studio.
Replacing Steines on ET Weekend is Kevin Frazier, who moves from ESPN's Sports Center and NBA Studio. Steines starts immediately; Frazier begins his new job Sept. 18, when ET Weekend premieres season six.
NBC Universal filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court July 13 to prevent former Access Hollywood anchor Pat O'Brien from promoting his new show, Paramount's The Insider, until his contract with NBC U expires Aug. 28.
Last month, O'Brien exited Access Hollywood to become host of The Insider, which premieres Sept. 13. NBC Universal asked for a temporary restraining order, which would prevent O'Brien from being associated with the show until Aug. 29.
Patty Glaser, an attorney with Los Angeles-based law firm Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil and Shapiro, says Paramount had no intention of putting O'Brien into promotional spots until his contract expires.
Although Paramount has produced no promotions with O'Brien, two weeks ago, he talked to reporters about his new job. The change was widely reported on June 16, when Access Hollywood announced that former New York correspondent Billy Bush would be taking over for O'Brien.
The court denied NBC U's request for an immediate restraining order but set an expedited hearing for July 23. Even with the lawsuit, O'Brien will cover the 2004 Summer Olympics for NBC Sports, says an NBC rep.
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