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Dan Abrams
Born (1966-05-20) May 20, 1966 (age 48)
Manhattan, New York City
Ethnicity Jewish[1]
Education Duke University
Columbia Law School
Occupation CEO
TV host
Partner(s) Florinka Pesenti
Children one (with Pesenti)
Parents Floyd Abrams
Efrat Abrams

Dan Abrams (born May 20, 1966) is an American television host, legal commentator, Web entrepreneur and author.[2] He is currently a co-anchor of Nightline and the Chief Legal Affairs Anchor for ABC News[3] He worked as chief legal analyst for NBC News, as General Manager of MSNBC and as an anchor for that network. He is the founder of seven web properties and the digital media strategy firm Abrams Research,[4] as well as a best-selling author whose writing regularly appears in print and online in a variety of outlets.

Early life and education[edit]

Abrams was born to a Jewish family[1] in Manhattan to Floyd Abrams, an attorney, and Efrat Abrams. He graduated from Riverdale Country School in 1984. He received his B.A. cum laude in political science from Duke University in 1988. While at Duke, he anchored newscasts on the student-run channel Cable 13, and he joined Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He received his Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Columbia University Law School in 1992.


Television and broadcasting[edit]

Before MSNBC[edit]

Before joining NBC News, Abrams worked as a reporter for Court TV where he covered the OJ Simpson case,[5] as well as the International War Crimes Tribunal from the Netherlands and the assisted-suicide trials of Dr. Jack Kevorkian from Michigan.

MSNBC and NBC News[edit]

After leaving Court TV, Abrams was a general assignment correspondent for NBC News from 1997 to 1999 at which time he was named Chief Legal Correspondent. In 2000, as an NBC reporter, Abrams covered Bush v. Gore. Abrams and correspondent Pete Williams were on the Supreme Court steps when the pamphlet was handed out, and they became the first network correspondents to report the decision and the first network to cover it live. Abrams then began hosting his own show at MSNBC, and The Abrams Report began in 2001.[6][7] Abrams hosted The Abrams Report until he accepted the lead managerial position at MSNBC.[8] Abrams held the position of General Manager of MSNBC from June 12, 2006 until October 2007.[9] With ratings up 62% during his tenure, Abrams left to concentrate on his 9pm show Live with Dan Abrams, which replaced Scarborough Country due to Joe Scarborough's move to mornings. This show would eventually be revamped and renamed Verdict with Dan Abrams,[10] which aired until August 21, 2008. MSNBC announced on August 19, 2008 that Air America Radio host Rachel Maddow would take over that 9 p.m. time slot beginning September 8, 2008.[11] At that time, Abrams took on additional duties with NBC News including substituting as an anchor on the Today show.


In March 2011, Abrams left NBC to be a Legal Analyst for ABC News and a substitute anchor on Good Morning America.[3] He is also a regular contributor to The View.[12] As a member of the ABC News team, Abrams has access to all of the network's platforms, including The View, Good Morning America, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, Nightline, and The Katie Couric Show, also allowing Abrams to provide legal insight to his colleague's annual year-end network special The Year with Katie Couric. It was announced on June 19, 2013, Abrams will also become an anchor of Nightline and receive the title of Chief Legal Affairs Anchor for ABC News.[13]

Abrams Media[edit]


Main article: Mediaite

In July 2009, Abrams launched Mediaite, a news site he described as "appreciating the celebrity of the media." Managing Editor Colby Hall noted that it "plays into the vanity of these individuals" without being "over-snarky or mean and nasty." [14] The site combines editorial content with analytic rankings of media personalities. It achieved significant growth immediately after its launch,[15] and is regularly in Technorati's list of the top 20 blogs in the country.

Gossip Cop[edit]

Later that month, Abrams and Michael Lewittes launched Gossip Cop, a media watchdog site that patrols the celebrity gossip universe. The site has been described as "TMZ meets Smoking Gun". The site rates gossip rumors on a 0-10 scale.[16] The site regularly attracts 1 million unique visitors per month.[17]


The first official "offspring" of flagship site Mediaite, Geekosystem was launched on January 25, 2010. Geekosystem covers "geek" culture, following developments in science, technology, as well as internet memes and Internet culture. Abrams described the site upon launch as "a broader interest site that will celebrate and cover everything from technology and science fiction to video games and comics."[18] The site was part of a push that saw Abrams Media sites drawing over five million unique viewers per month.[19]


Abrams' foray into fashion, Styleite, was launched on March 25, 2010.[20] Functioning for fashion the way Mediaite does for journalism, Styleite features both news and opinion content as well as a fashion version of the "Power Grid," which ranks designers, models, writers, and others in the style business based on influence and following. Styleite also features a social networking wing called "Style Sheets," where readers are encouraged to offer up their daily fashion choices and comment on others.


Launched in May 2010, SportsGrid offers a mix of sports news, video clips and other media tracking both sports and the media world surrounding it. Like the other Abrams Media properties, the site features a Power Grid "tabulated by using a specially developed algorithm that pools a variety of metrics, including TV ratings; Web traffic and circulation counts; attendance; number of Twitter followers; on-field performance for players and coaches; and franchise values."[21]

The Mary Sue[edit]

In 2011, Abrams Media launched The Mary Sue, a sister site to Geekosystem with the goal of "highlighting women in the geek world, and providing a prominent place for the voices of geek women."

The Jane Dough[edit]

Originally launched as Mogulite in April 2011, The Jane Dough explores the world of business through a female prism, celebrating women who’ve found success, calling out corporate sexism, and dissecting how powerful women are treated in the media.[22]

The Braiser[edit]

In May 2012, Abrams launched a site focused on the personalities and lifestyles of the world's best-known chefs. Rather than recipes or techniques, The Braiser's topics consist of chefs who "have gone from being food icons to becoming mainstream celebrities," according to an interview Abrams gave to The New York Times in late April.[23]

Abrams Research[edit]

Abrams Research is a firm helping clients develop their social media strategy. Originally intended to function as a matchmaking media consultancy when it was launched in 2008, in June 2010 Abrams announced that Abrams Research would shift its focus and advise businesses exclusively on digital media strategy.[24]


Abrams has also published articles in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today magazine, The American Lawyer and the Yale Law and Policy Review. He has also written for online magazines such as the Huffington Post and the Daily Beast. He is a regular columnist for Men's Health.

In March 2010, Abrams published a book, Man Down: Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt That Women Are Better Cops, Drivers, Gamblers, Spies, World Leaders, Beer Tasters, Hedge Fund Managers and Just About Everything Else." It has since been verified as a Washington Post best seller, and it has been translated into Russian, Indonesian, Croatian, Swedish and Hebrew, among other languages.[2]

Personal life[edit]

In June 2012, Abrams welcomed his first child, a son named Everett Floyd Abrams, with girlfriend Florinka Pesenti;[25] Pesenti was part of the winning team on The Amazing Race 3.

Abrams is a co-owner of The Lion, a Greenwich Village restaurant.[26]

Abrams' sister, Ronnie Abrams, was nominated for a federal judgeship by Barack Obama in 2011.[27] She received her commission on March 23, 2012.[28]


  1. ^ a b "Dan Abrams' biodata". Jweekly.com. 2008-04-18. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  2. ^ a b "BOOK WORLD Bestsellers — July 17, 2011". The Washington Post. 2011-08-05. 
  3. ^ a b "Dan Abrams' Biography". ABC. 2011-06-02. 
  4. ^ "http". //www.abramsresearch.com//. 2012-04-30. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  5. ^ "A conversation about the O.J. Simpson case". Charlie Rose. 1997-01-26. 
  6. ^ Cox, Ted (2000-12-14). "CNN, cable are the big winners in election coverage". Chicago Daily Herald. p. 4. 
  7. ^ Poniewozik, James (2000-12-25). "Down By Law". Time. 
  8. ^ Abrams, Dan (2006-06-20). "Farewell, but not goodbye". MSNBC.com. 
  9. ^ Johnson, Peter (2006-06-13). "Dan Abrams goes from legal anchor to head of MSNBC". USA Today. Archived from the original on 2006-06-19. 
  10. ^ Kurtz, Howard (2007-09-24). "MSNBC's Abrams Quits His Day Job". Washington Post. 
  11. ^ Carter, Bill (2008-08-19). "Rachel Maddow to Replace Dan Abrams on MSNBC". The New York Times. 
  12. ^ Billett, Daniel (2012-11-27). "Watch The View Online - Watch Full Episodes Online - ABC.com". Theview.abc.go.com. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  13. ^ "Dan Abrams Named Nightline Anchor and Chief Legal Affairs Anchor for ABC News". ABC News. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  14. ^ Kurtz, Howard (2009-07-06). "Just the Messenger: Mediaite.com Focuses on Celebrity of Journalism". Washington Post. 
  15. ^ "Mediaite Posts Strong Growth". SocialTimes. 2009-10-06. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  16. ^ Carr, David (2009-07-29). "Gossip Cop Patrols Celebrity ‘News'". The New York Times. 
  17. ^ "Gossipcop.com Traffic and Demographic Statistics by Quantcast". Quantcast.com. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  18. ^ Shea, Danny (2010-01-20). "Geekosystem, Dan Abrams' New Geek Site, Set To Launch". Huffington Post. 
  19. ^ "Geekosystem". Thedailybeast.com. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 
  20. ^ "Dan Abrams Launched His Fashion Website". New York. 2010-03-15. 
  21. ^ Eric Fisher (2010-03-29). "Website to Provide Sports Power Rankings". Sports Business Journal. 
  22. ^ Leena Rao (2011-11-29). "Dan Abrams' Mogulite To Rebrand As The Jane Dough; Will Focus On Women In Business". Tech Crunch. 
  23. ^ Brian Stelter (2012-04-30). "From Mediaite’s Founder, a Site for Blanket Coverage of Celebrity Chefs". New York Times. 
  24. ^ Joe Ciarallo (2010-07-15). "Dan Abrams, NBC Chief Legal Analyst, Blog Publisher, Digital Strategy Firm Owner". MediaBistro. 
  25. ^ "French star Omar Sy could be a big hit in the U.S.A.". NY Daily News. Retrieved 25 July 2012. [dead link]
  26. ^ Stevenson, Peter (2010-12-10). "Dan Abrams and Dave Zinczenko, Friends and Partners". The New York Times. 
  27. ^ Kolker, Carlyn (July 28, 2011). "Abrams, Gillibrand's first judicial pick, nominated to bench". Thomson Reuters. Retrieved July 29, 2011. 
  28. ^ "Biographical Directory of Federal Judges". Fjc.gov. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 

External links[edit]

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