The Newsroom Wiki

Gary Cooper is an Associate Producer and booker on News Night.


Gary is one of the staff members who chose to remain with anchor Will McAvoy after his rant at Northwestern University and subsequent vacation.

Series arc[]

Deepwater Horizon oil spill Senior booker Kendra James also remained with the show. Executive Producer Don Keefer tasked Gary with contacting British Petroleum (BP) to arrange an interview with a spokesman in the wake of the BP Deep Horizon oil rig explosion. He was unsuccessful, but senior producer Jim Harper later extracted a written statement from the oil company.

News Night 2.0

Unhappy with the way ACN and News Night was covering the news, Mac proposed "News Night 2.0", a complete overhaul of the way the news was covered based on three "I"s: 1) Is this information we need in the voting booth? 2) Is this the best possible form of the argument? 3) Is the story in historical context?

Will finally learned Gary's name after deciding to get more involved with his staff. During the "News Night 2.0" meeting, Will asked him if his name was really Gary Cooper, due to the fact that he shared it with a famous actor.

Gary at work

The first effort to follow the new template goes awry. Jim calls an emergency meeting to find a replacement guest for the show. Unable to find a suitable replacement they get three highly unqualified guests for that evening's broadcast. Everyone is afraid to tell Will for fear of being fired. Mac again tries to defend Will and convince everyone that he's a good man. Frustrated she sends an email asking Will if she can reveal to everyone that she cheated on him. However, due to the new email system she sends it to the entire staff. Mac destroys Gary's BlackBerry in a fit of anger after realizing her error.

Will is furious and then apoplectic when he finds out about the night's replacement guests. The broadcast is predictably calamitous and the mistakes are compounded by Will refusing to listen to Mac's instructions during the show.

The staff licks their wounds at Hang Chews karaoke bar after the broadcast. Jim reprimands the staff for their failings. ("News Night 2.0")

On air apology

Following the disastrous broadcast Will issued an on air apology for his failings as Managing Editor of News Night. He pledged to do better in reporting the news to inform the electorate. The apology aired at the opening of the show on Monday, April 26, 2010 and helped bring the staff closer together. This was followed by improved coverage of the Times Square Bombing Attempt in May 2010. ("The 112th Congress")

The 112th Congress elections

News Night focuses a portion of its coverage on the Tea Party and their views, funding and co-opting of the Republican Party. The incisive coverage culminates with a live broadcast in November 2010 on the day of the 112th Congressional elections where the Tea Party win many seats. ("The 112th Congress")

I miss my BlackBerry
—Gary after Mac destroys it, News Night 2.0

Gary later complained while in the behind-the-scenes booth with MacKenzie that he missed his BlackBerry.

End of 2010

Gary attends the News Night New Year's Eve party on December 31, 2010. The staff meet the next day to discuss stories they may have missed in 2010. They decide to pursue stories about misrepresentation; particularly of both The President's gun control record and his diplomatic trip to India. Neal's suggested Bigfoot story is shot down.

Following an encounter with Will at the party TMI gossip columnist Nina Howard writes a series of unflattering articles about Will's personal life. ("I'll Try to Fix You")

Gabrielle Giffords shooting

On Saturday January 8, 2011 Neal assembles the staff to pitch his Bigfoot story again. Maggie and Jim argue in front of the staff over Jim's lie about continuing to date her room mate Lisa Lambert. Jim punishes Maggie's insubordination by putting her on the assignment desk for the day.

Maggie breaks up the meeting to announce the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Gary helps to report the story. During the show's coverage, a false report spreads on Fox, CNN and MSNBC that the Congresswoman is dead. Reese Lansing charges into the studio to convince Will to report her death but Will refuses. Moments later reports that she is alive and in surgery are confirmed. ("I'll Try to Fix You")

February 2011

TMI columnist Nina Howard continues to attack News Night, targeting Mac in an attack article. Gary passes on a rumor that Nina accepts protection money to Will. Will almost pays her off but instead warns her against targeting his staff. Gary also passes on an apology for ACN morning host Maria Guerrero when her co-anchor brings up the TMI piece and Will's personal life on their show.

News Night covers civil unrest in Cairo after the Egyption president refuses to leave his post despite losing the election. Elliot Hirsch travels to Cairo to report from the scene but is forced to remain inside when riots break out. Elliot eventually tries to get footage outside but is attacked and injured. He returns to the US and News Night recruits "Amen" as a stringer to get footage of the riots. Amen performs well but then disappears. The staff discover that he has been taken into custody by the military, who are demanding an extortionate ransom. Will pays for Amen's release. Mac arranges for the staff to each give Will a cheque to contribute, mimicking a scene from one of Will's favorite films, Rudy. ("Amen")

April 2011

News Night covers the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster, Rick Santorum's public anti-homosexuality, and the proposed building of a Muslim community center at Ground Zero in New York. Will receives a death threat after the Ground Zero piece and is assigned a body guard, Lonny Church. Sloan announces information she obtained off the record during the Fukushima coverage and is reprimanded but ultimately allowed to publicly apologize. ("Bullies")

Behind the scenes[]

Gary is a recurring character in the first season. He is played by Chris Chalk and debuted in the series pilot "We Just Decided To".


Season 1
"We Just Decided To" "News Night 2.0" "The 112th Congress" "I'll Try to Fix You" "Amen"
"Bullies" "5/1" "The Blackout Part I: Tragedy Porn" "The Blackout Part II: Mock Debate" "The Greater Fool"
Season 2
"First Thing We Do, Let’s Kill All the Lawyers" "The Genoa Tip" "Willie Pete" "Unintended Consequences" "News Night with Will McAvoy"
"One Step Too Many" "Red Team III" "Election Night, Part I" "Election Night, Part II"
Season 3
"Boston" "Run" "Main Justice" "Contempt" "Oh Shenandoah"
"What Kind of Day Has It Been"