Jose Diaz Balart to Anchor Two Hour Daily Rundown…

Posted in MSNBC on October 30, 2014 by icn2

The Wrap’s Jordan Chariton writes that Jose Diaz Balart will get The Daily Rundown which will now air for two hours.

The morning show formerly hosted by Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie will be anchored from Miami starting November

The MSNBC show left behind by Chuck Todd now has a host in the form of José Díaz-Balart, who will anchor an expanded “Daily Rundown” from 9 a.m.-11 a.m., individuals with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap.

The Miami-based Díaz-Balart, who debuted on MSNBC at 10 a.m. in July and also anchors an evening newscast on Telemundo, will anchor the morning show that under Todd was based in D.C. and focused on politics.

What gets me is Phil Griffin’s not so internal internal memo that just happened to get leaked to Chariton…this part in particular…

Jose Diaz-Balart joined the msnbc family in July and is already off to a great start. He’s introduced new voices and a fresh perspective to our network. Thanks to his deep experience as an anchor he has the ability and flexibility to deliver dynamic coverage of breaking news events – as they develop.

There are internal memos which are designed for internal consumption and just happen to get leaked. And then there are internal memos which are designed for external consumption and must get leaked in order to be successful. This is the latter.

Griffin is so nakedly obvious in what he’s doing here it’s embarrassing. He writes an internal memo which ticks off all his recent public talking points. You don’t do that for an internal memo you want to send your employees. You do that when you want to send out a press release in the form of an internal memo.

Al Jazeera America Numbers…

Posted in Al Jazeera on October 29, 2014 by icn2

The Wrap’s Jordan Chariton writes about Al Jazeera America’s ratings…or lack thereof…

Its lineup of journalists hasn’t translated to ratings. When comparing Al Jazeera America’s ratings to date to Current TV’s ratings from December, 2011 to August, 2013, the numbers show significant losses. In total day, AJAM is down 44 percent compared to Current TV; in the 25-54 demo, the channel is down 55 percent. In primetime viewers, AJAM is down 49 percent compared to Current TV; in the primetime demo, down 54 percent.

In its 14 months on-air, AJAM is averaging 14,000 viewers 5,000 demo viewers for total day. In primetime, its averaging 18,000 viewers and 6,000 demo viewers.

David Gregory (Not) To CNN…

Posted in CNN on October 28, 2014 by icn2

Page Six reports that talks between David Gregory and CNN broke down…

“Jeff was really considering hiring David,” a source familiar with the talks told us. “But they could not come up with a number to get him there.”

The source added that staff cuts of around 10 percent at CNN and its parent, Turner Broadcasting, made the deal impossible. “They were meeting around the time of the crazy layoffs at CNN, and it would have looked really bad giving out a huge contract while people were being laid off.”

Shepard Smith Interview…

Posted in FNC on October 27, 2014 by icn2

Capital New York’s Alex Weprin interviews Shepard Smith…

“Despite all the technology, it was really created for the super news computer that is Shep,” Jay Wallace, the senior V.P. of news and senior E.P. of news and politics for Fox told Capital. “[He] obviously processes things a lot faster than anyone else.”

In his role as lead news anchor, Smith has the authority to break into other Fox News programs if there is breaking news.

“It depends on what is happening in the news cycle,” Smith told Capital when asked how they decide when to break in. “Right now we have a couple of kids shot in a cafeteria in a school…”

“We have to stop for a minute,” a stage manager said to Smith. They were going to break into the 2 p.m. program, “The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson.”

Smith would spend the next one hour and 20 minutes covering the school shooting, in Marysville, Wash. That coverage included a “level two” break-in for local affiliates, giving them the option of carrying his coverage of the shooting. There would be no commercial breaks, and nothing in the TelePrompter. Smith worked off of what he saw on-screen, what he heard in his earpiece and what he read on blue slips of paper handed to him by his staff.

And then there’s this…

“When we first introduced it, people were like, oh those are gimmick TVs in the background. That is not the case,” Wallace said. “Shep makes a point to go in and use the information specialists. He is relying on them, and they rely on him to quarterback it all. It really is a give and take between the technology, the people, our assignment desk and our reporters in the field.”

I’m going to disagree with this to a point. The “gimmick” of the Fox News Deck, if you want to use that word, is that it has taken what was traditionally handled by the control room news staff behind the scenes and moved it, or at the very least super augmented it, into the studio with the anchor.

From a purely informational standpoint, there is little that the news deck provides that couldn’t be duplicated or hasn’t been duplicated in the past by the control room. What does set it apart is that the level of interaction the anchor has, where he can go to any information he thinks worth checking in on, would not be possible if all that information was still confined to the control room. So from a visual standpoint it does amp the news. But it doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting more news than you would have if all those people were back in the control room. It’s just a more interesting, or compelling, way of doing what was done previously.

In for a Penny…

Posted in CNN on October 27, 2014 by icn2

Variety’s Brian Lowry writes about some things Jeff Zucker said today…

CNN is “open” to the idea of airing scripted movies under its CNN Films banner, CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker said on Monday.

Zucker made his remarks at a lunch in Los Angeles promoting upcoming CNN Films documentaries, which he called one of the three foundational components of the network’s lineup, along with breaking news and the regular series that have become an increasing part of its mix.

The CNN chief stressed that there were no imminent plans to order scripted movies, and acknowledged that “some people would find it odd” to see such fare on the news network. Still, he said in response to a question, “I would not be opposed to that.”

I’m not going to comment here. It would be too easy…

Survey Sez…

Posted in CNBC on October 27, 2014 by icn2

The pollsters are busy in October and we’re not even talking about the election season here. Another CNBC viewer survey…this one about the network’s new graphics package…

Why Carol Costello’s On Air Palin Apology (Or Lack Thereof) Has Always Been in CNN’s Hands…

Posted in CNN on October 27, 2014 by icn2

Much hay is continuing to be made of Carol Costello’s Palin self inflicted wound and the lack of on air apology. The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple thought she should have given one. I would tend to agree with Wemple. I cringed when I saw it which was before I heard about it blowing up on red blogs. It meets the standard for an on air apology. It could be argued that it merits suspension or even termination. Mediaite’s Joe Concha said it was her only option. I think he was wrong, both on the conclusion and the underlying premise that generated it. I’ll get to why in a moment.

Lets first cut away the hysteria from the controversy with a few facts…

Fact 1: The most vocal opposition to what Costello did is coming from the Right. Here, you want to say to me, “No kidding.”
Fact 2: The Right has no love lost for Costello going back well before this incident. One could make a persuasive argument that the feeling is mutual.
Fact 4: Because of Facts 1 and 2, regardless of what she does…or more accurately what CNN allows her to do, the Right won’t be happy until she’s off the air.
Fact 5: That ain’t gonna happen. If it was going to happen it would have happened already.

So, while there are legitimate issues raised about Costello’s commentary in regards to the Palin audio and what has transpired since that occurred, the loudest most vocal chorus of people who are trying to keep this story on fire, post written apology, are a group that doesn’t care whether there’s an on air apology or not because their ultimate goal is not an on air apology but to stick it to CNN and Costello to try and get her fired. Any way possible.

But it is a mistake to assume, as Concha did, that Costello is the one controlling the narrative. It’s CNN. It was never Costello’s “only option.” It was the network’s option…an option the network, for whatever reason…a reason I cannot fathom…chose not to take.

Why do we know this? Because of what CNN told Breitbart’s John Nolte.

UPDATE: According to CNN, Costello will not apologize on the air. “No she will not,” was the official response to a query from Breitbart News.

This quote has been widely misinterpreted by the Right as to mean Costello has refused to apologize on the air. What CNN actually meant was CNN had decided to not have Costello apologize on the air.

How do we know this? Simple. Costello isn’t a big enough talent to be able to freely wield veto power at the network. If the network felt the issue was serious enough to merit an on air apology you can bet your ass Costello would be on the air apologizing and if she balked she’d be gone.

This is why the on air apology was always CNN’s option to take and the network decided, incorrectly in my view, to not take it.

Now CNN is truly in a bind and has left Costello twisting in the wind and this points to something we have seen before with the network under Jeff Zucker. Having made a decision, the network refuses to reverse itself despite any evidence to the contrary that a reversal is in its best interest. Call it the Pandora’s Box option. If the network reversed itself at this point it would embolden its critics and they would, correctly in my view, come away from this having learned the lesson that if you squawk loud enough and make a big enough stink, CNN may cave. No network wants that. I can only think of one instance in the last ten years where a network reversed itself and that was MSNBC and Don Imus. No…Bashir doesn’t count. That was a different scenario.

It’s a dangerous game to play. If the criticisms are full of hot air, there’s no danger and you can ride out the storm. But if the criticisms hold even an ounce of truth, as the non-ideologically based criticisms do have here, then you’re stuck looking doggedly stubborn clinging to a position that is increasingly tenuous.

As I said, this isn’t the first time this year we’ve seen this play out. It happened with Fareed Zakaria. CNN doggedly stuck to its position that it was standing behind Zakaria even as more and more damaging anecdotes came out begging for a reappraisal of the situation. CNN wound up looking terrible for its stubbornness and Zakaria’s reputation is, for many, in tatters.

So, CNN blew it last week by not having Costello apologize on the air. But don’t expect CNN to change course now. It’s made its bed and now it must lie in it, regardless of the lousy optics. And Costello, whether she was really sorry or not, whether her written apology was genuine or not, whether she wanted to apologize on the air or not, will come out the worse for the network’s error.


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