Archive for the CNN Category

Carol Costello Apologizes for Palin Commentary…

Posted in CNN on October 23, 2014 by icn2

Politico’s Dylan Byers writes about an apology Carol Costello made/was forced to make (pick one) about commentary she made about the Bristol Palin police report audio…

CNN’s Carol Costello apologized on Thursday for joking about a police recording of Bristol Palin.

“Over the past few days I have been roundly criticized for joking about a brawl involving the Palin family. In retrospect, I deserve such criticism and would like to apologize,” Costello said in a statement to POLITICO.

On Wednesday, before playing a tape in which Bristol Palin describes an alleged altercation at a party in Wasilla, Alaska, Costello said, “This is quite possibly the best minute and a half of audio we’ve ever come across. Well, come across in a long time anyway.”

In the tape, Palin is heard describing what happened to her after she confronted someone she accused of pushing her sister.

“So we were in a limo. I walk back up. “Did you push my sister?” And some guy gets up, pushes me down on the grass, drags me across the grass. “You slut, you f—ing c—, you f—ing this.” I get back up, he pushes me down on the grass again,” Palin said, according to the recording. “And he pulls me by my f—ing feet. And he’s the one that’s leaving and I have my 5-year-old, they took my $300 sunglasses, they took my f—ing shoes, and I’m f—ing just left here?”

After the tape, Costello said “the long bleep was my favorite part.”

“We should point out that no charges were filed in this incident and in a Sept. 19th Facebook post, Sarah Palin defended her daughter, writing part — writing in part, quote, ‘I love my Bristol. I have to say, this is a proud mama. My kids’ defense of my family makes my heart soar.’ You can thank me later,” Costello said.

Indra Petersons Out at CNN…

Posted in CNN on October 22, 2014 by icn2

TVNewser’s Chris Ariens reports that New Day Meteorologist Indra Petersons was a casualty of last week’s layoffs at CNN…

As part of the workforce reduction at CNN, New York-based meteorologist Indra Petersons will be leaving the network, TVNewser has learned. All shows will now rely on CNN Weather in Atlanta, led by meteorologists Chad Myers and Jennifer Gray.

It should be noted that CNN has really de-emphasized weather lately so combine that with New Day’s woes and it’s not surprising to see Petersons get cut…

CNN vs. NABJ

Posted in CNN on October 20, 2014 by icn2

Yes, I’m late to this. Blogging has had to take a back seat recently to other things. The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple writes about the recent back and forth between the NABJ and CNN…

Bob Butler, the president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is unhappy with CNN. Just last Friday, Butler and NABJ issued a press release indicating that CNN had “withdrawn support of NABJ for the 2015 Convention & Career Fair.” Founded in 1975, NABJ is the largest group of journalists of color in the U.S., and their annual convention serves to help black media professionals with professional development and networking opportunities.

CNN responded with a statement of its own: “Following NABJ’s recent comments about CNN, we informed them we were reconsidering our relationship, but we were clear that we had not made a final decision. It’s surprising to us that they would choose to make such a statement.”

So: Butler says that the network had definitively withdrawn support; CNN says not quite. “They’re basically calling me a liar,” said Butler in a chat with the Erik Wemple Blog. “That’s very disturbing.”

(snip)

Here’s where the spat gets juicy. That critical press release and NABJ’s proposal to CNN for the 2015 annual convention hit CNN at about the same time, according to Butler. Therein lies a core conflict in what NABJ — and other journalism-diversity groups, for that matter — does from day to day. On the one hand, it monitors how well newsrooms embrace diversity; on the other, it pitches those same newsrooms to ante up for convention space and other stuff. Have a look at the 2014 convention program book with a nice full-page ad from CNN proclaiming, “CNN proudly supports the National Association of Black Journalists.” Says Butler: “They’re a corporate partner like many other companies are. We have relationships with CNN, with Fox News, CBS, NBC, ABC — those are all partners within NABJ.”

Spin Control…

Posted in CNN on October 19, 2014 by icn2

TVNewser’s Mark Joyella writes about Brian Stelter addressing CNN’s layoffs on today’s Reliable Sources…

It is unfortunately happening all over the place. Conde Nast, the publisher of Vogue and Wired, is laying off 70 to 80 people this fall. My former employer the New York Times is cutting 100 from the newsroom.

And yet they, like CNN, have been hiring people, too, lots of people, mainly for online jobs. That’s for new apps, for new web sites, for new ventures.

Now, there is some overall shrinking going on. But the better word for what’s happening in media today is “reshaping.” Through layoffs, through cuts, through new investments, “reshaping” for the digital future that really feels more like the digital present. It’s already here.

Ugh. Re-characterizing this week’s cuts into something they never were…ugh.

Ok, there were earlier in the year several rounds of mini cuts at CNN that were definitely all about rashaping the network. That’s not what these cuts were. These cuts were ordered by Time Warner. Not to reshape for digital. Not to prepare for the future. To cut costs to raise TW’s profit margin to placate upset shareholders after TW refused to do a deal with Rupert Murdoch. To state otherwise is just silly.

Yes, Stelter did state it in his piece. But he still went on to lump the cuts in with a bunch of other media moves that had no similarity to why this week’s cuts at CNN took place.

Voting Issue…

Posted in CNN on October 16, 2014 by icn2

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This picture was posted this morning by a CNN staffer on Twitter. Predictably, though maybe not for the people involved in this picture, the reaction was pretty vocal. So let’s have a vote…

Update: That tweet, and all the replies to that tweet, have been deleted. Gee, I wonder why…

Update 2: Mediaite’s Andrew Kirell picks up on this

Mediaite has learned from a source that Griffin took the picture, but then CNN brass immediately asked him to delete it.

That’s “immediately” as in within an hour or so…and not before New Day anchor Chris Cuomo RT’d it…

Spot The Anonymouse: The Sequel…

Posted in CNN on October 9, 2014 by icn2

Mediaite’s Joe Concha writes about the latest leak to allegedly come out of NBC News…

The big two questions are: Would this have worked if NBC News President Deborah Turness could have pulled it off? And why/how do these kind of leaks continue to occur under Ms. Turness?

At least one of these questions is the wrong one to be asking. But I’ll circle back to that in a moment…

Then there’s the disturbing (to NBC brass) pattern of leaks during the Turness tenure. David Gregory’s exit was a clinic on how not to handle something in the media business (or any business for that matter). Note: Gregory had been with the network for two decades, handling anchoring/hosting roles from morning show to evening newscast. A few months before firing him, someone in a high place at NBC willfully leaked that a “psychological consultant” was hired to interview Gregory’s friends and family (which didn’t make him look bad or anything). And before NBC could announce his actual termination in August, again the network is caught flat-footed when the press breaks the not-so-surprising news first.

So who’s talking and why? Today, the New York Post features a blaring headline: Are Deborah Turness’ days at NBC News numbered? Three big reasons why the question is being asked:

I’m not going to argue that there haven’t been some damaging leaks to come out of NBC and I’m especially not going to argue that NBC’s handling of the Gregory termination was not a Charlie Foxtrot.

But damaging leaks sprung up all over NBC during the Ann Curry fiasco, another personel change that NBC botched badly, but I don’t recall Concha calling Steve Capus’ tenure “tumultuous”.

More to the point, this last leak can’t be laid at NBC’s doorstep. It came from elsewhere. So NBC News didn’t shoot itself in the foot by leaking the Stewart story just weeks after Todd took over MTP. NBC was shot at by someone from outside the network.

The evidence for an outside shot fired at 30 Rock was right there for all to see, if you knew what to look for.

Exhibit A: The author of the story was Gabriel Sherman.

Exhibit B: What major story did Sherman just write about just a few days earlier? CNN and Jeff Zucker.

Timing is everything. In this case two stories on Zucker back to back, stories that were done with Zucker’s co-operation, followed immediately by a story on Meet The Press, occurred too closely together to be dismissed as a mere coincidence. It’s a mistake that even seasoned media writers sometimes make thinking they’ve covered their tracks without realizing that some of us are on the lookout for red flags like that.

Jeff Zucker is plugged in. He knows everyone in the biz, associations built up over decades rising up NBC’s corporate ranks. Agents talk…they talk a lot more than the outsiders looking in on this industry realize.

The biggest secret about the news business is how much of it has never been publicly disclosed. The amount of history that’s been publicly disseminated by media writers is eclipsed by the amount of history that they know but have never revealed for one reason or another.

The leaker of the Stewart story definitely has ties to NBC. He just doesn’t work there any more.

The question Concha should be asking is why Jeff Zucker decided to leak the Stewart story to Sherman. What was his motivation? What does he gain?

More on CNN…

Posted in CNN on October 7, 2014 by icn2

New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman pens a follow up piece on this CNN story from a couple of days ago. It’s supposed to be about the cuts that are coming but the parts that got my attention where apparent leftovers from his Sunday story which got cut out…

But the cuts are also a reminder that Zucker doesn’t have the free reign he enjoyed as CEO of NBC Universal. CNN, after all, is only a division of Turner Broadcasting, which in turn is a division of Time Warner. For a man who used to be the boss, having to answer to a boss has been disorienting. Last year, for instance, Zucker wanted to bring on Bewkes’s communications chief, Gary Ginsberg, as a deputy, but then-Turner CEO Phil Kent resisted the idea. This winter, Turner president David Levy forced out longtime CNN advertising executive Greg D’Alba against Zucker’s wishes. Levy called Zucker only after he had told D’Alba of the decision, which angered Zucker.

These tensions with Turner executives have led to speculation that Zucker could be a rival with Levy for the Turner CEO job. When I asked Zucker about it, he flatly dismissed the notion. “Everybody can’t accept that I just want to run CNN,” he said. “I don’t know how to disprove it to people. Really, I’m doing exactly the job I want to do. I’ve done that other job. This is more fun. And incredibly challenging.”

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