TVNewser’s Jordan Chariton scooped this morning that HLN was cancelling Showbiz Tonight. All the staff except AJ Hammer are out of a job. There was a time when Showbiz Tonight was regularly beating MSNBC in the ratings. But those days are long gone…as was HLN’s purpose in having the show on the air. I wonder if Jeff Zucker is going to position Hammer for a show on CNN? Given recent trends at that network it would not suprise me any…
Archive for the CNN Category
CNN announced a new half hour Sunday politics show with John King…
CNN Adds Political Program to Sunday Morning Lineup
John King to Anchor “Inside Politics”
CNN today announced that Inside Politics, anchored by chief national correspondent John King, is scheduled to premiere Sunday, Feb. 2 at 8:30 a.m., ET. The 30-minute weekend program will feature a rotating group of America’s top political reporters who will provide an insider’s look into the key stories of the week.
“As we look ahead to the 2014 and 2016 campaigns, John is the ideal reporter to dissect the important political stories as Americans begin to think about their next president,” said Sam Feist, CNN senior vice president and Washington bureau chief. “John and his panel’s observations will give viewers a candid peek behind the week’s political headlines.”
MediaPost’s Erik Sass writes about a new out of home measurement system CNN is going to use…
On the measurement side, CNN Ad Sales recently unveiled CNN All Screen, a cross-platform measurement service that aims to provide a more complete picture of CNN audiences, including out-of-home viewing.
The All Screen service fuses Nielsen National PeopleMeter data with Nielsen Audio (formerly Arbitron) Portable People Meter data to capture the total demographic audience for each advertising client’s buys with CNN, limited to linear viewing; that data will now be included in advertiser-specific post buy analysis for all television schedules with the network.
CNN’s Carol Costello took to Facebook to talk about how her day went…
I must vent. Seriously an inch or two of snow has fallen in Atlanta. There are slippery spots–it is below freezing. But people in, say Chicago, would laugh at the utter chaos this has caused. I tried to get out of CNN’s parking lot at 1:00. After waiting in a line of departing employees for an hour I gave up. Luckily other co-workers did too. We waited together for two hours until the traffic cleared. Except it never did. I left work again at 5 (I get up at 4am) and got out of the parking lot. I live two miles away. It took me two hours to get home. I saw no salt trucks. No plows. No police directing traffic. I feel lucky though. Some people are still stuck in traffic. Kyra Phillips was stuck for 7 hours. Mr Mayor, what the hell?
FTVLive is reporting that CNN is exploring the option of moving Kate Bolduan off of New Day…
CNN sources tell FTVLive that Zucker is in talks with CNN’s DC Bureau Chief Sam Feist about a new role for Bolduan in DC.
New Day was a pet project for Zucker and CNN sunk millions into making a morning show that they hoped viewers would watch. They haven’t and Zucker is coming to realize that changes are needed.
It appears that Bolduan is about to be the first of those changes.
Last October I wrote the following…
Whatever problems New Day has…and it has plenty, Kate Bolduan not being up to the task isn’t one of them. Yes there is a chemistry problem between Bolduan and Cuomo and, regardless of who is or isn’t to blame for that, Bolduan will catch all the heat because she wasn’t the high priced talent Zucker poached from another network and those people never catch the blame right away whether deserved or not. It’s not fair for Bolduan but it is the way the rules are played. It’s called a pecking order for a reason you know.
If the FTVLive report is correct – and expect CNN to respond with some sort of denial to this story – it looks like the pecking order may be hard at work at The Time Warner Center…
CNN’s plans for tomorrow night’s SOTU…
CNN to Provide Comprehensive Coverage of the State of the Union Address and the GOP Response
Guests include Obama biographer David Maraniss, former speechwriter Jon Favreau, Bush adviser Karen Hughes, and Nobel winner Paul Krugman
CNN anchors Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper and Jake Tapper will lead the network’s live, comprehensive coverage of President Barack Obama’s fifth State of the Union Address on Tuesday, Jan. 28, beginning at 7 p.m. ET. Guests joining the network’s special coverage will include Obama biographer and journalist David Maraniss, former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau, former George W. Bush adviser Karen Hughes, and Nobel Prize winner and The New York Times op-ed columnist Paul Krugman.
The Financial Times’ Matthew Garrahan writes about some layoffs at CNN that happened late last year. Garrahan spends an inordinate amount of space focusing on the fact that one of the layoffs was pregnant and two weeks away. Stuff happens. What? They aren’t supposed to lay someone off because they are pregnant? There’s a pregnancy clause to layoffs?
Much more interesting is this on the record quoting Garrahan gets…
CNN has added series from the likes of Anthony Bourdain, the celebrity chef, and Morgan Spurlock, an acclaimed documentary maker, and this week it acquired a documentary about the discovery of a fossilised Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton. It will soon air Chicagoland, a new reality series about Chicago politics.
But departing staff have expressed concern. “It makes you wonder what direction CNN is going in,” said Kim Segal, a supervising producer who left CNN recently after a long career when the network asked her to choose between a cut in pay and a severance package.
Ms Segal supervised much of CNN’s coverage of the Florida trial of George Zimmerman, a ratings winner for the network, as well as Barack Obama’s second presidential inauguration. “For 24 years there was nowhere else I wanted to be because of the 24-hour platform we had at CNN,” she said. “I would hate for other programming to get in front of that.”
I would be very very curious to know just how much Segal’s opinion is shared by the rank and file at CNN.
Capital New York’s Alex Weprin writes about more tape on CNN…this time the Rahm Emanuel centric documentary Chicagoland…
While any TV schedule is subject to change, it looks as though Thursday evenings on CNN will become the channel’s second night for original unscripted series, following the success of “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” and Morgan Spurlock’s “Inside Man” on Sunday nights.
Another unscripted series, “The Sixties,” will begin its 10-episode run in May, right after “Chicagoland” will be wrapping its run. Suffice it to say, Thursday nights is a likely landing place for that series, which counts Tom Hanks as a producer.
I knew this was coming sooner or later. CNN ended its flirtation with International news by ending the Michael Holmes/Suzanne Malveaux CNNI simulcast and will be putting Legal View with Ashleigh Banfield on instead. John Berman and Michaela Pereira will take over at 11am. Some are going to wonder if this is the first step in moving Pereira off of the floundering New Day. I am one of those people.
John Berman and Michaela Pereira To Co-Anchor CNN’s 11 a.m. Hour
CNN today announced changes to its weekday programming lineup. Starting Monday, February 10, 2014, John Berman and Michaela Pereira will co-anchor CNN’s 11 a.m. (ET) hour of dayside programming. Berman and Pereira will continue to anchor “Early Start” and “New Day,” respectively. Pereira joined the network last year with the launch of “New Day,” while Berman joined in 2012, and has covered several national news stories including the Boston Marathon Bombing and the deadly tornadoes in Oklahoma.
“Legal View with Ashleigh Banfield,” which examines national news through a legal lens, will move from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. (ET) for the hour.
CNN’s award-winning lead political anchor Wolf Blitzer will continue to anchor the 1 p.m. (ET) hour, “Wolf,” with a focus on politics, breaking news and international news. He will also continue to anchor “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” weekdays from 5 – 6:30 p.m. (ET). Carol Costello will continue to anchor 9 – 11 a.m. (ET) and Brooke Baldwin will continue to anchor 2 – 4 p.m. (ET).
Variety’s Brian Lowry writes about Jeff Zucker’s appearance at the TCA…
CNN chief Jeff Zucker fired back at Fox News Channel CEO Roger Ailes on Friday, saying his understanding is that an upcoming Ailes biography “confirms what we’ve known along, which is the Republican Party is being run out of News Corp. headquarters, masquerading as a cable channel.”
Speaking at the TV Critics Assn. tour Friday, Zucker made those remarks in response to an interview Ailes had given in which he said CNN is getting out of the news business. The CNN Worldwide president countered by saying the network remained committed to news but that his goal is to ”broaden the definition of offerings” on the network by including more series and documentary films, such as programs fronted by Morgan Spurlock and Anthony Bourdain, as well as the acclaimed documentary “Blackfish.”
Zucker dismissed Ailes’ criticism as “meant to deflect your attention from the book this week” and “silly.” Prior to the session, Zucker also told Variety that CNN would cover the Ailes book, “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” by Gabriel Sherman, calling it a legitimate news story given the implications of the role Fox News plays in relationship to the Republican Party and national politics.
Ugh…Zucker just painted a giant bullseye on his back that says “Come get me FNC”. Instead of trying to get CNN’s house in order in the most unassuming manner possible Zucker thrust everything he does under FNC PR’s microscope. Everything that comes Zucker’s way from FNC now and into the future can be traced back to this moment. While it will make for fun times for those of us who chronicle the spats between cable networks, it will utlimately prove to be a needlessly un-necessary distraction for CNN.
At today’s TCA Session CNN announced a new series on “compelling capital murder cases”. Is anyone else looking at this announcement with bemusement given how the network has been needling MSNBC over its crime shows juicing its ratings? Yes, they aren’t the same kind of crime shows. MSNBC’s is more gratuitous and CNN will no doubt chafe at any comparisons to MSNBC’s offerings. But at a fundamental level its still crime based TV. The outcomes and goals are different, but it’s still “true crime”…
CNN Announces New Original Series ‘DEATH ROW STORIES’ with Executive Producers Alex Gibney and Robert Redford
Jigsaw Productions and Sundance Productions collaborate with CNN Originals for series about America’s most compelling capital murder cases – Academy Award®-winning actress Susan Sarandon will narrate
CNN president Jeff Zucker announced today that the network will collaborate with Academy Award®-winning directors Alex Gibney (TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE) and Robert Redford (ORDINARY PEOPLE) on an eight-part original series, DEATH ROW STORIES. Academy Award®-winning actress Susan Sarandon (DEAD MAN WALKING) will narrate. Robert Redford and Laura Michalchyshyn are executive producers for Sundance Productions and Alex Gibney, Dave Snyder, Stacey Offman, and Brad Herbert are executive producers for Jigsaw Productions.
Ad Age’s Jeanine Poggi writes about CNN’s 2014 ambitions…
There’s plenty of money at stake. According to Kantar Media, CNN brought in $440 million in measured media ad spending from January through October, compared with $411 million in the same period in 2012. By comparison, Fox News brought in $534.5 million and MSNBC tallied $138.3 million from January through October.
Still, media buyers said some clients have pulled back spending or taken the network off media plans temporarily due to CNN’s history of pricing itself at a premium over Fox News and MSNBC. Derek Baine, analyst at SNL Kagan, estimates it cost advertisers $6.23 to reach a thousand viewers (an industry standard known as CPM) on CNN in 2012, compared with $5.02 for Fox News and $4.19 for MSNBC.
But buyers said the network was much “friendlier” on pricing last year, as its bottom-line outlook is blurry. CNN’s operating income was down in 2013, Time Warner execs said on a recent earnings call, and programming investments will likely pressure CNN’s margins in the near-term.
CNN announced this morning that Christine Romans has been named the new co-anchor of Early Start and Christi Paul the new co-anchor of the network’s early morning weekend broadcasts…
Christine Romans Joins John Berman as Co-Anchor of CNN’s “Early Start”
Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul Named Co-Anchors of “New Day Weekend”
CNN today made two announcements about its morning programming lineup.
Chief Business Correspondent Christine Romans has been named co-anchor of CNN’s early morning program, “Early Start.” She will join co-anchor John Berman on the program, which airs weekdays from 5-6 a.m. ET. Romans will continue in her capacity as the network’s chief business reporter and anchor of CNN’s business programs.
“Given the audience’s interest in business news as the day begins, and markets across the globe have been open for hours, Christine will add a great dimension to the program that starts CNN’s programming day,” said Jeff Zucker, President, CNN Worldwide. “Plus, Christine’s fantastic rapport with John makes this a dynamic team for America to wake up to.”
The Daily Mail’s Adam Shergold writes about what happened when Piers Morgan stepped in to face a few cricket balls…
He’s been one of England’s most outspoken critics during a calamitous Ashes tour in Australia, but could U.S. TV anchorman Piers Morgan do any better?
The Twitter motormouth was challenged to restore some Pommie pride by surviving an over in the nets from Aussie legend Brett Lee during the tea break on the second day of the fourth test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
And though Morgan was struck on the body four times by a pumped-up Lee and clean bowled with another delivery, he still came out sledging.
FTVLive is reporting that CNN Student News’ staff have been gutted…
CNN sources say just about everyone except Anchor Carl Azuz was pink slipped from CNN’s Student News.
CNN Student news started in the summer of 2012 and is newscast aimed at middle school, high school and college students. It is streamed live online.
Student news wasn’t the only one that caught the Zucker pink slip express. Word is that around 30 were let go in talent development and promotions.
And the hits just keep on coming. More firings…
Word is that at 10 least people from CNN’s the row are jobless.
The Row falls under standards and practices and is a group of executive producers responsible for daily package script approval. It’s headed up by SVP Richard Griffiths.
Since Jeff Zucker plans call for less news at CNN that means there are less scripts to approve and that equals job cuts.
Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin Return to Co-Host CNN’s New Year’s Eve Coverage Live from Times Square Beginning at 9 p.m. ET
Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin will co-host CNN’s coverage of New Year’s Eve celebrations on Tuesday, Dec. 31, from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. (ET). Back for their 7th consecutive year, Cooper and Griffin will ring in the New Year live from NYC’s Time Square for CNN’s “New Year’s Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin.”
About the upcoming show, Cooper said “Wait…what? CNN hired her again? For real?” Kathy Griffin was humble as always, “I’m so thrilled Anderson Cooper has agreed to be my assistant once again as I single-handedly host New Year’s Eve on CNN for my global adoring audience.”
The revolving door at CNN/HLN seems decidedly tilted in one direction as of late. TVNewser’s Merrill Knox reports that Natasha Curry and Carolos Diaz are the latest departures…
Curry, the anchor of “Weekend Express,” joined HLN in 2008 from KYMA in Yuma, Arizona. She became the solo anchor of the weekend newscasts, as well as the fill-in anchor for “Morning Express with Robin Meade,” in 2010. A spokesperson for HLN says Curry decided to move back West to be with her family.
Diaz joined HLN in 2011 from ESPN. He is also relocating, moving to the West Coast after two years as an Atlanta-based sports anchor.
The two departures come just a week after network president Albie Hecht held an all-staff meeting in Atlanta to brainstorm ideas for the new HLN. Hecht, who joined HLN two months ago, has already tweaked HLN’s programming in primetime, daytime and weekends.
FTVLive does some speculating…
As Zucker looks to blow up CNN prime time and HLN altogether, he is moving talent and management to New York.
To get around some of the unions, shows will still be produced out of Atlanta, but they will air from NYC.
Word is that Zucker has told HLN star Robin Meade that he wants her to move to New York as well. A move that sources say Meade does not want to make.
One HLN staffer that may not have to make the move to Manhattan is Nancy Grace. Word is that Zucker is this/close to pulling the plug on Grace.
TVNewser’s Chris Ariens writes that Zoraida Sambolin is leaving CNN…
Sambolin, the host of “Early Start,” says battling cancer this year put life in perspective. “I love my job and the gifted and committed people I’ve had an opportunity to work with but life is beckoning me back to Chicago,” she writes in a note to staff.
So, who do you think will be paired with John Berman at 5am?
In a must read, Capital New York’s Mike Allen and Alex Weprin interview Jeff Zucker…
After almost a year of tinkering, CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker has concluded that a news channel cannot subsist on news alone.
So he is planning much broader changes for the network—including a prime-time shakeup that’s likely to make CNN traditionalists cringe.
Once, CNN’s vanilla coverage was a point of pride. Now, the boss boasts about the ratings for his unscripted series, and documentaries like the Sea World-slamming film Blackfish. Zucker, in his first one-on-one interview since taking control of CNN last January, told Capital he wants news coverage “that is just not being so obvious.”
Instead, he wants more of “an attitude and a take”:
“We’re all regurgitating the same information. I want people to say, ‘You know what? That was interesting. I hadn’t thought of that,’” Zucker said. “The goal for the next six months, is that we need more shows and less newscasts.”
There’s a lot more there worth reading but I want to highlight this part as it is what I feared would happen back when Zucker’s name was merely just in play as a possible head of CNN.
Chris Cuomo emailed The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove after controversy erupted over Cuomo interviewed his brother Governor Andrew Cuomo this morning on New Day…
“Obviously I did the intv because it was non political, and frankly, I invite the criticism—because it exposes the hollowness of a lot of what is out there,” the 43-year-old Cuomo emailed me after absorbing the predictable reproaches from various ethics cops on Twitter and elsewhere. “Critics say my intv was no diff than any other and then criticize anyway,” he continued. “Think about that. I get the obvious suspicion, but the media has to do better than simply cater to the obvious…and pawn off negativity as a proxy for insight.”
I don’t find anything controversial about the interview Cuomo did because it was benign. But that’s not the point either.
The reason there are conflict of interest rules in place isn’t just to prevent real, substantive conflict of interest charges being thrown around but to prevent perceived, relatively meritless conflict of interest charges being tossed about which distract from the interview and cause PR grief for networks. Under such circumstances, the negatives outweigh the positives to be gained. Why invite a controversy that is easily prevented by giving the interview to Kate Bolduan or Michaela Pereira? If the interview is that benign it doesn’t really matter who does it so why paint a target on your back un-necessarily?
It’s better to have a blanket black and white zero tolerance conflict of interest policy than to have a shades of gray “it depends on what your definition of is is” conflict of interest policy that only serves to invite un-needed scrutiny.
Politico’s Dylan Byers writes that CNN is going to try out a new show centered around John King…
John King, the CNN correspondent whose evening program was cancelled last year, is on a trial run for a new show with the network, POLITICO has learned.
Network sources say that CNN is currently experimenting with a new show called “The Source with John King,” which would feature a political roundtable of columnists and reporters from both CNN and elsewhere. In the show’s intro, King describes the show as “the biggest stories — sourced by the best reporters.”
Should it run, the show would likely be a half-hour long and air on the weekends, though that is subject to change, a source said. For now, the network is using interns as stand-ins for guests: Those interns have played the roles of AP’s Julie Pace, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus and CNN’s Peter Hamby.
The show would be a surprise move for King, whose presence on the network has diminished since he erroneously reported that a Boston Marathon bombing suspect had been arrested. (He later apologized).
Ummm….yeah. That’s why King has a regularly scheduled daily segment on New Day…because his profile has diminished and CNN wants to minimize his visibility…right.
FTVLive cries foul that CNN let Chris Cuomo interview his brother Governor Andrew Cuomo this morning…
The interview crosses all kinds of ethical lines and CNN could have easily handed this interview off to someone besides the Governor’s brother.
Cuomo did mention in the middle of the interview that he and the Gov were family.
CNN should have NEVER let this happen.
FTVLive is reporting that long longtime CNN reporter John Zarella is out at the network. Shocking…
Sources tell FTVLive that longtime CNN correspondent John Zarrella is out at the network.
Zarrella has been CNN’s Miami correspondent since the 80′s.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Marissa Guthrie scooped this morning that Anderson Cooper had signed a contract extension with CNN…
Anderson Cooper has signed a new deal with CNN that will keep him at the cable news network through the 2016 presidential election, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.
The pact keeps Cooper, 46, in CNN’s nightly lineup for the foreseeable future as CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker, who in January will mark at year at the helm of the network, is expected to soon set his sights on primetime.
“is expected to soon set his sights on primetime”???!??!
What’s he been doing all this time tinkering with shows the past six months, eh? He hasn’t been twiddling his thumbs the past six to seven months while CNN Prime continued untouched. He’s definitely been working on it already. Sheesh…
FTVLive is reporting that Don Lemon is headed to CNN’s 8pm slot M-Fr.
If true, it’s a bit of a gamble move. 11pm ET just has not stuck long term for any cable news network that has attempted live programming there. It tends to mess with repeating prime time shows on the West Coast and traditionally hasn’t generated the eyeballs to effectively offset the cost of producing live content at that hour with all the staff required. Using Piers Morgan’s ace staff (Jonathan Wald, et al) may defray some of that cost because they’re already being paid for something else but it doesn’t offset other costs associated with broadcasting live (satellite uplink time being the primary cost).
History shows us we should be skeptical of this working in the long run. But we shall see…
The New York Post’s Keith J. Kelly writes that Time Warner executive Gary Ginsberg may be named Jeff Zucker’s #2 at CNN…
Gary Ginsberg, 51, the executive vice president of corporate marketing and communications at Time Warner, is expected to join CNN as the deputy to Jeff Zucker, the president of CNN Worldwide.
“They’ve been discussing it for months,” said one source with knowledge of the talks, who said the deal is not yet finalized and could still come undone.
The deal, if it is completed, would not take effect until January, said the source.
Ginsberg, Zucker and Time Warner brass are still hammering out the exact title Ginsberg will take — but whatever they name the newly created position, it will be in essence No. 2 Zucker.
Capital New York’s Alex Weprin scoops that CNN’s planned re-launch of its website is being delayed…
CNN’s new website, $15 million and a decade in the making, was scheduled to launch this fall. Now, Capital has learned, the site relaunch has been pushed to early 2014.
Some unexpected technical issues arose during the rebuild, a source told Capital. CNN will also be extending its beta-testing period through the holidays to ensure that the launch goes off without a hitch.
Here’s CNN’s factually inaccurate press release announcing the Stelter hire. Stelter never sold TVNewser to Mediabistro…he sold Cablenewser to Mediabistro and then it was subsequently renamed TVNewser. I sort of expected CNN to have Stelter at least see this release before it went out so that gaffes like this don’t happen. If they did and he let it slide then he’s to blame…
CNN Names Brian Stelter Host of Reliable Sources and Senior Media Correspondent
CNN has named The New York Times media industry reporter Brian Stelter host of Reliable Sources, the network’s weekly show that focuses on the top media stories and news analysis each Sunday at 11:00amET on CNN/U.S. Stelter will also serve as a senior media correspondent for CNN Worldwide, reporting on trends, personalities, and companies across the media spectrum — from news to entertainment. He will report daily on CNN/U.S., CNN International, CNN.com, CNNMoney.com, and across CNN’s vast mobile and social landscape, feeding and flowing into his show and creating a multiplatform, global media beat for CNN.
“Brian has emerged as one of the top media reporters in the country and will be a great addition to our many platforms,” said Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide. “He grew up in the digital space, and has covered the media industry for his entire career. Brian has a keen understanding of this field – as both a journalist covering the industry and as an innovator – first, by creating his own digital platform, and second, by also leveraging the countless ways information is disseminated to enhance his storytelling. I’m thrilled to welcome him to CNN to this newly broadened role.”
Stelter will be joining CNN from The New York Times, where he has worked since 2007, and has covered television and digital media for the Media & Advertising and Arts sections of the newspaper and for the newspaper’s blog, Media Decoder. In 2013, he published The New York Times best-selling book “Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV (2013),” about the competitive world of morning news shows.
“It is an honor to take the helm of Reliable Sources, the very best of a very small number of programs about the media’s role in society,” said Stelter. “I’m equally excited about reporting throughout the week on CNN’s many digital platforms and television networks. CNN is reimagining media coverage at what is the best time ever to be covering media, and I’m very happy to be a part of it.”
Stelter created TVNewser, a blog covering the television news industry, in 2004, while a college freshman at Towson University. Six months later he sold TVNewser to Mediabistro.com, though he continued to edit and write for the blog for three additional years. He joined The New York Times in 2007, after graduating from Towson with a degree in mass communications with a concentration in journalism.