Archive for the FNC Category

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.

Tent Shooting: Round 2?

Posted in FNC on October 3, 2014 by icn2

Mediaite’s Andrew Kirell writes about Chris Wallace trying to tamp down the Fox and Friends hosts responding to Barack Obama’s overhyped FNC swipes yesterday…

“I just didn’t think we belonged in the dialogue,” Brian Kilmeade said. “Just tell me what you think and take on the other party.”

“Are we at the presidential level?” Steve Doocy asked. “Isn’t he punching down?”

“Doesn’t Vladimir Putin get under his skin a little bit more?” Kilmeade asked. “ISIS?” added Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

“Stop being cry babies, my gosh,” Wallace replied with a smirk. “You criticize the president for being thin skinned and you’re being thin skinned.”

Wow…I wonder how that went down with Roger Ailes? Remember that Wallace once before took an opposing view on Fox and Friends and paid dearly for it

In 2008, Wallace criticized Fox & Friends hosts, including Steve Doocy, on the air. Ailes was furious: “You shot inside the tent,” he said to Wallace, whom he called a “jerk.” Wallace sent Ailes a letter of apology, and all was forgiven.

Maria Bartiromo Profile

Posted in FBN, FNC on August 5, 2014 by icn2’s Kate O’Hare profiles Maria Bartiromo…

Ailes obviously had faith in Bartiromo’s abilities, and that faith had to endure a weak ratings debut on Feb. 24 for her FBN daily show. Her Sunday-morning show on FNC ,which debuted March 30, is faring better.

In July, per Nielsen Media Research, it topped the cable-news ratings for its time slot, averaging 807,000 total viewers, and 207,000 viewers in the coveted Adults 25-54 demographic. Since its first full month on the air, Sunday Morning Futures has stayed stable in total viewers but has increased the A25-54 segment by 9 percent.

For context, for July 31st, the primetime content at FBN itself had only 6,000 viewers in that demo (out of a total viewership of 57,000), while top-rated (by far) FNC had 370,000 (of 2.22 million).

Viewers of both cable news and business channels tend to skew older, so getting younger viewers is an ongoing challenge. But with the dip in jobs, we may also be seeing a rise in entrepreneurship, both among seasoned workers and those new to the workforce.

“We’re bringing in a great demo [on FNC],” says Bartiromo, “so that tells me that there’s an appetite for business and economic conversation on a Sunday. … After the 2008 financial collapse and all of these white-collar jobs going away, people recognize that there are not the opportunities that you thought there were in business. People are saying, ‘You know what, I want to try something on my own.’

The Sincerest Form of Flattery…

Posted in FNC on July 2, 2014 by icn2

TV Club’s Sam Barsanti writes about FNC ripping off the Bioshock Infinite logo… (via J$)

The above picture comes from Ken Levine, the creator of BioShock (via Nerdist), who seemed more tickled by it than annoyed. “Glad to help, Fox. Glad to help,” he posted on Facebook. You can see the original Infinite logo below and compare them yourself, but the funny part here isn’t that Fox News copied it—which it totally did—it’s that it apparently copied it without recognizing what the logo represents: A violent video game about killing right-wing crazy people. It would’ve been weird for Fox News to take any game’s logo like this, but for it take the one with a message that specifically diverges so strongly from its own? That’s irony, Alanis.

Fifty Quarters at #1…

Posted in FNC on June 30, 2014 by icn2

The Hollywood Reporter’s Michael O’Connell writes about FNC’s 50 quarters of dominance and interviews Bill Shine…

Some critics have pointed to that consistency as one reason why FNC’s average viewer is now over 65 years old, but Shine says an increased median age is something affecting all networks.

“It’s happening to most everyone in television, and in terms of the economics of it, we don’t buy and sell on that data,” Shine tells THR. “We buy and sell on the demo, and we’re still clearly winning the demo race among our competitors — combined in some cases. Is it something we keep our eye on? Absolutely. But it’s not something I currently go home and lose sleep over.”

Shine also says his eye is on the competition. He’s not ignoring CNN’s decision to ditch live news coverage for documentary news at cable news’ traditional flagship hour of 9 p.m. — “They’ve decided to go in another direction, and I think you’ve got to give them some time to see if it works.” — though he is committed to live programming and now considers their primetime block as beginning at 5 p.m. with The Five. That show now goes back and forth with Kelly’s between the No. 2 or No. 3 telecasts on cable news.

One thing Shine says he’s not paying attention to is criticism over the network’s reputation for conservative slant. And he’s quick to point at Kelly as someone who can potentially chip away at that reputation. He also says that the recent reassurance in attention on the U.S. handling of the 2012 attack on the American diplomatic mission at Benghazi, Libya, has vindicated FNC’s decision to heavily cover it for the last two years.

Taking the Long View…

Posted in CNN, FNC, HLN, MSNBC, Ratings Related on June 30, 2014 by icn2

Bloomberg Businessweek’s Eric Chemi and Ariana Giorgi chart cable news by quarter going all the way back to 2001…when CNN was still #1

As the number of prime-time broadcast TV viewers has gone down, the number tuning into cable news has gone up. Fox has benefited. Its ratings have increased while those of its cable competitors, as a group, have mostly stayed flat. That’s a sign that the growth hasn’t come from other news networks but from viewers who had not previously been watching cable news. Nielsen’s data shows that the only other cable network to be No. 1 in its category for 50 straight quarters is, unsurprisingly, ESPN

Desperation Throw?

Posted in CNN, FNC on June 26, 2014 by icn2

CNN Commentary writes about Crossfire taking a page out of FNC’s playbook by aping The Five…

CNN did something different with the struggling political debate program on Monday and Tuesday: all four Crossfire cohosts (SE Cupp, Newt Gingrich, Van Jones, and Stephanie Cutter) were all “in the Crossfire” – and there were no guests. As one person said to me in private, it was almost like CNN was trying to imitate Fox’s The Five, and see how it went for them.

Whether this was a ratings ploy to see if it would stick or not, that remains to be seen. If that’s the case, then I think it was poorly executed. How can you really expect to be able to tell if it will work, long-term, based off of two days? If it were an experiment, then it would make sense to do it for the entire week (maybe even two weeks?) – not just two days.

If CNN takes Crossfire and turns it into a Five clone, they should change the name of the show. Because it’s not Crossfire anymore.


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