Archive for the HLN Category

Robin Meade to New Day?

Posted in CNN, HLN on August 23, 2014 by icn2

CNN Commentary is claiming talks are underway to bring Robin Meade over to New Day…

Sources say Morning Express anchor Robin Meade is in serious talks to make the jump from HLN to CNN, where she will become the new co-anchor of New Day. I have also been told HLN is finished and it is only a matter of which organization, Glenn Beck’s The Blaze or Vice News, buys them out.

The problem with this report isn’t whether it’s possible or not. I have no doubt that at some level talks are going on to bring Meade to NYC.

No, the problem with this report is…well…Meade. Meade really didn’t want to go to NYC according to reports in the past…though I’m sure money can cure many ills. The more fundamental problem is Meade comes across the air best as a solo anchor.

S-o-l-o
a-n-c-h-o-r

If she’s not the center of the universe, I have serious doubts how successful any show she’s involved with will be.

New Day is not geared towards the concept of the solo anchor. Indeed, if anything it has gotten more ensemble based as time has gone by. So CNN would be taking a high megawattage solo anchor who stands out a mile away and plug her in to an ensemble show where nobody is supposed to burn that bright. Looks like a recipe for disaster to me. Unless…

…CNN guts the entire format of New Day and the talent that go with it…including Chris Cuomo…and put Meade on by herself with a rotating cast of supporting players. I just see no way CNN can get away with having an Alpha Male anchor in Cuomo and an Alpha Female anchor in Meade share the screen together without the show tearing itself apart in due course.

Then there’s the format. Morning Express is all happy happy joy joy, light on news, and feeds off Meade’s bubbly personality. CNN’s New Day is heavy on news, light on fluff, nobody stands out, and the show does not feed off anybody’s personality. So plugging Meade into that format would be the ultimate square peg/round hole experiment in cable news.

I’m not saying that all these reasons mean that Meade can’t come to CNN. What I am saying is if CNN does bring Meade over, something is going to have to change and change a lot in order for it to work.

CNN + Glenn Beck?

Posted in CNN, HLN on August 22, 2014 by icn2

The Wall Street Journal’s Keach Hagey writes about CNN having joint venture discussions with Glenn Beck as a replacement for HLN…

Time Warner Inc.’s CNN has looked beyond Vice Media in its quest for a partner to help revamp its struggling sister station, HLN.

CNN executives have held talks in recent weeks with representatives from Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, a 24-hour news and entertainment network, about a potential joint venture to overhaul HLN, according to people familiar with the matter. Those discussions came after Vice’s talks became public in June. CNN and The Blaze representatives couldn’t agree on terms, the people said.

Among the possible deals considered was an arrangement similar to the one being discussed with Vice Media, according to a person familiar with the deal: forming a new venture between CNN-parent Time Warner and The Blaze that would replace HLN’s current programming with Blaze programming.

The talks illustrate Time Warner’s eagerness to find a solution for the problems at HLN, which has seen its total viewership decline 22% for the season to date, and a 19% decrease in viewers 18 to 49 years old, the demographic that advertisers pay a premium to reach, according to Nielsen.

Rupert vs. Time Warner’s Board: Round 2?

Posted in CNN, HLN on July 16, 2014 by icn2

The New York Post’s Claire Atkinson and Richard Morgan write about a possible new offer for Time Warner…

“They’ll start working on the common shareholders to appeal to the Time Warner board,” said one executive familiar with Fox’s thinking. “I’m sure they have a very sophisticated plan.”

Fox and Time Warner have 11 major shareholders in common. Together they account for 38.4 percent of Time Warner’s outstanding shares and 42.7 percent of Fox’s. Among them are Capital Group, BlackRock, JPMorgan Chase and Vanguard.

“The question is how do these people want to do this trade? They are trading into themselves. At what price do these guys feel they got a good trade?” said one person familiar with discussions.

“We have no problem taking Rupert’s offer,” said Mario Gabelli, chief executive of Gamco. “Essentially his vision over the next 10 years is about the growth of the middle class in China. Smartphones are giving them access to content.”

Ironic to see Time Warner fend off a big media buy from Fox when over a decade ago Time Warner made a mega big media buy itself…AOL (ok, ok, it was really a merger). And we all know how that turned out…

Time Warner 1, Rupert Murdoch 0

Posted in CNN, HLN on July 16, 2014 by icn2

The New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin and Michael J. De La Merced write about Rupert Murdoch’s acquisition attempt being blown off by Time Warner…

The media giant 21st Century Fox, the empire run by Rupert Murdoch, made an $80 billion takeover bid in recent weeks for Time Warner Inc. but was rebuffed, people briefed on the matter said on Wednesday.

The bold approach could put Time Warner in play and might again ignite a reshaping of the media industry, prompting a new spate of mega-mergers among the nation’s largest entertainment companies.

And there’s this…

As part of the proposal to buy Time Warner, people briefed on the proposal said, 21st Century Fox indicated that it would sell CNN to head off potential antitrust concerns since Fox News competes directly with CNN. Putting CNN on the auction block would likely stir up a bidding war for the news channel; both CBS and ABC, a unit of the Walt Disney Company, have long been viewed as interested suitors.

Well…that would be interesting…not the least because of what it would mean for Jeff Zucker’s future at CNN Worldwide…but I think it would take a lot more than spinning off CNN to get a Fox acquisition of Time Warner to get past Anti Trust regulators…

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

Musical Studios…

Posted in CNN, HLN on June 27, 2014 by icn2

FTVLive is reporting that HLN will be taking over CNN’s studio space including its newest studio.

Meanwhile, CNN will get HLN’s former and much smaller studio and workspace. As FTVLive FIRST reported, CNN boss Jeff Zucker moved the Atlanta based shows, talent and most of the managers to New York.

Man, they better be working on building one hell of a studio for Newsroom in NYC otherwise this NYC move hurts CNN badly…

How Do Porcupines Mate? Very Carefully…

Posted in HLN on June 23, 2014 by icn2

The New York Times’ Jonathan Mahler and Ravi Somaiya write about the dance Time Warner and 21st Century Fox are doing with Vice…

People familiar with the negotiations say the talks with Time Warner have made the most progress. It could buy a large, minority stake in Vice, and give Vice control of the cable channel HLN, or they could operate the network as a joint venture. The deal would give Vice a 24-hour news network that reaches more than 100 million households. Time Warner would get a potential solution to a channel that has struggled to find an audience.

But the companies remain at odds over how much influence Time Warner would have over Vice and HLN, said the people familiar with the talks, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are continuing and delicate. The two also disagree about the total value of Vice. Time Warner contends it is worth about $1.5 billion; Vice says it is worth at least $2.5 billion.

These people also cited another matter. In March, Mr. Smith delivered a profanity-laced assessment of CNN — also owned by Time Warner — to The Daily News in New York, calling the network “a disaster.” The president of CNN, Jeff Zucker, was furious, a Time Warner official said. If Vice were to take over HLN, Mr. Zucker and Mr. Smith would be colleagues.

Among its other suitors, Vice has the strongest relationship with Fox, which last year bought a 5 percent stake in the company for $70 million. James Murdoch is on Vice’s board.

But a Fox deal faces hurdles, too. The company does not have a logical single channel to give Vice, which is what Mr. Smith most wants. “You can’t be MTV without a TV network,” he said.

An agreement might instead call for Vice to program blocks of time on a few Fox networks. And, of course, Fox’s defining news brand, Fox News, is not popular among Vice’s core audience.

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