Archive for the MSNBC Category

MSNBC’s Latest Al Sharpton Headache

Posted in MSNBC on August 22, 2014 by icn2

In a must read, Politico Magazine’s Glenn Thrush makes MSNBC squirm some more over its still after all these years not at all clearly defined set of boundaries for itself and Al Sharpton…

What brought them together, according to numerous sources I’ve spoken with about this over the years, is a shared commitment to racial justice, and a hardheaded pragmatism that has fueled their success. “He realized I wasn’t as irrational or as crazy as people thought,” Sharpton told me in an interview this week, and indeed Sharpton not only visits the White House frequently, he often texts or emails with senior Obama officials such as Jarrett and Attorney General Eric Holder, the first African American to hold that job and who, like Sharpton, views the Ferguson crisis as a pivotal one in Obama’s presidency.

“I’ve known Al since he was 12 years old, and he’s arrived at the level he always wanted to arrive at, which is gratifying,” the Rev. Jesse Jackson, a colleague and sometimes rival, told me. “He’s the man who’s the liaison to the White House, he’s the one who’s talking to the Justice Department.”

The above two paragraphs alone illustrate in ways no other Sharpton/MSNBC story has so powerfully illustrated before, why MSNBC and Phil Griffin’s previous approach of sticking their heads in the sand whenever Sharpton’s antics draw unwelcome optics 30 Rock’s way is no longer a viable one.

The previous approach is underscored by TVNewser’s Jordan Chariton who brought up a Griffin quote on Sharpton from a few weeks ago…
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David Gregory Out, Chuck Todd In…

Posted in MSNBC on August 14, 2014 by icn2

The news has leaked out via Brian Stelter, MSNBC’s lower thirds, and David Gregory’s tweeting, and finally NBC has acknowledged the news.

NBC News President Deborah Turness emails staff:

Dear All,

I want to share some news about Meet the Press. After an exceptional 20 years with NBC News, David Gregory is leaving the network.

I want to express my sincerest thanks to David, who, after the death of Tim Russert, led Meet the Press for almost 6 years. Under his leadership the show has had a string of exclusives, and David has shown a remarkable gift for holding leaders to account and getting answers on issues that matter to our audience. He is an outstanding journalist whose sharp intellect and quick sense of humor have made him a pleasure to work with. I know you all join me in expressing our deepest gratitude and in wishing him the very best.

I am very pleased to announce that Chuck Todd will take the helm on September 7. There is no one with a bigger passion for politics than Chuck. His unique ability to deliver that passion with razor sharp analysis and infectious enthusiasm makes him the perfect next generation moderator of this beloved broadcast. Chuck will ensure that Meet the Press is the beating heart of politics, the place where newsmakers come to make news, where the agenda is set. We have some exciting plans to evolve and update the broadcast under Chuck’s leadership that we will be sharing with you shortly.

Chuck will continue as NBC News political director, and will hand over his roles as chief White House correspondent and anchor of MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown.

Andrea Mitchell will serve as moderator of Meet the Press this weekend, and will continue to be a central figure of the broadcast, along with some new names that we will announce in the coming days.

For nearly seventy years, Americans have turned to Meet the Press on Sunday mornings for unrivaled insights on the news stories, political battles and public affairs debates dominating the national discussion. The next-generation Meet the Press, led by Chuck Todd, is certain to be the must-watch political destination on Sundays and beyond.


Left unsaid…who gets Chief White House Correspondent and who gets The Daily Rundown? Does the Daily Rundown continue at all going forward?

Chuck Todd to Meet The Press?

Posted in MSNBC on August 11, 2014 by icn2

Politico’s Mike Allen reports that Chuck Todd is the likely replacement for David Gregory on Meet The Press. Thanks. We all knew that…

Chuck Todd, a political obsessive and rabid sports fan, is the likely successor to David Gregory as moderator of “Meet the Press,” with the change expected to be announced in coming weeks, according to top political sources. The move is an effort by NBC News President Deborah Turness to restore passion and insider cred to a network treasure that has been adrift since the death in 2008 of the irreplaceable Tim Russert. Although Todd is not a classic television performer guaranteed to wow focus groups, his NBC bosses have been impressed by his love of the game, which brings with it authenticity, sources, and a loyal following among newsmakers and political junkies.

Phil Griffin Apologizes for Cinco De Mayo Controversy…

Posted in MSNBC on August 9, 2014 by icn2

I noted this on Twitter yesterday. Today The Huffington Post’s Roque Planas writes about Phil Griffin’s appearance at the National Association of Hispanice Journalists convention where he apologized for the Way Too Early Cinco De Mayo segement.

Nogales asked whether Griffin and MSNBC hosts would agree to have a meeting with a group of Latino experts to discuss how the network could better cultivate Hispanic sources and experts to interview on the air.

Griffin said he’d go one step further, asking to organize meetings on a continual basis and to bring producers into the meetings as well.

Diversifying the network isn’t just the right thing to do, Griffin said, it also makes business sense.

“There is a huge audience out there,” Griffin said, referring to Latinos. “And I want us to be the first one to tap into it in a really positive way.”

Griffin also noted during the panel that journalist José Díaz-Balart had recently joined the network to anchor on weekdays at 10 a.m.

“Having José in the newsroom has already changed our world,” Griffin said. He added that Díaz-Balart has helped make the network more representative of U.S. demographics by bringing Hispanic sources on air to talk about topics other than immigration.

Bill Wolff to The View…

Posted in MSNBC on August 6, 2014 by icn2

The Hollywood Reporter’s Marissa Guthrie writes that MSNBC Primetime VP and Rachel Maddow Show EP Bill Wolff is headed to ABC to take over running The View.

ABC is filling another key role in its quest to reinvigorate The View. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that longtime Rachel Maddow Show executive producer Bill Wolff is set to replace Bill Geddie as showrunner for the upcoming season.

Wolff, also the vice president of primetime programming at the cable news network, is departing — per a MSNBC spokesperson. His deal with ABC is still being finalized, but he is expected to be on board by September when it returns from hiatus.

Where There’s Smoke…

Posted in MSNBC on July 24, 2014 by icn2

Yes, it’s another “David Gregory’s Meet The Press days are numbered” article but this one is different because it’s not Page Six or anyone connected with News Corp.’s New York Post. Even more significantly it’s The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove.

In multiple conversations that I had with people inside and outside NBC after the item appeared, it was taken as a given that Gregory is toast.

Why is it more significant because it’s Grove and not the curmudgeonly Page Six which loves to stick it to CNN and NBC/MSNBC? Because Grove, rightly or wrongly, is considered by many to be…ahem…friendly…to 30 Rock. Grove doesn’t write all that often about the goings on at NBC/MSNBC but when he does it’s not usually in…how shall I put it?…provocative tones. So to see Grove come forward with his own sourcing on Gregory being in trouble and then, on top of that, to start speculating about who leaked to The Post (!!!), something I have not seen him do before, and I had to snap to attention and read every little detail…

According to my sources, Scarborough, 51, a Washington-savvy former Republican congressman from Florida, and Brzezinski, 47, the supremely well-connected daughter of former White House national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, have been aggressively angling for the job in the event of Gregory’s all-but-certain demise. If they were to be picked as MTP cohosts, it would represent a complete departure from the 69-year-old program’s traditional format. On Thursday, Scarborough tweeted: “There have been numerous stories with NBC News sources saying Mika and I have been ‘aggressively angling’ for MTP. That is false.” There might be a difference in nuance, of course, between “aggressively angling” and “making no secret” that you want the job, as an informed source told me about Scarborough and Brzezinski.

An NBC insider told me the duo had believed they had an understanding with top news division executives that they would be named cohosts of the Sunday Today show in addition to their Morning Joe duties. Then Turness arrived at NBC from Britain’s ITV News in August 2013 and undid the agreement, I’m told. “They were furious,” my source told me, referring to Scarborough and Brzezinski.

Does this mean that Gregory is indeed in serious trouble? It’s hard to say. NBC did come out publicly with a big backing of Gregory not too long ago. But that isn’t necessarily indicative of anything definitive. Recall that when Ann Curry was rumored to be on the outs at The Today Show, there were conflicting views inside NBC on what to do with some factions advocating dropping her and others looking to keep her. That may be what’s playing out right now with elements at NBC wanting to stay the course and others looking to make a change.

One thing is certain, this story isn’t just a Page Six pushed story anymore. It’s gone mainstream. And that is something I find very significant. What it’s significance ultimately portends is not yet clear however.

Leaks Are Us…

Posted in MSNBC on July 16, 2014 by icn2

TV by The Numbers got all time low Demo numbers for Now with Alex Wagner…

MSNBC’s NOW with Alex Wagner delivered an all-time adults 25-54 low yesterday, drawing only 19,000 viewers among the adults 25-54 demographic.

And how do we spell all time low?



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