CNN 2.0?

Posted in CNN on August 24, 2014 by icn2

The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Matt Kempner and J. Scott Trubey write about upcoming cutbacks at CNN…

CNN chief Jeff Zucker recently shared not so encouraging words with some of the news operation’s employees, many of whom have been bracing for potential jobs cuts.

“We are going to do less and have to do it with less,” Zucker said during a call-in to a news meeting Tuesday morning. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently received a partial transcript of the call from a Turner employee who asked not to be identified.

Zucker’s comments feed growing concerns among employees at CNN and other operations of Turner Broadcasting, which has nearly 13,000 full-time employees, about half of them in Atlanta.

I’ve beaten up Zucker a lot for how he’s been destroying CNN’s brand and replacing it with a new brand that is not based solely on news. But I will give this to him. He’s very good at streamlining operations to cut costs.

Zakaria: Round 2…

Posted in CNN on August 23, 2014 by icn2

Our Bad Media returns with another alleged Zakaria plagiarism “expose”…

Last Tuesday, Fareed Zakaria responded to our initial blog post showing that he had clearly and inappropriately copied and pasted other journalists’ work. He did so by demonstrably lying and getting a number of facts just plain wrong. We think our work held up pretty well, even more so after the response from a pretty diverse group of journalists. For those wondering what constitutes plagiarism, it might be helpful to first read this walkthrough from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. Then keep scrolling, because today we’re adding even more to the pile by showing how Zakaria blatantly and repeatedly plagiarized in not just what is his most popular book, but two different cover stories for the magazines he used to serve as editor for, Foreign Affairs and Newsweek.

This isn’t going to go away easily and it’s going to get increasingly uncomfortable over at Time Warner if people keep unearthing stuff like this on Zakaria…

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.


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.

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…
Continue reading

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.

Press Releases: 08/20/14

Posted in Press Releases on August 20, 2014 by icn2

Al Jazeera America (1)


On the network’s first anniversary, Al Jazeera America will roadblock its primetime schedule from 6pm-midnight ET/3pm-9pm PT with six hours of continuous live coverage from Ferguson, Missouri, with breaking news and analysis on “Flashpoint Ferguson: The Way Forward.”
See the attached release for details.

Free for All: 08/20/14

Posted in Free For All on August 20, 2014 by icn2

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