It’s Official…

Posted in MSNBC on July 30, 2015 by icn2

Mediaite’s Josh Feldman has Phil Griffin’s internal memo (which seems to have found its way almost everywhere) detailing the cancellation of the three shows Joe Concha scooped about last week…


I’m writing to share a number of changes we’re making as we build a new daytime lineup with the best live, breaking news coverage on television.

As of this Friday, “The Cycle,” “Now with Alex Wagner” and “The Ed Show” will air their final shows.

Alex Wagner will stay with MSNBC and play a key role in our political coverage as we head into the 2016 election. And Ari Melber will continue in his role as Chief Legal Correspondent. But we will be parting ways with some friends – Ed Schultz, Krystal Ball, Abby Huntsman and Toure will be leaving MSNBC. Please join me in thanking them for their numerous contributions over the past several years, and in wishing them great success.

Beginning in a few weeks, Chuck Todd will bring his unmatched brand of political insight and analysis back to MSNBC with a daily one-hour program. That show will air weekdays at 5pm.

I know you read press reports last week speculating about these changes. I hope you can understand that we were not able to confirm at that point because we had not yet finalized many of the decisions I’m sharing with you today, and we hadn’t yet spoken directly with the people involved.

Sounds like exit deals weren’t finalized to me so MSNBC couldn’t come out and say much at the time.

In the coming weeks, as we complete our plans to create a new look and flow for our dayside programming, our 3pm to 6pm hours will begin the pivot towards live, breaking news coverage – with interim hosts from among our very talented ranks. And then, in September, we’ll unveil a 9am to 5pm schedule driven by dynamic coverage of breaking news events that are shaping the day.

Change can be hard. There’s no doubt it’s been a difficult time, but we have exciting opportunities ahead.


I just knew Wagner wasn’t going anywhere when her husband joined NBC. It’ll be very interesting to see what that “key role” will manifest itself as given how she went opinion on her show. It will be difficult to successfully recast her as a neutral after that. You can’t un-ring that bell.

Press Releases: 07/29/15

Posted in CNN on July 29, 2015 by icn2

CNN (1)


A Miner Miracle: Five Years After the Chilean Rescue Airs Tuesday, August 4 at 9pmET/PT

Five years after the collapse of the San Jose gold and copper mine that trapped 33 miners for 69 days, CNN correspondent Rosa Flores travels to Chile to speak with three of the miners. She also speaks with the drillers who worked around the clock on their improbable and miraculous rescue. The hour-long CNN Special Report, A Miner Miracle: Five Years After the Chilean Rescue airs Tuesday, August 4, at 9pmET/PT on CNN and via CNNgo.

Jorge Galleguillos can’t shake the tragedy from his mind. He was one of the 33 men trapped a half-mile beneath the hard rock of Chile’s Atacama Desert. He remembers praying to live while preparing to die. Finally, a small drill broke through to the men, allowing them to send an astounding message: ‘All 33 of us are alive.’ Their 69 days underground and their triumphant rescue stunned the world who watched it live on television. The men became globe-trotting celebrities with multiple movie and book offers; however, five years later, Galleguillos and most of the miners still live very humble and difficult lives. Many of the men battle demons and have trouble keeping steady work. And no one was ever held accountable for the collapse of the San Jose gold and copper mine.

During the CNN Special Report, Flores interviews former Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, whose optimism for their rescue rallied a nation and the world. She also speaks with Jeff Hart, the drilling expert who successfully carved a tunnel through the earth and helped save the 33 courageous men.

The Anchor Position of Silence…

Posted in MSNBC on July 29, 2015 by icn2

Mediaite’s Andrew Kirell writes about Brian Williams’ alleged new digs…

According to network insiders, construction will begin this weekend on a brand-new set for Williams. But this is no glamorous Nightly News-like set: Our sources say it will be a fully-exposed glass enclosure in the middle of the newsroom, among the booking staff.

Like any newsroom, the MSNBC booking section is noisy, and our sources say the set will not be sound-proof. This represents a drastic change from his Nightly News set, which we are told had to be cleared — at Williams’ behest — of extraneous stage hands and crew members because it was too “noisy” and “distracting.”

Not only does such a situation represent an obvious demotion for Williams, but our sources say staffers have been comparing the enclosure to a “war crimes trial”-like booth — most famously, the one used during the 1961 trial against Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann.

I can think of a better analogy…


Settling In…

Posted in MSNBC on July 29, 2015 by icn2

In a must read, The Wrap’s Jordan Chariton writes about all kinds of juicy things going on inside 30 Rock as Andrew Lack starts flexing his muscles…

An insider with knowledge of the NBC News executive suite told TheWrap that under new NBC News-MSNBC Chairman Andrew Lack, who took over in April after the removal of Pat Fili-Krushel, NBC News President Deborah Turness’ influence has been significantly diminished as Lack tries to break down the walls between NBC and MSNBC.

“Andy has taken the reigns and allowed Deborah to stay as long as she’d like,” the insider said, adding that Lack isn’t imminently trying to oust her, but isn’t exactly pleading for her take on big decisions.

Also Read: NBC News President Deborah Turness Addresses Brian Williams Controversy: Read Memo
Lack is injecting himself into all decisions including dealing directly with “Meet the Press” brass on bookings (last week, Turness was appointed to temporarily oversee MTP and the D.C. Bureau through the 2016 elections) and trying to poach NBC News talent to MSNBC primetime.

One of those personalities is popular “Today” and “Morning Joe” co-host Willie Geist, who was approached to gauge his interest in a role in MSNBC primetime, but didn’t ultimately express interest. It’s unclear whether the idea was for Geist to have his own show or contribute in some capacity.

And then there’s this about the desire to bring NBC News and MSNBC closer together…

Whether it be lack of desire or lack or availability, NBC News correspondents have not been easily available to MSNBC producers for live shots.

One insider told TheWrap: “We’re told to book them as much as possible, but we either don’t hear back from them for long stretches or are told they’re swamped, maybe later in the week.”

If that’s fusion, Lack has a long way to go.

Yup…in fact it’s a scenario Lack should be all too familiar with since he was President of NBC News when NBC talent started fleeing MSNBC in the late 90s.

July Numbers: MSNBC…

Posted in Ratings Related on July 28, 2015 by icn2

MSNBC is noting its July ratings…


“Morning Joe” Tops CNN in Total Viewers for Fifth Month; Third Month of Demo Growth

MSNBC Primetime Tops CNN in Total Viewers

NEW YORK – July 28, 2015 – For July 2015, MSNBC showed more month-to-month growth than all other cable news networks. Many key MSNBC programs saw ratings improvements up from June 2015, including growth for “Morning Joe” (up 10%), “The Rachel Maddow Show” (up 7%), “Hardball with Chris Matthews” (up 11%), “All In with Chris Hayes” (up 13%) and “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” (up 23%), among total viewers. A number of MSNBC programs also topped CNN among total viewers, including “Morning Joe”, “The Ed Show”, “Hardball”, “PoliticsNation”, “All In with Chris Hayes”, “The Rachel Maddow Show”, “The Last Word” and in the Primetime M-F 8-11p daypart. In the A25-54 demo, MSNBC saw Total Day growth up 3% from July 2014 and up 6% from June 2015, and for Primetime, MSNBC was up 8% over June 2015.

“Morning Joe” beat CNN in total viewers for the fifth month in a row, and saw its highest monthly ratings since November of 2013. In total viewers, “Morning Joe” was up 33% from July 2014. For the A25-54 demo, “Morning Joe” rose consistently for the third straight month, 18% over June 2015 and 23% over July 2014.

MSNBC’s dayside programming also saw some ratings gains in total viewers over July 2014 and in the A25-54 demo, “The Rundown with Jose Diaz-Balart”, “MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts” and “Now with Alex Wagner” are all up from July 2014.

On the weekends, MSNBC saw ratings boosts both in the demo and with total viewers. In July, “Up with Steve Kornacki” generated its highest ratings in the demo since December of 2014 and its highest ratings among total viewers since February of 2014. (Source: NSI, July 2015)

July Numbers: CNN…

Posted in Ratings Related on July 28, 2015 by icn2

CNN is noting its July ratings…


Only Cable News Net Up vs. a Year ago in All Four Dayparts; Posts Largest Growth in M-F Prime

New Day Beats Morning Joe for 13th Straight Month; Joe Finishes Last in Cable News in Demo Again, Behind HLN and CNN

State of the Union with Jake Tapper is Up Double-Digits in Total Viewers

CNN Original Series Post Strong Ratings this Month

CNN’s momentum continued in July, with the network showing strength, stability and growth across the board. For the 13th straight month, CNN ranked second in cable news in Total Day among both total viewers and the 25-54 demo rating. The network has now ranked #2 in primetime (M-Su/M-F) for the past 13 months in the coveted adults 25-54 demographic. This represents the longest streak across these dayparts and demos in more than seven years.

CNN is the only news network to grow from year-ago levels in all four key dayparts among both total viewers and the demo 25-54. The network is posting the largest growth in cable news in M-Su prime in the key demo 25-54 and the largest increases in M-F primetime in both demos. CNN is also registering the largest and only double-digit growth in daytime (9a-4p) among 25-54.

(Note: MSNBC’s total viewer (P2+) growth in July, 2015 is attributed to increases among adults 55+. Year-to-date, MSNBC is posting its oldest yearly median age on record in both total day and primetime.)

CNN Program Highlights:
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Vause and Sesay to L.A. For CNNI

Posted in CNN on July 27, 2015 by icn2

TVNewser’s Brian Flood has more details on John Vause’s move to Los Angeles. Vause and Isha Sesay are both going to L.A. where they get a brand news studio.

Here’s the part of the story that makes no sense…

The CNN International program will air overnights 12-2 a.m. ET, which is an important time block for Asia Pacific timing/programming. The show will also simulcast on CNN domestic.

There are a couple of reasons why I find the above justification lacking in sense…

Vause is already anchoring that shift. He’s just doing it from Atlanta. What does CNN gain by moving Vause and Sesay out to the West Coast? I mean what does the Asia-Pacific gain by that move? Asia-Pacific news coming out of one spot clear across the Pacific Ocean from the Asia Pacific region is more relevant than if it comes out of another spot even further clear across the Pacific Ocean? Riiiiiiiight.

12am-2am ET is an important time block for Atlanta…it’s 12pm-2pm in Hong Kong; the middle of the day. Yeah, that’s an important time slot for the Asia Pacific. In fact it’s so important that this move suggests how little CNN finds it as important. For if it were truly important to have coverage available for the Asia Pacific at that hour it should be anchoring that coverage from the Asia Pacific. That 12-2 ET timeslot is not beaming out over the Atlantic. In Europe that’s 4-6am and at that time CNNI is broadcasting a mix of tape repeats and News/World Sport.

CNN has studios in Hong Kong, but it has been dialing back its presence there for a while now. Heck, it let her go which should tell you a lot about how CNN views Asia-Pacific.

I think there are other unspoken reasons for why this move is taking place. Better late night coverage for the U.S. since it’s only 9-11pm PST out here? The first step in moving Asia-Pacific coverage more stateside? Unknown labor issues in Atlanta that make a late night move to California more palatable? Something else?

Whatever it is, it sure as heck isn’t really about the Asia-Pacific, because you don’t make that move if it was.


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