Olbermann Back to MSNBC?

Posted in MSNBC on October 6, 2015 by icn2

Mediaite’s Joe Concha, who must surely have NBC in full leak investigation mode by now with the way he’s been able to break scoop after scoop recently, writes that Andrew Lack is going to meet with Keith Olbermann. Somewhere, Robert Cox is on his knees saying “Please-please-please-please”

So with all of that said, a well-placed source now informs me that a meeting has been set between Olbermann and Lack to discuss his return to the network and his old 8:00 PM slot. This arrangement was something that Mediaite’s Andrew Kirell first wrote about as a rumor in July; when asked for comment, a network executive with knowledge close to the situation tells me, “It is patently untrue.”

It’s not impossible. It does seem rather implausible with Phil Griffin still running the network. But stranger things have happened. If ESPN can bring him back…MSNBC can too.

But if he comes back and leads off with “As I was saying…” one more time I’m going to throw a brick through…welll…someone’s TV…

Flying Under the Radar?

Posted in FNC, MSNBC on October 5, 2015 by icn2

I’m going to say this once. If we beat up on MSNBC for trying to put non-journalists in journalist roles, why is everyone so silent about this?

Network Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes is happy with his new hire. “I’ve followed Abby’s work for some time,” Ailes said. “I believe she is talented and headed for a bigger future.”

Replace the words “Abby Huntsman” with “Ronan Farrow” and “Roger Ailes” with “Phil Griffin” and this starts looking very deja-vu-ish.

Full Circle…

Posted in MSNBC on October 5, 2015 by icn2

Newscast Studio’s Dak Dillon writes about some branding changes to MSNBC dayside…something old time MSNBC viewers will find very familiar…

Remember “NewsNation with Tamron Hall?” Well, if you’re a regular viewer of MSNBC, you probably do.

Thanks to a host of changes hitting the network, shows like this are becoming a thing of the past during the dayside hours, as the network works to unbrand everything, opting instead for “MSNBC Live.”

It’s almost like an attraction at a theme park, “MSNBC Live!” It’s the live show you have to sit through between the start and finish.

This strategy, of course, is similar to CNN’s “Newsroom,” or Fox’s “America’s Newsroom.”

MSNBC is moving away from talent, putting the emphasis on stories, allowing them to sub talent in as needed, such as Brian Williams during breaking news events.

Andrew Lack Interview…

Posted in MSNBC on October 5, 2015 by icn2

Variety’s Brian Steinberg interviews NBC News toppo Andrew Lack…

Now executives are considering an expansion of “Morning Joe,” MSNBC’s early-day programming block featuring Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. “It’s on at 6 to 9 a.m. in the eastern time zone. It isn’t really seen as much in Los Angeles as we’d like to to be – in Los Angeles, where it’s 3 a.m., or San Francisco or Seattle,” Lack explained. “I’m just looking at ways to extend some of the good work that Joe and Mika are doing and turn it around, expand it.” A decision on how to proceed has not been finalized, Lack said. “In my view, it is the most influential program in cable news in the morning, and I think it’s missing an opportunity in the west.”

While recent moves have focused more on programs that directly play off the headlines, Lack said the network could run other types of shows during the day. NBC News, he said, has a natural facility for covering breaking events. “That’s what we do and MSNBC was missing some of that, and now it isn’t,” he noted, But that is not the only theme that could show up in MSNBC programming: “We’ve got a lot of programming ideas” that are in the testing phase, he said, declining to elaborate further.

I said this already but it bears repeating…

Extending Morning Joe is not the solution. I get the West Coast argument but that’s what DVRs are for. For most of MSNBC’s existence nobody ever cared about the west coast in mornings. If a show like Imus (or Morning Joe) aired from 3-6 PST, nobody thought about extending it longer. Admittedly they couldn’t in Imus’ case but it would have been a mistake to do so if they could have. Here’s why…

Morning Joe is based on talking head analysis and the comments and opinions of the hosts and panelists. That’s its brand. But for cable news, 6am PST onwards is not the time when you want to be emphasizing that format because the news cycle starts heating up, especially the breaking news cycle. News and Morning Joe are like oil and water. They don’t mix well at all.

What’s MSNBC going to do if they extend Morning Joe and breaking news heats up or the news cycle is heavy? Disrupt the very thing that makes Morning Joe what it is? Conversely, if MSNBC opts to shelve the news cycle and what’s going on in the country until after the show is over, wouldn’t the network be seen as abandoning news…a meme the network can ill-afford to cultivate as it continues to try and reassert news as its brand in dayside?

There is no good play here if MSNBC extends Morning Joe. Either news suffers at the expense of extending the Morning Joe brand or Morning Joe’s brand suffers at the expense of news (and presumably the appearance of Brian Willians if it is breaking news) disrupting the very thing that makes Morning Joe the show it is.

MSNBC Changes…

Posted in MSNBC on October 5, 2015 by icn2

TVNewser’s Chris Ariens writes about changes to MSNBC weekends…

Steve Kornacki is leaving weekends behind and moving to a larger role on MSNBC’s dayside, TVNewser has learned.

Kornacki, who has hosted the two-hour weekend morning show Up for the last two-and-a-half years, will anchor MTP Daily on Mondays, giving Chuck Todd at least one day off a week. Kornacki is also expected to take on a larger role as a political analyst during MSNBC’s daytime coverage of live, breaking news leading up to the election.

In a few weeks, Alex Wagner, who hosted a daily show on MSNBC until a programming shake-up in August, will take over as the host of a new weekend show to replace Up.

As I said on Twitter this afternoon…the more things change the more they stay the same…

Press Releases: 9/30/15

Posted in Press Releases on September 30, 2015 by icn2

CNBC (1)


Debate to Broadcast from the Coors Events Center at the University of Colorado Boulder

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., September 30, 2015—CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, today announced that CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla, co-anchor of “Squawk on the Street” and “Squawk Alley,” Becky Quick, co-anchor of “Squawk Box” and Chief Washington Correspondent John Harwood will moderate “Your Money, Your Vote: The Republican Presidential Debate” on Wednesday, October 28. The RNC sanctioned debate will be held at the Coors Events Center at the University of Colorado Boulder and broadcast live on CNBC.
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Michael Wolff Ponders The “New” MSNBC…

Posted in MSNBC on September 30, 2015 by icn2

Michael Wolff writes in The Hollywood Reporter writes about MSNBC. Normally I dismiss most of what Wolff writes about cable news but this time I find his arguments resonating with me more than usual…

In effect, the strategy is to put Williams in front of the camera and hope like hell something terrible happens soon and often. This in a way is the essence of cable news management, to be ready to find opportunities in what you can’t control (Don Imus’ scandal-caused demise made way for the happenstance hit Morning Joe), with the success of cable news directors and personalities most often determined by the arc of what happens on their watch.

Hence, “straight” is not really so much a position or a philosophic view but a baseline. You begin as straight, and then an airplane disappears, and weeks and weeks later you are still reporting the story and have turned yourself into weird, obsessional reality television. Or you begin as straight, or straighter, and then Keith Olbermann comes along and remakes the network with his obsessions — until he implodes. Or Bill Clinton is caught up in scandal, and Fox builds the story into a narrative that changes American politics and keeps Fox dominant for a generation.

I disagree on that last sentence. Everyone covered Bill Clinton’s Lewinski mess too much. Olbermann left MSNBC on account of it. It altered cable news forever in as much as how it covers politics and set the stage for how the networks covered the 2000 Florida election crisis.


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