Chris Hayes Profile…

Posted in MSNBC on November 24, 2015 by icn2

The International Business Times’ Brendan James does a deep dive profile of Chris Hayes…

The atmosphere is dire, a bit like when a radio station gets a new format. No one is safe. After his daytime colleagues were taken out, Hayes was naturally viewed as the next to go.

“Look,” he said when asked about the vibe, “one notices what is happening in one’s workplace.”

“What I do think is true: It’s been pretty clear since I started this job that, when the story that’s driving people’s attention is politics, we do well as a network,” he said. “And when it’s not politics, we do less well.”

Despite the directive from up top to shed the channel’s identity as the supposed liberal counterweight to Fox News, Hayes said he hasn’t felt any pressure to change. “It has not affected the show in any direct way. There’s certainly not been, like, ‘Don’t do any liberal stuff.’ We are what we are; I am what I am.”

Many TV viewers only discovered what he is, and who is he is, in 2011, when Hayes got his first MSNBC show on Saturday and Sunday mornings, “Up With Chris Hayes.” He was raised in the Bronx by an Italian-American mother and an Irish Catholic, onetime seminarian father who organized in the style of radical activist and conservative bogeyman Saul Alinsky. His career was born in Chicago’s alt weeklies, first as a reporter, then as a commentator and essayist. In 2006 he became a fellow at the Nation magazine, an elder statesman of the American liberal press, where he later became Washington, D.C., editor.

What makes this notable is the executive who chimes in with the obligatory “Hayes is great” commentary isn’t from either NBC or MSNBC. It’s The Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel. Nobody from the network vouched said a word. No Phil Griffin saying, “He’s our guy.” or any other kind of public affirmation. I do find that noteworthy though its significance will only be determined over time.

Albie Hecht Out at HLN…

Posted in HLN on November 24, 2015 by icn2

TVNewser’s Mark Joyella writes about HLN toppo Albie Hecht leaving the network…

Under Hecht, HLN underwent massive programming changes and was rebranded as “the first social TV network.” The HLN that emerged was criticized by some as lacking focus, with much of its lineup dominated by reruns of Forensic Files–hardly cutting edge social television.

Zucker said in 2016, HLN would focus on “driving..programming during the daytime and overnight hours closer to CNN’s, and by utilizing a much stronger library of content that has been built in the last three years.”

CNN doc re-runs on HLN? Is that what Zucker is saying? What other “library of content” is there?

In the interim, HLN will be led by Ken Jautz, who previously led the network before taking his current role as executive vice president of CNN/US

Bye-bye social TV experiment…

Elisabeth Hasselbeck to leave FNC..

Posted in FNC on November 23, 2015 by icn2

Variety’s Brian Steinberg writes that Elisabeth Hasselbeck is leaving Fox and Friends and FNC by the end of the year…

Hasselbeck, who joined Fox News in 2013 after nearly a decade at ABC’s “The View,” is putting her TV career on hold to devote more time to raising her three children, the network said.

A rotating set of co-hosts will serve alongside Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade for the foreseeable future. Hasselbeck is expected to continue on air until late December.

“Elisabeth and I discussed this at length over several weeks, and while I would love for her to continue here, I respect her incredibly difficult, yet deeply personal decision,” said Roger Ailes, chairman and chief executive of Fox News Channel, in prepared remarks. “She has been a great addition to the Fox & Friends franchise.”

Good for her. Family should always come first when possible.

MSNBC’s Curious Brian Williams Utilization…

Posted in MSNBC on November 19, 2015 by icn2

Since the Paris attacks, MSNBC has been using Brian Williams a lot but it’s how they’re using him that has me scratching my head.

For starters, I may be wrong on this but I don’t believe he was on either Saturday or Sunday (not sure on the former but I know he wasn’t on the latter). Those two days were the hottest days to have him on the air…especially Saturday. He may have been out of position due to other commitments which would be excusable. Or he may not, which would be inexcusable.

But he was back on Monday and on a lot the rest of the week. But it’s that part that really has me puzzled. His role at the time his return was announced was to be on for breaking news. But a lot of the times I saw him on air this week so far, there was no “breaking news” per se. A pattern started to develop where he’d be on the air for a few minutes at the top of the hour each hour and then the regular anchor for that timeslot would take over. Sometimes he’d make a return appearance during the hour. Sometimes he wouldn’t. Most of the time no news was breaking. Today they moved him out of his news nook in the back of the newsroom and put him in the main anchor desk…I guess for optics reasons. On air the nook looks less prestigious than the main desk).

Now if I’m MSNBC of course I want to use him. He’s got the name recognition and despite his fib-a-thon he still commands some gravitas (though it has been awkwardly painful to watch him toss to Lester Holt in Paris). But by using him MSNBC is bascically undermining the original premise for his being there…covering breaking news. He’s not doing that with most of these appearances. Instead of covering breaking news, he’s covering a story that has a lot of heightened news awareness by the general public. Those are not the same thing. They’re not even kissing cousins.

Not that I ever thought MSNBC would keep Williams around for just breaking news. I knew that the press release stating his assignment was mostly smoke and mirrors to downplay the move and that they’d start working him in as many ways as possible. I’m just making sure everyone sees that’s what’s going on.

CNN Suspends Reporter For Opinionated Tweet…

Posted in CNN on November 19, 2015 by icn2

The Blaze’s Oliver Darcy writes about something that got CNN reporter Elise Labott suspended for two weeks…

A CNN reporter wrote on Twitter that the Statue of Liberty had bowed its head “in anguish” after the House passed legislation strengthening the screening process for refugees fleeing war-torn Syria.

House passes bill that could limit Syrian refugees. Statue of Liberty bows head in anguish @CNNPolitics

— Elise Labott (@eliselabottcnn) November 19, 2015

CNN global affairs correspondent Elise Labott made the remark shortly after the bill passed the lower chamber 289-137.

Most news organizations require reporters refrain from commenting on policy issues in a partisan way.

Not that I think the suspension wasn’t warranted, because it was, but I have to point out that once again CNN is punishing the expendable while other higher value talent can do all kinds of embarrassing things and nothing happens.

MSNBC To Air Bloomberg Programming?

Posted in Bloomberg, MSNBC on November 19, 2015 by icn2

CNN’s Dylan Byers writes that MSNBC is considering Mark Halperin and John Heilman’s Bloomberg show at 6pm…

The talks, first reported by New York Magazine, center around rebroadcasting Bloomberg’s 5 p.m. show “With All Due Respect” at 6 p.m. on MSNBC, sources at both networks who are familiar with the discussions said.

“With All Due Respect” is hosted by “Game Change” co-authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, who are regular guests on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

It’s worth noting in Gabriel Sherman’s original story on this, that Andrew Lack wanted to move Lawrence O’Donnell to that time slot but O’Donnell balked. That I find very interesting.

But back to Halperin and Heilman. Byers also drops this poison pill…

For many at NBC, the idea of rebroadcasting a competitor’s show feels desperate. “Talk about out of ideas,” one on-air talent at MSNBC said. “We’re going to run a rerun of another rival network’s show? As a programming decision that is completely insane.”

Ouch. That struck a nerve at 30 Rock because NBC Universal News Group’s Senior Vice President of Communications Mark Kornblau punched Byers in the face on Twitter

Talk about conflicted. We (CNN) are going to cover our competition’s possible moves and pretend we are neutral?

There are reasons to tee off on CNN’s media reporters and the not at all clear roles they have which lead to conflict of interest charges being thrown…mostly doing with the coverage of their own network. But this particular attack smacks more of sour grapes than anything else. What’s Byers going to do? Not quote what some MSNBC talent gabbed to them about? Please…

But back to the main story. The anonymous MSNBCer is dead on. This is wrong on so many levels. It’s bad for MSNBC morale. It undermines Englewood Cliffs. And it gives even more exposure to a duo which already appear all over the place. This is one idea best left on the drawing board.

I’m Back…and Cable News is Off The Charts With Paris Coverage…

Posted in Miscellaneous Subjects on November 15, 2015 by icn2

Still figuring out what time zone this is and catching up on all the news I’ve missed while on an island with horrendous internet penetration. How horrid? On the days I could find a wi-fi hot spot that worked, even Twitter took forever to update. Totally missed the Paris attacks and all the initial coverage. Very pleased to see Chris Jansing anchoring on MSNBC for the first time since she left for the White House beat. I see CNN put most of its A-Team on a plane to Paris. FNC has been wall to wall too.


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