Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?

Posted in CNN on January 19, 2017 by icn2

The New York Post’s Daniel Harper breaks some extremely head scratching CNN news…

Valerie Jarrett’s daughter quietly joined CNN in September as a reporter in the network’s Washington bureau.

She came to CNN with no experience in journalism. But the Harvard educated lawyer defended companies and individuals against the Justice Department as a private litigator in Chicago.

Laura married fellow Harvard law grad Tony Balkissoon in 2012 at a Chicago ceremony attended by President Obama, her mom’s boss.

What

the

hell?

This is bad on two fronts, both of which make me question CNN’s standards.

First, CNN hired Jarrett’s daughter while Jarrett was still working for Obama. That should never have happened. If Obama had been out of office when the hire took place it the egregiousness of the hire would have been much less (though still a huge issue for ideologues).

Second, and even more troubling…is she has almost no journalism experience. And she’s writing about Trump’s ethics issues according to The Hill’s Joe Concha?

This has all the fingerprints of Jeff Zucker who seems to love hiring children of political figures with zero experience in the field. He grabbed Jenna Bush Hager and Chelsea Clinton for NBC. Now he’s grabbing Laura Jarrett for CNN.

Jeff Zucker Interview…

Posted in CNN on January 18, 2017 by icn2

New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman interviews Jeff Zucker. Most of it covers familiar well worn territory concerning the election and Trump. But there were a few bits that had me interested…

I noticed that Trump is sitting down with Fox & Friends. And in recent days, he’s given interviews to The Wall Street Journal and the Times of London, both Murdoch papers. What do you think of Trump’s alliance with Murdoch?

I think you’re trying to goad me here. But you’ve made the right observation. Look, I don’t think it’s any coincidence that friendly outlets have been the ones that have ended up with the interviews with Donald Trump. Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, the Times of London — the fact that they’re all Rupert’s publications — I don’t think it’s any coincidence those are the outlets that ended up with the interviews.

It was reported that MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski were at Mar-a-Lago on New Year’s Eve. They said it was because they were trying to get an interview with Trump. Was it appropriate for journalists to attend the president-elect’s private party?

I think in that case, optically, it would have been a lot better to have just made a phone call and ask for the interview.

Shots fired…and will probably be returned in short order…

You had the biggest night in cable-news history on Election Night, 13 million viewers. What’s your plan to maintain ratings in 2017?

Our viewership continues to be significantly higher than it was a year ago and frankly much higher than we expected it to be. There’s been no evidence of any falloff at all. I think people are coming to us because they know we’ll report both sides of the story. We expected we’d be down 25 percent from last year because you had all the election nights, debates, and conventions, but if the first three weeks of this year are any indication, I’m not so sure it will be down that much.

Let’s wait a quarter or two and see. I still expect the numbers to tail off though the way the press covers Trump and the way Trump plays the press and all the hostility between the two will probably keep the numbers higher than they would be for any other incoming administration that doesn’t have to deal with a raging crisis.

MSNBC Changes…

Posted in MSNBC on January 18, 2017 by icn2

TVNewser’s Chris Ariens writes about changes to MSNBC and how some of NBC News’ staff is being redeployed…

Hallie Jackson, who covered Donald Trump’s campaign for NBC News, has been named White House correspondent for the network. Meanwhile, MSNBC correspondent Kasie Hunt has been named Capitol Hill correspondent. Katy Tur, who had covered Trump’s campaign from day one, will remain in New York and will anchor MSNBC’s 2 p.m. ET hour during Trump’s first 100 days.

Left out of this was the fact that Jackson will continue to anchor MSNBC at 10am, which she confirmed via Twitter.

I was actually surprised by this news. I expected Tur to get the White House gig but maybe she didn’t want it after all the crap she had to deal with covering Trump during the election. Jackson getting the gig AND keeping 10am is both noteworthy and not novel. It’s noteworthy because it puts her on the “NBC grooming train” for a bigger role at some point down the line. It isn’t novel because both Chuck Todd and Savannah Guthrie had similar roles for a couple of years. One difference however is that Todd and Guthrie had the 9am slot and not the 10 which one would think is the better slot to have from a logistical standpoint if you’re going to have both roles but evidently NBC thinks it can still work with one hour less separating the two duties.

It’s also interesting that MSNBC would not fully commit to Tur full time. The press release says it’s for at least the first 100 days and maybe that’s just bet hedging and she will probably stay on. But from an optics standpoint it’s not much of an endorsement.

Selective Memory…

Posted in MSNBC on January 18, 2017 by icn2

I was going to comment on this Joe Concha article in The Hill on Tucker Carlson’s ratings rise and the (predictable) comparative ratings decline Greta Van Susteren has had to contend with on MSNBC since she started but Concha referenced this ridiculous Daily Kos column which was basically tossing a giant hunk of red meat on my empty plate.

Sorry Joe…but thanks for the meal.

Anyway, the Kos article makes an all too predictable appeal for Joy Reid instead of Van Susteren. Nothing noteworthy about that…in fact it’s expected a left wing site would clamor for a left wing host over a host whose actual ideology and affiliations are far less predictable to pin down (sometimes maddeningly so). No, it’s the justification for why Reid should have gotten the slot that deserves strict scrutiny…

She’s also given MSNBC some of their highest numbers in over a decade:

Airing on the weekends from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., AM Joy delivered the time period’s biggest total viewer audience since the 1st quarter of 2003 and biggest A25-54 audience since Q4 2012.

Despite a crushing election, this nation leans left. Trump was beaten in the popular vote by 3 million votes, and Democrats won the majority of votes in the Senate and House as well. If ratings were based on arcane rules or gerrymandering like our national elections, then yes, MSNBC’s strategy would make sense. But they aren’t. Ratings are actually based on popular opinion. There is a huge market for the American progressive audience—one, I might add, that is not currently being filled.

Reality check #1: That’s weekend mornings. Weekend morning ratings on MSNBC are miniscule compared to what early prime and primetime deliver. If Reid’s show had knocked CNN out of second, the article’s argument would turn from a plaintive plea to real substance. But that has not happened.

Reality check #2: MSNBC already tried Reid on weekdays and the jury came back with a death sentence. It got cancelled and one of the reasons was poor ratings. Reid’s show was part of that idealogical block experiment MSNBC tried which dragged down all of dayside. MSNBC would be insane to try that again barring some new development and as I already pointed out statistical improvement in the 10-12 hour on weekends that does not dislodge CNN isn’t enough of a persuader.

It’s way too early to render a judgement on Van Susteren’s show. It is silly to argue MSNBC made the wrong call at this point but it’s preposterous to argue that what Reid has done on weekends justifies MSNBC bringing her back to weekdays at this point.

Big Plans For FNC?

Posted in FNC on January 17, 2017 by icn2

The New York Post’s Steve Cuozzo writes about big goings on in FNC’s future…

Twenty-First Century Fox and News Corp., the separate media giants controlled by Rupert Murdoch, have locked in plans to keep and expand their headquarters on Sixth Avenue’s famed “corporate row.”

(snip)

The deal for Twenty-First Century Fox totals 784,000 square feet. It includes a five-year extension of a lease that was to expire in 2020, plus 128,000 more square feet of expansion space on three high floors. The expansion is expected to take place this year, and will accommodate Fox employees who now work next door at 1185 Sixth Ave.

News Corp., meanwhile, extended its current lease on 440,000 square feet, also from 2020 to 2025.

It was understood that Fox News Channel will now invest considerable capital to create a state-of-the-art newsroom. FNC recently launched a $30 million sidewalk-fronting studio.

NBC’s Megyn Kelly Gambit…

Posted in FNC, MSNBC on January 3, 2017 by icn2

Variety’s Brian Steinberg lists some of the potential pitfalls facing NBC and its soon to be newest employee…

And yet, Kelly’s current halo does not necessarily mean she can also triumph over splintered broadcast-TV audiences and tired formats. Those are hurdles she and NBC will have to leap over in the months to come.

NBC said it intends to place Kelly in a new Monday-through-Friday daytime hour set to launch sometime over the coming year. To accomplish that feat, NBC would have to either take time from the four hours it already devotes to its “Today” morning franchise, which generates hundreds of millions of dollars in ad revenue; negotiate with affiliates for strong placement of a syndicated hour; or test something in the early evening, where it distributes “Access Hollywood.” Meanwhile, a Sunday newsmagazine would likely run for a limited cycle, as the network already devotes a good portion of its Sunday lineup to “Sunday Night Football,” one of TV’s most-watched programs.

But this is the biggest one in my opinion…

Launching a new, sustainable newsmagazine has also been tricky in recent years, as NBC learned when it debuted “Rock Center” with Brian Williams in 2011. That effort also lasted two seasons before being cancelled due to low ratings. NBC more recently tried “On Assignment,” an effort produced by its “Dateline” staff that relies more heavily on stories of adventure and innovation that on the murder tales viewers have come to expect from the parent show.

“In recent years”?!?

NBC has a long and distinguished history of failed attempts at news magazine shows. Even Dateline originally debuted in a vastly different form than it has today.

Left untouched in this article are two very interesting subjects…

1. Why was MSNBC conspicuously absent from any mention? I can think of two reasons and their initials are BW and RM. Say what you will about the decision but MSNBC has deliberately positioned the network as the home of Brian Williams and Rachel Maddow. Bringing in Megyn Kelly, even if she had the bandwidth to take on the assignment (something I seriously doubt given the daytime show), would totally upset that apple cart.

2. The pecking order on Nightly News – This is not an issue in the near to mid-term. Lester Holt isn’t going anywhere for at least five years provided ratings hold. But his successor is now going to be a little more of an open question than it was yesterday. The conventional wisdom was Savannah Guthrie would succeed Holt, provided NBC was comfortable with losing her on the from more financially lucrative Today Show in a post Matt Lauer era. But add in Kelly to the mix and the equation could potentially change…provided NBC’s gambit on Kelly pays off…and that is anything but guaranteed.

I always thought that of the three broadcast networks CBS was the best choice for Kelly, followed by NBC. ABC seems pretty set for the next decade and beyond with David Muir.

Megyn Kelly to NBC…

Posted in Miscellaneous Subjects on January 3, 2017 by icn2

NBC announced Megyn Kelly would be joining the network later this year…

Kelly to Anchor New Daytime News Program & Primetime Magazine Show

JANUARY 3, 2017 — Megyn Kelly, one of America’s most prominent news anchors, will join NBC News, it was announced today by Andrew Lack, Chairman of the NBCUniversal News Group.

Kelly will become anchor of a new one hour daytime program that she will develop closely with NBC News colleagues. The show will air Monday through Friday at a time to be announced in the coming months.

As part of the multi-year agreement, Kelly will also anchor a new Sunday evening news magazine show and will become an important contributor to NBC’s breaking news coverage as well as the network’s political and special events coverage.

Details about both of Kelly’s news programs will be unveiled in the coming months.
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