Grumble, Grumble…

Posted in MSNBC on August 28, 2015 by icn2

The Wrap’s Jordan Chariton has some MSNBC talents, with apparently high opinions of their positions, spouting off about MSNBC’s changes…

Joe Scarborough might be over the moon for MSNBC’s new hard news direction, but some of his on-air colleagues aren’t sharing his cup of “Morning Joe.”

Network insiders told TheWrap at least three of the network’s anchors — two of them higher-profile — are not on board with network chairman Andrew Lack and president Phil Griffin’s daytime overhaul from progressive firebrand to traditional news format.

“Hard news is a mistake,” one insider told TheWrap of direct conversations with one anchor.
Another anchor has said in public that Lack and Griffin have a fundamental misunderstanding of MSNBC’s audience.

“Older people aren’t eager to get their news from people like Ronan Farrow or Chris Hayes,” the anchor told TheWrap’s insider.

First of all there’s really only one talent on MSNBC that falls into the category of High Profile that counts; Maddow. And the way Chariton puts out that she seems to be backing this, at least in part…unless this is some sort of feint to make it look like Maddow’s publicly backing it while privately carping about it…I don’t think it’s her.

So who’s left? The only other active anchor on the news side that falls into the High Profile category is Andrea Mitchell and I can’t see her carping about a pivot away from opinion to news seeing as she was one of the people who carped to Jeff Zucker way back in 2007 about MSNBC putting Olbermann and Matthews together covering the conventions.

So who does that leave? Well nobody else on MSNBC’s news side falls into the category of “High Profile”. So that leaves the opinion side of MSNBC’s schedule…what’s left of it…as the probable source for these grumblings.

To that I say…consider the source. You guys had your shot. You couldn’t get it done. This is the result. Deal with it.

Press Releases: 08/27/15

Posted in Press Releases on August 27, 2015 by icn2

Al Jazeera America (1)


NEW YORK, August 18, 2015– This Saturday, August 29th at 10pm ET/ 7pm PT, Al Jazeera America will air Only New Orleans, an original documentary from Kick Film and filmmaker Vassili Silovic. The documentary originally aired last Sunday, August 23rd.
Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, Only New Orleans recounts the tragic events that occurred during the worst natural disaster in recent American history. The film looks back at how the Big Easy has changed over the last decade, buoyed by the uplifting and connective power of music. It is a powerful story of the unbreakable spirit of the people of New Orleans and how this extraordinary city found the strength to push on following the storm. Including interviews with legendary New Orleans’ musicians Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas, and James Andrews among others, Only New Orleans reveals how music has been at the heart of the city’s reinvention following Katrina. Many of the musicians featured perform at the Ooh Poo Pah Doo bar, including beloved jazz talent Travis “Trumpet Black” Hill. We also meet survivors, city officials and experts who recall what occurred during and after the deadly storm.
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in southeast Louisiana, specifically New Orleans, where the levee system failed. The slow response by the Bush administration, FEMA and local authorities drew heavy criticism. With over 1,800 casualties and one million people displaced in the region, the Big Easy was left in a state of chaos. Ethnologist Nick Spitzer recalls “I was in tears when I got here, the place smelled of death.”
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Kate Snow to MSNBC?

Posted in MSNBC on August 27, 2015 by icn2

Politico’s Mike Allen Mediate’s Joe Concha scoops that Kate Snow may get a big role on MSNBC. I think Concha overstates things a bit but the sentiment is well well founded. Snow would be a good choice to come on to MSNBC. I never understood why she jumped to NBC in the first place. She had the better higher profile gig at ABC at the time she left.

Regarding filling the aforementioned void, a well-placed source informs me that the network is eyeing Kate Snow of NBC News to play a bigger role in MSNBC’s revised daytime lineup. According to the same source, NBC News President Andy Lack is also looking for Tamron Hall, Andrea Mitchell and Thomas Roberts to expand their existing roles as well. But the Snow aspect is the key nugget to focus on here, as she comes from the Mothership with arguably the deepest resume you’ll see when stacking it up against others in cable news:

For starters, Snow knows the political landscape, have covered four presidential elections, Congress and the White House. She’s been a national correspondent for NBC News since 2010, packaging a wide range of stories for The NBC Nightly News and Dateline. Prior to joining the Peacock, the Cornell and Georgetown grad anchored the weekend edition of ABC’s Good Morning America. Before that, she was ABC’s White House correspondent. And prior to that, she was a Congressional Correspondent for CNN. And she’s built this entire LinkedIn page before the age of 46.

CNN Must Clarify Its Airing of WDBJ Shooting Video…

Posted in CNN on August 26, 2015 by icn2

CNNMoney’s Ahiza Garcia and Frank Pallotta write about how the media handled the WDBJ shooting videos…

CNN’s guidelines for TV restricted airing of the footage to once an hour. It could not be played in a loop and had to be preceded by a warning to viewers. Around 2 p.m. CNN decided to stop the footage right before the gunshots and screams.

CNN owes its audience an explanation for the change of heart. If CNN’s guidelines for TV allowed the full video to be aired, a decision I found to be highly questionable, then what changed to cause the network to stop airing the full video? If the guidelines allowed it to be aired in full in the first place then it should have continued to air it uncut. If the network then decided that it shouldn’t continue to be aired uncut, it needs to explain what factors overruled its own guidlines. Lastly, if suitability was the reason for the change in putting the video out uncut, CNN needs to re-examine its guidelines because if airing of the video in full became questionable then the original decision to air it uncut itself becomes questionable.

Al Sharpton Moves to Sundays…

Posted in MSNBC on August 26, 2015 by icn2

The New York Daily News’ David Hinckley writes that Al Sharpton is losing his weekday slot…for Sunday only.

The Rev. Al Sharpton’s MSNBC show is moving from prime time to church time.

As part of an ongoing shakeup at the cable news channel, Sharpton’s “Politics Nation” will shift from 6 p.m. weeknights to 8 a.m. Sundays.

His last weeknight show will be Sept. 4 and his first Sunday show Oct. 4.

Sharpton deflected a suggestion that he had been demoted.

“I’m very happy,” he said Wednesday. “First, I can reach a wider audience of people who don’t get home by 6 at night. Second, I can now get the A-list guests and newsmakers I want. And third, a Sunday morning host is what I always wanted to be.

“I never wanted to be a weeknight pundit. I wanted to be a Sunday morning newsmaker. I wanted to be Dr. Martin Luther King, not Larry King.”

Uh-huh. If that’s what he wanted he could have stipulated as much and MSNBC would have accomodated him just to get him. He could have said no to a weekday gig if his heart was truly set on Sundays.

Related: Politico’s Alex Weprin writes that Sharpton’s slot will revert to the boilerplate “MSNBC Live” until something else can be named to take its place.

Also Related: CNN’s Brian Stelter hears that the 6pm slot may eventually become a political roundtable program.

The Trump Conundrum…

Posted in FNC on August 25, 2015 by icn2

Well it didn’t take too long for Donald Trump to renew his baseless (to anyone not named Trump) attacks on Megyn Kelly. So much for Trump-FNC truces, eh? The next question is what does Roger Ailes do now? What do you do about Donald Trump? And here is where I have an argument with myself…

The obvious answer is the gloves have to come off. FNC must crush Trump. So must all of News Corp.’s media properties, especially the Wall St Journal and The New York Post. He wouldn’t listen. He couldn’t leave it alone. And this time it’s inarguable that Megyn Kelly did nothing to deserve this latest set of attacks. How could she? She was on vacation!

It’s time for an FNC full frontal assault. Scorched earth. No more mealy mouthed press releases that leave you wondering if that was an attack or not. It’s time for some good old Brian Lewis style PR.

No more Trump appearances on FNC. He’s blacklisted. Announce it to the world. No more positive Trump coverage. Lots and lots of on the air panel discussions about how Trump’s policies are stupid and how if he’s elected he’ll ruin this country.

Go to the mattresses FNC. It’s time for a street fight; mano a mano with Trump.

And here’s precisely why FNC can’t do any of that…because it plays right into Trump’s hands. He wants that street fight. He wants that battle. It allows him to flourish under a well established narrative where Trump is the outsider looking to upset the apple cart and FNC is on that apple cart. It’s Trump vs everyone and that includes the media. He’ll turn any FNC attack on its head and his followers will eat it up. Trump wants that conflict with FNC the way Keith Olbermann wanted that conflict. FNC never really figured out how to deal with Olbermann. It took O’Reilly years to work it out and his solution (attack G.E.) had limited results.

So don’t fight fire with fire FNC. You’ll lose.

Instead get smart and slow play Trump. Instead of getting aggressive, get passive-aggressive. Trump seeks conflict. He feeds off it. Instead of feeding him conflict, FNC should slowly choke off his oxygen. The best way to do that is to fight him without appearing to fight him. And here’s how you do that…

– Don’t book Trump but don’t make it look like you’re not booking him. Trump won’t be able to prove you’ve blacklisted him (which he could use against you for his own aggrandizement) if you don’t make it look like you have. You can take a page from the Obama playbook with yourselves for a good working example on how to do that.

– Don’t respond to Trump. At all. Not even with mealy mouthed press releases talking about him. Give Trump nothing to hook into and use as a weapon.

– Cut back heavily on Trump based segments and focus on other candidates. You can’t eliminate talking about him on the air completely…that would reveal your strategy (and it doesn’t make any news or business sense either). But you can reduce your coverage of the guy to just basic facts stories (Trump was here and spoke there). Only mention Trump when you have to mention Trump.

Remember, Trump has an insatiable appetite for attention. Good…bad…it doesn’t matter. He can use either to his advantage to sustain the Cult of Trump. What he can’t use is no attention. That’s kryptonite for an egomaniac like that. And reducing coverage of the guy to just bland basic facts stories is anathema. Trump is larger than life and he wants to keep it that way. Making him appear average joe normal sized = death.

FNC cannot defeat Trump. Only Trump can defeat Trump (which should happen by the time of the GOP convention) But FNC can neutralize him to a large extent if it plays it smart.

The Hazards of Live TV: #25,143

Posted in Hazards of Live TV on August 19, 2015 by icn2


Math was never my strong suit. Apparently that’s something I share in common with FBN…


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