What Is Going On Over At HLN?

Posted in HLN on July 18, 2017 by icn2

These are confusing times over at HLN. The network is showing signs of internal dissaray…or at the very least teetering on the edge of limbo.

How else to explain what’s happened since the network announced the arrival of Carol Costello and S.E. Cupp’s shows almost six months ago with deadlines that have since been blown and blown badly.

Cupp’s show was set to debut in June. It still hasn’t.

Costello’s show has fared even worse. First it missed a planned April launch. Then it missed an early June launch. Yesterday, TVNewser reported that it may launch in late August.

“May launch”.

Something very odd is going on over at HLN and it’s not set issues and probably not staffing issues…not after six months it shouldn’t be.

No…this is something…else.

So let’s speculate about what the “else” could be? We appear to have nothing but time to kill waiting for these shows to launch…

1) Budget realignment – The money isn’t there, for whatever reason (resource realignment, shifting priorities, etc…) and until it is Costello and Cupp’s shows are stuck in limbo, unable to launch.

2) Collateral damage from the AT&T/TW merger – The theory here is that the merger still being finalized (and not yet approved by the governmenet) has frozen HLN’s plans for the moment. I’ll admit that this theory is rather thin. I mean…HLN is still considered CNN’s bastard stepchild these days but it’s not that far gone that a merger should freeze new program launches. Unless…

3) Another network makeover is coming – I know, I know…that would be like what…the fourth or fifth makeover in the last 10 years? It would seem highly unlikely…and yet that could explain why neither show has launched if the new format would be incompatible with both shows. But this theory is undercut by the fact that we just got a new launch timeframe and the network has to be cognizant by now that each new launch timeframe that comes (and goes) makes the network look more and more feckless.

I’m thinking it’s some combination of 1 and 2. I think HLN is waiting…what for I’m not sure…but maybe its waiting for the merger to go through…

…and whether AT&T will be forced by the Trump administration to sell off CNN to have the merger approved. That is something I could easily see forcing HLN into “wait and see” mode.

Dana Klinghoffer to NBC News PR

Posted in FNC on June 30, 2017 by icn2

TVNewser’s Chris Ariens writes that Dana Klinghoffer, formerly with FNC PR, is joining NBC to handle PR for Megyn Kelly’s upcoming weekday show, among other things…

Dana Klinghoffer, who spent her entire professional career in the Fox News PR shop, is joining NBC News, TVNewser has learned.

Klinghoffer will oversee public relations for Megyn Kelly‘s new 9 a.m. hour of the Today show, as well as other PR duties. Klinghoffer left Fox News several months ago and has since married and was taking some time off before jumping back into the TV news game.

I normally wouldn’t write about this, despite the FNC angle, because it doesn’t really involve cable news. But this is not your typical movement story. If memory serves, Klinghoffer was essentially the #2 at FNC PR behind Irena Briganti. Her exit from FNC should have made news but apparently it went under everyone’s radar and that’s not easy to pull off.

But it’s a lot of PR firepower to bring to Kelly’s show. Don’t underestimate the comfort factor at play here. NBC could have easily put Kelly with its regular Today PR team but it probably wouldn’t click as well as bringing Klinghoffer in would.

There will be some who look at this move sideways as the latest example of NBC playing favorites with Kelly. To that I say…well YEAH…they just shelled out big bucks to bring her over from FOX…they better be doing whatever it takes to try and make it work. If bringing in Klinghoffer helps make it work, so much the better…

Greta Van Susteren out at MSNBC…Ari Melber In at 6pm.

Posted in MSNBC on June 29, 2017 by icn2

Well that was insanely fast…like itchy trigger finger insanely fast. I’m not sure that wasn’t a premature move on some level. Short of cratering outright, which Van Susteren’s show didn’t do, it’s hard to kill off a show after only six months.

But, what’s done is done. TVNewser’s Chris Ariens writes that Ari Melber will be taking over the 6pm slot.

June Numbers: CNN…

Posted in CNN, Ratings Related on June 27, 2017 by icn2

CNN is noting its June ratings…

CNN HAS MOST-WATCHED SECOND QUARTER ON RECORD

BEATS MSNBC IN TOTAL DAY, DAYSIDE AND WEEKEND PRIME TIME

Key Programs Surge This Quarter, Posting Record Performance

The Lead with Jake Tapper Up +54%
The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer Up +63%
Erin Burnett Outfront Up +65%
Anderson Cooper 360 Up +52%
CNN Tonight with Don Lemon Up +52%
New Day Grows the Most in Cable News in the Morning, Up +77%

FOR THE MONTH OF JUNE, CNN POSTS ROBUST GROWTH VS. YEAR AGO
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June Numbers: MSNBC…

Posted in MSNBC, Ratings Related on June 27, 2017 by icn2

MSNBC is noting its June ratings…

MSNBC Weekday Prime Tops FOX News and CNN in A18-49 for the 2nd Straight Month in June 2017

· MSNBC Weekday Prime Also Beats CNN in A25-54 and Total Viewers
· More People Turn To MSNBC Than CNN for the 4th Consecutive Month in Total Day
· “The Rachel Maddow Show” Wins June as the #1 Show Across All Cable News in A18-49, A25-54 and Total Viewers at 9pm
· MSNBC Dayside Posts Best Total Viewer Delivery Ever in Time Period and Improves Cable Network Ranking from #10 to #4 in Total Viewers, and Delivers Best A25-54 Since Nov. 2012
· Morning Joe Outpaces Third-Place CNN in A18-49, A25-54 and Total Viewers – Marking the Show’s 28th Straight Month Over CNN in Total Viewers
· “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” is #1 in A18-49 at 10pm for 2nd Month in a Row
· “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” is #1 in Both A18-49 and Total Viewers at 11pm
· Four Other MSNBC Shows Beat CNN in Total Viewers: Weekdays at 9am, 7pm, 8pm and Saturdays at 10am

NOTE: June to-date ratings are based on Nielsen Live+Same data day for 5/29/17-6/25/17. Individual show data represents regular programming only, excluding specials and breaking news.
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Hugh Hewitt Gets MSNBC Weekend Half hour…

Posted in MSNBC on June 22, 2017 by icn2

TVNewser’s Chris Ariens reports that Hugh Hewitt will be getting a half hour show on early weekend mornings.

As part of the expansion, conservative radio talk show host and MSNBC contributor Hugh Hewitt is getting a half hour show, airing Saturdays at 8 a.m. ET. In addition, Thomas Roberts will anchor two hours in the evening both weekend nights.

Cue the delusional howls of “MSNBC is abandoning the Left” in 3, 2, 1…

It’s hardly prime timeslot placement and it’s only a half hour. Not exactly a full throated embrace of Hewitt. But it does give the network the ability to point more at balance than say FNC can. And before the J$ brigade storms this blog in protest, I ask you to name me one show, just one show, that is fronted on FNC by a prominent liberal equal to Hewitt’s prominence on the Right.

How Not To Launch a New Show

Posted in HLN on June 20, 2017 by icn2

Remeber back five months ago (!!!) when Carol Costello left CNN for HLN?

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

And we still don’t know when Costello’s show will debut on HLN.

First, HLN said it would launch in April, a launch date the network blew.

Then HLN told TVNewser that the show would debut in early June, a launch date the network also blew.

That’s right. HLN gave two launch dates for Costello’s show and blew both of them.

What a horrible, horrible look for the network. Giving out two launch dates and not being able to make either of them, without providing any reason or explanation for the slippage, makes HLN look like the gang that can’t shoot straight.

Costello must be beside herself. She took a big risk jumping from the safety of CNN to its much less secure for everyone not named Robin Meade’s sister network and so far all that’s happened is two failed launch dates.

Put it in these terms; within a few more days enough time will have elapsed between Costello’s CNN departure and now that it will have surpassed the amount of time from Megyn Kelly’s FNC departure to her Sunday show’s premiere on NBC a few weeks ago.

That’s terrible.

Yes, I’ve been on a bit of tear over this. But I wasn’t the one who publicly put out two launch dates and then failed to stick to either. I’m just going by what I see and what I see is a network that has entered rarefied territory. You could probably count on one hand in the history of television the number of news shows that blew one launch date. Never mind two launch dates.

And we still have no idea when Costello’s show will finally see air.