Brian Williams at MSNBC…

Posted in MSNBC on November 29, 2015 by icn2

The AP’s David Bauder writes about Brian Williams time at MSNBC so far… (via J$)

With viewership statistics being malleable, settling on a concrete measurement of how Williams is being accepted by the audience is difficult. From his first day at MSNBC through last week, the network’s viewership during daytime, weekday hours is up 41 percent from the same period last year, the Nielsen company said. More than Williams is new; MSNBC has completely revamped its daytime personnel and mission.

The network has averaged 390,000 viewers during that period. CNN, with 603,000 viewers, is up 21 percent, and Fox News Channel, with 1.36 million daytime viewers, is up 7 percent from 2014, Nielsen said.

The immediate wake of Paris, the biggest news story since Williams began his new assignment, starkly illustrated MSNBC’s challenge. The years where the network cultivated an image as a destination for liberal viewers (still the focus during prime-time hours), largely cost MSNBC its reputation as a place to turn for breaking news.

I think that overstates things a bit. MSNBC never had much of a rep as a place to turn to for breaking news going back well before the ideological leftward turn. That’s why CNN and FNC’s numbers would spike by a higher order of magnitude than MSNBC’s when breaking news would hit even back in 2007. You could put on the best breaking news team on MSNBC and it wouldn’t result in the kinds of payoffs the other two channels enjoy.

Roger Ailes Interview

Posted in FNC on November 29, 2015 by icn2

AdWeek’s Chris Ariens interviews Roger Ailes…

How’s the relationship with Donald Trump? I saw he tweeted about Megyn Kelly, and then for the first time she …

… smacked him back a little. Because he got it wrong. Look, I’ve always had the same relationship with Donald for 30 years. It’s a friendly relationship, surprisingly enough. I did call him after the first go-round and I said, “What the hell is wrong with you? The United States is at war with every goddamn country in the Middle East and you’re at war with Megyn Kelly and you think that looks good? It doesn’t look good.”

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.


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