Cable News 2012 New Year’s Resolutions…

I did this last year and the cable networks managed to succeed in fulfilling most of them. So I’m going to do it again this year. Here are the 2012 Cable News Network Resolutions…resolved in absentia by yours truly…

ICN resolves on behalf of CNN…

– To find something for Carol Costello to hang her hat on permanently. Costello was CNN’s 2011 sub of the year, filling in for at least half of the year on various CNN programs. If you’re going to use her that much you must like what she’s doing so give her something to do full time.

– To stop using next-gen technology as a gimmick when that next-gen technology isn’t ready for TV. (this is a holdover from last year)

– To give Piers Morgan more of an edge. Morgan on Twitter is utterly compelling. Morgan on CNN is too restrained. He did everything he needed to last year. Now he needs to take it to another level in 2012.

– To stop aping your sister network HLN and airing court TV rubbish.

ICN resolves on behalf of CNBC…

– To realize that FBN is still a potential threat and not to appear so complacent in its dominance. Primetime is still a wasteland. The network is still not broadcasting in true HD. Eventually these things will come back to bite you if you don’t correct them.

– To stop getting caught flat footed on weekends and holidays when business news breaks suddenly. It happened way too many times in 2011. You don’t have to go live in Englewood Cliffs but at a minimum you should switch over to CNBC Europe or CNBC Asia.

ICN resolves on behalf of FBN…

– To dump Don Imus. It’s just not working and if you really want to take a run at CNBC you’re going to have to start doing more pre-market business news.

ICN resolves on behalf of Bloomberg…

– To get bigger HD penetration.

– To continue to raise its visibility in the media. 2011 marked a noticeable upturn in Bloomberg TV related media press. This needs to continue.

ICN resolves on behalf of MSNBC…

– To not cut any more dayside news hours from its rotation. The network shaved nine hours of live news off its rotation in 2011. That only leaves it with a total of 20 live news hours a week (Jansing & Co., Thomas Roberts, NewsNation, Weekends with Alex Witt).

– To rethink how its main set is utilized. It’s not 2007. It’s 2012 and the bar has been raised during that time span regarding what is expected in terms of set utilization and appearance. MSNBC really only has one set whereas FNC has several news sets and CNN just launched a totally redone set. MSNBC’s set is now lacking, albeit not by too much.

– To finally dump the Hardball repeat after the election. I don’t care if Matthews likes to go home early or not. Put something fresh on at 5pm and leave Hardball at 7pm. Two Hardballs is one too many.

ICN resolves on behalf of FNC…

– To overhaul the Saturday Business Block. It worked 12 years ago. It doesn’t work now. Political creep has ruined what used to be an interesting hodge podge of business programming. Time to take a page from sister network FBN and have a course correction to put the “business” back in the “business block”.

– To have a plan in place for when news breaks late at night and follow it rigorously. Sometimes FNC covers late night breaking news adequately but frequently it drives its viewers crazy in how it dips in and out of tape. And you don’t have to take my word for it. I have hard core FNC fans who bitch about it when this happens.

Here are the 2011 resolutions and how they turned out…

ICN resolved on behalf of CNN…

To give Parker Spitzer a very short lease on life. Either it turns itself around quickly or it’s gone – CNN dumped Parker quicky and then Spitzer not too much later.

To decide what American Morning is supposed to be about – CNN decided it was about tilting at windmills and it wound up getting cancelled.

To stop using next-gen technology as a gimmick when that next-gen technology isn’t ready for TV. – Incomplete. Will hold this resolution on through 2012 when election season will put renewed pressure on CNN to come up with something gimmicky that doesn’t work right. On the other hand, David Bohrman jumped to Current in 2011 and Bohrman was the biggest serial pusher of the gimmicky at CNN so with him gone there’s hope.

To not overthink the Piers Morgan rollout. Yes, the stakes are high but too many fingers in the pie could be a recipe for disaster. And let Piers be Piers. He’s your best selling point for that hour. – Fulfilled.

To stop acting like it’s hiding behind Jay Rosen’s View from Nowhere when too many times what goes out over its air is the exact opposite. It’s not a crime to have a point of view, you know. – Failed

To stop pussyfooting around and make Brooke Baldwin the official anchor of the 3-5pm block. – Fulfilled, though Baldwin is now anchoring 2-4pm ET.

ICN resolved on behalf of CNBC…

To realize that primetime tape is not going to work long term when your chief competition is gearing up with a full slate of live programming tailor made to hold on to an audience. Failed.

To build a Magic Wall which matches what its competition has. – Incomplete

To finally get some real HD cameras and stop with this lame SD upconverting with a graphic wing and ludicrously call it High Definition TV. Partially fulfilled but ultimately failed. The equipment is apparently there now but the will to use it is non-existent.

ICN resolved on behalf of FBN…

To make a more serious effort at pre-market open business coverage. The first 10 minutes of Varney & Company are not an acceptable substitute. – Failed. Imus is still on the air. Though perhaps for not much longer.

To get itself officially rated by Nielsen so that when it stomps all over CNBC on election night the numbers will actually mean something. – Fulfilled.

ICN resolved on behalf of MSNBC…

To get a real Magic Wall and lose the silly iPads. – Incomplete bordering on fullfilled. The iPads are long gone but it’s not clear that MSNBC does or does not have a Magic Wall. I saw Chris Jansing touching a screen a week or three ago but it was only for one segment and the presentation was way off the qualtiy of what CNN, FNC, and FBN can do.

To take The Last Word to five nights a week. – Fulfilled and then failed. The Last Word went to 5 nights when Olbermann left but once the switch with the Ed Show took place it was back to four nights again.

To brand Contessa Brewer’s 12pm hour. – Failed miserably. Brewer’s gone from the network except on Caught on Camera.

To fix the visually moribund pacing of Jansing & Company. – Fixed but too late to prevent her show from losing an hour.

ICN resolved on behalf of FNC…

To stop acting like and saying it’s still the underdog when it has reigned supreme for nearly a decade. That’s not an underdog mentality. That’s a bunker mentality. And it doesn’t behoove the Leader in Cable News. – Failed.

To put some teeth in its “Fair and Balanced” mantra and hire a raving loon leftie to host a show, even if it’s just a weekend show. If lefties can tune in to O’Reilly just to yell at the screen, imagine what you could get out of righties by putting a Socialist on. – Failed.

ICN resolved on behalf of Bloomberg TV…

To get itself rated by Nielsen. You have big league aspirations, but you can’t compete in the big leagues if you aren’t rated. – Failed.

To fix primetime with some consistent programming. Having Charlie Rose be your only consistently airing show in 2010 is not a winning strategy. – Partially fulfilled. The lineup has been stabilized but it’s been stabilized by repeats and tape, eschewing what Bloomberg Asia is doing live.

Advertisements

51 Responses to “Cable News 2012 New Year’s Resolutions…”

  1. Carol Costello should take 11-1am or 1-2pmet, and you should add that CNN should find something to do live at 10-11pmet it’s lacking there and shouldn’t be

  2. I offer but one resolution and that is for MSNBC: MORE BLUEBERRY PIE!

  3. Well thought out and I’m impressed. Good job, Spud.

  4. Carol Costello should take 11-1am

    That will never happen and it probably shouldn’t happen. CNN now has a west coast prime that more or less makes sense.

    you should add that CNN should find something to do live at 10-11pmet it’s lacking there and shouldn’t be

    That would have to wait for 2013. No way will CNN tinker before the 2012 election. And as long as 10pm’s 360 continues to outrate the 8pm live edition, CNN can’t make that move.

  5. I’m guessing they’ll keep John KIng USA this year , and the election season my help that show.

  6. CNN is hoping it will help. I’m not convinced.

  7. Oh oops I meant 11am -1pm with Carol Costello

  8. To stop acting like and saying it’s (FNC) still the underdog when it has reigned supreme for nearly a decade. That’s not an underdog mentality. That’s a bunker mentality. And it doesn’t behoove the Leader in Cable News. – Failed.

    This one will never change. Fox News are the sorest bunch of winners I’ve ever seen.

  9. lonestar77 Says:

    FNC will always be the underdog due to the fact that the media is dominated by the left and many would love to see them fail. They are popular among viewers but hated by many in the industry. They are the lone voice balancing out a much stronger liberal presence.

  10. Oh boo freakin hoo.

  11. When you are but one with enemies numbered in the hundreds you are, and always will be, the underdog.

  12. When you are killing the competition, and successfully creating news out of thin air that the others then start talking about, you are not the underdog.

  13. Now EVERBODY, don’t get too excited, but I, Rosana Rosana Danna, will be offering over the next three days, THREE PREDICTIONS for each of the three big cable networks.

    Tonight… MSNBC:

    1) Rev. Al will not have a show by the end of 2012.

    2) Big Ed Schultz will go the whole year without having to appologize and take a suspension.

    3) Pat Buchanan will return to Morning Joe.

  14. lonestar77 Says:

    Not whining, I’m commenting on why they’ll always be the underdog. They may be killing the individual competition but they are and will alwaysbe, outnumbered.

  15. It’s ludicrous for an orginization as large and powerful as Fox News to continue to act like a victim. Spud called it: It’s a bunker mentality. The only world they seem to know is the Us Against Those Bad People one they’ve created for themselves. It’s delusional.

  16. lonestar77 Says:

    They haven’t created it for themselves. They get hammered, daily, by the other media outlets. The other outlets don’t go after each other very often.

  17. They get hammered, daily, by the other media outlets.

    Yes. It’s called “punching up”. The President gets hammered every day, too. He’s not the underdog, either.

  18. lonestar77 Says:

    I’m not just talking about the cable outlets and blogs. I don’t see it as punching up. I see it as a coordinated effort to deligitimize FNC by the very large msm

  19. You can “see” whatever you want, but Fox are big boys who should be able to take a little heat, but they act like their Conservative Voice is this tiny, beleagured thing, when, in fact, it dominates much of the conversation in this country. They remain in victim mode because it’s a hallmark of conservative identity. An embarrassing one.

  20. Fox gives a voice that would be heard no place else on TV should its influence falter. The idea that enemies aren’t working to make that happen is ridiculous.

  21. It’s “enemies” aren’t fighting legitimate conservative opinion. It’s the made-up ACORN/NBBP-type crap people get steamed about. FNC seem to have taken a break from picking up hysteria from their opinion shows, and turning it into “real news” on dayside because “everyone is talking about it” (“everyone” being their own shows). Hopefully this is a permanent trend.

  22. The departure of Beck helped cut down the silly stuff.

  23. FNC will always be the underdog due to the fact that the media is dominated by the left and many would love to see them fail.

    Yeah…they’re crying all the way to the bank.

    They haven’t created it for themselves. They get hammered, daily, by the other media outlets.

    The most certainly do wrap themselves in it like a badge of honor. Bunker mentality.

    The other outlets don’t go after each other very often.

    Well who’s left? ABC? CBS? NBC? They don’t care about cable. It’s just MSNBC and CNN and those two do fight each other in the press.

  24. lonestar77 Says:

    Crying all the way to the bank…I’m sure there are plenty of people at FNC who care a little more about being trashed by their peers than they do how much $$$ news Corp makes.

    Bunker mentality…when you’re getting roundhoused from all directions, punching back does not equal bunker mentality. That’s silly. They don’t make a habit of responding to every punch. They respond in the aggregate to the msm machine.

    It’s neat how FNC gets hammered for punching back while there isn’t much outcry about the continued craziness directed at them.

  25. whitneymuse Says:

    Agreed as to Imus; I thought that they should never have taken on his meaningless non business show in the first place; as it is, they would have a hard time taking market share from CNBC’s morning line up.

  26. Agree with everything about Fox, especially the term “political creep”. It applies especially well to the once-great Fox News Watch. It’s an old story, but I’m still complaining about it.

  27. missy5537 Says:

    “I have hard core FNC fans who bitch about it when this happens.”

    Moi?

  28. ^^^ Maybe 😉

    Bunker mentality…when you’re getting roundhoused from all directions, punching back does not equal bunker mentality.

    It does when they bring it up when there’s no controversy going on. I agree that responding to getting slagged doesn’t equal a bunker mentality. It’s responding to it when they’re not getting slagged that annoys me. That’s called Paranoia…

  29. savefarris Says:

    The President gets hammered every day, too. He’s not the underdog, either.

    Not according to … President Obama.

    I would agree on the whole underdog thing if only MSNBC, CNN, et. al. were slagging FNC. But it’s the NYT, WaPo, AP, USAT, ABC, NBC, CBS, Reuters, NPR, Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Stewart, Colbert, and every single member of the Pulitzer, Peabody, Murrow, and Emmy voting committees. Heck, even the WSJ will occasionally throw a punch just so they can remain “respectable” among the journalism elite clubs. When all you hear 24/7/365 is that you’re not even a “real news outlet”, you better believe a bunker mentality us-against-the-world mindset sets in. And I don’t blame them one bit.

  30. I’m sorry but FNC has been a news channel for 15 years and they have absolutely dominated the cable landscape for a decade. They need to accept that there are people who hate them with disturbing passions and think they operate as a propaganda organization. Sure a lot of media types don’t like them (they even have an entire channel devoted to hating them) but they are a very serious player and numero uno in cable news. They should act like it.

  31. ^ What he said. Squared.
    There was some idiot on Reliable Sources who sounded perfectly rational, right up until the point where he defended MSNBC’s Election Night coverage, while claiming that Fox ‘isn’t really a news organization’. You let people like that stew in their own hate, and rise above it. Even Bill O’Reilly stated, last evening, that he doesn’t really have a problem with MSNBC anymore. He gets it…most of the time. Or a lot of the time. Maybe just last night, I’ll leave that to Spud. As a nice bonus, nothing aggravates people like not responding. Try it.

  32. “larrykelly Says:
    January 2, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    When you are but one with enemies numbered in the hundreds you are, and always will be, the underdog.”

    You sure got that right.

    POTUS, the most powerful man in the world, made a run at them. That alone puts them in underdog status.

  33. savefarris Says:

    They need to accept that there are people who hate them with disturbing passions

    Try to tell that to any other group/organization and you’ll be automatically convicted of a hate crime.

    Why shouldn’t FOX demand that all these “haters” display the same acceptance and tolerance that they themselves demand of everyone else?

  34. ^ Because the condemnation of hate is for the most part, a one way street.

  35. “Always remember others may hate you but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.”

    Richard M. Nixon, in his White House farewell

  36. MSNBC: Drop Al Sharpton, drop Martin Bashir, give Veronica De La Cruz and Craig Melvin their own timeslots.

    CNN and HLN: Quit trying to be CourtTV.

  37. missy5537 Says:

    Fox is certainly an “underdog” because it’s a big fish in a small pond (that of cable news). It’s certainly #1 in its universe, but cable news is dwarfed when compared with network news and some of the print media (combined, known as the mainstream media).

  38. That’s a bizarre definition of “underdog”. By that criteria, FNC’s main competitors are “underdoggier”. Bottom line, the bunker mentality is thin-skinned and stupid.

  39. imnotblue Says:

    I think the issue for FNC (or at least the fear) is that if they just “let things go,” those “things” sometimes become “the truth.” There are enough actual journalists who’ve lost the ability to question common journalist logic, that FNC is sometimes on the losing end of a popular lie.

    Examples of this are: “FNC not being able to broadcast in Canada,” “FNC sued for the right to lie,” and about a billion O’Reilly tales.

    If they don’t defend themselves in situations like that, the lie becomes the truth for lazy journalists, editorial writers, and bloggers.

  40. Spud, I just saw Erin Burnett on the Situation Room with two new giant electronic boards side by side, and she was “flicking” a pie chart back and forth between the two boards. Wolf Blitzer was absolutely giddy with glee.

  41. ^ larrykelly: I just saw that too. Gee, I wonder why CNN has struggled in the ratings?!?! Like a child with a shiny object. I am not entirely sure which Wolf was more giddy about – the technology or watching Burnett bounce around playing with the walls! LOL!! BTW, I been watching this site a little while and I enjoy it very much. This is my first time commenting and if the content stays this good, I’ll keep coming back. Fill me in, who is Spud??

  42. Hold the presses..we have another lib! Hi Elle, Spud is the mysterious and mercurial owner/publisher/writer of this blog. He’s the “icn2” you see in the comments.

  43. Hi Elle!

    ICN 2.0 can become quite boring when all of the cable news channels are on top of their games and their talent perform conflict & hazard-free. Fortunately for us, this almost never happens…

  44. Joeremi and Al – thanks for the welcome and explanation of Spud. Yep, I’m a lib but Iove to dish with the other side of the aisle as well. I watch mostly CNN and MSNBC – occasionally CNBC but mostly to mock them. Al, you are so right, good for us that cable news gives us plenty of material to work with!

  45. Hello Spud – great analysis and advice for the year ahead in cable news. Love this site – what a find!

  46. Nice to have you here. Much better than my debut.

  47. ^^^ “An date which will live…in infamy…”

  48. Whats wrong with msnbc’s main studio? I still think its very nice and versatile and does not appear out of date compared with CNN or Fox? What changed would you want to see?

  49. […] Alex Weprin writes about changes coming to Piers Morgan Tonight. Looks like I can scratch another 2012 New Years Resolution off my list. The goal is to make the program “a bit more mischievous, certainly more humor, more […]

  50. […] reports that Carol Costello will get the 9-11am shift, thus scratching another item off ICN’s New Years resolution list (though the truth is I suspected this was coming because of the hints Costello had been dropping on […]

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: