Archive for June 21, 2012

MSNBC Rips Off The Five…Maybe.

Posted in FNC, MSNBC on June 21, 2012 by icn2

Well MSNBC’s new 3pm show is now known. It’s called The Cycle and is a blatant paper rip off of FNC’s The Five. I say paper rip off because all we know is that it’s an ensemble show, which The Five is. We don’t know yet how the show will play out on the air. It could be a totally different animal from The Five in terms of tone and substance, though I have my doubts. Imitation isn’t just the sincerest form of flattery…it’s a TV programming mainstay. Why be original when you can do what the other ratings winner show is doing? Yes, I’m a cynic. Blame it on years of watching TV news where being predictable is embraced and trail blazing is shunned.

The Huffington Post’s Jack Mirkinson got the first inside access to what the new show will try to do and interviewed EP Steve Friedman…

“The Cycle” will be an ensemble show; all four hosts will appear every day, with each one taking turns facilitating the discussion. If that sounds like a certain 5 PM Fox News show, the team behind “The Cycle” is well aware of it. In the Thursday interview, Cupp, Kornacki, Touré and Ball all jokingly pretended not to know what “The Five” is, and Friedman flatly rejected the notion that his new show was derivative.

“When ‘The Five’ started, did you go and ask them if they were doing ‘The View’?” he asked. “When ‘The View’ started, did you ask them if they were doing the ‘Today’ show?”

Ok, you can draw some parallels between The Five and The View but to draw parallels between The View and Today is a real stretch. Can you recall Matt Lauer voicing opinions ala The Five? Me neither.

Though MSNBC has received some criticism for veering away from breaking-news, CNN-style coverage and doubling down on political chat, Friedman said that the modern media landscape made the former unnecessary.

“Cable television is programs about the news,” he said. “it’s no longer the news. Nobody turns on to find out what happens, because they already know from you guys. What people are interested in is listening and watching people give their take.”

This is the tail wagging the dog talk from Friedman. It fits in with the narrative MSNBC wants to put forward; that news is dead for TV. It’s self-serving rubbish. What’s left unsaid is the unvarnished truth; it’s cheaper and easier to get higher ratings by not doing news, so they don’t want to do news. The number of people who are plugged in enough to get their news in detail via the labor intensive process that the internet real time news delivery mechanism still is represents a low ratio compared to the millions of people who do tune to TV for news because it delivers it easier and quicker for them. It’s essentially a cost/benefit proposition wrapped up in a self-fulfilling prophecy. MSNBC doesn’t want to invest in the cost of real CNN type of news delivery for the meager benefit they’ll get immediately. It takes a lot of time to build up a brand around news. That’s why CNN’s news brand still yields dividends and MSNBC, which now has no news brand, would have to stick at for years to build one. NBC decided that it doesn’t want to do that. So its only alternative is to push out in directions that don’t involve news but can potentially yield high viewership levels.


Free for All: 06/21/12

Posted in Free For All on June 21, 2012 by icn2

What’s on your mind?

Fox and Friends’ Power…

Posted in FNC on June 21, 2012 by icn2

The New York Times’ Jeremy Peters writes about the powerful platform that is Fox and Friends…

Mr. Romney is hardly alone in recognizing the power of “Fox & Friends” as a high-decibel megaphone pointing directly at the Republican base. At the height of the primaries not a week went by without an appearance by one of the candidates. And when leading Republicans like Gov. Rick Scott of Florida or Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin have something to say, they do it on “Fox & Friends.”

It is easy to see why. Perhaps more than any other show on the Fox News Channel, “Fox & Friends” has become a powerful platform for some of the most strident attacks on President Obama. Conspiracy theories about Mr. Obama’s religion once found an uncritical ear on the show’s set. Assertions that Mr. Obama leaked national security secrets for political gain are accepted as fact. And its hosts recently took time on the air to congratulate one of their producers for making a four-minute video that painted Mr. Obama as a failure.

But then there’s this highly interesting tidbit from Peters…

The news division at Fox has long tried to avoid having its reporters appear on the show whenever possible.

Peters also has FNC Executive Vice President Bill Shine trotting out that beaten down tired old dodge which nobody buys…

Mr. Shine noted that the show falls under the network’s entertainment umbrella and does not pretend to be straight news.

Except when it has newsmakers on its show of course. Which is all too often…

CNBC To Blame for Facebook IPO Mess?

Posted in CNBC on June 21, 2012 by icn2

The New York Daily News’ Frank Digiacomo writes about some Morgan Stanley employees arguing that CNBC is also to blame for the Facebook IPO mess…

Although the investment banking firm’s handling of the social media site’s disastrous stock offering is under scrutiny by just about every business news outlet under the sun, a Wall Street insider tells us Morgan Stanley’s corporate communications warriors are blaming CNBC for engaging in some pre-IPO hyping of their own.

CNBC senior vice president and editor in chief Nik Deogun “is under fire,” says the source. “Morgan Stanley is telling him, ‘How dare you criticize us when you guys promoted this IPO worse than anybody.’ ”

The source recalls examples of CNBC’s on-air exuberance in the days leading up to the IPO, including treating Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg ’s entrance at the kick-off of the company’s investors road show at the Sheraton hotel in midtown as if it were “the President’s State of the Union Address” with multiple cameras and reporters.

Then on May 17, the day before the actual IPO, the hosts of CNBC’s “Fast Money” appeared on camera wearing hoodies — a reference to Zuckerberg’s favorite fashion item, which came off like an homage to the baby billionaire.

That same day, controversial “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer told his viewers, who tend to be mom-and-pop investors and market-playing college students, “If you can get in on the actual IPO, then I think Facebook is a no-brainer.”