Archive for April, 2017

FNC Announces Eric Bolling Program by Disguising It as Another Panel Format Show?

Posted in FNC on April 28, 2017 by icn2

Well this is weird. When FNC announced that Bolling was getting the 5pm hour being vacated by The Five, I was expecting a show where Bolling was the star and centerpiece.

But my earlier expectation may have proven to be wrong. FNC gave out details of the show ahead of its Monday launch and it appears to be more of a panel show than a Bolling star vehicle show…a scaled down Five if you will…

The Show is called The Fox News Specialists. According to FNC’s announcement the show will be “co-hosted” by Bolling, Katherine Timpf, and Eboni K. Williams and the three will be joined by a rotating pair of “experts” who will spill more useless hot air than a dirigible would need discuss the issues of the day.

It’s hard to see based on this description how this is an Eric Bolling show and not just another panel show.

It will probably do well in the ratings though so I guess who cares that it’s not the Bolling star vehicle some of us thought he was getting?

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Replacing Bill Shine?

Posted in FNC on April 28, 2017 by icn2

The Hollywood Reporter’s Marisa Guthrie reports that there are feelers out to make a change at the top of FNC…

The Murdochs may be preparing for a leadership change at Fox News. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Rupert Murdoch and his sons James and Lachlan, CEO and co-chairman of Fox News parent 21st Century Fox, have quietly put out feelers for a new head of Fox News. And the preference, according to two sources familiar with the Murdochs’ thinking, is that the new leader be female.

I don’t know if it will happen or not but this leak is incredibly damaging to Shine.

MSNBC Gives Nicole Wallace 4pm…Demotes (?) Kornacki…

Posted in MSNBC on April 28, 2017 by icn2

MSNBC announced that Nicole Wallace will be hosting the 4pm hour. That’s Steve Kornacki’s hour, btw. Kornacki is apparently going to be contributing to the hour but if that’s all he ends up doing this should be viewed as a demotion.

As for Wallace, it’s a further erosion of what’s left of the wall separating traditional journalism from the world of political operatives. So many have “crossed over” now, it’s almost meaningless to assert there even is a wall still. Salinger, Sawyer, Stephanopoulos, Wallace, Perino…where does it end?

In any case it looks on its face like MSNBC is cutting back another hour of news in favor of more POV Analysis.

NEW YORK (April 28, 2017) – MSNBC today announced that NBC News political analyst Nicolle Wallace will expand her role to host a new program that will air weekdays from 4-5pm ET. The New York City-based program will premiere in May.

Wallace, a former White House Communications Director, will tackle the latest political developments and conduct interviews with leading newsmakers. MSNBC host and political correspondent Steve Kornacki will continue his presence in the hour, providing in-depth discussion and analysis. The broadcast builds on the momentum of MSNBC dayside (M-F 9am-5pm), which delivered the network’s biggest total viewer audience ever in the first quarter of 2017.
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Drip, Drip, Drip…

Posted in FNC on April 26, 2017 by icn2

And the hits to FNC just keep on coming. The latest is anchor Kelly Wright and seven others joining a racial discrimination lawsuit previously filed against the network. Deadline’s Dominic Patten has more

Just three weeks after a trio of African-American employees of Fox News Channel filed an amended complaint of racial discrimination against the much tainted cable newer, eight more individuals have joined them in a potential class action – including current America’s News Headquarters anchor Kelly Wright.

“The only consistency at Fox is the abhorrent, intolerable, unlawful and hostile racial discrimination that was inflicted on minority employees that appears more akin to Plantation-style management than a modern-day work environment,” says the second amended class action complaint filed today (read it here). The plaintiffs include on-air host Wright, Mark Legrier, Mariela Lindsay, Vielka Rojas, Griselda Benson, Mauretta Thomas, Senami Tolode, and Musfiq Rahman. Having filed another amended action of their own on April 4 in New York Supreme Court, Tichaona Brown, Tabrese Wright and Monica Douglas are also a part of this jury trial seeking move.

Kate Snow Leaving MSNBC…

Posted in MSNBC on April 21, 2017 by icn2

TVNewser’s A.J. Katz writes that Kate Snow will be leaving MSNBC dayside to do work for the mother ship network…

Kate Snow is leaving her MSNBC show for expanded duties at NBC News.

NBC News president Noah Oppenheim announced that in addition to anchoring Sunday Nightly News, Snow’s new 3-year deal will include reporting stories for NBC’s upcoming Sunday news magazine show, which will be hosted by NBC News newcomer Megyn Kelly. Snow will also report pieces for NBC Nightly News, Today and Dateline.

Snow was doing six day work weeks for months so something had to give.

MSNBC’s dayside lineup has been in turmoil for a while now, despite the election being over. 10am has no designated anchor and now neither does 3pm. In addition Craig Melvin only anchors 4 days a week because of his Saturday Today duties. The network has been double and sometimes triple shifting Katy Tur for completely inexplicable reasons.

Tur is so far an interesting case study in branding confusion. Her big claim to fame was working the campaign trail and reporting from the field. MSNBC has been going out of its way citing her remote reporting in its advertising.

And yet how is the network using her? As a news anchor. She built up her brand doing one thing…the network has been advertising her doing that one thing…and then it winds up having her doing something completely different from the brand that’s been cultivated. It’s bizarre. They should have given her a D.C. job.

Oops…

Posted in FNC on April 20, 2017 by icn2

Looks like some emails got misdirected in the O’Reilly-FNC split and Politico’s Joe Pompeo was the beneficiary

The day before Bill O’Reilly was cut loose from Fox News after 20 years with the network, his handlers appeared to believe they had at least one more card to pull that might help save his job in the midst of a sexual harassment scandal engulfing the top-rated prime time host.

On Tuesday, O’Reilly and his legal team debated whether to share with the leadership of parent company 21st Century Fox an April 13 email from Mary Pat Bonner, a Democratic fundraiser and ally of the liberal watchdog group Media Matters, which had spearheaded what she called an “advertiser education campaign” to get advertisers to pull out of O’Reilly’s 8 p.m. nightly broadcast, “The O’Reilly Factor.”

The email, whose recipients’ names were redacted in the version that was shared with POLITICO, announced two conference calls — originally scheduled for this Thursday and Friday — with Media Matters President Angelo Carusone. The purpose was to discuss “the success of the campaign so far, and our plans moving forward.”

FNC Will Be Just Fine Without O’Reilly…

Posted in FNC on April 20, 2017 by icn2

If you’ve been reading all the “obituaries” on the O’Reilly era at FNC – and you would have to be living under a rock to avoid them – you’d think losing O’Reilly is a huge loss.

It might have been at one time but it hasn’t been the case for a while now.

The world (and by extension FNC) reached peak O’Reilly 11 years ago. His ratings now may be higher than 11 years ago but in terms of brand and perception, Bill O’Reilly was the top dog and the trailblazer at FNC in 2006, neither of which he was by the time of his ouster in 2017.

The world didn’t pass O’Reilly by but a series of things happened which made O’Reilly look almost mainstream and tame by comparison.

I first touched on this subject six years ago when I asked if Bill O’Reilly had become passe. In that article I noted that Glenn Beck’s arrival at FNC had made O’Reilly look a little tame by comparison.

But now looking back, it was more than that. Beck’s arrival signaled the beginning of the end of Bill O’Reilly as the barometer of FNC. He may have gotten the top ratings but he was no longer going to be the water cooler driver he had been prior to Beck’s arrival. Glenn Beck’s antics made O’Reilly look antiquated by comparison.

Similarly, another change that occurred around the same time as Beck’s arrival also contributed to the diversification of FNC’s brand from O’Reilly centric to diffuse across multiple talents; the breakup of Hannity and Colmes.

Dumping Colmes off the show made Hannity his own force of nature for the network. He already had some cachet but with Colmes hanging around the spotlight was never completely his. With Colmes gone Hannity was able to solidify his position and brand at FNC as the ultimate conservative base pandering homer.

Yes, that’s a derogatory way of putting it but that was and still is his function at FNC. You want consistency? You watch Hannity. You want your world reaffirmed? You watch Hannity. You don’t necessarily get that from O’Reilly because he can occasionally throw a maddening curve ball your way.

With Hannity holding down the base and Beck holding down the fringe, O’Reilly was no longer the perceived center of the FNC opinion universe…regardless of what his ratings did.

And then after Beck left there was The Five which broke up O’Reilly’s once upon a time iron grasp on FNC’s opinion center even further by providing a platform for more people to shoot there mouths off.

POV analysis which in 2006 centered chiefly on O’Reilly had, by 2017, dispersed itself to many fiefdoms. Hannity, The Five, Outnumbered, Tucker Carlson…it wasn’t just O’Reilly’s show any more.

This is why, though the ratings may dip a little from what O’Reilly had, Tucker Carlson’s takeover of 8pm should not hurt FNC financially to any significant degree. It’s why FNC can move The Five from 5pm to 9pm. It’s why slotting Eric Bolling in at 5 won’t do much if any ratings damage there either.

FNC diversified. It wasn’t just O’Reilly’s kingdom anymore. It’s why FNC will be just fine without O’Reilly.