Archive for April 19, 2017

Still More O’Reilly…

Posted in FNC on April 19, 2017 by icn2

Vanity Fair’s Sarah Ellison has a must read piece on the O’Reilly fallout…

The most unsettling feeling among some at Fox News, however, is that Wednesday’s events are only the beginning. “There’s more to come,” one Fox News insider told me, suggesting that there are more women with stories of harassment who have not come forward publicly. This estimation was affirmed by two people who heard such stories directly. Others are equally concerned about the attention that is being drawn to 21st Century Fox’s handling of the allegations by women inside the company.

Rupert Murdoch spent part of Wednesday trying to allay fears within his organization. In an internal memo, he told his colleagues, “Most importantly, we want to underscore our consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect.” But not everyone in the Fox News orbit is prepared to move forward just yet. Nancy Erika Smith, who represented Gretchen Carlson and Julie Roginsky in their suits against Ailes, appears willing to fight on. “A couple of men close to retirement got pushed into retirement early with a whole lot of money,” she said in a statement. “Until Fox News releases every woman from confidentiality and arbitration agreements and until they get rid of the executives who enabled the harassment, the workplace will not be safe for women.”

Will HLN Blow Its Launch Date For Carol Costello’s New Show?

Posted in HLN on April 19, 2017 by icn2

Almost two months ago HLN announced that it was going to launch “Across America with Carol Costello” by the end of April.

Ok…it wasn’t really an announcement as in a public press release…it was an internal email from Ken Jautz that was leaked.

Still, HLN did nothing to shoot that date down once it was leaked.

Well guess what? It’s the end of April.

You know…the end of April when the show was supposed to launch? That end of Arpil?

Basically HLN has two days to announce the start date is Monday. Otherwise the show will not launch this month and HLN will have blown its leaked launch date. Since a Monday launch would mean a rough launch window with scant to no promotion time, my money is on it not launching this month.

Usually when this type of thing happens…and it doesn’t happen very often where a network leaks a launch date for a show that it winds up blowing…it’s because of things like the production staff isn’t all in place yet. We know it’s probably not a set problem because Newscast Studio just did a story on the debut of a revamped L.A. studio that CNNI is using which will also be used for Costello’s show.

FNC Slots New Post-O’Reilly Schedule…

Posted in FNC on April 19, 2017 by icn2

FNC was quick to clear up any schedule speculation about a post-O’Reilly era…

5pm New Eric Bolling show (starts May 1)
7pm The Story with Martha McCallum (starts May 1)
8pm Tucker Carlson Tonight (Live)
9pm The Five (Live)
10pm Hannity

This is probably the best possible outcome for FNC.

O’Reilly Gone…

Posted in FNC on April 19, 2017 by icn2

21st Century Fox issued a statement severing ties with O’Reilly…

After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel

The wording of this statement is important…not for today’s dismissal but for how it reflects badly on 21st Century Fox’s original statement to the New York Times 18 days ago…

“21st Century Fox takes matters of workplace behavior very seriously,” the statement said. “Notwithstanding the fact that no current or former Fox News employee ever took advantage of the 21st Century Fox hotline to raise a concern about Bill O’Reilly, even anonymously, we have looked into these matters over the last few months and discussed them with Mr. O’Reilly. While he denies the merits of these claims, Mr. O’Reilly has resolved those he regarded as his personal responsibility. Mr. O’Reilly is fully committed to supporting our efforts to improve the environment for all our employees at Fox News.”

The original statement implies that the company did its due diligence on O’Reilly already and was satisfied with where things stood.

That is a total 180 from today’s statement which implies that the company did its due diligence on O’Reilly and was not satisfied with where things stood.

The two statements are in direct conflict with one another.

Something does not add up. Either 21st Century Fox did not do its due diligence on O’Reilly already or somehow bungled it which incorrectly led them to think things were fine…or…they did do it and decided to stand by O’Reilly despite all the details of the investigation but later on as the heat was turned up reversed themselves under the guise of doing a new investigation (which presumably would not have turned up anything new had the earlier investigation been exacting).

If it’s the former…that’s on Bill Shine and Company.

If it’s the latter…that’s still on Bill Shine and Company.

Bill Shine and Company need to answer some questions.

More O’Reilly…

Posted in FNC on April 19, 2017 by icn2

New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman has new information on the apparently impending exit of Bill O’Reilly.

Wednesday morning, according to sources, executives are holding emergency meetings to discuss how they can sever the relationship with the country’s highest-rated cable-news host without causing collateral damage to the network. The board of Fox News’ parent company, 21st Century Fox, is scheduled to meet on Thursday to discuss the matter.

Sources briefed on the discussions say O’Reilly’s exit negotiations are moving quickly. Right now, a key issue on the table is whether he would be allowed to say good-bye to his audience, perhaps the most loyal in all of cable (O’Reilly’s ratings have ticked up during the sexual-harassment allegations). Fox executives are leaning against allowing him to have a sign-off, sources say. The other main issue on the table is money. O’Reilly recently signed a new multiyear contract worth more than $20 million per year. When Roger Ailes left Fox News last summer, the Murdochs paid out $40 million, the remainder of his contract.

This amounts to a wholesale cave job by FNC. They knew what they had in O’Reilly and they chose to stand by him all these years. Now a little bit of advertiser pressure spurned on by the usual suspects who never liked O’Reilly to begin with…and poof! Their spines disappeared.

Look, I am NO fan of O’Reilly. He’s been bad for cable news (though good for ratings). But let’s be honest. He’s just become the latest convenient fall guy for what appears to be an institutional problem that goes straight to the top of the network…a problem that replacing Roger Ailes obviously has not fixed.