Archive for the CNN Category

Q1 Numbers: CNN…

Posted in CNN on March 28, 2017 by icn2

CNN is noting its Q1 ratings…

CNN HAS MOST-WATCHED FIRST QUARTER SINCE 2003

Strong #2 in Cable News in Total Day, Dayside and Prime Time Demo

Tops MSNBC for 12 Straight Quarters

CNN Beats MSNBC 23 Out of 24 Hours in Demo

New Day Tops Morning Joe for Second Straight Quarter;

State of the Union with Jake Tapper and Fareed Zakaria GPS Rank #1 in Demo

CNN had its most-watched first quarter in 14 years (since 1Q 2003) among both adults 25-54 and total viewers. Among all quarters, the network posted its second highest quarterly ratings in total day (25-54 and total viewers) and 3rd highest in prime time (25-54) since 4Q 2008.
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Blaming the Victim…or Not?

Posted in CNN on March 1, 2017 by icn2

FTVLive writes a dangerously vacuous post blasting CNN for its “critical” coverage of Trump and all but telling it to cover Trump “more fairly” if it wants to not get shut out of gets and events.

There is no doubt that CNN has gone against Trump from day one and Fox News, for the most part has praised him.

Last night, Trump showed that if he sticks to the script he can act and sound more like a President. Words, for a President are easy, it’s the actions that will tell his legacy.

CNN, Trump’s harshest critic even had to admit that Trump did well last night.

Today, Vice President Mike Pence will be taking a media “victory lap” for the administration.

Pence will stop by, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox News in the morning. He’ll do radio with Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Michael Savage, and Sean Hannity.

The in the evening, he’ll do “The O’Reilly Factor” and “For the Record with Greta”.

Where he won’t go is CNN.

Which means that CNN will be crying all day about how the administration continues to lock them out. CNN will have to rely on clips of Pence’s appearance on other networks.

Maybe it is time for CNN to start covering the administration more fairly.

I read this and I think to myself where was FTVLive when Obama’s administration was playing mind games and trying to marginalize FNC? Where was the blog post telling FNC to get with the program and cover Obama “more fairly”?

So why does CNN deserve special attention here? Worse, why does FTVLive accuse CNN of being unfair without providing one single example of this unfairness for us to evaluate the claim?

Writing stories the administration doesn’t want reported is not exactly being unfair. It’s doing your job.

Getting people to reveal details that don’t put you in a favorable light isn’t exactly being unfair. It’s doing your job.

Holding an administration’s feet to the fire on things it says and doesn’t do isn’t exactly being unfair. It’s doing your job.

Not every network does this as vociferously as others. And some change their focus from administration to administration. But none of this happens in a vacuum in isolation. You can’t evaluate a network’s behavior that way without examining its environment.

What CNN talent has been unfair to Trump and why? Give us examples so we can evaluate the claim.

Where has CNN been reckless in its coverage of President Trump? Give us examples so we can evaluate the claim.

Does anyone, other than the Trump base, seriously think that if Trump had not been blasting the press all through the campaign trail, getting his facts incorrect, following insane Info Wars type conspiracies, making stuff up, and doubling down when challenged on his incredibly shaky ground…not to mention the Birther crap from years earlier…that the media as a whole would not look at least somewhat askew at everything the Trump administration does?

There is a causality at work here between Trump’s prior actions and the media’s coverage of his administration that makes laying all the blame at the media’s feet seem incredibly obtuse. That history counts a lot towards where we now find the relationship between the Administration and the Media.

Now, I am not arguing that CNN is pure as the driven snow. Far from it. I just wrote a couple of weeks ago about some things CNN has done recently which are not helpful to its cause.

But it’s a damn long road going from incompetently shooting yourself in the foot to being unfairly hyper aggressive in your news coverage that excuses or justifies blackballing networks. We aren’t there yet. Not even close.

What I am arguing is that if FTVLive is going to appear to blame the victim here it needs to thoroughly document what incidents are the reasons why we should believe that CNN is the aggressor to be blamed and deserving of blackballing and not the victim of a thin skinned Trump administration that is not in control of its narrative as much as it wants to be.

Just making the charge, without documentation, is no better than what Trump does to the press on a regular basis as he tries to divide and conquer the media and keep it weak. So, if you’re going to go down that dangerous path and appear to blame the victim, without supplying evidence, FTVLive in effect is doing the Trump administration’s work for it, whether it realizes it or not.

February Numbers: CNN…

Posted in CNN, Ratings Related on February 28, 2017 by icn2

CNN is noting its February ratings…

CNN STRONG #2 IN CABLE NEWS IN FEBRUARY

CNN Tops MSNBC for 32nd Straight Month in Adults 25-54 in Total Day and Prime Time

New Day Beats Morning Joe Again; Has Second Best Month on Record

CNN Prime Time Shows Beat MSNBC Among Adults 25-54

Erin Burnett Outfront Has Best Performance Ever

Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter, State of the Union with Jake Tapper and Fareed Zakaria GPS All Rank #1 in Demo

February was another strong month for CNN with the network ranking #2 in cable news, with many programs posting record ratings and all shows growing double or triple digits compared to a year ago. CNN has topped MSNBC in Total Day (total viewers and 25-54) and in prime time (adults 25-54) for 32 consecutive months, the longest winning streak vs. MSNBC in nine years (since February 2008).

This month, New Day beat MSNBC’s Morning Joe for the second straight month and for the third time in the last four months among adults 25-54. February was the program’s second best month on record and its largest advantage over MSNBC since May 2015 in the demo. New Day also had its largest share of the cable news morning audience on record in the demo (25%).
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CNN’s Dangerous Game…

Posted in CNN on February 17, 2017 by icn2

CNN has been playing a dangerous game this week as things have gone off the rails between the Trump administration and the major media entities not named FNC. Trump has been on the warpath over a series of damaging and in many cases self-inflicted negative stories have been hitting the wires just about every day this week and the whole thing hit a low note with the President’s press conference yesterday…the worst press conference by a national public official that I can remember seeing.

Trump has been really banging the “fake news” drum because it plays to his base and because he apparently doesn’t know the definition of the term “self control”.

While most of the entities that have drawn Trump’s ire have continued to plug along doing what they do and letting their reporting speak for itself, CNN has been going its own way and it’s a decidedly bad one.

In a nutshell, CNN has been making Trump’s point for him.

I can point to three things that surfaced this week which have hurt CNN’s and the rest of the media’s cause.

Exhibit A: Video of CNN en Espanol anchor Carmen Aristegui making a gesture that appears to draw an allusion between Trump and Hitler. After watching that gesture on the video several times I cannot rule out what The Daily Caller’s Betsy Rothstein suggests Aristegui did.

Exhibit B: CNN’s Donald Trump Valentine Card generator

Exhibit C: CNN’s Twitter account linking to a video basically mocking Trump’s various gestures. What does CNN think it is? Mediaite?

Of the three, the Hitler allusion is the worst but it’s also the one that is the least germane because Aristegui doesn’t work for CNN US and because the clip is from last November. If it had been any CNN US anchor that did it there would be headlines blazing.

But the other two happened this week and both are in poor taste. Worse, they help make Trump’s case that CNN is the enemy and is fake news.

We are in the middle of a war here. The war is going to decide what happens to the Fourth Estate. What makes this war difficult to fight, particularly with this occupier of the White House and his fast and loose handling of basic facts that make Clintonian speech look positively antiquated, is that this is not really a substantive fight.

If this were a substantive fight, it would have been over already and a course correction would be ordered by Trump to turn what up until now has been the worst rollout of a Presidency in generations with all the screw ups, horrible PR, self-inflicted wounds, roaming far and wide off the reservation, and…yes I’ll say it…lying.

But this isn’t a substantive fight. It’s an optical fight and the rules are different.

The substance doesn’t matter. Reagan had the Teflon presidency. Nothing stuck to him. That’s not happening with Trump (so far). The stuff is sticking hard and his poll numbers show it. It just doesn’t matter.

It doesn’t matter because Trump is a master of distraction and has been able to optically fight this even while substantively taking on loads of baggage. He just plays at his base and other fellow travelers by bringing up Conservative stereotypes. Trump yells, “fake news” and even those who look sideways at how his administration has handled things so far will nod knowingly because they either feel aggrieved or have felt aggrieved at one point or another.

This gets into that quicksand that is Media Bias and bubbles and I know better than to go there because it’s too subjective and its a sideshow that will suck all the air out of this discussion. The point is, regardless of the merits, when Trump yells “fake news”, it resonates because some people are looking for those optics.

When you’re in an optical war as the Fourth Estate currently is, anything, no matter how small, can be used against you. You have to be as vigilant as possible to guard against anything that could be either construed or mis-construed as fitting in with the “fake news” narrative.

That’s a tall order for the Fourth Estate because journalism by its very nature is an evolving process. An overwhelming majority of the stories that are currently being used to bolster the “fake news” claim would, in years past, have been viewed as the basic pitfalls of journalism and taken in stride. Those that didn’t would wind up being litigated in court.

But that was then. This is now. And now everyone is wound up so tight on fake news that anything that results in a correction is tagged as “fake”. Flawed headline? Fake news. Wrong date or time? Fake news. Wrong person mentioned? Fake news. Wrong location mentioned? Fake news.

We used to have dividing lines for this stuff. We had categories of journalism where errors and mistakes were dumped in one low crime category and out and out made up stories were dumped into the serious journalistic crimes category (which usually resulted in the perpetrator being fired.)

Those rules are currently inoperative. If there’s one mistake, regardless of the severity…someone somewhere yells “Fake news!”

Those are the optics the Fourth Estate must contend with. It’s easy to throw punches when you set the bar that low. And it makes it harder for journalism to defend itself. But if it’s going to defend itself, it should do so without one hand deliberately tied behind its back.

That’s why CNN making a Trump Valentine generator and linking to someone’s creative critique of Trump’s gestures is so self-defeating in the war over “fake news”. CNN might as well put a banner up on its website and on its Twitter masthead saying, “Yup, we’re the enemy and we’re fake news”.

Journalism can’t eliminate run of the mill mistakes. Those happen all the time. Always have and always will. But journalism, currently locked in a knock down drag out optical fight over “fake news”, can ill afford to hand its critics substance to their optics on a silver platter.

This week, CNN did just that.

CNN Announces New Post-Costello Lineup…

Posted in CNN on January 31, 2017 by icn2

CNN announced its new lineup after Carol Costello’s departure to HLN and it’s bigger than we surmised…

CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker announced today CNN’s new dayside lineup effective February 6th. John Berman and Poppy Harlow will co-anchor CNN Newsroom from 9-11:00am, replacing Carol Costello who moved to HLN. Berman co-anchored Early Start for the past five years and At This Hour since 2015 and Harlow has been a CNN weekend anchor since 2015. CNN’s Kate Bolduan will now be the sole anchor of At This Hour at 11:00am.

Dave Briggs will join CNN in February as co-anchor of Early Start alongside Christine Romans. Briggs was the co-anchor of Weekend Fox & Friends for five years, most recently co-hosted a program on the NBC Sports Network and was also a CNBC contributor.

4:00-6:00am: Early Start with Christine Romans and Dave Briggs
(beginning February 23rd)

6:00-9:00am: New Day with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota

9:00-11:00am: CNN Newsroom with John Berman and Poppy Harlow

11:00am-Noon: At This Hour with Kate Bolduan

The remainder of CNN’s dayside schedule will stay as is:

Noon-1:00pm: Inside Politics with John King

1:00-2:00pm: Wolf with Wolf Blitzer

2:00-4:00pm: Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin

4:00-5:00pm: The Lead with Jake Tapper

5:00-7:00pm: The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer

Moving Berman off early mornings was long overdue. A bit more surprising was having Kate Bolduan solo but not totally far fetched.

The only question left unanswered is who will get Poppy Harlow’s weekend slot?

Carol Costello Moves From CNN to HLN…

Posted in CNN, HLN on January 30, 2017 by icn2

Ever since I discovered last year that Carol Costello’s husband had to move to the west coast for work, I have been waiting for the other shoe to drop and today it dropped. Costello announced on the air that she would be leaving CNN U.S. for a anchor role for a HLN show originating out of L.A.

“I have lived apart from my husband for many years,” Costello said at the end of her show today, “but he was always close by because he also lived on the east coast. But last year my husband snagged a fantastic job in Los Angeles, and I kind of miss him,” she said.”

Say no more. But there is a price to pay…

Costello goes from a network with incredible stability to one which has now eclipsed MSNBC circa 1998-2003 as the network with most glaring reboots since it blew up the CNN Headline News format. The only person there who is golden is Robin Meade. Everyone else isn’t safe…and you can add Costello to that list.

Jeff Zucker issued a statement on this news and said a few nice things about the 15 year veteran…

As many of you may have just heard, Carol Costello announced that her last day on Newsroom will be this Friday. While we’ll miss her unmistakable reporting, calming presence on the air, big smile and even bigger laugh on CNN, I’m happy to say she isn’t going far — she’ll be staying in the family and joining HLN in Los Angeles.

During her more than 15 years with us, Carol has been at the forefront of some of the world’s most significant news stories, including the Boston bombing, Pope Francis’ historic visit and our coverage of the Iraq war. She is all heart and grace, and the epitome of a seasoned journalist, making her the perfect fit to join HLN’s powerful bench of anchors.

Carol’s decision to leave CNN was a personal one. After many years balancing a long-distance marriage with her demanding career, she is cashing in her miles and permanently relocating to the west coast. Ken Jautz will be sharing more details about her new LA-based show in the coming weeks.

It’s with infinite gratitude that I thank Carol for being a friend to me, and an influential voice that has helped grow CNN and contribute to our success.

Please join Ken and me in congratulating Carol on this great new role.

Costello’s departure leaves a hole for which there is no clear unambiguous front runner to take over. I could think of half a dozen people who could get it…and still miss the actual choice. It’s pretty wide open.

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?

Posted in CNN on January 19, 2017 by icn2

The New York Post’s Daniel Harper breaks some extremely head scratching CNN news…

Valerie Jarrett’s daughter quietly joined CNN in September as a reporter in the network’s Washington bureau.

She came to CNN with no experience in journalism. But the Harvard educated lawyer defended companies and individuals against the Justice Department as a private litigator in Chicago.

Laura married fellow Harvard law grad Tony Balkissoon in 2012 at a Chicago ceremony attended by President Obama, her mom’s boss.

What

the

hell?

This is bad on two fronts, both of which make me question CNN’s standards.

First, CNN hired Jarrett’s daughter while Jarrett was still working for Obama. That should never have happened. If Obama had been out of office when the hire took place it the egregiousness of the hire would have been much less (though still a huge issue for ideologues).

Second, and even more troubling…is she has almost no journalism experience. And she’s writing about Trump’s ethics issues according to The Hill’s Joe Concha?

This has all the fingerprints of Jeff Zucker who seems to love hiring children of political figures with zero experience in the field. He grabbed Jenna Bush Hager and Chelsea Clinton for NBC. Now he’s grabbing Laura Jarrett for CNN.