Archive for the FBN Category

Ailes and Murdoch…

Posted in FBN, FNC on June 17, 2015 by icn2

New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman writes about yesterday’s Ailes news…

Just five days earlier, Ailes released what now appears to be a rogue statement to his own Fox Business channel declaring that he would be unaffected by the announcement that Lachlan and James will take control of Fox as part of Rupert’s succession plan. “Roger Ailes will continue to run the news network, reporting directly to Rupert Murdoch,” Fox Business reported. According to a well-placed source, Ailes directed Fox Business executive Bill Shine to tell anchor Stuart Varney to read the statement on air. “Ailes told Shine to write the announcement of the move for Varney to say,” the source said. “In it, Ailes inserted language that he would report to Rupert.”

This was, apparently, news to Rupert. And now the Murdochs are correcting the record. “Roger will report to Lachlan and James,” a 21st Century Fox spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter.

Change of Plans?

Posted in FBN, FNC on June 16, 2015 by icn2

The Hollywood Reporter’s Marissa Guthrie takes note of the change in reporting structure at 21st Century Fox. If it ever was a change…

Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes will in fact report to James and Lachlan Murdoch when the sons of Rupert Murdoch assume control of 21st Century Fox on July 1.

The revelation comes after the Ailes-run Fox Business Network reported June 11 that Ailes would continue to report to Rupert even after Rupert handed official control of the company to his sons.

“Roger will report to Lachlan and James but will continue his unique and long-standing relationship with Rupert,” 21st Century Fox spokesperson Nathaniel Brown said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

And what does that mean? Is that PR spin to make it look like Ailes can bypass the sons to go to the father when he really can’t? Or can Ailes truly circumvent them when he wants? My money is on the former.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say we may have just seen the first marker…the very first marker…in Roger Ailes’ retirement laid down. There is kibitzing…just talk amongst the chattering class mind you…of the possibility of an Ailes exit after the 2016 election.

However, unlike Joseph Farah’s apocalyptic Chicken Little outburst on World Net Daily a couple days ago (“Exclusive”, WND? Sheesh), I don’t expect too much of a change at FNC if Ailes exits…provided Bill Shine is named as his successor. Ailes spent 15 years assembling the team behind FNC and FBN. That does not come apart the moment he leaves.

Unless James decides to blow it up; and he’d be ousted by the board and shareholders if he did something that suicidal, FNC should continue along as before for some time to come though talent departures/retirements and unfoerseen massive changes in the industry could alter that prognosis.

Rethinking FBN Getting Burned By CNBC Over The Murdoch News…

Posted in CNBC, FBN, FNC on June 13, 2015 by icn2

It’s been a couple of days since the Rupert Murdoch news knocked the media world sideways. The one storyline that continued to get legs was how the hell did CNBC beat out the entire Murdoch media empire with the scoop? It sure as hell made FBN, The Post, and The Journal look woefully out of it. At first I naturally assumed it was just good old fashioned legwork. Now I’m wondering if it was really the old boy network…

Exhibit A: The news that came out very quickly after Faber’s scoop that Roger Ailes would be reporting directly to Rupert Murdoch, bypassing his sons. Everyone focused in on the fact that Ailes wouldn’t have to be reporting to Rupe’s sons that it showed how much the senior Murdoch valued Ailes.

What nobody seems to have realized is that Ailes had to have known about the change in structure. There is no way Rupert Murdoch is going to make a change like this and then wait until after the news comes out to tell Ailes he’ll still be reporting to him. FNC and FBN are lynchpins in the Murdoch media empire and Murdoch is not going to do anything to churn those waters. Ailes had to have known.

Exhibit B: Because Ailes had to have known, he could have ensured that the news came out on FBN. He didn’t. The question is obviously why? And the answer is just as obvious…because he was essentially under a gag order that had yet to be lifted by Rupert.

Exhibit C: The original Faber story made no mention of Ailes reporting to Rupert. Therefore we could assume that this wasn’t a leak to Faber from inside Ailes’ sphere of influence. If it were the one piece of information we might consider betting the bank on coming out was that Ailes would be reporting directly to Rupert. Of course, because this industry is more conniving than you could possibly imagine, we can’t completely dismiss the possibility that the leak came from inside Ailes’ sphere of influence but left out the Ailes reporting structure precisely to throw the scent off and make it look like it came from elsewhere. But that possibility does stretch the boundaries of plausibility. The odds are stacked heavily that Ailes’ sphere of influence had nothing to do with Faber’s story. Which leads us to…

Exhibit D: Like father (NOT) like sons. It is well known that while Rupert holds a special place in his heart for Roger Ailes, his sons don’t exactly follow in father’s footsteps.

Add up A, B, C, and D and a new picture emerges regarding CNBC’s scoop. What better way to screw Ailes than to leak the story to Faber?

Maybe it wasn’t either James or Lachlan who leaked to Faber. But whoever it was knew what they were doing and how the optics would play out. They were giving CNBC a prize and Roger Ailes the middle finger.

Fisking “Blackfish”…

Posted in CNN, FBN, FNC on June 13, 2015 by icn2

FNC/FBN’s John Stossel writes on Reason.com about his upcoming “Blackfish” fisking. I’ve never been a fan of Stossel’s penchant for attacking something while at the same time sticking his head in the sand regarding the issue being raised…

I don’t presume to know if it’s moral to keep animals in captivity. But I do know that the activists distort the truth.

I’ve always considered that a big time dodge by Stossel. I also think if he’s going to do a proper fisking he should point out what, if anything, the people behind “Blackfish” are accurate about. He always seems too caught up in nailing the other side moreso than doing a proper analysis of the issue at hand.

That all said, his article here raises enough questions in my mind that I’m going to watch this special. I never had any interest in watching Blackfish in the first place. But I do care about accuracy in reporting and if there’s weight to be found in Stossel’s reporting, it puts CNN in a difficult position of defending airing a special its own people did zero reporting for; something that is an inherent risk for airing agenda TV without explaining in advance what the vetting process was, if any. (via J$)

I was most disturbed by a Blackfish scene that plays the mournful cry of a mother whale whose baby was taken from her. But it turns out the “baby” was an adult with kids of her own. Blackfish faked the scene by adding “sound effects that aren’t even appropriate to a killer whale.”

Blackfish also claims captive whales’ droopy dorsal fins indicate that the whales are miserable. But whale expert Ingrid Visser says killer whales in the wild have collapsed dorsal fins, too.

The director of Blackfish and others who appear in the film would not talk to me, but biologist Lori Marino, who’d said that “all whales in captivity have a bad life,” did.

I pointed out that life in the wild is rough, too—there’s competition for food, sex, life itself. She answered, “these animals evolved over millions of years to be adapted to the challenges of the wild, not with living in a concrete tank… They need space… and a social life.”

SeaWorld claims its whales are “happy.” But as Blackfish points out, “we can’t ask the whales.”

Dold replied, “While I may not know what my dog is thinking, I certainly know that he’s happy and that we have a good relationship.”

There have been moments when that human-whale relationship wasn’t good. One whale drowned a SeaWorld trainer. But Clark says there’s no evidence that the whale’s behavior meant that he was frustrated because he lives in a tank.

Finally, Blackfish claims that captive whales die young. But Dold points out, “We have a 50-year-old whale living at SeaWorld… Our whales’ life parameters are the same as whales in the wild.” Government research confirms this.

Rupert Murdoch to Step Down as CEO of 21st Century Fox

Posted in CNBC, FBN on June 11, 2015 by icn2

In an out of the blue bombshell this morning, CNBC’s David Faber scooped the world…including, inexplicably, FBN and the Wall St. Journal…both Murdoch properties…by reporting that Rupert Murdoch will finally be giving up the CEO reigns of 21st Century Fox…

Rupert Murdoch, the 84-year-old chief executive officer and controlling shareholder of 21st Century Fox, is preparing to step down as CEO of the media giant and hand that title to his son James, according to numerous sources close to the Murdoch family.

An announcement is expected in the near term, while it’s unclear whether the reorganization would take place this year or at the start of 2016. Rupert Murdoch will continue to be the executive chairman of Fox, while his son Lachlan would also become an executive co-chairman of the company.

As part of the management reordering at Fox, COO Chase Carey will step down and take on a yet undefined role as an advisor at the company. Carey was widely expected to exercise his right to an early release from his contract, allowing him to leave the company at the end of this year. Now, sources tell me, he is likely to remain in some capacity through 2016. He did not return a call for commen.

For all the talk about CNBC’s woes, for all the talk of FBN’s expansion, particularly its star studded hiring spree the past few years, this is the ultimate black eye for the Murdoch business network.

This should have been a gimme for FBN. If Fox execs knew Faber was poking around, they should have leaked it immediately to someone at FBN…Gasparino, Cavuto, Bartiromo…ANYONE. Anything would have been a better outcome than allowing CNBC to break news in FBN’s back yard.

Instead Faber gets the media scoop of the year (provided Roger Ailes doesn’t suddenly decide to retire) and FBN is left bumbling behind picking up CNBC’s scraps.

There’s one word that best sums up this debacle. That word is “OUCH!”

Update: Howard Kurtz is tweeting some interesting news…

Rupert Murdoch will become executive chairman with two sons, James & Lachlan, in top roles. Roger Ailes will still report to Rupert, co says

So FBN and FNC are cut out of James Murdoch’s purview? That’s like being given the keys to a Lamborghini but handing the engine to someone else.

Piling On…

Posted in FBN, FNC on June 9, 2015 by icn2

MediaPost’s Wendy Davis writes about the latest news in the battle between Fox and TVEyes…

TVEyes and Fox recently submitted their arguments to Hellerstein on that point. Those papers were filed under seal, and aren’t currently available.

But last week, a host of outside companies filed publicly available friend-of-the-court briefs that outline some of the major arguments.

Other TV news broadcasters, including CNN, CBS and NBCUniversal are backing Fox in the battle. “This case is not just about Fox News,” the TV news networks say. “It affects all creators and publishers of broadcast and digital content … who depend on licensing deals and advertising sales to support their continuing ability to provide high-quality news and entertainment content.”

FBN’s New Lineup: Your Reactions

Posted in FBN on June 1, 2015 by icn2

Today was the first day of a post Imus era at FBN as well as the debut of new shows and new timeslots. Overall, what did you think of today’s FBN programming?

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