Archive for the FNC Category

Andrea Tantaros off FNC due to vague “contract issues”…

Posted in FNC on April 27, 2016 by icn2

TVNewser’s Chris Ariens reports that Andrea Tantaros has been taken off FNC’s air due to some deliberately vague “contract issues”…

TVNewser got a tip earlier today regarding Tantaros. When we reached out to FNC, they sent us this statement: “Issues have arisen regarding Andrea’s contract, and Fox News Channel has determined it best that she take some time off. She is still under contract with the network.”

What makes this newsworty isn’t that Tantaros is off the air…it’s the reasons FNC gave. They raise more questions than they answer…

Changes in FNC Executive Ranks…

Posted in FNC on April 21, 2016 by icn2

TVNewser’s A.J. Katz writes that FNC’s Michael Clemente is being moved from Executive Vice President of News Editorial to a new unit inside FNC. Clemente will be EVP of News Specials.

In the shift, Jay Wallace (pictured) has been upped to evp, news and editorial overseeing all daytime weekday and weekend news shows. Wallace has been with the network from the beginning, starting as Shepard Smith‘s ep. Bill Sammon, vp and managing editor of the D.C. bureau, will now report to Wallace.

This kind of move naturally will spark a bunch of “What’s it all mean?” kibitzing. One of the first out of the gate is New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman who takes a familiar path…

This afternoon, Fox announced that Clemente is being moved to a new “longform unit” at the network. Veteran Fox executive Jay Wallace will replace him as executive VP of news. For Fox, the shake-up has wide-ranging implications. Until today, Clemente was seen inside and outside the network as a leading contender to replace Ailes, who turns 76 next month. “He’s out,” a Fox host told me. “He’s been kneecapped.”

While the suddenness of Clemente’s ouster stunned Fox hosts and producers, Ailes’s very public backing of Clemente in front of his colleagues might have been seen as an omen. “Roger is very needy and insecure,” one Fox veteran said. He’s often nicest to you when you’re on the way out.

One Fox anchor told me that Ailes suspected Clemente of leaking to the press over the past year. Inside Fox, where executives use burner phones because they fear their corporate lines are monitored, there’s not much worse than being labeled a leaker. Another mark against Clemente is that he had a relationship with Rupert Murdoch. Ailes is said to dislike executives who build up independent power bases, and talking to Murdoch, Ailes’s boss, would be seen as a threat. Lastly, Clemente, a former ABC News executive, never fully shed the stigma that he was an outsider. (Politically, he’s a centrist). His replacement, Jay Wallace, is a longtime Fox executive, who’s risen up through the ranks over the past decade.

Upcoming: Joe Concha’s “Sherman is lying again” rebuttal in 3…2…1…

Shots Fired…

Posted in CNN, FNC on April 1, 2016 by icn2

The AP’s David Bauder writes up some of the things Megyn Kelly says in an interview with Charlie Rose to air Sunday Morning on CBS.

Kelly takes another (more than deserved) shot at O’Reilly but expands her reach to include CNN…

“There should have been a moment of solidarity among journalists that night to say, ‘We will not allow ourselves to be bullied by a presidential front runner, even one as powerful and as ahead in the polls at that point as Trump was,'” Kelly said. “‘This is about journalism and the First Amendment, and we will put the debate moderator out on the stage that we think is appropriate.’ And I think it’s a slippery slope when we don’t stand shoulder to shoulder in those moments.”

CNN declined to comment on her remarks.

I’ll bet. This is, after all, the same network that couldn’t say no to the RNC after it emerged that other networks were trying to get the NBC debate.

Shots Fired…

Posted in FNC on March 17, 2016 by icn2

More Magazine’s Allison Glock interviews Megyn Kelly. Everyone is going to zero in on the part you can’t read online but Page Six got dumped in its lap…(via J$)

While Kelly’s had widespread support during the media war, she admits in More of her colleague Bill O’Reilly, “I do wish that O’Reilly had defended me more in his interview with Trump. I would have defended him more.” The host of “The Kelly File” also says of the Trump conflict: “Honestly? People think I’m fearless. But I’m human.”

And so we see the first real public schism, however small it may be, between Kelly and O’Reilly. In the past we’ve only had 3rd party anonymous anecdotes and inferences drawn from what’s appeared on their respective shows to tell us there was friction, mostly from the O’Reilly side.

This is something else entirely. It’s public and its deliberate. Kelly is big enough and O’Reilly’s remaining shelf life is short enough that even if Roger Ailes doesn’t like tent shooting, he has to tolerate it in this case. Kelly is the future. O’Reilly is the past. If O’Reilly didn’t already know it, he’s going to know it now. Get in line son, this is the new program.

Amount of Sleep Deprivation ≠ % Chances of Landing Flagship Morning Show

Posted in FNC on February 17, 2016 by icn2

Mediate’s Joe Concha pens an article about why Ainsley Earhardt deserved the Fox and Friends Morning Show gig. Obviously, I disagree otherwise there’d be no point in writing…

But first we must pause to note the completely gratuitous, non-sequitur, bordering on obsessive, shot taken at Gabe Sherman by Concha…

In the end — and this is just a guess since conjuring up Casper sources who don’t actually exist in the building just ain’t my thing

Now back to the story at hand…

First of all, this isn’t about Earhardt and her suitability for FNC’s morning show. I think FNC made the only choice it could have made, given the structure of the show, the rapport with the hosts, and its history of who has occupied the middle seat. There was no better suited internal candidate available than Earhardt. If not her, FNC would have needed to go outside to find someone better.

No, this is about Concha’s reasoning why she got the gig…

But here’s why Earhardt’s promotion deserves a column: She would later attend the University of South Carolina, where she was inducted into four honor societies, graduating with a broadcast journalism degree in 1999. Earhardt would go on to work at local news stations in Columbia, SC and San Antonio before being hired by Fox News in 2007. And those nine years weren’t what one would call easy, glamorous or necessarily fun, as Fox assigned her primarily to do what are called overnight cut-ins… a shift that really takes its toll on both body and spirit.

Having first done for overnights/early mornings in college (radio), Time Warner (NY-1) and FNC a long time ago in hosting, producing and news writing roles, respectively, it can be safely said working overnights means a schedule of doing cut-ins each hour on the half hour starting in the 10:00 PM hour, which consists of presenting a 1-minute news/breaking news update to keep the content fresh after the network goes to tape (repeats of prior programming) from live programming. And if big news does break, it’s you and a skeleton crew left to handle matters until the regular, much larger staff starts comes in at 4:00 AM.

But the toll-body-spirit part comes with being idle for 59 minutes, only to have to turn yourself back on for one minute each hour. Know this: It would almost be better to be on the air during the entire 8-hour shift than waiting around, periodically coordinating with a producer or writer, tweaking scripts, and reading up on whatever you’re covering because during the down times, the urge to sleep can be, at times, overwhelming. And once that shift is done, it’s time to go home and attempt to rest during the day, which is usually an exercise in futility if getting a clean 6-7 hours is the goal (maxing out at 4 was almost always the case). It’s especially tough when one is in a relationship with someone working standard hours and wants to grab dinner out once in awhile after their version of work. And try motivating a lifeless body to get to a gym…

This is basically what Earhardt endured for the better part of the past nine years: A thankless shift and no real sign of the big reward she’s been aiming for all along: A shot at hosting Fox & Friends on weekdays permanently. Earhardt would fill in on F&F Weekend, sure. And she was rewarded the one-hour Fox & Friends First (5:00 AM EST) a few years ago along with Childers. But here’s the thing about being on-air and moving up the ladder to better timeslots, more exposure, more money: It’s always a race against time, against aging… particularly for women. On one hand, the average programming exec wants someone (preferably attractive regardless of channel or network, local or national) with poise, experience, energy and presence who brings chemistry to the set. On the other hand, it takes time to build a brand and establish the right contacts and trust internally. And if you’re stuck behind what is your channel or network’s version of a Today Show version of Katie Couric (in their own eyes), you’re basically screwed.

Look, I did graveyard…not in the media…but I did it. For 7 years. I know what that does to your life. So I’m not minimizing in any way what Earhardt went through.

But it really has nothing at all to do with her suitability for a promotion of this level. Indeed, usually when you’ve been doing that shift on TV for that long it means one of two things:

1) You aren’t viewed too favorably by your superiors but you aren’t bad enough to fire outright.

2) You like it there.

Cable news overnights is not ABC’s World News Now. One is a place for those consigned to the equivalent of TV news limbo, the other has a reputation for being a breeding ground for up and coming talent for over 20 years. Guess which is which.

You can get fired easily for screwing up during an overnight breaking news event in cable news. This has happened. There’s at least one talent working at one network who got summarily dismissed with a “do not admit” sign posted at security at another network for having a bad breaking news overnight.

While FNC prizes loyalty, there’s loyalty and then there’s loyalty. One type of loyalty is pitching in under tough conditions (i.e. Thomas Roberts, working still as a free lancer, filling in when Olbermann got suspended when no one else wanted to do it…basically landed him a full time gig at MSNBC). Anchoring overnights that long is not that kind of loyalty. It’s commendable from a “willing to take the pain” point of view. But it’s not the kind of thing that gets network execs thinking “We have a future morning show host”. It takes more than that. A lot more.

And, honestly, if you want to look at it purely from Concha’s “paying your dues” standpoint, Patti Ann Browne deserves a promotion more. That she hasn’t gotten a regular weekday daytime gig by now remains one of the biggest mysteries (and mistakes) in FNC’s history…provided it wasn’t her choice.

But here’s likely (and hopefully) more the reason behind the Earhardt decision: Fox brass appreciated her sacrifices that came with doing overnight cut-ins and a 5:00 AM show. She paid her dues for nearly a decade. She showed in fill-in opportunities she can perform the job and do it well. It was simply her turn. Fairness, loyalty and pragmatism actually won the day.

No they didn’t. Her sacrifices didn’t hurt her chances. But they were not the difference maker. Other factors were far more important like on set chemistry with Kilmeade and Doocy, personality, and…yes, we can’t ignore the elephant…looks. It’s a visual and audio medium after all. All the loyalty and sacrifice in the world won’t amount to a hill of beans if those other factors aren’t there.

Reward by loyalty is the exception and not the rule now. This business is just too cutthroat and brutal to tolerate sentimentality based on loyalty anymore. You could make an impressive list of talent, national and local, who were loyal, paid their dues, and still wound up getting shafted by their bosses. Granted, at FNC loyalty is a bigger deal than at other networks. But not to the point that you’re going to be handed the keys to the network’s flaghship morning show based on your loyalty.

Earhardt paid her dues. But so have plenty of people at FNC. It takes more than that to land on Fox and Friends permanently. Earhardt didn’t “earn” her spot based on dues and loyalty. They just didn’t do anything to jeopardize her consideration. Which was all that was required.


This part I need to highlight separately because it raises all kinds of questions…

A thankless shift and no real sign of the big reward she’s been aiming for all along: A shot at hosting Fox & Friends on weekdays permanently.

“the big reward she’s been aiming for all along”?????????????

How does Concha know that? There are two possibilities…

1) He doesn’t know that. He’s just guessing but phrased it badly so it looks definitive when it’s nothing more than idle speculation. And it’s something he should correct because it will cause negative fallout to Earhardt left up that way as it ascribes a level of intent and sense of entitlement to her that doesn’t play well publicly.

2) He does know that. But that means he was told that, either by Earhardt herself or by “sources close to Earhardt” which still leads back to Earhardt. It also means he burned his source if it was Earhardt…hell he burned her even if his source wasn’t her.

If I were to guess, I’m going with Option #1. FNC has a history of talent looking to take over on Fox and Friends and that history didn’t play out well for the instigator. That alone makes the idea that she was angling publicly for the gig before Hasselbeck left unlikely.

Ainsley Earhardt Named Permanent Fox and Friends Co-host

Posted in FNC on February 16, 2016 by icn2

In a move that shouldn’t surprise anyone, FNC <a href=" that Ainsley Earhardt will fill the void left by Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s departure from Fox and Friends…

Former FOX & Friends FIRST Co-Anchor Replaces Elisabeth Hasselbeck

FOX News Channel (FNC) has named Ainsley Earhardt as the new co-host of cable news’ highest-rated morning program FOX & Friends (6-9AM/ET), announced Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO of FOX News. She will make her debut alongside Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade on February 29, 2016. A rotating co-host will take Earhardt’s place on FOX & Friends FIRST until a replacement is named.

In making the announcement, FOX News Chairman & CEO Roger Ailes said, “Ainsley’s relentless work ethic, congeniality and enthusiasm for connecting with our viewers and staff are extremely refreshing. She’s a superb team player and an excellent on-air host – we look forward to her joining the show during such a pivotal news year.”
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Don’t Give Trump The Satisfaction…

Posted in CNN, FNC, MSNBC on January 27, 2016 by icn2

So it appears as of this writing that Trump is going to schedule an event during the timeframe that FNC is airing its now Trump-less GOP debate. And of course he’s openly courting other networks to carry it.

They shouldn’t…at least not live. Don’t give Trump the satisfaction of dividing and conquering the networks. I fully expect CNN to not adhere to this because of how it swooped in and grabbed NBC’s GOP debate. MSNBC will probably carry it too.

They shouldn’t for the simple reason that it could happen to them at some point down the road if they allow for this precedent to be set. They should boycott Trump’s speech. Or at the very least, they should air it tape delayed until after the FNC GOP debate is over.

Not that I’m expecting this to happen. I’m no fool. Ratings and the possibility of revenue enhancement will win out over network solidarity. But they’re just shooting themselves in the foot in the long run.


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