Archive for the FNC Category

Brenda Buttner Passes Away…

Posted in FNC on February 20, 2017 by icn2

FNC’s Brenda Buttner passed away way too early. As one who used to tune in regularly to Bulls and Bears back when Saturday’s Business block actually covered business and stocks and politics was kept on the periphery, Bulls and Bears was a treat to watch. Neil Cavuto paid tribute to Buttner on Your World today…

Big Plans For FNC?

Posted in FNC on January 17, 2017 by icn2

The New York Post’s Steve Cuozzo writes about big goings on in FNC’s future…

Twenty-First Century Fox and News Corp., the separate media giants controlled by Rupert Murdoch, have locked in plans to keep and expand their headquarters on Sixth Avenue’s famed “corporate row.”


The deal for Twenty-First Century Fox totals 784,000 square feet. It includes a five-year extension of a lease that was to expire in 2020, plus 128,000 more square feet of expansion space on three high floors. The expansion is expected to take place this year, and will accommodate Fox employees who now work next door at 1185 Sixth Ave.

News Corp., meanwhile, extended its current lease on 440,000 square feet, also from 2020 to 2025.

It was understood that Fox News Channel will now invest considerable capital to create a state-of-the-art newsroom. FNC recently launched a $30 million sidewalk-fronting studio.

NBC’s Megyn Kelly Gambit…

Posted in FNC, MSNBC on January 3, 2017 by icn2

Variety’s Brian Steinberg lists some of the potential pitfalls facing NBC and its soon to be newest employee…

And yet, Kelly’s current halo does not necessarily mean she can also triumph over splintered broadcast-TV audiences and tired formats. Those are hurdles she and NBC will have to leap over in the months to come.

NBC said it intends to place Kelly in a new Monday-through-Friday daytime hour set to launch sometime over the coming year. To accomplish that feat, NBC would have to either take time from the four hours it already devotes to its “Today” morning franchise, which generates hundreds of millions of dollars in ad revenue; negotiate with affiliates for strong placement of a syndicated hour; or test something in the early evening, where it distributes “Access Hollywood.” Meanwhile, a Sunday newsmagazine would likely run for a limited cycle, as the network already devotes a good portion of its Sunday lineup to “Sunday Night Football,” one of TV’s most-watched programs.

But this is the biggest one in my opinion…

Launching a new, sustainable newsmagazine has also been tricky in recent years, as NBC learned when it debuted “Rock Center” with Brian Williams in 2011. That effort also lasted two seasons before being cancelled due to low ratings. NBC more recently tried “On Assignment,” an effort produced by its “Dateline” staff that relies more heavily on stories of adventure and innovation that on the murder tales viewers have come to expect from the parent show.

“In recent years”?!?

NBC has a long and distinguished history of failed attempts at news magazine shows. Even Dateline originally debuted in a vastly different form than it has today.

Left untouched in this article are two very interesting subjects…

1. Why was MSNBC conspicuously absent from any mention? I can think of two reasons and their initials are BW and RM. Say what you will about the decision but MSNBC has deliberately positioned the network as the home of Brian Williams and Rachel Maddow. Bringing in Megyn Kelly, even if she had the bandwidth to take on the assignment (something I seriously doubt given the daytime show), would totally upset that apple cart.

2. The pecking order on Nightly News – This is not an issue in the near to mid-term. Lester Holt isn’t going anywhere for at least five years provided ratings hold. But his successor is now going to be a little more of an open question than it was yesterday. The conventional wisdom was Savannah Guthrie would succeed Holt, provided NBC was comfortable with losing her on the from more financially lucrative Today Show in a post Matt Lauer era. But add in Kelly to the mix and the equation could potentially change…provided NBC’s gambit on Kelly pays off…and that is anything but guaranteed.

I always thought that of the three broadcast networks CBS was the best choice for Kelly, followed by NBC. ABC seems pretty set for the next decade and beyond with David Muir.

Megyn Kelly’s Conundrum…

Posted in FNC on December 19, 2016 by icn2

This Erik Wemple interview with Megyn Kelly in the Washington Post is long but there is one area that needs highlighting now because of its potential impact on her future…anywhere.

KELLY: Oh, my next deal is all about greater balance. I mean, that’s — I had professional success, right? Thankfully. And I feel like I’m at a level in my business where I’ve established myself as a professional. And the one thing I haven’t managed to do is find a way to achieve a better balance. You know, it started off fine, this particular job and my family situation because my three little ones were very small when I started “The Kelly File.” They were 3, 2 and newborn. So, you know, I don’t know if you have kids, but you spend the day at home with them.

EWB: I have a 10 and I have a 13.

KELLY: Yeah, so you know how that goes. You can see them all day. But then they start school and now two out of my three and soon three out of my three are going to be in school from 8 a.m. in the morning till 3:30 p.m. So that’s not good enough, that’s when I leave for Fox. And I need to do better.

EWB: You write in the book that you get to go to daytime school events. It seems as though, you know, you left the legal profession, you became famous, you make a lot of money and you get to go to your kids’ daytime school events: How is that not a win-win-win and what more would you be seeking on the balance front?

KELLY: Yeah, well it is a win but it isn’t good enough. I want to see my kids for dinner, I want to put them down at night, I want to see their soccer games after school. I want to get to know the parents who take their kids to some of these events, and not all the time. We all feel that to some extent, but my problem in my current role is I see them in the morning and . . . I take them to school but unless there’s a school event that I can attend, I might not see them at all for the rest of the day until they’re sleeping in their beds at night.

EWB: Do they call you at work while you’re trying to get ready for “The Kelly File”?

KELLY: Yeah, we talk on the phone, so listen: It’s not that I don’t understand working parents make sacrifices; they all do, whether they’re TV anchors or not. It’s just a question of what works for any given individual and all I’m saying and I’ve said it publicly is that this particular balance that I’ve struck right now is not good enough for me. I will tell you that Fox has always been good about working things like that out. And I don’t have any doubt that they’d be good to me on that front here too, so that’s one of the things we’ll figure out before I have to make up my mind.

Here’s the Megyn Kelly conundrum: What she wants is incompatible with her current career trajectory…at least at FNC.

FNC needs her to hold down 9pm, particularly after building her career up over the past decade as “the next big thing”. “The next big thing” doesn’t deserve “next big thing” status if it’s moved out of primetime to dayside or early evening. And it certainly doesn’t deserve anything near O’Reilly money. Historically, nobody pulls down those 9pm numbers during the day. Nobody.

So FNC is really wanting Kelly to be their next face of prime time. To put her back out of prime undermines everything the network has striven for and it also lowers her profile. And you don’t want to overpay for lower returns.

But 9pm is no good for Kelly if The Kelly File is airing live because she wants to be with her children at that hour and 9pm is particularly no good for FNC if it’s taped because it would mean 2/3 of FNC’s prime time programming would be taped and would require pre-emption if some live event transpired; a pre-emption not featuring the star talent that’s supposed to occupy that time.

Can you imagine the hay MSNBC and CNN would make with FNC if 2/3 of its primetime lineup isn’t live? Or, worse, play up that the network’s sole live prime time anchor is Sean Hannity? This stuff just writes itself sometimes.

If you had asked me a week ago where I thought Kelly would wind up I would have told you to bet the bank on FNC. I cannot make the same proclamation today based on this revelation.

FNC is probably still the favorite but this new (to the public anyways) wrinkle about Kelly wanting to re-balance her life throws a big monkey wrench into the works. Now, that rumored CNN offer with wide cross-Turner distribution…but for far less money than FNC would pay…looks more appealing than it did if it gets her life re-balanced. Now, a broadcast network offer doesn’t seem quite as far fetched as before since she wouldn’t have to worry about being live on primetime most nights of the year.

Or, she could stay at FNC in some yet to be determined non-live at primetime role. Or she could swallow hard and stay live in primetime at FNC. Whatever happens, money isn’t necessarily the biggest consideration we might have thought it was. Family may be.


Posted in FNC on December 15, 2016 by icn2

Er…for reasons unknown Greg Gutfeld decided to revive my 5+ year old post press release commentary regarding the announcement of The Five as a replacement for the timeslot previously occupied by Glenn Beck. I was made aware of this by a shit disturbing Johnny Dollar tweet:

.@greggutfeld recalls the @InsideCableNews review of @TheFive: “I give it six weeks.” Greg sez: “What happened to that guy? He’s homeless!”

Um. Yeah. Ok.

Gutfeld has brought up this subject before. He did it three years ago on The Five’s second anniversary. And I responded to that. Short version: No excuses. I got it wrong.

Why Gutfeld brought it up again today, I have no idea. It’s not another anniversary for the show. And it’s not like I’ve been throwing darts at the show the past few years. I don’t get it. There’s no reason to rehash it other than he’s bored I guess. I already fell on my sword once so I’m not going to do it again now.

But I do have one thing to say to Gutfeld. If you’re going to come after me, come after me with the truth. That tweet saying I said, “I give it six weeks.” left me scratching my head. That didn’t sound like me. That’s not how I talk about shows. I don’t give closed ended timelines. But just to be sure I checked the original post and sure enough the only thing I said was I didn’t expect the show to last. Obviously wrong but then so is Gutfeld for saying that I said, “I give it six weeks.”

But then this shouldn’t be surprising. The first time he came after me he played fast and loose with the truth as well and took me out of context on several points which I rebutted point by point.

Greg, you don’t need to embellish. You had me dead to rights on the show not lasting and I owned up to it. To slant it with embellishments just makes you look bad when you didn’t need to go there in the first place. The truth cuts deeper than a lie every time.

Megyn Kelly to CNN Would Be A Risk For Both

Posted in CNN, FNC on December 3, 2016 by icn2

This post comes a little late but my mom is in the hospital with a coronary condition so I have not had the time to write. 

A couple of days ago Drudge posted a story that Jeff Zucker was going all out to poach Megyn Kelly from FNC. The motivation behind the leaking of this to Drudge would be juicy indeed. Which camp did the deed and why?

But I am instead going to write about why this would probably be a bad deal for both, but for vastly different reasons.

For CNN the risks and unknowns are greater than they are for Kelly. In order…

  • According to Drudge, Zucker can’t afford to outbid Fox so instead he is trying to entice Kelly by offering a very wide greater than CNN networks platform and a huge promotion campaign. CNN has a decidedly mixed record on this score. The network threw oodles of money behind a campaign to promote Anderson Cooper; a campaign which failed to deliver the ratings the network hoped for and drew much ridicule for the alleged cost.
  • Zucker is taking a bigger risk than necessary if he does things this way. Despite all the glamour shots, all the glowing articles, all the off network promotional appearances, all the hype (Some of it deserved. Some not)…the fact is it is a huge unknown whether Megyn Kelly’s FNC star power transfers off that network. Given the lackluster ratings her Fox broadcast prime time special turned in, this is also a question Fox may be asking itself. The stigma of partisan cable news is very powerful and makes it tough to broaden one’s profile to other less ideological platforms (see: Maddow, Rachel).
  • But even if it did transfer, the chances CNN could come anywhere close to getting the ratings FNC gets with Kelly are almost nil. CNN will almost certainly be overpaying for Kelly and not getting the payoff FNC gets.
  • Zucker’s  instincts regarding talent is checkered at best. For every winning move he has made, there have been two or three which have detonated spectacularly in his face. Alexis Glick being forced down the Today Show’s throat. Going all in on Kate Bolduan and Chris Cuomo because of their on air chemistry only to quietly sever that tie when it was obvious he was very very wrong.
  • Some could see this as a move to weaken FNC. It is true that Kelly is the prime time heir apparent to O’Reilly who has maybe a couple of TV years left in him so losing both could cause trouble. But this is predicated on the notion that FNC can’t adjust. As we have seen with Tucker Carlson positively flourishing in Greta Van Susteren’s  old timeslot, an apparent loss is not necessarily a loss.
  • If CNN comes within a half of FNC’s offer, that will put more than a few CNN telents’ noses out of joint.With justification.

For Kelly the risks are potentially just as high as CNN but for vastly different reasons.

  • She will not make as much money as she could at FNC. Exposure is nice but salary is the biggest barometer of stature in this industry.
  • No matter how much cross platform exposure Zucker throws Kelly’s way, the unavoidable fact is Zucker has made the network one where there is no leader. No star. No anchor. Instead it is a team of rotating cogs that can be swiped in and out as needed. There is no true pecking order among the top talent. Anyone can dominate at any time given the situation. It isn’t Anderson Cooper’s network. Nor is it Wolf Blitzer’s, Don Lemon’s, Jake Tapper’s, or anyone else’s. That especially includes Megyn Kelly who as the new kid on the block would have to prove herself all over again to justify the prominence Zucker would force down the viewer’s throat. At FNC she could become the face of the  network once O’Reilly is gone. At CNN she will always be one of a crowd.

Kelly would be better off at a broadcast network than she would at CNN, though not do as well as she would staying at FNC. CNN will likely never get the intended payoff it hopes for by luring her over. This is not a great deal for either.

Tucker Carlson Tonight Premieres…

Posted in FNC on November 14, 2016 by icn2

I’m back. I’ve been back for almost a week but I came back with a mild cold that exploded into a nasty sumbitch of a cold that laid me out until last night. Normally getting a cold on a dive trip means no more diving the rest of the trip but it hit me after I completed my dives. I was lucky. Spudette? Not so lucky.

Anyway, I was pretty unplugged for most of the trip once I got to Raja Ampat. The satellite internet was spotty at best. Consequently, I had no idea that FNC had announced Tucker Carlson had gotten the timeslot vacated by Greta Van Susteren. And my cold had kept me off the internet once home so I didn’t know it debuted tonight until I saw the last five minutes of it.

What do you think of the show? I’m not sure I like the graphics package.