Archive for the Miscellaneous Subjects Category

Addressing A NewsMax TV Rumor…

Posted in Miscellaneous Subjects on May 8, 2016 by icn2

Earlier this week I posted a rumor I had heard regarding Newsmax TV. I didn’t post it here on the blog but on Twitter in 3 parts.

Part 1

Rumor: Newsmax TV may soon lose DirecTV and Dish Network distribution. The alleged reason? Trouble making payments.

Part 2

Newsmax TV may also be looking to make staffing reductions as the network may alter its format to one emphasizing call-in shows.

Part 3

Newsmax’s highest rated show is Dennis Michael Lynch which averages 8k. But docs can draw double that number.

The reason I’m reposting this here is because I have received a statement from Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy regarding this rumor. Because making Ruddy’s statement fit in with Twitter’s character restriction would be difficult, I am forced to post it here.

Newsmax is not having trouble making its payments to Dish or DirecTV; we are in good standing with both companies.

Additionally Newsmax is not making any unusual staff reductions. We are actually planning to expand our original programming, which will include more interactivity with users via Call-ins, Skype, and other Internet platforms. We expect to be expanding staff, not reducing it.

According to Rentrak, our monthly cume is up to close to 4 million monthly, up from 500,000 monthly 18 months ago, and our advertising revenue has more than tripled in two years.

Olbermann on Trump

Posted in Miscellaneous Subjects on March 22, 2016 by icn2

He may be gone from cable news but that doesn’t mean Keith Olbermann is staying silent. He just penned an article on media’s obsession with Donald Trump…


They’re doing it for the money.


Save yourself the aggravation of looking for journalistic malfeasance, political motives, secret cabals or sinister corporations acting stealthily behind the curtain.

No stealth. No curtain. No apologies.

“Man, who would have expected the ride we’re all having right now?” asked a giddy CBS Chairman Les Moonves late last month. “The money’s rolling in and this is fun.”

Moonves—to my experience the most honest executive in media (not that it’s a suffocatingly full elevator)—summed it up: “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS. … This is going to be a very good year for us. Sorry. It’s a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going.”

What else do you expect from commercial-based broadcasting? Or commercial-based digital and print journalism?

And Moonves is just talking about ad revenues here. He hasn’t even touched on the subjects of ratings, or of all the free news product that Trump—and the Fight To Save Us From Trump—has generated. From networks to the net, the mantra “If it bleeds, it leads” has been replaced by “If it’s Trump, the numbers jump.”

Debates and these horrifying Town Halls (which reveal to the world that American public education failed circa 1960) cost more to produce than do candidate speeches—but they also kill off even more hours. And better yet, they produce ratings approaching 10 times the ordinary high water mark. And you can keep talking about these debates or Town Halls the next day on your other news shows—even if the event wasn’t on your network.

And don’t point the finger only at television. You. Are. Reading. This.

The effect the Trump magic wand has had on the web is a little more difficult to quantify, but it’s there. I truly worry about the future of mankind every time Donnie opens his Clutch Cargo mouth, but he has been right once in this campaign: The news organizations should be paying him for filling all this time and space. Of course, only Trump would fail to recognize that just as assuredly, those news organizations should also be billing him for all the free advertising. The two figures would presumably be a wash.

You want to ask a pertinent question? Don’t ask “why are they covering him so much?” Ask “why are we listening/reading/watching them cover him so much?”

Media Storm…

Posted in Miscellaneous Subjects on January 4, 2016 by icn2

Mediaite’s Joe Concha writes about cable news’ hyperventilating coverage of the standoff in Oregon.

In other words, our armed militia means no harm unless the law does its job and takes the building it, you know, owns back. Pretty ominous stuff. And methinks the leader of the Crips or Hell’s Angels wouldn’t be afforded the same courtesy regarding media coverage if it took over a federal building. Yet here we are on the first busy day of the new year with wall-to-wall coverage of the standoff around a federal building in the Malheur Wildlife Refuge — a remote facility in the Oregon high desert … all as Ammon Bundy, gang spokesman, is granted more interviews on virtually every national television network and therefore a platform to share what his perspective to millions.

And we’re not just talking NBC, but ABC, CBS, CNN, the Associated Press, local media … you name it (adding: Fox Monday night on The Kelly File). Ammon Bundy — the son of the infamous Cliven Bundy who dominated the news cycle for weeks in April and May of 2014 during a standoff then — has now taken the Donald Trump mantle of media domination and will likely continue to until this standoff is over. Note: Bundy has declared the group “will stay for years” if it has to, meaning this could unfortunately end under not-so-peaceful terms. It also means the story will have legs — particularly in the cable news world — which was practically invented for this kind of scenario.

Indeed. It’s one thing to cover pacific northwest skirmishes with the Feds over a variety of issues, issues which are genuine policy questions. FNC was the only network to really cover the Klamath Basin water fight over a decade ago. That was a real issue that affected lives.

This was too. But it’s not really the issue that’s being covered now. What’s being covered is the standoff. For decades news has loved to cover standoffs with a voraciousness not justified. This kind of coverage grants a kind of legitimacy to something which has no business being legitimate since it is in fact illegal.

CBSN’s Profitability Problem…

Posted in Miscellaneous Subjects on December 15, 2015 by icn2

This is off topic as far as this blog’s charter goes but it’s of interest to me because I am a regular viewer of CBSN. TVNewsCheck’s Adam Buckman interviews CBS News President David Rhodes about the network’s digital offerings, with a very CBSN centric focus…

Rhodes said the core values and mission of CBS News are strong and the division is operating in the black. “We need to make money,” he said. More to the point, he added, “We need to not lose money.”

“Our daily operation is about broadcast journalism and video newsgathering and production. We have a large organization that’s set up around doing that activity globally in a high-quality way,” he said. “We have a variety of ways of monetizing that activity.”

CBSN is an interesting thing in what it does and how it does it. It is almost cable news like in how it programs. M-Fr, in the mornings it re-airs CBS This Morning with a one hour delay. It is then more or less live through 9 or 10pm ET with occasional re-airings of segements earlier in the day. On weekends it is more taped than live. There have been times when CBSN wasn’t live that I had tuned in hoping it was live. Commercials are somewhat infrequent for the Live broadcast but if you pick any segment that isn’t part of the “Live feed”…and by “Live feed” I mean whatever is currently airing under the “Live” banner whether truly live or not, you’ll get a commercial before you get the segment you picked.

Whenever I hear the term “monetizing” in regards to web streams I immediately think “more commercials” and that’s a tough sell. Web viewers are acclimated to the practice of airing one commercial before getting the content they selected so adding additional commercials will be a tough sell. Whenever I hear the phrase, “We need to not lose money” I think cutbacks; be they in infrastructure, the number of hours of live broadcasts, or getting cheaper talent…or at the very least talent that is amortized across a wider platform (read: not dedicated to CBSN).

Rhodes wasn’t very clear on how bad CBSN loses money or how he is looking to bridge that gap. So, as far as I’m concerned, nothing is off the table because Rhodes didn’t rule anything out other than an impending demise for the channel.

Home Movies…

Posted in Miscellaneous Subjects on December 8, 2015 by icn2

This is 1080p so you’ll want to watch it on YouTube…

I’m Back…and Cable News is Off The Charts With Paris Coverage…

Posted in Miscellaneous Subjects on November 15, 2015 by icn2

Still figuring out what time zone this is and catching up on all the news I’ve missed while on an island with horrendous internet penetration. How horrid? On the days I could find a wi-fi hot spot that worked, even Twitter took forever to update. Totally missed the Paris attacks and all the initial coverage. Very pleased to see Chris Jansing anchoring on MSNBC for the first time since she left for the White House beat. I see CNN put most of its A-Team on a plane to Paris. FNC has been wall to wall too.

Press Releases: 10/27/15

Posted in Miscellaneous Subjects on October 27, 2015 by icn2



Interview to Air During Special “Morning Joe” Live from Wichita on Tuesday, November 3

NEW YORK – October 27, 2015 – In a rare, exclusive interview, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski will sit down with billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. The interview will take place in the Koch’s childhood home in Wichita, KS and will explore the role of money in politics.

“Morning Joe” (weekdays, 6-9 a.m. ET) will air the joint interview in a special live broadcast from Wichita State University on Tuesday, November 3, one year out from Election Day 2016.