Archive for the Miscellaneous Subjects Category

The NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt…

Posted in Miscellaneous Subjects on June 8, 2015 by icn2

CNN’s Brian Stelter writes about Lester Holt very likely becoming the new permanent anchor of Nightly News…

His assignment was originally supposed to last six months — the amount of time Brian Williams was suspended after ten years at the helm of “Nightly.”

But Williams is unlikely to return to the anchor chair when his suspension is up. Negotiations between NBC executives and Williams’ attorney are focused on two potential paths: a new role for Williams, or an exit from the network.

Either path leaves Holt in the anchor chair — unless NBC surprises everyone and risks destabilizing the show by appointing a new anchor. (Calling that scenario exceedingly unlikely is an understatement.)

So Holt, through the worst of circumstances, is stepping up to one of the best jobs in television journalism.

But will NBC really commit to Holt by naming him Managing Editor?

NBC’s Attempt To Keep Brian Williams Around?

Posted in Miscellaneous Subjects on May 31, 2015 by icn2

CNN’s Brian Stelter writes that NBC is looking for a way to keep Brian Williams around…maybe.

Weeks of complex negotiations between Williams and NBC are not yet complete, according to sources with direct knowledge of the situation.

There are any number of possible outcomes. Several of the sources said Williams could end up leaving NBC altogether following a financial settlement.

But another possibility, and the one advanced in recent discussions, involves a new role for Williams.
Andy Lack, the chairman of NBC News, has been a proponent of this outcome.

“Andy’s contorting to figure out a way to keep Brian,” one of the sources said.

A fool’s errand. Variety’s Andrew Wallenstein explains why

Whatever role he would accept at NBC News, he would likely want to be involved with the kind of substantive stories that he trafficked in at the anchor desk, and those stories will require he restore his reputation–so the network doesn’t really solve its problems by finding Williams another perch outside the anchor desk.

Lack could also opt to create a new “special correspondent” role for Williams to tackle big stories for various NBC News outlets beyond “Nightly News.” But Williams might want to give Ann Curry a call before accepting such an assignment. After her awkward ouster from “Today,” Curry was awarded a similar consolation prize and proceeded to spend the next few years floating like a ghost around the news division doing nothing of note. Having exited NBC in January, Curry clearly made the wrong career choice, letting the brand equity she built up at “Today” dissipate when she would have been better served jumping ship while still a known quantity.

Maybe Lack will figure out a more defined role for Williams so that he avoids Curry’s fate, but does it really matter where exactly he ends up? Whether Williams is an anchor or not, or on NBC or some other network, his credibility problem will be waiting for him.

Indeed. Anything short of Williams extraction from the news division is going to cause all kinds of optics problems both for NBC News and Williams. The one possibility would be in NBC Entertainment where Williams credibility (or lack thereof) should not be much of an issue.

Greg Guttfeld’s New Show

Posted in FNC, Miscellaneous Subjects on May 14, 2015 by icn2

TVNewser’s Brian Flood writes about Greg Guttfeld’s new weekend show on FNC debuting on May 31st…

The Greg Gutfeld Show is expected to have a comedic-commentary format, with parodies of current events and humorous monologues on news-worthy topics. FNC contributor Joanne Nosuchinsky will also be on the program.

“Every host of a new show likes to say they’re breaking new ground. So why should I be any different. This show will forever change the way you watch television, plus guests provide their own transportation,” Gutfeld said.

A Brian Williams-less Upfront…

Posted in Miscellaneous Subjects on May 11, 2015 by icn2

In a semi-must read, The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove uses this week’s NBC upfront as an excuse to talk about Brian Williams. And we have new shots fired…

“What if there’s a story about a presidential candidate who lied or embellished his resume?” said an NBC News veteran who, because of the sensitivity of the subject, spoke on condition of anonymity. “How do you have Brian Williams in that chair, intro-ing that story, without all of America guffawing?”

A second NBC News veteran expressed concern that the 55-year-old Williams—judging by quotes in various news stories attributed to “friends” of the anchor—might not fully grasp the gravity of his mistakes.

Valid points all the way…particularly the second source.

While Williams’s attorney, Robert Barnett, “is fighting tooth and nail to get him his job back”—not negotiating a partial payout of Williams’s reported $50 million 5-year contract, according to an NBC News veteran—the anchor is likely not hearing what he needs to hear.

“It’s a tricky area,” this person said. “Sometimes a hired gun will tell you what you want to hear. If Brian’s goal is a comeback, the hired gun’s goal is a comeback. They say, ‘it won’t be pretty, but we can fix this, we can make this happen.’ They’re not going to say, ‘Look, buddy, you have got to get a grip on reality. You are gonna continue to be tabloid fodder, and if you think you’ve had it bad so far, your return to NBC is gonna be a total shit show.’”

Another wrinkle, and not a trivial one, is that the 55-year-old Holt, a respected and well-liked figure among his colleagues, has narrowly lost in the Nielsens in recent weeks to ABC World News Tonight anchor David Muir, but he has managed to stay in the game—with zero promotion.

The fact that Holt is doing relatively well at the formerly top-rated Nightly News—whose viewership began eroding more than a year ago under Williams—complicates any decision to take him off Nightly in favor of Williams or another anchor—say, the Today show’s Savannah Guthrie.

Guthrie has NO shot. None. Zero. Nada. Nil. NBC is not going to destabilize Today on a pretty big gamble that Guthrie will be able to do better than Holt. If NBC were to go that route it could very well wind up with both properties in a worse state than they currently are.


“Either way, Andy wants to own this decision,” said another NBC News insider. “He wants to go through it in detail—watch every single piece of video…Frankly, it’s nice to have somebody in there who can own it, so everybody will be like, ‘OK, we can live with the decision, whatever it is.’”

Except, in the end, it’s ultimately Steve Burke’s call. Burke has “owned this decision” ever since he took Williams off the air. Lack’s opinion will carry considerable weight with Burke but it’s going to be his call.

Hi There, Remember ME?

Posted in Miscellaneous Subjects on April 29, 2015 by icn2

Page Six’s Claire Atkinson writes about Brian Williams…

This time, Brian Williams may not be exaggerating.

Talks between the exiled anchor and NBCUniversal have recently become tense — with the 55-year-old newsman saying he will not have his “NBC Nightly News” job taken away without a battle, The Post has learned.

“Brian is saying he’s not going down without a fight and [is] threatening to make it really ugly — worse than Ann Curry,” a source close to NBC told The Post.


Ann Curry. Those are two words that would scare the hell out of NBC brass.

Leak Wars…

Posted in Miscellaneous Subjects on April 27, 2015 by icn2

Well after several anti-Williams leaks, which occurred after several pro Williams stories the week before, The New York Daily News’ Don Kaplan has the next pro-Williams piece and this one raises the ante big time…

This ship’s captain doesn’t want to throw the anchor overboard.

NBC News chief Andrew Lack is looking for a way to put Brian Williams back behind the “Nightly News” desk, sources tell the Daily News — and Williams has told confidants he won’t leave the network unless he’s fired.

“Andy believes viewers want him (Williams) back,” the source said. “The feeling is that (Williams’) problem seems to be more with the media and other reporters than his viewers — if Andy can figure out a way to get him back on the air he will do it.”

Oh boy. If this story is accurate, it really puts Lack and NBC behind a barrel…though not the same barrel. If Williams doesn’t come back, Lack looks weak. If Williams does come back, let the intra-network sniping commence…not to mention all the late night jokes at Williams’ expense for as long as he’s the face of the network.

This is all about leverage at this point. Last weeks leaks looked to give leverage to NBC if it opted not to keep Williams for some justification based on these 11 incidents. Today’s leak makes it look like Williams won’t make it easy for them to do it.

So much posturing…so little time. And then there’s this…

Lack is said to be furious over the leaks and his attitude bolsters a theory among observers that there is a power struggle occurring within the highest ranks of NBC News.

“The fact that there has been no resolution and that he (Lack) is still searching for a way to restore Brian is making it very hard for us to move forward,” a network source said.

And this…

But Williams is said to be less concerned with the money and almost obsessed with restoring his tarnished reputation.

He should start by looking in the mirror methinks. None of this happens if not for his actions.

And Open Letter to Helena Andrews

Posted in Miscellaneous Subjects on April 26, 2015 by icn2

Dear Helena,

We’ve never met. We don’t know each other. Until today, I didn’t know who you were. Last night I was introduced to you via three seconds of very unfortunate video of you. Like several others, I posted a screen grab. More than once.

I knew you would get identified eventually. That’s the nature of things that go viral on the internet.

So you’re a gossip type columnist for the Washington Post. I’m a 10 year media blogger…which I guess means I’m about as reviled. So we have that in common at least.

What we don’t have in common apparently is a respect for the national anthem. I must assume you have no respect for it because a) you were caught diddling on your cell phone while everyone else was reverentially at attention, and, b) because of how you responded to the firestorm that erupted.

Apparently someone saw me on TV “texting” during the dinner. FTR I was taking notes. On my phone. Because it’s 2015. #WHCD

No, Helena. We didn’t see you texting during dinner. Nobody is going to care if anyone texted during the dinner…except maybe for this guy.

No, Helena. We saw you texting during the national anthem. In case you didn’t know it, being a gossip columnist and all, the national anthem is when we stop what we’re doing and stand at attention in reverence to our country and all it stands for.

That would, you know, include the Constitution. You know the Constitution don’t you Helena? It’s that piece of paper upon which our country was built on. It has a bunch of stuff in it including the Bill of Rights.

You know the Bill of Rights, don’t you Helena? Certainly you must be aware of the First Ammendment? You know, the one that has that bit about Freedom of the Press…which even in your profession is kinda relevant?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

When journalists stand at attention for the national anthem out of respect for our country, out of respect for what it stands for, out of respect for the Constitution which binds us all together, they do so knowing that they live in a country which gives them a degree of freedom to write in a way which many nations in this world do not. They are grateful for that distinction. It emboldens them to take risks, to put their profession on the line time and again, because they were raised in a country which fosters and nurtures such behavior. And it can come with a great great cost. I’ll now quote what the President said last night at the WHCD…

Investigative journalism; explanatory journalism; journalism that exposes corruption and injustice and gives a voice to the different, the marginalized, the voiceless—that’s power. It’s a privilege. It’s as important to America’s trajectory—to our values, our ideals—than anything that we could do in elected office.

We remember journalists we lost over the past year—journalists like Steven Sotloff and James Foley, murdered for nothing more than trying to shine a light into some of the world’s darkest corners. We remember the journalists unjustly imprisoned around the world, including our own Jason Rezaian. For nine months, Jason has been imprisoned in Tehran for nothing more than writing about the hopes and the fears of the Iranian people, carrying their stories to the readers of the Washington Post in an effort to bridge our common humanity. As was already mentioned, Jason’s brother, Ali, is here tonight and I have told him personally we will not rest until we bring him home to his family, safe and sound.

These journalists and so many others view their work as more than just a profession, but as a public good; an indispensable pillar of our society. So I want to give a toast to them. I raise a glass to them and all of you, with the words of the American foreign correspondent Dorothy Thompson: “It is not the fact of liberty, but the way in which liberty is exercised, that ultimately determines whether liberty itself survives.”

Thank you for your devotion to exercising our liberty, and to telling our American story. God bless you. God bless the United States of America.

You heard those words, right Helena? Or were you too busy “taking notes”?

This is why we show respect at the national anthem. This is why we stand at attention. This is why we don’t diddle on our cell phones. If we need to diddle we wait the forty or so seconds it takes to play the anthem and then we diddle.

You might consider all this the next time you are at an event with the President and the national anthem is played.

Of course, I’m just a blogger so what the fuck do I know?


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