Archive for the MSNBC Category

Bri-Wi to MSNBC? No chance…

Posted in MSNBC on May 19, 2015 by icn2

TVNewser’s Mark Joyella tries to float a leaden trial balloon…a two hour Brian Williams show on MSNBC from 8-10pm.

I don’t think I could have come up with a more unlikely, cringe-worthy scenario if I tried.

Shall I rattle off why this won’t work, could never work, and would not even be considered?


– NBC is not going to pay Williams $50 million to work at MSNBC. Can you imagine the ad copy for that kind of move? NBC can. You think CNN had to wither through that multi-million dollar PR campaign number for Anderson Cooper that FNC and MSNBC flung in CNN’s face repeatedly? Just wait. This would be a lot worse.

– But let’s say for argument’s sake that NBC and Comcast collectively generate the biggest combined brain fart in TV history and decide to put Williams on MSNBC. For two hours? Nobody does two hours. You can’t book for two hours in prime. Hell, even the morning shows have stopped booking seriously past the first hour. The second hour is filled up with filler that you can generate and book quickly. And, here’s the thing, the morning shows have a fleet of staffers at their disposal to do this support stuff. Williams, if he were to get a 2 hour show, will have a staff that is nowhere close to that.

– Move Maddow to 10? You really want to mess that up…put all three prime hours at risk? No. You don’t move Maddow when you are messing with other parts of primetime. And since you don’t move Maddow, Williams doesn’t get two hours unless they want to bookend her show. CNN can get away with it because it’s doing news. Williams wants to be Jay Leno.

– Williams would, correctly, consider this a huge demotion. This is worse than a starting NFL quarterback being demoted to backup…or even third string. This is a starting NFL QB being sent to the European Football League as a third string backup. Williams will never go for this.

– And because of that, this means it’s Nightly News or nothing. Williams knows it. NBC knows it. Everyone out there should know it. This is why the odds are severely stacked against a Williams return to NBC. He wants the one thing that will mean the death of NBC News as a functional growing entity.

Ed Wins…

Posted in MSNBC on May 19, 2015 by icn2

The Daily Caller’s Betsy Rothstein writes about Ed Schulz winning the lawsuit filed against him. It’s definitely worth a read…not because Schultz won (though that is news). It’s worth it to watch Rothstein go incredulously apeshit over the verdict…

Judge Beryl Howell, an Obama appointee and donor, clearly played favorites. She had previously heard the case and ruled in favor of Schultz. Queen appealed her judgement — and won. The D.C. Circuit Court sent the case back to Howell’s court for a jury trial. She was unable to hide her contempt about dealing with the case all over again — and it showed.

She seethed. She scolded. For an entire week, she glared and grimaced her way through the trial and behaved in a completely demeaning manner toward the plaintiff and his counsel. Anyone watching the trial could see a stark difference between how she treated the plaintiff’s Catfish Abbott, a country style lawyer, and Schultz’s John Hayes, a corporate, uptight type whose only human moment was announcing that he changes his glasses.

Andrea Mitchell Profile

Posted in MSNBC on May 8, 2015 by icn2

Politico’s Hadas Gold profiles Andrea Mitchell…

Mitchell, 68, is back on the trail, acting more like a cub reporter hungry for her first scoop than a star television journalist with her own show or a Washington insider married to former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. She’s one of the most senior reporters covering the race, and one of the most aggressive, calling Clinton out, chasing her down, asking her questions — and occasionally getting a roundabout answer. Some sources suggest she’s getting under the Clinton camp’s skin, a rope-line irritant constantly shouting after the former secretary of state to answer questions. For Mitchell, it’s second nature.

“Sometimes people use the term ‘aggressive’ pejoratively. It is not anything to apologize for. I love to go after stories. I’m passionate about whatever I’m covering. I’m competitive, and I think nothing could be more important than getting under the surface of a political campaign, especially one this important, this historic,” Mitchell said in an interview.

As for constantly asking Clinton questions on the trail, even when she knows the Democratic front-runner is unlikely to answer, she explains: “It’s wanting to tell a story that’s more thorough and complex than a stage-managed event that the candidate is giving you, whether it’s Ronald Reagan, Hillary Clinton or George W. Bush.”

Focus: MSNBC…

Posted in MSNBC on May 4, 2015 by icn2

In a must read, Mediaite’s Andrew Kirell writes about Andrew Lack and MSNBC…

Mediaite has learned that Lack is now beginning to take an active role in the herculean task of trying to right that left-leaning ship: Specifically, Lack is now often attending MSNBC chief Phil Griffin‘s 11:30 a.m. editorial meetings; and, to quote one witness, Lack regularly appears “underwhelmed” with the story pitches.

Even more daunting for the staffs of three struggling MSNBC programs, Lack has requested evidence that their shows remain viable.

A couple of weeks ago, the executive producers of Now with Alex Wagner, The Ed Show, and All In with Chris Hayes were told to prepare “sizzle reels” of the best their programs have to offer. Theoretically, this exercise will help them identify what works best on their respective shows but, in reality, our sources say, any or all of these shows could soon be on the chopping block. The senior staffs of all three programs, we are told, are now concerned that their days are numbered.

I’ll bet. But my eyes really zeroed in on this…

NBC insiders tell Mediaite that while Lack likes Griffin personally, he has serious questions about Griffin’s ability to effectively run a big cable network like MSNBC. And, so far, we hear, nothing Lack has seen has changed that impression.

Shots fired! Start the countdown clock on Phil Griffin!

Related: Nobody likes a whiner Byers

This report on MSNBC – … – isn’t exclusive. I had it in mid-March

Uh…no you didn’t Dylan. Not even close. Oh sure back in March you wrote that everything is in play which is the theme Kirell’s article used as a headline. But the nuts and bolts of his article goes into specifics with behind the scenes tittle tattle that your March piece never mentions.

So instead of whining go pound your sources at 30 Rock. According to your Twitter feed today you have nothing else to do

folks: if you work for a media co., chances are you’re sitting on some good gossip…please get in touch, the day is slow:

MSNBC’s Al Sharpton Problem On Full Display in Baltimore…

Posted in MSNBC on April 30, 2015 by icn2

You can’t make this stuff up. Nobody’s imagination is that vivid.

It’s been a while since I wrote about MSNBC’s Al Sharpton conflict of interest. In fact it was nine months ago. I got tired of beating that comotose horse. It would take something new to get me back there again.

And today we have it. Al Sharpton, MSNBC host, is apparently fronting for the Mayor of Baltimore now.

In a strange encounter that involved a Fox News correspondent, the mayor of Baltimore, and the Rev. Al Sharpton, FNC’s Leland Vittert was shoved by security officers as he tried to question Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. When Vittert confronted the mayor, he appears to be pushed away by the mayor’s security detail. “Hey! Why can’t we ask questions,” Vittert demanded.

When Vittert pressed, it was Sharpton, an MSNBC host, who responded. “We can’t ask questions?” Vittert said. “You are a public official and we can’t ask questions?”

“You will have the opportunity,” Sharpton said.

This is why we have conflict of interest rules at networks. I don’t have a problem with Sharpton choosing to front for the Mayor. My problem is with MSNBC allowing its talent to front for the Mayor.

Washington Williams Turmoil…

Posted in MSNBC on April 23, 2015 by icn2

Over the weekend and going back to last week we had a bunch of “Bring Brian back” type stories trying to force the issue. I mention this because of Paul Farhi’s interestingly timed must read in the Washington Post on major blowback from NBC’s D.C. bureau about Williams coming back. Coincidence? Maybe. But I’ve seen too much in this industry to not wonder if this is pushback to all the “positive” Williams stories recently.

The meeting — details of which haven’t been made public before — was called in the wake of Williams’s six-month suspension from anchoring “NBC Nightly News,” the network’s signature newscast. Turness met with the division’s employees in New York and Washington to answer questions about the suspension and to get their feedback on the crisis enveloping the company.

One person who attended the Washington meeting described the overall tone as a “bloodbath” for Williams. But another news employee tempered that characterization, describing the atmosphere merely as “very raw” and colleagues as “shocked.” The individuals spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

In any case, the bureau staff offered a strong rebuke of Williams, whose troubles were still fresh in the news at the time. Among those who spoke against him were two of the network’s on-air correspondents, attendees said.

And don’t think NBC isn’t aware of how toxic this could be…

NBC sources in New York, however, caution that the meeting took place during a period of peak stress for the division and that some of the more extreme sentiments may have calmed down in the weeks since then.

Ouch. Not even a definitive statement countering what happened in D.C. The best these sources could come up with falls into the category glass half full.

More important: The NBC sources in New York apparently have no idea what the folks in D.C. are feeling right now. How do we know this? Because, again, there’s no definitive statement saying that things have indeed calmed down. Only a theory that they may have. Or a plaintive hope, if you will.

This means one of two things:

1) Either Farhi’s sources aren’t connected enough to what goes on down in D.C.; which if true raises the question of why Farhi’s bothering with them in the first place.

2) Or, Fahri’s sources are indeed that connected but they just don’t know what’s going on down in D.C. which indicates a major rift exists between the New York and Washington bureaus to the point that New York doesn’t know the current mood in Washington.

MSNBC Talent Tax Issues…

Posted in MSNBC on April 22, 2015 by icn2

The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple documents some pretty bad optics regarding certain MSNBC POV hosts and their positions on taxation when compared to their own tax problems.

Harris-Perry has said that her tax debt stems from 2013, but still: She and these other tax-payment-challenged TV personalities work for the network of activist, problem-solving government. Just watch one of MSNBC’s famous “Lean In” commercials or scan a day’s worth of coverage. In the collective ethic of MSNBC, there can be no excuse for tax delinquency.

Yeah, that’s not good. However, then Wemple tries to get MSNBC on the record…

And there’s even less of an excuse for MSNBC’s non-response to all this news. National Review fetched no response from the network. When the Erik Wemple Blog knocked today, the network again clammed up. A spokeswoman offered to go off-record with an explanation of things. We responded that we weren’t interested in spin that we couldn’t publish. Is it that hard for MSNBC to take a simple stand in favor of our common civic obligations?

I disagree vehemently that it’s MSNBC’s position or responsibility to have a public comment on this issue. These aren’t corporate officers we’re talking about here…people who have to answer to shareholders. These are staff…publicly facing staff but staff nontheless. This is a gotcha question wrapped up in a poison pill. It’s a lose-lose scenario. Any competent PR office is going to avoid this issue like the plague.

The network is not responsible for its staffers paying their taxes beyond their legal obligations concerning realm of standard witholding. The only question that matters is whether not paying your taxes amounts to a firing offense for the network. I think the obvious answer here is it’s not going to be. Nor should it be.

That does’t mean that comment shouldn’t be sought. But it should be sought from the parties accused, not the company that employs them. Granted, given this situation you have to go through the company to get the parties accused to comment but who seriously believes any of them would comment in the first place? I don’t.

Yes, they’re hypocrites. But that hypocrisy stops with them. It doesn’t extend to their employer, particularly when their employer hasn’t staked out any prior public position on the merits or lack thereof of the tax system. Had MSNBC done so, then it would be appropriate to seek comment from the network for these incidents. But that didn’t happen…


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