Archive for the MSNBC Category

Andrew Lack Back to NBC News?

Posted in CNBC, MSNBC on March 3, 2015 by icn2

Variety’s Cynthia Littleton writes that former NBC News President Andrew Lack is in talks to return to the network in some capacity…

Former NBC News president Andrew Lack is in negotiations to return to a top post at the news division in a management shakeup following the debacle that led to the suspension of “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams and other recent missteps by the news wing.

The discussions are in the early stages, but Lack is expected to return in a top role, if not the top job, overseeing NBCUniversal’s news operations: NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC. Pat Fili-Krushel, who has headed NBCUniversal News Group as chairman since 2012, may move to a different position within NBCUniversal.

We could idly speculate about this but I’m going to hold off until there’s actual news here…like an NBC press release announcing the hire…before I start opining.

More MSNBC Maneuverings…?

Posted in MSNBC on February 20, 2015 by icn2

The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove seems to think Chris Hayes will be the next to get the axe…

In the longer term, these sources said, the Rev. Al Sharpton—a larger than life personality who attracts a 35 percent African-American audience but continues, after 3½ years of nightly practice, to wrestle with his Teleprompter–could eventually be moved from his weeknight 6 p.m. slot to a weekend time period, as MNSBC President Phil Griffin attempts to reverse significant viewership slides by accentuating straight news over left-leaning opinion.

“Everybody in the food chain from top to bottom understands that the Olbermann era is over,” said an MSNBC source, referring to the glory days during George W. Bush’s administration when incendiary liberal Keith Olbermann regularly attracted a million viewers—many of them seeking refuge from White House and Republican talking points.

The MSNBC source said, “Going left was a brilliant strategy while it lasted and made hundreds of millions of dollars for Comcast, but now it doesn’t work any more…The goal is to move away from left-wing TV.”

MSNBC Dayside Changes…

Posted in MSNBC on February 19, 2015 by icn2

MSNBC announced a big set of changes to its dayside programming. It cancelled Ronan Farrow and Joy Reid’s shows, repositioning both hosts in new roles. Thomas Roberts will move off Way Too Early back to Dayside where he will anchor a two hour block. An MSNBC spokesperson described the changes:

Today, as part of our larger strategy to grow our news-gathering and content center, MSNBC is announcing new programming changes and investments in its dayside news coverage, that help us become a more nimble and integrated news operation, and better position us to cover big stories and do more in-depth original reporting and interviews.

First, as part of our focus on moving to more news-focused dayside coverage, we are announcing that Thomas Roberts will anchor a new daily two-hour block of news programming from 1-3 pm.

With this move, MSNBC dayside programming will now feature news-focused coverage beginning at 9 am with The Daily Rundown and continuing through 3 pm, which includes news-focused coverage provided by Tamron Hall at 11 am and Andrea Mitchell at 12:00 pm. Roberts, who also anchors a show on Shift, has years of experience anchoring dayside coverage for MSNBC during breaking news coverage. He has also hosted Miss Universe and been a co-host of The View. His new role will begin on March 2nd and Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski will fill in anchoring MSNBC’S Way Too Early until a permanent replacement is named.

Joy Ann Reid will become MSNBC’s national correspondent, and will produce original reporting for all platforms. She will return to her roots, as a multi-platform journalist with a respected and distributed take on the news, and will serve as a regular contributor for MSNBC’s primetime shows, and will become the first dedicated reporter for NowThisNews, which has been partnering with MSNBC to significantly expand production and distribution of video content to reach younger audiences who live and consumer media predominantly on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, Tumblr and other social platforms.

Ronan Farrow will launch a new series of primetime specials, featuring in-depth interviews with newsmakers, business leaders, artists, athletes, filmmakers, advocates, and elected officials. He will also continue to be a special correspondent featured across MSNBC’s programming. This is a role Ronan has been laying the groundwork for throughout the past year, building on his new-making interviews with Former President Jimmy Carter, Angelina Jolie, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Miley Cyrus, former presidential contender Mitt Romney, Gwen Stefani, and the first television interview with Malala Yousafzai after she won the Nobel Peace Prize. Ronan’s series will also focus on his in-depth reporting from the field, building on his coverage in Kenya examining problems in foreign aid; in Dallas covering the Ebola crisis; in the Midwest looking at terrorist recruitment within the U.S.; and on the US-Mexico border embedding with border patrol agents. He most recently traveled to Paris in January in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, and secured the first interview with Jeannette Bougrab, the partner of slain Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier. In addition to his focus on interviews, in his new role, Ronan will continue his partnership with the NBC News Investigative Unit.

Both Joy and Ronan will work closely with The Bridge, MSNBC’s editorial news hub directing coverage for digital and dayside.

Today’s news builds on an announcement MSNBC made yesterday that Tom Colicchio, the award-winning chef, restaurant owner, founder of Crafted Hospitality and TV personality, is joining the network as its first-ever food correspondent for all platforms. Stay tuned for additional updates on how MSNBC’s new strategy is unfolding.

Joe and Mika Interview…

Posted in MSNBC on February 17, 2015 by icn2

The Hollywood Reporter’s Marisa Guthrie interviews Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough…

How did the 8:30 segment evolve?

Brzezinski: It was Joe’s idea and something we’ve been talking about for years in different ways. Knowing Your Value really resonated, and still people come up and talk to me about it: the impact of women’s success, women breadwinners, on their lives and relationships.

Scarborough: Everywhere we went people would go, “Let Mika talk more!” So we have really reversed roles here. Mika runs it, [and] I’m Mika’s sidekick. This is a great format for her to own, to grow, and one that she didn’t ask for, [but] one that [executive producer] Alex [Korson] and I wanted her to take on because we knew how great she is.

Why didn’t you want it?

Brzezinski: We actually had different ideas for the half-hour, and I didn’t think of myself [for it], which is funny because now I am asking women who get promotions, “How did you do it? Did you step up and ask for it?” This is just something that evolved and seemed like we needed to do it; it’s interesting and it’s time. These conversations keep popping up. We’re meeting more and more women who are confronting these issues.

Press Releases: 02/17/15

Posted in MSNBC on February 17, 2015 by icn2



Day-Long Events Will be Held for Women in Philadelphia, DC, Chicago, Boston, and Orlando Throughout 2015

NEW YORK – February 17, 2015 – Today the NBCUniversal News Group announced an expanded partnership with Mika Brzezinski that will build on her New York Times bestselling book and brand “Knowing Your Value,” by launching a nationwide franchise including content and a series of live events in five cities in 2015. In each city, Mika and a group of experts, including both nationally and locally-recognized figures, will host a day-long program that will explore how women at all stages of their careers can overcome roadblocks to be successful and to create the lives they want. The live events will be designed to be accessible for women at all ages and levels, and will provide participants with training and mentoring opportunities as well as practical advice that they can apply both inside and outside of the workplace.

The “Know Your Value” tour will be part of a full-year program that will focus on building an engaged community where women can come together to coach, network and support each other to create their blueprint of success. Each event will feature panel discussions, breakout sessions, training and mentoring opportunities and aspirational speakers that will cover a wide range of topics, including negotiation skills, personal finance, health and wellness.
Continue reading

MSNBC Turmoil…

Posted in MSNBC on February 4, 2015 by icn2

In a must read, The Wrap’s Jordan Chariton confirms the entirely predictable to a chorus of “What took so long?”…

Network President Phil Griffin knows MSNBC needs to turn those numbers around quickly, and multiple insiders tell TheWrap Griffin is in the process of deciding what potential changes to make, including tinkering with primetime.

One well-placed insider told TheWrap that the ratings-challenged “All In” with Chris Hayes — airing in the cable news sweet spot of 8 p.m. ET — might get uprooted for a different timeslot. It’s not clear who will replace Hayes in the event that he gets yanked from 8 p.m., but since Keith Olbermann’s 2011 exit, MSNBC has filled the all-important timeslot with internal talent rather than seeking hosts from the outside.


“Ronan [Farrow] and Joy [Reid] — something has to change there,” another insider told TheWrap, adding that many within MSNBC believe one of the two — Farrow at 1 p.m. Reid at 2 p.m. — will see their shows canceled soon. The duo, who debuted on Feb. 24, 2014, have been major contributors to MSNBC’s daytime woes.

And then there’s this tidbit which is the biggest talking point in the whole story…

MSNBC’s other programming problem appears to be Griffin himself, whom multiple insiders told TheWrap is too attached to the hosts he’s selected and the shows they’ve developed, including Farrow, Reid, Hayes and Alex Wagner, who hosts “Now” at 4 p.m. ET.


“It’s stubbornness,” another insider told TheWrap about Griffin’s reluctance to axe struggling shows hosted by his handpicked talent. “There are certain shows and talent that are very much his. They were his ideas, so I think that’s where you see the least flexibility.”

Griffin, like Roger Ailes, prizes loyalty. Anonymous quotes stabbing Griffin the in the back are not exactly in that vein.

The thing is the anonymous source is right. Nothing contained in this story is news to anyone following MSNBC. Hayes at 8 was a problem from the beginning. Farrow was a problem from the beginning. The same goes for Reid and especially Wagner. We all saw it. It has been obvious for nearly a year that changes needed to be made. And Phil Griffin has doggedly dragged his feet, fiddling away while Rome burned.

Ad Wars…

Posted in CNN, MSNBC on February 2, 2015 by icn2

I know I’m late to this but I wanted to make a couple of points about Joe Concha’s article on Mediaite regarding last week’s CNN full page ad taking aim at Morning Joe’s ratings…

In the meantime, the “why” question around the impetus behind the ad is answered on several levels: Morning Joe threw the first punch with a full-page ad of their own last month. And then Joe‘s executive producer made it personal via publicly celebrating people losing their jobs and bringing schadenfreude down to a whole new level. Boosting morale and going on the offensive played a role as well.

Let’s not overlook the obvious though. While all of the above may have been motivating factors in targeting the ad at Morning Joe, CNN very well probably would have taken out some kind of ad regardless because CNN just shuffled its anchor rotation on New Day and debuted a new home for Morning Express and the network would have wanted to build off of both of those events and positive ratings information is frequently used by networks to generate amplify short term buzz.

What makes this ad noteworthy is that it makes a break with CNN’s past. This is the kind of ad that the CNN of ten years ago would never mount regardless of how aggrieved they may have felt. It’s not the way Time Warner liked to do things and as of just 8 years ago it was understood by CNN staffers that this kind of message was not the sort of thing a Time Warner organization should do. That much was made clear to me directly back then.

But that was Jim Walton’s CNN. This is Jeff Zucker’s CNN. With a new sheriff comes new rules.

It appears Fox News wasn’t mentioned because the #1 network wasn’t the focus.

Obviously. But don’t think FNC PR isn’t noticing this more confrontational CNN and is taking notes.


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