Archive for the MSNBC Category

Chris Hayes Profile…

Posted in MSNBC on November 24, 2015 by icn2

The International Business Times’ Brendan James does a deep dive profile of Chris Hayes…

The atmosphere is dire, a bit like when a radio station gets a new format. No one is safe. After his daytime colleagues were taken out, Hayes was naturally viewed as the next to go.

“Look,” he said when asked about the vibe, “one notices what is happening in one’s workplace.”

“What I do think is true: It’s been pretty clear since I started this job that, when the story that’s driving people’s attention is politics, we do well as a network,” he said. “And when it’s not politics, we do less well.”

Despite the directive from up top to shed the channel’s identity as the supposed liberal counterweight to Fox News, Hayes said he hasn’t felt any pressure to change. “It has not affected the show in any direct way. There’s certainly not been, like, ‘Don’t do any liberal stuff.’ We are what we are; I am what I am.”

Many TV viewers only discovered what he is, and who is he is, in 2011, when Hayes got his first MSNBC show on Saturday and Sunday mornings, “Up With Chris Hayes.” He was raised in the Bronx by an Italian-American mother and an Irish Catholic, onetime seminarian father who organized in the style of radical activist and conservative bogeyman Saul Alinsky. His career was born in Chicago’s alt weeklies, first as a reporter, then as a commentator and essayist. In 2006 he became a fellow at the Nation magazine, an elder statesman of the American liberal press, where he later became Washington, D.C., editor.

What makes this notable is the executive who chimes in with the obligatory “Hayes is great” commentary isn’t from either NBC or MSNBC. It’s The Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel. Nobody from the network vouched said a word. No Phil Griffin saying, “He’s our guy.” or any other kind of public affirmation. I do find that noteworthy though its significance will only be determined over time.

MSNBC’s Curious Brian Williams Utilization…

Posted in MSNBC on November 19, 2015 by icn2

Since the Paris attacks, MSNBC has been using Brian Williams a lot but it’s how they’re using him that has me scratching my head.

For starters, I may be wrong on this but I don’t believe he was on either Saturday or Sunday (not sure on the former but I know he wasn’t on the latter). Those two days were the hottest days to have him on the air…especially Saturday. He may have been out of position due to other commitments which would be excusable. Or he may not, which would be inexcusable.

But he was back on Monday and on a lot the rest of the week. But it’s that part that really has me puzzled. His role at the time his return was announced was to be on for breaking news. But a lot of the times I saw him on air this week so far, there was no “breaking news” per se. A pattern started to develop where he’d be on the air for a few minutes at the top of the hour each hour and then the regular anchor for that timeslot would take over. Sometimes he’d make a return appearance during the hour. Sometimes he wouldn’t. Most of the time no news was breaking. Today they moved him out of his news nook in the back of the newsroom and put him in the main anchor desk…I guess for optics reasons. On air the nook looks less prestigious than the main desk).

Now if I’m MSNBC of course I want to use him. He’s got the name recognition and despite his fib-a-thon he still commands some gravitas (though it has been awkwardly painful to watch him toss to Lester Holt in Paris). But by using him MSNBC is bascically undermining the original premise for his being there…covering breaking news. He’s not doing that with most of these appearances. Instead of covering breaking news, he’s covering a story that has a lot of heightened news awareness by the general public. Those are not the same thing. They’re not even kissing cousins.

Not that I ever thought MSNBC would keep Williams around for just breaking news. I knew that the press release stating his assignment was mostly smoke and mirrors to downplay the move and that they’d start working him in as many ways as possible. I’m just making sure everyone sees that’s what’s going on.

MSNBC To Air Bloomberg Programming?

Posted in Bloomberg, MSNBC on November 19, 2015 by icn2

CNN’s Dylan Byers writes that MSNBC is considering Mark Halperin and John Heilman’s Bloomberg show at 6pm…

The talks, first reported by New York Magazine, center around rebroadcasting Bloomberg’s 5 p.m. show “With All Due Respect” at 6 p.m. on MSNBC, sources at both networks who are familiar with the discussions said.

“With All Due Respect” is hosted by “Game Change” co-authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, who are regular guests on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

It’s worth noting in Gabriel Sherman’s original story on this, that Andrew Lack wanted to move Lawrence O’Donnell to that time slot but O’Donnell balked. That I find very interesting.

But back to Halperin and Heilman. Byers also drops this poison pill…

For many at NBC, the idea of rebroadcasting a competitor’s show feels desperate. “Talk about out of ideas,” one on-air talent at MSNBC said. “We’re going to run a rerun of another rival network’s show? As a programming decision that is completely insane.”

Ouch. That struck a nerve at 30 Rock because NBC Universal News Group’s Senior Vice President of Communications Mark Kornblau punched Byers in the face on Twitter

Talk about conflicted. We (CNN) are going to cover our competition’s possible moves and pretend we are neutral?

There are reasons to tee off on CNN’s media reporters and the not at all clear roles they have which lead to conflict of interest charges being thrown…mostly doing with the coverage of their own network. But this particular attack smacks more of sour grapes than anything else. What’s Byers going to do? Not quote what some MSNBC talent gabbed to them about? Please…

But back to the main story. The anonymous MSNBCer is dead on. This is wrong on so many levels. It’s bad for MSNBC morale. It undermines Englewood Cliffs. And it gives even more exposure to a duo which already appear all over the place. This is one idea best left on the drawing board.

Working For a Living…Working!

Posted in MSNBC on October 28, 2015 by icn2

When I heard about Melissa Harris-Perry’s ludicrous PC out of control commentary on the term “hard worker” I just rolled my eyes but that’s about all I wanted to do. The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple does considerably more…he goes through Marissa Harris Perry’s past brushes with the term “hard worker”…

In none of those instances did Harris-Perry uncork any lectures about the historical context of hard work or hard workers. Perhaps that’s because those discussions didn’t fit into the framework of “relative privilege,” which the host cited as the trigger for her outburst against Aguilar. Some clarification on just when guests on Harris-Perry’s show may reference hard workers appears to be in order, given the vague parameters laid out by the host. Yesterday this blog contacted MSNBC in search of an interview with Harris-Perry but was rebuffed. No comment.

Until we get further word, we’ll have to trust the record: When folks who share Harris-Perry’s ideology reference hard work, they’re fine. When a guy who doesn’t share Harris-Perry’s ideology references a top Republican’s hard work, he’s not so fine. “I think she saw me as the conservative on the panel and she let me have it,” Aguilar told this blog.

CNBC, Nielsen, And The Future…

Posted in CNBC, MSNBC, Ratings Related on October 7, 2015 by icn2

This flew under my radar screen. This video snippet is Linda Yaccarino, NBCUniversal’s Chairman of Advertising Sales and Client Partnerships, being interviewed by Randall Rothberg from the Interactive Advertising Bureau about TV measurement when the subject of CNBC exiting Nielsen comes up.

Some pretty jaw dropping bits in there…like Nielsen using only 9 homes for CNBC’s C3 measurement sample.

Also of note is the veiled hint that MSNBC (and NBCU sports channels) could follow CNBC off Nielsen.

Olbermann Back to MSNBC?

Posted in MSNBC on October 6, 2015 by icn2

Mediaite’s Joe Concha, who must surely have NBC in full leak investigation mode by now with the way he’s been able to break scoop after scoop recently, writes that Andrew Lack is going to meet with Keith Olbermann. Somewhere, Robert Cox is on his knees saying “Please-please-please-please”

So with all of that said, a well-placed source now informs me that a meeting has been set between Olbermann and Lack to discuss his return to the network and his old 8:00 PM slot. This arrangement was something that Mediaite’s Andrew Kirell first wrote about as a rumor in July; when asked for comment, a network executive with knowledge close to the situation tells me, “It is patently untrue.”

It’s not impossible. It does seem rather implausible with Phil Griffin still running the network. But stranger things have happened. If ESPN can bring him back…MSNBC can too.

But if he comes back and leads off with “As I was saying…” one more time I’m going to throw a brick through…welll…someone’s TV…

Flying Under the Radar?

Posted in FNC, MSNBC on October 5, 2015 by icn2

I’m going to say this once. If we beat up on MSNBC for trying to put non-journalists in journalist roles, why is everyone so silent about this?

Network Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes is happy with his new hire. “I’ve followed Abby’s work for some time,” Ailes said. “I believe she is talented and headed for a bigger future.”

Replace the words “Abby Huntsman” with “Ronan Farrow” and “Roger Ailes” with “Phil Griffin” and this starts looking very deja-vu-ish.


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