Jeffrey Lord Fired by CNN…

Posted in CNN on August 11, 2017 by icn2

This is stupid. CNN dropped Jeffrey Lord from its roster over a “Seig Heil” comment? Of all the things in the world Lord has done both on CNN’s air and off it, and they only fire him because he makes a sarcastic quip on Twitter?

Lord was an embarrassment for CNN in particular and the conservative cause in general and should have been dropped years ago. But the fact that this is what got him fired says a lot about the state of the network. You can repeatedly dumb down the on air discussion…a discussion the network repeatedly has tried to sell as a plus in its journalistic coverage…and the network won’t care but you do something stupid on Twitter and you’re dead meat.

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The Bolling Situation…

Posted in FBN, FNC on August 11, 2017 by icn2

I have held off writing about the Eric Bolling situation because, frankly, I don’t know what to make of it. Bolling was suspended pending an investigation by FNC after a Yashar Ali article came out in the Huffington Post saying that Bolling engaged in some rather Anthony Weiner like behavior a few years ago with a few FNC/FBN female colleagues.

Bolling has proclaimed his innocence and filed a 50 million dollar defamation lawsuit against Ali.

Usually with this kind of story you can get an idea early on which way things are headed but this time I’m just not sure.

On the one hand we have Ali’s story which allegedly has been corroborated in some way by over a dozen anonymous people.

And yet this story is coming out differently from what happened with the Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly (and even the Charles Payne) stories. In those, either lawsuits were filed (Ailes), legal settlements were paid out (O’Reilly), or a complaint had been lodged with FNC’s outside lawyers (Payne) before the story broke in the press.

But in this case it’s the opposite…the story has come out before anyone apparently filed any kind of complaint against Bolling. And the fact that said alleged photo, if it indeed exists, didn’t leak out after several years is…odd. These types of incidents usually do get out into the public domain by now.

That in itself does not repudiate the story outlined in the Huffington Post but it does make me sit back and go, “Hmmmmm…”

Just as FNC scrubbing Bolling’s name off The Specialists Twitter feed makes me sit back and go, “Hmmmm…”

…though not so much when you consider that The Specialists’ web page is 100% intact.

Update: Not 100% intact. Some changes were made. But not all traces of Bolling were expunged either so…somewhat inconclusive.

In a post Gawker world, the landscape for public defamation lawsuits has changed, particularly where web journalism is involved. Gawker’s demise has emboldened others to take a shot at cases that prior to Hulk Hogan’s legal take down of Gawker would not have been contemplated. Not that this means Bolling’s suit is meritless nor is that what I’m saying. But the idea of multi-million dollar defamation suit as intimidation weapon is a concept we can’t dismiss as easily as before.

One of two things will happen. Either FNC’s investigation clears Bolling (and any clearance better contain details as to why the charges don’t hold up) or the investigation turns up something and then FNC is in a pickle.

Losing Bolling would hurt…especially after Ailes and O’Reilly were forced out and Payne currently twists in the wind. It would permanently damage The Specialists which, despite FNC making this out to be a panel show, is really a Bolling vehicle. He’s the heart of it and if you search Twitter you’ll see a lot of tweets demanding Bolling be brought back.

The lawsuit itself is thorny. Either its an intimidation bluff attempt that will wither and die the moment the discovery process is opened or it’s the real deal and Ali’s in big big trouble. We won’t know for sure which way this is going until/unless it makes it all the way to court.

The lawsuit may actually complicate matters for the network. It would be particularly bad if FNC let Bolling back on the air but the defamation suit went ahead and Bolling lost after evidence came out in court refuting Bolling’s denials. That would put FNC in a bind. This possibility is one reason the investigation may take a long time to resolve itself because FNC may wait to see what happens with the court case.

HLN Officially Announces Costello/Cupp Launch Date…

Posted in HLN on August 7, 2017 by icn2

HLN announced that Carol Costello and S.E. Cupp’s shows will launch on August 21. Given that this was an official press release, we can be certain that the shows will indeed launch on that date. The prior dates (April, early July) were never officially announced.

HLN BOLSTERS LIVE NEWS PROGRAMMING LINEUP WITH PREMIERES OF CAROL COSTELLO AND S.E. CUPP ON AUGUST 21

‘Across America with Carol Costello’ (11am ET) and ‘S.E. Cupp Unfiltered’ (7pm ET) Join the Network

HLN adds two dynamic personalities to its live programming lineup it was announced today by Ken Jautz, EVP, CNN. Launching Monday, August 21, Carol Costello brings her journalistic prowess to “Across America with Carol Costello” (Monday – Friday, 11a – 1p ET) and S.E. Cupp delivers her candid point-of-view nightly on “S.E. Cupp Unfiltered” (Monday – Thursday, 7p – 8p ET).

“Adding Carol and S.E. to HLN further strengthens our powerful bench of journalists and hosts, and delivers on the network’s promise to add more live hours of news programming,” said Jautz. “Carol and S.E. are two of the most respected and recognized voices in the business, and we’re excited to bring their smarts and passion to the HLN audience.”
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July Numbers: MSNBC…

Posted in MSNBC, Ratings Related on July 31, 2017 by icn2

MSNBC is noting its July ratings…

MSNBC WINS A25-54 IN WEEKDAY PRIME IN JULY

MSNBC Dayside Leads CNN in Every Hour Among Total Viewers; Scores 2nd Highest Rated Month Ever in Total Viewers

MSNBC Weekday Prime Ranks #2 Across All Cable Networks in Total Viewers; Draws More Audience Than HGTV, History and TBS

“The Rachel Maddow Show” is the #1 Show for All Cable News in A25-54, A18-49 and Total Viewers

“Morning Joe” Bests CNN in A25-54 and A18-49 for the 2nd Straight Month and in Total Viewers for the 29th Straight Month

“The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” Tops FOX News and CNN in A18-49 and Total Viewers at 11pm for the 3rd Consecutive Month

More People Watch MSNBC Than CNN for Every Single Hour Weekdays from 6am Through 2am
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Andy Levy To Join S.E. Cupp’s Show…

Posted in HLN on July 26, 2017 by icn2

TVNewser’s Chris Ariens writes that former Red Eye Ombudsman Andy Levy is joining S.E. Cupp’s HLN show when it launches.
“When” being the operative word here…

It’s been many months in the making but it now looks like two new HLN shows, one hosted by S.E. Cupp and another hosted by former CNN anchor Carol Costello will launch next month, on the same day. HLN doesn’t yet have an exact launch date.

But an HLN spokesperson confirmed that Andy Levy, formerly of Fox News Channel’s Red Eye, is joining Cupp’s show as a senior producer and panelist.

Levy should make for an interesting panelist on Cupp’s show. But if I was holding my breath waiting for Costello and Cupp’s shows to launch since their announcement…I’d be long dead and buried by now.

Yeah…I’m being more cynical and sarcastic than usual. But CNN deserves it. It set up these shows long ago and then…and then…we waited as blown launch date after blown launch date passed by. I’m now thinking this was a money thing…that CNN didn’t give HLN the budget to launch these shows when they were supposed to launch.

If that’s the case it really tells you all you need to know about how CNN corporate views HLN.

Not very highly.

What a soap opera this has become.

What Is Going On Over At HLN?

Posted in HLN on July 18, 2017 by icn2

These are confusing times over at HLN. The network is showing signs of internal dissaray…or at the very least teetering on the edge of limbo.

How else to explain what’s happened since the network announced the arrival of Carol Costello and S.E. Cupp’s shows almost six months ago with deadlines that have since been blown and blown badly.

Cupp’s show was set to debut in June. It still hasn’t.

Costello’s show has fared even worse. First it missed a planned April launch. Then it missed an early June launch. Yesterday, TVNewser reported that it may launch in late August.

“May launch”.

Something very odd is going on over at HLN and it’s not set issues and probably not staffing issues…not after six months it shouldn’t be.

No…this is something…else.

So let’s speculate about what the “else” could be? We appear to have nothing but time to kill waiting for these shows to launch…

1) Budget realignment – The money isn’t there, for whatever reason (resource realignment, shifting priorities, etc…) and until it is Costello and Cupp’s shows are stuck in limbo, unable to launch.

2) Collateral damage from the AT&T/TW merger – The theory here is that the merger still being finalized (and not yet approved by the governmenet) has frozen HLN’s plans for the moment. I’ll admit that this theory is rather thin. I mean…HLN is still considered CNN’s bastard stepchild these days but it’s not that far gone that a merger should freeze new program launches. Unless…

3) Another network makeover is coming – I know, I know…that would be like what…the fourth or fifth makeover in the last 10 years? It would seem highly unlikely…and yet that could explain why neither show has launched if the new format would be incompatible with both shows. But this theory is undercut by the fact that we just got a new launch timeframe and the network has to be cognizant by now that each new launch timeframe that comes (and goes) makes the network look more and more feckless.

I’m thinking it’s some combination of 1 and 2. I think HLN is waiting…what for I’m not sure…but maybe its waiting for the merger to go through…

…and whether AT&T will be forced by the Trump administration to sell off CNN to have the merger approved. That is something I could easily see forcing HLN into “wait and see” mode.

Dana Klinghoffer to NBC News PR

Posted in FNC on June 30, 2017 by icn2

TVNewser’s Chris Ariens writes that Dana Klinghoffer, formerly with FNC PR, is joining NBC to handle PR for Megyn Kelly’s upcoming weekday show, among other things…

Dana Klinghoffer, who spent her entire professional career in the Fox News PR shop, is joining NBC News, TVNewser has learned.

Klinghoffer will oversee public relations for Megyn Kelly‘s new 9 a.m. hour of the Today show, as well as other PR duties. Klinghoffer left Fox News several months ago and has since married and was taking some time off before jumping back into the TV news game.

I normally wouldn’t write about this, despite the FNC angle, because it doesn’t really involve cable news. But this is not your typical movement story. If memory serves, Klinghoffer was essentially the #2 at FNC PR behind Irena Briganti. Her exit from FNC should have made news but apparently it went under everyone’s radar and that’s not easy to pull off.

But it’s a lot of PR firepower to bring to Kelly’s show. Don’t underestimate the comfort factor at play here. NBC could have easily put Kelly with its regular Today PR team but it probably wouldn’t click as well as bringing Klinghoffer in would.

There will be some who look at this move sideways as the latest example of NBC playing favorites with Kelly. To that I say…well YEAH…they just shelled out big bucks to bring her over from FOX…they better be doing whatever it takes to try and make it work. If bringing in Klinghoffer helps make it work, so much the better…