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Television

TURNing Tricks for Press

If you’re like FBDC, you may have received this tricked out press kit from AMC recently. The network is pimping out their new TV show TURN, about America’s first spy ring. Considering this is essentially a glorified DVD case, it’s been dressed up fancier than one of Eliot Spitzer’s “escorts.”

Disguised as a massive, leather-bound novel, this press kit contains: a DVD screener of the pilot episode, a pretty picture book of cast bios, a helpful info sheet on Revolutionary War-era spy tools, and a letter from Alexander Rose, author of Washington Spies -the book upon which the show is based.

Shepard Smith, ‘What’s Your Show?’

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Shepard Smith has been a part of Fox News since there has been a Fox News. But the longtime anchor took on a new challenge late last year: hosting a high-octane newscast from a futuristic (yet functional) studio without compromising the mission: report the news, first and fair. Oh, and keep the show No. 1 in the ratings. So far, so good.

In the first edition of the new MediabistroTV series “What’s Your Show?” Smith and his team take us behind the scenes of “Shepard Smith Reporting.”

Look for upcoming episodes of “What’s Your Show?” from MSNBC, Al Jazeera America and more. And to watch more MediabistroTV videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV.

AJAM Claimes Iran Behind 1988 Lockerbie Bombing

In a documentary set to be released tonight, Al Jazeera America claims to have unearthed new evidence that Iran was behind the 1988 bombings of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

“Lockerbie: What Really Happened?” will air tonight at 9:00 EST, and purports to show that the group responsible for the bombings was the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command (PFLP-GC). The group was supposedly responding to requests from Iran to avenge the shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655 by the USS Vincennes in July 1988, which killed 290 people. The US government shot down that civilian plane after mistaking it for an Iranian military F-14 Tomcat.

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Sunday Show Ratings, 3.2.14: ABC on Top Again

“This Week” dominated the ratings this past Sunday for the second week in a row. ABC pulled in the most viewers overall and the most in the key 25-54 demographic -3.67 million and 1.28 million respectively. CBS’ “Face the Nation” came in second with 3.34 million total viewers, and NBC’s “Meet the Press” came in 3rd place with 3.19 million.  ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox were all up in viewers compared to last week, amid much discussion of the crisis in the Ukraine, while Univision was down slightly.

Here’s more from our sister site, TVNewser:

The win was ABC’s first back-to-back win in total viewers in close to 16 years (since 4/19/98 and 4/26/98).

Compared to the same week last year, all of the networks are up in both ratings measurements, with “Al Punto” showing the most growth in total viewers, up +48%, and “This Week” showing the most growth in the demo, +51% in A25-54 viewers.

The numbers for March 2:

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
ABC
“This Week” 3.67M 1.28M
CBS
“Face the Nation” 3.34M 953K
NBC “Meet the Press” 3.19M 946K
FOX “Fox News Sunday” 1.32M 416K
Univision “Al Punto” 1.08M 507K

“Face the Nation” is based on the first half-hour only, as the full contiguous hour aired in just 50% of the country.

Chief WH Correspondent Slams VOA in Retirement Letter

Voice of America, the official external media of the US government, has been in decline of late. They have been hemorrhaging reporters and apparently suffering from a crisis in management. Now, after 34 years, Chief White House Correspondent Dan Robinson has had enough. According to a letter obtained by BBG Watch to the Broadcasting Board of Governors and the International Broadcasting Bureau -the agencies that oversees VOA – Robinson and other veteran reporters have been leaving because of “exceptionally bad and hostile management.” From the letter:

At one point, correspondents in Washington bureaus were discouraged from filing on breaking news. In its place, they were often tasked with producing “TV” reports that inevitably consumed numerous additional hours.

Due to staffing and technical problems in Central News, particularly relating to the production process, final “TV” products ended up being completed late, well after other media organizations had put out several layers of reports on a breaking news event.

Reporters too often ended up being mired in hours of email exchanges, phone conversations, and copy and paste exercises to produce scripts that “dumbed down” breaking events. 

Read Robinson’s whole letter after the jump…

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Fishbowl Five: Arwa Damon on the Syrian Civil War

Last night, CNN’s Arwa Damon received an award from Oxfam honoring her reporting on the Syrian Civil War. The network’s senior international correspondent has spent a decade reporting from some of the world’s most dangerous and fascinating places -including Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, Thailand, and now Syria. Earlier in the week, FishbowlDC was able to get Damon to answer some questions for us about her work.

Q: In your reporting on Syria, you’ve been involved with some truly devastating situations. How do you keep from being overwhelmed by all the terrible things that are happening around you?

A: It is overwhelming and at times suffocating.  Seeing others’ pain – watching as they cope with the tirade of emotions that comes with the unbearable loss of a loved one – can leave you feeling utterly helpless.  The only thing we can do is try to the best of our abilities, knowing that we can never fully succeed, to portray that to our audience in hopes of raising awareness and generating change.  The hardest part about Syria is that the sense among myself and many of my colleagues is that we must have somehow failed, that we’re just screaming into a dark vortex.

I can’t even begin to recall how many times I have been asked a variation of the question: “What’s the point of talking to you? The world is mocking us, listening to us, watching the videos you shoot and what’s on YouTube and yet, still mocking us. How can no one care?” And I can’t answer it.  I can’t explain how the world can watch and do nothing.

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AMC’s ‘Turn’ Takes over Union Station

If you’re passing through Union Station any time soon, you’ll probably be seeing a whole lot of this guy.

Don’t recognize him? That’s Billy Elliot (aka Jamie Bell), all growed up! He’s the star of the new AMC show “Turn”, about spies during the American Revolution. The show will be taking over Union Station with an ad campaign starting on Monday. And it’s quite an impressive campaign.  In total, they’re running 22 ad units, including kiosks, wallscapes, pillar wraps, floor graphics, banners, doorway posters, and two “sheets” -whatever those are.

The show will also star Burn Gorman (The Dark Knight Rises), JJ Feild (Captain America: The First Avenger), Angus Macfadyen (Braveheart), and Heather Lind (Boardwalk Empire).

If you wanna check it out, “Turn” premiers on April 6 at 9:00 PM on AMC.

FBDC Tweeterboard: Local Broadcast News

Earlier this month we took a look at the social standing of the DC publications and Washington-based national anchors. Now it’s time to turn our attention to local broadcasters. FishbowlDC tallied the Twitter followers of DC’s TV and radio stations, as well as those of the top on-air talent. Here’s what we found:

Top 10 Local Television and Radio Stations

1. NBC 4 (WRC)  - 68,947
2. CBS 9 (WUSA) - 52,733
3. WTOP 103.5 FM  - 51,723
4. ABC 7 (WJLA) - 46,702
5. Fox 5 (WTTG) – 32,080
6. WAMU 88.5 FM – 10,630
7. WFED 1500 AM – 9,629
8. PBS 26 (WETA) – 4,666
9. Univision 14 (WFDC) – 3,160
10. NewsChannel 8* – 2,466

Top 15 Local Broadcast Personalities

1. Angie Goff (NBC 4) – 25,576
2. Nikki Burdine (CBS 9) – 21,108
3. Britt McHenry (ABC 7) – 18,342
4. Doug Kammerer (NBC 4) – 16,936
5. Bruce Johnson (CBS 9) – 13,554
6. Shomari Stone (NBC 4) – 10,961
7. Julie Wright (Fox 5) – 10,789
8. Danella Sealock (NBC 4/WPGC) – 9,010
9. Tom Sherwood (NBC 4/WAMU) – 8,859
10. Russ Ptacek (CBS 9) – 8,811
11. Eun Yang (NBC 4) – 8,561
12. Jacqui Jeras (ABC 7) – 8,129
13. Jim Handly  (NBC 4) – 7,744
14. Chuck Bell (NBC 4) – 6,906
15. Jim Vance (NBC 4) – 6,747

The takeaway: NBC 4 is the most socially engaged of the local stations overall. They claim the number one spot among broadcast stations and their staff accounts for 9 of the top 15 local personalities on Twitter. CBS 9 comes next, with a solid second place in the station rankings and 3 of the top 15 personalities. And ABC 7 comes in third place overall -the station has less followers than WTOP, but they do contribute 2 personalities in the top 15.

*NewsChannel 8 is DC’s local cable channel.

Can You Guess Ted Cruz’ Favorite TV Journo?

During a Politico Playbook Breakfast this morning, Mike Allen asked Ted Cruz if he has a favorite newscaster. At first Cruz begs off, saying he doesn’t really watch TV. And when Allen presses him, he gives a pretty obvious answer for a Tea Party Republican from Texas: Sean Hannity.

ALLEN: Who is your favorite newscaster? 

CRUZ: (pauses)  … Who is my favorite newscaster… I actually don’t watch TV news a whole lot.  I mean to be honest it’s… 

ALLEN:  You talk to these men and women all the time…

CRUZ:  Oh, listen I’m – you know unsurprisingly if I am watching something it’s probably Fox news.  I like, I am a big Sean Hannity fan.  I wouldn’t call him a newscaster necessarily but I think Sean has a fearlessness that is welcome. I wish you saw – I wish you saw. 

But then he offers up a name that might surprise you. Find out which other TV newser Cruz admires after the jump.

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Jake Tapper Can’t Figure Out Why Women Would Disagree With Other Women

Jake Tapper interviewed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) on CNN’s “The Lead” today about her legislation to put sexual assault cases in the military under civilian control. What struck us about the interview, is how Tapper seemed to get stuck on the whole “women disagreeing with women” concept.

Of the 4 questions Tapper asked  the Senator, three were along the lines of, “But if you’re right, then why do other women disagree with you?’

Question 1) “But there is this independent panel, as you know, chaired by a woman with a mostly female composition that did not find evidence it would increase reporting. So is there evidence you have that taking it out of the chain of command will protect the victim, increase reporting or increase punishments?”

Question 2) “As you know, your chief rival, probably, I think that’s fair to say, in this is fellow Democratic woman, Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri.  She disagrees with you.  She has competing legislation. Why is she wrong?”

Question 3) “I believe you have 55 public supporters in the Senate for your legislation. But is it complicated at all for your cause, the fact that your chief rival in this is a — is a fellow Democratic woman senator?”

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