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Archives: March 2006

Not A Bad Deal If You Can Get It

Harry Jaffe reports that the WTWP, the Washington Post’s radio station, came almost free to the media giant.

“According to sources, the company didn’t pay a dime to move into radio. It got control of a radio station with AM and FM signals essentially for free,” Jaffe writes. “It pays zero to Bonneville for essentially moving onto the airwaves with its own station, WTWP AM-FM. The Post Company did pay for installing a radio studio inside its newsroom. Bonneville pays WTWP’s on-air hosts, Mike Moss, Bob Kur, and Hillary Howard. It also pays a fee to the Post for supplying content through its reporters. The Post gets a share of the advertising revenue if it reaches a certain level.”

Don Graham certainly knows how to bargain.

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Four Letter Word for Jack London’s Canine Star?

CNN this week took out a full-page crossword puzzle ad on the back cover of Roll Call–completed entries are worth a “Situation Room” t-shirt.

Here’s the puzzle:


Here’s the puzzle in downloadable form. Unfortunately, only originals are accepted for the contest, but you can still stump yourself with clues like 16-Down: “Situation Room’s well-suited inVESTor.”

> UPDATE: Here’s a way to get an original copy if you MUST have that t-shirt: The rules explain how to send away for an original copy of the puzzle.

Q1 Sunday Show Ratings

The Q1 ratings are out for the Sunday shows, and there aren’t many surprises. NBC’s “Meet the Press” clobbered everyone else, although ABC’s third-place “This Week” grew the most year-to-year of all the shows.

NBC trumpeted that “Meet the Press” has now placed first in total viewers for 34 straight quarters–the program’s best showing since at least 1980, as far back as NBC News research records go.

The numbers:
NBC “MEET THE PRESS” 4,110,000 1,430,000/1.2
CBS “FACE THE NATION” 3,190,000 1,260,000/1.0
ABC “THIS WEEK” 2,630,000 990,000/.8
FOX “FOX NEWS SUNDAY” 1,450,000 560,000/.5

> An emailer adds: “I work at CBS News and what NBC News is hiding is Meet the Press was the ONLY Sunday PA program to be down in viewers in March, -3%. ABC and FOX were both up 10% and CBS was up the most at 14%. In 25-54 viewers, Meet the Press was up the LEAST, 4%, FOX and CBS were up 13% and 17%, and CBS was up the most 31%. CBS is the big winner in March while NBC and Tim Russert are the big losers.”

Best Headline Ever

novakrobertdark.jpgThere aren’t that many people who get asked in an interview whether they’re the Anti-Christ. You can add Bob Novak to that list now.

The Hill’s Betsy Rothstein recently sat down with Novak for a short profile, and offers up a classic description of the “Prince of Darkness”:

“Novak’s office on Pennsylvania Avenue a few blocks from the White House suits him. The lobby is elegant, but the office is not. It’s small, cramped, disheveled. Its resident looks as though he’s just blown in from a gale, even though the day is sunny and clear. His white hair is in perpetual motion, with a tuft flying about. His extra-bushy eyebrows are at odds–one up, one down.

“Novak, 75, in black trousers, a white button-down shirt and black suspenders over an ample gut, says, ‘I don’t do any exercise. None. I don’t like to exercise. I don’t think it’s necessary. A lot of people think it’s necessary. I think it shortens their lives. It’s one of the problems with the world today. People spend too much time exercising and not enough time thinking.’”

So there you have it: Spending time on the treadmill is bad for you. On the other hand, think of how much worse it would be for you to see Novak in spandex on the ellipticals next to you at Washington Sports Club (although he’s probably more The Sports Club/LA type anyhow).

And, for the record, Novak denies being the Antichrist.

Just Asking….

Is WTWP really introducing Roxanne Roberts on the radio by playing “Roxanne” by The Police?

Today in the Post, Paul Farhi writes the least objective review of the new venture possible (accompanied by a photo by the Post of the Post’s own reporter talking on the radio), saying the paper hopes its new station will be “NPR on caffeine.”

Sure, good luck and all that, but really is “Roxanne” necessary?

CBS and XM Sitting In A Tree?

cbseye.jpgIs CBS eyeing Washington’s XM Satellite Radio? Rumors are flying on trading message boards that the Tiffany Network is in talks with Hugh Panero‘s baby.

The rumors are, of course, worth only what they’re written on (air/electrons), but the move could be a stunning development in the space race between XM and Howard Stern‘s Sirius Satellite Radio.

Washington Times…The Daughter

We told you a while back about Washington Times founder Rev. Moon’s daughter, Kat Moon, participating in a WB reality show, “Survival of the Richest.”

We now know why she signed up: to “quell her chronic boredom.” (Her show bio here)

Oh, poor little thing…

If she’s really that bored, we’re sure that it wouldn’t take Washington Times Managing Editor Francis Coombs long to find some work for her to do.

The Post Secretly Hearts NYTimes

The Washington City Paper makes a strong argument that the Washington Post might privately envy / obsess over the New York Times.

    Genetic engineering will be required to cure the Post of its obsession with the Times. The Times, after all, has long been the benchmark that the Post uses to mark its ascension as a player on the national media stage…

    The obsession these days shows up at 15th and L in a big bundle. The Post newsroom maintains 88 daily subscriptions to the Times–or roughly one paper for every 10 staffers. On Saturdays and Sundays, the pile drops to 32 copies. The annual cost for all that newsprint comes to $18,108. Those figures washed up on the Post critique site courtesy of Health section editor Craig Stoltz, who had asked the newsroom budget people for numbers on Times subs.

    The payments to the Times, Stoltz wrote, can go to more productive ends. Anyone who wants to check on the competition can do it for free on the Web, he said. “The more we and the Gray Lady watch each other, react to each other, scheme against each other, and hire each other’s disgruntled staffers, the more we become like a seasoned old couple that has been together for years and now shares each other’s mannerisms, values, friends and favorite movies,” wrote Stoltz. “We hardly notice that the youngsters don’t find us as interesting as we find ourselves.”

    Another good reason to ditch the daily Times watch: According to Post research dating to spring 2005, a mere 4 percent of Post readers also read the Times on weekdays; on Sundays, that number inches up to 5 percent. “To say we shouldn’t do a story because the Times has done it is a very big mistake,” says Post Associate Editor Robert Kaiser.

Do the NYTimers don’t return the favor?

    The Times plays coy on how much love it returns to the Post’s circulation people. When asked how many Post subs the Times buys, Times spokesperson Catherine Mathis responds via e-mail that the “folks in the newsroom weren’t comfortable” with coughing up a number. However, well-placed sources in the paper’s main newsroom and Washington bureau yield a count of at least 65 Posts.

    And the Times could well exacerbate the Post’s persistent circulation problems if a recent Times budgeting memo is to be believed: “We will be reviewing subscription accounts desk by desk in the coming months, with an eye to reducing the number of publications coming into the building.”

    If Times folk don’t quite reciprocate the Post’s fascination with them, it’s perhaps because they have more fronts to monitor. “Our attentiveness to the Post is no greater than our attentiveness to the Wall Street Journal,” says Times Assistant Managing Editor and Standards Editor Allan Siegal.

Fox Has Their Defenders

Were we too harsh / ignorant / dismissive (all of the above?) / dead on accurate when, this morning, we called Fox News’ post-party at Eyebar last night a “mixed success”? Apparently we were, since we’re getting an earful about it from Fox Fans today.

  • were you even at the fox news party? it was way better than the CNN party and it wasn’t full of all the wide eyed interns who can’t control themselves around B-list talent. the fox news party was the a-list party and the place to be.

  • What criteria are you using to call Fox News’ party a “mixed success”? I was there and it was really cool. i thought it was a smashing success


  • do you know anything about the Fox News party last night? i thought they weren’t having one, but this morning people are talking about a party that was awesome… it just wasn’t at the Hilton

Perhaps we were wrong, perhaps not. But we will say this: Any party half as good as the one these Foxes claim occurred last night would have left folks far too hungover to muster the strength/interest to anonymously complain to bloggers before noon.

And besides, seeing is believing. So send us the pics and we’ll gladly eat our words. And since it’s Fox, any pictures involving loofah’s are always appreciated.

Free Distractions

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