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Posts Tagged ‘Jon Klein’

CNN’s Zucker to Meet With NABJ to Discuss Network’s State of Black Journalists

CNN President Jeff Zucker is scheduled to meet today in Atlanta with the leadership of the National Association of Black Journalists to discuss the state of black journalists at the network, FishbowlDC has learned.

Bob Butler, Vice President of Broadcast for NABJ, posted a note on the group’s Yahoo list serve last night saying that he, President Greg Lee and Executive Director Maurice Foster, will sit down with Zucker today.

The meeting comes on the heels of an announcement last week that morning show anchor and NABJ member Soledad O’Brien is transitioning to a new and less visible role at the network producing documentaries.

Speculation continues… Read more

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CNN ‘Starting Point’ Staffers Brace Themselves

The announcement that CNN is totally revamping its morning show and scrapping Soledad O’Brien‘s “Starting Point” has sent shivers through her staff.

Insiders tell us Executive VP Ken Jautz and VP Bart Feder addressed the staff after the show went off the air today. Suffice it to say, the era of Jeff Zucker is underway.

In a nutshell, the execs said they have no answers for the staff and were unable to address most of their questions. Members of the staff were assured their jobs were safe, but one veteran of the changing show carousel at CNN says they would be naive to believe that.

“Every single one of these people should be preparing their resumes and trying to get out of that building as fast as possible,” a network insider told FishbowlDC, explaining that staffers are worried for their jobs. The prevailing feeling is that O’Brien, who previously worked with Zucker at NBC, will end up in another role.

For the month of January, “Starting Point” drew an average of 264,000 viewers. MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” drew 468,000 and FNC’s “Fox & Friends” drew 1.07 million. “Morning Express” on HLN drew 218,000. The broadcast shows (CBS, ABC, NBC) drew millions more than any of the aforementioned programs. In other words, “Starting Point” is behind everyone except its sister network HLN, and HLN is getting close.

Another network insider with a vantage point to this morning’s meeting said it was hilarious to watch Jautz and Feder address the “Starting Point” staff, considering they were two of the main culprits who contributed to the potential demise and dismantling of the show.

From day one, “Starting Point” was in disarray, according to multiple sources aware of the drama going on behind the scenes of the show. It wasn’t supposed to debut in January, 2012, but the decision was made to rush it on the air to coincide with the Iowa caucus. From its launch the show was never fully staffed; all the promises of branding and promotion never materialized; and the constant executive in-fighting over what to do with the show angered its host and staff.

Former CNN Managing Editor Mark Whitaker, who announced his resignation Tuesday, loved the panel format because he desired the show to have the same buzz as MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” But Jautz hated the panel, resulting in it being downsized from 7-9 a.m. to 7:30 to 9 a.m. And when Soledad was off, the panel was only on from 8-9 a.m.

Jautz also detested a single-anchor format. He preferred a two-anchor format, even going as far as focus-group testing Brooke Baldwin and John Berman when O’Brien was away.

So as Whitaker and Jautz waged a constant battle over who would control the destiny of CNN – a scenario set up by then-CNN President Jim Walton when he divided up the duties of Jon Klein when he was canned – “Early Start” and “Starting Point” were ground zero for their battle.

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Wolf Well-Done: CNN Toasts to 20 Years of Blitzer

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Last week, thirty-nine of Wolf Blitzer‘s closest colleagues including David Bohrman, Candy Crowley, Jill Dougherty and John King toasted to Wolf’s twenty years and solid ratings at CNN. The dinner, held at Cafe Milano was kicked off with remarks by CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein and wrapped when Wolf’s wife Lynn shared personal reflections of Wolf’s time at the network.

A bright spot for the network, The Situation Room’s ratings are up year-over-year, beating MSNBC in both the 5 and 6 PM hours.

Well done, Wolf.

Campbell Brown Resigns From CNN, Spitzer to Slip Into Brown’s Spot?

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CNN’s Campbell Brown has resigned. The following are statements from both CNN President Jon Klein and a heartfelt letter from Brown explaining her reasons for leaving.

STATEMENT FROM JON KLEIN, PRESIDENT OF CNN/U.S.
“Today is about Campbell. We want to wish her well as she begins the next phase of her life. We respect her decision to leave. We will announce our programming plans in the coming weeks.”

An Excerpt From Brown’s Statement
“Simply put, the ratings for my program are not where I would like them to be. It is largely for this reason that I am stepping down as anchor of CNN’s “Campbell Brown”. …The simple fact is that not enough people want to watch my program, and I owe it to myself and to CNN to get out of the way so that CNN can try something else.”

(Read Brown’s letter after the jump…it’s well worth the read.)

Mediaite first reported the news of Brown being let out of her contract. Read the story here.

Meanwhile, the Washington Examiner is reporting that former N.Y. Gov. Eliot Spitzer may be getting his own show — it’s Brown’s slot on CNN.

Read TVNewser’s analysis of Brown’s time at CNN and subsequent departure here.

MSNBC, the network on which Spitzer occasionally substitutes as host, had no comment.

Read the scoop on Spitzer here.

> Update: The Washington Examiner, while declaring a posssible Spitzer replacement, has Spitzer himself denying the move to CNN to replace Brown. Other journos around town join bandwagon to point out the discrepancy in the story.

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CNN Flat-Out Denies Jon Klein Scolding of John King’s Show

It’s a classic ‘he said she said’.

Today the Washington Examiner is reporting that CNN President Jon Klein dressed down John King’s new program, John King, USA, by way of Senior Executive Producer Sam Feist and Executive Producer Michelle Jaconi.

But CNN says it isn’t so, and Spokeswoman Edie Emery reiterated the network’s denial to FishbowlDC today.
“That conversation didn’t happen — but like all CNN programs, ‘John King USA’ will continue to evolve. John is one of the best political reporters, and we have confidence in the show and its journalism,” Emery told the Examiner.

The story was written by the Examiner‘s Yeas & Nays Columnist Tara Palmeri, a former CNN news assistant who spent just a few months shy of a year at the network.

Larry King Plays Musical Chairs

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Larry King’s turbulent night of finding the right seat.

“Count Larry” King, as he was dubbed, played his own personal game of musical chairs at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner Saturday night.

While sitting at one of the CNN tables, King first drew attention to himself by approaching the dais during dinner in a Count Dracula blazer (“What is he wearing, a cape?” a dinner attendee asked.) to chat up President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. When he returned to his table, he grew annoyed and complained to the waiter that lights from the track lighting high above were shining in his eyes.

So King moved one seat over, trading seats with Seth MacFarlane, creator of “Family Guy.” This placed him next to CNN President Jon Klein. But that didn’t do the trick. King was soon on the move again, this time to the other side of Klein, which now sat him next to a tall blond. Dinner attendees wondered if the woman might be a good fit for “wife number nine”.

With the whole cape get-up and moving seats so much, dinner attendees joked that he was behaving like a bat and suggested he might land another seat: hanging upside down from the ceiling.

> Update: Other overheard jokes – 1)“I don’t mind Larry King dressing like a vampire. But does he have to drink Gloria Borger‘s blood?” 2)“Oh, give poor Larry King a break. After all, he had the best after party … in TRANSYLVANIA!”

This photograph, taken by FishbowlDC, truly epitomizes King’s mood for much of the evening.

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The Most Powerful People in TV News

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TVWeek has released their “10 Most Powerful in TV News” list today. Who else but Fox News President Roger Ailes (who has long been called the “most powerful name” in news) tops the list. For as much as cable and national news channels squabble amongst themselves, all vying to be on top, they’ve all landed somewhere on this list.

Some numbers have more than one correspondent underneath. For instance, number 10 is soon-to-be ABC “This Week” host Christiane Amanpour and CNN’s Candy Crowley.

Highlights:

2. Steve Capus, NBC News; Phil Griffin, president, MSNBC
3. Jom Klein, president, CNN/U.S.
4. Sean McManus, president, CBS
5. Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart
6. David Westin, ABC News
7. FNC’s Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck
8. Barbara Walters and the Women of “The View”

Read the full story here.

King Gets Dobbs’ CNN Time Slot

CNN announced this morning that John King will take over the 7pm time slot vacated by Lou Dobbs just last night.

King is host of “State of the Union” and he will continue to anchor CNN’s Sunday show until the beginning of next year, when his week night program begins.

In a press release CNN/US president Jon Klein said: “John has enthralled CNN viewers with his vast political knowledge, and he has spent the past year reporting from beyond the Beltway on pressing policy issues and the real people they impact. Every night, he’ll share his passion and his insights about what is really going on in Washington and across America.”

And King said he is “thrilled”: “There is a lot of noise and conflict in our political discourse, which is fun to cover, but I’m convinced from my travels that people also thirst for more details as well as insight and context. I’m looking forward to combining those conversations with top newsmakers, smart reporting and expert analysis.”

Network Statements On The Death Of Walter Cronkite

ABC News Anchor Charles Gibson: “Walter Cronkite was and always will be the gold standard. His objectivity, his even-handedness, his news judgment are all great examples. He, as much as anyone, is responsible for developing network television news. He set the standard. He told it ‘the way it is’ and all of us who are privileged to work in this business owe him an enormous debt of gratitude.”

Brian Williams, Anchor and Managing Editor, NBC Nightly News: “America has lost an icon, our industry has lost its living giant, and all those who learned about the world from Walter Cronkite have lost an exceptional teacher.

He loved his country and had a profound effect on it. He told us the truth in a plain-spoken manner. He never forgot that he was one of us, and yet we admired him so. That’s why I can’t help but fear that his loss means we’ve lost a tiny bit of who we are. He was a founding father of our profession. Others had done the job before him, and yet no one before or since has had just a mystical hold on the American people. He perfectly reflected his audience and our times. Watching Walter do what he did — better than anyone — was a formative experience. While he was deeply uncomfortable with overstatements of his own importance, those of us watching at home were so comfortable knowing he was in that chair during those years of great change and upheaval.

To use the terminology of his beloved sailboat, he was our national barometer, our compass and our rudder. With Walter at the helm of that broadcast, we knew we would sail through whatever crisis we faced as a country. He always seemed to point the wheel, with a gust of wind in his sails, toward our collective North Star.

On a personal note, Walter Cronkite was the man I grew up wanting to be. Our household, like many, came to a halt when his broadcast came on the air each night, and dinner was served only after he said good night. Knowing Walter was among the great blessings of my life.”

Roger Ailes, Chairman & CEO, FOX News: “Everybody who’s in the news business today was influenced in a positive way by Walter Cronkite. He had ability, humility and integrity, a rare combination.”

Wolf Blitzer, CNN: “Walter was the perfect anchor. He gave us the news and so much more — not because he was a polished news reader but because he was a world class journalist. He knew how to dig and ask the right questions and report the news. In the process, he helped us understand our country and the world and ourselves.

To this day, whenever there is a big story, I always say to myself: I wish Walter Cronkite were around to anchor the coverage. Walter inspired me and so many other journalists, and he will be deeply missed.”

After the jump, statements from David Westin, Steve Capus, Tom Brokaw, Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters, Jon Klein, Larry King and more…

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A Look At The Future Of Investigative Reporting, Just In Time For IRE Conference

TVNewser contributor Alissa Krinsky‘s timing sure is good. She has a piece up on the future of investigative journalism just in time for the Investigative Reporters and Editors conference this weekend, held this year in Baltimore.

Krinsky also interviews Aram Roston, who was formerly with NBC based in DC and who now freelances for publications like GQ. “For years, people have been talking about how it was in the ‘good old days,’” he says. “Obviously, [investigative TV reporting is] maybe not where it was, but there are very powerful [network] units, and they’re doing really good work.”

Read on here.

Speakers at the IRE conference include: WaPo‘s Bob Woodward, VF‘s Donald Barlett and James Steele, NYT‘s Jill Abramson and Dean Baquet, ABC’s Brian Ross, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, CBS’ Armen Keteyian and Byron Pitts, and David Simon, creator of “The Wire” and a longtime Baltimore journalist. CNN-US President Jon Klein will also give this year’s keynote address. More info is available on IRE’s website.

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