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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Clemente’

Operation ‘Butter Up FNC’ in Full Force by Politico

Politico has been working diligently to defrost its icy relationship with Fox News as of late. And it appears to be paying off, or at least moving in a cozier direction.

FishbowlDC has learned that FNC’s media relations department has been forced to “soften up” on Politico. “From the top it has come down that media relations have to be softer than they are,” a source who requested strict anonymity told FBDC. While Politico reporters may not start popping up on FNC programs by, say, next Tuesday, it is headed that way. “There are certain shows that would like to have them on and I think that will happen,” our source said.

But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. The two media entities are still in mid-thaw. Fox News and Politico have notoriously not gotten along, with a string of media writers placed on the infamous Black List (which exists no matter what they claim and, in fact, is discussed monthly). Just three months ago FNC PR snubbed Politico reporters, saying they “tend not to rate well” on the network. Politico responded with a sticky-sweet profile on “Special Report” anchor Bret Baier. Fast forward two months to today and Politico has a three-page story on “how Fox News has stayed on top” of cable ratings for a decade. Both stories are by Mike Allen.

We wrote Allen as well as Politico‘s editor-in-chief John Harris to ask if they’ve seen any uptick in FNC booking their writers. To Harris: “Are there any talks between Fox News and Politico to get more airtime for your reporters in the way MSNBC has?” To Allen: “In the past Fox hasn’t booked too many Politico reporters. Has that changed of late? Have you been booked on Fox before?” We also reached out to some of the talent at FNC to get their take on the matter. So far, no word.

Allen’s buttery piece quotes FNC execs as well as talent…

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FNC’s Obama Special: “In His Own Words”

061211_obama_vlrg_3awidec.jpgWill FNC’s special on President Obama this weekend escalate the already contentious relationship between the White House and FNC?

Michael Clemente, senior V.P. of news for FNC in New York, hints that like everything “lightening rod” about the network, some will like it, some won’t.

Watchers, he said, must decide for themselves.

“What’s unique about the special,” he said in a phone interview with FishbowlDC Thursday, is that the program is Obama’s words. There are clips of the President’s first year, his words and the “result” of those words. But no, no interview with Obama. FNC’s Bret Baier will anchor the one-hour program on Saturday and Sunday nights at 9p.m.

Clemente insists FNC’s version of Obama ‘a year later’ is different than the rest. “There’s been a whole bunch of this for the past week or two, but what we’ve done is not have any narration,” Clemente said. “I’ve seen a bunch of these packages. They’ve been all over the place because it’s a natural thing to do.”

The FNC news executive assured that the special would be — what else? — fair and balanced.

“What we’re trying to do is what we do as journalists,” he said. “Let’s have what we’ve seen and reported. It’s very innovative. People sometimes tire of being told what they’re seeing. All we need to do is string together the sound of what was said and what was done and let people just see it for what it is.”

Clemente isn’t worried about the program’s success. “I’m not comfortable talking about numbers, but we have increasing numbers of people watching what we do,” he said. “I hope they come. I think we have something innovative and different, especially different compared to everyone else’s predicable here’s what happened in the first year.”

Obama has essentially patched up his shaky relationship with FNC, granting interviews to correspondents such as Major Garrett, who covers the White House.

But earlier this week, White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer threatened to topple those flimsy relations in an interview with NYT’s Jeff Zeleny that the network is “not a traditional news organization,” and that he doesn’t feel the need to treat FNC like an ABC or an NBC. FNC shot back, “Obviously new to his position, Dan seems to be intent upon repeating the mistakes of his predecessor… and we all remember how well that turned out.” (See that story on TVNewser here.)

Clemente said viewers will be surprised. “It’s not what people expect from Fox,” he said. “I think people expect here’s what went wrong here, here’s what went wrong there. This is the President in his own words. Let’s just sit back for a moment and go through it.”

The below video on YouTube may not be the final version. (But watch it anyway, it’s close enough to the final cut.)

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Fox News and White House: “Truce”

A very reliable source tells FishbowlDC that Fox News SVP Michael Clemente met with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs this morning and reached what some are calling a “truce.”

Clemente then met with the FNC Washington bureau and encouraged staff to remain “fair and balanced.”

Morning Reading List 04.15.09

Good morning FishbowlDC!

Got a blind item, interesting link, funny note, comment, birthday, anniversary or anything of the sort for Morning Reading List? Drop us a line.

Its day 86 covering the Obama administration and week 11 for us. Also Tax Day. What we know and what we’re reading this Wednesday morning…

NEWSPAPERS | TV | ONLINE | MAGAZINES | NEWS NOTES | JOBS | REVOLVING DOOR

NEWSPAPERS

FishbowlNY: You may have noticed New York Times editor Andy Rosenthal is in the ‘Talk to the Times’ hot seat this week. Romenesko picked up this little gem of a question: “I find it a bit peculiar that the two women columnists, Maureen Dowd and Gail Collins, are satirical and humorous. I adore their writing, and generally think they are spot on, but it is almost like you cannot get a “serious” woman columnist. Do you agree?”

Says Rosenthal: “O.K., so I admit. I’m answering this because it’s a slow, hanging ball… I would be the last person alive to suggest that Maureen Dowd and Gail Collins are not serious columnists. They are indeed, very serious.”

The Chicago Tribune plans to cut another 20 percent from its newsroom staff in an effort to save money.

NYT: Newspaper publishers will start to report first-quarter results this week, but people who follow the industry and have had a glimpse of the 2009 numbers say it is clear that once again, even the most pessimistic predictions were not dark enough.

TV

TVNewser reported first yesterday that John Moody, the executive VP of news editorial for Fox News Channel, is leaving the network for a position with FNC parent company News Corp. Senior VP of news Michael Clemente will now oversee daily editorial duties.

The Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik thinks NBC’s David Gregory needs to liven up Meet the Press and pronto… “As one of the first critics to say David Gregory looked like he was going to be okay as the successor to Tim Russert, I have to acknowledge being disappointed in what I saw Sunday from the new host. Simply put, there was little energy and virtually no passion. And that is the opposite of what made Russert so compelling to watch.”

WaPo’s Lisa de Moraes: When pirates kidnapped the news cycle and held it hostage for nearly a week, Viacom was not discouraged by the fact that none of its TV networks had a real news operation. Its Spike TV network announced it had ordered up a reality series pilot in which the U.S. Navy hunts down pirates.

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich has made a deal to star in NBC’s upcoming summer reality show I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, the network confirms. “Rod Blagojevich will be a participant on the show pending the court’s approval,” said NBC in a statement.

ONLINE

Three longtime media executives, including CourtTV founder Steve Brill, are building an automated system to allow newspapers and magazines to charge for online access, including an “all you can read” subscription called Journalism Online that would allow access to multiple publications.

MAGAZINES

FishbowlLA: Michael Speier, Executive Editor of Variety, has been laid off. More cuts are expected to come at Variety throughout. The parent company of the publication, Reed Business Information, is laying off 7% of their staff.

Time Inc. CEO Ann Moore said yesterday that the company’s dramatic restructuring last fall — during which roughly 600 staffers at the mega-publisher were laid off — has proven to be an unmitigated success.

NEWS NOTES

Spotted at Monday’s season opener at Nationals Stadium by Reliable Source: George Will, Al Hunt, Luke Russert and James Carville. “It’s different… A little sad,” Carville commented on missing his friend Tim Russert at the games.

HAT TIPS: Mediabistro, Romenesko

JOBS and REVOLVING DOOR after the jump…

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