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Posts Tagged ‘Sam Feist’

Top 10 Most Memorable Media Breakups

By Betsy Rothstein, Peter Ogburn, Eddie Scarry and Piranhamous

Relationships are funny. They can last nights, years, or a lifetime. That can mean an eternity of laughs and love and mutual respect. It can also mean that you get stuck in a rut where it just drags on and on and you can’t stand the way the other person fake laughs at your jokes or crunches their cereal in the morning or never actually FOLDS the laundry, they just throw it on the floor. But, breakups happen. Sometimes, it’s no one’s fault — just simple, obvious incompatibility. Other times, it’s personal. Two people united in a vile hatred for each other. Heated blowups, spitting in food, infidelity, rage-filled silence and threats of lawsuits are all common symptoms of a relationship gone south. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, today we bring you the Top 10 Most Memorable Media Breakups of recent times. Enjoy!

10. Keith Olbermann and MSNBC  — Calling Keith Olbermann a “big fish in a small pond” overstates the ratings at MSNBC. He was more like a goldfish in a cereal bowl. But still, he was MSNBC’s biggest fish. So when they split last year, it came as a shock to his fan(s). It was an abusive relationship, for sure. Tales of Olbermann’s temper tantrums are the stuff of legend. The world in which his ego lives is one in where he his popular and influential, the world in which his body lives is the real world. When Olbermann abruptly announced on January 21, 2011, that that night’s Countdown was his last, his fan(s) cried, and throngs of Americans he painted as enemies, laughed. Both knew he would be back, his ego wouldn’t allow him to keep his opinions to his favorite and most loyal audience – himself. He returned to basic cable last fall, on something called Current TV. With production values just this side of public access and an audience almost as small, Keith quickly returned to his abusive habits. After some couple’s therapy, things seem to be going more smoothly. Not audience wise, no one watches Current TV, but at least Keith isn’t abusing the staff anymore.  Winner: MSNBC. They unloaded an angry man for whom no one enjoyed working. Loser: Olbermann. He’s now in the basement (both in ratings and, from the looks of it, his set). His contract with Current TV is technically larger, but based on company stock which, if the black hole that is his ratings don’t improve, is less valuable than a plastic bag filled with chewed gum. — Piranhamous

9. Pat Buchanan and MSNBC — As the closest thing to a Republican as MSNBC will allow on its air, you’d think Pat Buchanan would’ve had some job security simply based on the network’s desire to hold on to the last thread of a plausible claim of credibility and objectivity. If you thought that you’d be wrong. Buchanan, a former Republican and Reform Party candidate for President, was suspended for having opinions that strayed from the progressive orthodoxy MSNBC has sacrificed its objectivity for. Color of Change, the race-based thought police group, with the help of other left-wing groups, paid for an Astroturf campaign against Buchanan, to which MSNBC brass was only too willing to cave. Buchanan has a long history of saying stupid things, but had comfortably settled into the role of “right-wing” dancing monkey for MSNBC’s left-wing organ grinders. When the pennies stopped flowing he was cast aside for a newer, incredibly stupid model – Meghan McCain. While Pat is smart, McCain is not. Pat would probably call it  “affirmative action,” but it’s really, like our credit rating, a downgrading. Pat could make points and use facts that would stump and contradict MSNBC hosts, Meghan confuses the words “modicum” and “emoticon.” Winner: No one. They’re like the couple that should’ve broken up years ago, but stayed together for the kids. The kids are grown now, though they still live at home, so this break-up was a long time coming. Buchanan is ready to retire, and he’d actually have a larger audience if he retired to The Villages and just gave speeches in the rec room. MSNBC now has a pure line-up of progressive mouthpieces, so their audience won’t be threatened by being exposed to opposing viewpoints. It’s win-win. Well, technically it’s lose-lose, but who’s counting? — Piranhamous

8. Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker–  Almost immediately after ex-New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and WaPo‘s Kathleen Parker were teamed up for a primetime show on CNN, there were rumors that things just were cooling between the two. The show, titled “Parker Spitzer,” started in October 2010. Ratings were terrible, usually putting the show in last place in the cable news race. Then,  just four months after its debut, Parker announced she was leaving. A report in the New York Post said that Parker often felt upstaged by Spitzer who was more adversarial in his questioning of guests. The report said Parker “stormed off the set” during one taping of the program in November. But who ever thought Parker and Spitzer, who once had a thing for prostitutes, would make good bedfellows? After Parker scrammed for good, Spitzer was back the following week flying solo with a new program, “In the Arena.” That show itself was canceled nine months later. — Eddie Scarry

7. Politico and EVERYONE – Few media outlets have broken more hearts than the behemoth that is Politico. Last year alone, we saw them lay waste to several high profile reporters. Amie Parnes left her perch as FLOTUS-ass-kisser-in-Chief to cover the White House for The Hill. Chris Frates left Politico last year and jumped to NJ. This was particularly heartbreaking, since Frates had been with Politico since the beginning. Soon enough Politico threatened with threats of a lawsuit after Frates allegedly used a reader list for his new job — a charge NJ has always denied. Nonetheless, he pulled names to appease the situation. Kendra Marr resigned after she was busted plagiarizing the work of NYT writer Susan Stellin. We could go on and on and on with all the reporters that left Politico last year, but the most notable was Ben Smith, who left to become Editor-in-Chief at BuzzFeed. Sure, he’s still associated with Politico, but let’s not kid ourselves. They’re friends with benefits at best. — Peter Ogburn

6. David Shuster and MSNBC – This one goes back to 2010. MSNBC just didn’t know WHAT to do with David Shuster. He was their utility man, filling in for Keith Olbermann and various MSNBC shows. He had his own show with Tamron Hall, but no one could decide on which time slot to put him in. All of the back and forth and non-committal behavior from MSNBC prompted Shuster to explore his options. He filmed a pilot with CNN, which is a HUGE no-no. When MSNBC boss Phil Griffin heard of the news, Shuster was “suspended indefinitely” and later, sent packing. Shuster has landed on his feet after the ordeal. Or maybe he’s just landed. He is at Current TV as the primary substitute host for Olbermann and he hosts a weekend radio show on 1480AM. He also has plans to launch an investigative journalism website. Shuster gushed about MSNBC. Think warm fuzzies. “The breakup with MSNBC was amicable,” he told FishbowlDC. “We parted on mutually respectful terms… and I continue to have many close friends there.  Furthermore, leaving MSNBC opened up some amazing doors for me — a rewarding internet venture, weekly radio gigs that are as much fun as one can have in broadcasting, and the opportunity on Current TV to deliver the kind of analysis/commentary that I’ve always desired.  So, I have no regrets and wish the best to everybody at MSNBC.” — Peter Ogburn

See the five remaining breakups…

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CNN Promotes Acosta to Nat. Political Correspondent

CNN’s Jim Acosta has been upped to national political correspondent. Washington Bureau Chief and Senior V.P. Sam Feist announced the news today. Acosta begins his new assignment immediately.

“Jim has been an outstanding addition to the political team,” said Feist. “He has emerged as one of the key reporters on the campaign trail and his astute reporting skills will only help to position the network to dominate this important election cycle.”

Acosta remarked in a release: “Having grown up just outside of the nation’s capital, I’m very excited about this new assignment. I am honored to be part of CNN’s political team, which is second to none.”

In his new role, Acosta will work closely with the network’s political unit to provide coverage of the 2012 campaign including the primary races, the presidential debates, and the political conventions. He will also cover stories on policy and culture for various CNN programs, including “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” and “John King, USA.”

Previously…

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Lizzie O’Leary Lands at CNN

Lizzie O’Leary has been named  CNN’s Aviation and Regulation Correspondent. The newly created position will cover all means of transportation in the country and the regulatory agencies of Washington, D.C.

O’Leary recently departed from Bloomberg Television, where she covered politics and economic policy. Sam Feist, CNN Washington bureau chief and senior vice president says, “Lizzie brings to the beat everything we’re looking for. She is a smart and experienced reporter, and I look forward to Lizzie joining our ranks as we expand reporting out of the Washington bureau.”

O’Leary is also well-known for her snarky and entertaining Twitter feed. She was among the few at Bloomberg who were permitted to get all loosey goosey with her thoughts.

CNN to Makeover Studio B

Today CNN’s DC Bureau bids farewell to Studio B.

In a memo from Washington Bureau Chief Sam Feist, CNNers learn that programs like “The Situation Room” will no longer be broadcast from that studio — at least not until the makeover is complete. In the meantime, Wolf Blitzer moves to the Red Conference Room on the eighth floor. The changes will take eight months. The end result will hopefully resemble the photograph above.

Feist wrote, Today’s broadcast of The Situation Room will be the last from Studio B.   The set is going dark tonight — the first step in the long process to renovate the bureau’s main studios.”

Read the rest…

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CNN Announces Shifts for Two Longtime Journos

As we move in to 2012, CNN’s Washington Bureau Chief Sam Feist announces new positions for two “key leaders” of CNN Politics.

Mark Preston becomes CNN Political Director.  In this role, a release states, “Mark will be CNN’s primary contact with political campaigns at both the state and national level. His work is integral to organizing critical CNN events such as presidential debates and forums.  He will help set editorial direction for CNN’s programs during the election season, including primary and election nights. Mark is also one of the great political reporters in Washington and we will continue to lean on Mark’s reporting and analysis both on TV and online throughout the coming campaign.  Mark will report to Eric Sherling.”

Paul Steinhauser, meanwhile, becomes CNN Political Editor and supervising producer of the CNN Political Unit.  “He will be responsible for overseeing CNN’s political newsgathering operations. As the leader of the political beat, Paul will be responsible for assigning and managing CNN’s political coverage team including correspondents, producers, desk editors, polling, research, and the CNN Political Ticker. Paul’s proven leadership and keen political analysis will be invaluable as CNN heads into this historic election year. Paul and the Political Unit will report to Edith Chapin.”

More Debate Details…

CNN D.C. Bureau Chief Sam Feist does a media walk-through.

Notes about tonight’s CNN/Heritage GOP Presidential debate:

  • There will be 3 commercial breaks.
  • While we prefer Gingrich vast intelligence sandwiched between Perry and Romney considering he’s the frontrunner,  the order is as follows…L to R on stage: Santorum, PaulPerry, Romney, Cain, Gingrich, Bachmann, Huntsman.
  • 2500 attendees total.

How Much Klout Do You Have?

Beltway journalists’ obsession with Twitter has made “Klout me” the new “Google me.” We sometimes like to think of ourselves as ahead of the curve.

For those unfamiliar with Klout, it’s an online tool that measures how important you are in the Twittersphere on a scale of 1 to 100. Your level of importance (“Klout”) is determined by how many people are responding to and sharing your tweets. The more engaged people are with your content, the higher your score. Klout also shows what topics you’re most invested in, who you influence (meaning, who’s reacting to and sharing the messages you tweet) and who’s influencing you.

In voyeuristic fashion, we went ahead and checked the Klout on a sampling of Washington journos.

Dylan Byers: The new media reporter at Politico working with Ben Smith on his revamped blog. His Klout score is 57. The topics he deals in most on Twitter are pretty straightforward. They include: New York City, advertising, and family (aww). He influences Adweek‘s David Levine and Politico‘s Eliza Krigman. On the flip side, Think Progress and NYT‘s Brian Stelter shape his Twitter world.

Nia-Malika Henderson: National political reporter for WaPo. Some of her favorite Twitter topics are moms, Henderson, and Barack Obama. Who she influences most: MSNBC Al Sharpton‘s “Politics Nation” and “The Bill Press Show.” Those who influence Henderson are entirely exclusive to WaPo reporters, except CNN’s Sam Feist.

NJ‘s Major Garrett: Congressional Correspondent for NJ and, according to Klout, a New England Patriot’s fan. That’s the second thing he’s most engaged in on Twitter. Others are major league baseball and conservative politics. Garrett influences Wofford College and NJ‘s Chris Frates. He’s influenced by Slate‘s Dave Weigel and The Atlantic‘s Molly Ball. His Klout: 56. UPDATE: Major questions Klout’s validity. He writes in, “I AM NOT A NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS FAN…..I have never tweeted anything about the Patriots. I am a San Diego Chargers fan and San Diego Padres fan and fan of my alma mater, the University of Missouri and have tweeted frequently about them, but never, ever, ever the Patriots. Klout is seriously missing a klue.”

Current TV’s David Shuster: Former MSNBC anchor, current Current TV contributor/Keith Olbermann sub. He’s got a Klout score of 48 and an incredibly random group of topics he tweets about. Included are libraries, mother nature and religion and spirituality. Oh, and tea. Strange bedfellows: He influences WaPo‘s Ezra Klein but is shaped by Olbermann and FNC’s Bret Baier.

WaPo‘s Jonathan Capehart: Editorial writer at WaPo and high flying with a Klout score of 60. Some things he likes to tweet about: Rick Perry, LGBT and Africa. Find the common link. He influences 12,000 people, but no big names at the top. However, he pays a lot of attention to MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan, The Daily Caller‘s Matt Lewis and The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza.

NBC’s Andrea Mitchell: MSNBC anchor. She likes to tweet about food, coffee and photography. The people she most influences appear to be just a bunch of fans but her tweets are influenced by Herman Cain, Mitt Romney and Politico. Her Klout score is up there at 63.

Dave Weigel (couldn’t do it without him): Political reporter for Slate. His Klout is scored at an impressive 75. Some topics he deals in most on Twitter include earthquakes, Sarah Palin and job search. Sadly, the person he influences most is an account dedicated to Weigel: @Weigelisbored. The top three people who influence him are Politico‘s Smith and Jonathan Martin and new addition to Slate, Matthew Yglesias.

To be fair, we Klouted ourselves, too…

FishbowlDC: Yours truly. Our Kout score is a respectable 54. A few topics we apparently like to tweet about: Coma, guitar and Barbara Walters. Who’s paying attention to us: Sirius XM’s Julie Mason, FishbowlDC’s Matt Dornic and Washingtonian‘s Carol Joynt. Our biggest influences are, who else? Dave Weigel, Chuck Todd, Ezra Klein and Chris Hayes.

– EDDIE SCARRY

Layoffs in CNN’s Washington Bureau

Approximately a dozen CNN employees in the Washington D.C. bureau have been laid off. We understand that new editorial positions are being created across all CNN programming. The network’s Washington Bureau Chief Sam Feist sent a note to D.C. staff late this afternoon.

Our sister site TVNewser broke the news. Read more about company-wide layoffs here.

How it affects Washington…Feist wrote, “As these changes take place, we must also recognize the contributions of a number of people leaving CNN Washington. Some members of the Live Unit will be leaving. Earlier today, Jack Womack detailed changes taking place in Image + Sound and some of those changes will also impact our Photojournalist staffing in Washington. Separately the CNN Library is centralizing some of its core functions to Atlanta, which will impact some Library positions in Washington.I realize that these transitions can be very difficult and create many questions. However,we believe that the changes we are making here in Washington and across CNN will make us even stronger going forward.”

See Feist’s complete memo…

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CNN Names Sherling Director of Washington Programming

CNN has named Eric Sherling director of Washington programming. Sam Feist, CNN Washington Bureau Chief and Senior VP, announced the news today. Sherling rejoins CNN after serving as executive broadcast producer of Good Morning America at ABC News.

In this role, he will oversee Washington political programming. This means everything from The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer to John King, USA to State of the Union with Candy Crowley and Reliable Sources. Sherling will also play a lead role in CNN’s special campaign coverage that includes debates, primary nights, and Election night programming.

“We are delighted to welcome Eric back to Washington and to the CNN family,” said Feist. “His experience speaks for itself. He’ll be an invaluable asset as the network heads into the 2012 election cycle.”

His past is full of awards: Sherling first joined CNN in 2000 as a producer in the network’s Atlanta headquarters and rose to become executive producer of Wolf Blitzer Reports in Washington. He served as supervising producer of The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer when it launched in August 2005, later becoming executive producer of that program. Sherling began his career in television news as a producer at WTVQ in Lexington, Ky. and WFLA-TV in Tampa, Fla. Sherling earned his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Ithaca College and graduated cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center.

CNN’s New Guard Greets Fox Newsers

A peculiar welcome wagon awaited Brit Hume and Karl Rove outside Fox News’ Washington bureau on Wednesday night.  Before they could enter the studios for their respective hits, both Fox Newsers were forced to pass by some 200 guests of CNN’s New Guard fete.  Awwwwkward.

“Rove looks like he could use a drink,” remarked one party goer.  “Call him over,” suggested another.

But unfazed by the clinking of glasses and rumble of voices, neither FNC personality gave more than a glance at the crew who had congregated on the patio of Johnny’s Half Shell, right in front of Fox’s North Capitol Street headquarters.

Sipping vino and noshing the night away, under glowing CNN logos were ‘new guarders’ such as DOD’s Doug Wilson, UN Foundation’s Heather Wong, Wally Adeyemo from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, W.H. Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest, State Department new media guru Alec Ross, CIA spokeswoman Marie Harf, Doug Heye, Ayotte press secretary Jeff Grappone, Reid communications director Adam Jentleson, Jen Psaki, Thune’s Kyle Downey, Duke University’s Ronnie Chatterji, Rand Paul spokeswoman Moira Bagley and Becca Glover from Rep. Issa’s press shop.  They mixed and mingled with CNN’s Sam Feist, Wolf Blitzer, Dana Bash, Edie Emery, Megan Grant, Donna Brazile, Jill Chappell, Sarah Baker, Jen Scoggins, and media types such as The Hill’s Judy Kurtz, Kelly DiNardo, WaPo’s Amy Argetsinger, and soon-to-be Roll Call’s Abby Livingston.

At the end of the evening CNN bid their guests farewell with a gift: network-branded umbrellas, in case of rain.

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