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Shutdown Begins: Stalemate Forces First U.S. Government Closure in 17 Years (The Washington Post)
The U.S. government began to shut down for the first time in 17 years early Tuesday, after a Congress bitterly divided over President Obama’s signature health care initiative failed to reach agreement to fund federal agencies. Hours before a midnight deadline, the Republican House passed its third proposal in two weeks to fund the government for a matter of weeks. Like the previous plans, the new one sought to undermine the Affordable Care Act, this time by delaying enforcement of the “individual mandate,” a cornerstone of the law that requires all Americans to obtain health insurance. TVNewser President Obama gave a brief statement Monday afternoon as the threat of a government shutdown loomed over Washington. He began by listing off what agencies would continue to operate and which would not. “I think it is important for everyone to understand that the federal government is the country’s largest employer,” Obama said. “A shutdown will have a very real economic impact on real people, right away.” HuffPost With the government hurtling toward a shutdown, the media dug in for some round-the-clock coverage on Monday. From the competing countdown clocks to the continuing stream of elected representatives appearing on camera, cable news was in its element: circling around and around the same few pieces of news, getting hosts and guests to argue with each other, speculating, postulating and predicting over and over again. Reuters The U.S. Agriculture Department’s public face, the usda.gov website, will “go dark” and be linked to an informational page in the event of a shutdown, allowing no access to USDA data banks, a spokeswoman said on Monday. WSJ / Washington Wire Washingtonians have remained stoic, even dismissive of news that a government shutdown could halt garbage pickup, street cleaning, and pothole-repair come Tuesday. But when the National Zoo announced Monday that continued congressional impasse would shutter the zoo and its Panda Cam, the sole window onto the zoo’s newborn cub, fans traveled the stages of grief, from rage to bargaining and grim acceptance. “This just got real,” wrote several contributors to the zoo’s Twitter feed.
Posts Tagged ‘NBC’
Our first thought was Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm. But, as a fellow ew.com reader replied to us in the comments, we had the right show but wrong actor. If anyone on the AMC-TV series were to be pegged to embody the original crown prince of late night talk, this person argued, it should be John Slattery.
The challenge for the makers of this week’s announced NBC series, based on the delayed, forthcoming bio by Bill Zehme, is to find someone who can both sort of look like Johnny and sort of sound like him as well. In The Late Shift, Rich Little played Carson but because he could only carry one half of the challenge, he did not really score a full hit.
We’ve been giving this more thought. Truly, figuring out who could, should play Carson prior to the producers of the miniseries making their choice known is this year’s most fun casting parlor game. Our new suggestion for the Carson role, as of this afternoon, is…
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CBS, NBC Retract Navy Yard Shooter Reports (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
CBS News and NBC News retracted reports about the identification of the Washington Navy Yard shooter on Monday, just minutes after each network reported that the suspect in question was a Navy chief petty officer named Rollie Chance. CBS’ John Miller reported that Chance was a suspect before 1 p.m. on Monday. NBC News later reported the same information and continued to do so past 1 p.m., even after Miller reported that the initial reports about Chance were wrong. Finally, at 1:05 p.m., NBC political director Chuck Todd tweeted: “NBC News: we are now NOT reporting name of shooter; retracting that report. deleting those tweets.” HuffPost NBC’s Pete Williams said the error came from sources who found an ID card that looked like the suspected gunman. The false reports were perhaps the most prominent errors in a day filled with confusing and contradictory information. The shooter was later identified as Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old from Fort Worth, Texas. Slate / Future Tense Deleting tweets doesn’t undo the damage. That said, Todd deserves at least some credit for continuing to report and tweet about how the mistake transpired. The Washington Post / Erik Wemple Given that other outlets reported the name, and that they subsequently turned out to have been right, what could CNN possibly have been waiting for? The Erik Wemple Blog put that question to CNN. Spokeswoman Edie Emery responded that the network didn’t go with story until “the FBI told CNN the name on the record.” Revolutionary. Had CBS News and NBC News followed that prescription earlier in the day, they wouldn’t have pushed the bogus name of a suspect into the public realm. The Washington Post / The Switch A section for finding the Navy Yard shooters on the popular online community Reddit has been banned. Reddit became a gathering place for amateur sleuthing in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing earlier this year, fueling what some reports called “online witch hunts” that resulted in some people being falsely identified as the bomber.
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Washington Post to Be Sold to Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon (The Washington Post)
The Washington Post Co. agreed Monday to sell its flagship newspaper to Amazon.com founder and chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos, ending the Graham family’s stewardship of one of America’s leading news organizations after four generations. Bezos, whose entrepreneurship has made him one of the world’s richest men, will pay $250 million in cash for the Post and affiliated publications to The Washington Post Co., which owns the newspaper and other businesses. The deal represents a sudden and stunning turn of events for the Post, Washington’s leading newspaper for decades and a powerful force in shaping the nation’s politics and policy. The Washington Post / Jeff Bezos The values of the Post do not need changing. The paper’s duty will remain to its readers and not to the private interests of its owners. We will continue to follow the truth wherever it leads, and we’ll work hard not to make mistakes. When we do, we will own up to them quickly and completely. HuffPost / The Backstory On Monday at 4:15 p.m., Washington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth informed staff that there would be “an announcement” just 15 minutes later in the paper’s first floor auditorium. Some speculated that the Post had sold its historic downtown Washington headquarters, which had been on the market for six months. Following the Bezos announcement, a Post staffer described colleagues as “shocked and stunned.” NYT Perhaps the biggest surprise in the sale is that it happened under the watch of Donald Graham. All scions of industry do their time on the shop-room floor, but Graham had shown that he didn’t want to just inherit his enterprise, he wanted to earn it. The idea that Graham would sell the paper, whatever merits the sale might entail, seemed as unlikely as Henry V giving up the crown. But on Monday, Graham seemed at peace with what he had done. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Carl Bernstein: “I have high hopes that [Monday's] announcement will represent a great moment in the history of a great institution: recognition that a new kind of entrepreneurship and leadership, fashioned in the age of the new technology, is needed to lead not just the Post, but perhaps the news business itself, in combining the best of enduring journalistic values with all the potential of the digital era — including a profit model that will finance a renaissance of the kind of reporting that is essential for Washington, for American journalism, and for the world.” CJR / The Audit We have now officially entered the oft-predicted Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper industry’s collapse. New Republic Craigslist’s Craig Newmark has not bought the Post, thank goodness — that would be too much to bear. But Bezos as the white knight provokes only slightly less shock and dolor. We knew the other guys had won a long time ago, but it’s another thing when they can waltz in and, in the charmless guise of “Explore Holdings LLC,” drop $250 million in cash for a legendary paper (that’s a mere one percent of Bezos’ net worth), as flip and easy as plucking an Apollo rocket engine from the ocean or building a $42 million, 10,000-year clock in West Texas. NYT / DealBook If it wasn’t clear that newspapers have become trophies for the wealthy with an interest in journalism or power — or a combination of both — it should be now. TVSpy The acquisition does not include the Post-Newsweek station group; Cable ONE, Slate, TheRoot.com, Foreign Policy and Kaplan are also not included in the deal. The Washington Post Company will be changing its name. TheWrap / MediaAlley Washington Post Co. shares immediately spiked on word that the company had sold its money sucking newspapers to Bezos. In immediate after-hours trading, shares climbed nearly 5.5 percent to $599.85.
The Tonight Show has been an NBC staple since 1954. For the first 18 years of its existence, Tonight was recorded in Rockefeller Center beginning with original host Steve Allen. In 1972, Johnny Carson, already a decade on the job, brought the Tonight Show to Burbank, California, and with it all the stars Hollywood could offer.
Now a pair of bold moves are reportedly set for the once vital franchise that would bring the show “home.”
There have been rumors for weeks, if not months, regarding current Tonight host Jay Leno‘s status. The New York Times‘ Bill Carter says Late Night host Jimmy Fallon is expected to get the coveted promotion by the fall of 2014. But Carter also reports Fallon will take the Tonight Show back to New York. Late Night with Jimmy Fallon is broadcast from 30 Rock.
The Times quotes a senior executive saying, “There is no way on earth that this is not going to happen.”
Photo credit: treehugger.com
Don Pardo, the legendary NBC staff announcer, has been the Saturday Night Live voice for every season except one, since its debut in 1975.
So when Pardo, who turned 95 on February 22, is absent from the show, it’s news. He missed the February 16 broadcast, and the next live show, this past weekend.
TMZ reports that Pardo recently suffered a broken hip. The entertainment site says he’s recovering and “doing just fine.”
In an apparent attempt to keep Pardo’s injury hidden, his trademark opening credits were done by someone else in a poor version of a Pardo impression.
NBC has stayed quiet about Pardo’s condition and status with the show. FishbowlNY also attempted to reach Pardo directly.
Beginning two seasons ago, Pardo retired to Arizona, pre-recording the SNL work from his home studio.
The February sweeps period, which helps determine ad rates for local stations, ends next week. But reports already show a dubious distinction for NBC. For the first time in its history, Comcast’s newest property will be dead last. Actually to clarify, that’s not third place among the “Big Three” networks, or fourth with Fox. NBC dropped to fifth, behind Univision.
That means the key coveted demographic of 18 to 49 year olds, would rather watch those shows than English-language broadcasts on NBC.
That also means having such a weak lead-in has to be more than a slight distraction to affiliates.
While the official numbers won’t be released until Thursday, it doesn’t take an M.I.T. graduate to figure how this will really hurt all levels of 30 Rock. But the station is more hopeful.
“As you know, sweeps continue for another week,” a WNBC spokesperson tells FishbowlNY. “We are holding 100 percent of the prime time lead-in audience, which is what we did last year, so we are staying the course.”
Count Brian Williams among the many people who don’t like Rock Center with Brian Williams. According to the New York Post, Williams is going to separate himself from the struggling show, which has been shuffled to four different time slots already.
Sources claimed that with the latest shift (starting February 8, Rock Center will air at 10 p.m. on Fridays) Williams “will start distancing himself from the show. It may even no longer be called ‘… With Brian Williams’ and other people will start anchoring the show.”
Apparently with low ratings piling up, there is some uncertainty as to whether Rock Center will continue, and Williams wants to save face if the show is canned. But c’mon, how could anyone stay mad at Williams? Look at that hair. And that smirk! Only people who are good inside/very, very rich smirk like that.
The Library of American Broadcasting is marking its 10th year of immortalizing industry greats. The 2012 edition of the Giants of Broadcasting include two career radio executives, pioneering television newsmen, a man who made a weekly commentary “must see TV,” and a man who helped launched the 24-hour news cycle.
That man is Ted Turner. He turned an upstart CNN into a worldwide cable news powerhouse. Within six years, CNN was in the black. There were the Atlanta Braves, eventually broadcast on his new station TBS. Turner also added the Atlanta Hawks to his prospectus.
Turner, who spoke briefly in his acceptance speech, talked about his proudest moment professionally in 1990 as the Gulf War began.
“I took a nap. When I woke up, I knew the war was coming, and I knew we had our people there. I turned on the television and clicked it over to NBC and there was Tom Brokaw talking. I switched over to CBS and there was Dan Rather talking in the studio. I switched it over to ABC and there was Peter Jennings talking in the studio,” Turner boasts. “Then I flashed it over to CNN, and there was the war. As a journalist, as a television news person, wasn’t that the greatest scoop of all time?”
Another major TV executive was recognized for his body of work. Sir Howard Stringer (above) had a 30-year association with CBS. The Wales-born Stringer, after earning his B.A. and M.A. degrees at the prestigious Oxford University, arrived in New York. His first job at the Tiffany Network was an entry level clerk logging commercial times at WCBS-TV/Channel 2.
- Related, TVNewser: Howard Stringer on His Days Running CBS News
- Related, FishbowlLA: Howard Stringer Still Treasures the Memory of His Lunches with Johnny Carson
Stringer is chairman of the board at Sony Corporation. FishbowlNY spoke to Stringer at the Giants of Broadcasting event. Watch the video clip after the jump.
Her long-awaited TV news return was professional, albeit fictitious, but her casting was perfect!
Sue Simmons made her first television appearance since her divorce from WNBC in June. The anchor with 32 years of service at Channel 4 was hired as a reporter for the two-part season premiere of NBC’s Law & Order: SVU that aired last night, and there she was again on Channel 4.
Simmons was featured briefly three times during the two hours. Her first “scene” lasted approximately 20 seconds reporting the “breaking news” of the police commissioner’s resignation, watched from a hotel television. Those who stuck around for the second-half of the intense, extended episode were rewarded with more Sue.
In part two, Simmons was shown directly out of a commercial break on a TV in the show’s watering hole. Simmons appearing to be on the steps of criminal court in lower Manhattan giving another quick, flawless “breaking news” report before Richard Belzer heard enough.
Simmons had final moment in concluding the story arc. Not only did she have her longest on-air portion (about 30 seconds), but it was done as an actual report, seen directly on the screen without having to peer into a television. Simmons continued the report as a voice-over to the multiple arrests.
No word if she’ll have a recurring role as herself on the longtime NBC drama.