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Fox Boss Kevin Reilly: 'We All Screw Up, Just Look at My Fall' (THR / The Live Feed)
Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly trotted onstage Tuesday with his usual combination of candor and charm. "We all screw up," he said with a shrug during his 45 minutes before the Television Critics Association at the Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif., before deadpanning: "Just look at my fall." The self-deprecating jab was warranted, given a first half of the season that saw Fox slide 24 percent in the ratings among the key 18-to-49 demographic. Chicago Tribune / Reuters In the season so far, Fox has lost some 20 percent of its 18-49 audience compared to the same point last year, while rival NBC has pulled out of a nine-year slump and is in first place. Fox is also currently at the bottom of the big four U.S. broadcasters in terms of total numbers of viewers. TV Guide Call it a tale of two networks. Whereas NBC's chairman dwelled on the network's great past year at the TCA winter previews, Reilly was focused on the future. "We here at Fox sort of limped our way in here from 2012," he said. "Nobody's happier than us to turn the page and get onto a fresh year and better things to come." The Wrap / Report from the TCA The Walking Dead was television's top drama this fall. Reilly said no network could air a show so graphic, but said he hoped to return to the days when viewers looked to Fox for edgy programming. "Before there was cable, Fox was cable," he said. He later told reporters: "The best of Fox makes noise. Some of that is being just a little bolder, a little louder." Deadline Hollywood A large portion of the Q&A was focused on the potential link between violence on TV and the recent string of mass shootings, especially in light of the network's upcoming launch of the very dark new serial killer drama The Following. "I think in general there have been more violent shows on TV," Reilly said. "Clearly there is appetite, people like these things." Variety Echoing the sentiment of NBC boss Robert Greenblatt, who faced similar questions in his sesh on Sunday, Reilly argued that the root causes of mass killings and other shocking acts of violence are far more complicated than those who point the finger at the TV screen suggest. "It is part of a larger tapestry and media landscape and a much more complex conversation," Reilly said. "We have a responsibility and FCC license, and we take that as seriously as we can."
Richer Than Romney: Al Gore Scores on Sale of Current TV (Forbes / The .0000001%)
When former Vice President Al Gore ran for president more than 12 years ago, he had less than $2 million in assets to his name. Now it appears he is on the verge of making more than 50 times that amount from just one deal. The Washington Post / She The People Yet now that the former vice president is without any question writing his own script, and can follow any path he likes, the one he's chosen with the sale of his Current TV network to Qatar-funded Al Jazeera is not just hypocritical, but awfully familiar to those who remember what his father did after leaving public life. The Daily Beast After previous efforts to enter the U.S. market had largely been blocked by misguided politics, a healthy dose of post 9/11 Islamophobia, and a general lack of knowledge about the Middle East and the role of Al Jazeera, the channel's entry into mainstream America will finally help fill a large gap in the public's understanding of the two thirds of the world which remains -- short of conflict and controversy -- underreported by most media in this country. NYT / Media Decoder I left one out. Last week, in an article detailing Al Gore's negotiations with cable and satellite carriers about the sale of his cable channel Current TV, I wrote, "Mr. Gore, who lost his last big legal argument -- the one in 2000 -- succeeded." He got most of the big carriers to consent to the takeover of Current by Al Jazeera. There was actually another big legal argument by Gore between the time he lost the presidency in 2000 and he won support for the Current TV sale in 2013.
Lance Armstrong Giving Oprah Exclusive Interview: Is This It? (Entertainment Weekly / Inside TV)
Lance Armstrong is sitting down with Oprah Winfrey. In what's billed as the controversial athlete's "first no-holds-barred interview," Armstrong is expected to address the doping scandal, accusations of cheating, and charges of lying about the use of performance-enhancing drugs throughout his storied cycling career. Variety Throughout his career, Armstrong has been accused of doping but has steadfastly denied the allegations. Last year the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released a report saying Armstrong had, indeed, been taking drugs and banned him from racing professionally. There have been reports that Armstrong will soon come clean about doping, but those have not been confirmed.
Controversial TV-Over-Internet Service Plans Expansion (TVSpy)
Aereo, the embattled Internet service allowing consumers to watch TV over the Internet without paying licensing fees, has announced it will be expanding its service to 22 cities. "Consumers want and deserve choice," said Aereo chief executive officer and founder Chet Kanojia. "Watching television should be simple, convenient and rationally priced. Aereo's technology provides exactly that: choice, flexibility and a first-class experience that every consumer deserves." NYT / Bits He also said that Aereo had closed a $38 million round of financing from IAC/InterActiveCorp and Highland Capital Partners. Previously, the company raised $20.5 million in venture financing from IAC/InterActiveCorp, among others. Barry Diller, IAC's chairman, sits on the start-up's board. Reuters The TV industry sees the service as a threat to its ability to control subscription fees and generate advertising income, its two main sources of revenue.
Nate Silver: Between Pundits and Partisans, 'A Lot of Very Delusional People' in Politics (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
New York Times statistician Nate Silver participated in a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" chat Tuesday, telling users he finds analyzing politics frustrating because "between the pundits and the partisans, you're dealing with a lot of very delusional people." Silver answered a number of questions during Tuesday's online chat, discussing everything from the future of his FiveThirtyEight blog to the strangest thing that's happened to him since he shot to fame. The Atlantic Wire Silver may seem like a mild-mannered statistician and blogger, but underneath his unassuming appearance is a man who will work over and antagonize his enemies to send them into fits of rage. At least, that's what you might have gathered if you read into Silver's Reddit Ask Me Anything session Tuesday afternoon. Salon Silver admitted that in the run-up to the election, when pundits were questioning his predictions, he would less frequently stress the uncertainty of his models: "At some point in the last few weeks of the election, I guess I decided to lean into the upside outcome a little bit in terms of pushing back at the pundits in my public appearances -- as opposed to emphasizing the uncertainty in the model, as I had for most of the year. (Nothing about the model design itself changed -- just how I tended to talk about it.)"
Gabby Giffords Starts 'Responsible Solutions' Gun Control Initiative (PRNewser)
We've recently posted on the PR components of our nation's latest debate over gun control. Topics include the NRA's media strategies and a new campaign from Michael Bloomberg's advocacy group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which made waves with a viral video featuring A-list celebrities voicing support for the group's "DemandAPlan" initiative. Tuesday brings news of another related campaign, this one created by the American politician who has the most direct experience with real-world gun violence. HuffPost Diane Sawyer reflected on her recent interview with Gabby Giffords, and discussed the former Congresswoman's continuing recovery and plans for the gun control debate. Sawyer sat down with Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly for the two-year anniversary of the tragic day that Giffords was shot in the head. The shooting left six people dead and 13 injured. Giffords and Kelly spoke to Sawyer about their plans to lobby Congress and seek a "consensus common-sense idea," which would include background checks to prevent the mentally ill from getting guns and targeting high-capacity ammunition.
The AP is Selling Ads in its Tweets, but Twitter Doesn't Mind (Nieman Journalism Lab)
The Associated Press is selling ad space in its 1.5 million-follower main Twitter feed. The wire service is sending out two sponsored tweets per day for the duration of this week's International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. And Twitter was quick to respond, both negatively and positively.
The Neighborhood Watch: Why Do Community News Sites, Once Hailed as the Future of Journalism, So Often Flop? (Adweek)
Far bigger news operations that got in this game with so much fanfare now find themselves reassessing their approaches to community news, among them Seattle-based Fisher Communications. Fisher's string of radio and TV stations in the Pacific Northwest has been hyped up about hyperlocal going back to 2010, though the company is revamping the business in the wake of a slide in corporate revenue last fall. More famously, AOL's ambitious but money-draining Patch, made up of more than 900 community portals coast to coast, has significantly scaled back.
Glenn Beck Relaunching The Blaze as Global Libertarian News Network (BuzzFeed)
Glenn Beck announced plans Tuesday during his online television program to expand the news operation in his media company, The Blaze, and refocus it as a libertarian network, opening three foreign bureaus, debuting a nightly newsmagazine show, and relocating his New York staff to showy new offices.
In Defense of Political Reporting (The Washington Post / The Fix)
Political reporters -- and the way in which we cover the people who populate the political landscape -- are easy targets for criticism. Yes, we all make mistakes in how much time we dedicate to certain types of stories and, in the process, miss other scoops that would provide real value to our readers. But as someone who has spent my entire professional career working in newsrooms -- and the bulk of that time working at the Post -- I can tell you that the main goal of the political journalism we do is to bring the fullest picture of who the men and women who run this country are to the people who elect them.
Adam Schreck Named as AP Iraq Bureau Chief (HuffPost / AP)
Adam Schreck, who has covered the economic and political forces reshaping the Middle East since 2008, has been named as Iraq bureau chief for The Associated Press. The appointment was announced Tuesday by acting Middle East editor Dan Perry. Schreck, 36, replaces Lara Jakes, who transferred to AP's Washington, D.C., bureau.
The New Republic Debuts New Logo (FishbowlNY)
The new logo is the first step in the revamping of The New Republic. The new logo, according to the magazine's creative director, Dirk Barnett, conveys that TNR is "is about big, bold ideas." Burnett also says the updated logo is "energetic." We kind of like it. While it might not be exciting, it is certainly more modern than the old one.
Piers Morgan vs. Alex Jones on Gun Control: Who Won Wild Debate? (Christian Science Monitor)
Ultraconservative radio talk host Alex Jones appeared on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight on Monday talking about gun control, although "talking" is a word that might not really describe what went on. Jones shouted, ranted, and preached in a voice so loud that Rush Limbaugh is a whispering golf announcer by comparison. Jones did everything but wrap himself in an American flag -- though he did offer to fight Morgan while wearing red white and blue trunks.
Three Tech Trends That Show Journalism of the Future (10,000 Words)
CES is the ultimate in tech tools for all kinds of people, and with the level of hardware that the 2013 installment has already showcased in just its first day, there's plenty to drool over. Even better, companies have unveiled some awesome trends and gadgets that you're likely to see in your journalism arsenal in the near future.
Six Reasons Why Jimmy Kimmel Might Actually Become the King of Late Night (Los Angeles Magazine)
Jimmy Kimmel is on a roll. On Jan. 8 Jimmy Kimmel Live moved from its "sorry, we're too sleepy to watch" midnight spot (complete with peppy Nightline lead-in) to 11:35 p.m., pitting the talk-show host against Jay Leno and David Letterman. (Conan O'Brien, exiled to TBS and pulling in atrocious ratings, is no legit contender.) Last September Kimmel hosted the Emmys, and this month he gets a star on the Walk of Fame. Can L.A.'s most junior member of the guild of armchair schmoozers usurp the throne? We're counting on it.