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#PRFail: NBC Strikes Out on Meet the Press Announcement

david gregory

“Where is the love, the love, the love?”

It was the worst-kept secret in network TV, but after months of speculation NBC finally announced yesterday that Chuck Todd would indeed take over for David Gregory as the host of the Sunday morning coffee gathering known as Meet the Press.

In case you missed it, NBC has a history of mismanaging personnel announcements. Does the name Ann Curry ring a bell?

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5 Social Media Mistakes PR People Should Avoid

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It wasn’t too long ago that Justin Sacco, former chief communications officer of IAC (parent company of Tinder, Vimeo and OkCupid), ruined a rather cushy gig thanks to one questionable attempt at humor on Twitter.

She apologized without much fanfare and then finally got a new job (much less cushy) this past June.

While her legacy will go down in the chronicles of PR as a case of “What not to do on social media,” it begs the question for the rest of us: “What should PR people not do on social media?” I have five ideas. Feel free to add to the conversation. Extra points for personal references.

And if someone knows Justine Sacco, tell her that she’s my inspiration. (#Tear)

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John Oliver Has Some Thoughts on Native Advertising

Different people in the media have very different opinions on native advertising. You may recall that Wall Street Journal editor Gerard Baker called the practice “a Faustian bargain” before his own paper jumped head-first into the trend by launching its own in-house native ad studio.

John Oliver laid out the terms of the debate on his increasingly impressive HBO show Last Week Tonight. If you have ten free minutes, this clip is worth a watch.


Of course, one of the funniest aspects of this extended rant is the seemingly legitimate paid promotion for Mountain Dew that appears between the three and four-minute marks. The fact that HBO ran a sponsored BuzzFeed post to promote this very show is also perfectly appropriate.

Yet therein lies the problem with Oliver’s rant: he has the funding and the independence to not only offer the public his (very strong) opinion on media trends but to also make fun of the very companies giving him money for a brief appearance on his high-brow television program.

99.9% of his colleagues in media do not have that option.

Still, he makes a great argument. We’ll just have to agree to disagree on Katy Perry.

CNN’s Bill Weir to FOX News: You’re a Bunch of ‘Willfully Ignorant F*#ksticks.’

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Unfortunately, this really is CNN now.

It’s no secret that national news networks exist on a stepchild familiarity level. They may acknowledge each other at reunions because they are there for the same reason, but when it comes down to it, someone is looking to pee in the other person’s punch bowl.

Take CNN’s Bill Weir.

So, there he is, trolling the competition on TV when he saw a story that really took the journalistic objectivity right out of him–a FOX segment headlined “Climate Doesn’t Cooperate with Al Gore.”

And that’s when he gave FOX News an “unfortunate truth” of his own via Twitter.

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ESPN Decided It Needed to Take a Stronger Stance Against Stephen A. Smith

stephen a smithESPN, taking things a step further than Stephen A. Smith‘s long apology, has suspended the commentator for one week after he made gross and misguided comments about domestic abuse against women. The comments followed the NFL’s weak two-game suspension of Ray Rice after footage showed him dragging his unconscious wife out of a casino hotel after he allegedly hit her.

Smith made a lengthy broadcast speech after first trying to tweet-splain what he meant by his warning that women shouldn’t “provoke” men to violence. During the apology he was much more contrite, bringing up the women in his family and his outspoken stance against domestic violence.

To really bring the point home, ESPN also had a female commentator, Cari Champion, say many words after Smith was done. Most of those words were in support of her colleague, who wore his special purple tie for the occasion.

Clearly, the PR team was working overtime on this spectacle. Wisely, the network felt the need to do more, hence the suspension.

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Sarah Palin Jokes Have Been Trending All Day, But What’s Her Channel Really All About?

 

Sarah Palin launched her subscription channel The Sarah Palin Network yesterday and everyone wants to help her come up with ideas for quality content. Haha. Just kidding. Everyone wants to crack jokes about all the dumb shows that she’d broadcast.

SarahPalinChannel.com will cost $99.95 per year and is meant to give Palin the chance to speak to her audience “unfiltered.” Time argues that she has been given the mike and has used it to speak very openly very often for the past six years.

This new platform sounds like it will afford the same opportunity coupled with the chance for Palin to make a lot of money.

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Former WH Chief Defends Powerful Women Appearing in ‘Women’s Magazines’

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You may have noticed a not-so-recent trend: powerful women in politics, technology and other fields appearing on the covers of magazines like Vogue and Cosmopolitan as they make major career transitions.

Unfortunately, these very women often receive a steady drumbeat of criticism after making such appearances. This doesn’t just apply to politics, either–remember Marissa Mayer‘s 2013 cover shoot?

Last week, Marie Claire’s newest contributing editor Alyssa Mastromonaco finally stood up to defend the practice in The Washington Post with the simple headline “Being informed and fashionable is natural for women.

Mastromonaco is more qualified than most to comment on this topic: she spent six years as President Obama’s White House Deputy Chief of Staff.

We’ll review what she wrote after the jump.

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The Spin Cycle (Borscht Edition): 11 Crazy Conspiracy Theories About MH 17

Are you one of the few who still believe that every big story has one true narrative? Did you not listen to Mike Allen?!

Our point: as Julie Ioffe notes today in The New Republic, the Russian public has a totally different understanding of what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 than the rest of the world.

“Watching some of these Russian newscasts [where most of the television is owned or controlled by the Kremlin], one comes away with the impression of a desperate defense attorney scrounging for experts and angles, or a bad kid caught red-handed by the principal, trying to twist his way out of a situation in which he has no chance.”

“The discrepancy,” she writes, “does not bode well for a sane resolution to this stand-off.”

After the jump, 11 of the craziest conspiracies being floated over the Russian air waves. Read more

Politico, Burson-Marsteller Discuss the Future of Journalism

In a perfect world, would the answer to the question “What does the future of journalism look like?” include the word “Politico?”

We’re not sure as we don’t live in a perfect world. But this related conversation between King of Poli-Blogs Mike Allen, Burson-Marsteller’s Worldwide Chair/CEO Don Baer and Alan Murray of the Pew Research Center is still interesting, particularly in the wake of White House “TV Whisperer” Dag Vega’s move from politics to corporate PR. A couple of key quotes from Baer:

“The vast majority of journalists and news organizations still think of themselves as content producers…I think you’ve got to turn that upside down and say ‘what service am I providing you, the reader?’”

And Murray:

“Being provocative to the point of being hostile gets you noticed.”

While we certainly don’t disagree with Murray, we have to wonder whether this is really a good thing (if it means Kara Swisher being bolder in her reporting, then yes. If it means more hyper-partisan op-eds, then no). And if you speculated as to whether political coverage would, in general, grow more or less partisan in coming years, this interview serves as an unfortunately definitive “yes.”

CNN Reporter Calls Israelis ‘Scum’ as They Bomb Gaza

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Meet CNN International Correspondent Diana Magnay.

She used to cover the millennia-old tension between Israel and the rest of the Middle East until recently. Why no more? She had a bad day at the office recently during the most current dust-up on the Gaza Strip.

Behind her report in “The Situation Room” were some onlookers who were cheering the explosions from missiles launched by the Israeli army. Much to Magnay’s chagrin, she called our allies to the east “scum” and lost her gig.

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