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Posts Tagged ‘CBS’

PR Disaster: Notre Dame Star Manti Te’o's Fake Dead Girlfriend

Mani Te'oIt was every sports journalist’s dream story: Promising college senior, Heisman trophy runner-up and near-certain first round NFL draft pick Manti Te’o suffers the deaths of his grandmother and his beautiful, supportive girlfriend within 24 hours–just before dominating the field in his team’s upset victory and continuing his streak as one of the nation’s most promising college football players. His heartbreaking tale of grief and victory quickly spreads beyond the world of sports.

One problem, though: it wasn’t true.

Deadspin broke the astonishing story yesterday as a web of complex lies promoted by some of our most respected publications began to unravel and the damage control campaign began.

A summary for those who haven’t been following: Manti Te’o is a gifted football player and devout Mormon from Hawaii who claimed, via his Twitter feed and various public statements, to have developed a relationship with a woman known as Lennay Kekua who he supp0sedly met after a 2009 game between Stanford and his team, Notre Dame. She had a Twitter account with which Te’o frequently interacted, expressing his love and encouraging his fans to follow her sister (both fake accounts were later deleted).

Then came the news that, right after the (real) death of Manti’s beloved grandmother last September, Kekua passed away from leukemia approximately a month after suffering a serious car accident. Manti doesn’t attend her funeral because she had insisted that he not miss a game. South Bend Tribune fleshed out the story through interviews with Te’o before Sports Illustrated, ESPN, CBS, the New York Post, The Associated Press and pretty much everybody else in the media world reported on it. Someone set up a charity in Kekua’s name. Manti Te’o was an American classic: the tragic hero.

And then things began to fall apart.

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PR Fail: CBS Bans Dish Products from CES Awards Consideration

C|Net CES Yesterday brought news of the most interesting story to emerge from this year’s Consumer Electronics Conference. It’s a classic tale of media ethics gone wrong, and we see it as a major PR fail.

Despite being America’s worst employer, Dish Network occasionally comes up with some cool tech innovations. Prime example: the Hopper with Sling DVR that gives users the power to enjoy “live streaming of every channel from anywhere”. Yeah, it’s a big deal, and CES organizer C|NET nominated the Hopper for its “Best of CES” awards. One problem, though: Fox, CBS and pretty much every major network has filed suit against Dish for allowing viewers to “hop” or skip over all commercials. Oh, and CBS is CNET’s parent company.

So what did CBS do? They banned all Dish products from CES awards consideration/promotion, citing the ongoing lawsuit. Not only is CNET prohibited from giving the award to dish–they can’t even review any Dish products. Here’s the disclaimer:

The Dish Hopper with Sling was removed from consideration due to active litigation involving our parent company CBS Corp. We will no longer be reviewing products manufactured by companies with which we are in litigation with respect to such product.

If you think this resembles a blatant case of shutting down the competition, you’re right.

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Fox Wants Judge to Ban Dish Network’s Ad-Skipping Feature

Who doesn’t love the idea of being able to curl up on the couch at the end of the day and watch a favorite TV show without having to suffer through a single commercial? Fox Broadcasting doesn’t. According to AdAge, the News Corp-owned cable giant has asked a judge for a preliminary court ban against Dish Network‘s new DVR feature AutoHop, which allows customers to skip commercials. Why, oh why would Fox try to keep this technological gem out of the hands of its viewers? Might it have something to do with the fact that networks rely on advertisers to keep them in the black? Surely Fox loves their viewers too much to be so selfish.

By the way, AutoHop isn’t the only Dish feature that Fox finds threatening. In an Aug. 22 filing in Los Angeles federal court, the network also reportedly sought to stop Dish from offering its PrimeTime Anytime function, which automatically records all prime-time shows on the four major U.S. networks and saves them for up to eight days. And Fox wasn’t alone in seeking to squelch these new features: Other networks including CBS and Comcast/NBC Universal also sued Dish in May, claiming that AutoHop infringes upon their copyrights and breaches Dish’s contracts. Touchy!

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How to Avoid Controversy in TV Interviews

Our last post concerned the best ways to prepare for an interview and make sure that your client turns in a performance that is, at the very least, passable. But what if your client is, say, a prominent politician running for election who wants to avoid certain controversial or unflattering topics at all costs?

This clip is telling: A reporter from CBS affiliate KCNC in Denver, Colorado discusses the conditions she agreed to before interviewing Mitt Romney: no questions about Todd Akin or abortion.

We can certainly understand why the Romney campaign would make this request, and we have a feeling that related demands are common across the political spectrum, but the clip does raise some questions for PR pros: Read more

Old-School Hollywood PR Man Irving Fein Dead at 101

In yet another reminder of the generational shift within the PR industry, old-school Hollywood rep Irving Fein has passed at 101. Never heard of him? Your age is showing: As reported in the Los Angeles Times, Fein did quite a bit of work in the century-plus he spent on this planet, most prominently representing blast-from-the-past personalities like George Burns and Jack Benny, who was a “radio comedian” when Fein first began doing PR work for him in 1947.

Feel young yet? The Brooklyn-born Fein worked as an aspiring novelist in the early part of the 20th century before shifting gears to do publicity work for nearly all of the major studios back in the pre-”Mad Men” days when Lana Turner was big business and people still took the phrase “pinup girl” literally. Later roles included vice president of advertising and promotion at CBS.

In a 1988 Associated Press interview, Fein said “I’ve been lucky. I’ve been able to work with the best of them.” In a sense, we all aspire to accomplish as much as Mr. Fein did during his career–though, to be fair, he had more than 100 years to do it.

Revolving Door: Norah O’Donnell Replaces Erica Hill on ‘CBS This Morning’, Dick Cheney Interviewed by ABC’s Jonathan Karl, and More

CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Norah O’Donnell has been named co-host of “CBS This Morning” replacing Erica Hill who first came to CBS News in 2008, while still with CNN, to co-anchor the weekend “Early Show.” In January, 2010 she joined CBS full time. (TVNewser)

Lauren Kapp, the former top communications and marketing executive at NBC News who left for a strategy and marketing position at Huffington Post in May, will be leaving that job this week. Reuters reports Kapp will leave Huffington Post Media Group August 1, three months after joining from NBC. Reuters says personal reasons are behind the change. (TVNewser)

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was interviewed by ABC’s Jonathan Karl. The interview, Cheney’s first since his heart transplant earlier this year, will be previewed across all ABC’s platforms today, and will air in its entirety on “Nightline” this evening. (TVNewser)

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has been making the media rounds to promote his new book, and one of the stops was C-SPAN. C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb asked Scalia about his recent interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, and why Justices are usually so reluctant to do public appearances. (TVNewser) Video Below:

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Fake CBS Press Release Takes a Swipe at ABC’s New Show ‘Glass House’

Did anyone watch that show Glass House on ABC the other day? Number one, it’s awful. Like really awful, even for a bad reality show.

Number two, as far as CBS is concerned, it’s nothing but a knock-off of their show Big Brother. The network has already tried (unsuccessfully) to stop ABC from airing the show by taking the issue to court. CBS alleges copyright infringement and the stealing of trade secrets. There are even a few former Big Brother staffers working on Glass House, according to TheWrap.

So, CBS has issued a press release announcing its “new show” Dancing On the Stars. Zing! The release is after the jump. And if it’s any consolation, ratings for the show were kind of bad.

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Revolving Door: Hearst and YouTube, Current TV Countersues

Hearst is launching a YouTube channel on April 15, Hello Style, that will bring together content from five of its titles including Cosmopolitan and Seventeen. Teaser above. [via]

Current TV has filed a countersuit against Keith Olbermann claiming that he’s the one guilty of breach of contract. Filing available here.

The co-founders of YouTube are working on a new venture, Zeen, that will allow users to “discover and create beautiful magazines.” No further details about what exactly that means just yet.

Richard Huff is leaving the New York Daily News to handle PR for the CBS News programs 48 Hours Mystery and CBS Sunday Morning, and for CBS Productions and Primetime Specials. He joined the paper in 1993 and was promoted to TV editor in 2001. [via]

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Revolving Door: Newspapers Down, Magazines Up; Changes at ABC; and More

Photo: Evan Agostini/AGOEV, via Associated Press

A new report from the USC Annenberg Center says that most newspapers will be gone in five years. But 239 magazines launched this year, up nearly a quarter from 2010.

Christiane Amanpour is leaving ABC‘s weekly news program This Week, though she is sticking around to contribute six ABC primetime specials per year, make ABC News appearances, and is launching a show on CNN International. George Stephanopoulos will be heading back to This Week, though many wanted to see Jake Tapper fill the job. For now, he’s just the substitute.

NBC is launching NBCLatino.com in 2012. Broadcasting & Cable says it’s the first broadcast network to launch a site that specifically targets Hispanics. CNNenEspanol.com launched in November. And NBC previously launched TheGrio.com, targeting Black audiences.

The NFL deals with Fox, NBC, and CBS will include more content across more platforms.

It was revealed this week that James Murdoch received an email indicating widespread hacking by News of the World reporters back in 2008, seeming to contradict Murdoch’s statements about when he learned of the activity. But he says he didn’t read the whole email chain. Really? [via The Guardian]

Click through for more media moves.

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The Tonys Are Using Facebook to Reach Theater Enthusiasts

The Tony Awards have launched a Facebook campaign inviting theater fans to send in their own videos answering the question, “What does Broadway mean to you?” Fans can “like” their favorite videos, and some of the top selections will appear on the TonyAwards.com website.

You’ll remember that the Grammys and the Oscars both incorporated social media into their awards ceremonies as well. The Tonys will air on CBS on June 12.

The videos that have been entered so far are a little… boring. So here’s a clip from one of this year’s nominees, “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.” There’s singing and a history lesson.

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