PRNewser sits down with Hiltzik Strategies founder Matthew Hiltzik for the latest interview in our mediabistro.com Media Beat series. Hiltzik has spent time working with the brothers Harvey and Bob Weinstein at Miramax. He also worked with Hillary Clinton‘s senate campaign in 2000, among other political work.
One of the questions PRNewser sometimes asks in interviews is, “What do you read?” We’re always interested in hearing from executives about what publications compose their media diet.
Thankfully, none have given an answer akin to Sarah Palin‘s “all of them” during the 2008 campaign, when pressed by CBS’ Katie Couric as to which newspapers and magazines she reads.
On that note, The Washington Post today published a story that looks into the influencers in President Obama’s decision making process, including media. Of note: Senior adviser David Axelrod told the Post Obama reads magazines including the New Yorker, the Economist, Sports Illustrated and Rolling Stone. Axelrod added,”There are some commentators whose views he’s interested in, and he’ll read blog items.”
Of course, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs‘ daily briefings on C-SPAN are must see TV, said former communications director Anita Dunn. Read the full story here.
[Image: President Obama holding a copy of Fareed Zakaria's "The Post American World."]
Hiltzick declined to comment on NBC’s side of the equation, but did say Leno and O’Brien “deserve credit for being professional, addressing the issue head on, and maintaining their sense of humor on-air, while dealing with what everyone knows is happening backstage.” One publicist who declined to be named said everyone may be making much ado about nothing. “NBC is just one big hit away from all of these jokes being forgotten,” they said.
Regardless, digital agency New Media Strategies, who works with NBC, is still pitching “Tonight Show” content to the media. From a pitch sent to mediabistro.com today, highlighting NBC programming:
Tonight Show: Conan shared more opinions on the NBC reshuffling on his show last night. In two very funny clips, world leaders weigh in with their opinions and writer Deon Cole returns with his hilarious take on the situation, too. Then, Conan’s first guest Tom Brokaw took some time out to recall what he remembers about Conan in his early years at NBC.
PRNewser is keeping tabs to see if any additional announcements are made today.
ABC is in the midst of a game of musical anchor chairs. Diane Sawyer is moving into the “World News” anchor chair starting Dec. 21, George Stephanopoulos has all but been announced to join “Good Morning America” next Monday and GMA host Chris Cuomo is leaving and possibly headed to “20/20.”
The Chicago Tribune‘s Phil Rosenthalreports, “there has been no major marketing campaign to speak of, no blitz of media interviews by either Sawyer, who is scheduled to take over on Dec. 21, the day before her 64th birthday, or Gibson, 66.” That’s not completely true. As TVNewser reports, ABC’s marketing team put together a video promo of Sawyer’s ten years with “Good Morning America.”
However, why would ABC go light on marketing and PR? Perhaps they have learned from CBS, which went all-out marketing Katie Couric‘s move to the Evening News, only to see a big ratings jump followed by a sharp fall. Many view Brian William‘s succeeding Tom Brokaw‘s as anchor of NBC Nightly News desk as a textbook example on how to manage this kind of story. NBC announced the news a full year in advance of the move, in order to help squash rumors and speculation.
There are a bunch of money quotes in the story, including this one:
“I love Matt,” said Ken Sunshine, a Democratic activist and public relations powerbroker whom Hiltzik regards as a mentor. “I value our friendship, but I wouldn’t be caught dead representing Glenn Beck.”
It is worth noting, as Horowitz’s story does, that Hiltzik has clients on all sides of the spectrum, including Katie Couric, Alec Baldwin, Annie Leibovitz and Don Imus. We spoke to Hiltzik last a few weeks ago when Couric interviewed Beck for the debut of her web show. He acknowledged he was still working with Beck, but like most adept PR pros, wouldn’t comment on strategy or even if he set up the interview.
“My job is to look out for his personal business interests and try to weave them in well with his partners…We give strategic counsel, which includes managing the profile of the business,” Hitzik told the Post in regards to his work with Beck.