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Posts Tagged ‘MSNBC’

Al-Jazeera Makes the News by Being the Same as Everyone Else

America’s racists are having a tough week. Not only were many of them exposed earlier this week for freaking out on social media after a foreign, brown woman from the dubious nation of New York won the Miss America pageant, but it turns out Al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based media juggernaut, is also messing with their bigoted characterizations of other races, religions and cultures.

In fact, the reporters, editors and producers at Al-Jazeera don’t want the death of America any more than CNN, FOX News or MSNBC. Need proof? Check out this report by the Pew Research Center, an independent think tank tasked with monitoring the media. As public relations professionals, we can only ask one question: Where does Al-Jazeera go from here?

What happens when the vilified boogieman turns out to be the affable cat lady? Al-Jazeera has missed a golden PR opportunity to differentiate itself in a meaningful way from the competition. The last thing America media needs now is another CNN, FOX News or MSNBC. Al-Jazeera was supposed to return real American journalism to America, while these other networks festooned with screaming eagles and undulating flags continued to feed the public emotional drivel, intellectual smut and political grab ass. Read more

Will Al-Jazeera America’s Name Doom It to Failure?

Today’s biggest news in journalistic circles concerns the debut of a cable outlet called Al-Jazeera America, which should begin broadcasting across the US right about…now.

The channel promises to offer Americans a “more sober” take on world news and investigative reporting that transcends the talking head pile-ons that have come to define the FOX/CNN/MSNBC trifecta and the light celebrity gossip that provides such a large share of all networks’ bottom lines.

Journalists at AJAM (which is bankrolled by the royal family of Qatar) take their reporting very seriously. As of today’s debut, programs will contain only six minutes of commercials per hour—and a quick look at the parent network’s Facebook page reveals a collection of matter-of-fact reportage on big international stories.

This is all very encouraging, but Al-Jazeera America has one (very big) problem: its name.

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CNN Focuses on Gap between News and Life

There was a day when a 24-hours news network sounded like a brilliant idea. We live in a complex world full of complicated events that highlight the worst and best of humanity.

From violent wars and corrupt politicians to heroic deeds and acts of selflessness, how could a network not fill its programming with constant and original news updates?

However, with the technology that allowed networks to report 24-7 from every corner of the world, we learned something very important about the public: from cuddly kittens to sickening carnage, we’ll watch the same images over and over and over and over and over again. Who needs a news cycle when you can just hit replay again and again?

The public is strongly addicted to emotional footage, and after September 11, coupling dramatic scenes and outlandish scenarios with charged commentary and paranoid speculation fractured viewers into different but loyal viewing demographics. We all know the stereotypes about the people who watch Fox News and the people who watch MSNBC, as stalwart news anchors like Brian Williams continue to scratch their heads.

Just as times were changing back then, times are changing now, and Jeff Zucker, CEO of CNN, fully understands this. Throughout the past decade the public sensibility has evolved and viewers began migrating from the constant barrage of loud news and bombastic analysis to shows that focused on the more pleasant aspects of life such as food, travel, health, history, science and reasonable opinions on real, everyday challenges.

Though yesterday’s bombing of the Boston Marathon demonstrated there will always be senseless violence and inexplicable trauma in our world, the public appears to be internalizing the frailty of life and living by the mantra we all—at least in theory—agreed to after September 11: the best revenge is living well. And now CNN’s network is beginning to reflect that with more accessible programming. Read more

Jon Stewart Clips Secretaries Gibbs & McLellan, Begrudgingly Respects Fleischer

Breaking news: Political spokesmen sometimes bend the truth! Last night on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart devoted six minutes to shooting those messenger(s). Stewart lambasted Barack Obama’s first press secretary Robert Gibbs for the way he came clean, during his new gig as an MSNBC analyst, on his stonewalling two-step over the administration’s use of remote drones to kill suspected terrorists.

Stewart compared the glib Gibbs with the seemingly emotionally damaged Scott McClellan, George W. Bush’s second spokesman, concluding that neither are any good at protecting the POTUS in their respective retirements. “Either way, secrets spilled,” Stewart finds. “What you need is a jaded believer. Boom.”

When McClellan came out with his admissions of lying, guess which Bush surrogate went after him? Boom, Ari Fleischer.

PR Stunts: Fake Study Links Fox News to Low IQs

Fox News ChannelIt was a headline destined to simultaneously inspire a dozen highfalutin op-eds and a million bitchy comments: Fox News Viewers Are the Dumbest. One problem, though: it was what we in the media world call “a bunch of BS.”

Here’s the funny thing: the “story” wasn’t some sort of stunt pulled by MSNBC or another one of Fox’s many ideological opponents in the so-called “lamestream media.”

No, this little bit of fakery came from the inside—its source, according to a Huffington Post follow-up, appears to be a longtime “PR guru” and dedicated Republican who wants his party of choice to loosen its ties to the Fox News brand in the interest of its future electoral fortunes. See, the purpose of the “study” wasn’t to call Republicans dumber than Democrats: it was to insinuate that conservative Americans who choose not to watch the Fox News Channel are smarter than those who do.

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Roll Call: MSNBC, Omerge Alliances, Google, and More

MSNBC promoted two of its executives to senior VP level. The network promoted Deb Finan to the senior VP of programming position; Yvette Miley will be senior VP and executive editor. Finan has been with NBC for 20 years, and joined MSNBC in 1996 when it launched. She was most recently VP of programming and production, a title she has held since 2009. Miley has been with NBC for 21 years, serving as VP of news at NBC’s owned and operated stations before joining MSNBC as executive editor. (TVNewser)

Olivia Scott-Perkins launched integrated marketing consultancy Omerge Alliances. She most recently served as chief marketing officer at Carol’s Daughter. Prior to that, Ms. Scott-Perkins spent 17 years on both the agency side (including stints at Leo Burnett, Ogilvy, DDB and Draft) and the media side (Vibe Magazine, Live Nation Entertainment and In Demand Television). The newly launched Omerge Alliances will provide partnership marketing, branding and general-marketing expertise to independent creators of music, TV and film content. (AdAge)

Anna Bateson is leaving her current position as marketing director for YouTube Europe Middle East and Africa to take on a global marketing role at Google in the U.S. Ms. Bateson joined Google-owned YouTube in 2009 from British network ITV, where she was director of viewer marketing.(AdAge)

Marketing Management Analytics (MMA) hired Paul Straub, PhD as their new SVP of analytics. Straub comes to MMA from Nielsen, where he held the title vice president of Research and Development. He previously served as president of Marketing Analytics, Inc. He has taught economics and statistics at the university level, including a stint at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. (Release)

Should Journalists Abstain From Voting?

In case you haven’t noticed, professional journalists have a PR problem. The public’s opinion of their craft and “the media” they inhabit hit an all-time low last year. This finding reflects an increasingly polarized electorate filled with fed-up citizens who often retreat to openly partisan news sources because they believe all other media outlets to be tainted by bias in some form.

The fact that a healthy, functioning democracy needs journalists to survive should go without saying–and despite working in public relations, we’re a little disturbed to learn that PR professionals currently outnumber them 4 to 1 in this country. So how can journalists improve the public’s perception of the work they do?

For some, the answer is clear: don’t vote.

This is not a new debate. In fact, the issue arises during nearly every election cycle. Austin Business Journal editor Colin Pope believes that the act of choosing a candidate or privately voting on any given issue affects his ability to inform the public as a reliably objective voice; in his opinion, he essentially forfeited his right to vote when he decided to report on the news for a living.

We think it’s safe to say that most journalists do not agree.

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TV Responds to Trump’s Latest BS

Had enough Trump for a lifetime or two? Too bad! This morning our colleagues at TVNewser posted an amusing roundup of the TV networks’ varied responses to his moronic “offer” to donate money to the President’s charity of choice as long as Obama releases his school and passport records “To Mr. Trump’s satisfaction” (love that qualifier).

First Trump went on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight and Fox News Channel’s On the Record with Greta Van Susteren to insist that his stupid PR stunt was, in fact, anything but. Most revealing line in the Morgan interview? While he would “very much like to write” the check, Trump also notes that he is “…not looking to pay five million dollars!” It’s almost like he never even planned on doing such a thing…

Van Susteren spoke to Trump by phone and pressed him on his continuing obsession with the possibly even more idiotic “birther” movement. His response? “I’m really surprised by you, you don’t know anything”. Eyes: consider yourselves rolled.

Other responses: Sean Hannity thought Trump’s scheme was a great idea while MSNBC’s Ed Schultz wasted a few minutes of his valuable time speaking out against it. We’ve never been less surprised.

Stick with us, though: it does get better.

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MSNBC Overhypes Daredevil Stunt

We were all impressed by daredevil Felix Baumgartner’s weekend free-fall stunt. We have no idea how it would feel to plummet to the earth from such an incredible height (and our vertigo ensures that we will never find out), but this on-board camera view of the entire globe shot from Baumgartner’s perspective is undeniably amazing. Yeah, we know you’ve already seen it, but it’s really worth watching a second or third time:

We’d say it was fairly difficult to overstate how impressive this event turned out to be. MSNBC, however, just couldn’t help but exaggerate things a bit:

We can’t really hold such an innocent slip-up against MSNBC–everybody makes mistakes, right? But we would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone how important basic fact-checking and copy review duties can be. Make sure to thank your editor today if you have one.

Roll Call: MSNBC, Hawkins International, Here Media, and More

Lauren Skowronski has been named Vice President, Media Relations for MSNBC. In this role, Skowronski will manage internal and external communications for the network, including program publicity and the overall media strategy. She will serve as the chief spokesperson for the network.

Cybex International, Inc. (NASDAQ: CYBI) has announced that Kenneth Kuperstein has been hired as Cybex’s director of marketing, planning and development. Mr. Kuperstein brings more than 20 years of experience in the advertising and marketing industries to the Company, having managed some of the world’s most recognizable brands.

New York-based PR firm Hawkins International announces a pair of noteworthy personnel changes. Corey Finjer, a veteran at Hawkins International (HIPR) has been promoted to Vice President, while Keri Prestia, an experienced PR professional with high-profile and luxury brand experience, recently joined the firm as a Vice President. Both Finjer and Prestia will oversee client management, strategic media relations campaigns and new business development. These two announcements come at the pinnacle of HIPR as the agency celebrates its 10th anniversary and has added ten new accounts to its portfolio since January 2012.

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