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Posts Tagged ‘TVNewser’

Van Scott Takes His PR Talents from CNN to ABC

XWTwhSLCHere’s a quick bit of industry movement on this fine Friday. Van Scott, the chief contact for our sister site TVNewser, has left his position at the original Cable News Network to join ABC.

In his own words, he “will be joining ABC News as the Communications Director for Diane Sawyer, ‘World News,’ and ABC News politics, election coverage and breaking news” as of next week.

We wish him the best in his new position—and we have no doubt that he will continue to provide only the finest quality grist for the TV news mill.

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How Robin Roberts’ Coming Out Reflects on a New Way of Communicating

shutterstock_52331746We’re not terribly familiar with Robin Roberts or her work on Good Morning America. More importantly, we don’t believe that her private life should be anyone’s business but her own unless she chooses to make it so.

That said, we do think that her decision to very nonchalantly reveal the fact that she has been involved in a relationship with another woman for more than a decade via yesterday’s year-end Facebook post is important enough to merit a comment.

Why? Because it reveals the changing nature of the relationship between public personalities and the people who know them by name.

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Megyn Kelly Thinks ‘Santa Is White’ Critics Should Learn to Take a ‘Joke’

On Friday night, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly addressed the zero children who watch her 10PM news show to follow up on a controversy she created entirely on her own last week by letting everyone know that Santa and Jesus are white and that’s just the way it is.

Her version of damage control, shared by our sister site TVNewser, confirmed what we all suspected: it was a joke told for the kids, and all those meanies in the media are just using it as an excuse to be such a Regina to Megyn.

Wait, what?

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Tell Us More About How ‘White’ Santa Claus Is, Megyn Kelly

Last night Jon Stewart went off on Fox Newsrising starMegyn Kelly for taking a moment to remind all the 6-year-old news hounds who watch her 10PM show that both Santa Claus and Jesus were white men, and that’s a fact so they should just freaking deal with it.

Jiminy Christmas, what was that all about?

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Fired Fox Flack Paid $8M to STFU

BrianLewis1Back in August we reported on the problematic firing of Brian Lewis, head of PR for Fox News and longtime confidante of network chief Roger Ailes. While the storied flack initially had only good things to say about his former employer to sister site TVNewser, the picture quickly got ugly. Lewis hired former Donald Trump attorney Judd Burstein, who earned his pay by uttering this classic line:

“Roger Ailes and Newscorp have a lot more to fear from Brian Lewis telling the truth about them than Brian Lewis has to fear from Roger Ailes and his toadies telling lies about Brian Lewis.”

We LOL’ed at the use of the man’s name three times in the same sentence.

General consensus held that Ailes suspected Lewis of leaking information to media sources, and today someone actually did leak some inflammatory news to Gawker: seems that Fox paid its former rep a total of $8 million in “hush money” to avoid a costly lawsuit.

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Fox News PR Team Planted Fake Story to Discredit Journalist

No, not you...

This week’s story about members of the Fox News PR team posting “sockpuppet” comments in threads on various blogs (like our sister site TVNewser) was big, but this one is far worse: NPR reporter David Folkenflik‘s new book “Murdoch’s World” reports that the team schemed to send a journalist a fake tip in order to discredit him.

Here’s the deal: as Folkenflik tells The Washington Post‘s Erik Wemple, the Fox PR team refuses to participate in any story that compares the channel to its competitors in tracking general cable news trends—they don’t even want to acknowledge the existence of CNN or MSNBC.

Crain’s New York Business reporter Matthew Flamm was trying to write a story about how CNN briefly beat Fox in the ratings game in February 2008 when he received this “tip” from an “inside source” at the network:

“FOX PR reps would never confirm this, at least not on the record. But [Bill] O’Reilly, not Brit Hume, will…anchor our texas and ohio primary coverage on Tuesday night. They want to copy the success that MSNBC has had with Olbermann and Matthews anchoring their coverage.”

It sounds like a big deal because, in order to confirm its “fair and balanced” status, Fox maintains a clear wall between “objective” reporters like Hume and opinionators like O’Reilly—and such a move would represent a breach of that wall.

But the story wasn’t true.

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Ali Zelenko Leaves TIME for NBC News

Via our sister site TVNewser comes word that incoming NBC News president Deborah Turness (right) has brought on lead press representative, 16 months after her successor departed.

Ali Zelenko has been named Senior Vice President of NBC News Communications. Zelenko, who joins from TIME, will be the chief spokesperson for NBC News and have oversight of the media relations strategy for all of NBC News. Kathy Kelly-Brown, the SVP of Communications for the NBCUniversal News Group had been overseeing the NBC News media relations team since the departure of Lauren Kapp in April, 2012.

Zelenko, who in the past headed up PR in CNN’s Washington bureau, starts Sept. 25.

 

Fox News Flack’s Firing Just Got Ugly

Based on last week’s reports regarding top Fox News PR man Brian Lewis‘ abrupt departure from the company, you’d be excused for thinking everything is just peachy keen forever. In his first public statement to our sister site TVNewser, he refused to address any “rampant speculation” and assured everyone that:

…it has been an honor and privilege to work for Roger Ailes the past 20 years and I wish nothing but the best for him and the great people at Fox News.

This quote reads a little odd considering the fact that his now-former employer tied his departure to “issues relating to financial irregularities” and “multiple” breaches of contract, an accusation just vague enough to be frightening. Today, however, the gloves are off. Lewis hired former Donald Trump lawyer Judd Burstein, who gave the following statement to Gawker:

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Top Fox News PR Man Discusses His Firing

Yesterday we reported that Brian Lewis, top PR man for Fox News head Roger Ailes and his various ventures, had been fired. Today he spoke to our sister site TVNewser to clear a few things up, but the (brief) conversation focused more on what didn’t happen than what did. He didn’t give any word on specifics regarding the “issues relating to financial irregularities” that supposedly led to his firing, and he was quick to praise everyone he worked with, saying:

There has been rampant speculation surrounding my departure from Fox that I am not addressing at this time. I will say it has been an honor and privilege to work for Roger Ailes the past 20 years and I wish nothing but the best for him and the great people at Fox News.

That’s about it beyond a little not-so-subtle reference to New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman, who is currently finishing a book about Fox News and wrote a post yesterday describing Lewis’s departure as a sign of problems within and bigger changes to come. Lewis said:

Some stories are ludicrous, but there is one story that is particularly ludicrous.

So Ailes isn’t “more isolated than ever before” and all reports of internal “tension” are wishful thinking, because things couldn’t be better over at Fox. A true PR professional.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Spokeswoman Leaves for CNN

Allison GollustThere’s a new job opening for an ambitious, politically-minded PR professional in the greater New York area: Governor Andrew Cuomo‘s spokeswoman Allison Gollust stepped down from her post today after just four months on the job to return to what would seem to be her first love: broadcast television.

Gollust will now serve as head of communications for CNN. This isn’t an unprecedented move; Gollust previously worked in various communications roles within the NBC organization under newly appointed CNN president Jeff Zucker. Both left the network after its takeover by Comcast.

In her new role as senior vice president, communications, Gollust will serve as official spokeswoman for the brand in additional to managing all PR initiatives and overseeing the 24/7 news channel’s messaging strategy.

Christa Robinson, who served in the senior VP position for 13 years, will leave CNN according to a memo sent to staff by Zucker and reprinted on sister site TVNewser.

Will the newly reunited team be able to turn CNN around? Only time will tell.

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