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Andrew Tyndall Offers 10 ‘Sneaky Ways’ ABC Boosts ‘World News Tonight’ Ratings

ueland_abc_boosting_ratings_mainWith the most entertaining of illustrations (right), The Hollywood Reporter today offers a guest column by Andrew Tyndall, who sees plenty of wizardry–and not as much world news–in the recent ratings rise of ABC’s “World News Tonight” with David Muir:

Under ABC News president James Goldston, World News has cut back on international and political stories and introduced a sensibility closer to that of Good Morning America, complete with tabloid true crime, sports-and-celebrity coverage, news-you-can-use service journalism and buzz around social media.

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The Scoreboard: Thursday, October 23

25-54 demographic (Live +SD)

  • Total day: FNC: 281 | CNN: 132 | MSNBC: 78 | HLN: 85
  • Primetime: FNC: 445 | CNN: 208 | MSNBC: 90 | HLN: 79

4p: 5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p: 12a:
FNC
Cavuto:

174

TheFive:

281

Baier:

267

Greta:

274

O’Reilly:

530

Kelly:

468

Hannity:

338

Kelly:

292

Kelly:

397

CNN
Tapper:

103

Blitzer:

99

Blitzer:

92

Burnett:

93

Cooper:

173

Cooper:

249

Cooper:

244

Tonight:

161

CNNI:

116

MSNBC
Wagner:

68

EdShow:

119

Sharpton:

87

Matthews:

111

Hayes:

117

Maddow:

99

O’Donnell:

54

Hayes:

83

Maddow:

112

HLN
Now:

29

WWYD?:

46

WWYD?:

66

Grace:

66

Grace:

84

Dr.Drew:

72

Files:

83

Files:

141

Files:

173

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Newsers, Family Gather to Toast John Palmer Memoir

Tom Brokaw, Nancy Doyle Palmer, Brian Williams.

Tom Brokaw, Nancy Doyle Palmer, Brian Williams. (photo: Francine Daveta)

Brian Williams, Tom Brokaw, Bryant Gumbel, Andrea Mitchell, and Norah O’Donnell were among guests joining the family of the late NBC newsman John Palmer in Manhattan last night to celebrate his life, as recounted in Palmer’s new memoir, Newscatcher.

Palmer began working on the book several years ago, daughter Molly Palmer Cowan tells TVNewser. The publication comes a year after the former NBC White House correspondent and Today news anchor passed away from pulmonary fibrosis in 2013.

“When it became clear that he wasn’t going to make it through his sudden illness last summer, I brought his book to the hospital,” Palmer Cowan recalls. “I did it in part to help my Dad celebrate all that he accomplished and experienced but if I’m being honest, I mostly did it for selfish reasons. My greatest fear as I watched my father’s life come to an end was having questions for him that he wouldn’t be able to answer or stories I couldn’t remember.”

Newscatcher recounts Palmer’s time covering the administrations of Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, as well as his reporting in earlier years while based in Chicago, New York, Tel Aviv, Beirut, and Paris.

“As we took turns reading the book to him, he would finish each story himself, often recounting new details,” Palmer Cowan says. “I’m so grateful we got to hear him tell those stories one last time and even more grateful they are documented for us to always enjoy.”

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Ebola Survivors Suddenly All Over Television

While New York city is busy dealing with its first Ebola case, recent survivors of the deadly disease are popping up all over our televisions.

Nina Pham, the first Dallas nurse diagnosed while treating Thomas Eric Duncan, spoke at a news conference this morning. Pham addressed at the National Institutes of Health hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, after doctors announced that she was free of the Ebola virus. She asksed for privacy as she returns to Texas “to get back to a normal life and reunite with my dog Bentley.”

Pham’s colleague Amber Vinson, who also was infected while treating Duncan, is still being cared for at Emory University Hospital near Atlanta.


Dr. Richard Sacra, declared Ebola-free on Oct. 5, was interviewed by CBS News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook on “CBS This Morning.”

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Former CNN, CNBC, and Fox News Business Anchor Terry Keenan Dies, at 53

10744191_10152468604982887_439938408_oTerry Keenan, a former CNN and Fox News anchor, has died. She was 53. Keenan’s sister, Linda, tells TVNewser the cause of death was a massive cerebral hemorrhage. Keenan had been receiving treatment at New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital.

A pioneer among women working in financial news, Keenan joined Fox in 2002 from the now-shuttered CNNfn where she’d been since 1998. Before that, Keenan spent three years at CNBC. Her first television job was at CNN, which she joined in 1986.

10730915_10152468604652887_498442908_o Keenan left Fox News in 2009 to, in her family’s words, “work on her most cherished production: her son Benno Kass, with husband Ron Kass” (pictured, left, in a family photo shared with TVNewser).

She was still sharing her financial knowledge, though, working as a business columnist for the Sunday editions of the New York Post. Keenan’s last story for the newspaper was published October 19.
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The A.M. Ticker: Mukpo, Asprea, Mankiewicz

  • NBC News freelance cameraman Ashoka Mukpo says he still has some “physical effects” of Ebola, but is “fortunate to be alive.” Mukpo was diagnosed with the disease Oct. 2 in Liberia, was flown to Nebraska for treatment, and was declared Ebola-free on Tuesday.

  • Another “Morning Joe” staffer is heading to CBS News. T.J. Asprea, the show’s director, has been named director of the “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley.” Last week, “Morning Joe” producer Jon Tower left MSNBC for “CBS This Morning.”

  • Frank Mankiewicz, father of NBC News correspondent Josh Mankiewicz, has died. Mankiewicz, 90, a WWII veteran, is a former president of NPR, political columnist, congressional candidate and, as a Kennedy confidante, was the one to break the news that Robert Kennedy had died after being shot during a campaign rally in June, 1968.

This Time, Another ‘New Day’ Anchor Handles the Gov. Cuomo Interview

CuomosLate last year, “New Day” anchor Chris Cuomo got some flack for interviewing his older brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

This morning, following news of the first Ebola diagnosis in New York City, as well as the hatchet attack against NYPD officers in Queens, co-anchor Alisyn Camerota interviewed Gov. Cuomo.

But there was room for levity. At the end of the interview Gov. Cuomo told Camerota, “As a matter of full disclosure, any help you need with your co-host, I am in a position to be helpful. I have some very secret strategies that have worked very well. Knowing the right information about him, keeps him very docile.”

“A noogie?” Camerota asked. “That’s something that you as an older brother probably used when you needed to.” The younger Cuomo was left speechless.

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5 Questions for… Michael Smerconish

Smerconish304CNN’s Michael Smerconish prides himself on not following party lines. He’s liberal on certain issues, conservative on others and often polarizing nonetheless. A diverse career has included substituting for both Bill O’Reilly and Chris Matthews on MSNBC. Yes, he’s filled in for both O’Reilly and Matthews.

While many people know him from radio, Smerconish has written numerous books and currently hosts “Smerconish” Saturdays on CNN.

TVNewser: The most recent Pew Research poll focused on political polarization and media habits. Where does CNN fit in today’s world of media polarization?

Smerconish: The Pew data is a total confirmation of what I’ve been saying for years – the 80% of us who are not guided by a doctrinaire ideology have ceded the debate to the 20% who are consistently conservative or consistently liberal, and it has taken the country in a hyper-partisan direction We need to take it back. Real political power in this country rests in the middle, not in the extremes, but right now, “rests” is the operative word. CNN is perfectly situated to be the go-to source for this segment of society, and indeed, in Pew’s category of those with “mixed” political views, CNN is their main source for news which is why the network is a perfect fit for me.

TVNewser: Why do some partisan political shows have a hard time making it in this landscape?

Smerconish: Hard time? I’d argue the partisan political shows that push a singular point of view have too easy of a time making it in this landscape. The rote, paint by numbers form of broadcasting gets rewarded by cultivating support from very loyal, not necessarily very numerous, supporters. Passion takes precedence. That’s the same problem we have with the electorate.

TVNewser: How does your show serve a purpose to viewers? Read more

Ebola Arrives in New York; Cable News Clears the Decks for Rolling Coverage

B0rMF7DIgAAD5i0Well, Canada, it was nice, but, well, we’ve got Ebola in New York. You could almost hear the cell phones ringing with news executives’ re-worked plans: We’re going to pull you guys out of Ottawa as soon as you’re off the air. Everybody to New York.

The cable news networks reacted with a frenzy of reporting Thursday evening in the wake of New York City’s first confirmed case of Ebola.

As New York is home to the nation’s major media, the emergence of Dr. Craig Spencer was enough to send producers pulling the keys from around their necks to unlock the nuclear launch codes. This, my friends, was big. Sorry, Dallas and Atlanta, I mean, well, do we really have to explain this to you?

CNN and MSNBC devoted wall-to-wall coverage to Ebola ahead of a planned news conference in New York, while planning extended coverage into the night and for Friday morning. Fox News announced it would air a live edition of “Hannity” at 10 p.m., followed by a live hour of “The Kelly File” with Megyn Kelly at 11 p.m. “Fox and Friends First” will begin live coverage at 4:30 a.m.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, at the Ebola news conference that was carried live on cable news and streamed online, said New York, essentially, had been ready and waiting for this. “What happened in Dallas was the opposite,” the governor said. “The more facts you know, the less frightening the situation is.”

So on with the intense coverage then–and no panic, okay? FoxSports.com writer Erik Malinowski grabbed a photo of CNN’s Ebola 7-box (above), about which author Adam Sternbergh noted “there are more people on that screen than have contracted Ebola in the USA.”

The Ticker: BBC America, Costello, Al Jazeera

  • B&C reports, AMC Networks has agreed to purchase a 49.9 percent stake in BBC America from BBC Worldwide for $200 million. AMC Networks, which will have operational control of BBCA, will look for greater distribution for BBC World News in the U.S.

  • CNN’s Carol Costello has apologized for laughing at audio of Bristol Palin‘s account of being assaulted by a man which sparked the now infamous Palin family brawl. “Over the past few days I have been roundly criticized for joking about a brawl involving the Palin family. In retrospect, I deserve such criticism and would like to apologize,” she tells Politico.

  • Al Jazeera America’s investigative documentary program “Fault Lines” will air an episode on Saturday at 7pmET focusing on why the FDA approved a controversial new opioid painkiller, Zohydro.

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