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Diane Sawyer’s Mother Passes Away

SawyerMother1Diane Sawyer‘s mother Jean Sawyer Hayes passed away Wednesday in Louisville, KY. She was 94.

Sawyer told the Courier-Journal this morning that her mother “was a force of nature, optimistic, spunky and energetic.”

Sawyer Hayes, was a longtime elementary school teacher and, later, civic leader. “Her students by the hundreds were jolted into the possibilities of their lives,” Sawyer said.

A visitation is planned for this weekend in St. Matthews, KY with a private funeral next week.

ABC News president James Goldston sent a note to ABC News staff this morning, writing that Sawyer “is with her Kentucky family now, and her ABC family will embrace her when she returns.”

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Jeff Jarvis Asks Reuters CEO Andrew Rashbass: ‘Does TV News Have to Suck?’

Reuters CEO Andrew Rashbass was at The Paley Center for Media yesterday, and he took on a blunt but entertaining question posed by moderator Jeff Jarvis: “does TV news have to suck?”

Rashbass conceded the news business faces a myriad of challenges, but rooting out the less newsy bits amid the serious reporting isn’t necessarily a good idea:

I think there are lots of ways people find out what’s going on in the world and I think that if we, on the supplier end, get too earnest about the “eating your vegetables” side of news, then I don’t think we are actually fulfilling, actually, our societal purpose and…if that’s what you mean by TV news sucking, then as I say…I think the issue for TV news is a slightly different one which has resulted in some of the characteristics you’re leading to there. And it’s because a lot of the role, TV news has traditionally done, is now being done in other ways. And therefore, I think it’s more a question of relevance rather than anything else. So, as I say, the sort of fun side of TV news or the entertainment side of TV news, I actually rather like.

Sunday Show Ratings: October 19

sunday shows_304CBS’s “Face the Nation” was first among Sunday shows in viewers last week despite being down -11% in total viewers and down -16% in the A25-54 demo compared to the same week last year.

NBC’s “Meet the Press” was slightly down: -3% in viewers and down -1% in the demo vs. the same Sunday last year but “MTP” had its biggest audiences in both total viewers and the demo since Chuck Todd’s debut on September 7.

ABC’s “This Week” was slightly down in total viewers but up +13% in the demo. Univision’s “Al Punto” was also up +13% in the demo compared to last year.

Cable rebroadcasts of “Fox News Sunday” averaged a combined 1.82 million total viewers and 367,000 A25-54 viewers. “Meet the Press” drew an additional 1.27 million total viewers and 554,000 demo viewers with rebroadcasts on NBC and MSNBC.

“Face the Nation” is based on the first half-hour only, as the full contiguous hour aired in just 55% of the country.

The numbers for October 19:

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
“Face the Nation” 2.95M 750,000
“This Week” 2.54M 769,000
NBC “Meet the Press” 2.74M 760,000
FOX “Fox News Sunday” 1.31M 480,000
UNIV “Al Punto” 791,000 329,000


Geraldo Rivera: The ‘Real Threat’ Comes From ‘The Great White North’

geraldo_rivera_mi_130201_mainFox News host Geraldo Rivera has suggested the attack in Ottawa proves the “real threat” to the United States comes not from a poorly-defended border to the South, but from the far-longer and much less heavily monitored border with Canada.

“The danger is from homeground or Canada-based terrorists, not from Juan and Maria who just want to wash dishes, mow lawns, baby sit or work in the fields to make a better life for their children,” he writes on Facebook.

It wasn’t just the Fox News host noting the differences between borders. CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” asked viewers on Twitter whether they felt the border to the North was secure:

Morning Show Ratings: Week of October 13

morningshowanchors2014“Good Morning America” wins another week in the mornings, and is the only breakfast show to grow in both total viewers and the A25-54 demo.

Compared to the same week last year, “GMA” is up +2% in viewers and up +3% in the demo. NBC’s “Today” show is up +1% in viewers, but down -4% in the demo and No. 3 “CBS This Morning” showed the most growth among viewers: +4%, but was down the most in the demo: -10%.

The averages for the week of Oct. 13, 2014:

  • Total Viewers: ABC: 5.446M / NBC: 4.701M / CBS: 3.031M
  • A25-54 viewers: ABC: 2.042M / NBC: 1.884M / CBS: 928,000


‘I’m Trying to Think of a Stronger Word Than Atrocious’

"Dirty Wars" Portraits - 2013 Sundance Film FestivalJeremy Scahill, the investigative reporter at The Intercept and author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, slammed American media coverage of the attack on Canada’s Parliament Wednesday. “I’m trying to think of a stronger word than atrocious or embarrassing.”

Many have noted the stark difference between Canadian news coverage of the Ottawa attack and how the story was reported in the United States. Speaking on CBC Radio’s “As It Happens,” Scahill singled out two networks:

“Any rumor that happens to pop up on Twitter or social media is carried almost as though it’s a totally true story from a reliable source. And this is true of our biggest networks, CNN, Fox News.”

“What we are really seeing right now in the U.S. media is a push for Canada and Canadians to adopt this default rhetoric that now permeates the discussion on terrorism in this country that this needs to be immediately labeled terrorism, and there has to be a paramilitary or military response to what may have been a deranged individual.”

Listen to the interview after the jump.
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Anderson Cooper: ‘Dude, You Were Rude and Asking for A Selfie’

Anderson Cooper who anchored his show from Ottawa last night following Wednesday’s shooting at Parliament, was in no mood for fan selfies. A man named Vandon Gene, who calls himself an “aspiring journalist” and “news junkie,” asked to take a photo with Cooper. The CNN anchor declined, so Gene took to Twitter saying Cooper was “exploiting” the tragedy and that he had “simply asked for a photo.” Cooper then responded:

This morning, Gene realized the error of his ways, and took to Twitter once again: Read more

In Profile: Chris Jansing, Megyn Kelly, Alicia Menendez, Stephanie Ruhle

JansingPaul304NBC News’ senior White House Correspondent Chris Jansing talks to The Hill about growing up in Ohio, her move to D.C. and baking wedding cakes.

I’m happy a lot. Anytime I’m with close family and friends. Doing breaking news. Traveling. Meeting interesting people and experiencing new things. And it makes me very happy to throw a great dinner party with fun people around the table that lasts for hours. There should always be a cheese course.

kelly sandbergFox News Channel anchor Megyn Kelly sat down with People to discuss juggling motherhood and her career, which doesn’t leave much room for sleep.

I have a set up that allows me to be a stay-at-home mom in the day and fulltime employee in the night. It works out well for my home and work life, but it doesn’t leave a lot of time for rest.

Fusion’s Alicia Menendez and Bloomberg’s Stephanie Ruhle are both featured on Marie Claire‘s “New Guard” list, which highlights the 50 most connected women in America.

Despite Criticism, Dr. Nancy Snyderman Will Return to NBC News

Dr Nancy Snyderman Ebola reportNBC News chief medical correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman will return to work, but it won’t be until next month. NBC News president Deborah Turness informed the network’s employees of the decision in an internal email this evening:

I am very pleased to share that, as of tonight, the 21-day quarantine period of Dr. Nancy Snyderman and the team will be over, which means they have cleared the range of time when Ebola symptoms typically appear (the range can be between 2-21 days after exposure but the average time symptoms appear is between 8-10 days). They remain healthy and symptom-free, which is a great relief to all.

While in Liberia Dr. Nancy and her team delivered first class, first-hand reporting from the front lines of this tragic and monumental story. Their subsequent departure from Monrovia, their return to the U.S. and period of quarantine has been a challenging time. We have encouraged them – and they have agreed – to take some time off with their families and friends to help restore some normalcy to their lives. We very much look forward to their return next month.

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Indra Petersons Leaving CNN; Weather Operations Return to Atlanta

IndraPetersonsAs part of the workforce reduction at CNN, New York-based meteorologist Indra Petersons will be leaving the network, TVNewser has learned. All shows will now rely on CNN Weather in Atlanta, led by meteorologists Chad Myers and Jennifer Gray.

Petersons joined CNN last year, working primarily on “New Day.” Before CNN, Petersons was a meteorolgist at KABC in Los Angeles.

In all, CNN reduced staffing by 300 people, or about 8%.  Some open positions weren’t filled, about 130 longtime staffers took a voluntary buyout and the remainder are the result of layoffs which began last week.

Petersons will remain on the air for a while longer before signing off.