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Ferguson Grand Jury Reaches Decision

This afernoong, MSNBC and CNN have been in wall-to-wall coverage of the grand jury decision in the Darren Wilson case, even though the decision hasn’t yet been made public. Fox News has been more tempered with its coverage, reporting that there is a decision and that it will be released sometime after 5pmCT.

Broadcast networks are also planning special reports once the decision is handed down. ABC’s George Stephanopoulos will anchor coverage that will feature live reports from Ferguson. Fox will offer a special report to affiliates anchored by Shepard Smith. We’ll let you know about the other broadcasters when we hear from them.

The 12-person grand jury, made up of 7 men (1 black and 6 white) and 5 women (2 black and 3 white), is deciding whether Wilson, a white police officer from Ferguson, MO, should be criminally indicted for the shooting death of black teenager Michael Brown.

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Ed Henry Asks White House About Al Sharpton’s Taxes

HenrySharptonAt today’s White House briefing, Fox News’s Ed Henry asked Press Secretary Josh Earnest about last week’s New York Times story about MSNBC host and activist Al Sharpton and an unpaid tax bill of some $4.5 million. Henry set up the question noting the president’s ties to Sharpton. “He is here at the White House frequently as an adviser to the president, the president spoke at his organization,” Henry said, before asking:

Henry: Is the president concerned?

Earnest: The question you are asking underscores the importance that there is not political interference in tax enforcement. I am confident this administration is allowing whatever enforcement procedures are underway to be carried out.

Henry: An adviser to the president should pay his or her taxes?

Earnest: I think every American should pay his or her taxes

The Ticker: CNN Influence, Haines Hitched, ‘Dateline’ Wins

  • “Dateline” gave NBC some big wins over the weekend. Friday’s show gave the network its best A18-49 demo number (excluding Olympics) in four years.

In Profile: Muir, Franics, Ramos, Benitez

2muirMAG“World News Tonight” Anchor David Muir is featured and photographed in Esquire magazine as part of a profile on the men who’ve had a breakthrough year.

FOX Business Network’s Melissa Francis was on “Oprah: Where Are They Now?” last night to discuss her past as a child actress, including a gift she received from Robin Williams.

Michael Landon was a lot of fun. He had a great sense of humor and he was a very serious businessman, but he also had a big heart. I mean, he was Santa and God rolled into one.

Fusion’s Jorge Ramos is featured in the Dec. 1 issue of Time. Ramos discussed his broadcasting role model, how Fusion is different from other networks and identifying with the Latino market. Read more

‘Dude, What’s Wrong With You?’: How Fusion Journalists Convinced CEO to Change Course

Fusion_Newsroom2The Fusion network you can watch today is not quite what CEO Isaac Lee originally planned. “In my mind, I was going to produce a cable network for me, and I was thrilled” Lee told NPR’s David Folkenflik. “It was going to be all about Latin America, and it was going to be for Latinos. It was all going to be very newsy and earnest.”

Then the network’s own journalists convinced Lee that targeting only millenials who happen to be Latinos was a giant mistake. “I had brilliant, amazing young journalists that were telling me, ‘dude, what’s wrong with you?’”
Read more

Networks Will Cover Chuck Hagel Resignation

abccbsnbclogosLess than a week after the White House got annoyed over major broadcast networks skipping President Barack Obama‘s address on immigration, networks will cover today’s special report on Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announcing his resignation.

ABC News is breaking into regularly scheduled programming today at approximately 11:10amET. George Stephanopoulos anchors for the network from New York with live reporting from Martha Raddatz and Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl from Washington D.C.

NBC will provide a special report, anchored by Savannah Guthrie in New York. As part of NBC’s coverage, Jim Miklaszewski will be at the Pentagon and Chris Jansing at the White House.

CBS will not air a special report, but will cover the announcement on CBSN. The cable news networks — which have been covering the news since The New York Times broke the story just after 9am — will also cover Obama’s remarks.

Fox broadcasting is offering an optional special report for affiliates.

Sharyl Attkisson: Media Have ‘Bought Into’ Administration’s Benghazi Strategy


In an interview with Howard Kurtz on FNC’s “Media Buzz”, former CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson argued news networks have accepted a White House media strategy that Benghazi is old news, and if anything, a “phony Republican scandal”:

“The strategy that the administration has deployed to make it all sound like old news and controversialize it as if it’s a phony Republican scandal has been somewhat effective within the media, if not maybe with the American public, which polls say I think they are still keenly interested in this topic. The media have kind of bought into that this is a conservative story and a Republican scandal.”

Stelter: Network Anchors Have Met with Michael Brown Shooter Darren Wilson

DarrenWIlsonCNNCNN’s Brian Stelter reports that several network news anchors have met with Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, MO police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown on Aug. 9. As a grand jury decides whether Wilson should be charged with a crime in the case, Stelter named at least five news anchors who have met in secret with Wilson. “Because it was off the record, those anchors can’t talk about the meetings and their networks can’t really even confirm the meetings happened,” Stelter says:

Here are the anchor names I know with the caveat that others may have met with him. NBC’s Matt Lauer, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, CBS’s Scott Pelley and both the prime time anchors at CNN: Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon. Maybe other anchors as well. I have a feeling someone at Fox, I just don’t know the name but that’s what my sources are telling me.

Weather Channel Serves up Reality Show Leftovers, and Maybe Some Weather

FatGuysintheWoodsIn addition to weather forecasts — because that’s what they do — the Weather Channel is serving up re-runs of its reality shows this Thanksgiving weekend. Starting Thanksgiving day and continuing through Saturday, from 2pmET-4amET, the network will air episodes of “So You Think You’d Survive?,” “Fat Guys in the Woods,” (at left) and “Highway Thru Hell.”

CNN Pays Tribute to Retiring Director Roger Strauss

Last week, we mention director Roger Strauss was leaving CNN after 34-plus years of service. The network ended his tenure on Friday with a touching tribute to the original CNN employee.

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