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For the First Time, Broadcast Networks Shut Out of duPont Awards

4038v2239 (1)Ever since 1968, when the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards arrived at Columbia, it’s been a pretty safe bet that each year, somebody at CBS News, ABC News or NBC News was going to take home a duPont. At least, until this year. For the first time, the legacy broadcast networks were not among the 2015 winners announced this week. ”They are exceptional and innovative reports about some of the most important issues of our time,” said NBC’s Cynthia McFadden in a video announcing the 2015 winners.

The fourteen winners for 2015 include usual suspects like “Frontline” and CNN, and four local television stations. And then there are the newbies, including Netflix, which was chosen for a feature documentary. “The categories change. The technologies change. Ten years ago, who even knew what streaming was? Today a streaming service has won a duPont,” said Richard Wald, duPont Jury Chair and the Fred W. Friendly Professor of Media and Society at Columbia Journalism School. “But the jury was impressed that the essentials remain: tell a good story in the service of truth; tell something interesting and important; tell something that makes us wiser and better informed. Valuable journalism is alive and well.”

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The Scoreboard: Wednesday, December 17

25-54 demographic (Live +SD)

  • Total day: FNC: 266 | CNN: 129 | MSNBC: 85 | HLN: 96
  • Primetime: FNC: 398 | CNN: 178 | MSNBC: 128 | HLN: 109

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








































































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Fox News Radio Hires Two Correspondents, Moves One

FoxNewsRadioFOX News Radio has made some hires.

Jon Decker joins as a White House correspondent and Gurnal Scott joins as a national correspondent based in New York. At the same time, Fox News Radio’s Jessica Golloher will move from New York, where she was a national reporter, to Jerusalem where she will be Middle East correspondent.

Decker, who will represent FNR in the White House press corps, is joining FNR from SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s “White House Insider.” Scott joins from WUNC-FM in Chapel Hill, NC where he was assistant news director.

‘Strange Inheritance’ With Jamie Colby to Premiere in January

Strange_InheritanceThe Fox Business show that we first told you about back in May, will officially premiere on January 26 at 9pmET. “Strange Inheritance,” hosted by Jamie Colby, will explore stories of unconventional inheritances. New episodes will debut every Monday and Tuesday.

Colby will explores a range of unusual circumstances, from a family trying to keep a 900-acre bug museum in business, to the discovery of a rare 1913 Liberty Head nickel. FBN will also air “Strange Inheritance Unpacked,” a behind-the-scenes look at how each story unfolded, every Wednesday and Thursday at 9:30 pm ET.

Morning Show Ratings: Week of December 8

morningshowanchors2014Each of the three morning newscasts dropped double digits in the demo that counts: the A25-54 news demo.

“Good Morning America” won the week in viewers and the demo, but was down -8% and down -13%, respectively, compared to the same week last year.

NBC’s “Today” show was down as well: -6% in viewers and down -15% in the demo. “CBS This Morning” was down -11% in the demo, but was the only morning show to grow its viewership: +3%. Season-to-date, “CTM” is the only network morning broadcast gaining viewers compared to the 2013-2014 season.

Meanwhile, “Today,” had its closest demo margin with “GMA” in eight months. Still, “GMA” is seeing its largest season margin over “Today” in the demo in 23 years – since the 1991-92 season.

The averages for the week of Dec. 8, 2014:

  • Total Viewers: ABC: 5.533M / NBC: 5.156M / CBS: 3.294M
  • A25-54 viewers: ABC: 2.055M / NBC: 2.001M / CBS: 970K

Changes at ‘Nightline’ as Dan Abrams Exits, Byron Pitts Steps In

BYRON PITTSABC has announced that “Nightline” anchor Dan Abrams will be stepping down from that role to be chief legal analyst at ABC News, and to return his attention to his company, Abrams Media. “Dan has decided to step back from his full-time role as Nightline anchor after tonight, but I’m very happy to report that he will bring us his brilliant insights as chief legal analyst for ABC News for years to come,” said ABC News president James Goldston in an email to the news division Thursday morning.

Goldston also announced ABC chief national correspondent Byron Pitts will join “Nightline” as co-anchor. “Byron is a truly passionate storyteller and deep thinker about the critical issues of our time, as his work from Soweto to Ferguson makes clear,” said Goldston.

Read the full memo, after the jump: Read more

Megyn Kelly on White House Christmas Party: ‘Boy oh Boy Did I See a Lot of MSNBC Anchors’

Two primetime Fox Newsers turned up in late night last night.

In a coincidental booking, Megyn Kelly was on Jimmy Kimmel on ABC, while Bill O’Reilly dropped by “Late Night with Seth Meyers” on NBC. Both Kelly and O’Reilly were first time guests on Kimmel and Meyers, respectively.

Over on CBS, NBC’s Tom Brokaw paid a visit to “Late Show with David Letterman.”

With Meyers, O’Reilly talked politics, specifically Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and O’Reilly declared victory in the war on Christmas. With Letterman, Brokaw talked about his Presidential Medal of Freedom honor, his new NBC Sports Network show and his health: “Things are going along as well as they possibly could be. And I’m at a stage now where I really worry about other cancer patients because I’m on a good track.”

With Kimmel, Kelly talked about her experience at the White House Christmas party Tuesday night. “Is there a separate section for Fox News,” Kimmel joked. “You mean somewhere other than outside in the rain?,” Kelly said, adding, “Boy or boy, did I see a lot of MSNBC anchors. I think they got a few more invitations than we got.” WATCH: Read more

Greta the Diplomat

NYPGretaThe New York Post, which until last year was a corporate sibling of Fox News, says Greta Van Susteren would have been a better Cuban negotiator than Pres. Obama. In an opinion piece, the Post writes:

It’s hard not to note that in another recent case — Mexico’s jailing of Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi — Fox News’ Greta van Susteren helped get this US Marine freed without any of the compromises Obama agreed to in exchange for Alan Gross. Maybe next time the president needs a back-channel negotiation with some thug regime, he should send Greta instead of John Kerry.

The U.S. will be looking for an ambassador to Cuba in due time. Perhaps Greta is ready.

How Scott Pelley Made It to Cuba Just in Time for ‘The CBS Evening News’

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 7.24.46 PMThey gambled, and it paid off. On the day President Obama announced he would move forward with talks aimed at normalizing relations with Cuba, “CBS Evening News” anchor Scott Pelley stunned many observers when he appeared–looking crisp in a suit and tie–in Havana, the only evening news anchor on the island Wednesday night. “Everyone is so happy here,” said one CBS News insider about the hectic hours of work by dozens of “Evening News” staffers to make that liveshot happen.

On air, Pelley may have made it look effortless, but it wasn’t. Not at all. The decision to go for it was made shortly after the Cuba story broke. CBS execs decided it was worth the risk of having Pelley absent from the newscast on a major news day–Norah O’Donnell was slated to fill-in on the anchor desk in New York–for the chance to make a bold statement by having Pelley in place in Cuba.

Pelley started the day in Washington, where he attended last night’s White House media holiday party. Once the decision was made, Pelley and his team scrambled and headed directly to the airport.

In New York and Havana, producers, coordinators and fixers worked through the day to make sure that if Pelley’s travel went as hoped–entering the country is hardly without unexpected problems–there would be a live location waiting for him. The best case scenario was that Pelley would land, drive to the camera, mic up and go live.
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CNN’s Patrick Oppmann: ‘My Cuban Friends Reacted With Joy…Some Cried Tears’

9a CNN Aircheck

CNN correspondent Patrick Oppmann used to cover stories like the debut of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner and Occupy Seattle. But his move from the Pacific Northwest to Havana gave him a truly one-of-a-kind beat–a bureau that dates to 1997, when CNN became the first U.S.-based news organization in nearly 30 years with a bureau in Cuba.

“I have lived in Cuba for the last three years as the only American TV correspondent based here,” Oppmann told TVNewser, not long after President Barack Obama and Cuba’s Raul Castro announced plans to begin talks on normalizing relations. “Despite being 90 miles away from the U.S., it is like covering a country on the other side of the world.”

In November, Oppmann–along with CNN’s Ray Sanchez and Elise Labott–reported that it was not out of the question to think of a possible break in relations between Cuba and the U.S. “Senior administration officials and Cuba observers say reforms on the island and changing attitudes in the United States have created an opening for improved relations.”

That historic process begins now. And what a story to cover. “Many Cubans have had little exposure to Americans,” Oppmann said. “Most of what they read in the Cuban state press is negative and stuck in a Cold War time warp. Still Cubans have treated me, my wife and our two young children with incredible warmth. Today my Cuban friends reacted with joy at the idea of a normalized U.S.-Cuban relationship. Some cried tears. I can only hope – despite their years of struggle – a better future awaits them.” Read more