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Alex Weprin

Alex Weprin is a senior editor at Mediabistro. He has written about television for Broadcasting & Cable magazine, Cynopsis: Weekender and other outlets, and is a big New York Mets fan. You can follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/alexweprin

Thanks TVNewser Readers…

AlexWeprinAfter three and a half years, this is my final post for Mediabistro and TVNewser.

I am moving on to Capital New York, where I will be covering TV as the site expands under the ownership of the Allbritton family.

When I first joined Mediabistro from Broadcasting & Cable magazine in 2010, I hoped to bring the occasional magazine-style sensibility to the site, and on occasion I think I succeeded. There was my profile of Morgan Spurlock from earlier this year, and my afternoon trailing CBS News anchor Scott Pelley at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. I stopped by the “Today” show set in London during the 2012 Olympics, and spent a very late night in a pool cabana on Miami Beach with Charlie Sheen.

I’ve been able to interview an amazing group of people, from Lawrence O’Donnell and Rachel Maddow, to Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Ed Henry on the floor of the DNC. There was Brian Williams and Jerry Springer for “My First Big Break,” and our “Cubes” video tours of places like Bloomberg TV and MLB Network.

It really has been a pleasure to write here, following the path blazed by my friends and colleagues Brian Stelter, Steve Krakuaer and Kevin Allocca. I have also been honored to work with the amazingly talented Merrill Knox, whose byline you will probably be seeing much more of, and my boss Chris Ariens, who has led the site since Brian joined the Times.

Most importantly, thank you, TVNewser readers, for all your support.

Morning Show Ratings: Week of October 7

AMShowAnchors

It was another close week in the ratings for the network morning shows, with  NBC’s “Today” finishing fewer than 20,000 viewers behind ratings leader “Good Morning America” in the demo last week.

ABC’s “GMA” led the way in total and demo viewers, with “Today” placing second, and in the case of the demo a very close second. “CBS This Morning” placed third.

Compared to the same week last year, ABC and NBC were up in both total and demo viewers, while “CTM” was up in total viewers, but down slightly in the demo.

The averages for the week of October 7, 2013:

  • Total Viewers: ABC: 5.451M / NBC: 4.751M / CBS: 2.902M
  • A25-54 viewers: ABC: 1.989M / NBC: 1.970M / CBS: 997K

Chris Matthews Weighs In On Politics, MSNBC To Larry King, ABC News

MSNBC host Chris Matthews continues his book tour. The latest appearances are on ABC News/ web video series “Politics Confidential” with Jonathan Karl, and on Larry King‘s politics program for Ora TV.

Matthews talked to King about the politics of cable news and MSNBC, and how viewers tend to migrate to hosts who share their point of view. That said, Matthews says he makes an effort to keep at least some Republican viewers.

WATCH:

Matthews talked to Karl about his days working for House speaker Tip O’Neil and how politics in the 80′s compares to the politics of today.

Update: Greta Van Susteren isn’t happy with how Matthews described her. She weighs in on her blog.

So why bother to respond? Because it is now on the internet what he says about me and it is wrong. It needs to be corrected. Matthews makes stuff up about me and unless I answer it, it lives unanswered on the internet for ever and some may falsely take it to be true.

Dick Cheney Making TV Rounds To Promote Book

dick cheney fox news sundayFormer Vice President Dick Cheney is making the TV rounds to promote a new book he wrote about his medical history. Heart: An American Medical Odyssey, was co-written by Cheney and his cardiologist.

Cheney is kicking off his TV tour Sunday night on CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes,” where he will be interviewed by CNN and CBS News contributor Dr. Sanjay Gupta. on Monday, Cheney will appear on NBC’s “Today,” (which the show is promoting as his “first live TV interview”) where he will be interviewed by Savannah Guthrie. Cheney will also appear Monday night at 10pmET on “Hannity” and on “Dr. Oz.”

Cheney last made TV rounds earlier this year.

Thomas Roberts To Host ‘Miss Universe’ In Russia, Despite Anti-Gay Policies

Thomas Roberts MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts has been tapped to co-host the “Miss Universe” pageant for NBC next month, alongside “Spice Girl” Mel B.

Roberts will be stepping in for Bravo’s Andy Cohen, who dropped out because the pageant is being held in Russia, which recently passed anti-gay legislation. Roberts is also gay, and explains on msnbc.com why he decided to take on the challenge.

So people may wonder: “Thomas, how can you accept this assignment? Shouldn’t you boycott Russia?” I am not going to boycott. Boycotting and vilifying from the outside is too easy. Rather, I choose to offer my support of the LGBT community in Russia by going to Moscow and hosting this event as a journalist, an anchor and a man who happens to be gay. Let people see I am no different than anyone else.

All kids—Russian, American or otherwise—need hope. I am a happy, healthy, gainfully employed, educated and married man. And yes, I am gay. These new Russian laws won’t stop Russians from being born LGBT and growing up to identify as such. Russia’s treatment of its LGBT citizens is unacceptable, unrealistic and only promotes homophobia and intolerance for a community that does and will continue to exist.

Fusion Morning Show Hosts Make Debut On ‘Good Morning America’

The hosts of Fusion’s upcoming “The Morning Show” made their TV debut this morning… on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” ABC News is the co-owner of Fusion, alongside Univision.

People in Times Square waved paddles with the Fusion logo, as George Stephanopoulos, Sam Champion and Lara Spencer welcomed the team of Pedro Andrade, Mariana Atencio and Yannis Pappas to the plaza outside the studio.

“Welcome to morning television guys, you are definitely young enough for morning television, that’s for sure,” Stephanopoulos said.

“We are the morning show for 24 year olds,” Atencio said. “We are trying to make a show that is reflective of the very fast pace, BuzzFeed driven, sometimes cynical but very fun world that young people live in.”

WATCH:

More Than Five Million People Turned To Cable News For Government Restart

BudgetFNCAs Congress passed a last ditch bill to avert default and end the government shutdown, millions of people turned to cable news. President Obama spoke during the 8 PM hour, and the successful House voted occurred during the 10 PM hour.

Coverage on Fox News and CNN peaked during the 8 PM hour, while MSNBC’s coverage peaked at 9 and 10 PM. Fox News led the way in total and demo viewers every hour in primetime, with CNN second in the demo at 8 and 11 PM, and MSNBC second at 9 and 10 PM.

8 PM:

FNC: 2.64M total viewers, 530,000 A25-54.
CNN: 1.59M total viewers, 466,000 A25-54
MSNBC: 1.20M total viewers, 275,000 A25-54.

9 PM:

FNC: 2.04M total viewers, 483,000 A25-54.
MSNBC: 1.44M total viewers, 366,000 A25-54
CNN: 1.14M total viewers, 302,000 A25-54

10 PM:
Read more

NBC’s Luke Russert, Fox News Prematurely Declare Rep. Bill Young Dead

NBC News correspondent Luke Russert and Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson seemingly got ahead of the news this afternoon, reporting that Rep. Bill Young (R-FL) had died, when in fact he is gravely ill.

Russert tweeted the news at 1:54 PM, garnering numerous retweets from other NBC News reporters.

RussertYoung

Carlson reported the news on-air at 2:05 PM as a “Fox News Alert.” Politico has the video.

Shortly thereafter, Young’s family revealed that he was “gravely ill” and in the hospital, but that he was not, in fact, dead. Russert tweeted an “Update” with the family’s statement at 2:37 PM, and Fox News ran a correction at 2:23 PM.

“I am really sorry to report that earlier we did report that Congressman Bill Young had passed away, and we can now report that was not the case,” Carlson said. “We sincerely apologize for the error, hopefully that will not happen again.”

David Letterman Previews Bill O’Reilly’s ‘New Book’

Fox News host Bill O’Reilly was on CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman” last night. The government shutdown took up most of the conversation, but Letterman also asked O’Reilly about his book, and revealed what his next book should be: “Killing Time,” a history of the “Late Show” putting people to sleep.

WATCH:

They also talked about the Washington Redskins, and whether the team should change its name.

WATCH:
Read more

Special Reports As President Comments On Reopened Government


The broadcast networks broke into regularly scheduled programming at 11 AM, as President Obama spoke about the debt deal, and the reopening of the federal government. The cable news channels also covered the statement live, as one would expect.

“The American people are completely fed up with Washington,” Obama said. “All of us need to stop focusing on the lobbyists and the bloggers and the talking heads on radio, and the professional activists who profit from conflict.”

“The good news is that we will bounce back from this, we always do,” Obama added, before laying out three ideas for where to move on from our current situation.

He ended the comments by thanking federal workers who were either furloughed, or forced to work without being paid.

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