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Chris Ariens

Chris joined Mediabistro in July 2007 as editor of TVNewser.com and executive producer of the blog network and was promoted to editorial director in June 2009. Before joining mediabistro, Chris spent seven years at MSNBC, as a producer, coordinating producer for the Olympics, and lastly as executive producer of daytime programs., Chris worked as a producer in local TV news in Green Bay (WLUK) and Tampa (WFTS). Email chris@mediabistro.com and follow @ChrisAriens on Twitter.

ABC Brings ‘Tonight’ Back to ‘World News’

WorldNewsTonightFollowing Diane Sawyer‘s sign-off last night, the first promo to air teased what’s ahead on tonight’s show. Eagle-eyed viewers also noticed something different. As of today, ABC’s flagship broadcast is known as “World News Tonight.”

The broadcast had long been called “World News Tonight,” but ABC dropped the “Tonight” in 2006 during Charles Gibson‘s time as anchor. At the time, ABC News president David Westin explained, “Our flagship evening news broadcast has evolved well beyond thirty minutes on television. As we continue to expand ABC News and ‘World News’ into the 24-hour space created by the digital world, it makes sense for that reality to be reflected in the title of the broadcast.”

There’s no explanation this time for the change. The Twitter account for the show @abcworldnews already includes the new graphic and the Facebook link has been changed from World News to ABC World News Tonight. David Muir‘s name will be added to the title when he officially takes over as anchor next Tuesday. “World News Tonight” gets a new EP in the coming weeks as Almin Karamehmedovic moves over from “Nightline.”

Morning Show Ratings: Week of August 18

morningshowanchors2014ABC’s “Good Morning America” begins its third year as the most-watched morning show. The only weeks “GMA” has lost to NBC’s “Today” since the 2012 London Olympics, were the two weeks of the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

But compared to the same week last year, only “CBS This Morning” showed total viewer growth. “CTM” was up +8%, while “GMA” was down -6% and “Today” was down -1%. In the A25-54 demo, all three shows lost viewers vs. last year: “GMA” was down -7%, “Today” down -8% and “CTM” down -3%.

The averages for the week of August 18, 2014:

  • Total Viewers: ABC: 4.849M / NBC: 4.359M / CBS: 2.858M
  • A25-54 viewers: ABC: 1.773M / NBC: 1.622M / CBS: 880,000

 

Sean Hannity: ‘If You Shut Up, I’ll Give You An Answer’

HannityGuestSean Hannity‘s 11-minute interview with British Imam Anjem Choudary last night was both fiery and futile.

“Are you that dumb and ignorant?” Hannity asked at one point, as Choudary evaded most of Hannity’s questions.

“You want to listen to your own voice,” said Choudary. “Maybe you would learn something if you listen. Shut up for a minute! Shut up for a minute,” the Imam said. “Answer! Answer the question!” Hannity shot back. “You are the enemy of free people. You support evil and death and demise of innocent people,” Hannity added.

In the end Choudary vowed that “Sharia law is coming to a place near you.” Hannity then ended it: “All right. You’re wasting my time. Goodbye.” Watch: Read more

Wilfred Frost Follows in Father’s Footsteps

WorldwideExchange

Two new anchors are set to join CNBC’s “Worldwide Exchange.”

Wilfred Frost and Seema Mody (center) join Julia Chatterley (left) as hosts of the daily global business show next month. Broadcast from the CNBC London studio, and airing from 4-6amET weekdays, the show aims to be the “essential business and investment news from the Asian, EMEA and American markets.”

Frost, a former fund manager, is new to CNBC. He’s chosen journalism, the career of his late father, Sir David Frost, who died a year ago Sunday. Frost graduated from Oxford with a degree in Politics, Philosophy & Economics and worked for five years at an investment house. Seema Mody has been a reporter with CNBC in New York since 2011. She was previously an anchor and reporter at CNBC-TV18 in Mumbai where she co-anchored “Power Breakfast” and “After the Bell.”

“The ensemble format, with personalities representing rich and diverse experiences, will guide our investor audience through the myriad news stories that break and develop each business day in markets all over the world,” says CNBC SVP & Editor-in-Chief, Nikhil Deogun. “The show provides our viewers with a curated selection of the events that most affect their investment decisions.”

Frost joins Monday. Mody will join in mid-September.

Attorney Wants Retraction of CNN Story

LemonBlumenthalThe is it or isn’t it debate over a purported audiotape of the Michael Brown shooting hit a new level last night. Lopa Blumenthal, the attorney who provided the audiotape to CNN, and other networks, says she won’t “tolerate being maligned” by those who say the tape is a hoax.

“I’m not going to sit back and take this,” she tells WaPo’s Erik Wemple. “This is affecting my community — people are discussing it. My business exists on the work that I do, which means nothing if people think that I have no integrity.”

Blumenthal contacted CNN’s Don Lemon, who first aired the tape and conducted an interview with her Monday night, to express concern about the “New Day” segment Wednesday which called into question the veracity of the tape. “I need some form of redress,” she says. “My demand would be to not only do a retraction but to basically say that when CNN aired it they were fully aware of the fact that it wasn’t fully authenticated, and they decided to air it in any case with the disclaimer.”

Diane Sawyer Signs Off ‘World News:’ ‘I’ll See You Right Back Here on ABC News, Very Soon’

SawyerFinalIn what may be the most subdued evening news transition since John Chancellor handed off “NBC Nightly News” to Tom Brokaw and Roger Mudd in 1982, Diane Sawyer signed off “World News” tonight. ABC hadn’t announced when Sawyer’s final show would air. That news came in a tweet from Sawyer this afternoon.

After a first block of news of the day, the second block included a David Muir “Made in America” report, a franchise which started under Sawyer’s watch. Muir said the ABC team has produced 154 reports and three updates since the series started three years ago. Sawyer then passed the torch her successor. “You know his command and commitment to bringing you the news, and let me just say to you personally right here, I cannot wait to see you in high gear. Let it begin.”

The third block took viewers behind the scenes, with a piece on those who put the show together: producers, writers, editors, correspondents, graphic designers, production crew and more. “Our teams across the country, our teams around the globe working under tight deadlines every single day,” said Sawyer, who then gave viewers a live peek into the control room. Here’s Sawyer’s final block goodbye:  Read more

The Scoreboard: Tuesday, August 26

25-54 demographic (Live +SD)

  • Total day: FNC: 264 | MSNBC: 87 | CNN: 163 | HLN: 93
  • Primetime: FNC: 411 | MSNBC: 158 | CNN: 242 | HLN: 95

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

168

TheFive:

339

Baier:

323

Greta:

270

O’Reilly:

450

Kelly:

398

Hannity:

386

O’Reilly:

303

Kelly:

311

MSNBC
Wagner:

50

EdShow:

94

Sharpton:

122

Matthews:

119

Hayes:

134

Maddow:

193

O’Donnell:

144

Hayes:

119

Maddow:

81

CNN
Tapper:

160

Blitzer:

145

Blitzer:

204

Burnett:

283

Cooper:

289

Cooper:

255

Tonight:

182

Tonight:

178

CNNI:

125

HLN
Now:

39

Files:

26

Files:

38

Jane:

113

Grace:

90

Dr.Drew:

69

Files:

126

Files:

189

Files:

218

Read more

Was Alleged Audio of Michael Brown Shooting on CNN a Hoax?

LemonBlumenthalMediaite writes about CNN’s morning show questioning the reporting of one of CNN’s evening shows.

Monday night, “CNN Tonight” aired an audiotape purported to capture the shooting of Michael Brown. The tape was brought to CNN by St. Louis attorney Lopa Blumenthal, (at right with anchor Don Lemon) who says a former client gave it to her. Lemon repeatedly said that CNN could not verify the authenticity of the tape.

TVNewser has learned CBS News received the same audio earlier this week from Blumenthal, but chose not to run it because it could not be verified.

This morning on “New Day,” two guests on CNN doubted the veracity of it.

“I’ve told your producers that for all I know this is something one of Howard Stern’s punk people had been doing. I look at this and my first inclination is someone is trying to punk CNN,” said former LAPD officer David Klinger. CNN analyst Tom Fuentes also doubted its authenticity: “When I heard this yesterday, I thought the exact same thing: it’s a hoax.”

WaPo’s Erik Wemple reported yesterday on how CNN got its hands on the audiotape. When asked about its authenticity, a CNN spokesperson told Wemple, “[W]e interviewed the caller’s attorney off camera and she answered key questions that gave us confidence to put her on the air live with Don. And we did confirm the caller lived close enough to the shooting to have heard the shots.”

Now it appears, there are doubts inside CNN.

The Scoreboard: Saturday, August 23

25-54 demographic (Live +SD)

  • Total day: FNC: 186 | MSNBC: 113 | CNN: 162 | HLN: 141
  • Primetime: FNC: 152 | MSNBC: 123 | CNN: 198 | HLN: 122

4p: 5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p: 12a:
FNC
Alt/HQ:

105

Stossel:

114

NewsHQ:

132

Report:

185

Huckabee:

121

Pirro:

165

Hannity:

171

RedEye:

123

Pirro:

147

MSNBC
Caught:

104

Caught:

150

Caught:

115

Caught:

60

Caught:

55

Lockup:

126

Lockup:

188

Lockup:

251

Lockup:

246

CNN
News/Gupta:

146

Nwsroom:

165

Smerconish:

167

Nwsroom:

165

TheHunt:

167

TheHunt:

155

TheHunt:

272

TheHunt:

177

TheHunt:

193

HLN
Files:

150

Files:

156

Files:

146

Files:

136

Files:

107

Files:

125

Files:

135

Files:

164

Files:

199

Read more

Big News Draws Big Crowds to Cable News

FNCquakeNo news slowdown this August. We’ll have the final monthly cable news numbers next Wednesday, but for last week, with coverage of protests in Ferguson, MO, the murder of James Foley and the earthquake in California, Fox News Channel was the second most-watched network in all of cable in primetime, behind only ESPN which had its own big week with the Little League World Series. FNC trailed only Nickelodeon in total day viewing. (We’ll have the network ranker later today). It was the network’s second highest-rated week this year, only behind the week of the State of the Union in January.

Several FNC programs hit new heights, including “Outnumbered” and “Happening Now” which saw all-time highs averaging 1.188 million and 1.223 million viewers, respectively. “The Kelly File” had its highest rated week of the year in the A25-54 demo, and “Hannity” had its most-watched week of the year in both viewers and the demo.

Early in the week, CNN drew a big audience for its coverage from Ferguson. CNN won the A25-54 demo four days running and “New Day” had its highest-ever demo rating on Tuesday.

FNC was the only cable news network to have programs in the top 50 cable telecasts for the week, with 7 in the top 50. The Top 20 after the jump.

Read more

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