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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.

The Evening Ticker: Baier, Bourdain, Williams

  • Bret Baier and his wife Amy co-chaired the Children’s Ball benefiting Children’s National Medical Center over the weekend. The event raised $10.8 million dollars for the hospital — the most money ever raised at a single charity event in the nation’s capital.

  • In preliminary ratings, the third season premiere of “Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown” had its best debut in the A25-54 demo and won its 9pm Sunday timeslot on cable news. Among total viewers, the show was up +8% over the season two premiere.

  • Brian Williams has accepted an invitation to speak at Nashville’s Hillwood High School graduation next month after a group of students produced this video in response to the address he delivered at Elon University’s commencement last year.

Edward Snowden Reporting Wins Pulitzer Prize For Washington Post, Guardian

The Washington Post and the U.S. edition of the Guardian have won the top award in journalism — the Pulitzer Prize. They will share the Public Service award for their series of stories on NSA surveillance, as revealed by Edward Snowden, an NSA contractor who gave the top-secret information to the news organizations. The Pulitzer committee said the journalism was “marked by authoritative and insightful reports that helped the public understand how the disclosures fit into the larger framework of national security.”

Barton Gellman led the Post’s coverage, while Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Ewen MacAskill led the Guardian’s coverage.

KurtzSnowdenGreenwald became the public face of the reporting, appearing on two Sunday shows last June 9 just hours before the Guardian posted a video interview with Snowden detailing NSA tactics. As an international chase began for Snowden — he eventually made it to Moscow, where he remains — Greenwald kept up his U.S. TV news appearances, often from Rio de Janeiro where he lives, including on “Meet the Press” where journalism itself, became the topic of debate. Greenwald and Poitras returned to the U.S. last Friday, to accept a Polk Award, also for their Snowden reporting.

A Fulltime Job and Twins, CNN’s Kyra Phillips Now Adds a Podcast to Her Routine

MomSquadIncreasingly, TV news anchors and hosts are going extra-curricular as they expand their “brand.” A few years ago, former CBS “Early Show” and local TV anchor Rene Syler launched parenting site Good Enough Mother while still continuing TV appearances. When she left CNN, Soledad O’Brien started her own production company and can now be seen on CNN, Al Jazeera America and other outlets. Then there are the TV news anchors who do double duty on radio, FNC’s Brian Kilmeade among them.

CNN anchor Kyra Phillips is getting into the multi-tasking fray. Phillips and two friends started “The Mom Squad Show,” a 3-times-a-week podcast which, in its first week on iTunes, was downloaded 7,000 times. The podcast is hosted by Phillips in Atlanta, and fellow moms Christine Eads in Washington, DC and Chaz Kelly in Connecticut. Kelly’s husband “Seton” O’Connor is a sidekick on the Dan Patrick show. Eads co-hosts a show on SiriusXM.

Phillips will continue her day job in the CNN Investigative unit, while recording the podcast in her off hours. She’s not allowed to pitch products, or otherwise overstep her CNN contract. Phillips and her husband, Fox News Atlanta-based correspondent John Roberts, are the parents of 3-year-old twins.

“The Mom Squad Show” already has distribution. It went live on iHeardRadio today, and will soon be carried on TuneIn.

All the Media News, That’s Fit To Air

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While the three evening newscasts and the network morning shows often look the same — with the same lineup of stories, often airing at the same time — the two media criticism shows, provide two distinct options for news junkies: those who are partial to Fox News and those who tune in to CNN.

Both shows, CNN’s “Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter” and FNC’s “MediaBuzz with Howard Kurtz,” air at the same time, 11amET Sundays. (“MediaBuzz” also gets a re-air at 5pmET)

Yesterday, “Reliable Sources” led with the Stephen Colbert taking over CBS’s “Late Show.” “MediaBuzz” led with how the media covered the departure of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Kurtz got to Colbert :47 minutes into his show. “Reliable Sources” didn’t cover Sebelius at all.

On CNN, Stelter had a 10-minute segment, which included an interview with Sen. Al Franken, on the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger. Kurtz didn’t cover last week’s merger news, but had two segments with former CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson, who was also on Bill O’Reilly‘s show earlier in the week.

Stelter reported last week’s news of a new ABC News president, Kurtz did not. Kurtz discussed the coverage of Jeb Bush last week, Stelter did not. Both shows gladly covered competitor MSNBC, and the reports that host Al Sharpton was once an FBI informant.

While no one will ever confuse CNN and Fox News, the two programs that cover the media are leading the way in differentiation.

The Morning Ticker: Ingraham & ABC, MSNBC Tour, ‘Dateline’ Ratings

  • MSNBC kicks off the Growing Hope College Tour next Friday as Alex Wagner visits Texas Southern University. Wagner will host her show from University Plaza next Friday. The following Wednesday, the tour takes Rev. Al Sharpton to Morehouse College.

  • “Dateline Saturday Night Mystery” continues to score for NBC. Drawing 4.8 million viewers, the 2-hour show was the No. 1 non-sports show on the Big 4 networks in its Saturday night timeslot among viewers and the two younger demos.

Greta Confronts Candidate Who Intends to Wage War on Fox News if He Wins Election

This was almost too easy.

On her show Thursday night, Greta Van Susteren confronted Virginia congressional candidate Mike Dickinson who, on Twitter, vowed to wage “war” on the Tea Party and on Fox News if he wins. “I don’t have a problem with you, I have a problem with the company you work for,” Dickinson told Van Susteren, who then quickly dispatched with the candidate over his contradictory statements and outright lies, including a claim that he was the CEO of company that owns strip clubs.


‘SNL’ Lampoons CNN Alerts, Al Sharpton

CNNPregnancySNLLast Saturday night, “Fox & Friends” got another send-up on “Saturday Night Live.” Last night CNN’s breaking news alerts and MSNBC host Al Sharpton got the SNL treatment.

The CNN Pregnancy Test gives a hopeful couple an alert on everything but whether they’re having a baby. “The CNN take-home pregnancy test… for when you want to know, when they don’t know.”

In another skit, “Undercover Sharpton” imagines the Rev. Al Sharpton as an undercover FBI informant. Both clips after the jump…

Read more

The Sunday Ticker: Kotb, Cavett, Gupta

  • “Today” show co-host Hoda Kotb is putting on her running shoes this morning as host of the 11th Annual More/Fitness Women’s Half-Marathon in Central Park. Kotb will welcome 20,000 runners and spectators for the largest women’s-only half-marathon in the country.

  • Legendary talk show host Dick Cavett, who will be a guest on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” this morning, is being honored by the Museum of Broadcast Communications at its annual benefit in June. The Chicago museum will also launch “Dick Cavett: A Retrospective.”

  • CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta continues his reports from Guinea, in West Africa, today tracking a deadly epidemic of Ebola and what is being done to control it. In the current outbreak, which began last month, the World Health Organization has confirmed more than 100 deaths.

CNBC Expands Reality Shows

cnbc logo_304x200CNBC has greenlit two new reality shows for summer, and has three others in development.

“Restaurant Kickstart” pits restaurateur Joe Bastianich and celebrity chef Tim Love against each other as they invest their own money in food concepts they believe will make them millions. The second show, “Filthy Rich Guide” is an insider look at the best that money can buy. From outrageous mansions, to private islands, this series shows how the .1% live.

In addition, CNBC is devloping “Restaurant Confidential,” (the title of which probably isn’t going to sit well with Anthony Bourdain), “Hard Money,” and “More Money, More Problems.”

“Restaurant Kickstart” debuts in July and “Filthy Rich Guide” launches in August.

Here’s Jane Pauley’s First CBS ‘Sunday Morning’ Interview

As we told you earlier today, longtime “Today” show co-anchor Jane Pauley is joining CBS News as a contributor to “CBS Sunday Morning.” Author Mitch Albom is the subject of her first story airing later this month.

 

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