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Jordan Chariton

Jordan Chariton is Editor of TVNewser and Lost Remote. He joined Mediabistro in 2013 after four years working in cable news, at Fox News, Fox Business and MSNBC, and over a year as the digital producer at NYC's 92nd Street Y. When he's not reading or writing, Jordan is most likely taking in a movie, museum, restaurant, or binge Netflix watching. Follow him on Twitter @JordanChariton or email him at jordan@mediabistro.com.

James Foley’s Brother: More Could’ve Been Done ‘Directly on Jim’s Behalf’

CouricWhile speaking with Katie Couric on Yahoo!, James Foley‘s brother expressed his thoughts on the U.S. government’s efforts to save Jim.

“The United States could’ve done more on behalf of the western and American hostages over there and still dealt with the broader worldwide issues,” Michael Foley, sitting alongside his sister Katie, said regarding the U.S. policy of not trading ransom money for prisoners.

“Take the money aside, there’s more that could’ve been done directly on Jim’s behalf, and I really hope with respect to Steven [Sotloff] that they take some action quickly.”

The interview caps off a big week for Couric. She also had an exclusive with Melinda Gates, who announced a million dollar donation to an online charity funding schools, and an exclusive with Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. In that interview, which goes up this afternoon, Sirleaf thanked now Ebola-free Americans Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol who contracted the disease while treating Ebola patients in Liberia.

And on Couric’s former TV stomping grounds, James Foley’s parents talked about their own experience this morning. “I actually hoped we could engage in negotiations with them [ISIS] if they were willing to send us any sort of communication,” John Foley said in a “Today” exclusive.

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How Ferguson Story Played Out on Twitter and Cable News

A new Pew Research Center study of the coverage immediately following the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson shows Twitter initially spotlighted the story with cable news soon following.

Pew found Twitter conversation started the day of Brown’s shooting on Saturday, August 9, with over 146,000 tweets posted. Cable news coverage began the next day. Examining primetime coverage during the first week following the shooting, MSNBC led the way, followed by CNN and Fox News. President Obama’s first statement on the shooting on August 14 marked the biggest day of attention on both cable news and Twitter with 296 combined minutes of primetime coverage between the three networks and over 3.6 million tweets penned.

Ferguson Coverage

Did Obama White House Get Initial Insight on Ferguson From Al Sharpton?

SharptonPolitico Magazine writes the Obama administration leaned on MSNBC’s Al Sharpton for information after the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown and subsequent protests in Ferguson, Missouri.

A few days after 18-year-old Mike Brown was gunned down in Ferguson, Missouri, White House officials enlisted an unusual source for on-the-ground intelligence amid the chaos and tear gas: the Rev. Al Sharpton, a fiery activist who became a household name by provoking rather than pacifying. In Ferguson, Sharpton established himself as a de facto contact and conduit for a jittery White House seeking to negotiate a middle ground between meddling and disengagement. “There’s a trust factor with The Rev from the Oval Office on down,” a White House official familiar with their dealings told me. After huddling with Brown’s family and local community leaders, Sharpton connected directly with White House adviser and First Friend Valerie Jarrett, vacationing in her condo in the exclusive Oak Bluffs section of Martha’s Vineyard, not far from where President Obama and his family were staying. Obama was “horrified” by the images he was seeing on TV, Jarrett told Sharpton, and proceeded to pepper him with questions as she collected information for the president: How bad was the violence? Was it being fueled by outside groups—and could Sharpton do anything to talk them down? What did the Brown family want the White House to do?

As we reported recently, Sharpton has been in the middle of two high profile cases recently: the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson and the case of Eric Garner, who was put in a chokehold by NYPD police and later died. “Rev. Al Sharpton is both President of the National Action Network and host on MSNBC,” MSNBC president Phil Griffin told us. “We’ve always been transparent about the dual roles and his work outside of MSNBC.”

Behind the TV Scenes: Kathy O’Hearn

This summer, we’re putting a spotlight on the industry’s top producers; getting the inside story about their shows, how they got to where they are, and advice they have for future TV journalists.

KOHThis WeekCRHeading toward her fourth decade in TV news, Kathy O’Hearn embraced a new challenge this year when she joined MSNBC as executive producer to 26-year-old Ronan Farrow‘s new show. “We just hit it off immediately,” O’Hearn tells TVNewser. “It was one one of those great moments that you get only a couple times in your career when you really connect with the way someone thinks and how they think.” O’Hearn’s career has included many big moments and stories at CBS News, ABC News, CNN, CNBC, The Daily Beast, and now, MSNBC.

TVNewser: You started in TV news in the mid 70′s. What’s the biggest thing about the industry that’s changed and how have you adapted?

O’Hearn: The thing that I think is the most pronounced change is how all the cable networks have become bigger players. I started back when CNN had to fight to even get in the White House coverage pool [when I was at CBS]. And to watch how the cable networks are really powerful in terms of who they influence, who watches them, and the amount of news that they bring to the American public is a fascinating arc to experience.

TVNewser: You temporarily left the TV news business in 2010 to go digital as head of video at The Daily Beast. As a TV news lifer, how did you adapt to digital?

O’Hearn: It was fascinating. I was lucky enough to work with a very impressive, savvy group of writers and minds in any kind of newsroom and Tina Brown. To take the skill-set I learned in the television world into the digital side was exciting. I learned a lot; I had done a fair amount of digital production for ABC (“The Greenroom,” “Topline”), so it was exciting to try and figure out how to translate that across a series of programs and products and how to craft it so that it’s successful and reflects the brand. It was like going to school in online video.

TVNewser: Was there a learning curve?

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The Scoreboard: Wednesday, August 20

25-54 demographic (Live +SD)

  • Total day: FNC: 330 | MSNBC: 96 | CNN: 251 | HLN: 107
  • Primetime: FNC: 540 | MSNBC: 156 | CNN: 362 | HLN: 150

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

206

TheFive:

390

Baier:

380

Greta:

398

O’Reilly:

615

Kelly:

524

Hannity:

475

Smith:

479

Kelly:

325

MSNBC
Wagner:

47

EdShow:

88

Sharpton:

169

Matthews:

169

Hayes:

135

Maddow:

178

O’Donnell:

156

Hayes:

115

Maddow:

86

CNN
Tapper:

291

Blitzer:

392

Blitzer:

280

Burnett:

256

Cooper:

346

Cooper:

306

Tonight:

423

Tonight:

394

CNNI:

244

HLN
Now:

68

Files:

64

Files:

64

Jane:

158

Grace:

186

Dr.Drew:

151

Files:

112

Files:

167

Files:

137

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Justice Department Opens Criminal Investigation Into James Foley Execution

JimFoley304Attorney General Eric Holder announced today the Department of Justice is taking action following the beheading of journalist James Foley.

“The Justice department is actively pursuing justice in this case,” Holder said in a speech this morning. “We have an open criminal investigation. And those that would perpetrate such acts need to understand something. This Justice Department, this Department of Defense, this nation; we have long memories and our reach is very wide. We will not forget what happened and people will be held accountable, one way or the other.”

Yesterday, President Obama condemned the murder of the GlobalPost journalist by the terrorist group ISIS. “We share a common security and a common set of values that are rooted in the opposite of what we saw yesterday, and we will continue to confront this hateful terrorism and replace with it a sense of hope and civility,”

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David Gregory Writing Book on Jewish Faith

david_gregoryPolitico reports recently ousted “Meet the Press” moderator David Gregory is writing a book on his Jewish faith set to be released next year.

Gregory and publisher Simon & Schuster have reportedly been working on the book since 2011 that will focus on his “personal faith and the spiritual journey people take in their lives.”

“We weren’t planning to announce the book until we’d set the publication date, which will be sometime in 2015, but since Playbook asked, we’re answering now. Let me emphasize that this book has always been intended as an exploration of an aspect of David’s life that viewers rarely see in his journalistic work. The book was never intended as a memoir about his career. That objective hasn’t changed and will not change. This book will be about the inner spiritual journey many of us take in our lives. Simon & Schuster is excited and grateful to be publishing it.”

The report also suggests Gregory is available for speaking gigs in the fall, where he will touch on “life in the media firestorm and how it impacts politics and culture.” “Meet the Press” paid tribute to Gregory this past Sunday.

On One-Year Anniversary, Al Jazeera America President Kate O’Brian Thanks Staff

Kate O'Brian 2014On Al Jazeera America’s one-year anniversary, network president Kate O’Brian wrote a memo to staff noting their success so far.

We came with a mission to cover the most important stories of the world in the way that Al Jazeera has been doing it around the globe for years—actively and with depth, with humanity and courage, and without opinion or punditry. And we came with the goal of bringing these compelling and important stories, from the US and from around the world, to the American audience. My friends, I believe we have succeeded.And so, ultimately, this anniversary is about you. Each one of you. Without your extraordinary work this past year we would not have been able to create what we have—a growing, thriving 24/7 news channel. This is just the beginning of a wonderful journey.

O’Brian stresses the network hasn’t reached all of its goals: “We have more work to do — but I know we have the drive and dedication to do it.”

Her full note after the jump.

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Beginning of ‘Today’ Airs Without Lower Third Graphics

TodayFor those watching the beginning of “Today” this morning, some routine visuals were missing.

The first 18 minutes of the program were missing lower third graphics on the bottom of the screen. Both Andrea Mitchell and Richard Engel reported during this time, but their names didn’t appear on screen and Mitchell’s package lacked lower thirds.

“Due to some maintenance done overnight, there was a disruption in our graphics system which affected a portion of the first half hour of the show,” an NBC spokesperson tells us. “The rest of the show was not affected, and other show feeds were updated with graphics.”

CNN Removes iReport Saying Missouri Patrol Captain is Gang Member

A CNN iReport that mistook a fraternity hand sign Missouri Patrol Captain Ron Johnson made for him being a gang member has been taken down.

The Washington Post reports the iReport suggested Johnson was making hand signals members of the group the Bloods use (shown below).

The sign is actually the greeting for the fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi, which Johnson belongs to.

“iReport is a social network for news. A small number of user submissions are approved for use on air and online,” a CNN spokesman tells TVNewser. “The iReport in question had not been vetted, was labeled as “NOT VERIFIED BY CNN,” and was removed shortly after being flagged by the community.”

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