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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

Fusion Chief Programming Officer Billy Kimball Stepping Down

Fusion304x200Executive changes at Fusion today as Billy Kimball, with the network as chief programming officer since its launch, is stepping down.

“Throughout his tenure, Billy has worked tirelessly to constantly improve our existing shows, nurture our talent, and develop exciting new projects, many of which are now reaching the pilot phase,” Fusion CEO Isaac Lee wrote in a memo to staff obtained by TVNewser.

“As you all know, Billy is a brilliant producer and we hope to continue working with him on a number of projects in the future.”

Replacing Kimball is Wade Beckett, who was most recently showrunner for ESPN’s SportsNation after six years as an executive at NBCUniversal’s G4 network. “Wade is an experienced producer with a demonstrated track record of developing and leading innovative programming that resonates with new audiences,” Lee says.

Lee’s full memo to staff after the jump.

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Chuck Todd Wins in ‘Meet the Press’ Debut

sunday shows_304Audiences meeting Chuck Todd for the first time liked what they saw, as “Meet the Press” won in viewers and the A25-54 demo in Todd’s debut September 7.

“Meet,” which featured an exclusive interview with President Obama as well as a return of the press as a prominent part of the show, saw its first win in either category since February, besting #2 CBS’ “Face the Nation” by +219,000 viewers. “This Week” ranked third; “Fox News Sunday” fourth, and Univision’s “Al Punto” fifth.

Compared to the same week last year, “Meet” was up +11% in viewers and +19% in the demo. “Fox News Sunday” saw the most total viewer growth, up +20%, while down -13% in the demo. “Face the Nation” was down -3% in viewers and flat in the demo. “This Week” was down -9% in viewers and flat in the demo. “Al Punto” was down -25% in viewers and up -16% in the demo.

Cable rebroadcasts of “Fox News Sunday” averaged a combined 1,736,000 total viewers and 316,000 A25-54 viewers.

“Face the Nation” is based on the first half-hour only, as the full contiguous hour aired in just 67% of the country.

The numbers for September 7:

Network Program Total Viewers A25-54
“Meet the Press” 2.991M 821K
“Face the Nation’ 2.772M 763K
ABC “This Week” 2.505M 774K
FOX “Fox News Sunday” 1.321M 356K
UNI “Al Punto” 755K 376K

How Bill O’Reilly Continues to Support 9/11 Families

oreilly304x200The Hollywood Reporter interviews Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly about his support for a 9/11 charity that helps those who lost loved ones 13 years ago today.

For once, it’s hard for anyone to disagree with Bill O’Reilly. The Fox News Channel’s biggest ratings grabber — and sometimes most polarizing personality — long has been advocating for and helping fund Tuesday’s Children, a New York-based nonprofit family service that still, after 13 years, offers guidance, special events and other programs for children and spouses who lost loved ones during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. “My campaign is to raise awareness that 9/11 continues, that these kids need to be supported by Americans,” O’Reilly, 64, tells THR. “It’s the right thing to do.”

For O’Reilly, a Long Island native, keeping the memory of what happened alive is vital.

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NBC News Pays for Access to Oscar Pistorius Murder Scene

With the Oscar Pistorius murder trial verdict expected tomorrow, “Today” paid for exclusive access to the South Africa home where Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

“We paid a nominal location fee,” an NBC News spokesperson tells TVNewser about this morning’s segment reported by investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen.  In it, Rossen noted NBC News was given exclusive access by the new owner of Pistorius’ recently-sold home, then taking viewers inside Pistorius’ bedroom and bathroom where the murder happened. Sources inside NBC tell us location fees are not out of the norm for non-public location shoots.

Scott Pelley: It’s the Hours Before ‘CBS Evening News’ That Makes It What It is

Pelley304For its upcoming October issue, Scott Pelley talks to Watch! Magazine about three years anchoring the “CBS Evening News.” Pelley, who’s reporting from Iraq this week, stresses how pivotal the production process is.

“Anchoring is 30 minutes at the end of my day – just one last little thing I have to do. It’s the 10.5 hours before that that makes the broadcast what it is. The whole day is about what are we going to cover, how are we going to cover it, then editing all the scripts that come in because – as I always say to my guys, and they roll their eyes when they hear me say it – there’s no such thing as good writing, there’s only rewriting.”

Pelley also shares his scariest reporting experience to date.

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Jorge Ramos Grills Bill O’Reilly on His Treatment of Pres. Obama vs. Pres. Bush

O'Reilly RamosThe interview might have taken place on the “O’Reilly Factor” set, but it was Fusion’s Jorge Ramos doing the interrogating in an interview between Ramos and Bill O’Reilly that aired last night on Fusion.

“You’ve destroyed President Barack Obama. In almost every single show you criticize President Barack Obama and you didn’t do the same with President George W. Bush,” Ramos said to O’Reilly. “Yes I did…I was hard on Bush and I was hard on Obama,” O’Reilly shot back. “No you were not, I saw one of your interviews, it was kind of weak with President Bush,” Ramos responded.

The verbal jousting continued back and forth on who has been hard—and not hard—on certain leaders, with Ramos then invoking FNC’s slogan. “You can do whatever you want, but that’s not fair and balanced. If you really want to be fair and balanced, you’d have to be as strong against a Republican president as under a Democratic president.”

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Roger Goodell: ‘I Don’t Know How TMZ or Any Other Website Gets Their Information’

GoodellIn an interview with “CBS This Morning” co-anchor Norah O’Donnell, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed how TMZ—and not the NFL—got its hands on elevator footage showing Ray Rice hitting his then-fiancee.

“I don’t know how TMZ or any other website gets their information,” Goodell said. “We are particularly reliant on law enforcement, that’s the most reliable, that’s the most credible, and we don’t seek to get that information from sources that are not credible.”  Goodell said the NFL asked for the same videotape TMZ secured on “several occasions.” He also didn’t rule out the possibility of Ray Rice returning to the NFL in the future.

Last night, TMZ executive producer Harvey Levin told Greta Van Susteren he doubted Goodell’s defense.  ”Why on earth does he not think the casino [where the incident occurred] video, which is the basis for what the police have in the first place; why does he suggest that the casino isn’t as credible as the police? The police got it from the casino.”


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My First Big Break: James Brown


To borrow a football term, CBS Sports NFL studio host James Brown‘s first big break was a bit of a hail mary. At a 1970s audition to announce for the then-NBA Washington Bullets, Brown took it upon himself to land a big interview. “They were impressed that I brought the team star over on his day off and conducted a pretty decent interview,” Brown told us.

Even with the occasional on-air fumble along the way, Brown has never become complacent. “I still work just as hard now, if not harder, as I did back then getting started.” Beginning tomorrow, James Brown adds hosting “NFL Thursday Night Kickoff” to his CBS schedule.

Cable Network Ranker: Week of September 1

Fox News was the top cable news network for the week of September 1, placing third in primetime and fourth in total day among all ad-supported cable networks. FNC averaged 1,707,000 primetime viewers and and 1,059,000 total day viewers.

MSNBC placed 31st in primetime and 30th in total day, delivering 509,000 primetime viewers and 320,000 total day viewers.  CNN placed 34th in primetime and 23rd in total day, averaging 471,000 primetime viewers and 438,000 total day viewers.

ESPN, History Channel, USA Network, and TBS rounded out the top five networks in primetime for the week. The full ranker is after the jump.

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CBS News Gets First Roger Goodell Interview on Ray Rice Suspension

GoodellCBS News cut into local programming at 5pmET today with Bob Schieffer and Norah O’Donnell to announce her exclusive interview with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Ray Rice‘s indefinite suspension. Excerpts will air tonight on “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” with the full interview airing tomorrow on “CBS This Morning.”

O’Donnell told Schieffer she asked the commissioner if he or the NFL had known about or seen the TMZ video released yesterday showing Rice beating his wife. “We had not seen any videotape of what occurred in the elevator,” Goodell told O’Donnell. “We assumed there was a video, we asked for video, we asked for anything that was pertinent, but we were never granted that opportunity.” The commissioner said the NFL had tried on multiple occasions to obtain the video, but was unsuccessful.