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2008 Conventions

MTP Makes Way For Super-Sized Sunday “Today”

The Today show is super-sizing this Super Bowl Sunday and will air from 9-11amET/8-10amCT. Meet the Press with David Gregory will air live following “Today” at 11amET/10amCT.

Sunday’s “Today” show will feature weekday anchors Meredith Vieira, Al Roker and Ann Curry live from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, while Matt Lauer will broadcast live from the White House lawn. Later Sunday, Lauer interviews President Barack Obama live during NBC’s Super Bowl Pre-Game.

Roker gets to Florida first, with Thursday’s reports originating from Tampa’s historic Ybor City. Vieira arrives for Friday’s show; NBC’s Tiki Barber gets a VIP tour of the stadium from his twin brother, Tampa Bay Buccaneer Ronde Barber and for some apparent reason Weekend Today co-anchor Jenna Wolfe will be live for Saturday’s Today show from Universal Studios Orlando.

What, Busch Gardens wasn’t available?

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Fox News and Its Historic Ratings For a “Historical Event”

fncpanel_9-8.jpgFox News Channel didn’t just have the top rated cable news broadcast of a convention in history last week — they had it twice.

Just as in 2004, all three nights of the RNC saw FNC topping all broadcast and cable networks, But this time for FNC, just as it was for many networks, the numbers were even higher, and 9.2 million people watching FNC proved the most ever.

“It’s been a pretty amazing couple of weeks,” FNC VP of news editorial Jay Wallace told TVNewser.

“When it comes to news, now people are coming to cable news channels on various news stories. Not to toot our own horn, but it proves again we’re very fortunate to have Brit Hume, Chris Wallace, our political team. People do tune in when there’s a big political story.”

One of the things Wallace credits with FNC’s success is separation. “We’ve been very careful to keep our opinion separate. Our news division takes care of that,” he says. “That’s done us well and I think that’s why you see these numbers. See, when Brit or Shepard Smith are on, that’s our news division talking. That’s the way we’ve always done it.”

FNC’s three wins didn’t achieve the one thing CNN had on Thursday of the DNC — the top broadcast on all of television for the night. But FNC had strong DNC ratings as well, as the 2nd rated cable broadcast and sometimes even beating some of the networks.

What does Wallace credit that to?

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Who’s Wearing These Sneakers? and Why?


The answer…and the story behind the shoes…tomorrow on TVNewser.

That Didn’t Take Long

RNC Logo11.pngAfter months of build up, the tear down is well under way inside and outside the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Crews are taking apart the stage and putting back the seating. The first event to be held there will be a Minnesota Wild game on September 24.

The national news crews have moved on too. Below are two videos. The first is from last night just after 7pmCT. It shows the FNC big screen outside the Fox Experience and panning toward the outside of the CNN Grill.

The second is from this afternoon around 2:30pmCT. The Fox big screen is down and the tent is being taken apart. And the CNN Grill is no more ‐ the neon is gone and it’s quickly being turned back into the Eagle St. Grill.

…and after the jump, a short clip from yesterday as we got on the MSNBC platform during the 6pmCT hour.

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Campbell Brown on Sexism and Sarah Palin

RNC Logo9.pngAs the mother of an 8-month-old, CNN anchor Campbell Brown can relate to Gov. Sarah Palin. “I love the idea of a mother in the campaign and bringing some of those issues to the forefront,” Brown told TVNewser this morning at the CNN Grill.

But those issues, faced by millions of working mothers across the nation, have special significance for Palin and for Brown. As Palin campaigns, Brown reports, trying to find out more about the GOP VP nominee.

Critics went after Brown Monday night after she pressed McCain spokesperson Tucker Bounds about Palin’s qualifications for the VP slot. “Despite what some people have said, there was a recognition from most people that I was doing my job,” Brown says. “She’s new to the political scene. There are a million questions to ask about her. It’s our job.”

brown_9-4.JPGThen last night, Brown found herself, in a way, standing up for Palin after Senate majority leader Harry Reid described Palin’s speech as ‘shrill.’ “Several of the women on the panel had a very strong reaction to it,” Brown says. “There are words that set off alarm bells for women.”

Brown’s point? Attacks from democrats could backfire if perceived as sexist. “Just in the same way that many of Clinton’s people charged sexism,” Brown predicts, “I think you’re going to see Republicans in certain cases when she’s attacked, charging sexism.”

For Brown, it’s all just another day at the office. The former NBC News anchor knows it comes with the territory. Motherhood just puts it all in perspective.

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Back In Bounds? McCain Team at CNN Grill

grill_9-4.JPGThe CNN Grill has been quite the place for the last couple weeks. You could find big name celebs, grab a free meal from a well-known chef or break into a spontaneous dance party.

It can even bring Sen. John McCain spokesperson Tucker Bounds to call CNN, “top-notch.”

Remember Bounds? More than 500,000 people on YouTube have seen his on-air showdown with Campbell Brown from earlier this week, which led the campaign to cancel a Larry King Live interview with the nominee.

But it appears things have been smoothed over. Bounds and some other McCain staffers were at the CNN Grill last night for dinner, and Bounds talked to the CNN Political Ticker.

“I’m an enormous fan of Campbell,” said Bounds. “I actually have a great time every time I come on with you guys. John Roberts and John King — everybody’s great. CNN’s top-notch.”

Bounds reports he had the fried chicken and it was, “very good.” So that probably helped.

Brown tells TVNewser she hasn’t run in to Bounds while in St. Paul. We’ll have more from our interview with the CNN anchor, later today.

> Update: We hear Bounds was back in the Grill for lunch today, and talked to Brown, who invited him back on the show.

Click continued to see Bounds talk to CNN at the Grill…

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For Brian Williams, 38,486 Miles and Counting

Gail Shister
TVNewser Columnist

RNC Logo10.pngPregnant, shmegnant. Candidates’ kids are not fair game, says NBC’s Brian Williams.

“Show me the germaneness to their ability to lead the nation,” he said last night, a few hours before Sarah Palin‘s vice-presidential acceptance speech at the G.O.P. National Convention.

As everyone in the civilized world learned this week, Bristol Palin, 17-year-old daughter of the Alaska governor, is with child and without husband.

“Families are messy and complicated and American and normal,” said Williams, notoriously protective of his own. “It’s where public officials kind of close the door behind them. Home is home. Family’s family.”

With situations like Palin’s, “We’re feeling our way,” Williams admitted. “It becomes part of the biographical sketch. Sometimes it bleeds over into politics. I’m comfortable reporting what we know.”

For politicos, it’s an easier line to cross when it’s with those of their own ilk, Williams said.

Republican President Reagan and Democratic Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill, for example, “could be tough customers” on the Hill, Williams said, but after hours, the “twinklely-eyed Irishmen” liked to tip a few. (We can see the headline: Tip Tips.)

“A switch gets thrown when the scene changes.”

In the last eight weeks, Williams has endured more scene changes than a “Law & Order” episode.

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Thanksgiving at the Olbermanns? Joe & Mika On Diner Life and the MSNBC Family

RNC Logo8.pngWe stopped off at Key’s Cafe this morning in downtown St. Paul, just a few blocks from the site of the RNC. It’s been the home of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, which, during the conventions, is xpanded from three to five hours on the network’s schedule. EP Chris Licht tells us the free flowing format works for guests as well the anchors — drop in at the cafe, get on the show.

AMJoe_9.4.jpgThat includes pundits, campaign reps, elected officials and the NBC/MSNBC regulars of Brokaw, Matthews, Buchanan and Barnicle. Also along for the ride in Denver and St. Paul, TV’s Willie Geist and Scoop columnist for, Courtney Hazlett.

We talked to Joe & Mika after the show about the early hours, the cafe concept and what’s really behind those reports of a fractious MSNBC family. Also, click continued to see the Hollywood type who showed up at the diner today.

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Early Read on Media Mention in Gov. Palin’s Speech

TVNewser has obtained a copy of Gov. Sarah Palin‘s acceptance speech. In it, in just a matter of minutes, she will say this about the media:

And I’ve learned quickly, these past few days, that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone.

Expect wild applause…

> Update it wasn’t wild applause, but sustained boos from the audience, followed by Gov. Palin saying:

But here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion — I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this country. Americans expect us to go to Washington for the right reasons, and not just to mingle with the right people.

That got the applause and a standing ovation.

Tough Act to Follow

WmsKARE11_9.3.jpgNBC’s Brian Williams was a guest on the 4pm show at Minneapolis/St. Paul affiliate KARE-11. The guest in the next segment: yours truly. Williams talked about covering the convention, we talked about covering Williams…and Couric, Gibson and the rest.

Williams told us he might be making another appearance on Comedy Central — on his way to the KARE set he ran into Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee shooting her story.