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Mike Brooks Cut at HLN

MikeBrooksMike Brooks, a law enforcement analyst who appeared on many HLN and CNN programs going back to 2001, was among those cut during layoffs this week at Turner Broadcasting.

“I had the opportunity to work with some of THE finest journalists, producers, bookers, assignment editors, photo journalists, attorneys, Judges….YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE,” Brooks wrote on Facebook. “And some of you are also departing HLN/CNN. And I can’t forget CNN Hair & Makeup…You made a guy who has a GREAT face for radio look good in front of the camera. (At least you didn’t have to do my hair).”

Fans Start Petition to Bring Back Jane Velez-Mitchell

VelezAriasFans have created an on-line petition in an attempt to save Jane Velez-Mitchell’s job at HLN. Velez-Mitchell’s nightly show was canceled Tuesday, with “Forensic Files” airing in its place.

The petition, which has a goal of 1,000 signatures, is addressed to HLN head Albie Hecht. “We do not want to watch old reruns of Forensic Files,” the petition reads. While it is unlikely 1,000 signatures would get Hecht to change his mind, it is evident that Velez-Mitchell has a loyal following. The petitioner goes on to say, “Jane was a tireless and outspoken advocate on behalf of animals, and crime victims. I’ve been watching her since the Casey Anthony case and she is the only one that has updates on major investigations and big high-profile trials!”

HLN canceled Velez-Mitchell’s show, along with CNN’s “Sanjay Gupta, MD,” “CNN Money,” “Unguarded,” and “Crossfire” in what is shaping up to be a busy week of layoffs. CNN is reportedly offering on-site counseling services to those affected by the cuts.

Amid CNN Cuts and Layoffs, Time Warner Boss Promises Growth

jeff_bewkes-300x300As CNN employees learned of more layoffs and show cancellations, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes was addressing investors in another part of the Time Warner Center, promising huge growth in the company’s earnings.

Plans for growing revenue include added spending for original programming, reports The New York Times:

Another concern is Turner, the home to CNN, TBS and TNT. The group of cable networks has faced ratings declines, and Turner has said it would expand its original programming in response. The company said that it would double its investment in original programming to $1 billion by 2018 from about $500 million. “We need to do more with more impact,” John Martin, the chief executive of Turner, said.

Jane Velez Mitchell Show Canceled

JaneDon2Breaking: Jane Velez Mitchell‘s nightly HLN show has been canceled, part of deep cuts at CNN today. Velez Mitchell will be leaving the network, as will the staff of the show. In all about 15 HLN employees, we’ve learned.

Velez Mitchell was a contributor to the network even before she got her own show which launched 6 years ago this week. Velez Mitchell was thrust onto the HLN schedule Oct. 17, 2008, when Glenn Beck abruptly departed for Fox News Channel.

As it turns out, Velez Mitchell’s final episode last night finished as the No. 1 HLN primetime show in the demo, even beating Chris Matthews on MSNBC. “Forensic Files” will air at 7pmET tonight.

The Scoreboard: Wednesday, October 8

25-54 demographic (Live +SD)

  • Total day: FNC: 305 | CNN: 180 | MSNBC: 78 | HLN: 99
  • Primetime: FNC: 475 | CNN: 355 | MSNBC: 132 | HLN: 75

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








































































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Q3 2014 Ratings: HLN #3 in Total Day Demo

hln logo_304x200For Q3 2014, HLN was #3 in the total day A25-54 demo, finishing fourth in all other measurements. A year after the George Zimmerman trial lifted the network’s ratings for the quarter, HLN was down in all ratings measurements year-over-year.

The ratings for Q3, 2014:

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 353K Total Viewers / 120K A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 271K Total Viewers / 108K A25-54

Compared to Q3 2013, HLN is down -5% in total viewers and -4% in A25-54 demo viewers for total day. In primetime, they are down -3% in total viewers and -11% in the demo.

Nancy Grace led the way for the HLN in both total viewers and the demo, drawing 357,000 viewers and 118,000 demo viewers.

August 2014 Ratings: HLN Up Double Digits, #3 in Total Day Demo

hln logo_304x200HLN saw double-digit gains in August while finishing third in the total day demo, ahead of MSNBC.  The network also saw the second biggest total day growth year-over-year, behind only sister network CNN.

The ratings for August 2014:

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 361,000 total viewers / 126,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 281,000 total viewers / 111,000 A25-54

Compared to August 2013, HLN is up +16% in total viewers and up +22% in A25-54 demo for total day. In primetime, HLN is up +17% in total viewers and up +13% in the demo. “Nancy Grace” led the way for HLN, drawing 400,000 total viewers and 138,000 demo viewers, up +12% vs. last August. But it was “Forensic Files,” which HLN runs in the late afternoons, late nights and all weekend long, which showed the most growth, up and average of +37%.

More from HLN after the jump…

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As Time Warner Ends Vice Talks, A&E Plans $250M Stake in Media Company

viceThe New York TimesJonathan Mahler scoops that Time Warner has ended negotiations with Vice Media. The talks, which have been going on for months, included a plan to spin off Time Warner’s HLN network, and refashion it into a Vice channel. The Brooklyn-based media company includes a magazine, book publishing, a massive online presence, and gritty, global documentaries which are carried on Time Warner’s HBO.

The conversations collapsed after the two companies were unable to agree on a valuation of Vice. Last year, 21st Century Fox paid $70 million for a 5 percent stake in the company, valuing the company at more than $1 billion.

In June, Vice co-founder and CEO Shane Smith told the New York Times having a TV network was “the next step in our evolution. Our mobile and online stuff is going to grow exponentially, but we want a three-legged stool, and the third leg is TV.”

A week ago, the Wall Street Journal reported Time Warner had also been in talks with Glenn Beck‘s company about re-branding HLN into TheBlaze TV. But those talks also came to nothing. Earlier this year, under the new leadership of Albie Hecht, HLN intended to become “the home for the social media generation.” Primetime programs include those hosted by Nancy GraceJane Velez-Mitchell, and Dr. Drew Pinsky. Late nights and weekends are made up of true crime stories.

> More: The Financial Times reports Vice is finalizing a deal to sell a 10% stake to A&E Networks for $250 million. A&E is jointly owned by Walt Disney and Hearst. The sale could be announced as early as next week, FT reports.

Turner Offers Buyouts to Hundreds of Employees; Will Also Seek ‘Additional Reductions in Staffing’


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Breaking: CNN and HLN are beginning a process of offering buyouts to hundreds of employees today. The Turner networks are among those feeling the effects of plan laid out by Turner CEO John Martin in a memo to all employees last week. More specifics came from CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker who told told employees last Tuesday they would hear from their managers about cutbacks. This morning, a note from Turner’s Chief Human Resources Officer arrived. The note, obtained by TVNewser explains that even after buyouts “Turner will also undertake additional reductions in staffing.”

To support the company’s stated focus on programming, monetization and innovation, we are identifying cost savings and shifting capital allocations to high-growth areas where investment will drive growth and profitability. As part of these efforts, we are offering a Voluntary Separation Program to regular status Turner Broadcasting employees on Turner’s U.S. payroll working in the U.S. and who are at least age 55 and have 10 or more years of service as of December 31, 2014, excluding on-air talent and employees covered by a written employment agreement.

Today, employees meeting these eligibility requirements will receive a confidential, personalized email detailing the program, its benefits and deadlines for acceptance, which is strictly voluntary. This enhanced benefit offering is just one vehicle the company is implementing as part of a comprehensive plan. Given the current focus on reducing costs and prioritizing investments to maximize company performance, Turner will also undertake additional reductions in staffing.

We are grateful to the tenured employees whose service and dedication to Turner Broadcasting have made an indelible mark on our business success.

This is all part of Martin’s goal to create a more “streamlined, nimble and efficient company” as part of his “Turner 2020″ plan.

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Time Warner Talked with Glenn Beck About Replacing HLN with The Blaze

BeckGlennHe once hosted a show on the network, but a new report claims there were talks of turning HLN into Glenn Beck‘s The Blaze.

Even as Time Warner continues discussions with Vice media, the Wall Street Journal‘s Keach Hagey reports CNN executives recently met with team Beck as it plans an overhaul of HLN:

Among the possible deals considered was an arrangement similar to the one being discussed with Vice Media, according to a person familiar with the deal: forming a new venture between CNN-parent Time Warner and The Blaze that would replace HLN’s current programming with Blaze programming.

Hagey reports the two sides couldn’t come to terms on a deal. Beck got his start on national TV on Headline News in 2006. He moved to Fox News in 2009, all while continuing his radio show and building his media empire. After leaving Fox News, he launched GBTV, which became The Blaze. Just this week, The Blaze updated its appeal to achieve greater distribution. The digital network is on about 60 small cable systems as well as DISH network, but not on the big 6 carriers which cover 75% of U.S. households.

This all puts the spotlight back on Vice Media. From Hagey: Read more