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HLN

Vinnie Politan Leaving HLN

politan.vinnieVinnie Politan is leaving HLN to join the NBC affiliate in Atlanta, TVNewser has confirmed. News of Politan’s departure was first reported by Rodney Ho of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

“Vinnie has been a tremendous asset to HLN over the years.  We thank him and wish him only the best,” an HLN spokesperson told TVNewser.

Politan currently hosts “HLN Now: On the Case” weekdays from 2pm-5pmET. Before that, he was the anchor of several former HLN shows, including  “Prime News,” “After Dark” and “Making it in America.” Politan had also worked at HLN sister network truTV as the host of the “In Session” trial coverage, which ended last year. He joined Court TV (later rebranded as truTV) in 2001 and left in 2008, only to rejoin the network in 2009.

Politan’s last day at HLN will be July 3. TVSpy has more on his hire at WXIA.

Politan’s departure is the latest shakeup to HLN, which has seen lots of change over the past several months. Under Albie Hecht’s leadership, the network has rebranded itself as the television home for the social media generation, shuffling programming in primetime and daytime. Last week, it was reported that Time Warner is considering merging HLN with Vice.

Time Warner Eyes Merging HLN With Vice

hlnlogoTime Warner is in talks to acquire about half of Vice Media, according to Sky News. One of the scenarios on the table is for Time Warner to combine HLN with Vice:

One potential structure under discussion would see Time Warner injecting HLN, a news platform owned by its Cable operations, into Vice in return for roughly half the enlarged company.

A deal is expected to value Vice at roughly $2.2bn, about 50% more than last year’s sale of a stake in the mini-conglomerate. Sources said on Monday that talks between Time Warner and Vice were at an advanced stage but that some final details had yet to be agreed. A deal could still fall apart, however, or assume a radically different structure, they added.

Capital New York’s Alex Weprin spells out the effects of a potential deal: Read more

May 2014 Ratings: HLN Ties for #2 in Total Day Demo

hln logo_304x200A year after the final stages of the Jodi Arias trial lifted HLN to second place in total day, the network was down double digits across the board. They did, however, climb up to tie for #2 in the total day A25-54 demo with MSNBC. They remained in fourth place in all other measurements.

The ratings for April 2014:

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 316,000 total viewers / 115,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 240,000 total viewers / 103,000 A25-54

Compared to May 2013, when the network was in wall-to-wall Arias trial coverage, HLN is down -51% in total viewers and -41% in A25-54 demo viewers for total day. In primetime, they are down -49% in total viewers and -45% in the demo.

Forensic Filesled the way for HLN, drawing 323,000 total viewers and 142,000 demo viewers.

HLN Adds Two Correspondents, Announces Official Roles for Lynn Berry, Brian McFayden

lynn berrySome personnel announcements from HLN today: the network has officially named Lynn Berry the host of “HLN Weekend Express” and Brian McFayden sports correspondent for “Morning Express With Robin Meade,” as well as hiring Ali Nejad and Yasmin Vossoughian as correspondents.

“The addition of Lynn and Brian to Weekend Express and Morning Express, respectively, further amps up the energy and infectiousness of two of HLN’s signature shows,” HLN general manager Albie Hecht said in a statement. “And we welcome Ali and Yasmin to the fold whose style, wit and smarts will resonate with people watching and engaging across all platforms.”

Berry has been filling in on “Weekend Express” since December. McFayden has been the sports correspondent on “Morning Express” since he joined HLN earlier this year.

As for the new correspondents: Nejad will be HLN’s Los Angeles-based correspondent covering general news and entertainment. He comes from ESPN, where he hosts a weekly “SportsCenter” segment featuring interviews with celebrities and athletes. Vossoughian, who will cover entertainment and breaking news, comes from AOL, where she is a correspondent and host.

More after the jump. Read more

April 2014 Ratings: A Year After Jodi Arias Trial, HLN Down Double Digits

hln logo_304x200A year after the final weeks of the Jodi Arias trial gave HLN a ratings boost, the network saw double-digit losses across the board in April 2014.

The ratings for April 2014:

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 333,000  total viewers / 127,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 234,000 total viewers / 96,000 A25-54

Compared to April 2013, when the network was in wall-to-wall Arias trial coverage, HLN is down -40% in total viewers and -32% in A25-54 demo viewers for total day. In primetime, they are down -36% in total viewers and -28% in the demo.

Forensic Filesled the way for HLN, drawing 328,000 total viewers and 146,000 demo viewers.

Last HLN Original Set for Retirement

KofskyHLNEve Kofsky, the last remaining original HLN employee still with the network, is hanging up her headset. Kofsky started at CNN in February of 1981 as a video journalist and moved to CNN2 as an audio operator when rehearsals started in November of that year.

Promoted to director in 1984, she has directed nearly 18,000 hours of television programming at CNN2/Headline News/HLN. Kofsky and long-time CNN director Roger Strauss make up the “first couple” of CNN, the first to meet at the network and married in 1983.

Kofsky will direct her last shows on May 2.

HLN Doubling Down on Social Media

If CNN is asking viewers to “go there” with them, its sister network HLN is going directly to social media to reinvent itself.

HLN unveiled upcoming changes to its lineup at its upfront presentation Thursday in New York City, and it all revolves around social media. “The Daily Share” will premiere later this year; a one-hour news program produced in Atlanta that shows what people are watching, searching, playing, sharing, shopping, and creating on social media.

A series of currently in-development reality shows will also debut, including “2 Spouses, 3 Houses,” where YouTube star Jessica Edwards looks at couples’ social media habits to find their dream home; “What’s Trending,” hosted by co-founder of @whatstrending Shira Lazar, and more.

The network also formally announced a creative partnership with Twitter. For more, head to Lost Remote.

“I think it’s going to be evolutionary,” network EVP and GM Albie Hecht told TVNewser about HLN’s shift to becoming the social media network. Hecht will talk about HLN’s evolution and more as a panelist at the TVNewser Show on April 29 in NYC.

“It’s going to work for a news channel,” “Morning Express” host Robin Meade told us, saying the news business is shifting to more of a two-way conversation with the audience. “It’s almost like a Nielsen immediate,” she added about the instant feedback social media gives anchors about viewer interest in particular stories.

“Television is changing, and people don’t just sit there passively…they want to participate,” Jane Velez-Mitchell told us, also joking that her trademark on-air battles with guests will evolve. “I’m happy to have some Twitter battles…I’ll take the battle wherever I have to go.”

Q1 2014 Ratings: With No Trial Coverage, HLN Down Double Digits

hln logo_304x200A year after the Jodi Arias trial gave HLN a ratings boost, the network saw double-digit losses across the board.

The ratings for Q1, 2014:

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 314K Total Viewers / 116K A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 237K Total Viewers / 97K A25-54

Compared to Q1 2013, when the network was in wall-to-wall Jodi Arias trial coverage, HLN is down -23% in total viewers and -17% in A25-54 demo viewers for total day. In primetime, they are down -27% in total viewers and -24% in the demo.

Nancy Grace led the way for the HLN, drawing 371,000 total viewers and 121,000 demo viewers.

TVNewsers Head to South by Southwest

SXSWSouth by Southwest Interactive starts today (the music portion starts Monday) and various tvnewsers will be there.

MSNBC’s Alex Wagner will be a on a panel today. “Way Too Early” host Thomas Robertsand MSNBC.com executive editor Richard Wolffe sit on a panel Tuesday. (A TVNewser tipster spotted Wolfe on an Austin-bound JetBlue flight this morning enjoying his Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.) JJ Ramberg, host of Your Business, will be on a panel of business reporters and editors on Tuesday as well.

CNN will have correspondent Laurie Segall and editorial folks on the ground at the conference, but no public-facing presence this year. During 2012′s SXSW, an Austin restaurant became “CNN Grill.”

Bloomberg TV’s Emily Chang is moderating a fireside chat with AOL co-founder Steve Case on Saturday.

Fox News will also be sending a correspondent to the conference. HLN, which recently rebranded itself as the “TV home of social media,” won’t have a presence at SXSW this year. ABC News won’t be sending a correspondent this year.

Kara Swisher of Re/code, which is backed by the NBCU News Group, will be on a technology journalism panel on Monday.

Mediabistro’s Angela Washeck will also be at the conference. Look for her reports on our sister sites SocialTimes and 10,000 Words and on Twitter.

Robin Meade, 12 Years an HLN Anchor

“I know that my main job is [to provide] good information, ” says HLN anchor Robin Meade about her mission as a morning anchor, “but it’s [also] mood enhancement. I am supposed to enhance your mood, so you can go on with your day!”

Meade, whose Morning Express show airs weekdays from 6am-noon ET,  spoke with TVNewser Tuesday night at a screening of “CHICAGOLAND”, an eight-part series that debuts tonight on sister network CNN.

Such original programming is part of an overhaul for CNN under the leadership of Worldwide President Jeff Zucker. HLN, too, is undergoing change – it was just last month that the network announced it was rebranding “to become the first TV network for the social media generation.”

Meade is on-board with the interactive focus, since “luckily we kind of already had social media in our DNA for the morning show,” she says.  “I think of the show as a two-way street… It fits right in with us.”

Meade tells us why she still finds her morning gig a good fit, 12 years after she joined HLN.

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