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MSNBC

MSNBC is a 24-hour newschannel owned by NBCUniversal, a Comcast company. MSNBC shares a newsroom and studio with NBC News at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Launched on July 15, 1996, MSNBC was originally a joint venture between NBC and Microsoft. MSNBC acquired Microsoft’s stake in MSNBC TV in 2005 and acquired control of msnbc.com from Microsoft in 2012. Reaching more than 95 million households worldwide, MSNBC offers a 24-hour schedule of live news coverage, political opinion programs and documentaries. Phil Griffin is the president of MSNBC.

MSNBC Host Alex Wagner Marries Sam Kass, With Obama Family Attending

KassWagnerMSNBC daytime host Alex Wagner married Sam Kass Saturday in the hamlet of Pocantico Hills, north of New York City. Kass is the personal chef for the Obama family and executive director of the “Let’s Move” campaign. The Obama family was in attendance. From the AP report:

Obama wore a dark suit, and Mrs. Obama and their daughters each wore sleeveless black dresses. The first family spent about six hours at the wedding. Obama had no known role, other than to give his best to the bride and groom.

The union of Kass, 34, and Wagner, 36, also served to highlight what some contend is too much togetherness between the media and the people they report on. Naturally, the guest list was expected to include staff from both the White House and the liberal-leaning cable news outlet, with people from both sides breaking bread at the same dinner table.

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Rachel Maddow on Ferguson: ‘It Doesn’t Make Sense’

Like her MSNBC colleagues, Rachel Maddow has covered the shooting of Michael Brown and subsequent protests in Ferguson extensively. Earlier this week, she told David Letterman her thoughts on the story.

“It doesn’t make any sense,” Maddow said regarding the militarization of the police force many have cited when talking about Ferguson. “Even small town police departments have mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles that were developed for use in Kandahar.”

Chuck Todd Signs off ‘The Daily Rundown,’ But Not on ‘The Daily Rundown’

ToddGuthrie

Chuck Todd‘s farewell to MSNBC wasn’t seen on MSNBC. The end of “The Daily Rundown” was pre-empted this morning by remarks from British Prime Minister David Cameron. But Todd recorded it anyway (after the jump). In it he talked about how TDR came to be: “It was a show that MSNBC president Phil Griffin, Savannah Guthrie and I conceived over lunch in Washington one day.” Todd thanked Griffin for not “micromanaging us. He let us be the driving force. Not a lot of executives do that.”

Earlier in the show — and this did make it on TV — Todd was surprised first by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest and then by his former co-host Savannah Guthrie, who Skyped in from maternity leave. Todd begins his role as moderator of “Meet the Press” September 7. Andrea Mitchell hosts this Sunday. WATCH: Read more

Bill O’Reilly and Howard Kurtz Talk Al Sharpton’s Dual Activist, MSNBC Role

O'Reilly KurtzBill O’Reilly spoke with Howard Kurtz and Lauren Ashburn last night about Al Sharpton‘s ongoing activism on behalf of Michael Brown while also hosting his MSNBC show.

“This is a travesty,” Kurtz said, citing Sharpton’s “political” eulogy at Brown’s funeral yesterday, meeting with Michael Brown’s family, and what Kurtz says is Sharpton’s “acknowledgment” that he is a conduit for the Obama administration for on-the-ground information on Ferguson.

“This just reeks that MSNBC thinks this acceptable…you can’t be a player and cover the game,” Kurtz added. O’Reilly chimed in he believes Sharpton “almost singlehandedly has corrupted NBC News,” dismissing MSNBC President Phil Griffin‘s defense that the network has been transparent about Sharpton’s dual roles. Yesterday, Sharpton spoke at Brown’s funeral in St. Louis in the afternoon and later hosted “PoliticsNation” from there at 6pmET. He led the show covering the funeral, playing parts of his eulogy off the top.

WATCH: Read more

How Cable News Covered Michael Brown’s Funeral, Al Sharpton’s Eulogy

Sharpton BrownThis afternoon, cable news covered the funeral of 18-year-old Michael Brown as one of MSNBC’s hosts continued being part of the story.

MSNBC was the only channel to air Al Sharpton‘s eulogy, dipping into it at 12:44pmET. “Order says that children bury their parents…we should not sit here today and act like we’re watching something that is in order,” Sharpton said to rousing chants from the crowd gathered at a St. Louis church.

MSNBC took Sharpton’s eulogy for 11 minutes before Chris Matthews, filling in for Andrea Mitchell, wrapped the noon eastern hour. Ronan Farrow opened his show speaking with Craig Melvin about his interview with Brown’s parents, but showing a full screen of Sharpton’s speech while Melvin reported.

During Sharpton’s eulogy, Fox News continued with its “Outnumbered” panel, who discussed topics ranging from James Foley‘s beheading to what time school should start for teens. At 1pmET, “Happening Now” opened airing images of Sharpton speaking live, then turning to Garrett Tenney outside the church. CNN aired Don Lemon interviewing CNN political commentator LZ Granderson and CNN contributor Donna Brazile. Ashleigh Banfield closed “Legal View” airing parts of Lemon’s interview with the mothers of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and Sean Bell.

During Sharpton’s eulogy, Fox News’ Howard Kurtz tweeted about his statements. And this morning, Don Lemon tweeted–about not tweeting. Read more

Bill Wolff Moves on from MSNBC. Next Stop ‘The View’

Bill Wolff, MSNBC VP of primetime and executive producer of “The Rachel Maddow Show,” got a sendoff from this staff late last week. Maddow said Wolff “got some sweet new job on some easy show with a sweet new schedule.” That show is “The View,” which begins its news season with new and returning hosts in just a few weeks. Wolff often appeared on Maddow’s show, which made up a Best-of-Bill send-off video featured on the show Thursday night. “We are so mad that you are leaving, we are really going to miss you,” said Maddow.

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?

Read more

And Your Replacement for Chuck Todd on ‘The Daily Rundown’ is…

MSNBCLogo304x200On the heels of Chuck Todd‘s appointment to “Meet the Press,” we asked you who you think will replace him as anchor of MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown.”

With close to 4,000 votes in, NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker was your favorite choice to take the reins, with 57% of you choosing her. Welker has filled in at points for Todd and Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC.

NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent Luke Russert came in second with 22% choosing the son of the late “Meet the Press” moderator Tim Russert. Rounding out the poll was the Washington Post’s Chris Cilizza (six percent),  NBC News national correspondent Peter Alexander (six percent), the choice of other (five percent), and weekend anchor Craig Melvin (three percent).

Some of the names chosen for other were Ezra Klein, Ari Melber, and Steve Kornacki.

Rocks Thrown at Chris Hayes During Ferguson Coverage

During a live 11pmET edition of “All In” from Ferguson, MO last night, protestors threw rocks at Chris Hayes. Two rocks were hurled at Hayes, one deflected by Craig Melvin who was reporting alongside his MSNBC colleague. “Tell the true story,” one protestor shouted. “You know, we are telling the true story,” Melvin shot back. “People are angry,” Hayes added.

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