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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.

N.J. Gov. Chris Christie: ‘There’s an Agenda at The Network Level at MSNBC’

fleece9n-6-webNew Jersey Governor Chris Christie tells The New York Times Magazine about his once hot, now quite cold relationship with MSNBC, and in particular, with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski of “Morning Joe,” where Christie was once a regular.

In the profile by Mark Leibovich that appears in print Sunday, but published online Thursday, Christie says the chummy relationship he had at MSNBC dried up as Bridge-gate exploded:

“There’s an agenda at the network level at MSNBC,” Christie told me. “All these folks have to march in line in order to keep their jobs.” I asked Christie if he thought Scarborough and Brzezinski were taking orders from corporate bosses. “I don’t know,” he said. “But it seems to me there is a completely different approach to me than they were approaching me in the past.” (When I asked Scarborough if this was true, he said: “We saw him at the Vanity Fair-Bloomberg party last spring, and he stormed right past us. Mika and I just looked at each other and laughed. It’s a question of temperament with him.”) Yet Christie did not seem entirely displeased with this turn of events, either. Haley Barbour, the former governor of Mississippi and former chairman of the Republican National Committee, said, “A lot of people who vote in our primaries think that if MSNBC attacks you for a month, you must be better than I thought you were.”

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Ayman Mohyeldin Moves to New York, Will Fill-In Anchor for MSNBC

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 3.56.13 PMNBC News correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin announced via Instagram an expanded role at the network, moving to New York where he will do fill-in anchoring at MSNBC, while also continuing in his role as foreign correspondent for NBC News:

It’s official! Happy to announce that I’ve relocated to New York…Still a foreign correspondent for NBC News but will also be taking on additional roles as a news correspondent and anchor across MSNBC shows too.

Mohyeldin made news over the summer, when he witnessed an Israeli airstrike that killed four Palestinian boys. Despite Mohyeldin’s presence at the scene, the story was reported for “NBC Nightly News” by Richard Engel. Mohyeldin was later pulled from Gaza by NBC, citing “safety concerns” only to have the decision overturned after a petition campaign.

Obama Flights to Alex Wagner’s Wedding Cost Taxpayers $358,490

KassWagnerJudicial Watch reports the Air Force has added up the cost of Pres. Obama’s air travel over Labor Day Weekend, which included attending the wedding of MSNBC host Alex Wagner. The total: more than $1.5 million.

Flights for Obama’s 2014 Labor Day weekend fundraising trips to Westchester, New York, and Providence, Rhode Island, cost taxpayers $527,192.50. Transportation for Obama’s round-trip flight from D.C. to Westchester, New York, to attend a wedding cost taxpayers $358,490.90. The flight for Obama’s trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to speak at “Laborfest 2014” cost taxpayers $653,718.70

Following the fundraisers on the Friday of Labor Day weekend, the president was originally planning to stay overnight in New York, then attend the wedding of Wagner and White House chef Sam Kass. But he changed his plans last minute, flew to Washington for the night – then returned to New York on Saturday. At the time, Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the change allowed Obama “to sleep in his own bed, do a little work tomorrow, spend some time with his family.”

Sharpton Criticizes Report on Unpaid Taxes

politifact-photos-sharptonThe New York Times reports MSNBC’s “Politics Nation” host Al Sharpton has criticized a Times report asserting Sharpton has $4.5 million in state and federal tax liens outstanding against him and the for-profit business he controls. “It just is not true,” Sharpton said during a news conference Wednesday in Harlem. “We’re talking about old taxes. We’re not talking about anything new.”

The Times reports Sharpton insisted he was current on his taxes, and had paid down tax liens:

The accuracy of Mr. Sharpton’s assertion that the amount he owes the federal government is much lower than the $3.6 million shown in records cannot be verified. A spokesman for the Internal Revenue Service said federal law prohibited the agency from divulging any details about individual taxpayers. As for the state tax liens, Mr. Sharpton’s assertion that he has paid them down conflicts with information provided by state officials. State authorities filed tax liens against Mr. Sharpton in 2008 and 2009, and another in 2010 against a for-profit business he controls, Revals Communications, totaling $695,000. But a spokesman for the State Department of Taxation and Finance said the amount due had actually increased, to $916,000.

Earlier, MSNBC declined to comment on the Times story when contacted by TVNewser.

Brit Hume: MSNBC’s Al Sharpton ‘A Tax Cheat And A Crook’

Rev. Al Sharpton Holds News Conference At National Action Network's OfficeFox News Channel senior political analyst Brit Hume has called MSNBC host Al Sharpton “a tax cheat and a crook”–a reference to a report by The New York Times Tuesday that Sharpton “has regularly sidestepped the sorts of obligations most people see as inevitable, like taxes, rent and other bills,” with the Times discovering more than $4.5 million in current state and federal tax liens against Sharpton and his for-profit businesses.

Hume credited the Times for reporting the story, which Sharpton did not reference on his MSNBC show, “Politics Nation”, Tuesday evening. MSNBC had no comment when TVNewser contacted the network.

The New York Observer, however, reports Sharpton alluded to the tax story in a statement:

In his written statement, Mr. Sharpton also made what seems to be a veiled reference to a story in today’s New York Times, which highlighted some $4.5 million Mr. Sharpton and his various groups owe in tax liens.

“We have made mistakes, but we have and will continue to correct those mistakes. Our work has far outweighed our mistakes and I am neither focused on the polls or the attacks,” he said in statement. “I am focused on supporting justice for the families in Ferguson and Staten Island.”

Chuck Todd: MSNBC ‘At Night’ Has ‘Liberal Perspective,’ But Fox Is ‘More Campaign-y’

NBC’s Chuck Todd tried to draw a distinction between Fox News and MSNBC, suggesting both tilted politically in prime time, but played the news straight during the day. The difference, Todd said in an interview with Huff Post Live, is that Fox–due to the influence of Roger Ailes–is more
“campaign-y.”

“I think it’s a little bit different because, look, I’ve always thought the Roger Ailes political past… because he actually worked as an operative, [Fox] always feels a little more campaign-y than what gets accused on the MSNBC side. I certainly think at night there’s certainly a liberal perspective [and] a conservative perspective. I think in the daytime both channels would argue that there’s a lot more straight forward reporting.”

In Profile: Abrams, Artley, Capus

Dan Abrams and his son Everett are on the cover of Hamptons Magazine‘s December issue. Abrams discusses his new restaurant, love of wine and running MSNBC.

Running MSNBC was an interesting experience, but I think it convinced me that what I thought I wanted to do was run a network, but what I really wanted to do was run my own media company. That’s what led me to start all these web properties.

Meredith Artley was recently promoted to editor-in-chief of CNN Digital. She was profiled for Fast Company and discussed women in media, her new role and detaching from the hectic life of a 24/7 newser.

There’s a line outside of my office of people who want to talk to me about ideas and cool things they could do, and we just need to start putting even more of that in motion. So that’s one of the things I’m really excited about with this job

The Philadelphia Business Journal spoke with Steve Capus, executive producer of “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley.” The Bucks County native discussed his time in local news, moving from NBC to CBS and the future of TV news.

There is an inevitable change and that’s why we launched CBSN. As long as you are a trusted source of news, the distribution channel doesn’t matter as much. If we have to move to tablets or phones, that’s fine. But in 2014, people still turn to television to be informed about big events. And the people working in TV news are just as talented as when I was working for KYW. So I’m excited about the future.

 

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes Defends Interview With KKK ‘Imperial Wizard’ on Ferguson

KKK

You very rarely see cable news networks devote time to interviews with Klansmen. But on MSNBC’s “All In” Wednesday evening, Chris Hayes interviewed Frank Ancona, a self-described “Imperial Wizard” from the “Traditionalist American Knights of the KKK”. In a segment labeled “Prepared for War”, Hayes questioned Ancona about flyers his group is distributing around the St. Louis area that warn protesters in Ferguson have “awakened a sleeping giant.” Hayes tells TVNewser he feels very strongly that doing the interview was “the right call,” though he understands many of his biggest fans disagree. “We debated and wrestled with whether or not to do it and weighed the pros and cons and ultimately decided there was real news/journalistic value in putting him on,” he told us.

Ancona claimed his group has received “hundreds of calls” from residents around St. Louis concerned about “random attacks on whites” and “police officers being threatened that their wives are going to be raped.” It was decidedly uncomfortable to watch, and some viewers were disgusted–not just with Ancona’s words, but Hayes’ decision to give the Klan air time. Even St. Louis Police chief Sam Dotson said “I think the first guest didn’t help the conversation and the dialogue at all.”
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MSNBC to Undergo Internal Reorganization

msnbc_logo_sticker_3_7x2.5First on TVNewser: MSNBC is taking the next step in its evolution, with a return to its roots. The cable network, which has lost much of the ratings momentum it gained following the 2008 election of Barack Obama, will combine the digital and TV editorial teams under The Bridge, the network’s third floor newsroom at 30 Rock.

In a memo obtained by TVNewser, MSNBC president Phil Griffin, says the goal is to “create a more nimble organization with greater collaboration between teams.”

Digital writers will now sit alongside TV producers, a new video research team will be created, and bookings will be centralized to, as Griffin puts it, “bring in fresh experts and more on-the-ground reporters.” We’ve inquired about whether any jobs will be cut in the process, but have not heard back.

This reorganization is a return to the beginnings of the 18-year-old network. MSNBC launched as a joint venture between Microsoft and NBC with the idea of integrating TV and online. It was an often rocky relationship with differing ideological and corporate goals. Still, it lasted 16 years. “This is the next logical stage in our evolution,” Griffin says.

Griffin’s full note after the jump…

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Michael Wolff: MSNBC’s Phil Griffin ‘Has Painted Himself Into a Corner’

2009+Winter+TCA+Tour+Day+9+RnrzO9gD_1plIn a column in USA Today, Michael Wolff has described MSNBC boss Phil Griffin as, a man without a clear strategy at a failing network. Describing MSNBC as dated and difficult to watch, Wolff wonders if Griffin can survive. “MSNBC now has a lineup of ever-righteous and often sulky defenders of President Barack Obama, who seem, not just to conservatives but to many liberals, too, bizarrely tone deaf and lost in time.”

Compared to the consistent ratings power of Fox News, MSNBC, Wolff argues, did not rise to the top with President Obama, but has slipped as the president’s popularity has waned. Ratings for the midterm election were down:

Griffin is no Ailes. And MSNBC is not Fox, with its ability to direct as well as portray the political drama. A poor political operative, Griffin has painted himself into a corner like political parties so often do, losing the base, and yet without the philosophical wherewithal to appeal to a larger group. There is the broken clock theory of politics and cable programming, in which, if you just keep doing what you’re doing, the zeitgeist returns to you. But politicians and media executives, swimming against the tide, usually lose their jobs before their hour returns.

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