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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.

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?

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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.

Pat Buchanan: MSNBC Hosts Thought ‘I Was Sort of a Strange Beast From Another Century’

During a CSPAN interview that will air in full tonight at 8pmET, Pat Buchanan talks about his departure from MSNBC in 2012.

“I think they thought I was sort of a strange beast from another century,” Buchanan said about MSNBC hosts he’d routinely debate. The three-time presidential candidate pointed to his controversial book being the source of MSNBC’s decision to part ways with him. “Nobody seemed to have the same take on the book [Suicide of a Superpower] that MSNBC did,” Buchanan continued, adding, “I was supposed to go on the day the book was announced and I was told ‘you won’t be on this morning.’”

‘Morning Joe’ and ‘Good Morning America’ Take the Ice Bucket Challenge

MJ and GMA

“Morning Joe” hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski and several “Good Morning America” personalities got drenched this week for a good cause.

On Thursday, the “MJ” duo accepted Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal‘s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, getting doused with ice water while sitting in a giant kiddie pool (must say Joe got the worst of it). The next day, “GMA’s” Lara Spencer, Paula Faris, Sara Haines, and Tory Johnson accepted colleague Michael Strahan‘s challenge. Standing in NYC’s Central Park, the GMAers received quite the cooldown on a sunny summer day.

Watch both after the jump. Read more

Who Will Replace Chuck Todd on MSNBC?

As Chuck Todd ascends to the coveted moderator chair at “Meet the Press,” his morning anchor chair at MSNBC lies vacant. Over the years, MSNBC has filled many of its vacancies through its bench of contributors. Some guests turned hosts include Chris Hayes, Steve Kornacki, Alex Wagner, Joy Reid, and the cast of “The Cycle.”

Todd’s show served as the leadoff hitter to the network’s daytime lineup; particularly the morning’s hard news shows. We’ve put together some potential replacements for you to vote on. We’ll keep voting open throughout the weekend and post the results next week.

MSNBC Announces Chuck Todd is New ‘Meet the Press’ Host, But NBC News Hasn’t

The official announcement hasn’t happened yet, but don’t tell that to the ticker writer at MSNBC. During an interview on “The Reid Report” at 2:20pmET, a ticker read: NBC’s CHUCK TODD NAMED NEW “MEET THE PRESS” HOST. Thing is, no announcement has been made … yet. CNN’s Brian Stelter reported at 1:25pmET that an announcement may come today. NBC News reps, we’re told, are in meetings this afternoon and not able to answer our questions about any changes at “Meet the Press.”

MSNBCTodd

(h/t TPM)

Reporter Slammed in Ferguson Slams Joe Scarborough: ‘Sipping his Starbucks Smugly’

MSNBCNNFerguson

The arrest of two reporters in Ferguson, MO last night has been a hot topic on morning cable news. In the first 10 minutes of “Morning Joe,” Joe Scarborough shared his opinion.

“I’ve been in places where police officers said: ‘all right you know what? This is cordoned off, you guys need to move along.’ You know what I do? I go, ‘yes, sir, or yes, ma’am.’ I don’t sit there and have a debate and film the police officer unless I want to get on TV and have people talk about me the next day,” said Scarborough, adding, “I am sure I am just the worst person in the world for saying this.”

Scarborough’s take on the arrest and short detention of Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery and The Huffington Post’s Ryan Reilly, became news over on CNN. Kate Bolduan asked Lowery — who says police slammed him into a soda machine during his arrest — about Scarborough’s comments:

I would invite Joe Scarborough to come down to Ferguson and get out of 30 Rock where he’s sitting there sipping his Starbucks smugly. I invite him to come down here and talk to the residents of Ferguson where I’ve been since Monday afternoon having tear gas shot at me, having rubber bullets shot at me, having mothers and daughters crying, having a 19-year-old boy crying that he had to run and pull his 21-year-old sister out from a cloud of tear gas. He thought she was going to die.

I invite Joe Scarborough down here and to do some reporting on the ground, and then he can — and then maybe we can have an educated conversation about what’s happening here.

Video after the jump…

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MSNBC Host Al Sharpton in the Middle of Two High Profile Police Cases

SharptonMSNBC knew hiring Al Sharpton three years ago would raise questions about where the line between news commentary and subjective advocacy lies for the network. Sharpton has been front and center of two recent cases involving the deaths of black men at the hands of police. First, 43-year-old Eric Garner who was put in a chokehold by NYPD officers last month, and later died, and Saturday’s death of 18-year-old  Michael Brown, shot by police in Ferguson, MO.

Over the weekend, even before Brown’s death, Sharpton was all over New York media calling for a march against aggressive police tactics. Since the Ferguson shooting and resulting riots, Sharpton has dedicated three-quarters of his “PoliticsNation” airtime to the story, and is devoting at least half to tonight’s show to the topic. “The Ed Show,” “All In” and “The Last Word” also plan on leading with the Brown story today.

Sharpton hosted his program from St. Louis Tuesday. Earlier in the day, he stood beside Brown’s parents at a press conference, urging the federal government to get involved in the case and cautioning citizens against reactionary violence. He also announced his National Action Network will pay for Brown’s funeral.

“We didn’t hire Al to become a neutered kind of news presenter,” MSNBC Phil Griffin told the Associated Press in March, 2012, during the Trayvon Martin case. “That’s not what we do.”

We reached out to MSNBC for this story, but did not receive a response.

>>Update: MSNBC President Phil Griffin tells TVNewser: “Rev. Al Sharpton is both President of the National Action Network and host on MSNBC. We’ve always been transparent about the dual roles and his work outside of MSNBC.”

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