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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.

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.

Now MSNBC is Producing a Pot Show

PotBaronsAs two more states and the District of Columbia legalize marijuana, another cable news network is trying to catch the pot wave with a new documentary.

“Pot Barons of Colorado,” a 6-part series debuting Sunday, Nov. 30, is produced by MSNBC’s Long Form Unit and production company Triple Threat TV. The series follows Colorado-based ‘pot barons’ who are working to secure a foothold in the rapidly expanding world of legal recreational marijuana use.

“Pot Barons of Colorado” follows CNN’s announcement two weeks ago that it is producing “High Profits” an 8-part series which follows Breckenridge Cannabis Club owners Brian Rogers and Caitlin McGuire. CNN’s series will debut in 2015.

As we’ve reported for years, pot documentaries — first focusing on medical marijuana, now on legal weed — have brought big ratings to cable networks, including CNBC which produced the often-repeated “Marijuana, Inc.” and, later, “Marijuana USA” reported by Trish Regan, who now works for Bloomberg TV. Earlier this year, CNBC aired an updated “Marijuana in America” reported by NBC’s Harry Smith.

‘Gross’: Journalists Not Happy With Republican Attorney General’s Re-Election in Florida

PamBondiIt wasn’t the biggest Republican victory of the midterms, but the re-election of Florida’s Republican attorney general Pam Bondi seems to have gotten under the skin of some journalists, who revealed their true feelings about Bondi in a string of comments on Facebook last night.

When Miguel Fernandez, executive producer at CBS-owned WFOR in Miami updated his Facebook status to read “Ugh! TALLAHASSEE, Fla (AP) — Republican incumbent Pam Bondi re-elected as Florida’s attorney general,” people lined up to register their outrage. “Crap,” said one. “DISGUSTING,” said another.

Among the commenters were journalists, including MSNBC managing editor Ilyas Kirmani, who commented on Bondi’s re-election, “gross,” and WFOR reporter Lisa Petrillo, who wrote “yuck.”

See the post, below:
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