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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 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.”

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(h/t TPM)

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

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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.”

Responding to News Blogs ‘Not Of Interest’ to Chris Matthews

MatthewsApparently, engaging with news blogs aren’t high on Chris Matthews‘ priority list.

Asked to respond to a piece written by Vox’s Max Fisher on U.S. airstrikes in Iraq, Matthews didn’t mince words. “I don’t respond to that kind of stuff, OK, that’s not of interest to me; why would I respond to something like that?” Matthews said Friday to guest host Jonathan Capehart. “Let me deal with the grown ups, let me deal with the political people, and not getting involved with the blogs and the websites…I don’t need to respond to that professionally.”  It should be noted that the editor-in-chief of the website Matthews declined to respond to is MSNBC policy analyst Ezra Klein.

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In Profile: Charles Payne, Thomas Roberts

Charles Payne_304x200Fox Business’ “Making Money” anchor Charles Payne talks to the Hartford Courant about what others should learn from his career story.

I guess one of the more important things is to have unrealistic dreams, and to keep your head down and keep pushing. You’ve got to take the body blows and can’t get discouraged. I see a lot of young people that when it doesn’t go their way they are calling out sick and sulking. Things don’t always happen in the time frame we think they should.

MSNBC “Way Too Early” host Thomas Roberts                                                                              Thomas Roberts 304
speaks to The Advocate about covering LGBT
issues as an openly gay anchor.

I see my role as a reporter and conversation starter. But on a personal level, I know all too well how it feels to lose a job … and how it feels to worry about having a successful career while being openly gay. In my younger years, when I was just starting out, I was constantly worried that any honesty about me being gay would derail my career goals. It was not being gay — it was about being honest and authentic about it in the workplace that worried me. No one should have those worries. I have worked very hard to get where I am and I am proud to utilize that platform and help elevate the conversation.

Rachel Maddow Accepts Shep Smith’s Challenge, Gets Doused With Ice Water

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MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow took up Shepard Smith‘s challenge, by getting doused with a bucket of ice water. Last week we told you about Smith, who took up the challenge and had not one, but two buckets of water dumped on him. He passed the challenge on to Maddow, and two others. Today, Maddow accepted, then challenged three others to get doused. If they do, the will give $50 to the charity of Maddow’s choice, in this case the Andi Leadership Institute for Young Women. Among those she challenged: former State Department official Liz Cheney.

Then, with the help of executive producer Bill Wolff, Maddow got iced. Watch:

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Rand Paul: When MSNBC ‘Does 24-Hour News Telling the Truth’ Then We’ll Discuss

In an MSNBC interview today alongside Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Rand Paul hit back at MSNBC for what he feels was the network’s attempt to distort one of his positions years ago.

“The honest discussion of it would be I never was opposed to the Civil Rights Act, and when your network does 24-hour news telling the truth, then maybe we can get somewhere with the discussion,” Paul said to Ari Melber in response to Melber who’d asked about comments then-senate candidate Paul made in 2010 on “The Rachel Maddow Show” about whether certain businesses should be allowed to refuse service based on race. (Also, this wasn’t exclusive, as Melber described it. Booker and Melber were interviewed last night on PBS NewsHour.)

July 2014 Ratings: MSNBC Has Lowest Primetime Demo in Eight Years

MSNBC placed third in viewers and fourth in A25-54 demo viewers in total day this month. In primetime, the network finished second in viewers and third in the demo; the latter was the network’s lowest in eight years–since July 2006.

The ratings for July 2014 (Nielsen Live + Same Day data):

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 550,000 Total Viewers / 152,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 318,000 Total Viewers / 92,000 A25-54

Compared to the same month last year, MSNBC was down -16% in total viewers and -33% in A25-54 viewers in total day. In primetime, the network was down -6% and -25%, respectively.

MSNBC’s daytime programming struggled in July. Marking six months at 4pmET, “Now with Alex Wagner” is down -28% in total viewers and -57% in the demo compared to last year when Martin Bashir hosted the hour; the demo is the lowest at 4pmET since 2005. “The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd” is down -21% in viewers and -47% in the demo; the latter is the lowest since 2004.

In primetime, all three MSNBC’s shows were up in total viewers but down double digits in the demo. “All In with Chris Hayes” was up +6% in total viewers and down -20% in the demo, “The Rachel Maddow Show” was up +2% in total viewers and down -20% in the demo, and “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” was up +8% and down -17%, respectively.

Here’s What Happens When Networks Outsource Foreign News Coverage

Vocativ MSNBCEarlier this year, our sister site Lost Remote reported on MSNBC’s partnership with digital news startup Vocativ. The partnership debuted on “Ronan Farrow Daily,” which has been airing “deep web” stories shot and produced by the New York-based start-up Vocativ, which includes TV news veterans in its ranks.

Last week, while most cable news coverage was dominated by conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine, Farrow aired a Vocativ report on Libya.

Midway through the segment last Monday, Farrow played a 3-minute Vocativ report on Libya’s rival militia groups. “Thank you to Vocativ for taking a lot of risks to get us that report,” Farrow said coming out of the report. The risks in Libya became dangerously apparent a few days later when, on Saturday, the U.S. evacuated its embassy, rushing embassy employees to Tunisia as fighting between militias intensified around Tripoli.

In late June, Farrow aired another Vocativ report on Libya’s arms market. Just today, the show aired a Vocativ report on Spain’s recreational drug use.

This type of news outsourcing seems to be gaining steam. With so many foreign stories to cover–and only so many correspondents and producers on the ground — networks are leaning on digital start-ups. The trend is also spreading to social media. Earlier this year, CNN partnered with Twitter and Dataminr to gain a leg up on finding and reporting breaking news.

Watch both Vocativ-produced segments after the jump.
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Let’s Play Hardball…in Canada?

MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” is known for a no-nonsense approach to politics, but Funny or Die’s Canadian spoof of the show probably falls into the opposite category.

In a video posted today, the comedy site debuts its “Hardball” Canada version. A Canadian maple leaf replaces the NBC peacock on-screen and a cast of comedians mockingly play Matthews, Ann Coulter, actress Kathleen Turner, embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, and the hit Canadian indie/pop duo of Tegan and Sara. “Frankly, like most people, I know nothing about Canada…” faux Matthews says to open the show.

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