TVSpy LostRemote AgencySpy PRNewser FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Network Newsing

How Long Has It Been Since Charles Krauthammer Watched a Network Newscast?

Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer gave his take on reliable media sources last night. The network news and CNN aren’t on his viewing menu.

“I have not watched a network newscast on any of the three networks in 20 years,” he told Bill O’Reilly. “I gain nothing from it. I know it’s soft news. I know it’s liberal news.”

About CNN, Krauthammer took aim with some humor. “They’re still looking for the Malaysian plane. I think they’ve actually located Amelia Earhart, who’s going to be a new anchor for them. But who watches CNN?”


Mediabistro Course

Social Media 101

Social Media 101Get hands-on social media training for beginners in our online boot camp, Social Media 101. Starting September 4, social media and marketing experts will help you determine the social media sites that matter most to you, based on your personal and professional goals. Register now! 
 

Special Coverage Planned for 9/11 Memorial Museum Opening

The broadcast networks are planning special coverage tomorrow of the opening of the National September 11 Memorial Museum. Pres. Obama will speak at the dedication between 10-11amET. ABC News has already announced it will carry his remarks live. This morning on “Today,” NBC’s Matt Lauer got a first look inside the memorial with former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is chairman of the museum. Family members of those killed on 9/11/01 will be the first to get a look at the museum. It opens to the public a week from today.

How the Evening Newscasts Reported the New Benghazi Emails

ABCBenghazi“CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” was the only evening newscast last night to not cover newly uncovered emails from White House adviser Ben Rhodes, which provided talking points to former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice before her Sunday show interviews several days after the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya in Sept., 2012.

Rhodes’ email to Rice advised her to stress that the Benghazi attacks were rooted in a controversial YouTube video, “and not a broader failure of policy.”

CBS did cover the emails 10 hours earlier on “CBS This Morning.” White House Correspondent Bill Plante also mentioned that Ben Rhodes is the brother of CBS News President David Rhodes. A CBS News spokesperson also says Plante reported the news on CBS News Radio and CBSNews.com, adding, “There also was a thorough editorial discussion about it at ‘CBS Evening News’ and David Rhodes was not involved.”

ABC’s Jonathan Karl, who got into a heated exchange with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney over the emails, reported a 2-minute story for “World News with Diane Sawyer,” while “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” produced a :30 voice-over story on the emails.

CBS Evening News has been criticized for not aggressively covering the Benghazi story. Last May, now former CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, said “there hasn’t been an appetite” for the stories she offered on Benghazi. CBS launched an internal review after Lara Logan‘s discredited Benghazi report on “60 Minutes” last October. Logan remains off the show.

The new Rhodes emails first hit the Web on Monday published by JudicialWatch.org. The story started getting traction on Fox News on Tuesday and on CNN and MSNBC on Wednesday.

How the Evening Newscasts Covered the Aereo Supreme Court Arguments

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 7.20.49 PMABC, CBS, FOX and NBC were at the Supreme Court today, on many levels. Reporters were there to cover the proceedings, lawyers argued on behalf of the networks, and executives sat in to watch the cases for and against Aereo. Two of the three evening newscasts reported on the case tonight.

“NBC Nightly News” and “CBS Evening News” each aired a story four minutes into their newscasts.

“Full disclosure right up top,” said Brian Williams, “This company (NBC) is a big player in this case, as are a lot of big names in media, who are tonight, just like us, covering it as a news story.” Stephanie Gosk then reported on what Aereo is, and what the argument is all about.

“Major networks, including CBS, are suing an an internet startup company claiming it is essentially stealing programming with a new technology,” said Scott Pelley in his introduction of a Chip Reid story.

“Nightly News” and “Evening News” also led with stories from the Supreme Court: the Court’s decision to uphold a ban on affirmative action in Michigan.

“ABC World News with Diane Sawyer” did not report on the Aereo case. “World News” led with the latest out of Ukraine.

How the Evening Newscasts Reported David Letterman’s Retirement Announcement

GlorCBSThursday’s stunner from David Letterman, announcing that he’s retiring next year, was news on the network newscasts last night. “CBS Evening News” anchor Scott Pelley reported the story at 6:36, calling it “breaking news here at CBS.” Correspondent Jeff Glor packaged the news and reported live in front of the Ed Sullivan Theater. On NBC, Brian Williams, often a guest on the “Late Show,” reported the news at 6:51 as a voice over, without using a soundbite from Letterman’s announcement. ABC’s “World News” ran the story as part of their Instant Index at 6:52, and did include a soundbite.

Diane Sawyer Interviews Gov. Christie, Scott Pelley Interview Pres. Obama

Two of the big three network anchors have big gets lined up.

diane sawyer_304x200ABC’s Diane Sawyer sits down with Governor Chris Christie and his wife Mary Pat today at their home in New Jersey. It’s Christie’s first television interview since his January news conference on the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal. The interview will address the Governor’s internal review which will be released today. The interview airs tonight on “World News,” and all ABC News platforms.

Pelley State of the UnionCBS’s Scott Pelley is going one-on-one with President Barack Obama tomorrow in Rome. Pelley will also anchor the “CBS Evening News” live from Rome tomorrow night, with coverage of the President’s trip to Europe and his first meeting this morning with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

How ‘Network’ Predicted the Future of TV News

NetworkIf you work (or have worked) in TV news, and we know many of you do, you’ve probably seen “Network,” the 1976 classic which takes a cynical look at the news business as fictional TV network UBS exploits its anchorman for corporate profit. (If you haven’t seen it, get to Netflix, stat.)

Today Dave Itzkoff, a culture reporter for The New York Times, is out with a new book about the film. The book’s title, Mad as Hell: The Making of Network and the Fateful Vision of the Angriest Man in Movies, includes the the outcry which would be immortalized in pop culture. “Network” won 4 Acadamy Awards, including one for Peter Finch who played the “Mad as Hell” anchorman and who died just weeks before the Oscars. (If you’ve seen the film, you’ll get the tragic irony).

Actor Rob Lowe, writing the New York Times Book Review calls the film “darkly funny and breathtakingly prescient” and says Itzkoff’s “engrossing, unfolding narrative contains the perfect amount of inside-baseball moviemaking stories and anecdotes about stars.”

MadAsHellItzkoffThe Wall Street Journal review covers how the film was received in the TV news world of the mid-1970s

The TV establishment was predictably infuriated. Though his daughter, an actress, had a small role in the film, Walter Cronkite issued increasingly dismissive comments, calling it “a rather amusing little entertainment.” Worse, “they cut my daughter’s part down to almost nothing.” In the midst of the storm, [screenwriter Paddy] Chayefsky wrote craven letters to Cronkite and his NBC counterpart, John Chancellor. “Please know,” he told Chancellor, “I never dreamed television people would be angry about the film”—showing that the screenwriter was either disingenuous or delusional.

USA Today calls “Mad as Hell” “absorbing and revealing,” noting that Itzkoff speaks “with some admirers who became prominent writers and TV personalities — among them Stephen Colbert, Aaron Sorkin and Keith Olbermann.” “You wish Chayefsky would come back to life long enough to write The Internet,” Sorkin says.

N.S. Bienstock Acquired by United Talent Agency

BienstockN.S. Bienstock, one of the nation’s biggest and most well-known agencies for TV news talent, has been acquired by United Talent Agency (UTA). Bienstock agents represent more than 600 TV news anchors, reporters and producers including Bill O’Reilly, Anderson Cooper, Robin Roberts, Megyn Kelly, Bob Scheiffer, Norah O’Donnell, David Muir, Glenn Beck, and Lara Logan.

N.S. Bienstock founders and co-presidents Richard Leibner and Carole Cooper will remain co-presidents of the company, managing day-to-day operations.

“Aligning with UTA and utilizing their global reach and resources while still retaining our personal touch is a significant step forward in the growth and evolution of N.S. Bienstock,” says Leibner.

UTA represents talent from the worlds of movies, television, digital media, video games, books, music and theatre. UTA will now be the largest agency in the TV news space.

Nate Bienstock started N.S. Bienstock in the 1940s as a life insurance business. His client list included a number of journalists, including Walter Cronkite and Eric Sevareid. Richard Leibner’s father Sol, bought into (and later bought) the business and, as TV news began to take off, Richard Liebner began negotiating contracts for clients. Liebner married Carole Cooper in 1964. She joined the firm and became an agent in 1976.

Full news release after the jump…

Read more

Tom Brokaw Defends Evening News: ‘Bill O’Reilly Would Finish Dead Last’

mediabistrotv_1

We caught up with NBC News Special Correspondent Tom Brokaw earlier this week at NYC’s 92nd Street Y where the NBC Newsman interviewed his former “Today’ co-host Jane Pauley about her new book. Brokaw, who anchored “NBC Nightly News” for 22 years, defended the network evening newscasts.

“That audience is so much more substantial than people realize,” Brokaw said. “When I talk to audiences, I say, ‘How many of you think that Bill O’Reilly is the most popular guy in news?’ and they all raise their hands. I say, ‘Bill O’Reilly would finish dead last if he were on the evening news.’”

Brokaw goes on to recount the strong numbers the three evenings newscasts drew last week: “Nothing else in America delivers that kind of audience.”

Andrew Tyndall Responds to ABC: They’re Confusing Quantity With Quality

TyndallWorldNewsAndrew Tyndall is firing back at ABC News’ criticism of his 2013 report on the three evening newscasts saying it is the network—and not him—that is confused.

“When ABC refers to its ‘best season,’ I believe it is confusing quantity (audience size per Nielsen) with quality, as the saying goes,” Tyndall writes on his blog.

As we noted earlier, Tyndall operates a subscription business in which he collects and packages data on the three evening newscasts and sells it to clients. CBS and NBC subscribe to the service — at $15,000 a year. ABC canceled its subscription 10 years ago. Clients get a weekly report on anchor rotations, story teasing patterns, story coverage rankings based on time allotted to each, comparison of hard vs. soft news coverage, and more.

In his 2013 report he writes, “ABC’s newscast is now certifiable Disneyfied.” Tyndall denies ABC cancelling their subscription has any influence on his critical analysis. He added he has no issue with the network’s mission to give their viewers “information that is relevant to their everyday lives,” but suggests that isn’t the same as presenting a serious newscast.

NEXT PAGE >>