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The Top Correspondents and Stories on Network Evening News in 2013 Were…

Tom CostelloNBC News correspondent Tom Costello got the most airtime on the evening newscasts in 2013 with 303 minutes on “NBC Nightly News.” David Muir was next with 296 minutes on “ABC World News,” and NBC’s Chief Foreign Affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell was third with 275 minutes on “Nightly.”

The numbers come from Andrew Tyndall‘s 2013 review of the most-covered stories and most-used correspondents.

The Boston Marathon bombing led the way in coverage, drawing 432 minutes across the three networks. CBS and NBC led the way with 157 and 156 minutes, respectively, with ABC presenting 119 minutes of coverage.

Tyndall was critical of ABC in this year’s report, suggesting 2013 was the year “ABC World News” “finally rejected” presenting a serious newscast.

ABC News is firing back: “Our mission is to give our viewers information that is relevant to their everyday lives,” ABC News SVP Jeffrey Schneider tells TVNewser. “Winning the Murrow for Best Newscast in 2013 and enjoying our best season in 5 years is far more meaningful than Tyndall’s method that confuses quantity with quality. ”

Tyndall, it should be noted, charges clients $15,000 for his subscription service. ABC News stopped subscribing about 10 years ago. CBS and NBC are still clients.

Rounding out the top five correspondents with the most airtime:

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Pres. Obama Continues Syria Push with Network Interviews

The New York-based network news anchors heading to Washington, DC this morning to interview Pres. Obama.

The interviews are back-to-back beginning at 3:55pmET. Each network gets 7 minutes. And the interviews are embargoed for air until 6pmET. Drawing from a hat, the order had been determined as this:  NBC, CNN, CBS, Fox News, ABC and PBS.

ABC’s Diane Sawyer and CBS’s Scott Pelley will anchor their shows from Washington today. Savannah Guthrie will conduct the interview for NBC as Brian Williams, still recovering from knee replacement surgery, cannot travel. DC-based Chris Wallace of Fox News and Wolf Blitzer of CNN will conduct the interviews for their networks. Gwen Ifill, who tonight becomes the permanent co-anchor with Judy Woodruff of “PBS NewsHour” gets the PBS interview.

 

Bill Plante: Morale at CBS News Is ‘Sky-High’

It’s no secret — to the satisfaction of innumerable CBS’ers — that the past year has marked a return to the network’s hard news roots.  The evolution began in February of 2011, when Jeff Fager became news chairman, and David Rhodes division president.

Just a few months later, Scott Pelley was named anchor of the CBS Evening News. A revamped CBS This Morning debuted six months later.

TVNewser caught up with veteran White House correspondent Bill Plante in Chicago as he covered his 12th presidential election night. Plante, who has been with CBS since 1964, is among those pleased with the newsier focus.

“Needless to say, the morale of the whole news operation has been sky-high since Jeff and David took over,” Plante tells us. ”It’s represented a new focus on news. And that really excited the people who came into this business to do news.

“And we do a lot more hard news than we used to, both in the morning and evening. And that makes those of us who’ve been in this business a long time really happy.”

Plante has covered every presidential election going back to 1968, and says the political beat is never dull. “Politics is about people and power, and how they relate with one another to achieve it, and what they do with it.

“It’s fascinating to watch. It never ceases to be interesting.”

(Photo: Alissa Krinsky)

New Newscasts For African Americans in the South

There’s a new network news operation coming to television — at least if you live in the southern U.S., and a few select northern cities.

Soul of the South News, or SSN, is part of the Soul of the South network, created for and by African Americans in the South. Headquartered in Little Rock, the network is expected to be available in markets including Atlanta, Memphis and Orlando reaching 62% of African American households.

The network is planning 5 hours of news each day, including morning and evening newscasts.

In an interview with THR last Fall, Edwin Avent, Chairman of SSN Media Group says, “We believe we will appeal to a mature thinking Southern audience who not only want to be entertained but also informed and kept abreast of the latest happenings in business, politics and culture. We’ll provide programming for millions of African-Americans whose voices are largely unheard.”

Here’s a look at what SSN has planned:

> Update: As you can see, the video has been removed. On Monday 6/11, Newsblues reported the video, which was fronted by former Birmingham anchor Roy Hobbs, was removed by SSN. The network says Hobbs, who gave an interview to Richard Prince Friday, has not been hired by the network, but only fronted this promotional video.

How the Evening Newscasts Reported the Death of Muammar Gaddafi

The three U.S. evening newscasts spent a combined 32 minutes and 45 seconds on the killing of Muammar Gaddafi on their newscasts Thursday evening, extending their first blocks beyond the 10-minute mark.

A Libyan news anchor smiles while reporting the news of Muammar Gaddafi's death, as shown on NBC Nightly News Thursday night.

NBC spent 11:02 on the story, leading off with chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel on set in New York. Then reports from Adrienne Mong, the only U.S. network correspondent in Misrata, Libya, Jim Miklaszewski was at the Pentagon, Andrea Mitchell had a look-back on Gaddafi’s life and Brian Williams had an on-set interview with a counter-terrorism official.

ABC’s “World News” anchored by George Stephanopoulos spent 10:45 on the story, leading off Christiane Amanpour on set. Amanpour had the most recent U.S. network interview with Gaddafi in late February as the insurgency was flaring up. Later on “Nightline” Amanpour had an interview with an American woman who had worked for the Gaddafi family up until just a few months ago. She’d set up the Amanpour-Gaddafi interview. Jake Tapper reported from the White House, David Muir talked with a man who lost his brother in the Pan Am 103 bombing and Barbara Walters was on set to talk about her interview with the “Mad Dog of the Middle East” in 1989. Stephanopoulos added he’d interviewed Gaddafi in 2003.

The “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” spent 10:58 on the story, including the lead which was tracked by Pelley and a Skype interview with freelance American journalist Holly Pickett who rode the ambulance with Gaddafi in his final moments. Kitty Logan reported from Tripoli, David Martin was at the Pentagon, Mark Phillips had a look-back and Jim Axelrod reported on the families of the survivors of the Pan Am 103 bombing.

We’ve embedded several stories after the jump…

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Network News Chiefs: ‘The audience ultimately will make the decision as to whether we are still relevant or capable or not’

At The Atlantic‘s Washington ideas Forum this afternoon, the magazine brought together the three networks news chiefs for a panel discussion. James Fallows spoke to NBC’s Steve Capus, ABC’s Ben Sherwood and CBS’ David Rhodes discussed the future of the evening newscasts, broadcast journalism’s relevance in an digital world, and what their organizations have planned for the future.

Fallows began the conversation with something of a loaded question, asking if the network newscasts should even exist in a world where news is available from a plethora of outlets, 24/7. Sherwood noted that the three evening newscasts saw higher ratings this year than they did last year.

“I still think they are incredibly important outlets and forums,” Capus said. “I disagree that it shouldn’t exist. You look at the size of the audiences that gather every night, they are still substantial.”

“It is true I was in cable for 15 years until February, but I think the one misnomer in the sort of dialogue about these newscasts or these news division is that credibility has become quaint” Rhodes added. “It has not.”

Capus was asked whether the politically polarizing network that he oversees, MSNBC, hurts NBC’s news credibility. He responded by arguing that no, it does not, but that the environment on cable news does not necessarily lend itself to good journalism.
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Networks Detail the Terror at Joplin Hospital

St. John’s Medical Center stands out among the devastation in Joplin, MO. It still stands, seriously damaged — windows blown out, two top floors gone — while the neighborhood around it is flattened. That may be why each of the evening newscasts, who all dispatched anchors to Joplin — featured the hospital in stories tonight. Brian Williams called St. John’s a “landmark in Joplin” which has “become an iconic picture” of the devastation all around. Diane Sawyer reported the “World News” piece on St. John’s, doing one interview, with a medical flight manager who was inside the hospital, in the driving rain.




Are the Evening Newscasts Going One-Hour Again Tonight?

Updated: Yesterday evening the three network evening newscasts offered a second half-hour to affiliates, making the programs one-hour long.

With the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death still somewhat fresh, NBC says that “NBC Nightly News” will once again be making a second half-hour available to affiliates tonight.

Last night the program had close to 80% of affiliates take the one-hour version.

“CBS Evening News”will return to its regular 30 minute format this evening.

ABC News is planning a regular, 30 minute edition of “World News”

Change at ‘CBS Evening News’ merits story on ‘Nightly News’ and ‘World News’

On their respective newscasts both Brian Williams and Diane Sawyer made note of Katie Couric‘s decision to leave the CBS Evening News. Sawyer called Couric her “colleague and friend.” Williams referred to her as “our friend and NBC News alum.” Shepard Smith reported the news on FOX Report and a handful of affiliates, mostly CBS stations, reported the story as well. Couric did not mention her departure on tonight’s CBS Evening News which she anchored from London.

How the Evening Newscasts Reported the deaths of Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros

British by birth, photojournalist Tim Hetherington called Brooklyn home. He was a dual citizen of the U.S. and the U.K. and much of his work at war was for American broadcasters. During his career, Hetherington had worked for ABC News and CNN. Hetherington and Getty photographer Chris Hondros, were killed yesterday during shelling in Misrata, Libya.

As for how the deaths were reported on the evening newscasts Wednesday, NBC’s Brian Williams, ABC’s Diane Sawyer and CBS’s Harry Smith in for Katie Couric reported short voice over stories, with Williams using a soundbite from Hetherington on “Morning Joe” last September.

All three broadcasts then went to their correspondents in Libya for the latest news: CBS’s Allen Pizzey, one of the few journalists to make it into Misrata, also reported on how Hetherington died during a Q&A with Smith: “Just bad luck as far as I can tell. Wrong place, wrong time. What can you say.” NBC’s Stephanie Gosk and ABC’s Miguel Marquez reported on the fighting from Benghazi.

All three stories after the jump…

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