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2014 TVNewser Bracket Challenge, Who’s In?

NCAA march madnessThe NCAA college basketball tournament begins today, and with it comes the start of the 2014 TVNewser Bracket Challenge. Once again, some of of the best and brightest on-air and behind-the-scenes names in TV news compete to be the last one standing. 2013′s winner, “CBS This Morning” EP Chris Licht, is back to defend his crown. Here’s who he’s up against:

Team ABC:

Gio Benitez, Correspondent

Rick Klein, Political Director

Sandy Cannold, EP/Senior Business Editor

Team Bloomberg:

Matt Miller, Auto and Aviation Reporter, Bloomberg TV

Team CBS News:

Chris Licht, VP, Programming/EP, “CBS This Morning”

Norah O’Donnell, Anchor, “CBS This Morning”

Greg Bracco, Broadcast Graphics

Team CNBC:

Read more

TVNewser’s March Madness Bracket Challenge is Back

NCAA-March-MadnessMarch Madness is back on TVNewser, as our 2014 NCAA college basketball tournament bracket will launch this week.

Last year, CBS VP of Programing and EP of “CBS This Morning” Chris Licht took home the prize, narrowly beating out CNN’s Tom Foreman by three points.

Invites have been sent to the entire TV news world, and there’s still time to get in.

Just shoot your humble TVNewser editor—who’s embarking on his first-ever bracket—an email if you’d like to be included in this year’s competition (jordan@mediabistro.com).

And be on the lookout for our first-round bracket post later this week.

Bret Baier Pays Tribute to Former ‘Special Report’ Intern, Professional Soccer Player

“Special Report” host Bret Baier paid tribute last night to his former intern and Major League Soccer player Shawn Kuykendall, who died at the age of 32 from cancer.

“He will be forever remembered as a man of faith and laughter,” Baier said of his former intern, adding that Shawn loved time with family, singing, playing guitar, and taking selfies.

After playing for Major League Soccer’s D.C. United and New York Red Bulls, Kuykendall interned for Baier, followed by a role on FNC’s assignment desk for over a year.

“We’ll miss you Shawn. Fair, balanced, and just as Shawn faced death…unafraid.”

Here’s a Sure Sign of Spring: MLB Network Announces Spring Training Schedule

As the Olympics wind down, MLB Network has announced its schedule of more than 200 Spring Training games, the most games ever for the 5-year-old network. Games begins Wednesday on MLB, now available in more than 70 million homes, and continue with at least one live game each day through March 29. The games include the National League champion St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Nationals March 9, World Series champion Boston Red Sox against the Tampa Bay Rays on March 10, and Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees on March 12. MediabistroTV went behind the scenes of MLB TV for our “Cubes” series. Take a look:

Thomas Roberts: If NFL Can Overlook Alleged Murderers, Why Not ‘Nice, Clean-Cut Gay Guy’

Thomas Roberts 304Football and TV news personalities alike have been responding to the first potentially gay NFL player after Missouri lineman Michael Sam came out on Sunday in interviews with The New York Times and ESPN.

Sam’s interview with the Times appears to have been pre-produced well ahead of time with a companion video with Sam opening up about his sexuality: “I didn’t want anyone to break a story without me telling it…I want to tell it the way I want to tell it.”

Speaking with ESPN’s Chris Connelly, Sam revealed what coming out to his college teammates was like: “They took it great. They rallied around me and supported me. I couldn’t ask for better teammates.”

And on “Morning Joe” this morning, openly gay MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts expressed support.

“If the league can overlook alleged murderers, wife beaters, and people who don’t pay child support, I don’t think letting in a nice clean-cut gay guy is going to hurt anybody.”

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CBS Lands NFL Thursday Night Games for 2014 Season

NFLONCBSCBS has won the rights to air eight early season NFL games on Thursday nights during the 2014 season, CBS and the NFL announced today.

The early season package of games will be simulcasted on The NFL Network, who will exclusively televise eight late season games. The mix of games will feature 14 on Thursday nights and two late season games on Saturday.

“We are very pleased to build on our outstanding partnership with the NFL by expanding our coverage to Thursday nights,” said CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves. “CBS is a premium content company and the NFL represents the best premium content there is.”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is excited at the opportunity to reach a wider audience: “Our goal is to bring these games to more fans on broadcast television with unprecedented promotion and visibility for Thursday Night Football on CBS.”

All games will be produced by CBS with its broadcast duo of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms calling Thursday night games. NFL Network talent will also be featured on CBS games during pregame, halftime, and postgame shows.

The deal is for the 2014 season with the NFL holding an option for an additional year.

What Happens When 112 Million People Change the Channel Around the Same Time?

WilsonFoxFor the fourth time in five years, the Super Bowl set a record as the most-watched TV program ever. In fact, the viewership has been revised up to 112.19 million watching from 6:33pm to 9:55pmET, when the game concluded. FOX’s post-game wrapped at 10:20pmET. So where did the viewers go?

While 26 million million kept it on FOX to watch Prince on “New Girl,” millions of football fans flipped to ESPN or FoxSports1, others checked the DVR, and millions more turned off the TV altogether. But about 1.3 million changed the channel to their favorite cable news network. Take a look at the 9pm hour on cable news Sunday night, compared to the 10pm hour.

The Weather Channel grew its audience by +150% from 9 to 10pm; CNN was up +129%; MSNBC grew by +125%; Fox News grew its audience +126% and HLN was up +84%.

  • 9PM Viewers / Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014

FNC – 384,000
MSNBC – 199,000
HLN – 167,000
CNN – 158,000
Weather – 121,000

  • 10PM Viewers / Sunday Feb. 2, 2014

FNC – 869,000
MSNBC – 448,000
CNN – 362,000
HLN – 307,000
Weather – 302,000

Despite Blowout Game, Super Bowl XLVIII is Most-Watched TV Show Ever

SeattleFOXThat giant sucking sound you heard during the Super Bowl last night, wasn’t viewers changing the channel.

Despite it being a blowout, the Seattle Seahwaks’ win over the Denver Broncos averaged 111.5 million people, more than any television program in U.S. history, surpassing the 2012 game on NBC when the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots in a much closer game. 111.3 million watched that Super Bowl. The game is also now the most-watched program on FOX, breaking the 111.0 million viewer mark for the 2011′s Super Bowl, when the Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers.

As for the Super Bowl halftime show, viewership for Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers jumped 4 million viewers over the full game’s average, with 115.3 million viewers watching. That surpasses the 110.8 million who watched Beyonce last year and the prior record of 114.0 million set by Madonna two years ago.

Capital reports Bill O’Reilly‘s interview with President Obama during the pre-game show averaged 18.5 million viewers.

TV Newsers React to Super Bowl

Some of TV News’ top talent offered interesting commentary on the Super Bowl, both at the game, and on social media.

From the stands at MetLife Stadium, Sean Hannity shared one of the rare bright moments for the Broncos:

While Chuck Todd created a stir over his response to Bob Dylan’s Chrysler commercial.

Twitter users thought Todd was declaring his personal distaste for American beer, and defended their countries craft credentials. Todd quickly cleared the air: Read more

Obama to O’Reilly: ‘These Things Keep on Surfacing Because You and Your TV Station Will Promote Them’

ObamaOReillySuperBowlThe handful of questions Bill O’Reilly asked in his pre-Super Bowl interview with Pres. Obama came from a shortlist of the last couple years of White House blunders including healthcare.gov, the attack in Benghazi, and the IRS scandal. Toward the end of the 10-minute interview the president even called out O’Reilly and Fox News.

“These kinds of things keep on surfacing in part because you and your TV station will promote them,” said the president.

O’Reilly began with the with Healthcare.gov glitches and why the president “didn’t fire Sebelius” speaking of HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius, charged with implementing the Affordable Care Act. “I promise you we hold everyone up and down the line accountable,” said the president. “But our main focus is how to make this thing work.”

O’Reilly then asked if it “was it the biggest mistake of your presidency to tell the nation, over and over, if you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance?”

“Oh Bill, you’ve got a long list of my mistakes,” said the President.

Things got more contentious when O’Reilly asked about the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi and the IRS scandal. “So there was no mass corruption?” O’Reilly asked about the 2013 IRS debacle. “There were some boneheaded decisions,” said the president, “[But] not even a smidgeon of corruption.”

“I know you think maybe we haven’t been fair, but I think your heart is in the right place,” said O’Reilly to Obama.

As he was getting the wrap from Fox Sports producers, he tried to get the president to pick a Super Bowl winner. “I think it’s going to be 24-21. But I don’t know who’s going to be 24 and who’s going to be 21,” said Obama.

A second interview, which will air on tomorrow’s “O’Reilly Factor,” was recorded after the live interview. Watch today’s interview after the jump…

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