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Turner Ups CNN Ad Sales Chief Greg D’Alba

Turner Broadcasting has promoted CNN ad sales chief Greg D’Alba to president, news and Turner digital ad sales.

In his new role D’Alba will continue to oversee ad sales for the CNN networks, and will add oversight of Turner’s entire digital portfolio. As part of the move, Katrina Cukaj has been promoted to EVP of CNN ad sales, responsible for managing sales for the CNN networks.

Turner also added MediaVest president Donna Speciale as president of Turner entertainment and animation ad sales.

More information, after the jump.

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Christina Bellantoni Joins PBS Newshour

  • Christina Bellantoni is leaving CQ Roll Call to join the staff of PBS Newshour as Political Editor. Bellantoni will oversee all coverage both on air and online for the 2012 elections. Bellantoni spent the last year at CQ Roll Call as associate politics editor, appearing on cable news shows including MSNBC’s “Hardball,” FNC’s “On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren” and CNN’s “Reliable Sources.” Previously, Bellantoni was a reporter at Talking Points Memo and before that a White House correspondent for The Washington Times.

Death of Kim Jong-il, From Twitter to Cable, 50 Hours Later

Not long after the news of the death of North Korea’s Kim Jong-il broke, just after 10pmET tonight, “Kim Jong” and “Pyongyang” began trending on Twitter. The death of a ruling world leader — in this case a supreme leader — would be instant news around the globe. But the fact that it took two days for the news to be made public, speaks volumes about the global isolation in which North Korea exists. The first reports were that Kim died of fatigue at 8:30 am Dec. 17 (6:30pmET Friday) during train ride. That was later updated to “massive heart attack.”

As for U.S. cable news coverage: Fox News’s Harris Faulkner broke in with the news at 10:11pmET during “Geraldo at Large.” Geraldo Rivera, reporting from Kuwait with some of the last U.S. troops to leave Iraq earlier today, began incorporating the news later in his show. Interestingly, Greg Palkot, also in Kuwait today, reported Fox News’s pre-produced obituary on Kim. CNN’s Don Lemon reported the news at 10:12pm 10:07. Wolf Blitzer, who traveled to North Korea last December, phoned in. CNN/U.S. began simulcasting CNNI at 10:23. MSNBC produced breaking news specials at 10:17 and 10:32pm.

Twitter, as usual, led the way with the headline of the death. It included original reporting:

@mitchellreports: U.S officials have no offficial comment on Kim’s death. Long anticipated but no warning it was imminent

And commentary:

@AndyLevy: RIP* Kim Jong-Il *Rot In Pieces

Jobs, Scholarships and $1M Pledged to Homeless Families Featured in ’60 Minutes’ Report

A couple weeks ago, “60 Minutes” correspondent Scott Pelley returned to Seminole County, FL for an update on the impact of Great Recession there: whole families living in cars after losing their jobs and homes with the kids caught in the middle. Pelley first began reporting on the crisis situation in Central Florida last March.

Well last night, Pelley ended “60″ with an update on his Nov. 27 story:

Since our broadcast, viewers have sent in or promised more than $1 million to help homeless families in Central Florida. Beyond the cash came offers of housing and jobs, and for Aerial and Austin (Metzger, pictured) three colleges have offered full scholarships.

Incidentally, that show was watched by almost 17 million viewers.

Newt Gingrich: MSNBC ‘Essentially the Obama Re-election Team’

In a town hall in Florida this afternoon Newt Gingrich was talking about media coverage during the presidency of Barack Obama, and, more recently, how the media have been covering his campaign including new questions about whether he has worked as a lobbyist in recent years. Gingrich referenced two cable news networks — MSNBC and FNC — while the event was airing live, only on CNN.

So now they’re actually doing for us what they wouldn’t do for Obama. They’re doing it partly out of bias. I understand that there are places like MSNBC that are essentially the Obama re-election team. But that’s fine. This is a free society. You can say that Fox tends to be nicer to me than to Obama. In the next three weeks I predict to you we’ll have all sorts of questions about me.

Morning Show Interviews with Conrad Murray, and a Juror Who Found Him Guilty

NBC News will air Savannah Guthrie‘s pre-verdict interview with Dr. Conrad Murray tomorrow and Friday on the “Today” show. Murray, who is in custody following the guilty verdict in the death of Michael Jackson, sat down with Guthrie a few weeks ago.

NBC News used excerpts of the interview on “Nightly News” and “Today” following the verdict.

And this morning on “Good Morning America”, ABC’s Jim Avila spoke with juror Debbie Franklin. “We absolutely agree that he did not mean to do this,” Franklin says. “We don’t think he even had a motive to do this. We think it was something that he was doing that was careless that got out of hand.”

Pres. Obama to Ed Henry: ‘I didn’t know you were the spokesman for Mitt Romney’

FNC’s Chief White House Correspondent Ed Henry got the first question at today’s joint news conference between Pres. Obama and Lee Myung-Bak, President of South Korea. Henry asked the president about the alleged Iranian terror plot, and used a quote from GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney who had criticized Obama’s leadership.

Obama responded with, “I didn’t know you were the spokesman for Mitt Romney.”

In an interview later with Megyn Kelly, Henry explains, “I was trying to put it in the broader context of not just Mitt Romney, but there are a lot of Republicans out there who would charge that this president leads from behind.”

“He decided not to engage with Mitt Romeny,” said Henry. “Instead, he decided to go after me a little bit.”

President Obama Addresses U.N.

The United Nations General Assembly is meeting in New York City this week, and this morning it was President Obama’s turn to address the gathering of world leaders. The three general cable news networks broke into regular programming to cover the speech, as did CNBC and Fox Business Network.

Two major focal points of Obama’s address are granting Palestinians their own state, and the general theme of improving peaceful relations across the globe.

Meredith Vieira Named Special Correspondent on NBC’s ‘Rock Center with Brian Williams’

Yesterday, we told you that the NBC primetime newsmagazine slated to debut this fall would be called “Rock Center with Brian Williams.” Today, the show also gets a special correspondent: former “Today” anchor Meredith Vieira.

Vieira’s new role, effective immediately, will be supplemental to her reporting across other NBC platforms, including on “Today” and “Nightly News,” according to NBC News president Steve Capus.

“Meredith’s immeasurable talents reach beyond the newsroom to connect with the extraordinary people she interviews as well as the viewers at home,” Capus said, in announcing Vieira’s new role. “She is as genuine as you can get, a world-class journalist and a captivating storyteller. These skills will be hugely beneficial to ‘Rock Center with Brian Williams’ and across NBC News.”

Read the full release from NBC after the jump. Read more

Video: Jon Gruden Says 'This Guy' A Lot During Jets-Texans Game

ESPN commentator Jon Gruden has a quirky habit — some might call it an annoying tick — of referring to players as “this guy.” Instead of calling a player by their last name, which is a widely accepted practice that goes unnoticed by viewers, Gruden will often introduce some fluff-piece factoid about a player by saying, “This guy is the toughest player I’ve ever seen” or “I think this guy is the best player I’ve seen this year.”

How often does Gruden do this? A lot. The fine folks at Sportgrid kept track during last night’s Jets-Texans preseason game, and they counted 11 instances where Gruden said “This guy.” They kindly put the instances together in a montage video.

* Gruden had a total of 11 “This Guy”s, up from 5 last week. Our tally was a bit different than this one, which had Gruden clocked in at 14 total.

* Broken down by quarter, Gruden had none in the 1st, 7 in the 2nd, 4 in the 3rd, and none in the 4th.

* Most of Gruden’s “This Guy”s occurred during a five-minute span in the 2nd quarter, leading us to believe that ESPN’s producers saw his dangerously low output from the 1st quarter and relayed a dramatic “WE NEED MORE ‘THIS GUY’S” plea into the MNF booth.

* We did not count borderline occurrences or slightly altered versions of “This Guy,” such as “These Guys” or “That Guy,” because we’re trying to do serious work here, and if we start counting such occurrences we’ll be headed down a “slippery slope.”

* All of the “This Guy”s were lead-ins to an overwhelmingly positive point about the player in question.

It could be worse. He could refer to players as “that hump,” which I’d be inclined to do.