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Year in Review

2006: News Divisions Continue To Cover Katrina’s Aftermath

> Aug. 31: TVNewser recaps “a year of Katrina”

> Aug. 29: Harry Smith calls it a “god awful mess”

> Aug. 28: New Orleans is “still broken,” Charles Gibson says

> Aug. 28: Williams became seriously ill in the aftermath of Katrina

> Aug. 28: Cooper: “It’s so easy in cable news to move on to the next thing, and shame on any of us if we let that happen”

> Jun. 21: CNN opens permanent New Orleans bureau on Poydras Street

> May 8: Howard Kurtz in New Orleans: “Journalism’s work here is not done — not by a long shot”

> Apr. 27: On his 11th trip to region, Williams interviews Bush

> Apr. 23: At NAB/RTNDA, reporters reflect on covering the storm

> Apr. 5: CNN and NBC receive Peabody Awards for Katrina coverage

> Mar. 8: Cooper says Katrina “reaffirmed by belief in reporting”

> Mar. 2: Shep Smith spends time in Mississippi

> Feb. 28: CNNers ride aboard Mardi Gras floats

> Feb. 25: The country needs a wake-up call

> Feb. 23 and 24: Lots of Mardi Gras coverage

> Feb. 13: CNN’s Kathleen Koch returns to her hometown for a special, “The Fight for Bay St. Louis”

> Feb. 10: Anderson Cooper gets preachy in New Orleans

> Jan. 26: Brian Williams responds to viewers who are tired of Katrina coverage

> Jan. 23: “Only NBC News clings to the story with an abiding grip,” a local columnist says

> Jan. 23: John Sears becomes CNN’s Gulf Coast bureau chief

> Jan. 12: “It still looks like a war zone,” Shep Smith says

2006: Some of TVNewser’s Interviews

> Aug. 31: CNN’s Jeanne Meserve describes the haunting memories of Katrina

> Aug. 30: FNC’s Greta Van Susteren recalls the scene at the Astrodome

> Aug. 30: ABC’s Robin Roberts talks about her ties to the Gulf Coast

> Aug. 29: CNN’s Susan Roesgen, on covering her wrecked hometown

> Aug. 29: CBS’s Tracy Smith, on returning to New Orleans

> Aug. 28: NBC’s Brian Williams says journalists became first responders

> Aug. 28: Steve Harrigan on his memories of two Katrina landfalls, and the aftermath

> Aug. 28: CBS hurricane consultant Bryan Norcross recalls Katrina’s landfall

> Aug. 15: CNN president Jon Klein, on the cable net’s daytime changes

> Jul. 26: Jim Murphy and Tom Cibrowski talk about their new GMA jobs

> Jul. 16: Former editor in chief Merrill Brown on the site’s 10th birthday

> Jul. 14: CNN’s Soledad O’Brien recalls launching The Site on MSNBC in 1996

> Jun. 2: CBS’s Barry Petersen on covering Asia

> May 31: FNC’s Steve Harrigan on his assignments in Latin America

> May 30: ABC’s Jim Sciutto on going back to Iraq

> May 25: NBC’s Richard Engel, about his new Middle East bureau

> Feb. 2: CBS’s Bob Schieffer describes building a bench of correspondents

> Feb. 1: CNN’s John Roberts, on his move from CBS to cable

2006: Some of TVNewser’s Scoops

> Nov. 2: What does desperation breed? For one Dateliner, crying

> Sep. 27: Layoffs are coming to NBC News

> Aug. 29: The photos of Couric’s “extreme makeover”

> Aug. 9: Ron Corning is leaving ABC

> Aug. 4: Mika Brzezinski is on the way out at CBS

> Aug. 3: Sam Feist is CNN’s new political director; later, Molly Levinson is going to CBS

> Jul. 14: Jim Murphy and Tom Cibrowski are in the running for the GMA top job(s?)

> Jun. 26: MSNBC names a primetime tape czar

> Jun. 13: American Morning is returning to a three-hour format

> Jun. 9: MSNBC cans Maury & Connie

> Apr. 21: BBC is launching early A.M. show for U.S.

> Apr. 21: Maybe Al Jazeera will drop the “International”

> Apr. 18: MSNBC switches Scarborough and Cosby

> Apr. 5: Couric gets a five-year deal at CBS

> Mar. 14: Mike Wallace is retiring

> Jan. 15: Court TV’s new schedule

> Jan. 2: Alex Wallace is becoming NBC News VP

2006: The Cable Year’s Best Quotes

> Jun. 26:

“Our gimmick is news.”

Jon Klein, to Bill Carter

> May 1:

“The president makes decisions, he’s the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Put them through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know — fiction.”

Stephen Colbert, to the White House press corps

> Jul. 11:

“Because of his personal demons, Keith has imploded everywhere he’s worked. From lashing out at co-workers to personally attacking Bill O’Reilly and all things Fox, it’s obvious Keith is a train wreck waiting to happen. And like all train wrecks, people might tune in out of morbid curiosity, but they eventually tune out, as evidenced by Keith’s recent ratings decline. In the meantime, we hope he enjoys his paranoid view from the bottom of the ratings ladder and wish him well on his inevitable trip to oblivion.”

–FNC spokesperson Irena Briganti, talking about Keith Olbermann

> Jan. 9:

“Perhaps Jeff Zucker should think twice about tying his future, not to mention the reputation of General Electric, to an unstable ratings-killer like Keith, who uses an NBC property for his personal attacks.”

–FNC spokesperson Brian Lewis, to David Bauder, also talking about Keith Olbermann

> Feb. 25:

“The median age of viewers of this program is 58.7. The median age of viewers of Mr. O’Reilly’s program is 68.6. So if you want to be concerned about ‘well-being,’ Bill, be concerned about the odds of your viewers living into next week.”

Keith Olbermann, talking about Bill O’Reilly

> Nov. 30:

“Everyone has an agenda. All reporters are biased. Why not be open about it, transparent? We shouldn’t pretend. The audience is looking for honest opinions, for opinions they can relate to.”

–An unnamed senior cable news exec, to Ken Auletta

> Jan. 4:

“I’m not smart enough to debate you point to point on this, but I have the feeling about 60 percent of what you say is crap.”

David Letterman, to Bill O’Reilly

> Oct. 4:

“I hate to say this, but if I got run over by a bus today — and this will really irritate our detractors — it wouldn’t matter at all. There are enough good young people in place to keep this going forever and force the rest of the media to pay attention to fairness, and that’s all I ever wanted to do anyway. So we’ll be fine without me.”

Roger Ailes, to Rebecca Dana

> Jun. 10:

“The tide of history is going from television to the Internet. It’s like manifest destiny. Finding ways to capitalize on that migration is the most important issue facing the news industry today.”

Bill Wolff, to George Winslow

> Jul. 25:

“Can’t wait to see what people say about us in the next 10 years”

–A message from Fox News on a tape shown to TV critics at the TCA press tour

2006: The Broadcast Year’s Best Quotes

> Oct. 5:

“They wrote some lines and taught me a style, put a happy face on the script where I should smile, And the key demographics went right off the chart…”

Bob Schieffer‘s country ditty about a TV anchorman

> Apr. 10:

“This is a time of amazing change for all of the evening newscasts. The last one has been a year unlike any we’ve seen across the industry in 20 years.”

Rome Hartman, to David Bauder

> May 24:

“I believed Elizabeth and Bob were the right people at the right time. Unfortunately, some insurgents in Iraq had a different idea.”

David Westin, to Matea Gold

> Jan. 4:

“What’s scary right now is the average age of the network news viewer is 60 years old.”

Les Moonves, to Neil Cavuto

> Jan. 7:

“They’re talking about giving Katie Couric $20 million. I say take that $20 million you could buy 40 reporters, 40 new reporters.”

Andy Rooney, to Larry King

> Apr. 3:

“Couric shouldn’t leave NBC. Doing so would be a terrible mistake… It’s clear that while Couric is very good at a lot of things – and she has to be, to be at Today – the CBS Evening News isn’t a good fit.”

–NY Daily News TV critic Richard Huff

> Jul. 24:

“Alert the media — they’ve come up with the secret formula. It’s called New Coke.”

–An NBC spokesperson, reacting to ABC’s decision to drop the “Tonight” from “World News Tonight.” ABC responds by saying NBC Nightly News is “losing its fizz”

> Jun. 17:

“Among the places he had sought solace… was in ‘Good Night, and Good Luck,’ George Clooney’s homage to Edward R. Murrow and the CBS News of old, a film that Mr. Rather said he had seen five times in theaters, most recently alone.”

Jacques Steinberg, writing about Dan Rather

> Oct. 30:

“We’re like a franchise football team that went out and got a superstar and brought in some big hitters and we expected to be 8-and-0 at this point, and we’re not.”

Byron Pitts, to Peter Johnson, talking about Katie Couric

> Nov. 29:

“To be honest with you, I think it’s a political statement, not a news judgment.”

Rome Hartman, to Rebecca Dana, referring to NBC’s “civil war” stance

> Sep. 26:

“Brian is back where God wanted him to be, at No. 1″

Bob Wright, referring to Brian Williams‘ success after Couric’s premiere

2006: The Year’s Top Stories

December: Iraq Study Group report comes out; Ford dies; Saddam is executed

November: Saddam guilty; Midterm elections

October: New York City plane crash

September: TV nets remember 9/11/01

August: Terror plot in UK; Returning to the Gulf Coast a year after Katrina

July: Middle East conflict

July: North Korean missile launch: CNN “pounces,”MSNBC asleep

June: Al-Zarqawi killed: ABC first on TV; MSNBC first on cable; first on the web

May: Immigration rallies

March: Third anniversary of Iraq war; “Operation Swarmer” gets overblown

February: Torino Olympics boosts ratings for MSNBC and CNBC

January: Miners trapped in WV; CNN owns coverage; “only one made it out alive,” resident tells Anderson Cooper; later, critiquing and defending the media

Evening News: Top 20 Most Heavily-Used Reporters Of 2005

According to the Tyndall Report:

ABCDan HarrisCulture Wars283
NBCDavid Gregory White House272
CBSJohn Roberts White House246
NBCPete Williams Justice243
ABCBob Woodruff Domestic215
NBCLisa MyersInvestigative Unit215
ABCBrian RossInvestigative Unit208
ABCTerry MoranWhite House206
NBCTom CostelloDC Bureau202
CBSJim AxelrodDomestic197
ABCMartha RaddatzPentagon193
NBCAnne ThompsonEconomy192
ABCLisa StarkDC Bureau191
NBCChip ReidCapitol Hill188
NBCRobert BazellMedicine187
CBSLee CowanDomestic186
CBSSharyn AlfonsiDomestic185
NBCAndrea MitchellState Department182
CBSMark StrassmannDomestic180
CBSGloria BorgerCapitol Hill164
This data excludes anchors, although Woodruff made the list because he wasn’t an anchor at the time of his reports…

Top 20 Evening News Stories of 2005

According to the Tyndall Report:

Hurricane Katrina1153314317522
Iraq: US-led combat continues879211411256
Iraq: election, referendum, politics310106104100
Indonesia earthquake. tsunami250818287
Pope John Paul II dies246788286
London mass transit bombs221786973
Iraq: post-war reconstruction181625662
Right-to-die Schiavo case in Fla169615652
CIA agent’s name leaked166386168
Iraq: terrorist suicide bombings164525359
Oil, gasoline prices rise156516243
Social Security system debate148455151
NASA Space Shuttle program146534251
Israeli-Palestinian conflict145464059
Hurricane Rita hits Texas, La136344854
Hurricane Wilma hits Florida122374342
Influenza: avian outbreak fears113372948
Saddam’s Baath aftermath102333534
S.Ct Harriet Miers nomination94372532
Kashmir earthquake86233430
Total Top Twenty Stories4987147717001809
“Natural disasters dominated the year,” Tyndall writes. “With Hurricane Katrina in the lead, they attracted triple their average annual attention.” NBC “made Katrina its signature story.”

CBS stuck to the Iraq beat “most tenaciously,” but “no Baghdad-based reporter made the Top 20 ranking” of most heavily-used reporters.

Also, “ABC invented the Culture Wars as a new news beat, with a fourtopic combo: church-v-state, the culture of life, coarsening mass media, and sexual morality issues. Reporter Dan Harris led the coverage along with DC-based Jake Tapper (155 min).”

2005: Know Your Talent

In 2005 we learned:

> Roger Ailes moonlights as a movie critic

> Jon Klein moonlights as a screenwriter

> Brian Williams has a “tiny interest in a dirt small track stock car”

> Brian Wilson is a “big moose”

> Barbara Starr has two sweethearts in Afghanistan

> Brit Hume is a steeplechase placing judge on the weekends

> Jim Moret knows how to serenade Diane Dimond

> John Gibson commutes home to Texas on a weekly basis

> Greta Van Susteren‘s yacht is “almost a work of art”

> Julian Phillips and Kiran Chetry know how to rollerblade

> David Gregory can dance

> Dan Abrams needs a BlackBerry

This year we didn’t learn:

> Which John Denver song is on Aaron Brown‘s iPod

2005: Fox’s Fourth Year On Top

> Dec. 21: FNC chief Roger Ailes signs five year, $25 million contract

> Dec. 21: Anchor Shep Smith returns to the Gulf Coast

> Nov. 30: Conservative “Journal Editorial Report” moving from PBS to FNC

> Nov. 19: Fox is taking a “patient approach” to Geraldo Rivera‘s sub-par ratings

> Nov. 10: FNC reports 64 percent operating income growth

> Nov. 10: FNC imitates CNN’s Situation Room

> Nov. 8: The EEOC files a lawsuit accusing VP Joe Chillemi of sexual harassment; “This is a case involving bad language,” Fox’s attorney says

> Oct. 31: Geraldo At Large scares viewers on its premiere

> Oct. 31: FNC wants $1 per subscriber from cable ops

> Oct. 28: FNC and Sirius have their first fight

> Oct. 18: XM launching “Fox News Talk” in January 06

> Oct. 18: O’Reilly is thinking about retirement; combating “evil” is hard work

> Oct. 17: FNC exploits crimes on new weekend show The Line Up

> Oct. 6: Dennis Swanson becomes Station Group president; he is expected to focus on local news

> Oct. 4: O’Reilly reups with Westwood One Radio

> Oct. 3: David Shuster slams Fox News; Fox calls Shuster “disgruntled and bitter;” Shuster warns FNC “not to start a battle;” and FNC wishes Shuster well

> Oct. 3: Sharri Berg becomes senior VP of news operations for Fox Stations Group

> Sept. 30: Former war spokesperson Dan Senor hosts “Saddam Hussein on Trial”

> Geraldo Rivera 1, Alessandra Stanley 0: NYT acknowledges there was no nudge

> Sept. 22: Fox announces Geraldo At Large, a “live, first-run strip” for the broadcast network

> Sept. 20: Shep Smith starts anchoring a 5-minute radio newscast

> Sept. 15: John Gibson to host a three-hour radio show

> Sept. 12: FNC cancels “After Hours with Cal Thomas” and “Fox Magazine”

> Sept. 5: In the wake of Katrina, Shep Smith appears on Letterman

> Aug. 26: Terrorism expert John Loftus is booted from FNC after giving out the address of a purported terrorist in California

> Aug. 22: Roger Ailes says CNN’s Sit Room make leave viewers feeling sick (but then he copies the split-screen approach)

> Aug. 16: David Asman trades the anchor desk for the documentary unit

> Aug. 15: Ailes takes charge of the Fox TV Stations Group

> Aug. 11: With 30 percent profits, FNC is “carrying” News Corp’s cable division

> Aug. 2: Following Lachlan Murdoch’s departure: Ailes is interested in improving ties between FNC and the Station Group

> July 27: Shep Smith “says he’d love to do an 11pm newscast for the Fox broadcast network,” TV Guide reports

> July 19: Bill Hemmer joins FNC as anchor/correspondent; Later, Aaron Brown covers Hemmer up

> July 16: GM Bert Solivan becomes EVP of Fox Interactive Media

> June 22: O’Reilly bans Curt Weldon from the Factor; Congressman Responds on House Floor

> June 14: Geraldo signs a four-year correspondent with FNC and becomes “correspondent at large”

> June 12: Howard Dean calls FNC a “propaganda outlet for the Republican party”

> June 3: FNC downplays the discovery of Deep Throat

> May 31: FNC names Janet Alshouse the senior VP for international distribution; Later, Vipp Jaswal becomes VP

> May 24: Bill O’Reilly and the L.A. Times have a battle

> May 18: Rumors of a Fox broadcast morning show

> May 13: Rita Cosby and FNC part ways

> May 6: FNC plans to at least double its licensing fee

> Apr. 21: O’Reilly loofah accuser Andrea Mackris purchases a condo for $809,000

> Apr. 19: FNC’s first wireless venture: A deal with Sprint streams the net to cell phones

> Apr. 1: Fox’s Shep Smith kills the Pope, then retracts the report

> Mar. 16: FNC forces a newspaper to correct a statement that the net is “consciously biased”

> Mar. 16: Previewing FNC’s carriage-renewal conversations

> Feb. 17: Steve Harrigan’s hotel in the Congo comes under fire; he calls the Foreign Desk and they alert U.N. troops

> Feb. 14: Tony Snow is diagnosed with colon cancer

> Feb. 10: Fox hires staffers for a Fair & Balanced Radio Network

> Feb. 6: Geraldo declares that Michael Jackson is not guilty

> Jan. 25: Ted Turner compares FNC’s popularity to that of Hitler’s; FNC wishes him well

> Jan. 19: Suzanne Scott becomes network executive producer

> Jan. 6: Kevin Magee becomes senior VP of Fox News Radio