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Archives: January 2005

January 31, In 44 Words

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5 Nights, 5 Scratches For Deutsch

During its premiere week nightly at 10pm, Donny Deutsch’s CNBC talk show scratched every night, with a low at one point of 55,000 viewers, according to Nielsen data. The time slot is down nearly 75% in ratings, households, viewers and demos over last year, even though the bookings were stellar all week — Robert Redford, Pierce Brosnan, and Howard Stern’s girlfriend to name a few. Last week, the program averaged 81,000 total viewers. Detailed day-by-day #s after the jump…
> Update 9:45am: Michael Starr notes the show’s ratings are “up 13 percent over what “McEnroe” averaged in the same timeslot.”

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Brokaw, Random House Sign 2-Book Deal

“Tom Brokaw has signed a two-book deal with Random House, the publisher announced Monday, although what the former NBC anchor will actually write and when the books will come out remain unknown,” the AP reports. You don’t suppose he’d ever pull a Tom Fenton, eh?

The Ticker: Iraq…Amanpour…Two D.C. Deaths

· “Fully 52% of [last] week’s newshole (ABC 52 min, CBS 47, NBC 47) was devoted to various strands of Iraq coverage,” Andrew Tyndall’s evening newscast report says.

· My new cousin FishBowlDC notes the passing of two D.C. media types: Former CBS Face The Nation host Bill Shadel and ABC News producer Leo Meidlinger.

· “Wasn’t there just an amazing election in Iraq?,” Robert asks. “In fact, the first free election in 50 years? I guess someone forgot to tell ABC, because they glossed over it and were on to the Michael Jackson story by 7:10 this morning.” Today and the Early Show also led with Iraq, but moved on to Jackson…

· On CBS’s 60 Minutes last night, “Yushchenko [told] his incredible story to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour,” on assignment for the CBS program. Amanpour works for CNN most of the time, so why did CBS get the exclusive?

· Shameless self-promotion: My interview with PRWeek…

Jacko: One Thousand Journalists On Site

> “More than 1,000 news representatives have applied for credentials, including reporters from Japan, the United Kingdom, Australia, Switzerland, Germany, Canada and Mexico,” the Associated
Press says.
“Outside the courthouse, hoards of news media gathered Sunday to pick up credentials. A line of reporters and technicians snaked around the building, some waiting up two hours.”

> “As jury selection takes place, a pool of only six reporters will be allowed inside; others will watch from an overflow room,” USA Today notes.

> And: Yesterday, “producers at CNN’s Larry King Live were trying to decide
whether to go with Iraqi elections or Jackson tonight,” USAT’s Peter Johnson says.

> Update: 2:40pm: ” The only question now is: Just how big a show is this going to be?,” Tim Rutten asks and answers (Via Romenesko)

Heyward Came “This Close” To The Ax

New York tells the story behind the Memogate report:

> “Heyward has reportedly told associates that he came “this close” to being fired by Moonves himself, supposedly holding his thumb and index finger less than an inch apart.”

> “This is the worst thing I’ve ever seen in 55 years of working for CBS News,” Don Hewitt said a few hours after Josh Howard was asked to leave.

> “Moonves failed to comprehend or address the more subtle truths revealed in the investigation,” and most importantly, “Moonves forgot to administer justice according to that ancient Greek proverb: The fish stinks from the head.”

> Also: Page Six says Mary Mapes will chat with Diane Sawyer.

Klein: CNN’s Special Reports Encourage Staffers To “Think Big”

Only on TVNewser: “Tonight, one small step for democracy, one giant leap for the people of Iraq,” the CNN announcer said at 7pm Sunday night, introducing another CNN Special Report. “Iraq Votes” was the latest in a series of two-hour primetime broadcasts featuring anchors Anderson Cooper and Paula Zahn. (In the last month, a similar format has been used for the tsunami, “Defending America,” and the inauguration.)

CNN president Jon Klein spearheaded the development of the occasional specials. He told TVNewser the format helps showcase CNN’s storytelling abilities.

“They work really well,” Klein said Sunday night. “They encourage our producers to think big — that is, to think in terms of devoting a lot of producers and correspondents and camerapeople to the story, knowing there’s plenty of room for all of them…It just creates a juggernaut of a program.”

Klein also said the reports enable the audience to “really become involved in the story.” Rather than programming two distinct hours at 7 and 8pm, the special reports highlights the size of CNN’s newsgathering effort And he said he has been “very encouraged at the nimbleness” of CNN’s staffers. “They never balk at the opportunity,” he said. “They throw themselves into it, and their work is outstanding.”

Klein said the special reports would continue (“when the opportunity arises, and the story dictates, we will not be shy about jumping into the breach with a special report”) but didn’t say if the format could become permanent. “we’re looking at all kind of programming possibilities, but it’s way too early to tell what would work best,” he concluded.

Ratings: A Safe Bet For FNC

Fox News is confident its Iraq election ratings will be high (and rightfully so). Still, this Sunday night FNC promo perked my ears up:

  “Votes were cast, a country spoke out, and history was made. And only one network brought you live, fair and balanced coverage, from unmatched reporting to in-depth insight and analysis. More Americans chose Fox News Channel for complete coverage of the Iraq elections.”
(Thanks Johnny Dollar)

TVNewser 3.0

This is TVNewser 3.0: Bigger and better, with a lot less orange and green. mediabistro is launching five new blogs today: UnBeige, FishBowlNY, FishBowlLA, FishBowlDC, and MBToolBox. Check them out! (And they didn’t even tell me to say that!)

A Morning (Show) Must-Read

C1 of the Washington Post: “Morning Stars: At ‘Today’ and ‘GMA,’ the Entertainment Bookers Battle It Out.”

The best excerpt: “War is the metaphor of choice for the ongoing morning show dust-up and it’s not just any war. It’s trench war, circa 1914, a fight that proceeds inch by inch, segment by segment, movie star by movie star. And lately, band by band…”