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Archives: September 2006

“Fox Wants To Be Paid”

Check out Aaron Barnhart‘s take on the FNC cable deals:

“This summer at press tour,” Roger Ailes “told a reporters’ scrum that he was getting by on a much smaller budget than CNN… At the time I assumed it was because Rupert Murdoch wasn’t giving him the money, and Ailes replied that no, other networks just waste more money than he does. Anyway, he said, ‘We’ll be fine.’

But as it turns out, Fox is not ‘fine’ operating on a smaller budget than CNN, which was once derisively called the ‘chicken noodle network’ for its low-rent look and feel before going on to become a cash cow for Ted Turner, later Time Warner. Now, Fox wants to be paid. If it can get paid CNN money, and starts to invest in newsgathering on a CNN scale, then CNN is really done for…”

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Grace “Uses Journalism As Her Stage”

The AP’s young readers service, asap, analyzes Nancy Grace‘s broadcast style in this weekend feature.

In an interview with the reporter, I focused on the “performance” aspect of Grace’s Headline News show. I said: “She’s producing a drama just like any other crime show. She’s using journalism as her stage because she is taking these real-life events and putting her spin on them. Even the way she introduces the show, it sounds less like news and more like entertainment.”

Here’s the full story…

Dueling Rumsfeld Specials On Saturday


Fox News and CNN will present dueling Don Rumsfeld specials on Saturday night.

On Tuesday, CNN announced “Rumsfeld — Man of War,” a “revealing new documentary” by Frank Sesno premiering tomorrow at 8pm. Fox News has scheduled a repeat of Breit Baier‘s May special, “Why He Fights,” in the same time slot. FNC promises “unprecedented access” to Rumsfeld that “reveals side of Donald Rumsfeld you’ve never seen before.” CNN promises an “unprecedented, up-close look” at Rumsfeld thanks to “rare access” to the defense secretary…

FNC At 10: In CNN’s Backyard

fnccnnsept28.jpgEarlier this week, the AJC said FNC’s tenth anniversary visit to Atlanta would take place “a short walk across the park” from CNN Center. Here’s a look at just how close, thanks to a Georgia e-mailer.

When Thom Bird said the CNNers would be “watching to see how news is done,” CNN spokesperson Laurie Goldberg simply said “we wish them well.”

In case CNNers didn’t notice the broadcasting location, FNC also parked this truck outside:


FNC At 10: FNC Vs. CNN Sometimes Feels Like Ole Miss Vs. Georgia, Shep Says

shepsept28.jpgThe Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes up Shep Smith‘s talk at the Atlanta Press Club yesterday, including this quote about broadcasting in CNN’s backyard:

“We do a lot of playing with our neighbors across the street here, but the truth is, we’re in this business because CNN created this business,” Smith said, while some “ooh’s” rippled through the room. “We have the utmost respect for them, and I have great friends at CNN and I admire the work they’ve done. But you know, if we sometimes treat it like the football game between Ole Miss and Georgia … When the game begins with a cheer, ‘We’ll swat you like a bug,’ well, you just sometimes keep going.”

Here’s the rest…

The Scoreboard: Wednesday, Sept. 27

25-54 demographic: (LS)

Total day: FNC: 293 | CNN: 201 | MSNBC: 129 | HLN: 104 | CNBC: 78

Prime: FNC: 401 | CNN: 250 | MSNBC: 179 | HLN: 222 | CNBC: 119

  5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p:
FNC Gibson: Hume: Shep: O’Reilly: H&C: Greta: O’Reilly:
  307 381 318 442 477 284 406
CNN Blitzer: Dobbs: Blitzer: Zahn: King: Cooper: Cooper:
  193 259 190 164 352 234 257
MSNBC Matthews: Tucker: Matthews: Countdo.: Scarbo.: Investig.: Investig.:
  188 194 140 186 200 152 213
HLN HLN: Prime: Beck: Grace: Beck: Grace: Showbiz:
  197/212 182 135 304 177 187 107

Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.

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“A Lot Of Turmoil At ABC?”

> Update: 12:53pm: “Your ABC information is incorrect. There is some turnover, but if anything there are a lot of young, dynamic people joining the ranks right now for GMA and nightly magazines that are very enthusiastic,” an e-mailer responds…

Yesterday TVNewser asked: “Is Good Morning America losing three important behind-the-scenes staffers?”

“It’s true,” an insider tells TVNewser. “Luz Montez, head of the tape office and a senior producer for the show, is leaving to go to the Museam of Natural History. And Gary Stein, who used to produce weather, left quietly before the Sam Champion announcement to work on the entertainment side of TV and not news.”

He continues: “There is a lot of turmoil at ABC. There are a lot of unhappy people working here that have been applying for jobs outside of the company.” The insider hears “there may be some major changes soon…”

> Update: 12:56pm: “With a staff of more than 1,200 around the world, the departure of a few producers — who have left for other jobs — is hardly a sign of turmoil. Indeed, one of the remarkable things about ABC News is the fact that our staff hardly turns over at all,” another insider responds…

FNC Gets 2 Million Viewers A Night, But Liberals “See It As Huge & Mighty”

Peggy Noonan uses Clinton/Wallace to examine liberal views of Fox News:

“One can’t exaggerate how large Fox looms in the liberal imagination. They see it as huge and mighty and credit it with almost mythical powers. It is a propaganda channel whose mission it is to destroy the Democratic Party. That’s part of why Clintons’ performance had such salience. Finally he was standing up to an evil empire.

It is odd that they are so spooked. In October America is set to become a nation of 300 million. What a big country. Fox News’s average evening prime-time viewership is less than two million. Its average daytime is less than a million. And if my mail is an indication, they’re already Republicans. Fox’s power is that it is an alternative to the mainstream media. It did not take its shape by deeply inhaling liberalism and slowly breathing it out.”

On The Record with Bill Clinton?

Phil Rosenthal writes:

“One week later and people are still talking about Bill Clinton ripping Fox News. Fox News boss Roger Ailes is delighted.

‘I would have paid him 100 grand to help us with marketing, just to get a half-hour of his time,’ Ailes said by phone Thursday. ‘As it turned out, I got a half-hour of his time and he did it for nothing. We’re very grateful. … He’s kept us in the news for six days.

‘It’s an amazing thing. And in light of that I would extend my hand to ask him to come on as a guest anytime. I would even consider him having a show.

Told of this, a Clinton spokesman laughed. ‘Can you just say that’s my response?’ he said…”

The Ticker: Guess Who, Jarvis, Scoops…

> Who was the only journo “to place in the top three” at the DC’s Funniest Celebrity comedy fundraiser? FishBowlDC knows…

> MSNBC points out that Wednesday’s midnight repeat of Countdown with Keith Olbermann was cable’s #1 demo show for the hour, beating FNC, CNN and HLN…

> Check out this World News webcast video essay by BuzzMachine’s Jeff Jarvis. Lost Remote thinks it was overproduced…

> From an e-mailer: “World News kicked the competition tonight with an exclusive report by George Stephanopoulos about Abramoff and the White House. They’re on a roll after Ross’ Iraq ambush story from last night…”

> Denver Post: Misinformation, speculation and backtracking were the norm through a tense afternoon of media coverage Wednesday as the nation once again watched a Colorado school crisis unfold…”

> Laura Ingraham: Thanks for the shout-out…