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Archives: September 2006

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say…

  Most of Nancy Grace‘s callers are big fans of the HLN host. But last night, “Bob in California” slipped through, and he didn’t have anything nice to say.

“You’re a big bitch” slipped on the air before the call was dropped. Watch the video to hear Grace’s reaction…

Verbatim: Merrill’s Comments About FNC

MediaPost’s report about a recent Merrill Lynch analysis of News Corp. may have taken Jessica Reif Cohen‘s comments out of context. Here’s what she wrote, in full, in a passage titled “Fox News Negotiations Could Provide Upside:”

  The long-awaited Fox News affiliate renewals will begin in September (DTV) and October (CVC). While Fox News is reportedly asking for $1/sub, we would be quite pleased if the company were to receive $0.50/sub/month (a double from current rate) or higher.

We assume that Fox News will receive $0.50 in year 1 and that it will grow only 5% per annum thereafter, with 25% of the affiliate fees renegotiated per year. For advertising, we have modeled modest growth of only 4%/year between now and FY10. This could prove conservative, as recent ratings weakness is largely due to difficult comparisons with Katrina-related coverage from a year ago. We also assume relatively significant increases in cash costs (10% CAGR between FY07 and FY10), although margin expansion should still be substantial.

In an e-mail to TVNewser, an FNC ad executive says: “We are anticipating double digit ad sales growth in the next four years.”

Ailes To Cablers: You’ve Had “Pretty Much A Free Ride For The Last Five Years”

FNC’s fight for a higher subscriber fees moved to the Associated Press today.

“Fox says the systems pay roughly 25 cents per subscriber each month to carry its programming. Given the network’s success in the ratings, Fox is asking that these fees jump to $1,” David Bauder writes. “Fox claims its rival CNN frequently gets around 50 cents per subscriber, and that Fox’s fee is a bargain since Fox’s ratings have eclipsed CNN’s for five years.”

Here’s what Roger Ailes says: “It seems like we’re probably worth at least twice as much as they are. In the real world, everything is a negotiation and we’re not being dogmatic about it. But we are being dogmatic about the fact that we’re worth a hell of a lot more than we were 10 years ago when we took very low rates just to get coverage. They had pretty much a free ride for the last five years.” Here’s the rest…

Jim Murphy’s View Of Job Security

“I don’t give a f–k if I’m here in six months.”

That’s what GMA senior EP Jim Murphy told Bill Weir during a heated argument over the summer, according to Radar.

John Cook writes: “It’s perhaps unsurprising that Murphy — who spent 12 years at CBS News, six of them helming the evening-news broadcast, before being replaced last year — would avoid getting too invested in his job. Watching his former colleague Rather get unceremoniously tossed overboard by CBS after giving 43 years to the network is said to have soured Murphy on notions of corporate loyalty, and inspired a realist’s view of his own job security.”

Morning Show Ratings: Week of Sept. 18

> Update: 3:59pm: “If you were buying stock in a morning show, which stock would you buy?,” an executive asks, pointing to Today’s first-place position…

In Meredith Vieira‘s first full week on Today, the morning show delivered a 4.6 rating — the same rating it had the week of Sept. 4, the week before she premiered.

The numbers are leading some observers to wonder if Vieira was worth her $10 million salary. “Yes, ratings on her first day were strong. But since then, the numbers have fallen every day,” the tipster said.

Compared to the same week a year ago, with Katie and Matt at the helm, NBC is down in households, total viewers, and the key demos. Update: GMA is down too — down 14 percent in total viewers and down 23 percent in the demo. Today is down 2 percent in total viewers and 8 percent in the demo.

But Today is in a much stronger position than Good Morning America. “The show hasn’t recovered after losing Charlie Gibson last summer,” the tipster said. “Ratings are down even with the big push for the new team.”

The gap between NBC and ABC stands at 1,140,000 total viewers and 570,000 demo viewers. For the week of Sept. 18:

Total viewers: NBC: 5,840,000 / ABC: 4,700,000 / CBS: 2,750,000

Households: NBC: 4.6/16 / ABC: 3.7/13 / CBS: 2.1/8

25-54 demo: NBC: 2,700,000 / ABC: 2,130,000 / CBS: 1,030,000

Questions: About Grace, Steve & Olaf, MSNBC’s Move, NBC’s Burbank Bureau…

Have answers, or more questions? Drop them in the tip box…

> Has Nancy Grace been approached about hosting a crime and justice radio talk show?…

> An e-mailer asks: “What’s the latest on Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig? When and where do they go back to work?…”

> Is Good Morning America losing three important behind-the-scenes staffers? According to a tipster, “the head of live ops, the production manager, and head of the tape office are all leaving…”

> What does this tipster mean?: “Just wait until the next on-air shuffle at Fox News. It’s going to blow you away…”

> Why are the rumors continuing to swirl about MSNBC’s move to 30 Rock and Englewood Cliffs?…

> What’s Robert Dembo up to? Is NBC making moves in its Burbank bureau — perhaps something along the same lines as Dallas?…

> And here’s a final question from a snarky e-mailer: “Lou Dobbs never shuts up about broken borders. Why doesn’t he just quit CNN and build a fence?…”

CBS Newser Jim Stewart Retiring

CBS News correspondent “Jim Stewart, a veteran journalist of 37 years, will retire, effective Nov. 16,” the network announced today.

Stewart spent 12 years at the Atlanta Constitution before moving to Cox Newspapers. He joined CBS News in 1990. Based in the Washington, D.C. bureau, he has “covered the Justice Department, FBI, CIA and counter-terrorism issues since 1994.”

Click continued for the full press release and bio…

Read more

Ailes: “I Will Continue To Make Changes”

Just in case employees weren’t listening, Fox News Channel sent portions of Roger Ailes‘ quarterly “state of the business” address to ICN.

Here’s the most important talking point: “It’s been a great ten years…we’ve defied the odds…and we should be congratulated…but every decision I make from here on in…programming, executive promotions, bookers…is about the NEXT ten years…we cannot rest on our accomplishments…and I will continue to make changes.”

Ailes added: “Murdoch didn’t invest a billion dollars in this company so people can have jobs…he did it to WIN…he wants to win and so do I.”

“FNC Ad Revenue Modest, Net May Not Grab Top Renewal Rates” –Merrill

“A new report projects that Fox News Channel’s ad revenue will grow only 4 percent a year through 2010,” MediaPost reports. “Ad revenue pegged at $421 million for 2006 would increase to $502 million in four years, according to Merrill Lynch’s influential analyst Jessica Reif Cohen.”

More: “The Merrill Lynch report also cast some doubt on whether FNC will be able to garner $1 per sub a month in renewal negotiations with cable and satellite operators, although the Wall Street firm said an increase to .$50 would be a success.”

The Ticker: Lin, Malara, Wallace…

> CNN’s Carol Lin shares her vision for a daily one-hour news broadcast: “You would see webcam contributers from hotspots around the world — a Palestinian teen and an Israeli teen during the incursions into the West Bank and Gaza. I’d have a cast of regulars who literally live the stories we report on…”

> B&C: Dan Rather remembers Tony Malara, the former head of CBS affiliate relations who recently passed away…

> Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star (via Newslab): “Tim Russert believes in us…”

> “On October 6, CNN’s Reliable Sources will film at George Washington University, the first of their now monthly visits to the University,” FishBowlDC reports…

> His son’s been in the limelight for a few days, so Liz Smith wants you to know that Mike Wallace has a couple big interviews coming up…