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Archives: March 2007

CBS Flexing Hard News Muscle?

A tipster wonders if NBC is going softer as CBS tries to get harder.

In an e-mail, they write: “While Katie Couric has spent two nights taking a hard look at cancer from every angle — including an interview with the president of Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center — Brian Williams had an in-studio interview with Sheryl Crow (who had also been on the morning programs) on Wednesday. And that was after part three of NBC’s series on marriage and ‘the state of our unions.’ What would have been the reaction if Couric had done that?

> Update: 5:08pm: “CBS may have concentrated on cancer, but they still found time for Lara Logan’s tigers feature, Bill Whitaker’s story on children’s TV ads and junk food and Katie Couric’s clips of Karl Rove acting silly. A couple of days does not a trend make,” Andrew Tyndall responds…

FNC’s Interesting Poll Questions

An e-mailer notices that “Fox News asked some very curious questions in a poll released yesterday.”

It asked, “do you think a television network that is hosting a presidential debate can influence the outcome of that debate?” 65 percent said yes.

Then the poll questions got even more interesting. The e-mailer thinks “Fox is testing its own anti-Democratic Party and messaging,” adding: “Political operations do message testing like this, but I’ve never seen a news organization use (or need) the tactic.”

You decide; here’s the poll:


FNC ‘Alerts’ Michael Jackson Gossip

gibsonmarch29.jpgOn Thursday, The Big Story with John Gibson led with a Fox News Alert that Michael Jackson had been hospitalized in Las Vegas with pneumonia. Gibson repeatedly sourced Roger Friedman.

“The tip came from and was put in the urgent FNC file,” a tipster says. “It turned out to be false.”

Most reports now say Jackson is a “little bit under the weather,” but not in the hospital. Friedman is now wording it as a question: “Does Michael Jackson have pneumonia? Does his back hurt? Or has he checked into a Las Vegas hospital just to get drugs?”

> Also: Half of Nancy Grace‘s show was dedicated to “reports” — unsourced — that Jackson had been hospitalized…

RTCA Dinner: Myers Receives Barone Award

Brian Ross isn’t the only reporter being honored for investigative work:

NBC News’ senior investigative correspondent Lisa Myers was awarded the prestigious Joan Barone award at the RTCA dinner in DC on Wednesday.

“Myers was honored for reporting on ‘Trophy,’ a series of reports investigating an effort by the US Army to scuttle technology designed to protect soldiers from rocket-propelled grenades (RPG’s). The four stories aired on Nightly News with Brian Williams and triggered a Government Accountability Office investigation and prompted Congress to pass a law requiring the Secretary of Defense to assemble an independent, outside team of experts to examine all RPG-defense systems,” NBC says…

How Dobbs’ Primetime Specials Rate

Maybe CNN is grooming Lou Dobbs for 8pm. But he may not be the answer to their time slot problem.

Dobbs hosted three primetime specials this week. On Tuesday, he had 234,000 demo viewers and 847,000 total viewers, better than Paula Zahn‘s usual viewership.

On Wednesday, though, he had 193,000 demo viewers, losing some of Wolf Blitzer‘s lead-in, and just 579,000 total viewers…

> Also: “CNN cancelled its live in-studio audience broadcast of the ‘War on the Middle Class’ Thursday afternoon,” the GWU Daily Colonial notes…

Chris Cramer Leaves CNN International: “It Has Been A Rare Privilege…”

cramerfeb19.jpgChris Cramer leaves CNN International today after 11 years. In an e-mail to his colleagues today, the managing editor wrote:

“It has been a rare privilege to work at the heart of an organization like CNN International that was so mature in brand recognition and yet relatively young in business terms. Since then we have grown the business in a remarkable way.

Even in the face of tough competition, CNN International continues to have a profound effect on the lives of tens of millions of people around the world and you should be very proud of the journalism you practice. I am honored to have been able to share these experiences with you and I will remember my time at CNN with great affection.”

FTV: Dan Abrams To Lose GM Title When MSNBC Moves To 30 Rock

“It won’t happen for awhile,” but “Dan Abrams will be out as the General Manager at MSNBC,” maybe at the end of the year, FTVLive predicts.

According to “NBC insiders,” “Abrams is ‘probably safe’ until the end of the year, but he will be stripped of his GM title when MSNBC moves from New Jersey into 30 Rock.”

MSNBC says there is no truth to the report…

Meet Rachel Marsden

marsdenmarch30.jpgCheck out Salon’s story about Rachel Marsden, a regular panelist on FNC’s late-night talk show/”bawdy gabfest of a grab at a youthful audience” Red Eye.

Fox “is clearly grooming” Marsden “for brand-name pundit stardom,” Rebecca Traister writes.

But she is “already well known in her native Canada as an oft-accused and once-admitted stalker who made questionable rape charges of her own 10 years ago, in a case that eventually cut short the career of a university president and changed the tenor of harassment cases all over Canada. In 1999, a professor at the same university went to the police with charges Marsden was stalking him, and in 2004 she pleaded guilty to criminally harassing a former Vancouver radio host.”

Here are all the details. Red Eye senior producer Shelly Stevenson says Fox gets “a lot of favorable mail about” Marsden — “I think the viewers connect with her…” (Via the WP)

“Maybe We Can Stunt This!”

“When I called Jim Bell first thing in the morning I said, ‘Maybe we can stunt this!”

Yes, Meredith Vieira, “who awoke with two cracked front teeth yesterday, thought for a split-second about turning her mishap into a ‘Today’ show bit,” the NY Post notes…

The Scoreboard: Wednesday, March 28

25-54 demographic: (LS)

Total day: FNC: 241 | CNN: 175 | MSNBC: 129 | HLN: 107 | CNBC: 85

Prime: FNC: 450 | CNN: 278 | MSNBC: 192 | HLN: 203 | CNBC: 124

  5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p:
FNC Gibson: Hume: Shep: O’Reilly: H&C: Greta: O’Reilly:
  200 225 285 541 441 370 314
CNN Blitzer: Dobbs: Blitzer: Zahn: King: Cooper: Cooper:
  156 279 226 193 327 315 188
MSNBC Matthews: Tucker: Matthews: Countdo.: Scarbo.: Countdo.: Special:
  130 83 154 208 180 170 249
HLN HLN: Prime: Beck: Grace: Beck: Grace: Showbiz:
  37/27 95 162 264 123 221 195

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

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