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Archives: August 2007

Close Call in the Demo for Olbermann

If you kept an eye on the cable ratings charts from this week, you may have noticed a narrower gap between Countdown with Keith Olbermmann and The O’Reilly Factor in the 25-54 demo. On Monday there was a 15,000 viewer gap; on Wednesday just 6,000.

Many emailers have opined that the closeness is based on viewer sampling from Olbermann’s NBC network appearance Sunday night. Others have written that it’s because O’Reilly was off this week. An MSNBC insider tells TVNewser “Countdown has been gaining steam for months, it gets better and better creatively and viewers recognize that.”

We still have Thursday’s and Friday’s numbers yet to come to determine if there’s any trend.

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Carlson’s Comments Cause Clamor

msnbc_carlson_tucker_050511_colmug01.thumb.jpgTucker Carlson remains in the spotlight today, with two organizations calling for MSNBC to take a stand after Carlson’s comments earlier this week about a man he says physically grabbed him in a men’s room in Washington, DC. years ago. Carlson relayed the story on-air Tuesday night, and, after criticism about his story, he issued a statement on Wednesday.

Media Matters for America says “it’s time for MSNBC to repudiate Carlson’s comments or risk being seen as endorsing them”, and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, meantime, wants “Tucker Carlson, NBC News and MSNBC to apologize for remarks.. that appear to condone violent assault.”

TVNewser spoke with an MSNBC spokesperson, who has no comment at this time.

>More: emailers are taking sides on the isse:

“Tucker Carlson was assaulted, came back to the bathroom, and apprehended the man who assaulted him so that no one would be victimized. I’m as pro-gay as one can be without being gay, but Tucker Carlson did nothing wrong.”

“Me thinks Mr. Carlson is fibbing, and should now be fired.”

How To Add Up Out-of-Home Viewers

Perhaps I’m reading too much into this, but… As the impending launch of the Fox Business Network approaches, it appears CNBC is relying more on the out-of-home viewing line when reporting their ratings. As in their August ratings release, which can be read here

But other than anecdotal research or internal CNBC studies, is their any independent proof that the network is watched out of home?

Other news networks, including CNN and FNC, not to mention ESPN, are watched extensively out of home, but a source says those nets don’t rely on the out-of-home line when talking numbers. Or am I just reading too much into it?

Couric Blogging From Baghdad

Couric_8.31.jpg“Greetings from Baghdad” begins a blog post from CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric.

“I was not looking forward to the road from the airport, having heard so many stories about how dangerous it was. It’s about a five-mile stretch, a straight shot to the so-called Green Zone (which is really called the International Zone), and it’s pretty much a mess … concrete barricades everywhere, lots of barbed wire, and many checkpoints, some manned by Iraqis, others by U.S. troops.”

Couric also writes about the irony of reporting from New Orleans last week, and Baghdad this week. The Katrina-devastated city “seems like nirvana compared to Baghdad,” Couric writes. She also gave thanks to the troops: “[A]ll U.S. and Iraqi soldiers patrolling the streets have my renewed respect and appreciation. One-hundred-and-ten degrees with full-body armor and heavy uniforms. I don’t know how they do it. But they do, and we should be grateful.”

Anne Thompson’s Greenland Adventure

Thompson_8.31.jpgNightly News’ Anne Thompson and several NBC crew members are not likely to forget their assignment in Greenland this week. As the team planned to return home to the U.S., an Air Greenland strike literally left them stranded on the island.

The group had planned on flying from their location in Ilulissat to Kangerlussuaq, and then on to Baltimore. “If we were in the states, we’d hop on another airline or rent a car and drive, but Air Greenland is the only domestic airline here and there is no highway system,” Thompson wrote yesterday on the NBC News World Blog.

Luckily, though, the strike was called off, and Thompson was able to fly out last night, an NBC spokesperson tells TVNewser, adding that crew members (including producer Mario Garcia, photographer Bruce Bernstein and his son and soundman, Curt Bernstein), originally scheduled for a longer stay, are now facing strike-related delays and are trying to get a flight home.

Presses Still Rolling for TVGuide

TVGuide_8.31.pngCorrection: A TVGuide spokesperson says the reports of the print edition’s demise, are wholly untrue. Here’s the statement from spokesperson, Julie Farin:

“TV Guide magazine is alive and well. There was no mandatory meeting today; like most businesses, our offices closed at 1pm for the holiday weekend. Everything is business as usual at TV Guide magazine as we are busy preparing for the new fall television season as well as our 5th annual after party celebrating the Emmys on September 16.”

TVNewser had reported that a mandatory staff meeting was scheduled for this afternoon to announce changes to the publication. We regret the error.

Cosby Back on FNC… For One Night

Rita Cosby will be promoting her new Anna Nicole Smith tell all Tuesday night on The O’Reilly Factor. The book, Blonde Ambition, comes out the same day. The book may already be the subject of a lawsuit by the father of Smith’s baby, Larry Birkhead. The NYDaily News has more on that.

As for Cosby, she was a correspondent and weekend anchor at FNC until May, 2005. She went on to MSNBC where she was an anchor and reporter until earlier this year.

Dahler’s Goodbye to ABC News

Dahler.jpgAfter nearly nine years as a correspondent with ABC News, Don Dahler‘s last day is today. Dahler is joining WCBS-TV in New York as a weekend anchor.

In his goodbye note to the staff he singled out World News anchor Charlie Gibson and ABC News President David Westin for helping him along the way. About Gibson: “not only the best anchor I’ve ever seen, but one of the best human beings I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.” And Westin: “He graciously allowed me to leave when I spotted [the WCBS job] and he had nothing comparable to offer.”

Read the letter by clicking continued. And for the cynics out there, pay close attention to the last paragraph.

Read more

What Ross Move Might Mean For Bass

Shelley Ross‘s apparently imminent arrival at CBS’ The Early Show, brings up the question of what might happen to Early’s Senior EP Michael Bass. The Today show veteran, Bass was once in line for Today’s EP job when Jeff Zucker went west to run NBC’s entertainment division. Instead, Jonathan Wald got the top job, and Bass ended up at CBS and The Early Show, where he has helped grow its viewership 13% in the 25-54 demo year-to-year.

Well now, a tipster tells us, Bass has been offered the number two job at CBS Evening News. Which, of course, means he could be working again with Katie Couric.

Back to the Today show gig Bass missed out on. Wald ran the show until October, 2002. Tom Touchet then came in and held the reins until April, 2005. And who did Touchet work for? Shelley Ross at GMA. And where is Wald now? Senior VP of CNBC.

Oh how that revolving door spins.

Ross: Dressed For CBS?

This week the tipbox has been burning up with the Shelley-Ross-is-going-to-CBS chatter. And today Variety reports its a done deal and that “The network had planned to name Ross this week but delayed the formal announcement until after Labor Day.”

A CBS spokesperson tells TVNewser there will be no announcement this week or next. Stay tuned…

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