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Archives: February 2009

“30 Rock” Leaves 30 Rock For Larry King Guest Spot

king_2-27.bmpThree weeks ago it was NBC’s Matt Lauer making an appearance. Last night it was Larry King‘s turn.

The CNN anchor was at the center of the plot of “30 Rock” last night, as an interview with Tracy Jordan (played by Tracy Morgan) suddenly turned serious when the Asia markets began collapsing. King and Jordan had to navigate the breaking news together — with Jordan dishing out some suspect advice.

Click continued to see one of the King scenes, and Today‘s Meredith Vieira‘s short cameo as well…

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Nightline Tops Late Show Last Week

ABC’s Nightline topped CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman last week in Total Viewers and the A25-54 demo.

Compared to the same week last year, Nightline grew 24% in Total Viewers and 11% in the demo. It also continues to close the gap with NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (which becomes The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien on May June 1). Nightline has shrunk the gap in Total Viewers by 38% and 27% in the demo year-to-year.

Show Network A25-54 Total Viewers
Tonight Show NBC 2.28M 5.15M
Nightline ABC 1.67M 3.80M
Late Show CBS 1.60M 3.71M

Stewart to Williams: “You Have the Best News”

Brian Williams was a guest on last night’s Daily Show, and it began with a compliment-off. “It’s a man amongst children in the news business…You make Charlie Gibson look like Nick, Jr. news,” said Jon Stewart. “I feel equally about you and pretend newscasts,” Williams said. The two talked economy, Twitter (“It’s just not my game”) and more. And after the jump, Stewart covers Fox News’ VP Joe Biden Gaffe-Watch:

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Click continued to see the Biden gaffe/FNC segment…

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O’Brien Talks “Inaccuracies” in Aviation Reporting, Future of Media on the “Menu”

obrien_2-27.jpgFormer CNN anchor Miles O’Brien joined us on the Media Menu podcast this morning to talk about what’s next for him, and all media, and leaving CNN in December.

As aviation stories have moved front and center in the last couple months, O’Brien has continued his reporting on the Web. “I was pretty bowled over by the response…People are thirsty for information from sources they feel they can trust,” he says. “And they will seek you out. And in the blog world you do get linked and re-linked and bounced around that echo chamber in ways that are extremely effective.”

What’s not always effective is how O’Brien views TV reporting on aviation. “Aviation is something I know very well, so when I watch the coverage in general I’m horrified about the things that are reported and the inaccuracies that get out there in the moment when there’s still a smoldering hole in the ground,” he says.

So what does he think about CNN dismantling the entire science and technology unit? “I think it’s a reflection of how our society feels about that content,” says O’Brien. “Science and technology news coverage is no longer ready for prime time, it seems. I don’t think people are as interested in that subject matter as they should be.” And now he’ll try to get them hooked again. He hosts a PBS documentary May 20 (release after the jump) looking at the infrastructure problems across America. “It’s exciting to be able to my sink my teeth into an hour on a subject matter I’m obviously into,” he says.

Also discussed: O’Brien’s take on newspapers charging for content online (he’s for it), his theory for a “freelance virtual newspaper” and how he can help Glynnis overcome her fear of flying (and, as every Friday, “What We Learned This Week” — and it’s more optimistic than usual).

You can listen to the podcast live every morning at 9amET on and call in at 646-929-0321. Coming up next week we have guests from CBS, Current TV and more. Stay tuned…

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It’s Sam’s Last Day put together a montage-o-Sam. Today is the ABC News veteran Sam Donaldson‘s last day. The montage includes Donaldson pressing Pres. Ronald Reagan during his news conferences, Donaldson’s signature close about “another edition of Primetime LIVE!” and clips of some of his “television programs on the Worldwide Web.”

Miles O’Brien Joins Us on the “Menu”

obrien_2-26.jpgTomorrow on the Morning Media Menu we’re joined by former CNN correspondent Miles O’Brien.

O’Brien had been with CNN for 16 years, and was CNN’s chief technology and environment correspondent when he let go in December as the entire department was shut down. Then, a plane landed in the Hudson, and a plane crashed in Buffalo — and O’Brien blogged and tweeted it all.

O’Brien tells us what’s next for him, including an upcoming PBS documentary special, looks back at his time with CNN and discuss the future of media.

Click here to listen LIVE at 9amET.

You can call in at (646) 929-0321 and listen to all our past podcasts at

Sammon and Boughton Promoted at FNC D.C. Bureau

sammon_2-26.jpgPolitico has the memo from FNC’s EVP John Moody announcing the promotion of two FNC executives in D.C.

Bill Sammon becomes a VP of Fox News and Washington managing editor. “Assuming the title held by Brit Hume is daunting, but Bill, who has been Deputy M.E. for the past six months, has brought energy, leadership and inspired thinking to the office every day,” says the memo. “As Managing Editor, Bill has ultimate authority on editorial matters in Washington. He will report to me.”

Bureau manager Bryan Boughton has been promoted to Washington bureau chief. “Bryan led our coverage through the 2008 presidential campaign, the conventions, election night and the Obama Administration’s rise to power,” said the memo.

In August 2008, both Sammon and Boughton assumed their previous roles.

What Will Roland Martin Mean For “No Bias, No Bull”?

martin_2-26.jpgYesterday we reported CNN political contributor Roland Martin will be filling in for eight weeks while Campbell Brown goes on maternity leave in April. But can Martin, who supported Barack Obama during the presidential election and also both Bushes during their presidential runs, continue the “No Bias, No Bull” mantra of CNN at 8pmET?

Yesterday, in a story about February ratings, network president Jon Klein told the AP, “Look at Campbell Brown’s show. It is all about delivering the dose of common sense and clear thinking that is necessary for a time like this, and we don’t mean clear thinking as a euphemism for our way of thinking or ideology.”

After the news about Martin’s appointment yesterday, Politico’s Michael Calderone wrote about a CNN staffer who, “said a couple weeks back that they didn’t expect Martin because he’s regarded as a partisan, while Brown’s show is billed as a non-partisan alternative to her 8pm competitors, Keith Olbermann and Bill O’Reilly.”

A CNN spokesperson put it this way to TVNewser: “Can Roland Martin — who has been a journalist for 20 years and has supported both democrats and republicans — offer common sense and a broad range of opinions when he subs for Campbell for a couple of months? Yes — watch the show in April.”

The Scoreboard: Wednesday, Feb. 25

25-54 demographic: (L +SD)

Total day: FNC: 348 | CNN: 200 | MSNBC: 174 | HLN: 133

Prime: FNC: 601 | CNN: 243 | MSNBC: 349 | HLN: 316

  5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p:
FNC Beck: Baier: Shep: O’Reilly: Hannity: Greta: O’Reilly:
  481 503 413 719 593 491 514
CNN Blitzer: Blitzer: Dobbs: Presents: Cont.: Cooper: Cooper:
  187 238 221 187 &mdash 354 335
MSNBC Matthews: Shuster: Matthews: Olbermann: Maddow: Olbermann: Maddow:
  145 91 174 409 343 294 196
HLN Prime: Prime: VMitchell: Grace: Dobbs: Grace: Showbiz:
  90 130 198 460 213 298 234

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

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Cooper: “Pathetic May Have Been Too Strong a Word,” But…

cooper_2-26.jpgAnderson Cooper called New York Rep. Eliot Engel “kind of pathetic” on CNN Tuesday night for staking out an aisle seat for President Barack Obama‘s Address to Congress more than 12 hours before it began.

Engel responded in the New York Daily News. “What’s really pathetic is that Anderson Cooper apparently doesn’t share my enthusiasm for participating in such a historic and wonderful celebration of American democracy,” he said. “I am sorry he is so jaded.”

Last night on AC360, Cooper explained his point. “Pathetic may have been too strong a word,” he said. “I certainly have nothing against the congressman, nor do I think I’m jaded. But I do think it’s worth knowing how our elected officials choose to spend their time. And if you feel sitting on a bench for 12-and-a-half hours is the best use of your time, so be it. It’s up to your constituents to decide if they agree with you.”