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Archives: May 2009

NBC Accused of Violating Pool Rules In Prince Harry Interview

Lauer_5.31.jpgExclusive: TVNewser has learned NBC’s morning show competitors are considering how to deal with what one senior network executive calls “a total violation of the rules of a pool.”

Yesterday, as he wound down his 30-hour trip to New York, Prince Harry played in a polo match. Insiders tell us NBC News was the designated U.S. TV pool, meaning they would cover the event and later share the video with other networks. But our source complains, “Matt Lauer is in every shot,” and that the interview “should have been shot iso” [isolated camera] on Prince Harry.

And while NBC’s press release (after the jump) announcing the interview did not call it exclusive, tonight on Nightly News, Lester Holt said Prince Harry “spoke exclusively with NBC’s Matt Lauer.”

A pool interview shot by the BBC earlier in the day was done without a BBC reporter in the shot, so ABC and CBS would have access to that interview.

An email and call to NBC News for comment was not returned.

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Abortion Doctor Who Was Focus of O’Reilly Segments For Years is Shot Dead

Tiller_5.31.bmpA 51-year-old man is in custody accused in the shooting death of Dr. George Tiller, a Kansas doctor who performed late-term abortions and who found himself the focus of commentary by FNC’s Bill O’Reilly for the last several years.

Tiller was shot inside his church in Wichita at 10am this morning.

As recently as May 12, O’Reilly discussed Tiller and his support of Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. “She supported Tiller the baby killer out there,” he said to a guest, adopting a name critics had been using for years. (During her confirmation hearing last month, Sebelius said that between 1994 and 2001 she’d received more than $12,000 in campaign contributions from Dr. Tiller, a fact reported on several other Fox News programs as well, but not on CNN or MSNBC.)

But O’Reilly’s stories on Dr. Tiller go back to at least 2006. The show first began looking into whether Tiller performed illegal abortions and covered up child rape cases. In November, 2006 O’Reilly reported Tiller had performed late-term abortions to alleviate the pregnant woman’s “temporary depression.” A few weeks later O’Reilly Factor producer Jesse Watters traveled to Wichita and confronted Tiller’s attorney Pedro Irigonegary. Waters would write later, “He happened to be outside just as our van pulled in… and we sprang out with the cameras rolling.”

During the confrontation Irigonegary told Waters, “What’s important in this issue is not whether Mr. O’Reilly thinks that he is an expert on depression or not. What’s important is what medical people and a woman going through a difficult process decided what’s her best interest. I don’t care what Mr. O’Reilly thinks.”

TVNewser has learned O’Reilly will give his first public comment on Dr. Tiller’s murder tomorrow night on his show.

The Weekend Ticker: Ling, Roberts, Bartiromo…

> On Monday, Lisa Ling sits down with Matt Lauer on the Today show for her first interview since her sister Laura and Laura’s colleague Euna Lee were taken into custody in North Korea. Ling will be joined by her parents as well as Laura’s husband, Iain Clayton and Lee’s husband Michael Saldate.

> Also Monday, Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts will report live from Galveston, TX and Sam Champion will be in South Florida on day one of the 2009 hurricane season. Galveston was decimated by Hurricane Ike last hurricane season.

> CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo is on her way to Russia this weekend. She’ll interview Pres. Dimitry Medvedev on Monday, broadcast live from Red Square on Tuesday, then head to St. Petersburg Wednesday where she will moderate a panel made up of four current and former heads of state.

Golf Tournament In Honor of CNBC Director

VanDyck_5.27.bmpFriends of CNBC director Dave Van Dyck, who died last year following a battle with cancer, are organizing a golf tournament in his memory. The 2009 Dave Van Dyck Memorial Tournament will raise funds for the education fund for Van Dyck’s only son.

The tournament is being held June 28 at the Farmstead Golf & Country Club in Lafayette, NJ. Click continued for more information…

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Middle of the Road and Back of the Pack for CNN in Prime

Politico’s Michael Calderone gets ahead of Monday’s May ratings release with an in-depth story on CNN’s prime time ratings woes.

Since Obama took office, CNN’s prime-time audience has dropped sharply, raising doubts about whether the network’s middle-of-the-road strategy can be effective against more opinionated programming on Fox News and MSNBC.

CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein takes a shot at the competition — in some cases, the much higher-rated competiton — with this statement, “It’s the oldest trick in the book to trot out over-the-top hosts and put them on a cable-news show.” It may be an old trick to Klein, but it’s a trick that viewers seem to like. And viewers = ratings = money. Calderone continues:

Klein, who last year trumpeted CNN’s quarterly win over Fox News in prime-time viewers in the 25-54 demographic preferred by advertisers, now maintains that the nightly block is just a fraction of the daily schedule, and that his network remains committed first and foremost to high-quality journalism.

As for the ratings picture for May – of the 24 weekdays of this ratings period (Friday’s ratings not yet counted) CNN has finished fourth in the prime time A25-54 demo 12 times.

About MSNBC, Calderone writes, “both Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow have watched their post-Inauguration numbers soften,” but adds, “MSNBC now has bragging rights” as the #2 cable news channel in prime time.

#1 Fox News beat MSNBC and CNN combined last month and that’s expected to happen again this month.

Dave Matthews Band on CBS, NBC This Week

Normally press-shy Dave Matthews and his band will be featured tomorrow on CBS Sunday Morning. The group has released its first album in four years – “Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King.” And their summer tour is underway – playing tonight at Fenway Park and appearing on NBC’s Today show this Friday.

In the CBS interview, Matthews talks about how the band nearly split up a few years ago and the sudden death of co-founder and saxophonist LeRoi Moore. “He was a real difficult person. He was maybe my most difficult friend because he loved and hated with such a passion. But from the first time I heard him [play] it froze me…I wish I could’ve told him.”

Sunday Show Ratings

“Meet the Press with David Gregory” was #1 again last week, but the gap continues to shrink in the Sunday morning ratings race. “Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer came in second place, up 33% in Total Viewers and up 17% in A25-54 viewers. And for the 17th consecutive week, “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” closed the Total Viewing gap with “Meet” by 59% versus the same weeks last year (570,000 in ’09 vs. 1,400,000 in ’08).

Total Viewers: NBC: 2,910,000 / CBS: 2,660,000 / ABC: 2,340,000 / FOX: 960,000

25-54 demo: NBC: 940,000 / ABC: 880,000 / CBS: 720,000 / FOX: 370,000

Related: FishbowlDC has the rundown on tomorrow’s shows…

The Ticker: Beck, Pauley, Williams…

> Glenn Beck is profiled in the Denver Post ahead of his road show which kicks off Monday in Denver to a sold-out crowd. “The people in the mountain west get it, generally,” he tells the Post. “They’re going to be the ones that step to the plate and slap America across the face and say, ‘Sit down and shut up.’”

> Jane Pauley is a big fan of PBS’ The Newshour. Calling it “one of the few programs left that offers intelligent, patient, comprehensive, and reliable journalism, Pauley praises the reporting of Margaret Warner. “She’s extremely smart and always prepared,” says Pauley in an interview in The Daily Beast.

> NBC’s Brian Williams spent the day in Washington, DC today with Pres. Obama (the picture below shows the two on their way to Five Guys to get a burger). Part of the interview, gathered for the NBC News special “Inside the Obama White House,” will air tonight on Nightly News.

BW_5.29.JPG

Morning Show Ratings: Week of May 18 & May Sweeps

The Today show led the pack again last week with a +1.35m Total Viewer lead over #2 “Good Morning America”.

The NBC morning show also wins May sweeps averaging 5.61m Total Viewers to #2 GMA’s 4.45m. This is the Today show’s 54th straight sweeps win and the biggest May sweep victory in Total Viewers since 2003. Third-place “The Early Show” is the only morning broadcast to either grow or maintain its audience during sweeps in Total Viewers, Households and A25-54 viewers. CBS delivered more viewers during May 2009 than it has in last 14 years and cut the gap, year-over-year, with GMA by more than 300,000 viewers.

• Week of May 18

Total Viewers: NBC: 5,570,000 / ABC: 4,220,000 / CBS: 2,680,000

A25-54 rating/share: NBC: 2.1/15 / ABC: 1.4/10 / CBS: 0.9/6

• May Sweeps

Total Viewers: NBC: 5,610,000 / ABC: 4,450,000 / CBS: 2,920,000

A25-54 rating/share: NBC: 2.0/14 / ABC: 1.5/11 / CBS: 1.0/7

The Scoreboard: Thursday, May 28

25-54 demographic: (L +SD)

Total day: FNC: 327 | CNN: 140 | MSNBC: 121 | HLN: 161

Prime: FNC: 580 | CNN: 216 | MSNBC: 314 | HLN: 261

  5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p:
FNC Beck: Baier: Shep: O’Reilly: Hannity: Greta: O’Reilly:
  450 408 420 795 525 421 586
CNN Blitzer: Blitzer: Dobbs: Brown: King: Cooper: Cooper:
  206 185 176 207 244 198 132
MSNBC Matthews: EdShow: Matthews: Olbermann: Maddow: Olbermann: Maddow:
  101 116 147 420 265 255 140
HLN Prime: Prime: VMitchell: Grace: Dobbs: Grace: Showbiz:
  127 183 252 333 179 283 208


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

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