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Archives: May 2009

Vote For Steve

See, there’s this NBC reality show starting Monday. Maybe you’ve heard of it, I’m A Celebrity…blah, blah, blah. Well, Steve was chosen among…we’ll estimate…millions of bloggers, to participate in a live blog for the final week of the competition show.

Right now it’s down to eight finalists. And the voting on this round ends tomorrow at noon.

So if you haven’t voted, and you really should because having him out of the office for a few days isn’t such a bad thing, click here…

You can also send an email here and put his name in the subject line.

Nightline Finishes #2 in Late Night For Season; First Time in Six Years

As NBC prepares for tonight’s late night change up – Jay Leno‘s final “Tonight Show” – the folks at ABC are celebrating a second place finish for the 2008-09 season (using the prime time TV calendar). For the first time in six seasons, “Nightline” is the #2 show in late night in Total Viewers. “Nightline” tied CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman” for second in A25-54 viewers but pulled ahead for the #2 slot in A18-49 viewers.

For the year, Nightline was up 14% in Total Viewers and in the just concluded May sweep, Nightline tightened the race with the outgoing Leno to its smallest Total Viewing gap in 10 years, which still stands at 1.21 million viewers.

• For 2008-2009 season:

Show Network A25-54 Total Viewers
Tonight Show NBC 2.19M 5.15M
Nightline ABC 1.71M 3.89M
Late Show CBS 1.71M 3.84M

• For May Sweeps:

Show Network A25-54 Total Viewers
Tonight Show NBC 2.17M 5.00M
Nightline ABC 1.60M 3.79M
Late Show CBS 1.61M 3.64M

• For Week of May 18, 2009:

Show Network A25-54 Total Viewers
Tonight Show NBC 2.21M 5.12M
Nightline ABC 1.57M 3.63M
Late Show CBS 1.44M 3.24M

Al Roker in Hot Twatter


Oops. Lesson Learned.

xWebN100.gifWebNewser has the story

Confirmed: Amanda Holden to Guest Host The Early Show

Holden_5.29.jpgFirst reported last month, “Britain’s Got Talent” judge Amanda Holden is now confirmed to guest host The Early Show on Monday alongside Harry Smith, Maggie Rodriguez and Julie Chen.

In a press release, CBS says Holden “will give viewers a first-hand account of Susan Boyle‘s weekend performance on the finale of the talent show. Boyle’s original voice coach will also be live on the program to share his thoughts about the Scottish singer’s much-anticipated performance.”

Rush Here, There, Almost Everywhere

Arianna_5.29.jpgRush Limbaugh was mentioned 39 times yesterday on MSNBC. I know, this keeping track thing is getting old. But we raise the issue today, because while Rush was being criticized during a segment on Keith Olbermann‘s 8pm show on MSNBC (with pile-on from Arianna Huffington) over on Fox News, Bill O’Reilly was defending the radio talker.

Limbaugh_5.29.jpgIn his Pinheads & Patriots segment, after this comment from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Live, O’Reilly said, “I think the Governor’s a pinhead on that one.”

And for what it’s worth, Limbaugh was not mentioned during CNN’s 8pmET show “No Bias, No Bull” which was guest-hosted for the final time by Roland Martin. Campbell Brown returns Monday and tonight CNN is preempting “No Bias” for a special called “How The Wheels Came Off: The Rise & Fall of the American Auto Industry.”

George Stephanopoulos: “I Developed A Thick Skin”

G Stephanopoulos.jpg In the wake of President Obama’s selection of Judge Sonia Sotomayor as a Supreme Court nominee, Marketwatch’s Jon Friedman writes today that ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, a former Clinton advisor, has the advantage of knowing “what it’s like to listen to a sitting president as he arrives at such a crucial decision.”

His experience in politics, Stephanopoulos tells Friedman, has been useful in a number of ways. It “helped prepare me [for TV]…I was used to taking hits and being judged by critics. I developed a thick skin.”

Also in the interview, Stephanopoulos says his ‘dream get’ for This Week would be Pope Benedict XVI.

“I’d ask him, ‘What does he say to critics who see a post-Christian era? Does he agree? Does he see himself as a political leader?’”

Lola Ogunnaike Leaving CNN

Lola_5.29.jpgTVNewser has learned CNN entertainment correspondent Lola Ogunnaike is leaving the network. Oguannaike joined CNN in May 2007 and had reported primarily for CNN’s American Morning. Today was her last day. Her contract was not renewed.

A CNN spokesperson tells TVNewser, “Lola is a terrific reporter who brought American Morning viewers their daily dose of all things pop culture and we wish her all the best in her new endeavors.”

Was Mancow’s Waterboarding Staged?

Gawker has an extensive look into the Erich “Mancow” Muller waterboarding that took place one week ago today.

Based on an email exchange forwarded by a source to Gawker, there are questions about whether Mancow’s waterboarding was the real thing.

Here is one of the emails sent by Muller’s publicist, Linda Shafran, as she searched for a replacement person to conduct the waterboarding:

It is going to have to look “real” but of course would be simulated with Mancow acting like he is drowning. It will be a hoax but have to look real. Would be great if they could dress in fatigues and bring whatever is needed. We will supply the water.

Shafran responded to Gawker via email last night with this comment:

It was NOT a hoax. Early on when we were looking for someone to waterboard, an email was sent out looking for someone to do it and I mistakenly said it would be staged. That was my mistake and a misunderstanding. But that was early and NOT TRUE AT ALL. It was not staged. NOT AT ALL. When it happened several days later, it was real, honest, actual, not staged. Any info you have was my mistake. THE WATERBOARDING OF MANCOW WAS REAL!!!!!!

Mancow_5.29.bmpWhat’s more, Gawker claims the staff at Countdown with Keith Olbermann knew of the email exchange prior to his booking on Countdown Tuesday night.

An MSNBC spokesperson tells TVNewser, “We were assured by the publicist that this was just a poor choice of words in her haste to find someone to do the waterboarding.”

> Update: Mancow responds to Gawker: “We went into this thinking it was going to be a joke. But it was not a joke — it was horrible. ‘Hoax’ is probably not the right word, but we did think it was going to be a joke.”

> Update 2: Gawker’s John Cook also talked with Klay South, the marine who performed the waterboarding: “I know nothing about waterboarding. I had never done it before, I have no formal training in it, and I’ve never had it done to me. The only thing I knew was what I saw on the internet. I went to and looked it up. I just did what I was told-poured the water on his face and that was it. I’m probably the last person they should have had do it. I didn’t know what I was doing.

> Update 3: Mancow will be a guest on Countdown with Keith Olbermann tonight (Friday) to address the situation.

> Update 4: Tonight’s segment below:

Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

> Update 5: Gawker’s Cook gives a point-by-point rebuttal to Olbermann accusations/Mancow segment: “Olbermann is living in a fantasy world where malicious bloggers spread lies about him without doing any legwork. We did more reporting on Muller’s alleged waterboarding than he or his staff did.”

Menu: Networking Discussion With Author Keith Ferrazzi

mmm_2-3.gifToday on the Morning Media Menu podcast we’re joined by author Keith Ferrazzi.

Ferrazzi is the author of “Who’s Got Your Back,” which looks at the importance of creating great workplace bonds. He’s also the author of “Never Eat Alone,” which talked about networking to get ahead. “Who’s Got Your Back” reached #1 on late last night, after some technical difficulties. “I had one of the most panicked days I’ve ever had thinking what’s going on in publishing that with that kind of attention I’m still at 100,” he said, after appearing on GMA and Larry King Live. “It was actually a technical glitch on Amazon’s part.

Ferrazzi will speak on day 2 of the Mediabistro Circus about “the important role of relationships in getting ahead.” “You have to recreate the safety net and the support structure you were probably even losing in the last number of years,” he said of people who have recently lost their job. “You need to create this for yourself. You need to create it for yourself around you with a few key people.”

Also discussed: Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper plan, romance novels performing well and what position Ferrazzi is currently looking to hire someone for.

You can listen to all the past podcasts at and call in at 646-929-0321.

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ABC News Pays For Family’s Plane Tickets

Hoax_5.29.jpgABC News is once again under fire for financially accommodating a news source — in this case paying for plane tickets to and from Florida. reports ABC paid for a coach class ticket for Anthony Rakoczy to Florida to claim his daughter Julia. The network also paid for two tickets for their return. An ABC News producer and crew accompanied Rakoczy on both legs.

In what was part of an elaborate hoax, Julia Rakoczy was taken to Disney World by her mother Bonnie Sweeten. Sweeten was in a Florida court this morning where she waived extradition and could be headed back to Philadelphia today.

The payment for the flight was disclosed on Nightline last night and on Good Morning America this morning. The shows also labeled the reunion with family back in Pennsylvania as “Exclusive.” According to ABC, Rakoczy chose to avoid other reporters because he felt overwhelmed by the crush of interview requests, not because he was paid to avoid them.

An ABC News spokesman denied this was a quid-pro-quo arrangement and told the Philly News, “ABC News does not pay for interviews.”

A similar situation happened in December when ABC News paid for a three-night hotel stay at a Central Florida Ritz-Carlton for the grandparents of murdered toddler Caylee Anthony. In that case, ABC did not get an interview with the Anthonys.

Is Paying For Access Getting Out Of Hand?(opinion polls)