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Archives: July 2009

Do MSNBC and Fox News Have a Deal?

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> Update: The NYTimes is running a front-page story on this tomorrow morning. In it, Brian Stelter writes:

…even though the feud had increased the viewing audience of both programs, [Murdoch and Immelt] instructed lieutenants to arrange a cease-fire, according to four people who work at the companies and have direct knowledge of the deal.

The details of the peace plan were left to [NBCU CEO Jeff] Zucker and [News Corp. EVP Gary] Ginsberg, who agreed that hosts on Fox and MSNBC would resist lobbing mortars at each other or their parent companies, according to two employees with direct knowledge of the agreement.

Late tonight, a source who was privy to discussions between the two companies told TVNewser, “There’s more to this story than is being reported considering that the Murdoch-Immelt meeting was a small part of the larger negotiations at work. The reality is that the people taking credit in the New York Times story aren’t the ones who deserve it. In fact it’s those who chose not to put themselves in the spotlight who deserve the recognition”

> More: InsideCableNews reveals what he’d been hearing for more than a month…

> Our original post:

A few weeks ago, a TVNewser reader emailed and wondered:

Fox News lately in their media montages is leaving out NBC News. Take Bill O’Reilly yesterday on MJ death coverage; they showed CBS, ABC, CNN and Fox but not NBC. Is there something going on behind the scenes between NBC and Fox? Maybe a cease and desist order for showing off air?

At the time, we asked around but were told by all sides there was no deal, cease & desist or anything of the sort.

Well, this afternoon the LATimes’ Joe Flint reports talks were had by the chairmen of the companies that own the channels. “News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch and General Electric chief Jeffrey Immelt met up at — appropriately enough — the Microsoft CEO summit in Redmond, Wash., to figure out how to defuse tensions between the two channels.”

And there’s more…

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The Scoreboard: Thursday, July 30

25-54 demographic: (L +SD)

Total day: FNC: 352 | CNN: 180 | MSNBC: 118 | HLN: 126

Prime: FNC: 711 | CNN: 358 | MSNBC: 282 | HLN: 177

  5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p:
FNC Beck: Baier: Shep: O’Reilly: Hannity: Greta: O’Reilly:
  605 470 529 901 645 587 596
CNN Blitzer: Blitzer: Dobbs: Brown: King: Cooper: Cooper:
  169 227 202 255 475 346 276
MSNBC Matthews: EdShow: Matthews: Olbermann: Maddow: Olbermann: Maddow:
  173 166 226 273 309 264 153
HLN Prime: Prime: Issues: Grace: Issues: Grace: Showbiz:
  137 99 155 223 130 185 227


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

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Lou Dobbs’ Ratings Decline During Birther

Lou Dobbs.jpgIt’s been more than two weeks since CNN’s Lou Dobbs first began his coverage of the birther movement. The NY Observer’s Felix Gillette assessed Dobbs’ ratings and found they “have continued to go down” during that time.

From “July 15 through July 28,” writes Gillette, the program “has averaged 654,000 total viewers and 157,000 in the 25-54 demo.”

That’s down “15 percent in total viewers and 27 percent in the demo” when compared to the first two weeks of July — before Dobbs began his birther coverage — and down from the show’s numbers in the second quarter of this year as well.

“Arguably,” Gillette continues, “interest in cable news has slumped across the board since early July when attention over Michael Jackson‘s death was still at a fever pitch….[but] if Mr. Dobbs’ affinity for ‘birthers’ is a ratings ploy, it’s a pretty ineffective one.”

Earlier on TVNewser:
So, Where Does that Lou Dobbs — Bill O’Reilly Booking Stand?
Klein on Birthers: “It Seems This Story is Dead”
CNN Responds To Lou Dobbs’ Radio Comments on Obama Birth Certificate

Sen. Chris Dodd Diagnosed with Prostate Cancer

While FNC and MSNBC had live coverage of an afternoon news conference with Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd announcing his battle with prostate cancer, CNN did not.

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CNN tells us it was a “technical glitch.” The HD feed was unable to lock in the Atlanta control room. The comments from Sen. Dodd and his wife were recorded and played back.

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The Ticker: Fox Ruling, Stafford Promoted, Clarions Awarded

> A U.S. District judge has ruled against granting a Freedom of Information Act request by Fox News for documents from the Federal Reserve. The case went to court after Fox submitted an initial FOIA petition last year, in a bid for information about Fed loans to corporations hit by the recession. “We respect the judge’s decision,” said Fox in a statement, “but we will probably appeal.”

> Former Dateline NBC correspondent Rob Stafford is expected to be named co-anchor of the 5, 6, and 10pm newscasts at Chicago NBC station WMAQ, reports Chicago Tribune media columnist Phil Rosenthal. The position opened up after former CBS News correspondent Bob Sirott, who was expected to get the job, left WMAQ in a contract dispute.

> The Association for Women in Communications has announced its 2009 Clarion Award Winners, with TV nods given to CNN and MSNBC. Hurricane Giveaway: A CNN Investigation won in the “Television Investigative Feature or Series-National” category. Abbie Boudreau reported, Scott Zamost produced, and Rich Brooks was the photojournalist. MSNBC won the “Television Documentary Program-National” award, for Witness to Jonestown.

Sunday Show Ratings: July 26

For the 23rd week in a row, “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” cut into the lead held by “Meet the Press with David Gregory.” MTP remains in first place in both Total Viewers and the A25-54 demo, but the gap, which a year ago was at 1.37M Total Viewers / 650K A25-54 demo viewers, now stands at 320K / 90K.

Here is the ratings breakdown for Sunday:

NBC “Meet the Press” 2.96M / 950K
ABC “This Week” 2.64M / 860K
CBS “Face the Nation” 2.47M / 800K
FOX “Fox News Sunday” 910K / 320K

> More: FishbowlDC has the line-up for this Sunday’s shows…

Around the Mediabistro Blogs

This week on mediabistro.com, our sister (and brother) blogs have a handful of posts for you TV news fans:

> AgencySpy has Bill O’Reilly‘s “pinhead” segment calling out the new (supposed) Guitar Hero viral ad on Youtube.

> WebNewser spoke with ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson EP Jon Banner on the one-year anniversary of the World News blog’s launch. Banner is “gratified by the success it has had in the short time since the redesign.”

> FishbowlNY got a hold of a memo sent to Reed Business Information employees regarding the planned sale of a number of U.S. titles including trade publications Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News.

Thalia Assuras Leaves CBS News

Assuras_7.31.jpgTVNewser has learned longtime CBS News correspondent and former anchor of the Saturday Early Show and Evening News Thalia Assuras is leaving CBS News after her contract was not renewed.

Canadian-born Assuras has been with CBS since 1997, first joining the short-lived cable channel CBS Eye On People, which is now part of the Discovery family of channels.

Assuras went on to become a national correspondent, White House correspondent, co-anchor of The Saturday Early Show and as part of an anchor rotation for the CBS Evening News Saturday.

Rick Santelli on Huff Post: “Like That’s the Pinnacle of Journalism? Come On”

Santelli_7.31.jpgThis morning, CNBC’s Joe Kernen was goading Rick Santelli into another Tea Party moment. It didn’t quite happen.

Kernen: Remember when you made that comment about everybody paying for their neighbor’s mortgages? What about paying for your neighbor’s clunkers, what do all those guys think?

Santelli: I don’t like any of those plans. I think, you know… Once again, I will stress, help first-time buyers, help young people get their first car. You know, help the people whose behavior down the road, and they didn’t commit sins, maybe we could condition them to actually be free market entrepreneurs, get this thing going again. Young people will pay for it, let’s give them some of the darn benefits.

Kernen: Seeing if we got enough yet to show up on the Huffington Post or something. I don’t think we have enough yet Rick.

Santelli: Who cares? Who cares, if you show up there or not. Like that’s the pinnacle of journalism? Come on!! They’re going to do investigative reporting, what a joke.

Kernen: Now we might. Thanks buddy.

When Bill Hemmer Lived “Below the Poverty Line”

small_hemmer.jpgBill Hemmer, America’s Newsroom anchor on Fox News, is profiled in next week’s Time Out New York magazine. Hemmer was interviewed for the recurring “Inside Job” feature about various noted professionals. The article traces Hemmer’s career path and lets us in on his favorite NYC bars, but it also provided us with this little anecdote about Hemmer’s start as a TV sports reporter:

During school Hemmer worked as an intern for the local TV station’s sports department. “I would sit in the basement and write down every pitch and every play for baseball and football games,” he explains. After college, he graduated with a job as a sports producer making $9,000 a year. “I had bills to pay and I was living below the poverty line,” he remembers. Two years later, Hemmer landed a better-paying on-air sports-reporting gig with a CBS affiliate.

And Hemmer’s come a long way. He’s had a weekend home in the Hamptons going on four years…

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