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Archives: November 2009

General Electric, Vivendi Agree on NBCU Stake, Paving Way for Comcast Deal

Comcast’s quest to own a controlling interest in NBC Universal cleared another hurdle tonight. Multiple outlets are reporting General Electric has reached an agreement to buy the 20% of NBCU it doesn’t already own.

The New York Times:

Under terms of the deal, G.E. will buy Vivendi’s 20 percent stake in NBC Universal for about $5.8 billion. It removes one of the few remaining hurdles in its plan to sell control of the television and movie company to Comcast in a $30 billion agreement that reflects the changing landscape of broadcast television.

The Wall Street Journal:

GE, which owns 80% of NBC Universal, reached an agreement after its chief executive, Jeffrey Immelt, held face-to-face negotiations in Paris with Vivendi Chief Executive Jean-Bernard Levy last week, the people said. The two sides reached a verbal agreement on the major deal elements over the weekend and were documenting the final details Monday, said these people.

The Associated Press:

That would pave the way for GE to sell a 51 percent stake in the TV and movie company to Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable TV provider. That deal, which would make Philadelphia-based Comcast one of the nation’s largest entertainment companies, is valued at about $30 billion.

Bloomberg:

“It worked out a little higher than what I had anticipated,” said Tuna Amobi, a New York-based analyst at Standard & Poor’s who covers the entertainment industry. “Vivendi was able to squeeze out-an additional $250 million.” GE also agreed to pay Paris-based Vivendi as much as $2 billion if the separate GE-Comcast transaction doesn’t close by the end of 2010, said one of the people.

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White House Party Crashers On ‘Today’ Show

whitehousecrashers_11-30.pngNBC News announced tonight that White House state dinner crashers Michaele and Tareq Salahi will be on the Today show Tuesday morning. Matt Lauer will interview the couple live on the show. Like most news organizations, NBC News does not pay for interviews, however a licensing fee may have been paid to the Salahis for use of photos or videos during the segment

In a brief interview with WUSA-TV in Washington, the Salahis called reports that they were looking for a mid-six figure sum to tell their story “rumor” and “not true.”

Michaele Salahi is in contention to be a part of Bravo’s “Real Housewives of D.C.” Bravo, like NBC, is owned by NBC Universal.

VOTE: Should the Salahis be included in the Real Housewives of D.C.?

Salahi Interview Ends up on CNN Anyway… Sort Of

Salahi_11.30.jpgAngie Goff, a reporter for CBS affiliate WUSA-TV was just on CNN talking about her “very, very brief” interview with Tareq and Michaele Salahi today. Goff told Wolf Blitzer the Salahis called her around noon and wanted to set the record straight about the Larry King interview — that it is postponed, not canceled and that the couple was “looking at speaking out eventually, sometime this week.”

As for the reports that they are shopping their story for a reported mid-six figures, the Salahis told Goff those are “rumors” and “not true.”

Goff explained that she is a friend of Michaele Salahi’s and knows her “on the social circuit.” Goff hosted a Halloween party at which Michaele was a judge.

The Scoreboard: Wednesday, Nov. 25

25-54 demographic: (L +SD)

Total day: FNC: 365 | CNN: 122 | MSNBC: 93 | HLN: 115

Prime: FNC: 569 | CNN: 154 | MSNBC: 113 | HLN: 201

  5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p:
FNC Beck: Baier: Shep: O’Reilly: Hannity: Greta: O’Reilly:
  641 511 519 794 484 421 344
CNN Blitzer: Blitzer: Tonight: Brown: King: Cooper: Cooper:
  124 79 108 143 188 132 136
MSNBC Matthews: EdShow: Special: Special: Special: Special: Special:
  110 125 77 123 121 95 69
HLN Prime: Prime: Issues: Grace: Behar: Grace: Showbiz:
  80 84 99 256 177 194 154


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

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Sunday Show Ratings: November 22

sunday-shows3.jpgNBC’s “Meet the Press” was again the top public affairs show in Total Viewers for Sunday the 22nd, but ABC’s “This Week” was number one in A25-54 demo.

Year to year, the Total Viewer gap between the two programs was down to 80K, compared to 1.01M for the same week in 2008.

With FNC’s replays, “Fox News Sunday” drew an additional 1.99 Total Viewers. “Meet the Press” drew an additional 991K with its replays

Network Program Total
Viewers
A25-54
NBC “Meet the Press” 2.95M 910M
ABC “This Week” 2.87M 940K
CBS “Face the Nation” 2.60M 800K
FOX “Fox News Sunday” 1.05M 420K

Former Transportation Safety Chair Joins NBC News

Mark_Rosenker-11-30.jpg

The Honorable Mark Rosenker, former National Transportation Safety Board Chairman, is joining NBC News and MSNBC as a contributor.

Rosenver was sworn in as Chairman in 2006 and and was confirmed by the Senate as a member of the board in 2003. Currently, he’s on the Board of Directors of the Sequa Corporation and is President of the Transportation Safety Group.

About That Glenn Beck Ad Boycott

MediaPost’s Wayne Friedman has an update on the Glenn Beck advertiser boycott that goes back to August. Friedman writes:

A recent late November airing of “Glenn Beck” offered advertisers pushing gold and silver financial investments and services, older-skewing products and fringe nutritional products.

These include Lifestyle Lift (chin lift); an AARP Medicare product; and retirement homes, such as the TimeSharesOnly and The Villages in Florida — the latter a community that Beck has done some extra promotional work around.

Friedman notes, “There is still no sign of top-drawer, higher-valued daytime TV advertisers, such as Procter & Gamble, Geico, Clorox, UPS Stores and Progressive Insurance. Their ads had previously appeared on the program.”

‘Nightline’ Tops Letterman, Conan in Total Viewers Three Weeks in a Row

nightline.jpgFor Nov. 16th-20th, ABC’s “Nightline” bested NBC’s “Tonight” show and CBS’ “Late Show” in both Total Viewers and the 18-49 demographic for the third consecutive week.

CBS’ “Late Show” was the top program in the 25-54 demo.

Year to year, “Nightline” is up 7%.

The numbers for the week of November 16:

Show Network A25-54 A18-49 Total Viewers
Nightline ABC 1.62M 1.35M 4.15M
Late Show CBS 1.64M 1.30M 3.98M
Tonight Show NBC 1.31M 1.26M 2.33M

All Broadcast Nets to Carry Obama Speech

FOX broadcasting, which has passed on taking prime time news conferences from Pres. Obama in the past, will carry tomorrow night’s address at West Point at 8pmET. A new “So You Think You Can Dance” will begin after the president’s speech (in the Eastern/Central time zones; regular time on the West Coast).

ABC announced today that it too will carry the speech. Originally scheduled programs, including “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” will now air next Tuesday at 8pmET.

NBC and CBS announced last Wednesday that they would be carrying the speech.

The cable news channels will also air the address which will focus on the future role of the U.S. military in Afghanistan.

New ‘PBS NewsHour’ Debuts Next Week

lehrer_11-30.jpgThe NY Times’ Elizabeth Jensen and WaPo’s Howie Kurtz both write about the major changes for PBS’ Jim Lehrer and “The NewsHour,” which are some of the most significant since Robert MacNeil retired in 1995.

While he will remain executive editor, Lehrer, whose name is no longer in the title, will now be joined by co-anchors Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff and Jeffrey Brown. Additionally, the digital and television staffs have merged into a single unit as a greater focus is placed on the web.

Lehrer said he is “at ease with” the changes and that “this was not something forced on me,” but “it grew out of my own thinking.” He also still demonstrates a passion for traditional journalism.

“The shouting and opinion and jokes don’t exist if there isn’t first a story,” Lehrer told the Washington Post. “If you start at the end with Glenn Beck or Keith Olbermann — I’m not knocking these people, but they’re at the end of the reaction chain. All you know is what Beck or Bill O’Reilly or Rachel Maddow or Rush Limbaugh said. But what was actually in that legislation? Where are you going to get that piece? You go to a serious news organization.”

The retitled program debuts Dec. 7th.

TVNewser first reported on the transition and name change last week, when we also learned that Hari Sreenivasan was leaving CBS to join the revamped program.

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