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Archives: January 2010

Shepard Smith: “People Are Interested in ‘Just the Facts’ News”

shep_2-21.jpgPhil Rosenthal writes about Shepard Smith and The Fox Report in today’s Chicago Tribune. Excerpts:

• “The fact that we’re getting (almost) 2 million people a night to watch a strictly news (program),” Smith tells Rosenthal, “says a lot about how much people are interested in ‘just the facts’ news. I think you’re better able to digest the opinions if you have that.”

• Asked about Smith, NBC’s David Gregory says, “Shepard Smith is a first-rate journalist and broadcaster. I’ve thought that for a long time, with his reporting on Katrina and other matters. He’s worked hard to set himself apart in the landscape of Fox News.”

• After interviewing Fox News SVP Michael Clemente, who previously worked at ABC News, Rosenthal writes, “Clemente noted that ABC, like so many news outfits of late, has downsized the organization it accumulated over decades, while Fox News…continues to build and is uniquely positioned to benefit from upping its straight-news capabilities in this era of seemingly ubiquitous headlines.”

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‘Week in Advertising’ vs. Brett Favre

On the latest episode of AgencySpy’s “Week in Advertising,” Matt Van Hoven takes a look at bad celebrity endorsements. TVNewser stopped by for the “Ad Revenge” segment, where we take revenge on the annoying ads we have to sit through while watching so much TV. This week, it was the Brett Favre Sears commercial and it might be our favorite so far:

(The Favre Ad Revenge is also available here by itself.)

You can watch “The Week in Advertising” on the the AgencySpy sidebar each Tuesday and see the archive of previous episodes here.

Candy Crowley: “I Am First, Last, and Always a Reporter. And I’m Not Giving That Up.”

Crowley SOTU.jpgTalk about timing.

Candy Crowley found out last Wednesday she’s the new anchor of CNN’s Sunday morning public affairs program State of the Union. She got word “right before the State of the Union,” Crowley tells TVNewser. “The President’s State of the Union!”

A fitting coincidence for the veteran political reporter, who joined CNN in 1987. It was public knowledge that Crowley was being considered for the position by network brass — but she says she “did not have a great sense” of whom they might ultimately pick.

With John King leaving SOTU to helm the 7pmET time slot vacated by Lou Dobbs, Crowley told management she was interested in the Sunday job. “I talked to them about it. I said, ‘I would like to do this.’”

But after filling in for King during the holidays — when his pre-taped show was scuttled for a fresh broadcast after the attempted Christmas Day airplane bombing — Crowley took a scheduled multi-week vacation to Australia and New Zealand. She decided to enjoy her trip rather than spend time thinking about the pending decision.

Upon Crowley’s return, she was happily surprised to get the nod, but confident that the decades she has spent covering politics have been good preparation. “I do feel like so much of what I’ve done leads to here.”

And so in addition to anchoring each Sunday, Crowley will continue to report during the week. “I am first, last, and always a reporter. And I’m not giving that up…I don’t think you can do a Sunday show without being a reporter. Because then you’d just be showing up on Sundays, asking questions…”

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Jeff Zucker Goes to Capitol Hill This Week

NBCU CEO Jeff Zucker will go before congress Thursday. B&C reports Zucker and Comcast chairman Brian Roberts will headline the House Communications and Internet Subcommittee on their proposed deal. The two companies filed the proposed $30 billion merger with the FCC last Thursday.

Also on the list for the hearing are Dr. Mark Cooper of the Consumer Federation of America and NBC Affiliate Board Chairman Michael Fiorile.

The American Cable Association, a lobbying group that represents small and medium-sized cable operators throughout the U.S. says it intends to “scrutinize fully the proposed transaction.” The ACA will ask both the Department of Justice and the FCC to protect consumers “by ensuring that Comcast-NBCU does not have the incentive and ability to engage in anti-competitive conduct that results in higher rates and less choice for consumers.”

Walters, Brown, Ailes, and Huffington: Notable Moments From ‘This Week’

WaltersThisWeek.jpgBarbara Walters filled in as guest anchor today on ABC’s This Week. The program featured Walters’ interview of Massachusetts Senator-elect Scott Brown, as well as a roundtable discussion with Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, and The Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington. It was Ailes’s first This Week appearance (“I was waiting for HD,” Ailes quipped. “I look so much better.”).


• Walters held up the 1982 Cosmopolitan magazine issue that featured the photo of a nearly-nude Brown. “I wish I still looked like that!” Brown said. “Well, I’m not going to ask you to prove it!” Walters responded.

Later in the broadcast Walter revealed that, coincidentally, the same Cosmo issue included a profile of her (“Keeping Up With Barbara Walters”).

• Walters asked Ailes about FNC’s relationship with the Obama administration. Ailes: “Well, they tried to ban us. They tried to break the pool, but the other networks stepped up and protected Fox on it…[But now w]e’re fine. I mean…it was not as bad as it was played, and things are not as great as they should be, but we have a good dialogue.”

• Huffington asked Ailes about Glenn Beck, whom she says uses language that is “inciting the American people”. The exchange:

Ailes: “I think if we start going around as the word police in this business, it will be…”

Huffington: “It’s not about the word police. It’s about something deeper. It’s about…the paranoid style. And the paranoid style is dangerous when there is real pain out there…”

Ailes: “I agree with you. I read something on your blog that said I looked like J. Edgar Hoover, I had a face like a fist, and I was essentially a malignant tumor…”

Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper will rotate in as guest host next Sunday. Clips of Brown and Ailes from today’s show, after the jump…

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CNN Also Announces New Sunday Lineup

LogoCNN.jpgIncluded in today’s CNN press release announcing Candy Crowley as new ‘State of the Union’ anchor, is a paragraph about the network’s re-vamped Sunday morning lineup. Of note is a shorter SOTU, now one hour, to be updated for its noon re-airing (all times ET):

The new Sunday lineup will begin with State of the Union at 9am, followed by Fareed Zakaria GPS at 10am and [Howard Kurtz's] Reliable Sources at 11am. An updated edition of State of the Union will air at noon followed by a replay of GPS at 1pm. CNN’s Amanpour will air at 2pm and replay at 5pm.

Candy Crowley Named New ‘SOTU’ Anchor

CCrowley.jpgFirst on TVNewser: A CNN insider has confirmed that senior political correspondent Candy Crowley will be the new anchor of ‘State of the Union’, effective February 7.

More: At the close of the program today, John King said about his past year of hosting Sundays, “To be invited to share those mornings with you this past year has been a remarkable gift, and a learning experience for which I am forever grateful. I will miss it.”

Crowley appeared on-set with King, saying she is “excited” about her new gig, which she describes as “not just an honor” but also a “responsibility”.

More: Official announcement press release, after the jump…

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New ‘SOTU’ Anchor To Be Announced This Morning

Breaking: Today on CNN’s ‘State of the Union’, anchor John King — who will be taking over the 7pmET time slot on CNN — told viewers he will announce his SOTU successor at the end of the 9amET hour today.

King also tweeted this morning, “Tune in to SOTU today — lot to talk about. And a special announcement!”

King took over the reigns on Sunday morning just over one year ago.


Viewers Tune in for Andrew Young Interview on ’20/20′


According to early overnight data, ABC’s “20/20,” which featured Bob Woodruff‘s interview with former John Edwards aide Andrew Young, drew 8.1 million viewers and was the third most-watched program in primetime on Friday, behind two CBS dramas. The episode drew the newsmagazine’s second-largest audience this season. Woodruff recently spoke to TVNewser about the interview, which happened to air on what Woodruff calls his “alive day.”

Is America Getting Over Keith Olbermann?

That’s what DailyFinance asks while assessing Olbermann’s “soft” January numbers. Countdown was down 44% year-over-year and his HLN and CNN competitors are closing the gap in younger viewers. Olbermann averaged 3,000 more viewers than Nancy Grace and 12,000 more than Campbell Brown. FNC’s “The O’Reilly Factor”, the #1 show on cable news, was the only show in the time period to grow year-over-year — up 55%.

MSNBC president Phil Griffin doesn’t think it’s a trend:

“Keith has been our tentpole,” he says. “I watch the show every night. It’s a great show. It’s as smart and clever and fun as any out there, and I’m pleased with where we are.”

He attributes Olbermann’s January ratings slip to a news cycle in which international news, rather than domestic politics, was the No. 1 story. “On big, breaking international news, CNN tends to do better than us. They did a great job in Haiti, and I tip my hat to them,” he says. “We’re the place for politics, and there are times when politics does great, and there are times when it doesn’t.” With primaries in the midterm elections already looming, he says, “I think we’ll get our momentum back.”