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Archives: June 2010

John Roberts Loves Sultry Redheads


During the first hour of “CNN Newsroom” today, Kyra Phillips tossed to John Roberts for a segment about supposed Russian spy Anna Chapman with this little exchange:

Phillips: The bombshell fits right in among the fictional Bond girls: seductive sultry and allegedly searching for intel among US power-players. John Roberts, who loves sultry redheads, live in New York with our AM Extra. It’s definitely a 2010 — not 1950 — Russian spy? Seriously?

Roberts: …Where do I go from there?

Roberts finished the segment by adding, “Just — just for the record, there’s only one sultry redhead that fascinates me.”

“Thank goodness,” Phillips shot back. “And luckily you are engaged to her.”

Get a room.

Elizabeth Vargas Conducts Interview About Michael Douglas Divorce, Fails to Disclose She Dated Him


Elizabeth Vargas, filling in for Robin Roberts on GMA this week, hosted a segment with two lawyers about Michael Douglas‘s battle with his ex-wife Diandra, over the proceeds from his new, yet-to-be released film, “Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps.”

What Vargas failed to mention was that she dated Douglas a decade ago, before his divorce with Diandra was finalized. An ABC rep tells Page Six, “It was a mistake. It should have been disclosed [to viewers]. Elizabeth did tell her executive producer she had dated Michael, but he made the decision she should host the segment. George [Stephanopoulos] should have done it. But she did a fair and unbiased job.”

Goldman Sachs: Fox News May Get $1.25 Sub Fee in 2010

fnc3120.jpg Yesterday Goldman Sachs upgraded News Corp. stock from “neutral” to “buy,” and raised its price target from $15.15 to $17.

At the heart of that report was Fox News, which Goldman says is likely to negotiate a subscription fee in the vicinity of $1.25 per subscriber when it renegotiates deals with some carriers later this year.

The $1.25 fee wold only apply to the affiliates that the channel is renegotiating with this year, not all cable, satellite or telco partners. However, if FNC gets that fee, it is safe to say it would have leverage when its other carriage agreements come up for renegotiation down the line.

As TVNewser has written before, subscription fees are at the heart of the cable business, typically accounting for around half of all revenue.

SNL Kagan estimates that in 2009, Fox News brought in an average of $0.58 per subscriber per month. Some of FNC’s long-term carriage agreements called for that fee to go higher as the deals progressed, believed to top off at around $0.75 per sub.

By comparison, SNL Kagan estimates that CNN/HLN bring in an average of $0.48 per month, CNBC $0.29 per month, MSNBC $0.16 per month, Fox Business $0.11 and Bloomberg $0.06 per month.

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Mark Halperin Joins MSNBC

halperin_6-30.jpgMSNBC has named TIME magazine senior political analyst and editor-at-large Mark Halperin its new senior political analyst.

Halperin, who also writes’s “The Page” blog, will stay on in his roles with the magazine.

Halperin has considerable background in TV news. He spent 20 years at ABC News, 10 of which as the network’s political director. he also appeared on-air regularly for ABC and started’s “The Note.” Earlier this year, Halperin co-authored Game Change, which was a NYT bestseller.

The new MSNBC hire was also CNN’s senior political analyst in 2008.

Halperin made his first appearance in the new position at the top of today’s “Morning Joe.”

Rachel Maddow: Larry King “An American Institution”

rachel-maddow062910.jpg Late last night TVNewser spoke to MSNBC’s 9 p.m. host Rachel Maddow about her upcoming trip to Afghanistan. But as long as we had her on the phone, we couldn’t help but ask about her thoughts on her CNN counterpart, Larry King, who announced earlier in the evening that he would be leaving his show later this year.

Maddow tells TVNewser:

“Mr. King has had an incredible career, both in terms of its longevity but also in terms of the impact that he had on what people expect in primetime.

The Larry King interview is an American institution, and nothing about the ups and downs of the cable industry and its competition from broadcast and all the other developments in our business can change that. He is an institution for a reason.

He is also somebody who nobody in the entire industry has a bad word to say about. To have been in the business as long as he has, and to have pretty much everybody think that he is a good guy is a sort of miracle, and is a real testament to him as a person.

I wish him all the best, I am happy that he is still going to stay involved at CNN even after he gives up his show, and I look forward to seeing who CNN is going to put on to replace him.”

Maddow’s 8 p.m. lead-in, Keith Olbermann, also weighed in on King’s departure on Twitter:

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Evening News Ratings: Week of June 21

ENLogos_4.13.jpg“NBC Nightly News” topped the evening news programs last week. All three newscasts were down — particularly NBC — from the big news week one year ago.

Week to week, “CBS Evening News,” which was the only program in with a normal ratings average the week before last, increased total viewers, but saw a small dip in the demo.

Numbers for the week of June 21:

• Total: 7,190,000 6,740,000 5,230,000
• A25-54: 2,230,000 1,930,000 1,640,000

More: Broadcast Evening Newscasts Lose More than 1 Million Viewers in Past Year

Larry King Leaving His Show This Fall

larry-king062910.jpg Breaking: CNN’s 9 p.m. host Larry King has announced that he will be leaving his nightly talk show this Fall. King, who has been a staple on CNN for 25 years, will transition to a part-time role at the network, hosting occasional specials tied to breaking news and events.

King will discuss his decision during tonight’s edition of “Larry King Live.”

Before I start the show tonight, I want to share some personal news with you. 25 years ago, I sat across this table from New York Governor Mario Cuomo for the first broadcast of Larry King Live.

Now, decades later, I talked to the guys here at CNN and I told them I would like to end Larry King Live, the nightly show, this fall and CNN has graciously accepted, giving me more time for my wife and I to get to the kids’ little league games.

I’ll still be a part of the CNN family, hosting several Larry King specials on major national and international subjects.

I’m incredibly proud that we recently made the Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest running show with the same host in the same time slot. With this chapter closing I’m looking forward to the future and what my next chapter will bring, but for now it’s time to hang up my nightly suspenders.

Update: Memo from CNN U.S. President Jon Klein and a CNN network statement after the jump. Klein says King will “end his run with Larry King Live on his own terms, sometime this fall.” Video after the jump…

More – 9:07pmET: After King’s announcement his guest, Bill Maher said, “I hope you’re doing this of your own volition and not because of what the media said.” King: That had nothing to do with it, there was no pressure from CNN. I don’t pay any attention to that.” Maher: “As long as it’s coming from you and not dictated by The New York Times or anybody else.”

More – 9:44pmET: Maher: “Who do you want to sit there after you go?” King: “I can’t be objective because I don’t know his interest in politics, but Ryan Seacrest … He’s curious, he’s interesting, he’s likable.” Maher: “But I never… knew.. maybe he is interested in politics, but isn’t that, like, a key part of the job?” King: “That’s what I mean. If he has a great interest in politics, I would recommend him. But I’m sure there’s a ton of people who could do it. Come on, it’s Q&A.”

More – 9:50pmET: Anderson Cooper: “I just heard the news that you’re scaling back at CNN and hanging up the suspenders, as you said. And I’m stunned and sad.” King: “Well. We’ll be around a while. And, want to do other things.” Maher: “Anderson did you engineer this coup?” Cooper: “Listen, I’ve been in the Gulf for six weeks and I don’t know what’s going on beyond here.”

More – 9:52pmET: Nancy Reagan phoned in. “You didn’t call me and ask my permission.” King: Nancy you’re awfully sweet. We’ll get the whole gang together, the wife and everybody and we’ll do lunch.”

More – 9:53pmET: Regis Philbin then called in. “Larry I’m totally surprised by this, and, for some reason, I feel badly about it … there’s always been a Larry King.” King: “When are you gonna leave the daily grind?” Philbin: “Well, I feel like leaving the same time you do, at this point.”

More – 9:59pmET: ABC’s Diane Sawyer phoned in at the end of the show. “I just want to say what a monument of vitality you have built for all of us, and I cannot wait to see your specials because everybody in the world wants to talk to you, and to see you do them in a concentrated way when you choose to do them is going to be a thrill … we love and honor you.”

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Nets Prepare for Hurricane Alex


As Tropical Storm Alex is on the verge of being upgraded to a Hurricane, the networks are stationing crews along the Texas gulf coast. ABC’s Ryan Owens is positioned in South Padre Island. Don Teague will be covering for CBS News and NBC News has the resources of The Weather Channel, which is co-owned by NBCU and private equity firms Blackstone Group and Bain Capital.

NBC News’ Capus Visits Gulf Crew

NBC News president Steve Capus traveled down to the Gulf Coast earlier this week to visit the NBC talent and crew that have been reporting on the BP oil spill. We hear Capus was with the “Nightly” news team on Sunday afternoon in Venice, LA and then stopped by NBC affiliate WDSU and the NBC New Orleans bureau on Monday.

Here’s a photo of Capus, next to correspondent Anne Thompson, along with the NBC News crew including correspondent Kerry Sanders and Brian Williams who is anchoring from Pensacola, FL tonight.


The Scoreboard: Monday, June 28

25-54 demographic: (L +SD)

Total day: FNC: 352 | CNN: 118 | MSNBC: 154 | HLN: 114

Prime: FNC: 648 | CNN: 133 | MSNBC: 252 | HLN: 172

  5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p:
FNC Beck: Baier: Shep: O’Reilly: Hannity: Greta: O’Reilly:
  469 377 399 808 592 545 413
CNN Blitzer: Blitzer: KingUSA: Brown: King: Cooper: Cooper:
  107 114 96 103 104 192 169
MSNBC Matthews: EdShow: Matthews: Olbermann: Maddow: Olbermann: Maddow:
  123 117 119 242 292 220 119
HLN Showbiz: Prime: Issues: Grace: Behar: Grace: Showbiz:
  89 62 132 214 129 178 137

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

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