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Archives: August 2011

August 2011 Ratings: MSNBC Has Lows and Highs

A month of breaking news–some of it late on Friday or on the weekend–did not benefit MSNBC as much as it did its cable new competition. MSNBC slipped behind CNN in both total and demo viewers in both primetime and total day.

The ratings for August, 2011:

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 714K Total Viewers / 227K A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 428K Total Viewers / 142K A25-54

MSNBC notes that it did top CNN Mon.-Fri. in total viewers, but not Mon.-Sun. Compared to the same month a year ago, MSNBC was up slightly in total viewers in both total day and prime, and was down slightly in the demo in both categories.

At 8 PM, “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell was down substantially (around 140,000 viewers) from the same month a year ago, when Keith Olbermann was in the slot, although O’Donnell was also out of the anchor chair for a good chunk of August due to his mother’s death. O’Donnell also topped CNN at 8 PM in total viewers, though fell short in the demo.

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Training Young Campaign Reporters To Be Careful What They Say, Do and Tweet

The New York Times has a story today focusing on the group of young reporters that CBS News and the National Journal have embedded with the 2012 political campaigns. Following in Jake Tapper‘s tips for campaign reporters, the item focuses mostly on how the young correspondents should react to being targets of political campaigns and other outlets:

Preparing journalists to cover the presidential campaign these days is also an exercise in indiscretion management. In the new dynamic of campaigns, reporters themselves are targets both of political strategists as well as other journalists and bloggers.

“People are watching you,” Fernando Suarez, a CBS News reporter who covered Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign, admonished the young reporters. He recounted once innocently checking his e-mail and Facebook page during a Clinton rally in Oregon. A local blogger looked over his shoulder, snapped a picture of him and then wrote an item criticizing the media for being disengaged…

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Ex-CNN and ESPN Sportscaster Fred Hickman Joins New Orleans Station as Sports Director

Fred Hickman, perhaps best known from his days as a CNN sports co-anchor alongside the late Nick Charles, has been hired as sports director of Fox affiliate WVUE in New Orleans. Hickman, who has also worked for ESPN and Fox Sports South in Atlanta, brings a wealth of experience to the station. He told The Times-Picayune that he’s always had a soft spot for New Orleans, which he’s visited numerous times while covering major sports events including the Super Bowl.

“I’ve been a big fan of the city of New Orleans for a long time,” Hickman said. “I’ve been there to cover Super Bowls and Sugar Bowls, but to be there and live there is very, very appealing to me and to my family, my wife and my kids. We’re looking forward to being a part of the fabric of the city.

“Coming back from Katrina and the whole thing, as a family we want to be a part of that.”

China’s CCTV Coming Stateside

China’s state TV network, CCTV, is launching a pair of English-language networks in the Washington DC area. The two channels–a cable news outlet and a documentary network–will be available on MHz Networks starting October 1. MHz carries a wide variety of foreign tv networks, including Al Jazeera English, NHK World TV, France 24 and RT. Update: And they are hiring! Check out a posting for a business producer on our job board here.

Versus Adding Live Weeknight Studio Shows 'To Be Relevant Each Day'

NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus said the network is adding live weeknight studio shows starting Sept. 8 in an effort to be “relevant each day.”

“If we’re going to be important to sports fans, we have to be relevant each day,” he said.

This is the latest development following the merger of NBC and Comcast, and the new weekly sports programs will tap talent across those two companies. Former Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic anchor Russ Thaler will host “NBC SportsTalk” from 6-7 p.m. on Versus. (Versus will be rebranded as NBC Sports Network on Jan.2). On Mondays and Fridays, the focus will be on football and will involve Mike Florio, editor of The 6-7 time slot runs against SportsCenter on ESPN.

Business writer Darren Rovell of CNBC is also hosting a new show that will air Fridays at 7 p.m.

“The live nightly shows also give us the opportunity to tap into our stable of top talent across all of our platforms to provide a unique perspective for sports fans,” said Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports and Versus.

September is arguably the best sports month of the year, so it’s as good a time as any to launch new sports shows.

As Nancy Grace Prepares To Go ‘Dancing,’ Critics Sharpen Their Knives

As we noted yesterday, HLN’s Nancy Grace will be a contestant on the new season of “Dancing With the Stars” on ABC. Grace is certainly one of the more controversial figures on the new season, and some critics are already weighing in on the move.

The Washington Post:

It’s hard to blame the “DWTS” producers for their choice, and even Grace for accepting it. Her extreme persona is a perfect fit for reality TV. But something feels very wrong about a person influencing public opinion on high-profile cases one night and cha-chaing the next.


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Know a Hero?

Today is the final day to nominate someone you know to be the CNN Hero. There are a few requirements. Not nominating yourself is one of them. Anderson Cooper explains the rest:

Video: Lee Corso Eats Grass in New GameDay Promo

The start of college football is now only one day away, and while it’s nice that the season is kicking off on a Thursday, everyone knows that Saturdays belong to college football. More specifically, Saturday mornings belong to ESPN’s GameDay program, starring Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso. In this promo LSU coach Les Miles, who’s been known to gnaw on some grass to let “me know that I’m a part of the field and part of the game,” suggests the GameDay crew should do the same to bring their show to another level. Fowler and Herbstreit take a pass, but Corso, who’s always game, happily chows down.

(H/T to Awful Announcing)

MLB Fans Asked to Vote for Hall of Fame Broadcaster

Do you think Joe Morgan, Joe Buck or Tim McCarver are Hall of Fame-level broadcasters? If so, be sure to vote in the 9th annual Ford C. Frick Award contest, which will help winnow a field of 75 broadcasters down to one new member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Starting tomorrow and running through Sept. 30, fans can vote for their favorite broadcaster on the Hall of Fame’s Facebook page. The top three fan selections will be among the final 10 candidates for this year’s Frick Award, which will be selected by a 20-member board including last year’s winner Dave Van Horne, who currently broadcasts Marlins games, and the other living Frick Award recipients.

The 75 candidates include a pair of broadcasters from each Major League city, as well as numerous at-large candidates. Here is the full field:

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Sports Illustrated Predicts Atlanta Over San Diego In Super Bowl XLVI

After his successful Super Bowl prediction last season, Sports Illustrated‘s Peter King predicts the Atlanta Falcons will defeat the San Diego Chargers 24-20 in Super Bowl XLVI.

Below is a complete list of King’s predictions for the 2011 season:

1. Patriots (12 – 4) 1. Steelers (10 – 6) 1. Colts (10 – 6) 1. Chargers (11 – 5)
2. Jets (10 – 6)* 2. Ravens (10 – 6)* 2. Texans (9 – 7) 2. Chiefs (8 – 8)
3. Bills (7 – 9) 3. Browns (8 – 8) 3. Jaguars (7 – 9) 3. Raiders (7 – 9)
4. Dolphins (6 – 10) 4. Bengals (3 – 13) 4. Titans (6 – 10) 4. Broncos (5 – 11)


1. Eagles (10 – 6) 1. Packers (11 – 5) 1. Saints (10 – 6) 1. Rams (9 – 7)
2. Cowboys (9 – 7) 2. Lions (10 – 6)* 2. Falcons (10 – 6)* 2. Cardinals (7 – 9)
3. Giants (9 – 7) 3. Bears (8 – 8) 3. Buccaneers (8 – 8) 3. Seahawks (6 – 10)
4. Redskins (5 – 11) 4. Vikings (6 – 10) 4. Panthers (4 – 12) 4. 49ers (5 – 11)

*Wild-card team Read more