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Archives: March 2012

While Katie Couric Sits in on ‘GMA,’ A Legend Returns To ‘Today’

The “Today”show isn’t letting Katie Couric‘s return to morning TV go unchallenged. In the ultimate of TV teases, the network began running promos today about a secret guest who will appear Monday — “for one show only” — the same day Couric begins a week of fill-in co-hosting on cross-town and cross-country rival “Good Morning America.” And as teases go, the promo gave no hint about who it might be. Gene Shalit? Bryant Gumbel? Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

On tonight’s “Nightly News” Lester Holt also promoted a Tuesday visit to “Today” by Sarah Palin.

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Poll Finds that Once Again, ‘None’ Is Most Trusted News Personality

A new poll from Suffolk University seems to confirm a trend that has become apparent over the last few months. When asked which TV news personality they trust most, a plurality of respondents (25%) replied “None,” with roughly the same amount (24%) saying they were “Undecided.”

Among those that had an opinion, Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly came out on top, garnering 7% of the vote, followed closely by ABC’s Diane Sawyer with 5%, with Anderson Cooper and Brian Williams each with 4%. O’Reilly led his show on Wednesday with the poll:


When asked what TV networks they trust most, Fox News came out on top, garnering 28& of the vote, followed by CNN and NBC News with 17% and 10% respectively. That is in line with PPP’s annual TV news trust poll, which found that FNC was both the most trusted and least trusted TV news outlet.

You ca check out all of the findings here (PDF).

Al Jazeera English Downsizing in DC

Talking Points Memo gets a hold of a memo sent by Al Jazeera English managing editor Al Anstey, outlining the channel’s new U.S. strategy. As part of the changes, the channel will be downsizing in Washington D.C., instead using more reports from bureaus across the country. In addition, it will be moving its show “Empire” from Washington to New York.

This change is part of the wider restructure which began over two years ago in order to enhance one of our core strengths of news gathering and reporting from the field. We recently started up our bureau in Chicago. We are soon to formally open our office in Los Angeles. And we are now fully operational from Miami. These bureaux add to our existing presence and strength in Washington DC, and New York, and our bureaux across Latin America.

TVNewser hears that around 75% of staffers in Washington will be let go as a result of the moves. Update: AJE says that only two dozen staffers will be affected, far fewer than 75%. Read Anstey’s full memo over at TPM.

Spitzer Launches ‘Viewpoint’ Without a Mention of His Predecessor

Current TV launched its new 8 PM program “Viewpoint” last night, hosted by former New York Governor and CNN host Eliot Spitzer. The show launched suddenly and without promotion in the wake of Current’s decision to terminate its relationship with Keith Olbermann.

Spitzer opened the program by explaining the goal of the show, but did not mention the elephant in the room.

WATCH:

March and Rally Lead, in Part, by MSNBC Host

MSNBC host Al Sharpton is among the civil rights activists leading a rally at this hour in Sanford, FL calling for an escalation in peaceful civil disobedience and economic sanctions if George Zimmerman is not arrested in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Sharpton’s role as both cable news host and activist has been debated in media circles for weeks. But Sharpton’s continued call for action now has the local NAACP chapter distancing itself from Sharpton. “We hope that the citizens of Sanford will govern themselves accordingly,” Seminole County chapter president Turner Clayton tells the WKMG-TV. “We are not calling for any sanctions, against any business or anyone else. And, of course, what Rev. Sharpton does, that’s strictly the [National] Action Network,”

While CNN & HLN correspondent George Howell reports from Sanford this morning, and “Fox & Friends” has covered the lead up to the march, MSNBC has not reported on it much, except during Alex Witt‘s news hour at 7amET, with a report from NBC’s TheGrio.com.

On “The O’Reilly Factor” last night, Bill O’Reilly continued to tie Sharpton’s roles as activist and MSNBC host: “I have been doing this 37 years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” said O’Reilly during a discussion with Mike Huckabee. “Sharpton works for NBC, not MSNBC. He works for NBC News. He answers to NBC. To let this guy go crazy and what is going to happen is if it doesn’t come out the way that he wants it to? Sharpton will accuse racism and everything else and some people are going to do damage.”

Could Keith Olbermann Be Heading to Showtime?

Before his shocking exit from Current TV on Friday, Keith Olbermann met with David Nevins, the president of entertainment for Showtime. In a cover story in The Hollywood Reporter Lacey Rose reveals:

Nevins even met recently with cable-news bad boy Keith Olbermann for a meal. Although he’s tight-lipped about the details, he says, “It didn’t really go anywhere.” Asked whether he had envisioned a sports or politics show for the disgruntled Current TV host, Nevins suggests he “didn’t get that far.”

After he left MSNBC, there was speculation that Olbermann could be heading to pay cable. Maybe HBO would add a sister show to “Real Time,” or perhaps Showtime wanted its own take on politics. The news of the meeting is sure to reignite that rumor.

Josh Elliott, ABC News Win GLAAD Award for ‘Battle Against Bullying’

ABC News anchor Josh Elliott accepted the GLAAD Media Award earlier this week for Outstanding TV Journalism Segment for “Battle Against Bullying,” a report about a gay teenager who committed suicide last September.

In accepting the award, Elliott called the teenager, Jamey Rodemeyer, “a hero” and said he was honored to tell his story.

He also spoke of his late father, who came out when Elliott was a teenager and died two years later. “I took from him his love of storytelling. I took from him the importance of being an advocate for those who need it,” Elliott said. “And I took from him what it means to be a man.”

If You Want To Follow Eliot Spitzer, Don’t Follow @ESpitzer

Oh goodness. In their haste of firing Keith Olbermann and hiring Eliot Spitzer, the fine folks at Current TV put out a press release which included a fake Twitter handle for Spitzer. In announcing “Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer” the release lets viewers know they can “follow Spitzer on Twitter (@ESpitzer).” Unfortunately, that’s not a real account for the former New York governor, as I’m sure he wouldn’t be writing things like:

or

The real Eliot Spitzer does not have a real Twitter account. A Current TV spokesperson tells TVNewser, “Our apologies that this was incorrect in the release.”

Current TV Fires Keith Olbermann, Replaces Him With Eliot Spitzer

It was just over a year ago that former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann announced he was joining Current TV, and today, that relationship officially came to an end. According to the New York TimesBrian Stelter, Olbermann is out at Current, and will be replaced by former CNN host and New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. Spitzer will take over the 8 PM slot starting  tonight.

Update: Current CEO Joel Hyatt and co-founder Al Gore released a statement about the move.

Current was also founded on the values of respect, openness, collegiality, and loyalty to our viewers. Unfortunately these values are no longer reflected in our relationship with Keith Olbermann and we have ended it.

The full letter is after the jump.

Update 2: Olbermann has released his own statement via Twitter, saying that he plans to file suit against the network.

I’d like to apologize to my viewers and my staff for the failure of Current TV. Editorially, Countdown had never been better. But for more than a year I have been imploring @AlGore and @JoelHyatt to resolve our issues internally,while I’ve been not publicizing my complaints, and keeping the show alive for the sake of its loyal viewers and even more loyal staff. Nevertheless, Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt, instead of abiding by their promises and obligations and investing in a quality news program, finally thought it was more economical to try to get out of my contract. It goes almost without saying that the claims against me in Current’s statement are untrue and will be proved so in the legal actions I will be filing against them presently.

Olbermann’s full statement is after the jump.

Olbermann famously announced that he would be leaving his MSNBC program on a Friday night last January. He inked a deal with Current soon thereafter.

Olbermann was given an equity stake in Current as part of his deal. It is not yet clear whether he will retain that stake, or whether Current will buy him out.

In an interview with mediabistro.com earlier this month, Hyatt hinted that the network would be adding more former public officials to Current’s lineup, such as Spitzer:

We’re going to look for practitioners of public policy, like Jennifer Granholm. We’ll soon be naming others in that category, people who have actually done the hard work of public service and who are very committed to it, who understand it from the inside. They know spin when they hear it; they know BS when they hear it; they can stand up to it because they’ve been there and done that.

The announcement of Spitzer’s new show is also after the jump.

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The Scoreboard: Thursday, March 29

25-54 demographic (Live +SD)

  • Total day: FNC: 341 | MSNBC: 143 | CNN: 133 | HLN: 118
  • Primetime: FNC: 491 | MSNBC: 235 | CNN: 216 | HLN: 182

5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p: 12a:
FNC TheFive: Baier: Shep: O’Reilly: Hannity: Greta: O’Reilly: Hannity:
447 406 450 544 507 420 446 311
MSNBC Matthews: Sharpton: Matthews: EdShow: Maddow: O’Donnell: EdShow: Maddow:
148 198 194 210 252 243 165 118
CNN Blitzer: KingUSA: Burnett: Cooper: Morgan: Cooper: Burnett: Morgan:
103 119 104 173 257 217 144 218
HLN Special: Prime: VelezMitchell: Grace: DrDrew: Grace: Showbiz: DrDrew:
109 82 114 237 174 143 148 179

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