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Archives: May 2012

Day Runs Into Night for Matt Lauer

Old habits are hard to break.  Just ask Matt Lauer.

It was a long work day for the morning show veteran, who filled in tonight on Nightly News for the first time in ten years.  Known for his usually near-seamless anchoring, Lauer this evening waged a very human battle with his dayside-nightside references.

It all started when NBC’s chief legal correspondent wrapped up her analysis of the John Edwards trial.  Lauer thanked “Savannah Guthrie, in the studio this morning”.

After a commercial break, Lauer clearly was cognizant of the mix-up. Tossing to correspondent Ron Mott, Lauer said, “Good evening, Ron” – with a heavy emphasis on ‘evening’.

But when Mott completed his live tag and tossed back to the studio, Lauer thanked him for reporting from New York “this morning”.

The rest of the newscast then was smooth sailing…until the closing moments.

“And that’s our broadcast for this Thursday night, thanks for being with us. I’m Matt Lauer in for Brian tonight, and I’ll see you tomorrow morning on Tonight. On Today, excuse me!” he said while laughing.

Update: Checking the KUSA-TV/Denver feed, the Guthrie “morning” reference stayed in…as did the one with Mott. Lauer was able to re-do his farewell, though, telling viewers he’ll see them “tomorrow morning on Today“.

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CNN Drops Offer to Fox News AP Who Produced Anti-Obama Video

CNN has rescinded its job offer to a “Fox & Friends” associate producer who assembled a widely-criticized anti-Obama video, the New York Times is reporting.

The associate producer, Chris White, was identified and congratulated at the conclusion of the highly-produced piece, which aired twice yesterday morning on “Fox & Friends.” Yesterday afternoon, Fox News EVP of programming Bill Shine said the package “was not authorized at the senior executive level of the network.”

Sources told TVNewser yesterday that White had an outstanding job offer from CNN. His future at Fox News is unclear.

The Scoreboard: Wednesday, May 30

25-54 demographic (Live +SD)

  • Total day: FNC: 275 | MSNBC: 102 | CNN: 88 | HLN: 112
  • Primetime: FNC: 401 | MSNBC: 239 | CNN: 129 | HLN: 153

5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p: 12a:
FNC TheFive: Baier: Shep: O’Reilly: Hannity: Greta: O’Reilly: Hannity:
249 285 247 581 334 289 322 301
MSNBC Matthews: Sharpton: Matthews: EdShow: Maddow: O’Donnell: EdShow: Maddow:
114 95 147 186 302 229 79 77
CNN Blitzer: KingUSA: Burnett: Cooper: Morgan: Cooper: Burnett: Morgan:
79 68 107 116 144 128 95 120
HLN Special: Prime: VelezMitchell: Grace: DrDrew: Grace: Showbiz: DrDrew:
64 83 91 180 133 146 135 102

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Turner CEO Phil Kent on CNN: ‘We have some other shows that probably need to be replaced’

Turner Broadcasting CEO Phil Kent spoke at the Nomura U.S. Media & Telecom Summit today, and he spent a good deal of his time answering questions about CNN, according to B&C’s Jon Lafayette.

Kent said that he is “very unhappy” with the network’s ratings situation, and laid some groundwork for changes ahead. As we noted last week, don’t expect Erin Burnett, Piers Morgan or Anderson Cooper to see any major changes to their shows, but there will be changes coming, beyond the recently announced additions of John Berman and Anthony Bourdain.

The self-inflicted problems stems from the fact that “we haven’t put the best shows on the air,” he said.

Kent said CNN’s current primetime lineup still has “very high potential.” He called Anderson Cooper a television news star who “at this moment is not getting a star’s ratings and that’s because of lead-ins.”

Of the rest of CNN’s lineup, “we have some other shows that probably need to be replaced. This is an execution issue and to me, this is TV 101.”

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ABC Wins With ‘Royal’ Interview, But ’48 Hours’ Ties In The Demo

ABC’s “20/20″ special, which featured Katie Couric interviewing Princes William and Harry, won its timeslot at 10 PM in total viewers, topping CBS “48 Hours Mystery.” “20/20″ averaged 6.92 million viewers from 9-11PM, with “48 Hours” drawing 5.96 million.

However, despite the hype ABC put behind the special, “48 Hours” tied ABC in the key news demographic of adults 25-54. Both programs averaged 1.9 rating/4 share in the demo. In adults 18-49, the key demo for entertainment programming, “48 Hours” actually topped “20/20″ with a 1.5 rating/4 share, compared to ABC’s 1.3 rating/4 share.

NBC’s ‘Rock Center’ Will Move to Thursdays in June

As we told you earlier this month, “Rock Center with Brian Williams” will have a new home on NBC’s fall schedule, airing on Thursdays at 10pmET. Now NBC has announced that the program, which has been absent from the NBC schedule for the past several weeks, will debut in its new timeslot one week from today, June 7.

This is the fifth move for the struggling newsmagazine, which debuted last October. The show will return with a profile of double amputee Oscar Pistorius, a Paralympian who will be interviewed by former tennis player-turned NBC Sports reporter Mary Carillo ahead of Pistorius’ participation in the London Summer Olympics.

Special Reports Slated As Verdict Reached in John Edwards Trial. Update: Or Not?

There is a verdict in the John Edwards trial, slated to be read at around 3 PM ET. MSNBC was the first network to report the news at 2:22 PM, followed by Fox News at 2:24 and CNN at 2:26. ABC, NBC and CBS will all be running special reports on the verdict, while the cablers are now running wall-to-wall.

There are  no electronic devices allowed in the courtroom, so reporters will be running out to their stations after the verdict is read. It will be chaotic.

Update: the jury only has a verdict in one of the counts, and is hung in the others. They have been sent back to deliberate more. In other words, no verdict yet.

Update 2: Megyn Kelly is anchoring on Fox into the 3 PM hour, putting her legal background to work.

Update 3: at 4:20 PM, it was reported that Edwards was found “not guilty” on count three, with the other counts deadlocked. Fox News reported it first, as MSNBC and CNN were in breaks. Upon returning MSNBC reported the news immediately, while CNN covered other news. However, minutes later–while FNC was in a break–the judge declared a mistrial on the remaining counts.

What’s With The Ratings Declines In Cable News?

2012 is shaping up to be a weird year in the Nielsen ratings. Nickelodeon, Fox, The CW and a number of other channels are crying foul over what they say is clearly incorrect ratings data coming from Nielsen (not surprisingly, they are complaining about ratings declines).

Despite it being an election year, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC were all down significantly from 2011, with FNC seeing its lowest ratings since 2008 and CNN since at least 1991.

What’s the deal? Here are a few thoughts.

People Are Sick Of Politics For a While: Fox News saw its lowest primetime numbers since July, 2008, right before the big election. Weird, right? Well, in both cases, with the GOP and Democratic nominations secured, cable news shifted to general election horse race coverage. Horse race coverage has limited mass appeal, particularly after a long, drawn-out primary process, and viewers–even regular viewers–seemed inclined to tune it out. It happened in 2008 across all of the cablers, and it appears to be happening again now. Even Turner Broadcasting CEO Phil Kent says that politics has been “pretty boring to people,” this year, according to B&C. Your average American probably doesn’t care about what the latest poll numbers mean, and won’t be making an effort to tune in and find out. Sorry.

May Sweeps and a Lack of News: May 2011 was a BIG news month. Bin Laden, Joplin, Libya, Casey Anthony. Lots of news happened that month. May 2012 had some interesting news as well, but nothing of the scope or scale of any of those mentioned. May also brings May sweeps, when the broadcasters pull out their big guns to try and draw viewers in primetime. Both of those things likely factored into the slow month. While the partisan programming on MSNBC and Fox News is more resistant to a slow news month than CNN’s programming is, all of the networks get a big boost when big news happens. In May 2012, there just wasn’t that major news story that gets your average (read: non-cable news) viewer to tune in over “Dancing With the Stars.”

It’s Nielsen’s Fault!: This isn’t news to anyone who works in TV, but the networks don’t like Nielsen. Fox News doesn’t like Nielsen, CNN doesn’t like Nielsen, USA doesn’t like Nielsen, CBS doesn’t like Nielsen, no one likes Nielsen. Some might defend Nielsen, but they don’t like Nielsen. In the five-plus years that I have been a media reporter, I have not met a single TV executive who believed that Nielsen’s numbers were truly accurate.

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ABC News Officially Slates ‘NY Med’ Documentary Series

ABC News has officially announced the latest documentary series from producer Terry Wrong, “NY Med.” We first reported the series was in the works in January of last year. Like the last two of Wrong’s series–”Boston Med” in 2010 and “Hopkins” in 2008–”NY Med” will be set in a hospital, this time New York-Presbyterian.

“NY Med” will premiere Tuesday, July 10 at 10 PM, and will follow the surgeons and staff of New York-Presbyterian as they do what they do best. Among the surgeons that the crew follows is Dr. Mehmet Oz, who also hosts a syndicated talk show in addition to his day job as New York-Presbyterian’s chief cardiac surgeon.

“Medicine is a universal subject. At some point in our lives we or those we love will become patients for one reason or another,” said Wrong in a statement. “This series takes you behind the curtain to learn about those we depend on to fix us and how sometimes they just can’t.”

“Terry Wrong and his team have brilliantly captured the incredible drama of life and death inside one of the world’s great hospitals,” said ABC News president Ben Sherwood in a statement. “Real and riveting, ‘NY Med’ is sure to enlighten, engage and inspire viewers this summer.”

More information on the eight-part series, after the jump.

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‘CBS This Morning’ Live From Big Ben on Clock’s 153rd Anniversary

Charlie D’Agata is clearly not afraid of heights. The CBS News correspondent reported live from the top of London’s Big Ben today, celebrating the 153rd anniversary of the day the famous clock starting ticking in 1859.

“It’s indescribable,” D’Agata told “CBS This Morning” hosts Gayle King and Charlie Rose. CBS is the first American television network to broadcast live from the top of Big Ben. Watch: