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Archives: October 2012

Soledad O’Brien: ‘Morning Thunder’

CNN’s Soledad O’Brien is profiled by Newsweek. O’Brien, who author LLoyd Grove refers to as “Cable TV’s New Morning Thunder,” talks about her tough questioning of newsmakers.

If O’Brien’s shtick is appreciably more acerbic than conventional morning fare, her ex-boss, former CNN/U.S. president Jonathan Klein, praises “her tough questioning and lean-in demeanor, her ability to get people to open up to her, and her relentless drive to make everything as good as it possibly could be.” Klein left the once-dominant cable outlet in late 2010 amid chronically low ratings, and the management shake-ups continue to this day. But O’Brien, who dropped out of Harvard in the late ’80s for an entry-level job at Boston’s NBC station (she went back to Harvard a decade later and completed her degree), is keeping her head down and screening out the “noise.”

ABC Producers Ride Out Storm in Fire-Ravaged Breezy Point

You’ve probably already seen the destruction in Breezy Point, Queens. 100 homes destroyed by a massive hurricane-whipped fire Monday night. Two ABC News producers rode out the storm, having been sent to Breezy Point earlier in the afternoon to do the “hurricane hold-outs” story. Jim DuBreuil and Keturah Gray recount the horrific night on ABCNews.com.

“I remember looking out the window around 8:30 at night, and all of a sudden, we just saw this,” DuBreuil says. “It seemed like we were in a national forest where you see all those fires with timbers flying around. It was off in the distance and I wasn’t thinking this is going to affect us. But as each hour progressed, the storm, the fire was just coming closer and closer and God, you [Keturah] looked at me and said, ‘We’re getting the hell out of here.’”

“I just remember when I first saw that fire thinking we have water on one side of the house, we have a TON of water on the back side of the house, and we have a fire that is inevitably going to get closer because of all of the winds,” says Gray “I was just like, ‘What do we do? Where do we even begin? Do we take this route or this route?’ I was so worried about the people that I knew, because we had been down that beach earlier that afternoon. There were a lot of people in that line of fire, and I just didn’t know how they were going to get out.”

Elizabeth Vargas‘s story, including video shot by DuBreuil and Gray, after the jump…

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Chris Christie Chats with Jersey Guy Brian Williams

In a news conference this evening, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie waxed nostalgic about how much the Jersey Shore — the place, not the MTV show — means to him. Christie flew over the the shore this afternoon to survey the destruction left by Hurricane Sandy. “I was talking to Brian Williams about this tonight,” said Christie. “Brian is a Jersey guy and he grew up on the Jersey Shore and we’ve talked many times about our experience and whether you’re talking to people in Seattle, Washington or Kansas City or Texas, there seems to be all these people you run into have some memory of the Jersey Shore. They have some experience at some time in their lives and they talk about the same type of iconic images. So it will be disorienting for a lot of folks and disappointing to see a lot of those go away.”

The Scoreboard: Monday, October 29

Here are the cable ratings for last night as Hurricane Sandy made landfall. Apologies for not having all the midnight numbers. A couple of notes: CNN won total day and primetime (8-11pm) in the demo and Piers Morgan‘s 9pm hour was the most watched hour in the demo in primetime. Fox News was tops in total viewers in both total day and in primetime.

25-54 demographic (Live +SD)

  • Total day: FNC: 528 | MSNBC: 260 | CNN: 546 | HLN: 127
  • Primetime: FNC: 875 | MSNBC: 477 | CNN: 1.088 | HLN: 169

5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p: 12a:
FNC TheFive: Baier: Shep: Shep: Hannity: Greta: Greta: Sandy:
557 664 924 905 885 835 678 449
MSNBC Matthews: Sharpton: Matthews: EdShow: Maddow: O’Donnell: EdShow: Maddow:
320 285 376 393 611 427 243 224
CNN Blitzer: Blitzer: Burnett: Cooper: Morgan: Cooper: Burnett: Morgan:
618 770 765 1.020 1.043 960 725 564
HLN Express: Express: VelezMitch: Grace: Grace: Sandy: Sandy: Sandy:
139 163 129 185 165 157 107 ?

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ABC’s Primetime and ‘Nightline’ Sandy Specials

Diane Sawyer and Chris Cuomo will co-anchor “A Special Edition of 20/20: The Perfect Storm” tonight at 10pmET. Sawyer met up with Cuomo’s brother, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) at Ground Zero this afternoon. That interview will be seen on “World News” and in the primetime special. ABC will also air a special edition of “Nightline” dedicated to covering the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy from 11:35pm-12:00am. Terry Moran will anchor from New Jersey with reporting from his co-anchors Cynthia McFadden in New York and Bill Weir on the front edge of the storm in Ohio.

Evening News Ratings: Week of October 22

As the network evening newscasts continue what will be days of coverage of Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath, the ratings from last week are in. And it shows a similar trend to previous weeks, “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” remains #1 while “CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” is showing the most growth. Compared to the same week last year Pelly’s broadcast is up +7% in total viewers. #2 “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer” is up +1%, while “Nightly” is down -6%. All three shows are down in younger viewers.

Numbers for the week of October 15:

NBC ABC CBS
• Total Viewers: 8,026,000 7,587,000 6,370,000
• A25-54: 2,211,000 1,890,000 1,704,000

Morning Show Halloween Parties Canceled

The “Today” show and “Good Morning America” are both canceling their Halloween Parties set for tomorrow. “Today” made its announcement on the show today. And “GMA” just released this statement: “Due to Hurricane Sandy, GMA’s Halloween show is canceled for tomorrow. GMA will continue to provide comprehensive coverage and report on the latest on those millions affected by the devastating storm.”

“LIVE with Kelly and Michael” will move its Halloween-themed show to Monday. The show returns tomorrow after going dark for two days because of the storm. ABC’s Diane Sawyer will guest.

Scott Pelley Evacuates Live Location Just Before Sandy Destroys It

Scott Pelley had to evacuate his live location in Allenhurst, NJ just after last night’s “CBS Evening News.” As Pelley anchored from the deck of Mr. C’s Beach Bistro, his team was using the restaurant as a work space. Around 7:15, the police chief told them they had to get out. They scrambled to pack up and leave and not long after, the Bistro washed into the Atlantic. Pelley broadcast the network’s 10pm special from the Allenhurst Fire Department, where he interviewed the chief who demanded their evacuation. Pelley thanked him and then asked him have there been any injuries or loss of life. “No. Thank God, and thank God it wasn’t you folks,” said the chief.

Evening Newscasts Expand to an Hour Again Tonight

“CBS Evening News,” “NBC Nightly News” and “ABC World News” will expand to an hour again tonight as superstorm Sandy moves north, and the devastation in its wake is measured. Joe Lhota, the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs the bridges, tunnels, buses, subways and commuter railroads just remarked in a news conference, “I can say unequivocally that the MTA last night suffered a disaster as devastating as it has ever faced in its history.”

The MTA chairman was speaking along with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo — brother of “20/20″ anchor Chris Cuomo who has been contributing to ABC’s storm coverage. Lhota mentioned the 40-foot boat (image, right) that sits across the Metro North rail line, pushed there when the storm surge sent the Hudson River onto nearby tracks.

CBS’s Dr. Jon LaPook Recounts Evacuation of NYC Hospital

Dr. Jonathan LaPook, CBS’s medical correspondent and board-certified internal medicine physician rushed to NYU Langone Medical Center last night which had to be evacuated after the backup generator and then the backup to the backup, failed. He talked about it on “CBS This Morning.”

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