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Do MSNBC and Fox News Have a Deal?

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> Update: The NYTimes is running a front-page story on this tomorrow morning. In it, Brian Stelter writes:

…even though the feud had increased the viewing audience of both programs, [Murdoch and Immelt] instructed lieutenants to arrange a cease-fire, according to four people who work at the companies and have direct knowledge of the deal.

The details of the peace plan were left to [NBCU CEO Jeff] Zucker and [News Corp. EVP Gary] Ginsberg, who agreed that hosts on Fox and MSNBC would resist lobbing mortars at each other or their parent companies, according to two employees with direct knowledge of the agreement.

Late tonight, a source who was privy to discussions between the two companies told TVNewser, “There’s more to this story than is being reported considering that the Murdoch-Immelt meeting was a small part of the larger negotiations at work. The reality is that the people taking credit in the New York Times story aren’t the ones who deserve it. In fact it’s those who chose not to put themselves in the spotlight who deserve the recognition”

> More: InsideCableNews reveals what he’d been hearing for more than a month…

> Our original post:

A few weeks ago, a TVNewser reader emailed and wondered:

Fox News lately in their media montages is leaving out NBC News. Take Bill O’Reilly yesterday on MJ death coverage; they showed CBS, ABC, CNN and Fox but not NBC. Is there something going on behind the scenes between NBC and Fox? Maybe a cease and desist order for showing off air?

At the time, we asked around but were told by all sides there was no deal, cease & desist or anything of the sort.

Well, this afternoon the LATimes’ Joe Flint reports talks were had by the chairmen of the companies that own the channels. “News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch and General Electric chief Jeffrey Immelt met up at — appropriately enough — the Microsoft CEO summit in Redmond, Wash., to figure out how to defuse tensions between the two channels.”

And there’s more…


A Fox News spokeswoman told Flint “we can’t comment on any meeting that may or may not have taken place between Mr. Murdoch and Mr. Immelt,” while a News Corp. spokeswoman declined to comment to The Times and a GE spokesperson was unavailable to comment.

But Flint reports any “message of peace” has not taken hold.

For example, on July 9, Olbermann, commenting on reports that Murdoch’s London tabloids had to settle lawsuits for illegal wiretaps, said “why did News Corp. go to all that trouble, rather than just get the secret personal information from the Bush administration?”

O’Reilly, meanwhile, accused NBC News on June 18 of being in President Obama’s pocket and said last month that “there is compelling evidence that NBC is giving President Obama favorable treatment so that GE will be awarded billions, billions, in government contracts.”

And then there was this week – from Wednesday’s NBC & MSNBC coverage of FNC host Glenn Beck saying that he believes Pres. Obama is “a racist,” right up until this morning, when Fox & Friends had a bit on the Tonight Show’s falling ratings and blaming NBC for “squeezing Jay Leno out” of late night.

Deal? We doubt it. The ratings are no good when there’s peace in cableland.

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