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Ayman Mohyeldin Moves to New York, Will Fill-In Anchor for MSNBC

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 3.56.13 PMNBC News correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin announced via Instagram an expanded role at the network, moving to New York where he will do fill-in anchoring at MSNBC, while also continuing in his role as foreign correspondent for NBC News:

It’s official! Happy to announce that I’ve relocated to New York…Still a foreign correspondent for NBC News but will also be taking on additional roles as a news correspondent and anchor across MSNBC shows too.

Mohyeldin made news over the summer, when he witnessed an Israeli airstrike that killed four Palestinian boys. Despite Mohyeldin’s presence at the scene, the story was reported for “NBC Nightly News” by Richard Engel. Mohyeldin was later pulled from Gaza by NBC, citing “safety concerns” only to have the decision overturned after a petition campaign.

Russell Brand Stops by ‘New Day,’ Kisses Everybody

British comedian and author Russell Brand stopped by CNN’s “New Day” to promote his new book this morning. Brand got a little handsy and even planted a kiss on Alisyn Camerota, Michaela Pereira and Chris Cuomo. Yes, even Chris.

Jeff Fager Stepping Down as Chairman of CBS News, Returns Fulltime to ’60 Minutes’

FagerJeff Fager is leaving his role as chairman of CBS News and turning his “full attention” to “60 Minutes.”

“It is hard to believe that it has been four years since Les asked me to take the job, but we agreed that when the time was right I would be able to return to ’60 Minutes’ full time,” Fager writes in a note to staff, obtained by TVNewser.

Fager has been at the helm of CBS News since February, 2011. At that time, Sean McManus left his dual role has head of CBS News and CBS Sports, and returned to CBS Sports fulltime. At the same time, David Rhodes joined as CBS News president. Rhodes had been head of Bloomberg TV and, before that, spent 12 years at Fox News.

“I hired [Rhodes] almost four years ago with this moment in mind, and he has exceeded all expectations,” Fager writes. Rhodes, 40, takes on sole leadership of the news division.

“60 Miuntes” has seen its share of bumps in the last year. An internal investigation into a 2013 Lara Logan report found the story “deficient in several respects.” In a more minor error, earlier this year the show apologized for selective audio editing in a story about Tesla.

Fager’s note after the jump…

More: Fager’s CBS News contract has been extended through 2019. “We would not be in such a strong position today were it not for Jeff’s leadership and his willingness four years ago to supplement his role at ’60 Minutes’ with the duties of chairman as David integrated himself into CBS News,” says CBS CEO Les Moonves. “I want to thank him for all he has done, and all I know he will do in the years to come.”

Read more

‘Either Do What’s Necessary, Or Admit You’re Not Up To It’: The Other ‘Today’ Manifesto


The memo described in brutal detail the changes that needed to be made to NBC’s “Today.” Some of the show’s top talent were targeted: “this guy’s killing us and no one’s even trying to rein him in.” Of course, those words were written in 1989 by Bryant Gumbel, who was speaking of Willard Scott.

And yet it all sounds so much like this week’s dismissal of “Today” show GM Jamie Horowitz. Several insider accounts of the departure make reference to a “manifesto”, wherein the former ESPN producer described in detail what was wrong with “Today”, and how he intended to fix it. By all accounts, it was not warmly received:

A week ago, according to an informed source, Horowitz presented Turness with a written “manifesto” outlining his scheme; on reading it, she “took umbrage” and was horrified.

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‘Today’ Hosts Laugh Off Reports Of Being Fired: ‘What Are You Doing Here?’

“Today” poked fun at a spate of recent reports, including the rumor hosts Natalie Morales and Willie Geist had been fired. “Natalie and I walked into work yesterday and looked at each other and said, ‘what are you doing here?’” Geist joked.

Geist added that the support he’d received on Twitter and Facebook after the false report “blew me away. It just reaffirmed for me how special this show is.”

Al Roker also joked about a Page Six piece suggesting NBC had held an “Al Roker intervention” after “a series of cringe-worthy live gaffes.” “You can’t trust anything I say,” Roker joked.

Morning Show Ratings: Week of November 10

morningshowanchors2014“CBS This Morning” just had its most watched week in more than a decade, since the week of February 6, 2004, when the democratic presidential primaries were in full swing, the war in Iraq was at full boil and the broadcast was known as “The Early Show.”

With its slogan “the news is back in the morning,” “CTM” drew 3.5 million viewers last week, and was the only morning show to grow in both total viewers and the A25-54 demo compared to the same week last year.

“Good Morning America” won the week, but was down -4% in both viewers and the demo. “Today” was also down -2% in viewers and down -11% in the demo, while “CBS This Morning” was up +10% in viewers and up +2% in the demo.

The averages for the week of Nov. 10, 2014:

  • Total Viewers: ABC: 5.718M / NBC: 5.097M / CBS: 3.514M
  • A25-54 viewers: ABC: 2.131M / NBC: 1.896M / CBS: 1.062M

The Ticker: Strong, Dish, Baier, CNBC

  • SNL’s Cecily Strong will be the entertainer for the 2015 Correspondents Association dinner April 25. Strong’s father Bill Strong, is the former AP bureau chief at the Illinois Statehouse.‎ Strong will be just the fourth woman to serve as the entertainer in the 82-year history of the WHCD.
  • If you’re a Dish subscriber prepare to lose several channels. 14 million customers could lose CBS tonight. TNT and TBS could be pulled as of Dec. 5. Even Lilly Broadcasting stations in Elmira, NY and Erie, PA, have been pulled from the service as negotiations continue.
  • FOX News Channel’s “Special Report with Bret Baier” will debut a new segment, “The Presidential Contenders: 2016″ tonight at 6pm ET. Nearly two dozen prospective presidential candidates will be featured, with a new profile coming every two weeks until the start of debate season in late summer 2015.
  • CNBC will debut “Kensho Stats Box” today, providing business newsers with Kensho technology to provide real-time, in-depth analysis without the manpower typically required. Kensho makes statistical computing systems and will also be teaming with CNBC to create new content and digital products.

End of an Era for CNN Director Roger Strauss

2StraussAfter 34-plus years at CNN, longtime director Roger Strauss will work on his final show tomorrow. Strauss is one of only nine original CNN employees still with the company, but that number will dwindle to eight by the weekend as Strauss heads into retirement.

Strauss accepted the voluntary buyout that was offered to all Turner Employees over the age of 55 with 10 years of tenure. While Strauss’ job was reportedly safe, he decided the severance offer made this the right time to walk away.

Strauss has directed over 19,000 live shows on CNN and roughly 100,000 interviews and live shots. He has directed debates, town halls, conventions, election nights and coverage of countless historical events. From 1985 to 2001, Strauss directed “Showbiz Today” and was instrumental in bringing Twitter to life on CNN.

In  2011 the Grady College of Journalism at The University of Georgia recognized Roger by awarding him the John Holliman Jr. Alumni Award for Lifetime Achievement.

White House Miffed Over Networks Skipping Immigration Address

the_white_house_0Yesterday, insiders told TVNewser that the White House did not request time from the networks for tonight’s primetime speech on immigration. According to Hadas Gold of Politico, the White House is now annoyed that the major broadcast networks will be skipping President Barack Obama‘s plan to deal with millions of illegal immigrants.

Obama’s speech is schedule for 8 pm ET tonight and will be passed over for the Winter Finale of “Grey’s Anatomy” on ABC, a new episode of “The Big Bang Theory” on CBS and “The Biggest Loser: Glory Days” on NBC. None of the networks expressed interested in bumping a hit show for Obama’s primetime address.

Speaking with Politico, a senior administration official said tonight’s speech is bigger than others that have been shown on all three networks: Read more

Obama Flights to Alex Wagner’s Wedding Cost Taxpayers $358,490

KassWagnerJudicial Watch reports the Air Force has added up the cost of Pres. Obama’s air travel over Labor Day Weekend, which included attending the wedding of MSNBC host Alex Wagner. The total: more than $1.5 million.

Flights for Obama’s 2014 Labor Day weekend fundraising trips to Westchester, New York, and Providence, Rhode Island, cost taxpayers $527,192.50. Transportation for Obama’s round-trip flight from D.C. to Westchester, New York, to attend a wedding cost taxpayers $358,490.90. The flight for Obama’s trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to speak at “Laborfest 2014” cost taxpayers $653,718.70

Following the fundraisers on the Friday of Labor Day weekend, the president was originally planning to stay overnight in New York, then attend the wedding of Wagner and White House chef Sam Kass. But he changed his plans last minute, flew to Washington for the night – then returned to New York on Saturday. At the time, Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the change allowed Obama “to sleep in his own bed, do a little work tomorrow, spend some time with his family.”