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Posts Tagged ‘Alan Keyes’

Review: ‘Up Late with Alec Baldwin’

AlecBaldwinThe debut of MSNBC’s “Up Late With Alec Baldwin” last night made for compelling television – if you happened to be a New Yorker obsessed with the city’s mayoral race.

Everything about the show was New York-centric. The open: black-and-white photographs of the city, backed by cool jazz. The set: an intimate, wood-paneled faux diner with spectacular views of the skyline. The host: a Long Island native who beats up New York paparazzi.

Given Baldwin’s star power and the amount of hype for “Up Late,” however, I hardly expected the guest for the premiere to be a New York City politico. But there he was, Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, front and center for the next hour.

The presumptive mayor, while charismatic, holds little interest for viewers outside the five boroughs. Regardless, Baldwin, a self-proclaimed de Blasio man, practically tossed rose petals at the candidate’s feet.

What transpired could hardly be called an interview. Baldwin’s softball questions were setups for de Blasio’s long, uninterrupted stump speeches, disguised as responses. Job creation, affordable housing, economic inequality, early childhood education. All that was missing were the balloons.

As the show went on, some of the topics got more interesting – stop-and-frisk, for example. There were moments, but only moments, when Baldwin acted (no pun intended) more like a news network host and less like de Blasio’s campaign manager.

Then there’s the issue of Baldwin’s hair.

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Martin Hopes “God Uses Me As An Instrument For His Will”

martin_4-6.jpgRoland Martin began anchoring the 8pmET time slot on CNN last week (while Campbell Brown is out on maternity leave), and today The Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz writes about the “first [African American] to host a prime-time cable news program since Alan Keyes‘s brief run on MSNBC seven years ago.”

“His divine hope, says Martin…is ‘that God uses me as an instrument for his will to provide insight to those who are listening,’” writes Kurtz.

As Martin is “taking over a fourth-place program,” he brings a varied political background — voting for President Obama while opposing abortion and supporting the death penalty. “We have to open up our boxes and realize there are actually people out there who refuse to be driven by ideology or party labels,” Martin says.

Click continued to see the war of words between Martin and one of his biggest critics, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg

(photo by Helayne Seidman for The Washington Post)

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October Ratings – MSNBC: “We Tamed the Giant of Larry King”

Maddow_10.28.jpgBrian Williams couldn’t do it. Neither could Joe Scarborough, Rita Cosby, Dan Abrams, Ashleigh Banfield, Deborah Norville or Alan Keyes.

But MSNBC’s new 9pmET show did. The Rachel Maddow show topped CNN’s Larry King Live in the ad-friendly A25-54 demo during the month of October. King still wins the Total Viewer crown and FNC’s Hannity & Colmes is #1 in both measurements.

“We’ve never had a performance like this in our history,” MSNBC president Phil Griffin tells TVNewser. “We tamed the giant of Larry King.”

Final numbers, which will include this past weekend, will be out tomorrow. But MSNBC is poised to beat CNN in the demo for three straight hours Monday-Friday — at 7pm (Hardball), 8pm (Countdown) and at 9. “The fact that we did it in the month leading up to the election is so satisfying for everyone who has worked here for the last two years,” Griffin says.

But now the hard work begins. After the election, some viewers will return to routines that don’t include watching cable news every night. “We’ve got to keep doing what we’re doing. We have to be aggressive and we have to stay interesting,” Griffin says. “The audience isn’t going to stay at these levels but we can keep some of that audience. For once, we have a loyal audience.”

Griffin says even he was surprised by Maddow’s explosive growth at 9pmET, up 396% year-over-year. “We knew she was going to be good, but right out of the gate to beat Larry King? That was a dream too far.”

And Griffin will not only need to hold on to those viewers, but maybe his talent too. In January, Chris Matthews will begin covering his fourth administration as host of Hardball. But there is continued talk that Matthews will be leaving TV for his own role in politics. Says Griffin, “I don’t believe he’s going to run. He’s got a platform right here. He has been so focused [this election], and just look at his numbers. It worked.”

The press release is after the jump…

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