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Posts Tagged ‘Alex Witt’

Networks’ D-Day +70 Coverage Plans

D-day_Normandy_Nara_26-G-2343Broadcast and cable news networks will provide special coverage this week for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy, France.

“CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley” is doing a weeklong series, with correspondents Jim Axelrod, Mark Phillips and Dean Reynolds speaking to World War II veterans about their stories from the invasion. Phillips and Senior White House Correspondent Bill Plante, fresh off a cycling tour of France, will provide coverage from Normandy on Friday’s 70th anniversary.

Brian Williams will anchor special editions of “NBC Nightly News” from the site of the American cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach on Thursday and Friday. Joining Williams on-the-ground in Normandy will be special correspondent and author of “The Greatest Generation,” Tom Brokaw, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd, and national correspondent Peter Alexander. And on the evening of the anniversary Friday, NBC News will air an 8pmET primetime special, “Brian Williams Reporting: Journey to Normandy,” spotlighting four World War II veterans as they make their return to Normandy.

On Friday, “World News with Diane Sawyer” will air the story of 90-year-old Cosmo Uttero, who is traveling to Normandy this week for the first time since he and the Allied troops invaded Normandy on June 6, 1944. Chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl will also report from Normandy on Friday, as he covers President Obama’s speech.

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Multimedia Journalism

Multimedia JournalismStarting September 25, learn how to create interactive packages with photos, audio, and video! Taught by a multiplatform journalist, Darragh Worland will teach you how to come up stories that would be best told in a multimedia format, and create original content for that package using photos, slideshows, and short video and audio pieces. Register now! 
 

Pres. Obama: ‘I Have Decided the U.S. Should Take Military Action,’ But Will Seek Congressional Authorization First

In the Rose Garden this afternoon, President Obama said he has decided the United States “should take military action” against Syria, but he said he will wait for an authorization from the out-of-session Congress first.

The Saturday statement, during the long Labor Day holiday sent the news networks into high gear. Wolf Blitzer anchored coverage on CNN, Bret Baier was in for Fox News, Alex Witt anchored on MSNBC and  Richelle Carey anchored on Al Jazeera America. All had their White House and Pentagon correspondents as well as military analysts dialed in for coverage which began before 1pm. CNBC and FBN also carried the statement. The president’s remarks were supposed to have begun at 1:15. He was delayed about 35 minutes.

On the broadcast networks, George Stephanopoulos anchored on ABC along with Terry Moran and Martha Raddatz. On CBS, Jim Axelrod anchored with Major Garrett at the White House and Elizabeth Palmer in Damascus. She is one of the few Western TV journalists in Syria right now. NBC aired two reports during coverage of the English Premiere League. The first anchored by David Gregory at 1:27 previewed with reports form Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell and Richard Engel. Gregory broke in again when the president spoke, then quickly returned to soccer following the statement.

CNN reports that Syrian State Television also carried the President’s remarks live.

One member of the press shouted a question as the president departed: “Will you forgo a strike if congress disapproves?” There was no answer.

HLN Gets a New Name: Hysterical Ladies Network (and Dr. Drew)

To say it’s been a rough year for the “Today” show, would be an understatement.

The once-dominant morning program is settling in to second place, as new top producers, on-air talent and show segments meld in the hopes of catching on with viewers and regaining the top spot. Meanwhile, star anchor Matt Lauer continues to find himself in the unenviable position of taking the licks — and the responsibility — for the show’s woes.

But last night, Lauer didn’t want to dwell on the downside. Instead it was a night to celebrate with his co-anchor Savannah Guthrie, and hundreds of other media luminaries, at the 18th annual National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association Headlines and Headliners benefit. “Today” national correspondent and news anchor Natlie Morales was the host for the evening which raised more than $75,000 for scholarships and program activities.

Morales delivered a few zingers during her speech, including giving a new name to HLN — “the hysterical ladies network.”

HLN anchor Jane Velez-Mitchell, who hosted this event last year, missed the joke as she was still taping her show. But she took it in stride when we told it to her later. They may be hysterical, but HLN ratings of late, thanks to coverage of the Jodi Arias trial, are nothing to laugh at.

We chatted with ABC’s Amy Robach, whose star has risen at “Good Morning America” since leaving NBC News last year. Robach and husband Andrew Shue are leaving today for a Caribbean vacation. Gayle King represented for “CBS This Morning,” while CNN’s Christine Romans, John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin chatted with guests. We caught up with MSNBC’s Alex Witt, FNC’s Rick Reichmuth and CNBC’s Mandy Drury, who’s heading home to Australia next week to catch up with family. On the local news scene, WABC’s Lori Stokes and WNBC’s Contessa Brewer worked the room. And we couldn’t pass up the chance to talk with The Weather Channel’s Bryan Norcross, the father of the named Winter storms. “Everything needs a hashtag now,” says the longtime meteorologist. “What better way than to name the storms?” Of course, an unending Winter helps. Did you hear Winter Storm Virgil is on the way this weekend?


(l-r) “Today” show publicist Megan Kopf Stackhouse, Andrew Shue, CNN’s Javier Morgado, NBC’s Natalie Morales, ABC’s Amy Robach

More photos after the jump…

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Inauguration 2013: MSNBC Coverage Plans

MSNBC’s coverage of President Obama’s second inauguration kicks off on Sunday with “Up with Chris Hayes” and “Melissa Harris-Perry,” both of which will be live from Washington, DC. Chuck Todd anchors coverage of the private swearing-in ceremony at 11:50amET; Alex Witt will take over at 12:30pmET.

On Monday, “Morning Joe” will broadcast from The Dubliner from 5:30-10amET. Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Lawrence O’Donnell, Ed Schultz and Al Sharpton will anchor from 10am-4pmET. The anchors will host their respective primetime shows from D.C.

More from MSNBC after the jump. Read more

T.J. Holmes Filling in on MSNBC

Former CNN anchor T.J. Holmes, who left the network a year ago to join BET was back on cable news today, on MSNBC.

MSNBC tells us Holmes is doing some holiday fill-in work for them, today sitting in for Alex Witt.

Holmes’ hire by BET earlier this year was seen as a move the network was expanding its news presence. In April, the network announced Holmes would host a daily late-night conversation/comedy/current events program called “Don’t Sleep.” But in October, six weeks after launch, the show was scaled back to one night a week.

On Twitter this afternoon, Holmes thanked viewers for feedback adding, “Wasn’t perfect but hey, I’m rusty!”

April 2012 Ratings: A Mixed Bag For MSNBC

MSNBC was the #2 cable news network for the month of April, delivering a clear win over CNN in both Total Day and Primetime. Compared to April 2011, however, the network is down -5% in Total Viewers and -9% in A25-54 viewers in primetime. In Total Day, MSNBC is flat in Total Viewers and -5% in the demographic.

The ratings for April, 2012:

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 754,000 Total Viewers / 236,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 425,000 Total Viewers / 139,000 A25-54

“Morning Joe” continues to grow in younger viewers, posting a +13% increase in the A25-54 demographic compared to last year.

In primetime, “Hardball with Chris Matthews” is up in Total Viewers compared to last year at both 5 and 7pmET. Al Sharpton‘s “PoliticsNation” is also up +21% in Total Viewers. At 1opmET, “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” is up +7% in Total Viewers and +4% in A25-54 viewers.

MSNBC’s weekend morning programming — anchored by Chris Hayes, Melissa Harris-Perry and Alex Witt — was another bright spot for the network. All three programs are up in Total Viewers compared to the same hours in April 2011 — Hayes’ program is up +14%, Harris-Perry’s program is up +7%, and Witt’s program is up +10%. Year-over-year growth was even stronger on Sundays, when the three programs were up +30%, +23%, and +14%, respectively.

The full release from MSNBC is after the jump.

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March and Rally Lead, in Part, by MSNBC Host

MSNBC host Al Sharpton is among the civil rights activists leading a rally at this hour in Sanford, FL calling for an escalation in peaceful civil disobedience and economic sanctions if George Zimmerman is not arrested in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Sharpton’s role as both cable news host and activist has been debated in media circles for weeks. But Sharpton’s continued call for action now has the local NAACP chapter distancing itself from Sharpton. “We hope that the citizens of Sanford will govern themselves accordingly,” Seminole County chapter president Turner Clayton tells the WKMG-TV. “We are not calling for any sanctions, against any business or anyone else. And, of course, what Rev. Sharpton does, that’s strictly the [National] Action Network,”

While CNN & HLN correspondent George Howell reports from Sanford this morning, and “Fox & Friends” has covered the lead up to the march, MSNBC has not reported on it much, except during Alex Witt‘s news hour at 7amET, with a report from NBC’s TheGrio.com.

On “The O’Reilly Factor” last night, Bill O’Reilly continued to tie Sharpton’s roles as activist and MSNBC host: “I have been doing this 37 years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” said O’Reilly during a discussion with Mike Huckabee. “Sharpton works for NBC, not MSNBC. He works for NBC News. He answers to NBC. To let this guy go crazy and what is going to happen is if it doesn’t come out the way that he wants it to? Sharpton will accuse racism and everything else and some people are going to do damage.”

NBC News Makes Pitch to Advertisers, As ‘Rock Center’ Hits New Viewership Low

Matt Lauer and Steve Capus at the NBC News/MSNBC upfront.

NBC Newsers always like to say they are part of one big family. But in a family that big, with several making millions of dollars a year — even a select few in the double-digit millions — there is bound to be sibling rivalry. And so it was on display Thursday as NBC News held an upfront presentation at the event space 583 Park Avenue. Matt Lauer tweaked Brian Williams for his run-on questions; Williams took a shot at Willie Geist: “I just found out he had a show;” who had fired first: “Brian is the caregiver for our parents and grandparents at 6:30 every night.”

 

Kidding aside, the event was all business: a gathering of sales teams, planners and agencies in an effort to get advertisers excited by what NBC News — the #1 news network — and MSNBC have to offer. At one point, Williams mentioned “the elephant in the room.” While some may have thought he was talking about his primetime newsmagazine’s ratings — “Rock Center” hit a new viewership low drawing just 2.6 million viewers Wednesday — the newsman-comedian was actually taking a jab Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford.

“Hods and Kathie Lee are just baked. Permanently hammered,” said Williams of the fourth hour “Today” team. He referred to Ed Schultz as “a big bowl of humanity. His head alone is bigger than my first apartment in New York.” And after Al Roker revealed he and Williams “spooned” in a tent

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Cable Networks Cover Whitney Houston’s Funeral

Whitney Houston‘s funeral is underway at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, NJ.

CNN’s coverage began at 11amET with Soledad O’Brien, Piers Morgan and Don Lemon anchoring from Newark. Lemon described the scene outside the church, where the streets have been blocked off since last night, as filled with “hordes of media from all over the country, from Germany, from China, everywhere.”

On Fox News, Jon Scott said Houston’s “near-perfect voice brought tears and joy to people around the world.” Scott and Uma Pemmaraju anchored from New York, with Kelly Wright reporting from Newark.

MSNBC’s coverage, anchored by Alex Witt, began at 12pmET following this morning’s debut of “Melissa Harris-Perry.” Craig Melvin, reporting from Newark, did a live interview with Shaun Robinson, the “Access Hollywood” reporter who was the last person to interview Houston.

HLN’s coverage — anchored by Ryan Smith and Susan Hendricks, with Jane Velez-Mitchell and AJ Hammer in Newark — begun at 9amET and has featured a series of retrospectives on Houston’s life.

About 1500 people, including ABC’s Diane Sawyer, are attending the service.

Whitney Houston Funeral Getting Extensive Cable Coverage

The funeral for Whitney Houston will take place on Saturday in Newark, New Jersey, and while it is private, cable news is planning extensive coverage.

The funeral will be streamed online at the AP’s livestream page, so fans can bypass cable news if they so choose. In addition, users can expect to watch the AP stream on many news sites including FoxNews.com and CNN.com (even though CNN does not subscribe to AP content, the AP’s coverage is pool coverage, so CNN can use it). Those that do turn on their TV’s will have a number of options.

CNN seems to have the most comprehensive coverage lined up, with Piers Morgan, Don Lemon and Soledad O’Brien anchoring from 11:30 AM-2 PM. Saturday and Sunday evening Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Randi Kaye will host primetime specials looking at Houston’s life.

Fox News will be covering the funeral live from 11:30 AM-2PM, with Jon Scott and Uma Pemmaraju anchoring in New York. Kelly Wright will report from outside the church in Newark.

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