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Posts Tagged ‘Bill Schneider’

CNN Political Analyst Named to ‘Moderate’ Think Tank

Schneider_8.5.jpgLongtime CNN political analyst Bill Schneider has joined, Third Way, a think tank that bills itself as advancing “the next generation of moderate policy ideas.” Schneider, who will continue his on-air political analysis at CNN, will be the organization’s first Distinguished Senior Fellow & Resident Scholar.

TVNewser asked CNN if this is in keeping with their standards. An insider tells us that because Schneider is a contributor, and not an employee, outside political affiliations are acceptable.

The press release from Third Way is after the jump…

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From “Best Political Team” To a “King of Comedy”

hughley_11-10.jpgThree days after TVNewser was in the CNN Election Center studio on Election Night, we were back in a drastically changed environment. Gone were the BPTOT, in was a studio audience. Temporary walls blocked off the studio from the rest of the newsroom. And the man at the helm was not anchor Wolf Blitzer but an Original King of Comedy.

D.L. Hughley Breaks the News is CNN’s newest, and most unique, programming. The 10pmET show airs Saturday and Sunday, and moves between serious interviews and lighter ones, comedy sketches and more serious monologues by Hughley.

During Friday’s taping, the usual exit poll location for Soledad O’Brien and Bill Schneider was replaced with a green screen and an actor dressed as George Washington for a fake hologram segment. Interviews ranged from a group of Kenyan comedians, to actor/comedian Tim Reid to Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. Within the interviews there were serious and comedy elements — amid Jackson, Jr.’s answer about how he’d be “honored” to named Pres.-Elect Barack Obama‘s replacement for U.S. Senate, he joked, “I’m willing to bet I’m one of the few United States Senators, if appointed, to ever be willing to even do your show!”

hughleyshow_11-10.BMPThe show is taped in segments, which leads to a portion of downtime. Comedian Corwin Moore warms up the crowd between blocks. “It’s bizarre, but its fun and exciting,” he says of working on the CNN show. “It’s not one thing for me. I’m just amazed to see his face on the monitor.”

Hughley, who called Tuesday’s election “the most emotional thing I’ve ever been a part of,” is relishing the opportunity. “I enjoy it a lot. As long as people are watching we’re going to keep doing it,” he said.

And people are. The show regularly gets more than 600,000 viewers in the A25-54 demo and 1.4 million Total Viewers, putting it in competition on a nightly basis as the top prime time weekend program.

“For an organization not build to do a comedy show, CNN has been fantastic,” says the show’s EP, Mitch Semel.

It does have its critics as well, with some saying it “reinforces black stereotypes.” Semel says it’s not for everyone. “Good comedy doesn’t do that,” he said. “It’s very much like him doing his act on stage. Just remember, it’s a comedy show.”

(pictured top right: comedian/actor Donnell Rawlings (who appears on the show), Hughley and stage manager Bruce)

Click continued to see the interview with Jackson, Jr. from last weekend’s show…

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“Cool” Technology and the “Calm Before the Storm”

blitzer_11-4.BMPMultiple people throughout the CNN newsroom were using the phrase “calm before the storm,” at 5:30pmET last night.

The BPTOT was gathering on the edge of the newsroom as anchor Wolf Blitzer interviewed former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani. Conservative commentator Alex Castellanos and Democratic commentator Paul Begala compared ties (they wore opposite colors). “It’s kind of a George W. Bush tie,” teased Castellanos of Begala’s blue tie.

A few dozen feet away, Soledad O’Brien and Bill Schneider are being given some final training on the huge Voter Analysis screen. The screen breaks down exit polls in what seems to be an unlimited number of combinations. CNN’s political director Sam Feist stops by to watch the preparations. “Isn’t that cool?” he says. “It’s what we’ve always wanted.”

For Castellanos, this was his first election night on the media side of the equation. There’s good chemistry here,” he says. “I didn’t think I’d find a better place to watch the election.”

Overall, he wasn’t confident about the night. You may find me at the bar at Midnight,” he said. Then he was reminded he would have to be on the air at Midnight. “This is the only bar I’ve ever been at where you sit for seven hours with no booze,” he joked.

We also asked both Castellanos and James Carville about their bet regarding the Louisiana Senate race. Both seemed confident in their candidates before the results. In the end, Castellanos owes Carville some dinner. “I hope Democrats don’t eat much,” he said last night.

Related: The New York Times’ Brian Stelter gives the late-night behind-the-scenes at CNN…

Below, a look at the CNN Grill on the 10th floor of the Time Warner center (before it became packed), and after the jump, more pictures from CNN’s newsroom:

Click continued to see more pictures of the night…

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CNN’s Election Night Plans

cnnlogo_10-30.jpgCNN’s Election Night in America coverage kicks off at 6pmET on Tuesday, with Wolf Blitzer leading the BPTOT and Campbell Brown and Anderson Cooper anchoring as well.

John King will work the “Magic Wall,” throughout the night, while Soledad O’Brien and Bill Schneider handle exit-polling data (on “two 103-inch interactive plasma screens”).

Lou Dobbs contributes throughout the night, as well as hosting a live Lou Dobbs Tonight at 9pmET on Headline News. American Morning starts at 3amET on Wednesday morning.

Also back — the CNN Grill, which was a popular spot for bloggers at the conventions.

Click continued to see all of CNN’s Election Night plans…

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Presidential Debate Round #2

Here are some of the coverage plans for tonight’s town hall style debate at Belmont University in Nashville moderated by NBC’s Tom Brokaw. All the following networks will carry the debate.

ABC: The team of Gibson, Sawyer and Stephanopolous will anchor again, this time from three different cities. Charlie Gibson will be at Bowling Green (Ohio) State University with a group of students; Diane Sawyer will be at ABC News headquarters in New York and George Stephanopoulos will be at the debate. Ron Claiborne and Jake Tapper will report during ABC’s coverage from 9-11pmET.

NBC: Brian Williams anchors from New York. Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell, Kelly O’Donnell and Lee Cowan will report from Nashville. Debate moderator Tom Brokaw will not be doing interviews after the debate, but he’ll appear on the Today show tomorrow.

CBS: Katie Couric leads coverage from 9-11pmET, with the live Webcast following on and [It was announced today that Intel Corp. has the exclusive advertising rights for the debate Webcasts.] Bob Schieffer will join from Nashville and Jeff Greenfield will be in New York. Correspondents Chip Reid and Dean Reynolds will report from the debate site. Harry Smith anchored The Early show from Nashville along with correspondent Jeff Glor.

FOX: Shepard Smith will anchor FOX Broadcasting’s debate coverage from 9:00-10:30pmET.

Fox News: Coverage begins at 8:50pmET (after a shortened O’Reilly Factor) and will be anchored by Brit Hume from Washington. Chris Wallace will be on the debate floor. Shepard Smith (at 7pmET), Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes (at 11:15pmET) and Greta Van Susteren (at MidnightET) will anchor their programs from Nashville.

CNN: Anchors Wolf Blitzer, Campbell Brown, Anderson Cooper and Lou Dobbs lead coverage from the CNN Election Center in New York. A special edition of AC360 will air as post-debate coverage until MidnightET. John King will be at the Magic Wall, while correspondents Jessica Yellin, Candy Crowley, Ed Henry and senior political analyst Bill Schneider will be on location in Nashville. [An earlier version of this story reported Suzanne Malveaux and Dana Bash would be in Nashville. They are not]

MSNBC: David Gregory anchors debate coverage beginning at 9pmET and post-debate coverage at 10:30pmET. Countdown with Keith Olbermann airs at 11pmET, with a live Hardball with Chris Matthews at MidnightET.

C-SPAN: Presidential debate preview, anchored by Susan Swain, begins at 7:30pmET.

CNBC: Melissa Francis, Larry Kudlow and John Harwood anchor coverage before and after the debate.

FBN: Neil Cavuto anchors pre- and post-debate coverage.

Covering the Veeps

The cablers have been employing countdown clocks more than eight hours before the debate tonight, and all networks are gearing up for coverage:

• ABC — Charlie Gibson, Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos anchor from New York. Kate Snow reports from the debate.

• CBS — Katie Couric anchors from St. Louis (Maggie Rodriguez does today and tomorrow as well for The Early Show). Couric is joined by Bob Schieffer at the debate and Jeff Greenfield in New York, among others. Her webcast tonight lasts for approximately 30 minutes after the debate.

• CNN — Wolf Blitzer, Campbell Brown, Anderson Cooper and Lou Dobbs anchor from New York. AC 360 begins airs from 10:30pmET-MidnightET. John King will be at the “Magic Wall.” Soledad O’Brien will again be with voters for live reaction. CNN’s Dana Bash, Candy Crowley, Suzanne Malveaux and Bill Schneider are reporting live from the debate site.

• FNC — FNC begins special coverage at 8:50pmET, following a live O’Reilly Factor. Brit Hume anchors until 11:15pmET, followed by Hannity & Colmes until MidnightET from the debate Spin Room. Greta Van Susteren anchors the following hour. Shepard Smith anchors FOX network’s coverage. Bret Baier anchors The Strategy Room on during the debate. FBN will cover the debate, anchored by Neil Cavuto.

• MSNBC — David Gregory anchors debate coverage beginning at 9pmET, and again after at 10:30pmET. A special live Countdown with Keith Olbermann airs at 11pmET, with a live Hardball with Chris Matthews at MidnightET. CNBC airs the debate and analysis from 9-11pmET.

• NBC — Brian Williams anchors from New York. Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell, Ron Allen and Savannah Guthrie will report from St. Louis. Tom Brokaw joins Williams in New York.

• C-SPAN — A preview begins at 7:30pmET, and the debate airs live. It also can be seen on the Debate Hub web site.

“Wherever Wolf is, That’s Where The Situation Room Is”

dnc_8-24.gifOr so says Wolf Blitzer. And this morning, The Situation Room was at the CNN Grill. TVNewser checked out the scene, which included many CNN anchors chowing down on scrambled eggs and French toast.

Besides Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, John King, Bill Schneider and many others were at the Grill. So was TVNewser contributor Alissa Krinsky.

Also in attendance — James Carville wearing a T-shirt.

(pictured: CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein and CNN contributor Leslie Sanchez)


Coming later: TVNewser’s video interview with Klein.

CNN Fires Up Grills

brooklyns_8-18.JPGIn the spirit of the “immensely successful” (according to the press release) ‘CNN Diner’ at the 2004 Republican Convention in New York City, a ‘CNN Grill’ will be opening at each convention site this year.

In Denver, the Grill will be at Brooklyn’s next to the Pepsi Center (pictured), and in St. Paul, at the Eagle Street Grille next to the Xcel Energy Center.

The Grills will be locations for live broadcasts and guest hits on-air and online. But they’ll also be actual Grills — Danny Meyer and the Union Square Hospitality Group developed the menu, and a special CNN brew was created by the Breckenridge Brewery.

We’ll be heading to the CNN Grill on Tuesday morning next week for a CNN breakfast (what do they serve for breakfast at a Grill?).

Related: The CNN Election Express arrived in Denver yesterday, and Bill Schneider appears to already have his convention hat on. Click continued to check it out…

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