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Posts Tagged ‘Brian Lamb’

Antonin Scalia Talks Piers Morgan Interview, Dealing With The Media

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has been making the media rounds to promote his new book, and one of the stops was C-SPAN.

C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb asked Scalia about his recent interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, and why Justices are usually so reluctant to do public appearances.

“I am sensitive about it because judges ought to express their views on the law in their opinions,” Scalia said. “Everything I had to say about the real legal issues in Bush vs. Gore was set forth in the opinion that I joined. Beyond that, I am just either repeating myself or adding things that re really not the basis for my decision. I also dont like drawing the courts into the political maelstrom, by having their opinions repeatedly pawed over, especially the controversial ones.”

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Invaluable Resource, Sleep Aid. How C-SPAN Stands the Test of Time

If founder Brian Lamb had to do it over again, C-SPAN wouldn’t be called C-SPAN.

“It’s not the greatest name around,” says Lamb, 70, who steps down Sunday as CEO. “Three people know what it stands for. I don’t even know what it stands for. One of our board members asked me. We rarely ever spell it out.”

Drum roll, please.

Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network launched on March 19, 1979, with four employees (including Lamb) and a reach of 3.5 million homes. It now includes three networks, a staff of 280 and a universe of 100 million homes.

Most Americans assume the ‘C’ in C-SPAN stands for Congress, since covering Congress’ proceedings – live, unfiltered, gavel-to-gavel – is its raison d’etre. But in 1979, with cable in its infancy, Lamb felt it more important to brand C-SPAN as a non-broadcast enterprise.

“Otherwise, people wouldn’t have known what it was,” says Lamb, newly-named executive chairman. “At that point, we were only the sixth cable network.”

These days, C-SPAN suffers no such identity crisis, though Lamb does, often being mistaken for Sen. John McCain, Ed Harris or John Glenn. According to C-SPAN’s most recent survey, 75 percent of respondents recognize the non-profit network’s name, Lamb says. Since C-SPAN does not have ratings, however, he has no hard numbers on viewership.

ABC’s Cokie Roberts, who was, in her own words, “very involved in the birth” of C-SPAN, sees the network’s identity issue differently.

“I don’t think people are aware of the brand, but they’re very aware of the product,” Roberts, 68, says. As an NPR reporter in the late ‘70s, she and her colleagues in Congress’ Radio-TV gallery joined Lamb in lobbying the House of Representatives to allow TV cameras on the floor.

Despite C-SPAN’s noble mission, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and ‘Saturday Night Live,’ among others, parody the network’s frequently-static content as a perfect sleep aid.

In real life, C-SPAN fan Ed Rendell, former Democratic National Committee Chairman, swears by the network for his nightly zzzz’s.

“I have a hyperactive mind, so I watch TV in my living room and fall asleep for about 90

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Brian Lamb to Step Down as C-SPAN CEO

It is the end of an era for the C-SPAN suite of public affairs cable networks. Brian Lamb, who founded C-SPAN in 1978 and has served as its CEO (and as a program host) ever since, is transitioning to a new role as executive chairman of the board.

In his place, Rob Kennedy and Susan Swain will become co-CEOs of the channel beginning April 1. The pair had been co-presidents of the channels since 2006, and both had been with the company since the 1980′s.

“Susan Swain, Rob Kennedy, and I have been preparing the company for this transition for several years,” said Lamb in a statement. “While each has their areas of expertise, Rob and Susan complement each other professionally.  I’m pleased that our Board has given their partnership its unanimous endorsement.    They also have a great senior management team with the right skill sets to lead C-SPAN forward.”

More information, after the jump.

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Speaker Boehner Rejects C-SPAN Request To Have Their Own Cameras in House Chamber

Last November, C-SPAN asked incoming House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to allow them to install their own cameras in the House chamber. Currently, all cameras in the chamber are operated by the government and controlled by the Speaker.

Today, C-SPAN heard back from Speaker Boehner’s office, and it looks like the status quo will remain as such.

“Consistent with the precedent set by former Speakers, I believe the American people–and the dignity and decorum of the United Stated House of Representatives–are best served by the current system of televised proceedings provided by the House Recording Studio,” said Boehner in a letter to C-SPAN CEO Brian Lamb (read the full letter after the jump).

C-SPAN responded with a statement expressing disappointment in the decision:

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Larry King Reflects on His Broadcasting Career in 1982: ‘To Be Doing It For 25 Years… It Is Still a Kick’

The good folks at C-SPAN reached deep into their archives to pull this classic interview C-SPAN founder and CEO Brian Lamb conducted with the then-radio superstar Larry King. In the interview, King reflects on his 25 years in the broadcasting business:

“All I ever wanted to do was broadcast. I have no other memory of any other wish. I never said I wanted to be a fireman or policeman, my mother would tell me that when I was five or six years old I would listen to the radio, be hypnotized by it, I wanted to be on the radio. And to have that come to you, and to be doing it for 25 years, and television and the like, it is still a kick.”

After the jump, a C-SPAN telecast of King’s radio program from 1982, featuring the late White House reporter Sarah McClendon.
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Craig Crawford On Life After MSNBC

Crawford Sanchez.jpgAlmost two months after announcing his departure as an MSNBC political analyst, CQPolitics.com Trail Mix blogger Craig Crawford talks with WebNewser about the power of online video content.

“Punditry for pay on cable is a declining market,” Crawford says. “There’s not that much money in it to be exclusive to any one channel. [Cable news] budgets are tight, and there are so many people who’ll do it for free.”

More on WebNewser: Craig Crawford: ‘Convinced’ Web Video Content is ‘the Future’

C-SPAN Chief Asks for Open Health Care Negotiations

cspanhealth_1-5.jpgIn a letter dated December 30th and addressed to Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Harry Reid, Rep. John Boehner, and Sen. Mitch McConnell, C-SPAN CEO Brian Lamb has asked congress to open negotiations of the health care legislation to his networks’ cameras:

Now that the process moves to the critical stage of reconciliation between the Chambers, we respectfully request that you allow the public full access, through television, to legislation that will affect the lives of every single American.

Full letter available here and after the jump.

Update: WH Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked about the letter at today’s briefing and said he hadn’t seen it. Boehner has backed the request. FishbowlDC has more.

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Poetry Jam / Poetry Slam. There is a Difference.

MSNBC’s Norah O’Donnell and C-Span’s Brian Lamb get a shout-out in last night’s “Old Man Stewart Shakes His Fist At…”

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How About A 5 a.m. Newscast?

Jon Friedman profiles C-SPAN host Brian Lamb and depicts his “scary level of news consumption:”

“I found it amusing when Lamb griped that he couldn’t find a decent TV-news or talk show on the air at five in the morning (I mean, network executives have a tough enough time programming primetime.) But he is satisfied when he can catch Anderson Cooper, Charlie Rose, Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Tucker Carlson, Bill O’Reilly and Neil Cavuto. Brit Hume and Tim Russert remain two of his favorites…”