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Posts Tagged ‘Brian Lowry’

CNN’s Jon Klein Plays Defense at TCA

This week at the Television Critics Association press tour, CNN President Jon Klein had to defend his network after two weeks in the public eye following Lou Dobbs‘ coverage of the “birthers” movement.

During a three-hour panel Klein continued touting CNN’s claim to the biggest “reach” of any network, thanks to its strong web presence. While in traditional television viewer metrics the network has continued to trail behind Fox News, Klein seems unconcerned:

“You’ve got one network on the right and one on the left, and we’re the only one that is based on reporting news,” Klein said. “That’s really working for us. Our journalistic quality is higher than it’s ever been.”

After the panel, Klein engaged in a short Q&A with Variety TV critic Brian Lowry. Lowry pressed Klein on the statements Dobbs has made on his radio show regarding President Barack Obama’s birth certificate that seem to contradict the position he’s taken on his CNN program:

We have no control over what he says on his radio show. It’s not a CNN radio program so he does what he does on the radio separate from what he does on our air. So we ask you and anyone writing about this, to look at what he says on CNN. It’s the only thing we control.

I would rather all of our leading journalists rely on their best judgments and instincts and our guidance about them. We believe in the editorial compass of all of our people. It’s going to be different according to the individual. But that just makes us a more interesting and vibrant place. Lou is listening to a certain segment of the population all day long on his radio show so naturally that’s going to inform some of the decisions that he makes. But, again, to be clear: He is not exploring the question of whether Barack Obama is an American citizen. That is settled. It is a dead issue as far as CNN is concerned.

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“The Ed Show” Premiere: Post-Mortem

schultz_4-7.bmpEd Schultz‘ new 6pmET MSNBC show premiered last night, and so far the reaction to “The Ed Show” on the Web has been mixed. We’ll have ratings soon, but first, here’s a look at some first-night thoughts:

• Variety’s Brian Lowry thought MSNBC wants Schultz “to be its Glenn Beck.” Although he thought the show might “gradually right itself,” Lowry writes the first night consisted of “talking to people coached to speak with the kind of speed and urgency normally reserved for the gameshow ‘$100,000 Pyramid.’”

• goes in depth about the “look” of the show. “Producers are making liberal use of fancy camera moves similar to those seen on ‘The Rachel Maddow’ show, often incorporating the studio’s mobile plasma cars into sweeping shots,” writes Michael P. Hill. And how about this detail: “The tall LCD array that is often used to create the illusion of a window looking over Rockefeller Plaza was creatively used to display moving colored bars mimicking the spikes seen on an audio board, a subtle nod to Schultz’s radio roots.”

Jerry Remmers, columnist at The Moderate Voice, thought Schultz was “a decent addition” to MSNBC. “I like the format and theme of ‘The Ed Show.’ Schultz has a long way to go to finesse and fine tune it,” he writes. “The opening editorial or commentary segment is entertaining with room to grow on substantive issues. But, he cannot be Mr. Nice Guy and allow guest answers to circumvent his questions.”

> Update: The premiere delivered 247,000 viewers in the A25-54 demo and 725,000 Total Viewers. It was 3rd in the time slot in both categories. In the demo, the program was up 86% from March 2009 and up 96% from April 2008.

Click continued to see the first segment of “The Ed Show,” the “Op-Ed,” and leave your thoughts in the comments…

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Cramer vs. Stewart: The Day After

dailyshow_3-13.bmpSo the much-hyped showdown between Jim Cramer and Jon Stewart took place last night on The Daily Show (unedited video after the jump). How did it go?:

• The New York Times’ Alessandra Stanley thought it didn’t feel like a news or entertainment interview. “Mr. Stewart treated his guest like a C.E.O. subpoenaed to testify before Congress — his point was not to hear Mr. Cramer out, but to act out a cathartic ritual of indignation and castigation,” she writes of the “Democratic Senator from Comedy Central.”

• Variety’s Brian Lowry called it a “foolish appearance” by Cramer. “How this will play out is yet to be determined, but my gut says the whole ‘feud’ will likely fade away fairly soon,” he writes. “Nevertheless, given the pain the economy continues to inflict on the public, ‘The Daily Show’ has delivered a reminder of the need for independent-minded journalism.”

• For more on the interview, check out the 1,000+ stories.

And Joe Scarborough tweeted last night that Cramer would appear exclusively on Morning Joe today to talk about the interview. But this morning he wrote: “No Cramer. Perhaps another example of oversleeping. Guess he had a late night. That is too bad. Producers told he was only talking to us.”

Despite what Erin Burnett had said the day before, Cramer wasn’t mentioned on NBC’s Today show either.

Click continued to see the unedited, uncensored (so, potentially NSFW) interview last night…

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Griffin: “We’re Less About Ideology Than Fox”

maddow_1-16.jpgMSNBC held their Television Critics Association panel yesterday in Los Angeles, and the questions ranged from comparisons of MSNBC and FNC to comparisons of Obama and Bush.

Variety’s Brian Lowry writes that MSNBC president Phil Griffin fielded questions about the network’s “windshield-wiper act” of having Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews again anchoring political coverage, Tuesday at the Inauguration, as well as whether MSNBC was the “left-leaning counterweight” to Fox News. “We’re less about ideology than Fox is,” said Griffin.

The Hollywood Reporter’s James Hibberd expands on the topic. Rachel Maddow also made the trip to L.A., and although she said she’s “never seen a show on Fox at any time ever,” she had some opinions about the network. “The idea that there’s any equivalency between us and Fox News…” she said. “Fox is a political experiment. Imagine them having somebody as liberal as Joe Scarborough is conservative doing their whole morning? It doesn’t make sense.”

She also was confident there would be just as much to talk about with Barack Obama in the White House. “I don’t think we’re at risk of idiocy going out of fashion in Washington,” she said.

The “Gut” Feeling About Cable News

Variety columnist Brian Lowry writes about the cable news coverage of DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff‘s “gut feeling.”

“The news channels unwittingly reward nebulous plots with the sort of overwhelming response normally reserved for Paris Hilton.” Lowry writes. “More troubling, however, isn’t so much the news media’s tendency toward groupthink as nonthink — or ‘Televise now, think later…’”