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Posts Tagged ‘Brian Stelter’

Sharyl Attkisson: ‘Unstoppable’ Forces Halted CBS Reporting; Network Responds

AttkissonStelterIn her most recent TV interview, former CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson claims politics kept her stories from airing.

“The tendency on the part of some of these managers who have key influences has been they never mind the stories that seem to … go against the grain of the Republican Party,” Attkisson told “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter yesterday. “But they do often seem to feel defensive about, almost, personally defensive on stories that could make the government look bad.”

She pointed to now former-”CBS Evening News” EP Pat Shevlin as one of a number of producers who took issue with her stories that were more critical of the Obama administration; she also cited “heavy-handed editing” practices overseen by producers and managers, including Shevlin.

“It’s hard to say it’s all at the guidance of her, but she is executive producer of the show,” Attkisson added.

“CBS News maintains the highest journalistic standards in what it chooses to put on the air,” CBS News spokesperson Sonya McNair tells TVNewser in response to Attkisson’s claims. “Those standards are applied without fear or favor.”

Attkisson’s “Reliable Sources” interview comes a week after she appeared on FNC’s media affairs show “Media Buzz.” Attkisson is writing a book about her CBS News experience, scheduled for release in November.

The Sunday Ticker: Singing, Spying, Winning

  • “CBS Sunday Morning” goes behind-the-scenes with some Billboard chart-topping nuns. The sisters of the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles in Missouri only speak for one hour a day, but they sing for five and have become rock stars in the classical music world.

  • Glenn Greenwald gives his first post-Pulitzer Prize winning interview to CNN’s Brian Stelter on “Reliable Sources” this morning. Stelter also interviews Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia, just days before the streaming TV service goes before the Supreme Court.

  • Friday’s “20/20″ on ABC was the top broadcast program in the A18-49 demo. With 8.1 million viewers, the show had its 2nd-highest ratings of the season. “20/20″ is tracking for its most-watched season in 4 years – since the 2009-10 season.

All the Media News, That’s Fit To Air

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While the three evening newscasts and the network morning shows often look the same — with the same lineup of stories, often airing at the same time — the two media criticism shows, provide two distinct options for news junkies: those who are partial to Fox News and those who tune in to CNN.

Both shows, CNN’s “Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter” and FNC’s “MediaBuzz with Howard Kurtz,” air at the same time, 11amET Sundays. (“MediaBuzz” also gets a re-air at 5pmET)

Yesterday, “Reliable Sources” led with the Stephen Colbert taking over CBS’s “Late Show.” “MediaBuzz” led with how the media covered the departure of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Kurtz got to Colbert :47 minutes into his show. “Reliable Sources” didn’t cover Sebelius at all.

On CNN, Stelter had a 10-minute segment, which included an interview with Sen. Al Franken, on the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger. Kurtz didn’t cover last week’s merger news, but had two segments with former CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson, who was also on Bill O’Reilly‘s show earlier in the week.

Stelter reported last week’s news of a new ABC News president, Kurtz did not. Kurtz discussed the coverage of Jeb Bush last week, Stelter did not. Both shows gladly covered competitor MSNBC, and the reports that host Al Sharpton was once an FBI informant.

While no one will ever confuse CNN and Fox News, the two programs that cover the media are leading the way in differentiation.

Amy Robach Inspires at NLGJA Gala, Plus a TV News Selfie

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ABC’s Amy Robach lit up the room last night as host NLGJA’s Healdines & Headliners event. Robach, who has three more chemotherapy treatments in her fight against breast cancer told the crowd that we all have battles to face, but it’s how you fight that will determine the win.

“Until it hits you here,” she said to the crowd, pointing to her heart, “you don’t really know what it’s like to be in battle. And once you get in there and get your hands a little bloodied and you see your comrades next to you, you become so powerful.” Robach told us the support she’s gotten since her diagnosis in November has been nothing short of overwhelming.

Robach, accompanied by her husband Andrew Shue, was among 300 attendees, including dozens of TV news anchors, reporters and producers who turned out for at the annual event. “They gave me the night off,” said CNN’s Richard Quest who has been front and center for the network’s Malaysia Airlines coverage.

MeredithVieiraAmyRobachWe chatted with Shepard Smith who was trading Miami stories with his former local news colleague, now Weather Channel meteorologist Bryan Norcross. And there was a cross-network, lead-in pairing as CNN’s Noon anchor Ashleigh Banfield was accompanied by MSNBC’s 1pm anchor Ronan Farrow. Farrow told us he’s getting more comfortable each day hosting his “Ronan Farrow Daily.” The cable news newbie says he’s getting good advice from TV veterans.

Tamron Hall told us she’s still adjusting to her new schedule. The new 9am “Today” show co-host is now doing double morning duty with her MSNBC show at 11am, giving her about 45 minutes to prepare for the second show. “I have very good producers who make sure it comes together,” Hall said.

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Fox News Discusses CNN’s ‘Constant Coverage’ of Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight

Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 12.42.43 PMThis morning, both the media criticism shows, FNC’s “Media Buzz” and CNN’s “Reliable Sources” covered the coverage of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Fox News contributor Lauren Ashburn, was critical of CNN’s saturation coverage, but admitted to watching the network when news breaks. “CNN is taking it to the next level and it is becoming dominant,” said Ashburn, adding, “We’re missing all other stories like the CIA spying scandal, Ukraine has been knocked off the front page. But if I do want to know about news I turn to CNN because it is 24/7.”

Host Howard Kurtz added, “CNN’s ratings [are] up nearly 67% in prime time, at least in the first few days” of the coverage.

Meanwhile, over on CNN, instead of beginning at 11amET as usual, “Reliable Sources” was pushed back a few minutes (at 11:30 as well), for the latest on the search for the flight, and other news, including the vote in Crimea. Among his segments, host Brian Stelter talked with psychologist Dr. Gail Saltz about why TV viewers are tuning in: “They want someone to hold accountable and right now we can’t figure out who’s to blame,” said Saltz. “This nebulousness keeps us riveted until we have someone to old accountable.”

Sally Kohn, Ben Ferguson Share Their Fox News-MSNBC Experiences

RSOn Sunday morning’s “Reliable Sources,” former Fox News contributor Sally Kohn and radio host Ben Ferguson talked to host Brian Stelter about appearing on networks that carry far different ideological viewpoint than theirs following a Columbia Journalism Review piece that suggested Fox News is more welcoming to opposing views.

Both pointed out the deck being stacked against them: “Wasn’t worth it…it was usually three-on-one,” Ferguson said about MSNBC, adding it wasn’t worth putting makeup on to be used as a punching bag.

“It was often three on one…my favorite was fifteen-on-one,” Kohn said of her time at Fox News, highlighting a Hannity panel where she was the only liberal in a sea of conservatives. Outnumbered or not, Kohn saw a benefit to appearing on Fox.

“In a show like Hannity…from my perspective, as a liberal, as a progressive, I don’t want that to go unquestioned, unchallenged,” Kohn continued about wanting to offer Fox viewers a liberal counterpoint to its conservative hosts.

This morning, Howard Kurtz has a piece on Foxnews.com on the Columbia Journalism piece, answering why liberals come on Fox—and why Fox spends good money on acquiring them as contributors.

“Well, it’s good television, and more interesting for viewers when everyone doesn’t agree. I used to argue with Keith Olbermann when he had an MSNBC show that it would be less predictable if he would sometimes debate people on the right. He said he didn’t like such fake debates — but the result was, in those years, endless Bush-bashing.”

And Fox News might have some new competition ahead from the right: Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy talked to Stelter about plans to launch Newsmax TV in June, suggesting his company is already bigger than Fox News.

Both segments after the jump. Read more

Brian Stelter’s ‘Reliable Sources’ Gets First Demo Win

brian stelterFor the first time since Brian Stelter took over as the anchor of “Reliable Sources,” the CNN program has topped Fox News’ “MediaBuzz” in the A25-54 demographic.

“Reliable” averaged 193,000 A25-54 viewers at 11amET Sunday, topping Howard Kurtz‘s “MediaBuzz” by +21,000 viewers. In total viewers, “MediaBuzz” remains far out front, averaging 881,000 to “Reliable”‘s 384,000. Kurtz’s program has won every week in total viewers since its debut.

Although Stelter’s numbers were likely helped by the extensive coverage of Ukraine on CNN this weekend, “Reliable” did not cover the conflict at all. The program improved +15% on its lead-in audience in the A25-54 demo for the third week straight — “Reliable” grew +30% from its lead-in on February 23 and +11% on February 16.

The Sunday Ticker: Cantore, Stelter, CNN/CBS

  • The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore was named the 2014 Weatherperson of the Year by the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes. Cantore was honored Thursday at a dinner in Orlando.

  • A military judge has ordered CNN and CBS to turn over unaired footage from interviews with a woman at the center of a 2012 sexual assault case involving three U.S. Naval Academy students. The judge said  the footage includes ”specific, material information and a level of detail not present” in the woman’s other statements.

‘Reliable Sources’ Draws Second Lowest Demo Number in Nearly Four Years

Brian Stelter Reliable Sources debut_304x200“Reliable Sources” drew its second lowest A25-54 demo number in close to four years on Sunday, as host Brian Stelter interviewed “The Loudest Voice in the Room” author Gabriel Sherman for the show’s first 25 minutes.

341,000 total viewers and 61,000 demo viewers tuned in at 11am, those numbers dropping 20,000 total viewers and 31,000 demo viewers from lead-in “Fareed Zakaria GPS.”

The opposite trend occurred on Fox’s media-counterpart “MediaBuzz” with Howard Kurtz: the show, which didn’t cover Sherman’s book on CEO Roger Ailes, was up 5,000 total viewers and 37,000 demo viewers from lead-in “Americas News Headquarters.”

The performance for “Reliable Sources” was down compared to Stelter’s debut over a month ago: down -15% in total viewers and -48% in demo viewers.

Gabe Sherman on Roger Ailes: ‘He is the Quintessential Man Behind the Curtain’

RSAilesShermanMore details from Gabriel Sherman this morning about his forthcoming unauthorized biography of Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. Sherman was a guest for the first 25 minutes of CNN’s “Reliable Sources.” In summary, Sherman told Brian Stelter, “What I learned is that Roger Ailes has created a political organization, that employs journalists.”

Stelter asked Sherman what he thought about CNN president Jeff Zucker‘s comments about Ailes Friday: “I think Zucker would kill for Ailes’ ratings, every executive in TV would.” Sherman then discussed a few of his other revelations, which some may not find very revealing at all:

Another thing he does which was fascinating to me, is he has a secret e-mail address that he e-mails Fox talent and producers when he wants to push his right-wing messages. He wants plausible deniability so when he wants to push something on to the channel he sends it from a fake e-mail address, it’s the name of his maternal grandfather so if it leaks he can say ‘that’s not me.’

I was fascinated to learn this: one of the most powerful people inside Fox News is his executive assistant, a woman named Judy Laterza. She attends every major meeting and sits there taking notes. When Roger Ailes says something explosive, what one executive said to me — what one producer said — was that Judy will roll her eyes — dismiss it as a joke. Second thing: she’s going write down what Roger said and then the third thing she’s going to do is take notes of every person who is in that room… If it leaks, he has a record of everyone who was in that room.

A Fox News spokesperson responds: “This latest effort appears to be another example of the agenda-driven cottage industry built on attacking Fox News. The author’s failure to secure an interview with the principal subject does not absolve his fact-checking obligations with the network.”

In wrapping up his interview, Stelter asked Sherman, “It does sound like you’re describing a villain. Do you worry about sounding unfair to this man who has built this incredibly valuable enterprise?”

“No. Brian, I’m a reporter. I’m describing a character, a subject that I have intensely reported on for three years. Roger Ailes’ story is an amazing American story of power. Whether people think he’s a hero or villain, I want them to read the book and come to that conclusion. What I think he is is a fascinating and powerful subject. He’s an American original.”

“The Loudest Voice in the Room,” which comes out Tuesday, was not discussed on FNC’s media criticism show, “Media Buzz.”

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