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Posts Tagged ‘Casey Anthony’

As Time Warner Ends Vice Talks, A&E Plans $250M Stake in Media Company

viceThe New York TimesJonathan Mahler scoops that Time Warner has ended negotiations with Vice Media. The talks, which have been going on for months, included a plan to spin off Time Warner’s HLN network, and refashion it into a Vice channel. The Brooklyn-based media company includes a magazine, book publishing, a massive online presence, and gritty, global documentaries which are carried on Time Warner’s HBO.

The conversations collapsed after the two companies were unable to agree on a valuation of Vice. Last year, 21st Century Fox paid $70 million for a 5 percent stake in the company, valuing the company at more than $1 billion.

In June, Vice co-founder and CEO Shane Smith told the New York Times having a TV network was “the next step in our evolution. Our mobile and online stuff is going to grow exponentially, but we want a three-legged stool, and the third leg is TV.”

A week ago, the Wall Street Journal reported Time Warner had also been in talks with Glenn Beck‘s company about re-branding HLN into TheBlaze TV. But those talks also came to nothing. Earlier this year, under the new leadership of Albie Hecht, HLN intended to become “the home for the social media generation.” Primetime programs include those hosted by Nancy GraceJane Velez-Mitchell, and Dr. Drew Pinsky. Late nights and weekends are made up of true crime stories.

> More: The Financial Times reports Vice is finalizing a deal to sell a 10% stake to A&E Networks for $250 million. A&E is jointly owned by Walt Disney and Hearst. The sale could be announced as early as next week, FT reports.

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Verdict Reached In Jodi Arias Trial

The jury has reached a verdict in the trial of Jodi Arias, and it will be read at 4:30pmET  today.

For HLN, it will be the biggest story since the verdict in the Casey Anthony trial in July 2011. That day delivered the highest ratings in HLN’s history.

Arias has already propelled HLN to strong ratings over the last few months, often topping both sister network CNN and MSNBC, and even occasionally Fox News in some hours. HLN also became a part of the trial, with correspondent Jean Casarez taking the stand to be quizzed about a scene she saw outside the courthouse. Then there is the Twitter account in Jodi Arias’ name, managed by her friend. The account criticized HLN and Nancy Grace for its coverage.

Expect live coverage on the cable news channels, particularly HLN (control room shot from just before the verdict, below) and CNN, which have covered the trial extensively in primetime on both channels. Fox News and MSNBC will also cover the verdict live.

Update: At 4:32, Nancy Grace says that there is “a fly in the ointment,” as things are running two minutes late.

“Justice is a couple of minutes late, six minutes to be exact”– Grace at 4:36.

THE VERDICT: At 4:49pmET, Arias is found guilty of first degree murder.

“There is a verdict, guilty on murder one,” Grace says, tearing up on camera. “What a dichotomy, I can hear in my ear the quietness in the courtroom as the verdict is read and I can hear the cheers of the crowd behind me as the verdict is read.”

Q1 2013 Ratings: Jodi Arias Trial Propels HLN

The Jodi Arias trial propelled HLN to some huge growth in Q1 2013 and March. How many viewers stick around once it ends remains to be seen, but for now, the network is seeing triple-digit growth.

The ratings for Q1, 2013 (Nielsen Live + Same Day data):

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 435,000 Total Viewers / 155,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 308,000 Total Viewers / 118,000 A25-54

Compared to Q1 2012, HLN is up +17% in Total Day and +12% in primetime in total viewers. The network is up +23% and +32% in the A25-54 demo in total day and prime, respectively (Note: percentages are based on a blend of Nielsen Live + 7 and Live + 3 data).

The biggest gains are in the afternoon hours, where HLN is up over +100% in total and demo viewers from 3-6PM ET. 4PM’s “Making It In America,” for example, is up +136% in total viewers and +128% in the demo compared to Q1 2012.

While 8PM’s “Nancy Grace” is still the channel’s most popular show, she actually saw less growth than the other primetime hours, up +5% in total viewers and up +18% in the demo. At 7 PM Jane Velez-Mitchell was up +39% in total viewers and +50% in the demo, while at 9 PM “Dr Drew,” “What Would You Do?” and “Mysteries” combined to be up +33% and +61% in total day and prime respectively. At 10 PM “Nancy Grace, ” “What Would You Do,” “Mysteries” and “HLN After Dark” combined to be up +33% and +49% in total day and prime.

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July 2012 Ratings: HLN Down Across the Board

Cable news networks were mostly down in July, and HLN was no exception. The network was down across the board compared to July 2011, which saw heavy coverage of the Casey Anthony trial.

The ratings for July 2012:

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 318,000 Total Viewers / 115,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 245,000 Total Viewers / 101,000 A25-54

Last year, coverage of the Anthony trial led HLN to its best-rated month ever, which explains the severe year-over-year losses for July 2012: the network is down -65% and -56% in A25-54 viewers in Total Day. In primetime, losses are even worse: -68% in Total Viewers and -61% in the demographic.

 

Jose Baez on Casey Anthony Trial, Geraldo Rivera, Nancy Grace and that ABC News $200K Payment

Time flies, doesn’t it?

It was a year ago today that a Florida jury acquitted Casey Anthony in the death of her toddler daughter Caylee. Now, the lawyer who got her off has written a book about the case.

Jose Baez gave his first TV interview about “Presumed Guilty,” to Josh Elliott this morning on “Good Morning America” and he’ll give his first cable news interview to Greta Van Susteren tonight and continuing tomorrow night, on Fox News.

The Orlando’ Sentinel’s TV guy Hal Boedeker read the book and reveals the media angles in it.

On the issue of ABC News paying to license photos of Caylee, Baez writes, “In exchange for giving photos of Caylee and her to a national news organization, Casey was paid $200,000, most of which was used to mount her defense. Of course, when the media found out, she was roundly criticized for it — unfairly if you ask me.”

However, the media didn’t just “find out” about the payment, Anthony’s defense team brought it up in court way back in March 2010. And it wasn’t Anthony getting the brunt of it, it was ABC which has since changed it policy on paying license fees.

Baez adds, “without that money, we wouldn’t have been able to do a lot of the things we needed to do to fight her case.”

As for the media coverage, Baez says he and Fox News’s Geraldo Rivera have “a true friendship.” He calls Orlando ABC affiliate WFTV “the worst tabloid channel” and “a channel so inflammatory it was just a notch below ‘Nancy Grace.’” And as for Grace, he likens her show to professional wrestling, “where the action and drama are more important than truth or facts.”

Chris Cuomo Scores Big Interviews ‘Despite All The Money Being Offered By Others’

With the excitement over “Good Morning America’s” ratings and Nik Wallenda‘s wire-walk over Niagara Falls, recognition of some of ABC’s recent big gets seems to have fallen by the wayside.

Three of those gets, were all gotten by “20/20″ anchor Chris Cuomo and his team: Cuomo’s interview with Rielle Hunter airs Friday night; the pre-sentence interview with Rutger’s student Dharun Ravi in March; and the October sitdown with Stephanie Madoff Mack, former daughter-in-law of Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff.

“We worked hard at securing three of the biggest bookings so far this year,” Cuomo tells TVNewser, “despite all the money being offered by others, which is of course forbidden at ABC News.”

Last July, ABC News stopped paying licensing fees in order to score big interviews. The revelation that the network paid  $200,000 to the family of Casey Anthony, was the beginning of the end of the practice at ABC.

“It’s rewarding to know that ABC’s reputation for tough but fair interviews and our unrivaled distribution on multiple platforms are still the most powerful incentives to sit down with us,” says Cuomo.

Shep Smith: ‘This is CNN Breaking News, Casey Anthony Has Not Gained Weight’

On his show today, FNC’s Shepard Smith challenged the notion that Piers Morgan‘s phone interview with Casey Anthony yesterday was newsworthy. In a mock TV anchor voice, Smith joked, “This is CNN breaking news: Casey Anthony has not gained weight!”

Smith talked with PR expert Fraser Seitel about Anthony’s motivation for the Morgan phone chat, which was then reported by Morgan on his show last night.

“I have a lot of friends at the networks and friends for 20 years and I mostly respect the work they do,” said Smith “But CNN gets a big scoop, and gets on the phone with Casey and comes on TV and talks to … the lawyer? Really is it a big scoop?”

Said Seitel: “From CNN’s perspective it was a good get, but they had to agree to certain parameters.” Smith agreed it was a good get, before launching into his mock anchor voice one more time.

WATCH:

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Piers Morgan Secures First Casey Anthony Interview, Sort of

A year ago, few people generated as much news coverage as Casey Anthony. The Florida woman, who was acquitted by a jury of killing fer daughter, dominated the news cycle.

Immediately after the acquittal, rumors ran rampant about who would snag the first TV interview. The answer was answered last night… sort of.

CNN’s Piers Morgan talked to Casey Anthony over the phone earlier in the day, and relayed some of that conversation during an on-air interview with her attorney, J. Cheney Mason. Anthony did not appear on camera, nor did viewers get to hear her voice or anything more than a small handful of quotes as relayed by Morgan. Nonetheless, aside from a YouTube video posted by Anthony, it was the first most Americans had heard from her in a year:

It may also have been a notice to other TV news outlets. A booker at one of the network morning shows tells me that Anthony’s lawyers are still seeking a princely sum for the first “real” on-camera interview with Anthony, though as we outlined last year, it will be very surprising if they get what they are asking for.

Casey Anthony Lawyer: ABC News Money Allowed Them to ‘Mount a Proper Defense’

PBS “Frontline” is once again setting its sights on an issue close to TV news. Last time it was the News Corp. hacking scandal, this time it is the fallibility of evidence in crime investigations. There is a seriously newsworthy element however, in an interview with Jose Baez, the lawyer who helped Casey Anthony get acquitted last year.

“She had photographs of her and her child, and a network paid us $200,000 so we could mount a proper defense,” Baez said.

That network was ABC News, which ended up changing its policy on licensing material in exchange for interviews in part because of the Anthony imbroglio.

Baez essentially argues in the interview that the money provided by ABC News gave them the resources to shed doubt on the forensic evidence being used against Anthony.

HLN Shines A Light On The Trayvon Martin Case… With The Exception Of Nancy Grace

As we noted earlier this week, the sad case of Trayvon Martin has become a national story. For crime and justice-centric HLN, it would appear to be right in its wheelhouse. Indeed, the Martin case has been discussed on nearly every HLN show, with host Jane Velez-Mitchell sporting a hoodie on her program in solidarity:

But while most of HLN has made the Martin case a priority, its most popular host has been silent on the subject: Nancy Grace.

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