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Posts Tagged ‘David Carr’

Covering the Downturn, Looking for the Upswing

In his column in tomorrow’s New York Times, David Carr writes about those who cover the financial crisis.

Being a financial news anchor must seem like owning an ice cream parlor where spinach is the only flavor on the menu.

“We are looking for the crocuses and daffodils,” said Tyler Mathisen, managing editor of CNBC, which is owned by NBC Universal. “They may not come up this spring, but they are going to come.”

The problem for financial reporters (and consumers) is compounded by the failure of some of the more convenient tropes of business reporting. Many of the financial sectors’ rock stars have turned out to be the biggest fools of all.

Some financial journalists are tuning out altogether.

“I try not to watch CNBC,” says Dave Kansas who works for financial news site FiLife. “I don’t keep a TV near my desk because I don’t want to get caught up in the hourly changes. The idea that you can pick stocks and beat the market is sort of silly no matter what kind of market you are working into,” he said. “Bernie Madoff was able to deliver steady returns, but we know now how he did that.”

Cramer Talks Ailes, More in Monday Profiles

cramer_10-20.jpgCNBC’s Jim Cramer, who has found himself at the center of the CNBC-FBN battle recently, is profiled on both coasts today.

The Los Angeles Times’ Scott Collins writes Cramer has ignored the ads taken by FOX in the wake of his Today show pronouncement. “I have not seen any of the Fox ads,” he said. “You know why? For the same reason that I haven’t read a blog about me in years; I haven’t read an article about me in years. Because you know what? I gotta do my job.”

FBN EVP Kevin Magee is quoted as well. “People don’t like to lose money,” Magee said. “When he tells you to stay in a stock that collapses a few days later, people remember that stuff.”

In a David Carr column in the New York Times, Cramer defends his five-year comment. “It was one of the greatest calls of my life,” he said, “And I’ve been pilloried for it.”

Cramer also discussed his former boss, FNC CEO Roger Ailes. “I like Roger, he taught me a lot,” he said. “He taught me I am a hate ‘em or like ‘em person. The hated is the flip side of being liked.”

And in case you’re wondering, this time the New York Times included the disclaimer about their content-sharing agreement with CNBC.

The Couric Comeback? “The Second Act of a Three-Act Movie”

couric_9-15.jpgCBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric has had a whirlwind year, and as the political season hits the home stretch, her use of new technology has gotten her high praise.

The New York Times’ David Carr writes about Couric the anchor, in the context of her Conventions webcasts and YouTube channel. “There was no convention bump in the ratings for Ms. Couric, and CBS and she remain a long way from precious bragging rights,” he writes. “But the odd anchor out has been in the middle of things for the last few weeks.”

“It was just much more conducive to the things I think I can do well,” Couric says of the format.

Evening News EP Rick Kaplan agrees. “What sometimes gets lost in all the noise is that she is a superb journalist,” he said. “She will outwork you and outinterview you and that is going to show up handsomely for her. We are in the second act of a three-act movie.”

Carr sums up the reason for the web success: “Ms. Couric is a highly skilled interviewer, and people tend to tell her stuff.”

Related: CBS compiles a “Best Of” video of the CBS News Conventions webcasts.

VF Can Play at That Game

NotDoocy_7.10.bmpVanity Fair adds its two cents (three days later) to the NYT-FNC row. The Power & Politics blog does David Carr one better, by using a weapon in Fox’s arsenal. has commissioned an expert in the dark arts of malevolent retouching to imagine what the famous faces of Fox News might look if they ever had the misfortune of crossing Roger Ailes.

A slide show of the results follows. (Pictured: Not Steve Doocy)

Media Writers Weigh In on Carr Column

Responses to David Carr‘s column from around the blogosphere:

• Politico’s Michael Calderone recognizes the “aggressive” nature in his dealings with Fox PR, but also looks admirably at it. “Like Carr, I agree there is something reporters often admire in Fox’s tenacity,” he writes. “For me, Fox’s PR staff — even when the network is ahead — continues to push as an underdog in a way that’s similar to how its boss, Rupert Murdoch, has done business for the past half-century.”

• New York Magazine’s Daily Intelligencer brings up their own recent dealings with Fox News. “Last month we actually felt moved to send an e-mail to Fox News publicists to ask them to stop sending us relentless (sometimes baseless) negative items about CNBC, MSNBC, and their on-air talent,” they write. “Plus, we know for a fact that other blogs, similar to ours, get exactly the same kind of tips from Fox News.”

• HuffPost’s Rachel Sklar expands on the “what FNC loses” angle. “Not that O’Reilly suffers from lack of coverage, but there isn’t a ‘hero’ of Fox in the same way — a promotional ‘face’ of the network to inspire fans and bloggers and Google hits,” she writes. “As a handsome, affable and hard-working straight-up news guy — logging plenty of TV hours and with a big-leagues paycheck — Shep [Smith] has been relatively under-covered.”

• And then there’s Broadcasting & Cable’s Mike Malone, who thinks Carr needs new metaphors (Carr described himself in the column as having “a face made out of potatoes”): “It’s a funny metaphor, but unfortunately one Carr used three weeks ago to eulogize Tim Russert.”

TVNewser’s take, after the jump…

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When Private Details Become Part of Public Relations

arango_7-7.JPGOne of the first orders of business regarding David Carr‘s New York Times column was connecting the dots to what Carr was referring to in this line: “A colleague of mine said, he was writing a story about CNN’s gains in the ratings and was told on deadline by a Fox News public relations executive that if he persisted, ‘they’ would go after him. Within a day, ‘they’ did, smearing him around the blogs, he said.”

Gawker concluded
it was this post on Jossip about Times reporter Tim Arango.

Today Jossip did not confirm whether the details came from Fox News.

While we’re firm believers in the “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” theory, it would be as foolish to think the spinmeisters at Fox News’ PR unit were involved with the item anymore so than it would be foolish to not even entertain the possibility that The Times newsroom is actually a leak-plagued institution where many a staffer will very willingly air “close held” gossip as a means to get ahead. Because it is.

Carr didn’t take kindly to the Jossip post when it was published in May (a point he didn’t make in the column). In fact, he contacted his “drinking buddy” at Jossip about it.

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Blast From The Past: How Might Fox Respond to Carr

oreilly_7-7.JPGDavid Carr‘s wide-ranging column today about the aggressive PR arm of Fox News brings to mind a similar behind-the-scenes look from almost four years ago.

In July 2004, Alex Ben Block wrote a column for TVWeek titled, “Fox News Plays Hardball With Press.” The piece describes FNC’s, “unusually forceful,” pitching to reporters.

Even before this column was published, FNC publicists contacted TVWeek’s publisher complaining that there might be bias and that my mind was made up before I started writing. In reality, the only bias here is for balanced journalism and fair-minded public relations.

The fallout may surprise you — Block appeared two weeks later to discuss the column on the top-rated O’Reilly Factor. How did that turn out?

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