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Posts Tagged ‘David Folkenflik’

‘Dude, What’s Wrong With You?’: How Fusion Journalists Convinced CEO to Change Course

Fusion_Newsroom2The Fusion network you can watch today is not quite what CEO Isaac Lee originally planned. “In my mind, I was going to produce a cable network for me, and I was thrilled” Lee told NPR’s David Folkenflik. “It was going to be all about Latin America, and it was going to be for Latinos. It was all going to be very newsy and earnest.”

Then the network’s own journalists convinced Lee that targeting only millenials who happen to be Latinos was a giant mistake. “I had brilliant, amazing young journalists that were telling me, ‘dude, what’s wrong with you?’”
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David Folkenflik on Fusion: ‘One of the Most Interesting Experiments…Since Fox News’

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NPR’s media correspondent David Folkenflik talked to “Here and Now” host Jeremy Hobson about Fusion, the just-turned-one year old TV network that brings together Univision and ABC. “I think what they are looking to do here is one of the most interesting experiments we’ve seen in television in a very long time, perhaps since the emergence of Fox News in 1996,” Folkenflik said.

Folkenflik recently toured Fusion’s Miami headquarters, and talked about the quality of the hires the network has made in its first year:

“You’re talking about, I think, a stockpiling of an incredible amount of talent in the social media world – Felix Salmon, Margarita Noriega, and many others – who I think are trying to put Fusion on the map in the social media world as a way of, I guess, doing well by doing good — that is by doing really good work, by doing stuff that is compelling, telling stories… they’re trying to figure out new ways to approach stories about politics, or sports, or foreign affairs or what have you, in a way that works in a vernacular of social media and has credibility with younger viewers and consumers and I think they see that as a sort of viral marketing technique as well as a way of doing solid, but digital journalism.”

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Joanne Lipman to host ‘Reliable Sources’

For the first time since introducing a rotating cast of hosts, CNN’s “Reliable Sources” will be fronted by a woman.

Joanne Lipman, former managing editor of the The Wall Street Journal and former editor-in-chief of Conde Nast Portfolio will host Sunday’s show.

Lipman’s former WSJ colleague Walt Mossberg will be a guest, along with former ABC, BBC, MSNBC and CNBC anchor Melinda Wittstock, founder and CEO of Verifeed. They’ll discuss how crowd-sourced information and video help news organizations. Also on tap: a look at the news coverage from a deadly week in Egypt, and a discussion about next week’s launch of Al Jazeera America.

Howard Kurtz hosted his final “Reliable Sources” June 31. (He joined Fox News the next day.) Since then, hosts have included the Daily Beast’s John Avlon, NPR’s David Folkenflik, former CNN correspondent Frank Sesno, Politico’s Patrick Gavin, and the New York TimesBrian Stelter.

Eric Deggans Ready to Talk TV, on the Radio

When Eric Deggans stopped by NPR’s booth at the National Association of Black Journalists convention three years ago, the last thing on his mind was a job.

“I just wanted to say how much I love NPR,” says Deggans, 47, veteran TV and media critic for the Tampa Bay Times.

A friendly conversation with NPR executive Steve Drummond led, a year later, to freelance commentaries. And that led to Deggans’ hire last week as NPR’s first full-time TV critic and correspondent. He begins Oct. 1.

“I’m ecstatic,” says Deggans, author of last year’s ‘Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation.’ “I’m a huge NPR fan. Doing freelance was so much fun, and the people were so cool. This is an amazing thing.”

Leaving the Tampa Bay Times won’t be easy, Deggans says. He joined the paper in 1995 as pop music critic, moving to the TV beat in ’97. In ’05, after a year’s stint on the editorial board, he returned to the arts desk, as media writer. He added TV critic to his title in ’06.

“I really love working here,” he says. “The Tampa Bay Times is the reason I’m the journalist I am now. Everything I learned about the finer points of the job has come from them. They’ve always backed me.

“Ultimately, NPR was such an amazing opportunity to be heard on a national stage, I couldn’t turn it down. I wish I could cut myself in half, and do both jobs.” He is also talking to CNN about a guest-hosting shot on “Reliable Sources,” on which he frequently appears.

Deggans, raised in Gary, Ind., and graduated from Indiana University, says his plan is to remain in Tampa for the next two years so that the youngest of his four children can complete elementary school. At that point, the family will relocate to L.A., he says.

Deggans’ new role will not affect that of David Bianculli, longtime TV critic for Terry Gross’ ‘Fresh Air,’ according to Deggans, nor that of media correspondent David Folkenflik.

“We’ve reached the point as a society where TV is crucial to popular culture,” Deggans says. “NPR realizes that. They’ve slowly built up their critical resources to make sure they were ready to go into that realm.”

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The Evening Ticker: ‘Reliable,’ GretaWire, Netflix

  • Fox News and Greta Van Susteren have officially relaunched the GretaWire blog. The blog has a new format and look. Take a peek here. Van Susteren will be anchoring her show from Sanford, Florida tonight and tomorrow covering the Zimmerman trial.

  • Netflix will be replacing its Q2 earnings call, and instead will have an earnings video discussion, moderated by CNBC’s media reporter Julia Boorstin and BTIG analyst David Wells. THR has more.

How Howard Kurtz Came to be Interrogated on His Own CNN Show

Howard Kurtzmea culpa on his own “Reliable Sources” yesterday made for an extraordinary 15 minutes of live television. (Full disclosure: I am an occasional guest on the show.)

Kurtz’ apology for his most recent journalistic transgression – his “inexcusable” erroneous report last week about openly-gay NBA player Jason Collins — extended from his personal statement of contrition to a bracing interrogation by two excellent media reporters.

NPR’s David Folkenflik and Politico’s Dylan Byers grilled Kurtz about Collins as well as other mistakes from the past that Kurtz admitted he had sometimes waited too long to correct. It was riveting, powerful, and frequently uncomfortable to watch.

The backstory: In a Sports Illustrated piece that broke April 29, Collins became the first active male pro athlete from a major U.S. sport to come out. Kurtz wrote in his Daily Beast blog that Collins had not disclosed he had been engaged to a woman, and chastised him for it. He repeated the assertions in a video on The Daily Download, where he is a paid contributor.

In fact, Collins had written of the engagement. Kurtz had missed it, he said yesterday, because he had read the piece “too fast” and “carelessly.” On May 2, Kurtz left the Daily Beast. He said it was by mutual agreement; HuffingtonPost, among others, said he was fired.

The live interrogation on CNN was not Kurtz’ idea. He made that clear in his opening statement when he said the network had invited the questioners.

Folkenflik confirmed this in an interview with TVNewser. (Byers declined an interview because he said he was writing his own blog about the show). Folkenflik was pitched by a CNN executive “who doesn’t directly oversee the show,” he said, not naming names. “He’s a respected figure within CNN.”

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CNN VP: ‘Trust is the Number One Thing We’re Thinking About’

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Do Americans trust the press?

NPR’s David Folkenflik looks into that very subject. “Trust in the media,” he says, “isn’t very high”. Folkenflik cites a Pew Research Center study last year that “found a historic low level of trust in the media…bias is virtually assumed.”

CNN VP and Senior Editorial Director Richard Griffiths weighs in. “Trust is the number one thing we’re thinking about…We’re not going to throw that away simply for higher ratings or more viewers on the web.”

Griffith says he routinely asks his staff, “Have we done right by the viewers to dig down and ask the right questions? Have we got the various different nuances to this story?”

Fox Thrives in the Age of Obama

NPR’s David Folkenflik reports (and has the comments section at NPR.org buzzing) how Fox News has been getting “crazy high” ratings for a news channel since President Barack Obama took office. “There were a couple of people who basically wrote about our demise come last November [and] December and were, I guess, rooting for us to go away,” says FNC SVP Bill Shine.

Victor Navasky, publisher emeritus of the left-of-center magazine The Nation, isn’t surprised. “It’s a rallying point for people who feel that they’re not represented at the highest levels of power,” he says.

Says Folkenflik: “If some of Fox’s most famous figures feel as though they’re on the outside looking in, there are a lot of viewers keeping them company.”

Bartiromo’s Thain Interview: “A Nice Example of a Television Journalist Simply Doing Her Job”

Bartiromo_2.2.bmpNPR’s David Folkenflik applauds CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo for her interview with former BofA executive John Thain.

Bartiromo has been accused at times of being too cozy with the financial giants she interviews – a charge that has also been leveled more generally at CNBC and at TV financial news shows. A column in the New York Post, a corporate sibling of the rival Fox Business Network, insinuates that Bartiromo only got the interview because she shares a publicity agent with Thain. If so, Thain was mistaken if he thought this appearance would buff his image.

But, Folkenflik figures, in this interview, “She strips him bare.” He does a line-by-line through the transcript and concludes: “This wasn’t great investigative journalism. But it was a nice example of a television journalist simply doing her job.”

> On the flipside, HuffPo’s Adam Green writes about NBC’s “Erin Burnett problem.” Green says Burnett “serves as an apologist for Wall Street’s worst practices.”

> Update: Jim Cramer comes to Erin Burnett’s defense: “The bozo who attacked you clearly didn’t understand or didn’t watch or I don’t know what he did. But the attack was unwarranted.” More after the jump…

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“I’ll Be Honest: I Thought He Was Crazy”

NPR’s David Folkenflik profiled FNC’s Brit Hume last week on All Things Considered. “While he looked as if he was having fun anchoring the network’s election coverage, it was an exclamation mark for Hume’s decades-long career covering politics,” Folkenflik reports.

In addition to talking with Hume, Folkenflik also interviewed Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace. Both men left ABC News to join Fox News; Hume in 1996, Wallace in 2003. About Hume leaving ABC for FNC, Wallace says, “I’ll be honest: I thought he was crazy.”

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