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Posts Tagged ‘Eliot Spitzer’

Gasparino: ‘I Thought TV was Marginalizing News’

Charlie Gasparino began his news career as a print journalist. Now a senior correspondent at Fox Business Network, Gasparino tells New York Resident about how he transitioned from one to the other — and what he really thought about television before he made the switch:

While I was [at the Wall Street Journal] they had a deal with CNBC where they would use the talent on air. I never did it; I thought it was bullshit. I thought TV was marginalizing news.

Then I was breaking all of these stories on Eliot Spitzer; I was the first guy to do in-depth pieces on the guy. I gave him his first big case – the Henry Blodget case came from my reporting. The Wall Street Journal was unimpressed with the Spitzer stuff at first and they wouldn’t put my work on page one … But the wires loved the stories, and CNBC wanted me on, so I just started pitching it to them. They would have me on to talk about Spitzer, and I started to do much more of that. I then broke the story on Martha Stewart’s insider trading and that was TV heaven.

Is Current TV About To Be Dropped By Time Warner Cable? Almost Certainly Not

Reuters’ Peter Lauria reports that Current TV could be pulled from Time Warner Cable is certain ratings benchmarks are not met.

If Current TV misses the audience benchmark in two consecutive quarters, another clause is triggered that would allow Time Warner Cable to drop the channel. The condition was built into the most recent distribution pact between the two parties, which was signed in 2010.

“Time Warner Cable has been flirting with the idea of pulling Current off its systems for some time now,” said one of the sources, who all spoke on condition of anonymity.

Of course, Time Warner can’t just “flirt” with pulling Current, as Current would have to fail to meet ratings benchmarks for two straight quarters, and that wouldn’t trigger any sort of automatic drop. In other words, even if Current failed to meet the minimum benchmarks in this current quarter, it wouldn’t be pulled from TWC systems anytime soon.

A spokesperson for Current said that the channel was not at risk of being dropped by any carrier;

“We do not discuss the terms of our distribution agreements because they are confidential.  We are in compliance with all our distribution agreements. And all our agreements are long-term agreements with 2 to 5 years remaining on their terms.  We are not at any risk of losing any of our distribution agreements.”

So what are Current’s ratings? While it is too soon to determine how Eliot Spitzer is doing at 8 PM, we can look at the network’s other programs.

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Ratings Down for Eliot Spitzer’s Current TV Debut

The unexpected debut of “Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer” drew a disappointing 47,000 Total Viewers and 10,000 A25-54 viewers to Current TV on Friday night.

Spitzer’s debut ratings mark a drop from “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” which averaged 152,000 Total Viewers and 42,000 A25-54 viewers for the month of March.

The 8pmET timeslot on Friday evening included CNN’s town-hall special “Beyond Trayvon: Race and Justice in America,” which placed second in the A25-54 demographic and third, behind MSNBC’s “The Ed Show,” in Total Viewers. Bill O’Reilly‘s Fox News program was first in both ratings measurements.

Spitzer Launches ‘Viewpoint’ Without a Mention of His Predecessor

Current TV launched its new 8 PM program “Viewpoint” last night, hosted by former New York Governor and CNN host Eliot Spitzer. The show launched suddenly and without promotion in the wake of Current’s decision to terminate its relationship with Keith Olbermann.

Spitzer opened the program by explaining the goal of the show, but did not mention the elephant in the room.

WATCH:

If You Want To Follow Eliot Spitzer, Don’t Follow @ESpitzer

Oh goodness. In their haste of firing Keith Olbermann and hiring Eliot Spitzer, the fine folks at Current TV put out a press release which included a fake Twitter handle for Spitzer. In announcing “Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer” the release lets viewers know they can “follow Spitzer on Twitter (@ESpitzer).” Unfortunately, that’s not a real account for the former New York governor, as I’m sure he wouldn’t be writing things like:

or

The real Eliot Spitzer does not have a real Twitter account. A Current TV spokesperson tells TVNewser, “Our apologies that this was incorrect in the release.”

Current TV Fires Keith Olbermann, Replaces Him With Eliot Spitzer

It was just over a year ago that former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann announced he was joining Current TV, and today, that relationship officially came to an end. According to the New York TimesBrian Stelter, Olbermann is out at Current, and will be replaced by former CNN host and New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. Spitzer will take over the 8 PM slot starting  tonight.

Update: Current CEO Joel Hyatt and co-founder Al Gore released a statement about the move.

Current was also founded on the values of respect, openness, collegiality, and loyalty to our viewers. Unfortunately these values are no longer reflected in our relationship with Keith Olbermann and we have ended it.

The full letter is after the jump.

Update 2: Olbermann has released his own statement via Twitter, saying that he plans to file suit against the network.

I’d like to apologize to my viewers and my staff for the failure of Current TV. Editorially, Countdown had never been better. But for more than a year I have been imploring @AlGore and @JoelHyatt to resolve our issues internally,while I’ve been not publicizing my complaints, and keeping the show alive for the sake of its loyal viewers and even more loyal staff. Nevertheless, Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt, instead of abiding by their promises and obligations and investing in a quality news program, finally thought it was more economical to try to get out of my contract. It goes almost without saying that the claims against me in Current’s statement are untrue and will be proved so in the legal actions I will be filing against them presently.

Olbermann’s full statement is after the jump.

Olbermann famously announced that he would be leaving his MSNBC program on a Friday night last January. He inked a deal with Current soon thereafter.

Olbermann was given an equity stake in Current as part of his deal. It is not yet clear whether he will retain that stake, or whether Current will buy him out.

In an interview with mediabistro.com earlier this month, Hyatt hinted that the network would be adding more former public officials to Current’s lineup, such as Spitzer:

We’re going to look for practitioners of public policy, like Jennifer Granholm. We’ll soon be naming others in that category, people who have actually done the hard work of public service and who are very committed to it, who understand it from the inside. They know spin when they hear it; they know BS when they hear it; they can stand up to it because they’ve been there and done that.

The announcement of Spitzer’s new show is also after the jump.

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Networks Plan Special Coverage as Voters Head to the Polls in Florida

Primary season continues as voters head to the polls in Florida today, and the broadcast and cable networks have scheduled special coverage for the election results tonight.

CNN’s coverage, hosted by Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, Erin Burnett and John King, kicks off at 7pmET. Cooper will host a live “AC360″ at 10pmET, followed by a live “Piers Morgan Tonight” at midnight.

On MSNBC, Rachel Maddow will anchor coverage beginning at 6pmET. She will be joined by Chris Matthews, who will host “Hardball” from Miami today, Al Sharpton, Ed Schultz and Lawrence O’Donnell.

Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier are at the anchor desk on Fox News from 8-11pmET. Sean Hannity takes over at 11pm, followed by a live “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren” at midnight.

The broadcast networks will offer special reports as the results come in. Brian Williams will anchor on NBC. Scott Pelley will anchor from Florida on CBS. On ABC, Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos will anchor special reports together. On PBS, “NewsHour” will broadcast a live primary special at 11pmET, co-anchored by Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff.

Elsewhere on cable:

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Eliot Spitzer Guest Hosting ‘Countdown’ on CurrentTV

With Keith Olbermann suffering from bronchitis, a familiar face will be hosting “Countdown” on CurrentTV this week: former CNN anchor Eliot Spitzer.

Spitzer will co-host “Countdown” with Bill Press tonight and tomorrow night, during the network’s Florida primary coverage. (CurrentTV will have a regularly-scheduled primetime lineup tomorrow, with David Shuster reporting live from Florida at the top of every hour.) Although Spitzer has appeared on Current frequently over the past several months, this will be his first hosting gig since he signed off from CNN in July.

It’s possible CurrentTV is testing the waters with the former Governor. Spitzer’s appearances as an MSNBC guest host in 2010 were a precursor to his hire as 8pmET co-host on CNN.

Eliot Spitzer Returns to Cable News

Eliot Spitzer was a part of Dylan Ratigan‘s MegaPanel on his MSNBC show this afternoon. This was Spitzer’s first second appearance on the cable news channel (he was on “Up with Chris Hayes” Oct. 29) since his own CNN show was canceled in July. Ratigan:

Our specialist today is former New York Governor and Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer, who, by the way, was our first guest many years ago and it’s a pleasure to welcome you back.

Before he took the hosting job at CNN, Spitzer often filled in on MSNBC.

> Update: Spitzer was also on with David Asman on Fox Business Network Monday night. Of his time at CNN, Spitzer told Asman, “I had a great time, that nine months we were on the air. I loved every moment of it and I look back with great joy and thank CNN for giving me the opportunity.”

Anderson Cooper at 8p Debuts Below Spitzer Average

It was an inauspicious debut for CNN’s primetime news show, “Anderson Cooper 360″ in its new 8pmET timeslot. Cooper averaged 157K in the A25-54 demo and 502K in Total Viewers last week. By comparison the previous show, “In the Arena” hosted by Eliot Spitzer averaged 184K and 599K during Q2 in the time period, which, over the course of the quarter also included CNN’s New Hampshire GOP debate, two Presidential addresses and two special editions of Piers Morgan. It is the dead of summer, but considering the busy news week on Wall Street and in politics, it could be a rough climb for AC360 at 8pm — cable news’s most-watched hour.

Show Network Total Viewers A25-54
The O’Reilly Factor FNC 3.00M 683K
The Last Word MSNBC 865K 204K
Nancy Grace HLN 762K 171K
AC 360 CNN 502K 157K

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