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Posts Tagged ‘Jeffrey Immelt’

Air America President Defends Bill O’Reilly’s Free Speech

On her New York Nonstop show, Julie Menin spoke with Mark Green, president of the progressive talk radio network Air America, about whether FNC’s Bill O’Reilly bore any responsibility for the murder of abortion doctor George Tiller. Video below. (If you’re reading this on your mobile device the clip may not show up.)

Other TV writers continue to weigh-in on the issue. In a WaPo column Tuesday morning Howard Kurtz writes, “I’m not going to join the attack. It is perfectly fair to hold the Fox News host accountable for his words and to question whether he has gone too far in personally assailing Tiller time and time again. But is it his fault if some abortion-hating fanatic decides to kill another human being?”

The AP’s David Bauder also filed a story last night: “Liberal commentators have questioned whether O’Reilly’s words, including calling the doctor ‘Tiller the baby killer,’ were too incendiary.”

And Variety’s Brian Lowry writes about the latest salvo. “On Tuesday, O’Reilly was back at it, urging an email campaign to GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt. Seriously, does anybody at Fox think this childish finger-pointing benefits anyone?”

Did O’Reilly Help Sink GE’s Stock?

oreilly_3-11.jpgPaul Bond of The Hollywood Reporter asks: “Could O’Reilly have been a factor in GE’s stock becoming a dim bulb?”

While MSNBC Keith Olbermann regularly attacks FNC’s Bill O’Reilly, O’Reilly usually hurls his attacks toward GE and its president Jeffrey Immelt. And Bond writes when a emailer thanked O’Reilly for convincing him to sell his GE shares, O’Reilly said, “We knew what would happen to GE, and it has happened. You were smart to listen.”

O’Reilly took on Immelt when GE cut its dividend. “Immelt, because of his incompetence, misled the public, and some people bought GE stock based on his dividend statement,” he said on the show. “Some have suggested that’s fraud and inducement.”

> Update: InsideCableNews makes a counter argument.

What You Should Know About Bill O’Reilly’s New Book

O'ReillyBook_9.27.jpgPortfolio’s Jeff Bercovici has skimmed Bill O’Reilly‘s new book, A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity. The highlights of what Bercovici learned:

O’Reilly is “into lite-FM classic rock.” He is “still steamed” over the time an aide to Barack Obama blocked his camera shot. (You remember that). Bercovici determines O’Reilly “really is that obsessed with [GE Chairman] Jeffrey Immelt.” And lastly, O’Reilly blames “the liberal media elite for ruining the last episode of Seinfeld.”

Now go out and get a copy, it’s in book stores now.

Murdoch Doubts NBC “Made Much Money” From Olympics

Murdoch_9-20.jpgNews Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch appeared yesterday on Fox News and FBN for an interview with Neil Cavuto. The interview focused on the financial crisis, but also touched on some media issues.

Cavuto asked Murdoch if he believes GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt is not interested in selling NBC. “I take his word for it,” said Murdoch. “I can assure you, it’s not doing as well as it used to do, not only because of its prime-time ratings, but because of its local stations.”

He also said, “I don’t think they made much money,” from the Olympics.

Murdoch talked with Cavuto about Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, which is now less than a month away from its one-year anniversary. “Fox News is now one of our most valuable assets in the whole of News Corporation,” said Murdoch. ” And we started it when everyone thought I was nuts and drove our share price downs.”

Of FBN: “We have still got to get there. It will take another couple of years with Fox Business. But, under your leadership, I am confident it will do it.”

When The Tide Turned At MSNBC

Olbermann_8.28.jpgIn a must-read in the New York Observer, Felix Gillette gets the story behind the story of MSNBC’s decision to take Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews off the political anchor desk for the rest of the campaign.

While MSNBC president Phil Griffin has spent the last 48 hours trying to tamp down rumors, Gillette details the open dissension and behind-the-scene maneuvering that led to the change.

First, the rumors. The New York Post reported that GE Chairman Jeffrey Immelt facilitated the change because “a lot, maybe thousands” of shareholders called to complain. “This makes me so mad, because it’s so untrue,” Griffin tells Gillette. “Somebody is spreading rumors. It’s wrong. It’s getting into the echo chamber.”

As for the internal strife about the Olbermann/Matthews pairing and its reflection on NBC News, Gillette reports on an early August dinner in Washington, hosted by GE chairman Immelt:

…according to sources, Andrea Mitchell, the veteran political correspondent and wife of Alan Greenspan, noted on behalf of her colleagues that there was some ongoing uneasiness about having Keith Olbermann-MSNBC’s liberal pundit and caustic anchor of their hit show Countdown-co-anchoring (along with Hardball’s Chris Matthews) the network’s coverage on big political nights. What happened to the traditional firewall between news and opinion? There were risks involved with blurring the distinction.

A few weeks later, anchor tensions came to a boil on the air, at the DNC. Executives had a plan to make sure it didn’t happen at the RNC. Gillette writes,

MSNBC and NBC executives looking to restore order were planning a meeting to take place on Tuesday in St. Paul on the second day of the Republican convention, where producers and talent could smooth out their grievances behind closed doors, and hopefully reestablish some team unity. But over the weekend, Hurricane Gustav descended on the Gulf Coast, and the staff scattered between New York, St. Paul, and New Orleans. As a result, the meeting never happened.

Griffin_8.28.jpgAnd, as has been written on this blog, at the end of the day, it comes down to the bottom line. Griffin tells Gillette,

“MSNBC just had its biggest year ever in terms of revenue, and is contributing – I don’t want to tell you the number – but let’s just say, a significant part of the revenue base of NBC News, which helps make this division better able to cover news around the world. It’s all working. I know that a lot of people love to follow whisperers and disgruntled people. The issue is, the others would die to have a cable-news network help with their revenue, give them an opportunity for airtime, which is oxygen, and to help create a better news-gathering operation.