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Posts Tagged ‘Joe Flint’

Jim Cantore Caught in the Middle of DirecTV-Weather Channel Dispute

CantoreJim Cantore got bumped from Dan Patrick‘s show because of the Weather Channel carriage dispute with DirecTV. DirecTV owns Patrick’s show (which also airs on NBC Sports Network) and the company didn’t think it was a good idea to have on one of the Weather Channel’s biggest stars in the middle of the carriage fight. Cantore was booked to give a Super Bowl forecast this week. The show will instead use Paul Douglas, a former local news meteorologist in Minneapolis who created WeatherNation, which DirecTV now carries in place of Weather Channel.

“We like Jim and thought, under the circumstances, that it may be a bit awkward for him to appear on a DirectTV-owned show so we let him off the hook,” a DirecTV spokesman tells the LA Times’ Joe Flint.

Meanwhile, the Weather Channel took out more full-page ads today, this time taking a shot at DirecTV CEO Mike White who said late last week, “I can assure you 99.9995% of our current customers have voted to stay on the DIRECTV platform.”

That would be about 100 customers. The Weather Channel figures about 190,000 DirecTV customers would commit to switching services over the loss of TWC.

DirecTV subscribers are entering their second week without the Weather Channel.

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LA Times’ Joe Flint on Twitter: Stop the Madness

Hold off on awarding the Pulitzer Prize to Twitter, or to Sohaib Athar, the Pakistani man who unwittingly Tweeted details of the operation that led to the death of Osama Bin Laden, says Joe Flint in his Company Town blog.

What he was hearing, it turns out, was U.S. forces helicoptering in and out of Abbottabad. He had no idea that was what was going on, and he said as much in interviews after the raid and the discovery of his Tweets.

On his Sunday CNN show, Reliable Sources, looking at the media, host Howard Kurtz said of Athar: “I love the fact that this guy scoops the entire world.”

He did not scoop the entire world. He heard noise and posted something on Twitter about it. He didn’t know what the noise was, so how did he scoop the world? Even he acknowledged as much in an interview with NBC.

If Twitter had been around in November 1963 and a Dallas resident Tweeted, “Just heard gunshots,” would we say that person broke the story of the JFK assassination?

DISH Dropping The Weather Channel

weather_dish_5-20.jpgAs of midnight tonight, DISH Network will pull The Weather Channel from its lineup. As is often the case with disputes of this nature, the fight was over the network’s carriage fee.

According to SNL Kagan, The Weather Channel received an average of $0.11 cents per subscriber in 2009. Said a Weather Channel Statement:

Despite negotiations over the past several months, DISH has chosen to be the first distributor to drop The Weather Channel rather than pay the standard industry rates others in the industry have already agreed to pay. We are disappointed with their decision and hopeful that we can still reach an agreement with DISH Network and bring this highly valued network back to its customers.

Weather passed the 100 million household mark in April of this year. DISH has approximately 14 million subscribers, and is one of the country’s larger pay-television operators.

Update: According to The Los Angeles TimesJoe Flint DISH is preparing to launch its own weather service, called Weather Cast.

Dish said Weather Cast will “feature live round-the-clock weather reporting” and will replace Weather Channel, which the company said “has recently moved away from weather reporting to a mix of movies and other entertainment-focused programming.”

Update 2: It is now Friday morning and Weather is still on DISH, looks like talks are continuing.

Update 3: Inside Cable news points us to this blog from the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Sounds like DISH’s Weather Cast channel is the real deal, and not just a bargaining chip.

It costs millions of dollars to run these high-res weather models – we have some incredible partners helping us. No idea what comes next, suffice to say that I’m proud to be working with Dish Network. There are what, 6-8 different new/business channels out there – I believe there’s room for another weather-voice, another way to tell the weather story. We’ll see how this plays out. But I’ll close with this – 2 years ago, when I launched WeatherNation, had anyone predicted we’d be starting up a national weather channel I would have laughed them out of my office. It’s all a bit surreal, but I’m proud of my team. No matter what happens next – that will not change.

Brian Roberts: NBC News ‘The Single Most Awesome Asset’ Of Comcast Deal

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts had some very kind words for NBC News at the 2010 Cable Show in Los Angeles Tuesday. Roberts was interviewed by former News Corp. COO Peter Chernin on stage at the show, and said NBC’s news division will remain independent once Comcast completes its acquisition of NBC Universal.

According to a report from the Los Angeles TimesJoe Flint:

“The single most awesome asset that comes from this deal is NBC News,” he said, adding, “NBC News will help define Comcast.”

Mediaweek‘s Anthony Crupi was also at the keynote, and reports that Roberts dodged a question from Chernin (who once counted Fox News among the divisions he oversaw) about what he would do regarding MSNBC firebrand Keith Olbermann.

“Let’s have that conversation in 12 months when we’re playing with live ammo,” Roberts said, before adding that he would ensure that NBC News continued to “keep [its coverage] down the middle, whatever that means.”