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Posts Tagged ‘John Seigenthaler’

John Seigenthaler, ‘What’s Your Show?’

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In the latest installment of MediabistroTV’s “What’s Your Show?” we take you inside Al Jazeera America’s primetime newscast with John Seigenthaler, which airs at 8pmET weeknights.

The mission is quite “radical,” Seigenthaler tells TVNewser: to provide unbiased, in-depth journalism for AJAM’s audience. The production of the newscast takes place in AJAM’s newsroom; a former bank turned into a bustling news start-up.

And the producers who make up this start-up take pride in offering cable viewers something different, specifically more international and under-reported stories.

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Overnight Developments Keep Networks on the Air Covering Malaysia Airlines Mystery

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Around 11:30pmET last night we got word out of Australia that satellite images turned up two large objects, which immediately led investigators to believe it might have something to do with missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. In the ensuing hours, Australian and Malaysian officials held news conferences as the U.S. cable news networks went in to overtime.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon tag-teamed on two networks, CNN and CNNI, picking up from CNNI anchor John Vause who was on live with the news at 11:30pm; Fox News’ Shepard Smith, without the full complement of the Fox News Deck, anchored multiple overnight hours beginning in the MidnightET hour; on MSNBC Betty Nguyen anchored early coverage and Chris Jansing picked up around 2am continuing through the night. Al Jazeera America was live with the news during John Seigenthaler‘s regularly scheduled 11pm show. Seigenthaler and his team stayed on the air to cover the news.

Meanwhile, ABC’s David Wright was flying over the Indian Ocean in a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon surveillance plane in the South Indian Ocean. “What we’re being told by the flight crew here is that here is some sort of debris in the water. We’ll be the first plane on site,” said Wright on “Nightline.”

By the time “Good Morning America” came on the air, and Wright landed back in Perth, the nine hour search failed to locate the objects spotted by a satellite, instead finding only a freighter and two pods of dolphins. Wright’s report after the jump:

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On Al Jazeera’s Global Day of Action, Bob Simon Recalls His Time in Iraqi Prison

CBS News correspondent Bob Simon, who was captured and held for 40 days by Iraqi forces in the opening days of the Gulf War, has added his voice to those of journalists around the world calling for Egypt to release three Al Jazeera journalists.

In an interview with Al Jazeera America’s John Seigenthaler, Simon called the jailed  journalists “hostages,” saying he wouldn’t call them prisoners “because a prisoner will have charges against him and these guys haven’t really been charged with anything credible.”

“When you’re kidnapped and held in horrible conditions, as they have been, it’s indescribable,” Simon said. “The only people you can talk to are other people who have been in that condition because it just changes everything about your mentality and your life.”

State of the Union Coverage Plans: Cable Networks

obama state of the union 2 Here’s what the cable news networks have planned for President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Fox News: Bret Baier will take over from Bill O’Reilly at 8:55pmET. Baier will be joined by chief White House correspondent Ed Henry, chief Congressional correspondent Mike Emanuel and Shannon Bream, who will report on Bing Pulse results throughout the night. Baier will anchor until 11pmET, at which point Megyn Kelly will take over with a live edition of “The Kelly File.”

CNN: Chris Cuomo will host “New Day” live from Capitol Hill Tuesday morning. For the network’s evening coverage, Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper and Jake Tapper will anchor beginning at 7pmET. They will be joined by a host of CNN correspondents, including Jim Sciutto from Iran, Tom Foreman from the virtual studio and Suzanne Malveaux, who will moderate a focus group in Des Moines. Tapper will helm late night SOTU coverage solo. CNN en Español will also broadcast the address with anchor Fernando del Rincón and correspondent Juan Carlos López.

MSNBC: Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews will host beginning at 9pmET. They will be joined by Chris Hayes, Al Sharpton, Steve Schmidt and Ed Schultz, who will be live from Washington, D.C. Matthews will anchor an additional hour of live coverage from 12am-1amET.

The business networks and more are after the jump. Read more

Al Jazeera America Anchor Tells Colbert: ‘Wasn’t Radicalized’, Not Part of Al Qaeda

ColbertSeigenthalerPrimetime Al Jazeera America anchor John Seigenthaler appeared on “The Colbert Report” last night, and assured Stephen Colbert he hasn’t been “radicalized” and AJAM has no connection with Al Qaeda.

“Who got to you, and how?” Colbert asked. “Who turned you, when were you radicalized?”

Playing along, the former MSNBC and NBC Nightly News anchor detailed his path to AJAM.

“I wasn’t radicalized, but this summer they approached me and asked me to anchor their primetime newscast.”

“Do they have your family members some place?” Colbert asked. “If this is Stockholm Syndrome, just blink and breathe.”

After assuring Colbert his family is safe, Seigenthaler attempted to bust myths about AJAM’s affiliation with Al Qaeda. Watch after the jump.

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The 10 Biggest TV News Stories of 2013

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How to describe a year in which TV news had more turnovers than Pepperidge Farm? Business as usual.

The dramatic departures and arrivals of A-List talent weren’t the only big story of 2013, of course. Two new networks launched. Fox News made some major changes in its prime-time lineup. Serious health issues affected at least three anchors. And CBS’s venerable ‘Sunday Morning’ continued to kick ass on the Sabbath.

Herewith my choices for TV news’ Top 10, in no particular order:

Open mouth, insert foot.

Hosts Martin Bashir and Alec Baldwin both left MSNBC after making what could charitably be called offensive comments.

On his November 15 broadcast, Bashir suggested that someone should defecate in the mouth of ex-vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin because of remarks she had made about slavery. Instead, it was Bashir who was forced to eat doo-doo. He resigned Dec. 4.

Actor-activist Baldwin hit the bricks Nov. 26, two weeks after he was caught on video calling a paparazzi a ‘cocksucking fag.’ His weekly show, ‘Up Late,’ lasted exactly five episodes. Maybe replacing ‘Lockup’ was bad karma.

Lara’s theme.

Ace ’60 Minutes’ correspondent Lara Logan was forced to take a leave of absence after her October 27 piece on the Benghazi attack was discredited. Politico says she’ll return early next month. CBS isn’t talking.

A CBS internal inquiry labeled Logan’s report ‘deficient in several respects.’ Among them: Over a full year’s reporting, she and her team somehow missed the fact that her major source, security contractor Dylan Davies, was a liar. Oops.

In a dubious distinction, Logan’s story led to ‘60’ winning Poynter’s Error of the Year award. If you call that winning.

A pair of newbies.

While other networks endured layoffs, two new cable channels debuted — Al Jazeera America on August 20 and Fusion on October 28.

AJA hired hundreds of journalists and staff – including many from U.S. networks. Among them: CNN chief business correspondent Ali Velshi, its first big-name hire; CNN International’s Joie Chen; MSNBC exile David Shuster and NBC’s John Seigenthaler.

AJA, whose corporate parent is based in Qatar, boasts 12 domestic bureaus and three broadcast centers. It reaches about 48 million homes.

Fusion, a joint production of Disney-ABC and Univision, features news and pop-culture fare targeted at English-speaking millenials. Based outside of Miami, it represents Univision’s first major foray into English-language programming.

Would you like your anchors scrambled or poached?

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John Seigenthaler: Al Jazeera America Will Be ‘Very Different’ Than Cable News Competition

The news that Al Jazeera America was hiring former NBC News anchor and correspondent John Seigenthaler took many in the business by surprise. Seigenthaler has been out of the public eye since leaving NBC in 2007, working as media consultant.

“I really didn’t have any intention of going back into journalism,” Seigenthaler tells TVNewser. “I was very happy with the consulting business that I had worked out with my family members.

Al Jazeera came to me and explained to me what they were doing, explained to me they were starting this new national news channel in the United States, and that they were opening 12 bureaus in the U.S., and they told me about their 70 bureaus worldwide, and their commitment to unbiased, serious reporting of the news and that they weren’t interested in the ratings,” he added. “As a journalist for 27 years, that is a dream come true.”

Jumping in he is. Later this month Seigenthaler will make his AJAM debut as the primetime news anchor, a big job for the nascent channel. Of course, there is still a lot of work to be done. When asked what his news program will look like, Seigenthaler laughs.

“I have been here for four days,” he says. “You know better than anyone, over the last five or six years, what we have seen is cutbacks, news organizations have cut back reporters and producers and editors, we have also seen a turn toward tabloid journalism. I think that Al Jazeera will be something very different than what you see on your traditional cable news channels or the networks in this country.”

Seigenthaler joins a “who’s who” list of journalists at AJAM, including former CNNers Ali Velshi and Soledad O’Brien, as well as veterans Joie Chen and Sheila MacVicar.

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Al Jazeera America Hires Former NBC News Anchor John Seigenthaler

Al Jazeera America continues its string of big, splashy hires. The latest addition is former ‘NBC nightly News” weekend anchor John Seigenthaler, who will serve as the primetime news anchor.

Seiganthaler was an 11-year veteran of NBC News, reporting for all of its major programs and anchoring on NBC, CNBC and MSNBC. He reported on 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the 2004 London bombings and a slew of other stories for the company during those years.

He left NBC in not-so-positive terms in 2007, and became CEO of Seigenthaler Public Relations-NY.

“I’m proud to join a respected worldwide news organization that is committed to delivering high quality, objective and balanced investigative journalism,” Seigenthaler said in a statement. “While other networks and newspapers are cutting back, Aljazeera is growing. It’s exciting to be part of the launch of this unique cable news channel.”

Details below.
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‘And This Torture was on CNN?’

John Seigenthaler, the former NBC Nightly News weekend anchor, was watching the debate the other night on CNN. He was at first enthralled, then exhausted by CNN’s Perception Analyzer, those focus group dials that generate lines at the bottom of the screen representing the feelings of real voters, in real time. Seigenthaler’s wife said she “hated” it. Which may be why he was so interested in following its every move Tuesday night. Until:

While I wasn’t seeking to bond with a few undecided voters from Ohio over candidate nose scratching, I found myself caring what their responses said about ME when I didn’t agree with them.

I was self-consciously mesmerized via a non-scientific gizmo operated by a voting group too small for statistical validation. And this torture was on CNN? The Perception Analyzer had crossed the line from seductive to annoying to exhausting. Couldn’t CNN have waited to share till after the debate was over?

This wasn’t news. This isn’t news. This is pure political entertainment.

Former NBC News Man Joins Family’s PR Firm

JSeigenthaler_7.17.jpgJohn Seigenthaler, who was one of the original anchors at MSNBC and went on to anchor the weekend editions of NBC Nightly News, is joining his family’s public relations firm, based in Nashville.

Seigenthaler has joined Seigenthaler Public Relations Inc. as partner and CEO of the New York office. “For both professional and personal reasons I look forward to helping lead this company that bears my family name,” Seigenthaler said in a statement. “I had the great opportunity to serve as a network anchor and journalist during a period when television provided most of our citizens most of their information.

“That media landscape has changed dramatically with the magnetic pull of the Internet, and the movement toward convergence. The transition offers those of us with professional communications skills and experience to serve new constituencies in fascinating ways.”

Seigenthaler is the son of legendary journalist John Seigenthaler, Sr. whose brother, Tom, started Seigenthaler Public Relations in 1972. His cousin, Beth Seigenthaler Courtney, is chairman and CEO.