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Posts Tagged ‘Jon Meacham’

Need To Know’s Alison Stewart Reponds To Tom Shales

anchors-alison_5-13.jpgWe linked to a review of the new PBS public affairs show “Need to Know” by WaPo’s Tom Shales on Monday.

Today, TVNewser heard from the show’s co-host, Alison Stewart, who wanted to respond to Shales, including his comment that she “looked as though she would have been much more comfortable in [show guest Bill] Clinton’s lap.”

Dear TV Newser,

Since you posted Tom Shales’ crude, crass and sexist comment about me that I’d be “more at home in President Clinton’s lap”– I feel I should respond, for myself and for other hard working female journalists. Mr. Shales’ is certainly entitled to his own views about our program but in most work places it would be simply unacceptable to make this kind of public suggestive insinuation about a colleague. I’m surprised it got by his editors. Jon Meacham and I are really hoping to raise the level of discourse with our new PBS program, “Need to Know.” It’s a new show. We’re the first to admit we have some bugs to work out. And we will. And we welcome constructive criticism but not a raunchy rant.”

Shales has been criticized for his views on women in the media on more than one occasion.

Tom Shales: PBS’ Need To Know a ‘Streamlined Tripe Dispenser’

ntk_5-7.jpgTelevision critic Tom Shales of The Washington Post tuned into the premiere of the new PBS program Need to Know on Friday and, uh, he was not impressed.

Shales compared the new program’s tone and content to that of its predecessor Bill Moyers Journal, which ended its run April 30. He also took issue with PBS’ claim that the show “empowers audiences to tune in anytime and anywhere.”

Funny thing — after watching about two-thirds of “Need to Know’s” first edition, which is actually more than I could stand, I didn’t feel “empowered” at all. I felt embittered — angry that Moyers, with his contentious controversies and honest attempts at insight, was gone and this specious, streamlined tripe dispenser was sitting there in his place.


Shales also held nothing back when discussing Need To Know‘s hosts, Newsweek‘s Jon Meacham and NPR’s Alison Stewart.

The show’s at best semi-competent anchors were Jon Meacham and NPR veteran Alison Stewart. He looked forlorn, as if having been left out in the rain, and she looked as though she would have been much more comfortable in [show guest Bill] Clinton’s lap

Double yikes.

PBS ombudsman Michael Getler wrote a column in defense of the program Sunday, before Shales’ piece hit the web. Getler pointed out that the first episode of any TV show is not necessarily going to be indicative of future quality, and that the new show would have its work cut out for it having to follow in Moyers’ footsteps.

Getler declined to offer criticism of the program, save for two things:

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PBS’ ‘Need to Know’ Debuts Tonight

ntk_5-7.jpgPBS’ new series “Need to Know,” anchored by Alison Stewart and Jon Meacham premieres this evening on PBS. The show replaces “NOW on PBS” and “Bill Moyers Journal” on Friday evenings.

The staff made the final adjustments today over at WNET’s studios in New York, where the show is produced. “We’re super busy in the edit room putting it all together,” “Need to Know” EP Shelley Lewis tells TVNewser. “Everything’s falling into place beautifully and we’ve eaten a lot of pizza in the last 18 hours!”

“We have more information from many different sources than ever before,” Meacham recently said ahead of the launch. “We hope the show will help break through the extemporaneous information and leave the viewer with what they really do need to know.”

Stories tonight will include the 50th anniversary of the birth control pill, gun control, the gulf oil spill, and the first guest interview: a sit-down with President Bill Clinton.

This morning, Stewart was at the NASDAQ opening bell ceremony. The two anchors also appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” earlier today. Video after the jump.

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Rather, Colbert, Bloomberg Celebrate Bill Moyers

moyers_4-27.jpgBill Moyers and his PBS program “Bill Moyers Journal” hit the airwaves for their final broadcast this Friday after almost 40 years after Moyers launched the initial “Journal.”

New York’s THIRTEEN has posted messages from a number of big names as a tribute to Moyers in his final week. Among the well-wishers are Stephen Colbert, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Tavis Smiley, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Jon Meacham, Alison Stewart, and PBS President Paula Kerger.

HDNet’s Dan Rather writes: “He and [his wife] Judith formed a team that became a national treasure. Take a long, thoughtful look. We may not see the likes of it again anytime soon.”

‘NOW on PBS’ Concludes Run This Month

NOW_3-7.jpgFollowing the cancellation of “Worldfocus,” “NOW on PBS” will be the next PBS program to end its run this spring.

“PBS made a strategic decision to reallocate resources as part of a broad effort to reinvigorate public affairs coverage on the network,” writes “NOW” EP and creator John Siceloff in a personal note to viewers.

The news first came of the program’s demise in late 2009 when PBS announced it would launch the new program “Need to Know,” which is set to launch May 7th and will feature co-hosts Jon Meacham and Alison Stewart.

First broadcast in January of 2002, “Now,” which was hosted by David Brancaccio and featured reporting from Maria Hinojosa, has already taped its final show. It will air on April 30th.

The last episode features some highlights from the program’s reporting and has already been posted online. You can see it after the jump.

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Alison Stewart, Newsweek’s Jon Meacham in Talks for PBS’ ‘Need to Know’

The new PBS public affairs series “Need to know,” which launches May 7th and is produced by WNET in New York, is in discussions with Newsweek editor Jon Meacham and former MSNBCer Alison Stewart to co-anchor the program, according to Elizabeth Jensen at Media Decoder.

Previously: PBS’ New ‘Need to Know’ Gets an EP

Now It’s Official: Morning Joe “Brewed By Starbucks”

joe_6-1.bmpFor more than a year, TVNewser readers have wondered whether the Starbucks coffee seen on the Morning Joe set was part of some product placement deal. The answer was always “no” — until today. The show and the the coffee company have formed a “marketing relationship,” in a deal estimated at more than $10 million.

“It’s been organic,” said Joe Scarborough on the air today during an interview with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. “People have asked us for years, Howard, how much does Starbucks pay you to drink your coffee, the product placement is wonderful.”

“Coffee has been part of conversation for so many years, it was just a natural fit,” said Schultz.

CNBC’s Donny Deutsch, who was on-set, described the agreement between Schultz and MSNBC president Phil Griffin, saying they “sat down and hammered out the deal on a napkin.”

The deal includes using the words “brewed by Starbucks” on the logo and in teases, while cutaway shots of Starbucks logos on set were employed during the show. Already co-host Mika Brzezinski was having fun with the deal, introducing Newsweek editor Jon Meacham as “brewed to you by the Pulitzer Prize.”

One TVNewser reader, who questioned whether the deal was “crossing the line,” recalled a 1960s deal between Gulf Oil and NBC which incorporated mentions of the company during the Today show. But that was when the show was not produced by the news division. The ads ended John Chancellor took over and the program was put under the news umbrella.

MSNBC’s Griffin tells The New York Times’ Brian Stelter the program would still cover the company as news warranted. “They understand that we have standards,” he said.

What do you think? Vote below, and after the jump, the Schultz interview:

What Do You Think Of The Starbucks/Morning Joe Branded Content Deal?(polls)

Click continued to see the Schultz interview and MSNBC release…

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