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Posts Tagged ‘Lara Logan’

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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Report: Lara Logan to Return to ’60 Minutes’ Early Next Year

lara logan benghazi reportPOLITICO is reporting that Lara Logan and producer Max McClellan will return to “60 Minutes” in early 2014.

Logan was placed on a leave of absence after her October 27 Benghazi report was discredited and a CBS internal report found the story “deficient in several respects.”

CBS News Chairman and EP of “60 Minutes” Jeff Fager held a meeting with show staffers on December 5, according to POLITICO, where he answered questions about the botched report and indicated he didn’t know how long Logan and her producer would be off-air. Read more

Dan Rather: ‘CBS News Has a Lot to Answer For’ Over Benghazi Report

Dan Rather — who recently accused CBS News of “trying to airbrush me out of their history” — thinks the network still has some explaining to do over Lara Logan‘s “60 Minutes” Benghazi report.

“CBS News has a lot to answer for this. There’s a lot of questions, and they’ve answered some of them. I don’t want to add to their burden,” Rather told Piers Morgan on CNN last night. “I know what it feels like to be the correspondent who’s the center of the controversy … but I will make this point: with our story, the one that led to our difficulty, no question the story was true. What the complaint was, and eventually most of us lost our jobs, was ‘okay your story was true, but the way you got to the truth was flawed.’ That’s not the case with this Benghazi story.” Watch:

[h/t The Wire]

Brian Stelter: CNN’s offer was ‘Irresistible’

BrianStelter“I would not leave the Times for a television job” doesn’t occupy the same pantheon as “Read my lips, no new taxes” or “I never had sex with that woman,” but it still presents a bit of sticky wicket for Brian Stelter, who debuts Sunday as host of CNN’s ‘Reliable Sources.’

In late July, Stelter told The Washington Post that he wouldn’t quit his day job as media reporter for The New York Times if he were chosen to succeed longtime ‘Reliable Sources’ host Howard Kurtz, now with Fox News. During his CNN tenure, Kurtz had juggled full-time jobs elsewhere with his ‘Reliable Sources’ gig.

So what prompted Stelter’s change of heart?

“I meant it when I said it,” he says. “Everyone at CNN imagined that the next host would be part-time.“ After Stelter’s third stint as guest host, however, “a part-time job became a full-time job. I had never imagined what CNN sketched out, and it was very appealing.”

In addition to hosting the weekly ‘Reliable Sources,’ senior media correspondent Stelter files daily for cnn.com and does live hits on other CNN shows. Had it been a full-time anchor job, he wouldn’t have been as interested.

“I’m a writer and reporter at heart,” says Stelter, 28, who as a college freshman created the site that became tvnewser. “I think I can become more of an expert in the field by writing and reporting than I can by anchoring. It’s how I’ve grown up. I fell in love with print.”

As luck would have it, two big media stories broke on Stelter’s first day on the job last week — Lara Logan’s forced leave of absence from CBS and Alec Baldwin’s dismissal from MSNBC. Stelter did four live hits and wrote a story for the website.

He hasn’t stopped since. Stelter left for L.A. late yesterday to tape an interview today with ubiquitous TV/radio host-producer Ryan Seacrest. Stelter labels him as “a king of media” and “one of the highest-profile media makers in the world.” He hopes to run the piece Sunday.

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Lara Logan’s Leave of Absence Continues, As Fager Meets with Staff

lara logan benghazi reportCBS News chairman Jeff Fager held meeting with “CBS This Morning” staffers Tuesday and took questions about the botched “60 Minutes” report, Politico’s Dylan Byers reports. Correspondent Lara Logan and her producer Max McClellan are on a leave of absence, following the results of an internal report on their discredited story. Logan was notably absent from Sunday’s “60 Minutes” open.

Fager said he did not know how long Logan and her producer would be on leave, and made no indication that they would be asked to resign in the wake of the now-retracted report, according to sources familiar with the meeting. Those sources said Fager defended Logan as a valuable member of the ’60 Minutes’ team even as he acknowledged the erroneous nature of the report. “He did not throw her under the bus,” one source said of Fager’s remarks about Logan.

Scott Pelley Steps In Last Minute For Lara Logan At Journalism Awards Ceremony

ScottPelleyScott Pelley stepped in as host last night for Lara Logan at the International Press Freedom Awards in Manhattan.

Logan was supposed to host for the event put on by the Committee to Protect Journalists, but dropped out over the controversy of her discredited “60 Minutes” report. Earlier in the day CBS Chairman Jeff Fager announced Logan and her producer Max McClellan were put on a leave of absence following the release of an internal report that found the Benghazi report “deficient in several respects.”

Pelley did not speak about the “60 Minutes” controversy at the awards ceremony, but TIME Inc. Chief Content Officer Norman Pearlstine did, defending Logan, and suggesting more of the blame should be shouldered by Logan’s editor.

“I tend to think that more often than not it is really the editor, sitting behind the desk directing the reporter, who is more at fault and more to blame than the reporter,” Pearlstine said. “It is often a very difficult task when a story gets an extraordinary head of steam to stop it, and yet that, quite often, is really the way that editors do protect journalists. “

Ecuadorean television reporter Janet Hinostroza, Egyptian television host and satirist Bassem Youssef, Turkey’s investigative journalist Nedim Sener, and Vietnam blogger Nguyen Van Hai all received awards.

 

Lara Logan Takes Leave of Absence from CBS

lara-loganLara Logan, the correspondent on the discredited Benghazi “60 Minutes” story will be taking a leave of absence from the program in the wake of the release of an internal report on the matter.

In an email to staff, obtained by TVNewser, CBS News chairman Jeff Fager writes, “I have asked Lara Logan, who has distinguished herself and has put herself in harm’s way many times in the course of covering stories for us, to take a leave of absence, which she has agreed to do. I have asked the same of producer Max McClellan, who also has a distinguished career at CBS News.”

Fager, who is also the executive producer of “60 Minutes” is taking some of the blame for the report. “I am responsible for what gets on the air. I pride myself in catching almost everything, but this deception got through and it shouldn’t have.”

“This was a regrettable mistake,” Fager continues. “But there are many fine professionals at 60 Minutes who produce some of the very best of broadcast journalism, covering the important and interesting stories of our times, and they will continue to do so each and every Sunday.”

Fager’s memo after the jump…

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CBS News Internal Review Finds Benghazi Story ‘Deficient in Several Respects’

LoganApologyAl Ortiz, the Executive Director of Standards and Practices for CBS News has released his report on the discredited “60 Minutes” story on the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

“My review found that the Benghazi story aired by 60 Minutes on October 27 was deficient in several respects,” Ortiz writes in his report summary, which was obtained by TVNewser.

Ortiz questions why Lara Logan and her team did not do a better job obtaining an FBI report which differed from the story Dylan Davies told them.

“It’s possible that reporters and producers with better access to inside FBI sources could have found out that Davies had given varying and conflicting accounts of his story,” Ortiz writes. “Logan and producer Max McClellan told me they found no reason to doubt Davies’ account and found no holes in his story. But the team did not sufficiently vet Davies’ account of his own actions and whereabouts that night.”

“This crucial point – his admission that he had not told his employer the truth about his own actions – should have been a red flag in the editorial vetting process.”

Ortiz also discovered that a month before starting work on the Benghazi story, in Oct. 2012, Logan gave a speech in which she argued that the U.S. Government was misrepresenting the threat from Al Qaeda, and urging action in response to the attack in Benghazi.

“From a CBS News Standards perspective, there is a conflict in taking a public position on the government’s handling of Benghazi and Al Qaeda, while continuing to report on the story,” he writes.

CBS News spokesperson Sonya McNair tells TVNewser, “The 60 MINUTES journalistic review is concluded, and we are implementing ongoing changes based on its results.”

Read Ortiz’s summary of the report after the jump…

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’60 Minutes’ Viewership Holds In Wake of Discredited Benghazi Story

60minutesThe viewership of “60 Minutes” doesn’t seem to have suffered much in the wake of the discredited report on the attack in Benghazi last month.

Since that story aired on Oct. 27, the show has averaged 14.309 million total viewers in its three airings. In the four weeks before the story aired the show averaged 13.56 million.

The Oct. 27 edition of the show, which has received the most press attention for a “60 Minutes” story in years, was the least-watched this season. That show drew just over 10 million viewers, dropping out of the Top 20 shows for that week — a week which included the World Series.

A week later, the Nov. 3 edition drew 15.81 million viewers and was the fourth most-watched broadcast TV program of the week. On Nov. 10, 15.26 million tuned in, making it the fifth most-watched of the week. This past Sunday, without an NFL lead-in, the show dropped to 10th, with a respectable 11.861 million watching.

The show hit a season high on Oct. 6 drawing 18 million viewers, making it the second most-watched show of the week and the most-watched “60 Minutes” since last December.

On ‘SNL,’ ’60 Minutes’ Believes Toronto Mayor’s Story

SNL60MinutesTonight’s “Saturday Night Live” cold open was all about embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. (What, you thought it’d be Obamacare?)

It started with a CBC “interview” with Ford. The anchor wasn’t buying Ford’s excuses for his behavior. “Then I’m going to go on a show where people do believe me and will believe anything I say,” says the Bobby Moynihan version of Ford. Queue Kate McKinnon, playing “60 Minutes” correspondent Lara Logan.

“So Mayor Ford, once and for all, what is the truth?”

“I have never done crack.”

“I believe you.”

“I’ve also never smoked pot.”

“I believe you.”

“And I’ve never had alcohol.”

“Mayor Ford?… I believe you.”

“Oh, my God. This is the best show.”

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