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Posts Tagged ‘Lauren Ashburn’

Jill Abramson : ‘What is Next for Me? I Don’t Know’

AbramsonSpeech

The cable news networks covered this morning’s graduation at Wake Forest University. It’s newsworthy because of the commencement speaker: dismissed New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson. MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry — a Wake Forest alum and new professor at the University — is doing live shots from campus as is NBC News correspondent Rehema Ellis. CNN and Fox News too also dipped into Abramson’s address during which she told the graduates, she feels like one of them: “What is next for me? I don’t know. So I’m in exactly the same boat as many of you. And like you, I’m a little scared, but also excited,” Abramson said.

Both media criticism shows — which are both anchored by former print reporters — led off their shows Sunday with Abramson’s firing.

Brian Stelter, who worked for Abramson at the Times, acknowledged that at times, she could be “gruff” and “rude.” When Stelter told Abramson he was thinking about departing for CNN, her attitude “made it easier to leave,” Stelter said.

Over on Fox News “MediaBuzz,” Howard Kurtz, who previously covered media for The Washington Post, talked about the PR nightmare the firing touched off. “They bungled it,” Lauren Ashburn said.

Both clips after the jump…

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Fox News Discusses CNN’s ‘Constant Coverage’ of Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight

Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 12.42.43 PMThis morning, both the media criticism shows, FNC’s “Media Buzz” and CNN’s “Reliable Sources” covered the coverage of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Fox News contributor Lauren Ashburn, was critical of CNN’s saturation coverage, but admitted to watching the network when news breaks. “CNN is taking it to the next level and it is becoming dominant,” said Ashburn, adding, “We’re missing all other stories like the CIA spying scandal, Ukraine has been knocked off the front page. But if I do want to know about news I turn to CNN because it is 24/7.”

Host Howard Kurtz added, “CNN’s ratings [are] up nearly 67% in prime time, at least in the first few days” of the coverage.

Meanwhile, over on CNN, instead of beginning at 11amET as usual, “Reliable Sources” was pushed back a few minutes (at 11:30 as well), for the latest on the search for the flight, and other news, including the vote in Crimea. Among his segments, host Brian Stelter talked with psychologist Dr. Gail Saltz about why TV viewers are tuning in: “They want someone to hold accountable and right now we can’t figure out who’s to blame,” said Saltz. “This nebulousness keeps us riveted until we have someone to old accountable.”

Howard Kurtz’s ‘MediaBuzz’ Projects ‘Authority, Energy and Pace’

It’s been a rough year for Howard Kurtz, but you wouldn’t know it by today’s launch of “MediaBuzz” on Fox News Channel.

After his sudden departures from CNN’s “Reliable Sources” and Tina Brown’s Daily Beast, Kurtz appears to have made a seamless transition to Fox News. “MediaBuzz” projected authority, energy and pace.

Clearly, Kurtz was in his comfort zone. Most of his guests were familiar faces from his 15-year run at “Reliable Sources” – David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun, Washington Post’s Nia-Malika Henderson, media entrepreneur Lauren Ashburn.

In fact, Ashburn, a Fox News contributor, had so much face time, she served as a de facto co-host. Along with appearing in the opening two segments, she co-hosted “Digital Download,” and was on set with Kurtz for his sign-off.

Kurtz has a complicated history with Ashburn. His involvement in her new venture, Daily Download, a Daily Beast competitor, did not endear him to Brown, who later fired him. Ashburn showed up regularly on “Reliable Sources” and followed Kurtz to Fox News.

I couldn’t help but notice that Ashburn, like so many Fox News females, is blonde.

Ditto for guest Michelle Cottle, Washington reporter for The Daily Beast, and Fox’s Jamie Colby, who anchored a news break during the show. The only non-blonde was the Post’s Henderson, who is African American.

“MediaBuzz” opened with a lively panel discussion on media criticism of President Obama’s handling of Syria. Kurtz used the opportunity to take a shot, albeit a mild one, at his new employer. (Since joining the network in June, Kurtz had been criticized for avoiding negative assessments of Fox.)

After MSNBC contributors Robert Gibbs and David Axelrod, both former Obama officials, were lambasted by a panelist for being mouthpieces for the President, Kurtz said it was “fair to question” whether Fox regulars Karl Rove and Rick Santorum were also “pushing an agenda.” At Fox, that passes for napalm.

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Howard Kurtz’s ‘MediaBuzz’ To Debut Sunday September 8

Fox News has announced that Howard Kurtz‘s new program will be called “MediaBuzz,” and will debut Sunday, September 8 at 11 AM ET.

At 11 AM, “MediaBuzz” will be up directly against Kurtz’s old CNN program “Reliable Sources.” Fox News says it is scheduling the show in that timeslot for logistical purposes, rather than for competitive ones. Kurtz wants to do the show live and from Washington, D.C. The show it’s replacing, “Fox News Watch” tapes on Friday and airs on Saturday.

The one-hour show will also feature Lauren Ashburn–a regular on Kurtz’s “Reliable Sources”–as well as “Bing Pulse,” which will monitor social chatter surrounding the program, based on technology from the Microsoft unit.

Kurtz left CNN for Fox News in June, and has appeared frequently on FNC as a media analyst, while preparing his new program.

“Fox News Watch,” hosted by Jon Scott, began its run in 1997. Scott will move to the FNC specials unit.

Details after the jump.
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The Digital Ticker: Krakauer, Smee, Ashburn

  • Former TVNewser editor Steve Krakauer is leaving CNN, where he is senior digital producer, for Glenn Beck‘s TheBlaze, where he will be VP of Digital Content. “The Blaze is at the forefront of understanding the new ways people consume news and entertainment,” says Krakauer. “Being able to help shape where it’s going was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

  • NBC News Digital is creating an Original Video Unit for social, mobile and web audiences. Bill Smee, who had been EP of the award-winning Slate V, will head up the group. Says NBC News digital SVP Vivian Schiller: “We will now have an additional focus on original video that extends the news division’s on-air and digital brands.”

  • DailyDownload’s Lauren Ashburn has followed Howard Kurtz to Fox News. According to HuffingtonPost, Ashburn will be a contributor to Fox News and Fox Business while continuing to run the social media-focused website. Kurtz was an early contributor to the site.

Cable News’ ‘Crossfire Culture’ Gets Analyzed

RS080210.jpgThe Washington Post‘s Howard Kurtz writes about the “Crossfire Culture” of cable news, and journalism in general. While ostensibly it is about the current state of journalism, it is hard to ignore the focus on cable news pundits:

Cable news channels were pioneers in vituperation, as politicians learned they were more likely to get invited back by breathing fire. The rise of highly opinionated hosts at Fox and MSNBC helped fuel the trend, as has the invasion of pols-turned-pundits — Sarah Palin, Karl Rove, Pat Buchanan, Newt Gingrich, James Carville, Eliot Spitzer — who have blurred the distinction between us (the journalists) and them (those we cover).

And later:

[Bill] O’Reilly regularly portrays his network as the antidote to hopelessly biased rivals: “If you want to know what’s really happening in America, you have to come here because you will not get it in much of the mainstream media.” His chief antagonist, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, said Sherrod’s reputation had been “assassinated by Fox News” and “that scum Breitbart,” but he did not spare what he called “the cowering media, this network included.”

The article seems to draw from a discussion Kurtz had on his Sunday CNN program, “Reliable Sources:”

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‘Reliable Sources’ Critiques Christiane Amanpour on ‘This Week’

reliable080110.jpg CNN’s “Reliable Sources” had a segment with awfully quick turnaround this morning.

Host Howard Kurtz brought on Kansas City Star television critic Aaron Barnhart to discuss Christiane Amanpour‘s debut as host of ABC’s ‘This Week’, barely an hour after it aired.

Said Barnhart:

Well, I think she played to her strengths as a well-prepared researcher, someone who comes loaded for bear for her interviews. These were gets that were — they were published on the Web ahead of time. We could watch much of the segments ahead of time.

So, that part is the known quantity about Christiane. The unknown quantity is the back half of the show, which is the roundtable, where she’s expected to let her guests sort of hold forth and move the news agenda forward. And in that, she seemed a little less ready for the new environment she was thrown into there.

Update: From Barnhart, who writes in from Beverly Hills: “I wasn’t in Kansas City for the segment, I was in LA on TV critics press tour, meaning that I watched the East Coast feed at CNN’s bureau at 6 a.m.! Still, when you compare it to Oscars night – where my review is due about two minutes after the ceremony ends – this was a walk in the park.”

The program also discussed the hyper-partisan state of cable news earlier today, referencing the Shirley Sherrod case and the New Black Panther party coverage, among other topics.

Baltimore Sun TV critic David Zurawik, former CNN exec turned George Washington University professor Frank Sesno, Former USA Today managing editor Lauren Ashburn and CBS News White House correspondent Chip Reid talked about the rhetoric.

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Bill Maher Responds to Sean Hannity

maher_5-26.bmpYou may have been memorializing on Sunday (or just on the beach) so here’s your Reliable Sources update:

Howard Kurtz led a panel discussion on cable news’s prime time partisanship. “President Obama is routinely bashed on Fox News Channel and just as routinely defended on MSNBC, where the Republicans are often portrayed as the villains,” said Kurtz. And of his own network: “CNN, by and large, tries to play things down the middle, with liberal and conservative guests taking each other on.”

Baltimore Sun columnist David Zurawik, who described Keith Olbermann as “a cartoon version of Edward R. Murrow,” said, “That model works for MSNBC and Fox because they don’t have to cover news when they don’t want to.”

“This is not good for society,” addeds Lauren Ashburn of USA Today Live.

Later in the show Kurtz interviewed HBO host Bill Maher, who talked about his audience as the “limousine liberal crowd.” Maher then responded to comments made by FNC hosts Sean Hannity and Greg Gutfeld about him. (Maher had to be told who Gutfeld was, first.)

Click continued to see Sunday’s show (with the cable network conversation at 11:45 and Maher interview at 24:00)…

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