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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Jackson’

Cable Networks Cover Conrad Murray Sentencing

Shortly after 12:3opmET this afternoon, Dr. Conrad Murray was sentenced to four years in prison for his role in the 2009 death of Michael Jackson.

HLN, which has seen ratings success with its Murray trial coverage, was the first cable network to go to the sentencing, at 12:14pmET.

Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC all went to the trial just before the sentence was read, at 12:30pmET, and stayed with it until just before 1pmET. CNN International also simulcast CNN coverage of the sentencing.

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Michael Jackson Documentary Still On, MSNBC Says

Despite objections from the estate of Michael Jackson, MSNBC will go ahead with plans to air a documentary about the pop star’s relationship with Dr. Conrad Murray this weekend, according to an MSNBC spokesperson.

“Michael Jackson and the Doctor: A Fatal Friendship” was purchased from a British production company, October Films. It will air on MSNBC, paired with Savannah Guthrie‘s exclusive interview with Murray, on Friday at 10pmET and Sunday at 9pmET.

In a letter sent to MSNBC President Phil Griffin yesterday, executors for Jackson’s estate called the documentary “reprehensible.”

“No sooner was Conrad Murray ordered led away in handcuffs after his conviction on manslaughter charges in the death of Michael Jackson than we discovered your MSNBC network inexplicably will showcase him in primetime on Friday night as if he is worthy of celebrity,” the letter reads.

Don Lemon on Covering the Michael Jackson Trial: Lots of Emotion, Little Sleep

For CNN weekend anchor Don Lemon, who has been the network’s lead reporter on Michael Jackson since his death in 2009, the ongoing trial of Conrad Murray has dredged up some old challenges.

“Here’s the interesting thing: it’s been hard and easy at the same time,” Lemon, who spent last week in Los Angeles reporting on the first week of the trial, told TVNewser recently. “It’s been hard in the sense that the hours are ridiculous. You don’t get much sleep. But, for me, it has also been a natural fit. I know the story like the back of my hand. I grew up listening to the Jackson 5. I knew about Michael Jackson, and his challenges, and about all of it.”

Lemon said his personal interest in Jackson — who he called an “accidental thought leader” of this generation — elevated his reporting capabilities. Read more

Don Lemon on Trial Coverage: ‘I Think You Risk a Burnout From the Audience If It’s Overdone’

The manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson‘s doctor, Conrad Murray, began this week and CNN’s Don Lemon is one of hundreds of journalists covering it from the courthouse in Los Angeles. TVNewser talked with Lemon this morning. He shared his thoughts on the media frenzy surrounding the trial:

I’m not a news executive, but I think the people making decisions may equate trial coverage to Casey Anthony ratings, and I don’t think that is necessarily so. It depends on the circumstances around all of it. I think the Casey Anthony trial caught a lot of news organizations off guard. Just because something is sensational or has great ratings we shouldn’t devote our entire resources to it, and I think CNN realizes that. With us, we can have [sister network] HLN go all out and do trial coverage all the time, while on CNN we’re covering the death of Anwar al-Awlaki, and we still have balance. So that’s a plus for us. I think with the idea that every trial, every big name, every scandal results in ratings, you risk a burnout from the audience if it’s overdone.

We’ll have more of TVNewser’s interview with Don Lemon on Monday.

Bin Laden Killed: Video Streams Top Michael Jackson Memorial

The death of Osama Bin Laden topped the memorial service for Michael Jackson in terms of online video streams served by, as the site said it totaled more than 21 million for Monday as of 6 p.m. ET, topping the 19 million July 7, 2009, when the King of Pop was remembered.

The recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan holds the record, with more than 40 million streams.

As for Sunday, served more than 1.73 million online views of the announcement of Bin Laden’s death by President Barack Obama, and page views for the day were 38 percent above the site’s Sunday average.

7 of the Most-Watched TV News Events of 2009

Here are seven of 2009′s most viewed moments in TV news:

President Barack Obama’s Inauguration

On January 20th, President Barack Obama was sworn in to office as the 44th President of the United States. The event was accompanied by massive coverage from the cable and broadcast networks. Nielsen reported that 37,793,008 total viewers watched the ceremony.

ABC and NBC each drew around 10 million viewers and CNN drew 7 million.
Hudson River Crash

In January, viewers tuned in for coverage of a plane crash in the Hudson river. Fox News had the most viewers of the cable networks, which together averaged nearly 5 million viewers as the story broke. That night, over 27 million viewers watched the evening news broadcasts.
Obama’s First Address to Congress

Nielsen reported that a huge 52,373,000 viewers watched President Obama’s first address to a joint session of congress back in February.

33.6 million watched on the broadcast networks (10.5M on CBS). Fox and CNN split the top spot on cable.
The Death of Michael Jackson

The cable networks combined for nearly 8.5 million total viewers during primetime the night news broke that Michael Jackson had died.21.6 million viewers tuned in to watch the broadcast networks’ Jackson (and Farrah Fawcett) specials.

Nielsen reported that 31.1 million later watched Jackson’s memorial service across 17 networks. 8.9 million watched on the cable nets.
Sen. Edward Kennedy’s Funeral

Over 5 million viewers watched Senator Edward Kennedy‘s funeral services on the cable networks in late August, with many more watching on the broadcast networks.

In the preceding days, news of his passing and the subsequent specials and memorials consumed the networks.
Two Words: Balloon Boy

It was a rollercoaster of emotions watching that balloon float through the air with the belief that a young boy was trapped inside. That sure took a turn. But before we knew it was a hoax, nearly 5 million viewers watched on Fox, CNN, and MSNBC.
Shooting at Fort Hood

On November 5th, reports spread of a shooting at Fort Hood, a story that quickly dominated news coverage. The cable networks went wall-to-wall and the broadcast networks broke into regular programming.

Between 3-7pmET, CNN, FNC, and MSNBC together averaged 4.5 million viewers. Fox lead the ratings with their coverage and Bill O’Reilly averaged 5 million viewers that evening.

A few days later, a memorial service was held. Over 3 million tuned in on the cable nets, and more watched the president’s remarks on the broadcast networks.

More Michael Jackson on ABC

Tonight, ABC News’ “Primetime: Crime” reports the latest on the investigation surrounding the death of Michael Jackson, and how his passing has shined a light on celebrities’ drug use and the doctors who enable them.

The hour will examine Jackson’s physician Dr. Conrad Murray and searches of his home and offices have revealed. Chris Connelly, Jim Avila and Mary Fulginiti will contribute to the program tonight at 10pmET/PT.

The Ticker: King, Couric, Bartiromo…

> Joe Jackson talks with Larry King tonight in his first live interview since the death of his son Michael Jackson. Tonight at 9pmET on CNN’s Larry King Live.

>Katie Couric will interview Pres. Obama at the White House tomorrow. The interview will focus on healthcare reform, and other major issues. The interview will air on the Evening News tomorrow night as Couric anchors from Washington.

> Next Monday, CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo hosts “Meeting of the Minds: The Future of Healthcare.” The 9pmET special assembles some of the biggest names in the industry and government to advance the conversation and propose solutions.

Grieving Aunt: “When the Nation They Died For Barely Notices, It’s Crushing”

On CBS “Sunday Morning”, the aunt of an American soldier who died in Afghanistan on the same day as Michael Jackson, spoke out about the disparity between the coverage of Jackson and the coverage of what’s happening in Iraq and Afghanistan. With intense emotion and images of her nephew as a toddler, a soldier, and at his burial, Martha Gills said, “My 24-year-old nephew Brian Bradshaw was killed by an IED in Afghanistan on June 25. But you’d never have known it from the national media. I cannot tell you how that silence added to the pain of losing this bright, funny, thoughtful young man.” Gillis had spoken out to the print and online media last weekend. The story was on Fox News the morning of the Jackson funeral and Gillis was a guest on FNC on Wednesday.

Watch CBS Videos Online

“Nightline” Wins Late Night With Jackson Memorial News

“Nightline,” which devoted last night’s show to Michael Jackson‘s memorial, beat NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” and CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman” in both Total Viewers and A25-54 viewers.

“Nightline” averaged 4.786M Total Viewers, to Letterman’s 3.903M and Conan’s 2.899M. In the A25-54 demo, “Nightline” was first with a 1.7 rating. Conan and Letterman tied with a 1.2 rating.