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Posts Tagged ‘Phil Griffin’

Michael Smerconish: ‘I’m the Guy Who Didn’t Get the Piers Morgan Gig’

SmerconishCNN’s Michael Smerconish talks to the Washington Post about his desire to appeal to “Americans who don’t skew to the extreme right on politics and don’t skew to the extreme left.” Smerconish says that was the impetus for his transition from MSNBC to CNN:

By the time the CNN opportunity came up, Smerconish and MSNBC were ready to part ways — it was clear he wasn’t going to be getting his own show anytime soon, though he says he could have continued as a guest host. “They made it clear that liberal and nerdy was what they want to be,” Smerconish says. “That’s not who I am.”

In an e-mailed statement, MSNBC President Phil Griffin said: “We had a wonderful, decade-long run with Michael and loved having him on MSNBC. When Michael came to us saying he wanted to go to CNN, we were supportive. We continue to wish him well.”

But even getting his own television show — something he says he’s long wanted — hasn’t been entirely smooth. His name was recently mentioned in reports as a possible replacement for Piers Morgan, who is leaving CNN. It didn’t happen. “So, I’m no longer the guy who finally got his own show,” Smerconish laments. “I’m the guy who didn’t get the Piers Morgan gig.”

The Hollywood Reporter’s Annual ’35 Most Powerful People in New York Media’

Television news executives and personalities are well represented on The Hollywood Reporter‘s annual “35 Most Powerful People in New York Media” list.

From the executive ranks: CBS News chairman Jeff Fager and president David Rhodes; NBC News chairman Pat Fili-Krushel and president Deborah Turness; and incoming Disney/ABC Television group president Ben Sherwood and ABC News president James Goldston represent the broadcast networks. On the cable side, Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, MSNBC president Phil Griffin, CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker and Bloomberg Media Group CEO Justin Smith make the list.

The main anchors for the broadcast networks — Brian Williams, Diane Sawyer and Scott Pelley — are all on the list, as well as morning anchors from each network. For NBC, it’s Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and Willie Geist; Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell represent CBS; and for ABC, Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos and Lara Spencer. “Good Morning America” senior executive producer Tom Cibrowski and “CBS Sunday Morning” EP Rand Morrison are also named.

As for cable news talent, all three Fox News primetime hosts — Bill O’Reilly, Megyn Kelly and Sean Hannity — make the list. From MSNBC, Rachel Maddow, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough; and from CNN, Anderson Cooper.

Other notable additions: Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, Jimmy Fallon, Bob Costas, Michael Strahan and Kelly Ripa.

TVNewser will be at the party celebrating the honorees tonight.

[Images via Hollywood Reporter]

Lawsuit Against Ed Schultz Can Move Forward

schultz_nbc_392_regularA lawsuit against MSNBC host Ed Schultz can go forward, a federal appeals court ruled Friday.

In May 2011Michael Queen, a broadcast engineering staffer at NBC in Washington, filed suit against Schultz claiming that he had the idea to bring the radio host to TV. Queen and Schultz met in January 2008 at NBC in Washington.

Queen claims he approached Schultz and asked him if he had anybody helping him try to land a TV show. “No,” Schultz is quoted as saying in the complaint. “Now you’re it!” Queen set up the taping of a “McLaughlin Group”-style program at WUSA-TV, the CBS affiliate in Washington, DC.

Queen claims to have also pitched CBS, Fox News, MSNBC and some syndicators, but nothing came of those meetings. A year later, MSNBC president Phil Griffin reached out directly to Schultz, and a deal was made.

In August 2012, the U.S. District Court for Washington, DC tossed out Queen’s complaint and Schultz’s counter-claims. “Insofar as Queen claims that he and Schultz formed a partnership to develop a television show and that Schultz breached his duty of loyalty under District of Columbia partnership law, Queen is entitled to present his claim to a jury,” Friday’s decision reads.

(h/t The Washington Post)

Ronan Farrow Won’t Be Talking About Family Controversy

ronan farrow_304x200A Page Six story this morning reports new MSNBC host Ronan Farrow‘s team are making reporters sign a form promising not to ask questions about his personal family controversy during a benefit he’ll be honored at tonight.

Farrow — who has publicly stood behind his sister Dylan’s accusations that she was sexually abused by Allen when she was 7, and tweeted about the abuse allegations during the Golden Globes — is receiving the Cronkite Award for Excellence in Exploration and Journalism at Reach the World’s 14th annual benefit at the Princeton Club. Reporters have been issued a tip sheet that includes stern “conditions” not to ask anything about Allen.

“The theme of the evening is global education and service,” it says. “All press are required to stay strictly on message. Any press who ask guests or Mr. Farrow about off-message topics will be immediately escorted out of the event.”

We’re hearing from MSNBC insiders that neither the network nor Ronan requested restrictions forbidding personal questions, and it’s the event’s PR firm making that condition.

“Ronan and his team did not request any restrictions on reporters questions,” a spokesperson for Farrow tells us. He’s set to receive the Cronkite Award for Excellence in Exploration and Journalism at tonight’s Reach the World benefit.

In two days on-air at MSNBC, Farrow has not mentioned anything relating to his personal life, which has been mired lately with back-and-forth allegations and denials of molestation between father Woody Allen and sister Dylan Farrow playing out in the media. Read more

Alec Baldwin: ‘If MSNBC Went Off the Air Tomorrow, What Difference Would it Make?’

AlecBaldwinUpLateAlec Baldwin tells the lengthy story of how he reached the decision to give up public life in New York, and in true Baldwin fashion, he doesn’t hold back. The actor, who was fired from MSNBC after he was caught on camera using anti-gay slurs, has nothing nice to say about his former network: “MSNBC, in its own way, is as full of shit, as redundant and as superfluous, as Fox,” Baldwin writes.

Baldwin reserves his harshest words for MSNBC president Phil Griffin, calling him “a veteran programmer who knows well the corridors and chambers of television programming — and couldn’t give a flying f*ck about content.”

Immediately prior to [the paparazzo incident], I’d go see Phil and I’d say, “What are the ratings?” If I had 15 meetings with Phil Griffin, 5 of them were after the show, with me saying, “What do you make of these ratings?” He’d say, “Don’t worry. It takes time.” (We beat Cooper two of three Fridays at ten.) Although he appeared to have some buyer’s remorse, he told me to hang in there. After the TMZ event, he said, “Don’t worry. I have to suspend you. But this will blow over.” I have all the emails to prove it. And then, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, MSNBC said, “You’re fired.”

Read more

Phil Griffin: MSNBC Gets ‘More Analytical As The Day Goes On’

phil-griffin-msnbcFeaturedIn an interview with The Daily Beast, conducted before the latest controversy at MSNBC, network president Phil Griffin spoke about the recent daytime shakeup, explaining how the types of voices viewers will hear makes MSNBC “more analytical as the day goes on.”

“There is a rhyme or reason to this—it’s making the thread clearer from morning to night,” Griffin says, explaining that the latest line-up is organized in three-hour blocks. The first begins with Morning Joe, the bipartisan agenda-setter that airs from 6 to 9 a.m., continuing with a newsy block that runs from 9 to noon (with Hall newly installed at 11 a.m.), running through Mitchell at noon and followed by Farrow and Reid as “a more topical” bridge to an increasingly opinionated afternoon featuring The Cycle, a panel show, and Now With Alex Wagner. “Then you have the big voices of Ed Schultz, Rev [Al Sharpton], and Chris [Matthews],” Griffin continues, “and then the big deeper thinkers of Chris Hayes, Rachel [Maddow], and Lawrence [O’Donnell].”

Griffin draws a line between MSNBC’s “sensibility” and ideology. Read more

Priebus: MSNBC Apology ‘Was a First Step’

Appearing on “Hannity” last night, RNC chairman Rience Priebus said Phil Griffin‘s apology for MSNBC’s offensive tweet was “a first step” toward repairing relations.

Noting that the tweet comes after the network has been under fire for several controversial incidents, Priebus told Sean Hannity: “I can take it. That’s what you get when you’re chairman of the party. But some of these things that are done about families, and people’s appearance, and gender, race — blanket statements about people on the right side of our party — I’m just not going to stand up and take it.”

“It’s sort of like being on probation, I guess,” he said of MSNBC. “But the fact of the matter is, we’re here, we’re watching them. And it’s our responsibility, and mine in particular, to stand up for our party. That’s what I did today and I’ll do it again.” Watch:

MSNBC Fires Author of ‘Unacceptable’ Tweet, Phil Griffin Apologizes to RNC Chair

MSNBCLogo304x200Responding to RNC Chair Reince Priebus‘ demand for an apology over an offensive tweet suggesting conservatives are against interracial marriage, MSNBC has fired the author of the tweet, and network President Phil Griffin has apologized to Preibus.

Here’s the statement from Griffin:

The tweet last night was outrageous and unacceptable. We immediately acknowledged that it was offensive and wrong, apologized, and deleted it. We have dismissed the person responsible for the tweet.
I personally apologize to Mr. Priebus and to everyone offended. At msnbc we believe in passionate, strong debate about the issues and we invite voices from all sides to participate. That will never change.

Griffin’s apology comes after Priebus banned all RNC officials from appearing on MSNBC.

MSNBC’s swift action in response to this online comment comes after a string of controversial on-air comments in the last months of 2013: Melissa Harris-Perry‘s panel mocking Mitt Romney’s African-American grandchild, Martin Bashir‘s resignation after making vile comments about Sarah Palin, and Alec Baldwin and MSNBC parting ways after the actor hurled anti-gay slurs toward a photographer.

>Update: Priebus will appear on “Hannity” tonight to talk about the incident.

Joe Scarborough: Most Interesting Morning TV Anchor in The World?

Dos Equis“Morning Joe” revealed an exclusive “Super Bowl” commercial this morning featuring the most interesting morning TV anchor in the world: Joe Scarborough.

The commercial trails Scarborough in the morning before showtime, sleeping through alarm clocks, showering with clothes on, debating Paul Krugman, eating McDonald’s while lying on the street, and commuting to work via wooden motorboat.

“I don’t wake up on time often, but when I do, I’m on ‘Morning Joe,’” Scarborough says, signing off: “Stay sleepy my friends.”

Donny Deutsch claimed The Dos Equis beer spoof was made possible by MSNBC’s president.

“It’s amazing, Phil Griffin. emptied the piggyback. Two thirty second spots, eight million dollar expenditure for the world’s most interesting morning talk show host,” Deutsh said. “Go Phil Griffin.”

An MSNBC spokesperson confirms the segment was sarcastic, and this commercial won’t be running during the big game Sunday… or maybe not anywhere. WATCH:

Read more

MSNBC Apologizes for Controversial Tweet About Conservatives and Cheerios

MSNBC’s official Twitter account deleted a tweet last night that suggested conservatives wouldn’t like a new Cheerios commercial featuring an interracial family set to air during the Super Bowl.

“Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family,” read the tweet, which linked to an MSNBC.com story on the new ad.

The tweet was playing off the 2013 firestorm created over a similar Cheerios ad with the same interracial family. That ad generated such vile reaction online, the YouTube comments section was closed.

We’ve reached out to MSNBC for comment, but did not immediately get a response.

>Update: RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has sent MSNBC President Phil Griffin a letter informing him he has banned RNC officials from appearing on MSNBC until Griffin personally and publicly apologizes.

>Update: MSNBC has fired the author of the tweet, and Phil Griffin has apologized to Reince Priebus.

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