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Posts Tagged ‘Roger Ailes’

Former Employees Mark 20th Anniversary of ‘America’s Talking’

america's talking logoPage Six reports several former employees of “America’s Talking” — MSNBC’s predecessor launched by Roger Ailes featuring Chris Matthews, Steve Doocy and others — recently gathered to mark the 20th anniversary of the channel’s launch:

Last Saturday night, several dozen of the 277 former employees gathered for a 20th anniversary at Social Bar in Midtown Manhattan. The all-talk channel blazed trails in online interactivity and viewing audience participation before NBC dumped it to give Microsoft a content platform.

“It was like television school for me,” said [Bill] McCuddy, now a voice-over talent and movie critic on NY1. Others in the room went on to producing and directing careers on CNN, Al Jazeera and HGTV.

“None of us would be here without Roger Ailes,” McCuddy said.“Now we have to wrap this party up because MSNBC is taking it over in 10 minutes.”

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Bret Baier: ‘Rachel Maddow Makes Some Good Points Sometimes’

Bret BaierIn an interview with The Daily Caller, Bret Baier had some kind words for one of his competitors at MSNBC.

“I think Rachel Maddow makes some good points sometimes, and I watch some of those commentaries she makes,” Baier said. “I do look at it, not as a news product, but as an editorial, commentary show,” he noted.

Baier added that although he has several friends who work at NBC and MSNBC, he doesn’t think about “how they do their cable channel.” “I think about 6-7 [pmET] and have the blinders on as much as I can.”

Baier isn’t the only one at Fox News who’s heaped praise at Maddow. In 2012, network Chairman Roger Ailes wrote a blurb for Maddow’s book “Drift.”

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Politics Aside, Bret Baier Finds a New Beat

Special Heart HC Hi Res resAs he rose through the journalism ranks, Fox News’ Bret Baier prided himself on out-hustling his competitors. But the last several years have presented the “Special Report” anchor with a heart-wrenching challenge mostly out of his control.

“I was asking a million questions. I was probably the most annoying father in the hospital,” Baier told TVNewser in an interview about his new book “Special Heart,” which chronicles his son Paul’s battle with congenital heart disease.

While political anchoring carries its own important responsibility, his son’s illness presented much higher-stakes. “The decision-making process is life or death,” he said, noting one important decision after Paul’s birth: wait a week for a top surgeon to return to America and operate, or go elsewhere.  He and his wife Amy “thought about it, prayed about it, and came to the conclusion to wait.”

Throughout Paul’s three open-heart surgeries and seven angioplasties, Baier still had to smile for the camera and stay sharp while reporting both on the road and in studio. “I can’t say I was 100% focused on whatever the issue of the day was,” he says. Today, the balancing act between family and work remains. “The whole experience has given me perspective, and I try to balance more than perhaps I did before.”

And how did that perspective—about family and health—impact his reporting on the Affordable Care Act? “There’s a lot of questions on both sides. The one thing I can conclusively say is that there are amazing doctors and nurses doing amazing things around our country. We all should remember that.” For Baier, there’s one “family” he’ll never forget.

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Bush Library ‘Had No Editorial Control’ Over ’41 on 41′

41on41AilesTVNewser was at the screening last night for the new CNN Films presentation of “41 on 41,” which will air this Sunday, Father’s Day, on CNN.

The film features 41 people sharing intimate stories about the 41st president, George H.W. Bush, as a politician, a president, a father and a grandfather.  In some cases — like that of Pierce Bush, one of 24 Bush grandchildren — the portrait is very intimate. (Listen closely for the story about what was found on Barbara Bush‘s laptop).

“41 on 41″ is executive produced by President Bush’s former White House speechwriter, Mary Kate Cary, and Rick Kaplan, the former president of CNN, and later MSNBC. “It’s good to have Rick back in the building,” said CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker in his introduction of the screening.

The film is backed by the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library, but in the Q&A following the screening, Cary noted the Library “had no editorial control” of the documentary and only provided funding. “This was made as any other independent film would have been made,” said Cary. She said the “41″ theme played throughout the 10-month film-making process, which included 45-minute sit-downs with the 41 participants. In all, the crew traveled 41,000 miles gathering the interviews.

Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes and NBC News special correspondent Tom Brokaw are featured back-to-back sharing stories of Pres. Bush’s military service. Cary says while it was a challenge to get the list down to just 41, there are a few people she wished could have made the film, including former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who couldn’t participate due to health reasons, and Tiger Yang, who was assigned to the Bushes during his role as U.S. Liaison to Beijing in 1974-75 and is now a high-ranking Chinese politician. Cary said it was a challenge to get the Chinese government to participate at all in the project.

As for the 41st president, he’s seen the film and enjoyed it. “He was very humbled,” said Cary. “In a Lou Gehrig way, he said, ‘I’m the luckiest guy in the world.’”

CNN Acquires George H.W. Bush Film Featuring Roger Ailes, Tom Brokaw, Brit Hume

41on41CNN Films has acquired “41ON41,” a two-hour profile of President George H.W. Bush featuring 41 of his closest friends, relatives and colleagues. The film will air Sunday, June 15, three days after Bush celebrates his 90th birthday.

The film features memories of the former President by a handful of television personalities and executives, including NBC’s Tom Brokaw, who anchored “Nightly News” during the first Bush administration, and Brit Hume, who was then the senior White House correspondent for ABC News. The film also features Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, who was a campaign advisor to Bush 41. Also featured: Bush’s wife Barbara and sons Jeb Bush and George W. Bush.

In a statement, CNN SVP of talent and content development Amy Entelis said the film “offers extraordinary insights to the man behind the powerful office, and his consequential presidency.”

Fox News Responds to Gawker Shepard Smith Story: ’100% False and a Complete Fabrication’

SmithAilesFox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes and anchor Shepard Smith are calling a Gawker story published this morning “100% false and a complete fabrication.” The story titled “How Fox News Shoved Shepard Smith Back Into The Closet,” is based on anonymous sources who claim Smith wanted to reveal his sexuality, but was stopped by Fox News executives, including Bill Shine, who heads up FNC’s opinion programming.

The Gawker story claims Shine “flipped out,” when Smith brought his partner to a July 4, 2013 party at Ailes’ upstate estate, and later called a meeting to discuss what to do. Fox News tells us Shine wasn’t at that party (he was in Charleston, South Carolina on vacation with his family) and emphatically denies any such meeting occurred.

Gawker claims the events of the July 4th party led to Smith being “demoted.” But, Ailes and Smith had been discussing a new contract with Smith as early as last spring, and singed in June, leading to the addition of the Fox News Deck and changes to primetime.

“This story is 100% false and a complete fabrication,” write Ailes and Smith in a joint statement. “As colleagues and close friends at Fox News for 18 years, our relationship has always been rooted in a mutual respect, deep admiration, loyalty, trust, and full support both professionally and personally.”

Smith works for the news side of FOX, which is run by Michael Clemente and Jay Wallace and not Bill Shine, who oversees programs like “The O’Reilly Factor” and “Hannity.” Shine released his own statement of support for Smith, which reads in part: “We have never asked Shep to discuss or not discuss his private life, and the notion of us having an issue with anyone’s sexuality is not only insulting, but pure fiction.” Shine’s full statement after the jump:

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Megyn Kelly Bets David Gregory Isn’t The Only One Being Analyzed

KellyOn last night’s “The Kelly File,” Megyn Kelly took on NBC News reportedly hiring a psychologist for “Meet the Press” moderator David Gregory, suggesting Gregory isn’t the only one being analyzed.

“I’m going to bet there are psychiatrists analyzing us on their couches right now, but I’m going to tell you right now, they weren’t hired by Roger Ailes,” Kelly joked, adding that they’re actually Fox watchers concluding “it was all her mother’s fault.”

NBC News told Fox News the same thing they told us yesterday; they hired a brand consultant, not a psychologist, to speak with Gregory, his family, and friends.

And Sean Hannity “has had enough with NBC News,” offering harsher criticism last night for MSNBC’s “left-wing loudmouth” Ed Schultz.

Hannity aired clips of Schultz criticizing Hannity’s coverage of the Bundy-ranch standoff with federal rangers, which Schultz said he should be ashamed of. “Are they going to send 200 armed agents to everybody’s house?” Hannity asked about the federal government’s actions.

He concluded the segment airing a montage of the “buffoon” Schultz, airing some of Schultz’s more over-the-top statements about Vice President Dick Cheney and Laura Ingraham (which Schultz was suspended for). He also took on “mob rat” Al Sharpton.

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Chris Wallace Re-Signs With Fox News

chris wallaceFox News has re-signed Chris Wallace to a multi-year deal to continue as the anchor of “Fox News Sunday,” the network announced this afternoon.

“Chris is a renowned journalist whose hard-hitting interviews and lifetime of dedication to the news have established him as one of the best in the industry,” Fox News chairman Roger Ailes said in a statement. “We are pleased he will continue his exceptional work on FOX News for years to come.”

Wallace has anchored “Fox News Sunday” and contributed to Fox News’ political and election coverage since joining the network in 2003. 2014 marks his 50th year in the broadcasting industry.

“It is the high point of my career to work at FOX News,” Wallace said. “I am delighted and grateful for the opportunity Roger Ailes has given me and look forward to many more years of bringing interesting guests and provocative conversations to our audience.”

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]

Fox News Executive Sharri Berg Honored

JCRCBergFox News and FOX TV Stations SVP Sharri Berg was honored as the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York’s 2014 Corporate Leader Wednesday night in an event at the Pierre Hotel. Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, a previous JCRC honoree, introduced Berg.

Berg, who has been with Fox for more than 17 years and was promoted to her current role in October 2005, is responsible for synergy between Fox News and the 28 Fox-owned TV stations.

In the past, the JCRC has honored former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and News Corp and 21st Century Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch.

Berg is pictured with Ailes (above), along with Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer, Ronald G. Weiner, the president of the JCRC of New York, and Rabbi Michael S. Miller, the CEO of JCRC of New York.

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