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Posts Tagged ‘Rome Hartman’

IFC Takes a Critical Look (But Not “Uniformly Critical”) At Media

ifc_5-1.bmpThe IFC Media Project’s 2nd season debuts Sunday night at 11pmET with a look at the “American Worldview.” The program, created by Meghan O’Hara {Fahrenheit 9/11) and hosted by Gideon Yago (formerly of MTV & CBS News), looks at how the news gets made and how it impacts our lives. The first two episodes look at the push to get Al-Jazeera English into U.S. homes, the coverage of the Russian-Georgian conflict, a profile of the infamous shoe-thrower and even pirates (“we had no idea they’d be in the news,” said O’Hara). TVNewser spoke to O’Hara and Yago earlier this week:

TVNewser: What has been the reaction to the first season?

Meghan O’Hara: Universally, very, very good. I think that even if some people took issue with one story or another, the general consensus was that it’s a great show that is actually saying something really important that nobody else is saying. The network kind of turned around immediately and said let’s do season 2.

Gideon Yago: All my experiences have been anecdotal. The two distinct ones were colleagues and other journalists who work in news and then people who didn’t work in the industry, where it wasn’t an exercise in naval gazing, who were like, ‘Holy shit, I had no idea that was what the process was like.’ Ultimately for us the goal has been to serve that second group for those who are not the hard and fast participants in the news business, and give them who the players are in the craft.

TVN: What’s different about season two?

MO: We’ve put the episodes together in much more of a thematic way. The pieces have relationships to one another. The first episode is basically looking at how Americans view the world and how we look at world news.

GY: We had access to a journalism grad student who shot personalized footage, and a very personalized piece. The broader editorial questions were looking at how the Cold War narrative perpetuated almost immediately. We’re really fortunate the IFC audience is critical and very savvy about everything, which serves the needs of our show, serves the mission of our show.

After the jump, how IFC Media Project covered the shoe-thrower, whether Americans are “famously incurious,” and plans for a potential Season 3…

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Hartman’s Primary Mission: “To Bring Smart of the World Home to Americans”

hartman_4-14b.jpgJoining us on the Menu podcast today was noted non-Twitterer Rome Hartman.

The BBC World News America EP explained the appeal of his network. “What we’re really trying to do is bring sophisticated coverage of international issues and events to an American audience that frankly has a hard time finding that on a consistent basis from the American networks,” he said. “The BBC aspires to cover the world. And it has a newsgathering infrastructure that’s really unparalleled.”

We talked about the popularity of emo-anchors. “Anchors are human beings, and if something is real and emotion is real, and frankly the events or news that produces that emotion are real, it’s hugely powerful, and it’s appropriate,” says Hartman. “Where I have a problem with it is when it’s manufactured more to draw an audience or as part of a business plan…I aspire to never have anyone cry on our program ever again. If it happens and it’s real, fine.”

Also discussed: An update on what Hartman thinks of Twitter, the main “miscalculation” of American networks and the reason he usually does poorly in NCAA bracket pools.

You can listen to all the past podcasts at and call in at 646-929-0321.

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BBC’s Rome Hartman on the Menu

hartman_4-13.jpgToday on the Morning Media Menu we’re joined by BBC World News America EP Rome Hartman.

Hartman previously was the EP of the CBS Evening News — we’ll talk to him about the difference between producing for an American and a British network (of course, he’s based in D.C.).

Oh, and for all the anti-Twitterers out there — Hartman is on your side.

Click here to listen LIVE at 9amET.

You can hear all the past podcasts at and call in at (646) 929-0321.

With One Eye on the Capitol and Another on the Court, Joe Johns Leads The Bracket Challenge


Here’s a look at the standings in the TVNewser Bracket Challenge ’09. CNN correspondent Joe Johns, along with Steve, are tied for first place after yesterday’s first round games. BBC’s Rome Hartman rounds out the pack. And we’re pretty sure he won’t be Tweeting that.

TVNewser Bracket Challenge ’09: The Competitors

bracket_3-19.bmpTo celebrate the Madness that is March, we’re holding the first ever TVNewser Bracket Challenge! All news networks were asked to participate — some chose to “pass” (an assist?).

Here are the 2009 participants, and who they picked to win it all:

• ABC correspondent John Berman (Pittsburgh)
• CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer (Duke)
&bull Bloomberg anchor Peter Cook (Duke)
• MSNBC host Willie Geist (Memphis)
• CBS anchor Jeff Glor (North Carolina)
• BBC E.P. Rome Hartman (Duke)
• CNN correspondent Joe Johns (Michigan St.)
• ABC correspondent Rick Klein (Louisville)
• CNBC correspondent Darren Rovell (Louisville)

We’ll update the standings periodically, and report on any trash talk that takes place among the competitors. Good luck!

The Question Every “J” School Student Wants Answered

summit_3-10.jpgDuring the Q&A portion of the “New Tools” session at TVNewser Summit on Tuesday, former CBS Evening News EP, Rome Hartman who now heads up BBC World News America answered a question that is on the minds of thousands of J school and communications students: What does the future of TV News mean for me?

The entire TVNewser Summit will be made available on-demand in the next few weeks…

TVNewser Summit Roundup

summit_3-10.jpgA quick shout-out to everyone who came out for the first TVNewser Summit yesterday. And not to go all Donald Trump on you, but it was huge. It was a half-day packed with news, information, advice and debate about where the TV News industry is heading.

•’s Jeff Bercovici wrote about Alexis Glick‘s pseudo-support for business news colleague Jim Cramer. Jeff also picked up on an audience question for MSBNC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski about whether there was any “sexual tension” between the two. That question just happened to come from our boss Laurel Touby. has the video here.

• B&C’s David Tanklefsky wrote about the second panel moderated by NOW on PBS’s Joel Schwartzberg and included execs from ABC, CBS/CNet, CNNMoney, and Fox News/Fox Business. “The digital chiefs discussed the importance of hiring editorial talent that could multi-task: write, edit, shoot and report the same story for different platforms. They also talked about how to reach Internet viewers with short attention spans, airing grittier content that would not appear on network television, and how to use social networking sites to drive viewers to content.”

After the summit,’s Jonathan Federico got reaction from some of the attendees:

And Steve talked with some of the panelists after their sessions, including Scarborough, Brzezinski, Glick and Rome Hartman. Look for that video later this week on the blog.

Also, check out pictures here on the Flickr page and from Rachel Sklar‘s Flickr page here.

Twitter Debate, With An Eye To The Future By All, at the Summit

summit_3-10.jpgThe first panel at the TVNewser Summit was slated to have some fireworks, and it didn’t disappoint. Tammy Haddad moderated the group, and engaged the audience.

The overriding focus was Twitter. BBC’s Rome Hartman, who says he’s “somehow been branded the Howard Beale of Twitter,” has mixed feelings. “As a newsgathering tool it’s hugely important,” he said. But, it furthers “mass self-absorption.”

ABC News’ Rick Klein thinks it’s necessary. “I think if people are getting their information in new, different ways, then we should be a part of it,” he said.

NBC’s Jim Long, who’s very active on Twitter, said, “If used properly…it gives you the opportunity to feel and understand the people you’re trying to serve.”

As for the Web-based panelists, Michael Meyers said the Web will have it’s own “niche.” “We’re going to own breaking news,” he said, while traditional media will have “highly synthesized well-thought out content.” The point was argued by members of the panel.

Rachel Sterne talked about the monetary possibility on the Web. “A news audience is probably the best audience you can get online,” she said. “It’s an attractive demographic.”

“The audience has to get bigger, and it has to get different,” said Klein.

At the end of the session, Haddad presented Hartman with a parting gift. Take a look:

BBC is no CNN. “At Some Point It’s Almost Parody”

Gail Shister
TVNewser Columnist

Hartman_11.1.jpgIf you’re looking for bells and whistles on Election Night, the BBC is not your cuppa tea.

“I don’t think the BBC will ever be, or aspire to be, the bells-and-whistles network,” says CBS exile Rome Hartman, executive producer of “BBC World News America.”

“Fundamentally, we’re about great stories. Graphics help, and they’re cool. I have a lot of admiration for David Borhman and what he’s doing at CNN. But at a certain point, it’s almost parody.

“If the technology is just there as a ‘Gee whiz!’ it’s probably not the right thing. If it helps tell the story in a clear and understandable way, it’s perfectly fine.”

The BBC’s “U.S. Election Night” will be broadcast live from the network’s Washington bureau to more than 200 countries around the world beginning at 6pmET. In the Colonies, it will be seen exclusively on BBC America and BBC World News.

Former ABC Newsman Ted Koppel will join co-anchors David Dimbleby and Matt Frei in the studio “to step back and paint the big picture,” in Hartman’s words.

In a cheeky twist, contributors will include Ricky Gervais, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Schiff, Jay McInerney and Gore Vidal.

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CNN/TIME Politics ’08: Late Afternoon Sessions

martin_10-13.BMPThe 10th floor of the Time Warner Center was packed with journalists, college students and others today, as CNN and Time Magazine co-hosted their Politics 2008 conference.

TVNewser twittered two of the sessions, and we’ll have more on these and others tomorrow.

With three panels going on at a time in some instances, the late afternoon saw a split of two active sessions. In a religion and politics session, CNN contributors Roland Martin and Amy Holmes joined others in the discussion. When moderator Steve Waldman introduced Martin, identifying him as from the “left,” Martin immediately countered. “That introduction is part of the problem with the religion conversation,” he said. He also had some qualms with the name of the panel, which called for a discussion of the “‘new’ new rules” of religion and politics.

Holmes, who described herself as both a “non-believer” and a “blue state girl with red state politics,” said race has been a hot issue during the campaign, but religion has been less covered. “The media loves to talk about race, but I would ask to keep your eye on the religion issue,” she said.

In another room, CNN’s Candy Crowley, former Hillary Clinton strategist Mark Penn, Time Magazine’s Mark Halperin and others were discussing the media’s performance in the 2008 campaign. The overwhelming response — not good.

“The press is suffering,” said Penn. “Now they’re seen as increasingly partisan.” Crowley was asked if “people hiss at you” on the campaign trails. “Sure, but that’s not new,” she said.

The most biting critique was Halperin’s, who moves between ABC and all the cablers regularly as an analyst. He described the “irresponsible job the press has done when given access” during this election cycle. “We’ve done a bad job,” he said.

Below, TVNewser’s interview with Halperin after the panel. He expands on his critique of the media, and we ask what he thinks of being cited often in the first session as someone who understands new media during the first panel (and he gives some props to TVNewser):

Click continued to see which panelist appeared to be the most popular today, according to some unscientific research this afternoon…

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