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Posts Tagged ‘Stephanie Cutter’

Who Do These TVNewsers Pick to Win the Super Bowl?

SuperBowlPicks

Sports commentators have been making their picks for two weeks, so TVNewser rounded up some network anchors and reporters to get their picks for Super Bowl XLVIII.

“I like the Broncos by 7,” “Special Report” host Bret Baier predicts. “Peyton Manning is too tough- even with Seahawks D. It’s an interesting match-up and for that matter- so is Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers at halftime!”

“Happening Now” host Jenna Lee agrees. She’s picking the Broncos “There’s simply no other choice.” Lee knows her football. Her dad played in two Super Bowls for the Minnesota Vikings. “I can NOT have a morose and despondent co-anchor on Monday morning.” Colorado native Jon Scott is a MAJOR Broncos fan.

But “America’s Newsroom” host Bill Hemmer is going against his colleagues: “Peyton Manning is once in a generation, it would be great if he wins another Super Bowl. But it seems everyone is going with Denver because of him. Which can only mean one thing: Seattle wins. Fair and Balanced.”

“Who do I want to lose more?” is the way MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki is looking at it. “As a Patriots fan, I’m torn. The Broncos beat my team and I can’t cheer for Peyton Manning, but I still remember when Pete Carroll inherited a great Patriots team from Bill Parcells and ran it into the ground.”

Kornacki’s call: “I’ll take an ugly game that reflects poorly on both teams and ends with Manning getting sacked in the end zone in overtime for a 2-0 Seattle win.”

ABC News correspondent Amy Robach, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy as she fights breast cancer, is rooting for Seattle “for one reason…”

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David Zurawik Has ‘Lost Faith’ in ’60 Minutes’ and CNN

obamaKroftBaltimore Sun television critic David Zurawik delivers blistering commentary on the state of the news media in his latest column. “After decades of writing about television and media, this is the year that I have lost faith in two TV news institutions in which I have long believed: ’60 Minutes’ and CNN,” he writes. “…I used to believe in and ferociously defend what I thought of as the high end of TV news. But I don’t have a fast answer anymore as to where TV viewers should turn for trustworthy information.”

Zurawik writes that his faith in “60 Minutes” began eroding after the 2008 election, noting that in multiple interviews with President Obama, Steve Kroft allowed the President to “control the conversation.”

The newsmagazine that debuted in 1968 had long played this kind of softball game when it came to celebrity profiles, but not with a president who was regularly using the telecast as a political tool. To me, that’s as serious an abrogation of journalistic duty as there is — especially when you are one of the 10 most popular shows on TV with an audience that regularly tops 10 million viewers a night.

[...] The one-after-another sequence of mistakes in the past couple of months suggests something deeper is now at play — a senior management team that has lost its way and has stopped listening to anyone outside the bunker. Barring any more Benghazi-like debacles, the ratings will probably hold for “60 Minutes.” But not my faith in its journalism. That’s gone.

As for CNN, Zurawik directs his criticism at CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker, who took the helm of the network this year: Read more

Stephanie Cutter is Expecting

StephanieCutterTVNewser has learned “Crossfire” co-host Stephanie Cutter is expecting her first child. Cutter broke the news to the “Crossfire” staff this afternoon. Cutter, 44, is due in early March. She will return to the show following her maternity leave next spring.

Cutter, deputy campaign manager for President Obama’s re-election campaign, will be hosting tonight alongside S.E. Cupp. “Crossfire” returned to the CNN airwaves a month ago.

CNN Tweaks Ethics Policy For ‘Crossfire’ Hosts

CutterGingrichCNN has apparently changed its ethics policy for the hosts of “Crossfire,” after a pair of complaints against hosts Newt Gingrich and Stephanie Cutter were made.

Conservative groups targeted Cutter because she is a former staffer for President Obama’s campaign, and still keeps in touch with many of her former colleagues. She also still works as a consultant for Democratic candidates and causes, including the President.

Liberal groups targeted Gingrich, as his PAC gave money to a number of conservative politicians. One of those politicians, Rand Paul, appeared on “Crossfire” and was interviewed by Gingrich, with no mention of his PAC’s donations.

One of those media watchdog groups, Media Matters, spoke to CNN standards executive Rick Davis earlier this month about the ethics guidelines the “Crossfire” hosts need to follow. Today, Davis told them that they are “clarifying” the policy. The issue in question is whether the hosts need to mention on-air if they are funding or helping a politician or candidate. The new, “clarified” rules say that they do not, because their political position implies support already.

“Crossfire” is a high-profile launch for CNN, which has committed seven figures to securing the four co-hosts to substantial deals with the channel. Given the investment it shouldn’t be surprising that CNN is moving the goalposts with regards to its ethics policy.

Ratings: ‘Crossfire’ Debut Second in Demo, Third in Total Viewers

The debut of CNN’s “Crossfire” averaged 582,000 total viewers and 169,000 A25-54 viewers Monday evening. In the 6:30pmET half hour, “Crossfire,” hosted last night by Newt Gingrich and Stephanie Cutter, was third in total viewers and second in the key A25-54 demographic in cable news.

The show’s average was up +44% in total viewers and +21% in the demo compared to the prior four Mondays. Compared to the same day last year, the show was up +82% and +41%, respectively.

By comparison, Fox News’ “Special Report” drew 2.40 million total viewers and 384,000 A25-54 viewers from 6:30 to 7pmET. MSNBC’s “Politics Nation” had 617,000 total viewers and 116,000 A25-54 viewers, and HLN’s “Evening Express” averaged 248,000 and 127,000, respectively, for the half-hour.

The full scoreboard will be up shortly.

Turning Down the Volume for ‘Crossfire’ 2.0


New “Crossfire” hosts (l-r) Stephanie Cutter, Van Jones, S.E. Cupp and Newt Gingrich.

When last we saw CNN’s “Crossfire,” it resembled a scene from “Animal House,” minus the togas.

Eight years later, “Crossfire” has learned its manners, according to CNN. Hosts will use their indoor voices, and will allow each other to finish sentences. The experiment begins at 6:30 tonight, with Newt Gingrich and Stephanie Cutter on set with two guests.

“You have to wait for someone to finish, then make your point,” says CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist, who began his CNN career as a “Crossfire” intern in 1989. “We get that. Obviously, it’s something to be mindful of. At the same time, we want to have passionate conversations.”

Even with what’s being billed as a kinder, gentler “Crossfire,” the question remains as to whether the conservative-vs.-liberal roundtable, launched in 1982, matters anymore in a radically altered cable topography.

Given that Fox News and MSNBC have become so polarized, a political program with both sides equally represented is more important than ever, says Charles Bierbauer, Dean of the University of South Carolina’s College of Mass Communications and a CNN correspondent for 20 years.

“Whatever happened to the guy in the middle?” he opines.  “I, as a viewer, like more than one point of view on issues. We’ve evolved, or devolved, to the notion that tuning into Fox gives you a right wing, conservative perspective and tuning into MSNBC gives you a left wing, liberal perspective.”

Going a step further, Feist says CNN “is the only cable-news channel that is capable of hosting “Crossfire” in an authentic way…. We’re bipartisan. Our job is to represent all points of view. It’s hard to imagine viewers would trust other channels to offer a debate program with equally balanced hosts and guests.”

“Balance” often leads to a deafening decibel level. Toward the end, this was “Crossfire’s” hallmark, fueled even more by a vocal studio audience. In his infamous 2004 appearance, Jon Stewart decried the cacophony, which led, in part, to ex-CNN chief Jonathan Klein’s decision to euthanize the show.

“Crossfire’s” approach was emblematic of the time’s ‘argument culture,’ says Amy S. Mitchell, new director of Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.

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Newt Gingrich, Stephanie Cutter Set to Host ‘Crossfire’ Debut

Newt Gingrich and Stephanie Cutter are the two hosts for the debut edition of “Crossfire” Monday night, CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist revealed on a conference call with reporters this afternoon. Van Jones and S.E. Cupp are slated to host on Tuesday.

The nightly program will feature two hosts and two guests each night. Each half-hour show will focus exclusively on one topic, which Feist said will give the show “a great deal more depth.”

“None of us are known for shying away from a good debate. But we’ll get beyond the talking points. We’ll get beyond the one-liners,” Cutter said. “We are debaters. We like to discuss the issues. At times, we may get fiery. But we’ll always get beyond the talking points and get to the heart of the matter.”

Look for more on the “Crossfire” debut from TVNewser columnist Gail Shister on Monday.

CNN Offers Another Taste of ‘Crossfire’

CNN continues to tease its upcoming “Crossfire” reboot on-air. The latest effort came on “The Situation Room” yesterday evening, where S.E. Cupp and Stephanie Cutter debated voter fraud laws. The debate got heated, and the pair ended up talking over one another for a good portion of the debate.

Wolf Blitzer materialized (literally, check around four minutes in) and tried to calm things down to no avail.

CNN Hires Former ABC News Political Director David Chalian For ‘Crossfire’

CNN has hired David Chalian to be supervising producer of the “Crossfire” revamp, according to tweets sent by network talent, including Wolf Blitzer.

Chalian is a TV veteran, having served as the political director for ABC News, and the political editor for the “PBS NewsHour.”

His hiring is not without controversy, however. Chalian was terminated by Yahoo! last year after an off-the-cuff comment he made about Mitt Romney and the GOP was caught on a hot microphone.

“They are happy to have a party with black people drowning,” Chalian said in reference to Republicans, while his co-hosts chuckled.

At CNN, Chalian will work under EP Rebecca Kutler, and alongside hosts S.E. Cupp, Newt Gingrich, Van Jones and Stephanie Cutter.

CNN Taps Rebecca Kutler As ‘Crossfire’ EP

CNN has tapped Rebecca Kutler to be the executive producer of the revamped “Crossfire,” which will launch later this Fall.

Kutler is a CNN veteran, having served previously as a senior producer and an executive producer for the channel’s morning, weekday and primetime programming, including a stint as EP of “John King USA.” She also worked as a producer on the most recent election and inauguration coverage, and previously served as press secretary to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA).

“Rebecca brings to Crossfire extensive experience producing political programs and also years of experience on Capitol Hill as a Congressional staffer,” wrote CNN DC bureau chief Sam Feist and CNN director of DC programming Eric Sherling in an email to staff. “Rebecca’s passion for news, politics, and great debate make her the perfect choice for this role.”

Their email to staff is after the jump.

CNN formally announced the revamped “Crossfire” last month, which will be co-hosted by S.E. Cupp, Newt Gingrich, Van Jones and Stephanie Cutter.

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