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Andrew Gauthier

Lou Dobbs Mulls Run for White House, Senate


Lou Dobbs finger A week after abruptly quitting his longtime job as a CNN television news host and commentator, Lou Dobbs said on Thursday he is considering career options including possible runs for the White House or U.S. Senate.

“Right now I feel exhilaration at the wide range of choices before me as to what I do next,” Dobbs, whose outspoken views on immigration and other topics often angered liberals, told Reuters in a telephone interview from New York on Thursday.

Dobbs, 64, a veteran CNN anchor who had become one of the most divisive figures in U.S. broadcast journalism, announced last Wednesday he was leaving CNN after spending the better part of 30 years at the 24-hour cable news network.

He still hosts a daily radio show.

A Texas native, Dobbs has drawn fire from Latino leaders and civil rights groups for frequent on-air remarks about U.S. border control and immigration that critics saw as demonizing illegal immigrants. More…

Local Stations Stuggle to Overcome Loss of Auto Ads

Star Tribune

Car Dealership, Nissan Across the country, many local TV stations are running on fumes after their biggest financial source ran out of gas.

Traditionally, stations have gotten 25 to 35 percent of their advertising revenue from the auto industry, which all but stopped running ads when its future seemed uncertain, said Mark Fratrik of BIA Financial Network, a Virginia-based firm that advises companies about local media. According to the Television Bureau of Advertising, automotive ads were down 55 percent in the second quarter, while spots for car dealers dropped 43 percent.

The result: a record-breaking 30 percent drop in ad revenue for U.S. stations this year.

Some of that money is expected to return — and federal bailouts such as “cash for clunkers” helped — but most agree that auto advertising will never again shift into high gear. (Newspapers, by contrast, got only 6 to 10 percent of ad revenues from the auto industry.)

General managers at the Twin Cities’ four leading stations — WCCO, KSTP, KARE and KMSP — won’t say how much sales and budgets have shrunk, although it’s probably not as bad as elsewhere. More…

New York Reporter Guilty of Attempted Assault

Associated Press

Dominic Carter Cable television newsman Dominic Carter, an influential reporter on New York politics, was convicted Friday of an attempted assault on his wife.

The Rockland County district attorney’s office issued a one-sentence statement Friday saying Carter, 46, was found guilty of third-degree attempted assault.

The maximum sentence is three months in jail.

Carter, who was political anchor on NY1 until the station learned of the accusation, had been accused of the more serious charge of third-degree assault. His wife, Marilyn Carter, called 911 last year from their home in Pomona and claimed he hit her. Photos presented at trial showed the 52-year-old woman’s swollen lip, cut ear and bruised arm and leg.

However, she recanted her allegation on the witness stand during Carter’s Oct. 29 trial in Suffern, N.Y. More…

Glenn Beck Stakes Out Activist Role in Politics

The New York Times

Team Beck Rally Glenn Beck, the popular and outspoken Fox News host, says he wants to go beyond broadcasting his opinions and start rallying his political base–formerly known as his audience–to take action.

To do so, Mr. Beck is styling himself as a political organizer. In an interview, he said he would promote voter registration drives and sponsor a series of seven conventions across the country featuring what he described as libertarian speakers.

On Saturday he held a festive campaign-style rally in The Villages in Florida, north of Orlando, in which he promoted his recently released book, “Arguing With Idiots,” and announced another book to come next August filled with right-leaning policy proposals gathered from the conventions.

Mr. Beck provided few details about his plans for the tour, making it unclear if he truly intends to prod his audience of millions into political action or merely burnish his media brand ahead of a book release. More…

After 21 Years, Baltimore Anchor to Leave WMAR

The Baltimore Sun

Mary Beth Marsden After 21 years on-air at Baltimore’s WMAR-TV, Mary Beth Marsden, the face of Channel 2 news, is leaving the station, the veteran anchorwoman said Thursday.

Marsden, who now anchors the station’s 5, 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts, said her last day will be Dec. 2.

The 48-year-old newscaster said the reason for her departure now is that she is taking a buyout offer made to union employees at the station.

“It’s probably in the end as mutual a decison as you can get,” Marsden said Thursday morning. “I would call it an amicable divorce — if there is such a thing. Thank God, we don’t have any children together.”

Marsden’s departure from Channel 2′s anchor desk will mark a major changing of the guard in local TV, with Sally Thorner‘s already announced retirement from WJZ-TV on Dec. 18. Marsden was the anchorwoman tapped to replace Thorner as the lead anchor in 1993 when Thorner jumped to WJZ in a highly publicized move. More…

CBS Promises that Oprah’s Exit Won’t Hurt Stations

Broadcasting & Cable

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX When “The Oprah Winfrey Show” goes off TV stations’ air on Sept. 9, 2011, the entity that stands to lose the most money is: Oprah.

Winfrey and her Harpo Productions take home by far the most profit from Oprah. CBS Television Distribution (CTD), which distributes the show, earns well south of $50 million annually in distribution fees on the show, estimates New York-based investment firm J.P. Morgan in a research note released this morning. Winfrey herself is worth an estimated $2.7 billion, according to Forbes.

Overall, Oprah is estimated to earn $4 million per week in cash license fees and another $2 million per week in national advertising sales, bringing the show’s annual total revenue to more than $300 million, plus what it earns internationally. CTD sells the show’s national advertising, but probably keeps only about 10% of that revenue.

“We think Oprah’s significance is likely overblown for CBS,” the note reads. “With the distribution loss, our back-of-the envelope calculation implies [an approximate] $0.03 EPS hit in 2012. Thats essentially a rounding error, in our view.” More…

Sreenivasan Leaving CBS to Join Relaunched ‘NewsHour’


Hari Sreenivasan Hari Sreenivasan is leaving CBS News for a position with PBS’s “The NewsHour.” The veteran CBS correspondent will serve as an anchor for the PBS program, which is set to relaunch as “PBS NewsHour” on December 7th, dropping Jim Lehrer‘s name from the title in an effort to broaden its audience.

Sreenivasan has been tapped to serve as the face of PBS’s effort to bring its venerable nightly news program into the digital age. He will report and anchor web-based news updates throughout the day in addition to appearing on the evening newscast. “Hari’s skill and innovation bringing news to audiences on multiple platforms will be tremendous assets as the ‘PBS NewsHour’ fully integrates its on-air and online operations,” said Linda Winslow, Executive Producer of the “PBS NewsHour.”

Before joining CBS, where he appeared regularly on the “CBS Evening News” and “The Early Show,” Sreenivasan played a major role in ABC News’ 24-hour digital service “ABC News NOW.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity for me,” Sreenivasan said in a news release. “Jim Lehrer and his colleagues at the NewsHour and PBS have set the standard for top quality reporting and analysis. I look forward to helping them meet the exciting challenges presented by the new landscape in journalism.”

Shelly Palmer’s MediaBytes

Video: Oprah Will End the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2011

MediaBytes Video

Vivendi CFO: Company Eyeing Exit From NBCU


Vivendi, NBC Universal Vivendi could exit from U.S. media group NBCU Universal as it has no intention to be part of the future joint venture being discussed by Comcast and General Electric, its chief financial officer said on Thursday.

Philippe Capron also told the Morgan Stanley Media & Telecoms conference that selling its 20 percent stake in NBCU would give Vivendi “additional financial headroom” after it gained control of Brazil’s telecoms operator GVT last week.

“We are not interested in staying onboard a new GE-Comcast ownership of NBCU … we will exit and it will give us more headroom,” Capron said, adding “We are not there yet.”

Capron later told Reuters on the sideline of the conference: “We have never been closer to the end of this story.”

But Vivendi’s board had made no decision on the matter, he said. More…

With Cablevision Deal, Fox Business Adds 3M Homes


Fox Business logo Cablevision and News Corp.’s FOX Business unveiled an agreement Thursday that will make the business news channel available to more than three million additional households in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

The deal takes effect Thursday and lands FBN on Cablevision’s channel 106 and in HD on channel 772. Cablevision operates the largest U.S. cable cluster and is in more than 4.7 million households and 600,000 businesses in the New York metropolitan area.

FBN is now available in more than 50 million homes.

“We’re pleased to welcome Cablevision as our newest FOX Business affiliate and look forward to providing the essential and up-to-the-minute breaking business news to the greater New York area,” Tim Carry, FBNs senior vice president of affiliate relations, said in a statement.

The new agreement will expand FBN’s reach into New York’s surrounding area, including Long Island, Westchester, Fairfield and Bergen counties. More…