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Chris Ariens

Chris joined Mediabistro in July 2007 as editor of TVNewser.com and executive producer of the blog network and was promoted to editorial director in June 2009. Before joining mediabistro, Chris spent seven years at MSNBC, as a producer, coordinating producer for the Olympics, and lastly as executive producer of daytime programs., Chris worked as a producer in local TV news in Green Bay (WLUK) and Tampa (WFTS). Email chris@mediabistro.com and follow @ChrisAriens on Twitter.

John Seigenthaler, Sr. Dies

seigenthalersJohn Seigenthaler, Sr., the longtime editor of The Tennessean newspaper, and father of Al Jazeera America and former NBC News anchor John Seigenthaler, Jr. died today.

Seigenthaler, Jr. said his father died “peacefully at home,” where he was recovering after a recent medical treatment. Seigenthaler, who was 86, began his journalism career in 1949 as a reporter for The Nashville Tennessean. He worked as a reporter and assistant city editor until 1960, when he went to work for Robert Kennedy who became attorney general in 1961.

“We celebrate his life — his devotion to social justice, his advocacy of human rights, and his enduring loyalty to friends and family,” a statement said.

NBC Olympics Nominated for Four Primetime Emmys

LauerVieiraSochiAmong the Emmy nominations announced yesterday, NBC Sports is up for four Creative Arts Emmy nominations for the 2014 Sochi Opening Ceremony. The ceremony, hosted by Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira and the New Yorker‘s David Remnick, earned nominations for Outstanding Special Class Program, Outstanding Art Direction for a Variety Special, Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Special and Outstanding Technical Direction/Camerawork/Video Control for a Miniseries.

“No single event captures the world’s attention and imagination like an Olympics Opening Ceremony,” said Jim Bell, executive producer of NBC Olympics., who was EP of the Opening Cereomony coverage. “These nominations are a welcome recognition of a job well done by many people at NBC Olympics, and also by our wonderful partners.”

Lauer and Vieira, you’ll recall, also worked overtime during the Sochi games filling in for several days for the ailing Bob Costas during NBC’s primetime telecast. The winners of the 2014 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards will be announced Saturday, August 16.

‘NY Med’ Wins Timeslot Third Week Running

NYMedThe ABC News program “NY Med” was the most-watched show on broadcast TV in its 10pm timeslot for the third week running. The show, which takes viewers inside New York-area hospitals for real-life emergencies, averaged 5.2 million total viewers and was up week-to-week: +11% in viewers and up +29% in A18-49 viewers.

Among total viewers, the show topped NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” and a repeat of CBS’ “Extant.” In the demo that means the most to advertisers in primetime, A18-49, “NY Med” was fourth, with Univision first in the 10pm hour.

The Ticker: LeBron’s Choice, Robot’s View Wolf’s Run

  • A robot journalist is being considered as a co-host for “The View.” Okay, maybe not. But another cable news name has surfaced to round out the cast in the fall.

  • Wolf Blitzer and his crew, reporting from Israel, had to make a run for a bomb shelter when sirens went off warning of an impending rocket attack. Blitzer talked about it this morning:


Morning Show Ratings: Week of June 30

morningshowanchors2014“Good Morning America” wins another week in the mornings in both viewers and the younger demo, but NBC’s “Today” posted its closest total viewer gap with “GMA” since the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

“Today” cut the gap, which still gives “GMA” a +311,000 viewer lead, by 59% vs. the same week last year. Both “GMA” and “Today” lost viewers vs. last year. ABC was down -11% in viewers and down -7% in the A25-54 demo, while “Today” was down -2% in viewers and down -5% in the demo.

Only “CBS This Morning” saw year-over-year growth: up +7% in total viewers but down -7% in the demo.

The weekly averages for all three programs are based on 4 days (Mon-Thurs) because of the July 4th holiday.

The averages for the week of June 30, 2014:

  • Total Viewers: ABC: 4.605M / NBC: 4.294M / CBS: 2.921M
  • A25-54 viewers: ABC: 1.703M / NBC: 1.625M / CBS: 841K

 

Brian Williams Makes Sex Joke on ‘Nightly News’

On “Nightly News” last night, Brian Williams reported on a baby boom going on in Washington, DC, which happens to coincide with the government shutdown 9 months ago.

“How long until someone on television points out that during the shutdown the folks in Washington are apparently doing at home what Washington has been accused of doing to the American people,” Williams said. “We’re guessing someone will say that on television before long.” And he did. WATCH:

(h/t Newsblues)

The Morning Ticker: Clinton, Comcast, CNNx

  • NBC News contributor Chelsea Clinton earns $75,000 per appearance on behalf of the Clinton Foundation. “100 percent of the fees are remitted directly to the foundation,” says her spokesperson. Clinton last appeared on NBC News June 21.

  • Discovery Communications has hired a lobbying firm to assure the FCC is giving proper scrutiny to the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger. This follows Dish Network’s urging of the FCC to block the deal.

  • CNN will demo its CNNx app at the TV Critics Association tour today. Introduced in beta in April, the app is now live in up to 85 million homes.

Bourdain, ‘Sixties,’ Net Emmy Noms for CNN

BourdainEmmyThe Primetime Emmy nominations were announced this morning. Some of the usual suspects have been given nods, including Bryan Cranston for Breaking Bad, Claire Danes for Homeland, Jim Parsons for The Big Bang Theory, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep. Full list here.

CNN was the only news network to make the cut, picking up several nominations for informational and documentary series.

Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown” is nominated for Outstanding Informational Series or Special, and 5 other awards. “The Sixties: The Assassination of President Kennedy” is up for two awards, including Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special.

“We are extremely proud of the superb storytelling, highest-level production and singular voices of CNN’s Original Series,” says CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker. “They’ve clearly connected with viewers and critics alike and we are honored that the Television Academy has recognized their work.”

The 66th Primetime Emmys will air Monday, August 25 on NBC, moving from the usual Sunday airing to accommodate Sunday Night Football.

CNN Original Series’ nominations include:

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ABC ‘World News’ Misidentifies Gaza Destruction As Being In Israel

GazaABCAs Hamas militants continues to fire rockets into Israel, and the IDF escalates its aerial assault in Gaza, the destruction on both sides seems to be indistinguishable to some.

On Tuesday’s “World News” ABC’s Diane Sawyer misidentified the aftermath of an Israeli missile strike in Gaza as destruction from Palestinian rocket fire. In the lead-in to a story on the crisis, Sawyer showed an image of a Palestinian family gathering belongings in the debris of a home in Gaza, but says it’s “an Israeli family trying to salvage what they can.”

An ABC spokesperson tells TVNewser, “We regret the error and will correct it.”

A few weeks ago we brought to light a video blunder on “NBC Nightly News” when months old footage was used to discuss the current march of ISIS through Iraq.

Video after the jump…

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Robert Redford to Play Dan Rather in ‘Rathergate’ Film

RatherRedford

Robert Redford has signed on to play Dan Rather in a film about the 2005 “60 Minutes II” story about Pres. George W. Bush‘s military record, which became known as “Memogate” and “Rathergate,” and would cost several CBS Newsers their jobs, and cost Rather millions of dollars.

“Truth” is based on the 2005 memoir Truth and Duty: The Press, The President, and The Privilege of Power by former CBS News producer Mary Mapes, who worked on the story and was later fired by CBS after an independent review found serious flaws with it. Cate Blanchett will play Mapes.

Rather left CBS News in 2006, and would later file a lawsuit against CBS Corp. In 2009, Rather told TVNewser he spent $2 million of his own money fighting the suit which was later dismissed. “60 Minutes II,” also known as “60 Minutes Wednesday” was canceled, another casualty of the debacle.

CBS News has no comment on the casting of the film.

Redford has played journalists in the past. In the 1996 film “Up Close and Personal” he starred as Warren Justice, a local news director in Miami who molds “Tally” Atwater, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, into a network news star. Earlier in his career, Redford played Bob Woodward in the film adaptation of All the President’s Men.

The film adaptation of Mapes’ book is years in the making. In 2008, TVNewser wrote about who might play Rather in the movie. At the time, Anthony Hopkins was a top choice.

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