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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.

All the Media News, That’s Fit To Air

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While the three evening newscasts and the network morning shows often look the same — with the same lineup of stories, often airing at the same time — the two media criticism shows, provide two distinct options for news junkies: those who are partial to Fox News and those who tune in to CNN.

Both shows, CNN’s “Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter” and FNC’s “MediaBuzz with Howard Kurtz,” air at the same time, 11amET Sundays. (“MediaBuzz” also gets a re-air at 5pmET)

Yesterday, “Reliable Sources” led with the Stephen Colbert taking over CBS’s “Late Show.” “MediaBuzz” led with how the media covered the departure of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Kurtz got to Colbert :47 minutes into his show. “Reliable Sources” didn’t cover Sebelius at all.

On CNN, Stelter had a 10-minute segment, which included an interview with Sen. Al Franken, on the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger. Kurtz didn’t cover last week’s merger news, but had two segments with former CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson, who was also on Bill O’Reilly‘s show earlier in the week.

Stelter reported last week’s news of a new ABC News president, Kurtz did not. Kurtz discussed the coverage of Jeb Bush last week, Stelter did not. Both shows gladly covered competitor MSNBC, and the reports that host Al Sharpton was once an FBI informant.

While no one will ever confuse CNN and Fox News, the two programs that cover the media are leading the way in differentiation.

The Morning Ticker: Ingraham & ABC, MSNBC Tour, ‘Dateline’ Ratings

  • MSNBC kicks off the Growing Hope College Tour next Friday as Alex Wagner visits Texas Southern University. Wagner will host her show from University Plaza next Friday. The following Wednesday, the tour takes Rev. Al Sharpton to Morehouse College.

  • “Dateline Saturday Night Mystery” continues to score for NBC. Drawing 4.8 million viewers, the 2-hour show was the No. 1 non-sports show on the Big 4 networks in its Saturday night timeslot among viewers and the two younger demos.

Greta Confronts Candidate Who Intends to Wage War on Fox News if He Wins Election

This was almost too easy.

On her show Thursday night, Greta Van Susteren confronted Virginia congressional candidate Mike Dickinson who, on Twitter, vowed to wage “war” on the Tea Party and on Fox News if he wins. “I don’t have a problem with you, I have a problem with the company you work for,” Dickinson told Van Susteren, who then quickly dispatched with the candidate over his contradictory statements and outright lies, including a claim that he was the CEO of company that owns strip clubs.


‘SNL’ Lampoons CNN Alerts, Al Sharpton

CNNPregnancySNLLast Saturday night, “Fox & Friends” got another send-up on “Saturday Night Live.” Last night CNN’s breaking news alerts and MSNBC host Al Sharpton got the SNL treatment.

The CNN Pregnancy Test gives a hopeful couple an alert on everything but whether they’re having a baby. “The CNN take-home pregnancy test… for when you want to know, when they don’t know.”

In another skit, “Undercover Sharpton” imagines the Rev. Al Sharpton as an undercover FBI informant. Both clips after the jump…

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The Sunday Ticker: Kotb, Cavett, Gupta

  • “Today” show co-host Hoda Kotb is putting on her running shoes this morning as host of the 11th Annual More/Fitness Women’s Half-Marathon in Central Park. Kotb will welcome 20,000 runners and spectators for the largest women’s-only half-marathon in the country.

  • Legendary talk show host Dick Cavett, who will be a guest on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” this morning, is being honored by the Museum of Broadcast Communications at its annual benefit in June. The Chicago museum will also launch “Dick Cavett: A Retrospective.”

  • CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta continues his reports from Guinea, in West Africa, today tracking a deadly epidemic of Ebola and what is being done to control it. In the current outbreak, which began last month, the World Health Organization has confirmed more than 100 deaths.

CNBC Expands Reality Shows

cnbc logo_304x200CNBC has greenlit two new reality shows for summer, and has three others in development.

“Restaurant Kickstart” pits restaurateur Joe Bastianich and celebrity chef Tim Love against each other as they invest their own money in food concepts they believe will make them millions. The second show, “Filthy Rich Guide” is an insider look at the best that money can buy. From outrageous mansions, to private islands, this series shows how the .1% live.

In addition, CNBC is devloping “Restaurant Confidential,” (the title of which probably isn’t going to sit well with Anthony Bourdain), “Hard Money,” and “More Money, More Problems.”

“Restaurant Kickstart” debuts in July and “Filthy Rich Guide” launches in August.

Here’s Jane Pauley’s First CBS ‘Sunday Morning’ Interview

As we told you earlier today, longtime “Today” show co-anchor Jane Pauley is joining CBS News as a contributor to “CBS Sunday Morning.” Author Mitch Albom is the subject of her first story airing later this month.

 

Morning Show Ratings: Week of March 31

morningshowanchors2014In its first week without Josh Elliott, “Good Morning America” not only remained in first place in the mornings, but hit 4-week highs. “GMA” also showed the most growth in the A25-54 demo, up +18% compared to the same week last year and also up +9% in viewers.

NBC’s “Today” show was up double digits year-over-year: +10% in viewers and +13% in the A25-54 demo. And for the second straight Monday, “Today” topped “GMA” in the demo. “Today” has won at least one broadcast day in the A25-54 demo for 5 consecutive weeks.

“CBS This Morning” saw the most growth in the morning among total viewers: +13%, but lost viewers in the demo, down -4%.

The averages for the week of March 31, 2014:

  • Total Viewers: ABC: 5.827M / NBC: 5.112M / CBS: 3.154M
  • A25-54 viewers: ABC: 2.309M / NBC: 2.144M / CBS: 966,000


Tony Reali Joins ‘Good Morning America’

TonyRealiAs part of Tony Reali‘s new contract with ESPN, the longtime host of “Around the Horn” will also join “Good Morning America” as a social media contributor.

“I am thrilled to be hosting ‘Around the Horn’ on ESPN for four more years. To move the show to New York and become a member of the ‘GMA’ family is a dream,” said Reali.

As a contributor to GMA, Reali will engage with fans, monitor social media activity and highlight trending from the recently unveiled “Social Square.”

Reali as born on Staten Island and grew up in Morganville, NJ. He joined ESPN in 2000 as a writer and researcher for the quiz show, “Two Minute Drill.”

After a Quick Transition, James Goldston Gets Down to Work at ABC News

GoldstonSherwood Ben Sherwood, recently named co-president of the Disney/ABC TV Group, handed the ABC News reins to James Goldston this morning, calling him the “brilliant architect” of some of the most successful ABC News shows of the last decade.

Goldston, (near right) a London native, joined ABC News in 2004. He took “Nightline” to new heights in late night and later helped take “Good Morning America” to No. 1 in the mornings. Sherwood’s mantra to the 1,000 global staffers of ABC News has been consistent: PYG, or Play Your Game.

“The secret,” says Sherwood, “is that the game that we’ve played for the last three years is the game that we devised as a team: ["GMA" senior EP] Tom Cibrowski and James and I, with the great anchors there and the staff. And [EP] Michael Corn and the whole staff at ‘World News.’”

“The key is the consistency of the approach,” says Sherwood. “And I know that James has more plans up his sleeve.” TVNewser chatted with Sherwood and Goldston about the challenges ahead as both take on new roles:

TVNewser: First, congratulations to you both. James, what’s the first order of business?

Goldston: We’re going to work out a transition period. I’ve worked very closely with Ben these last three years. I’m going to be talking to the team a lot in the days and weeks ahead. Ben has been a fantastic, inspirational figure in the news division and I still have much to learn from him.

TVNewser: Ben, how much do you think you’ll be in New York in the coming weeks or months as you transition to your new job?

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