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Archives: February 2005

Academy Awards: CNN’s Picks

CNN anchors have made their Academy Award picks, and tonight we’ll find out how they did. Soledad O’Brien was the winner of 2004′s competition; Bill Hemmer, Daryn Kagan, Rick Sanchez and Betty Nguyen are trying to beat her. Here’s the web page listing their predictions. It’s part of’s Academy Awards Spotlight…

And Then There Was One: Betsy West Submitted Her Resignation This Week

A NYT scoop: “Betsy West, a senior vice president of the news division, also submitted her resignation this week, a CBS official said last night. The official, who had been briefed on the matter, insisted on anonymity because it concerned an employee’s contract.”

Then There Were Two: Mary Murphy Leaves CBS News

Friday night surprise: Mary Murphy has officially resigned from CBS News.
“CBS News and I have reached an amicable resolution, and I have resigned my position,” Murphy said in a statement. NewsBlues quotes more of the statement: “During my time at CBS News, I enjoyed wonderful working relationships with many talented and dedicated journalists. I wish my good colleagues well and I look forward to moving on in my career.”
Murphy was asked to resign more than two months ago, the AP notes, and her two colleagues (Howard and West) still haven’t…

Vester v. Omarosa: “I Took Off The Gloves”

FNC’s Linda Vester blogs about her testy exchange with Omarosa from the Apprentice: “I was expecting at least a semi-serious discussion of the inner-workings of reality TV; but I quickly realized that once she sneeringly called me “my friend,” she was launching an ad hominem attack,” Vester writes. And she “took off the gloves:” “Omarosa threw grenades and I threw them back.” This is a great example of why anchors should have blogs…

One FNC Equals Two CNNs; One CNN Equals Two MSNBCs…

Because many of you have a love or hate feeling about both Nancy Grace and Keith Olbermann, here are Thursday’s #s: In total viewers, Grace devliered 366,000, while Olbermann had 208,000; Grace also won in the demo. Here’s a handy dandy comparison of the primetime (8 to 11pm) ratings between Monday and Thursday of this week:

FNC: 1.5 / 1,725,000 viewers / 448,000 demo

CNN: 0.7 / 772,000 viewers / 215,000 demo

MSNBC: 0.3 / 303,000 viewers / 119,000 demo

HLN: 0.2 / 260,000 viewers / 92,000 dem

CNBC: 0.1 / 95,000 viewers / 52,000 demo

MSNBC Needs A Promotion

MSNBC has begun to more aggressively promote its primetime lineup. Yesterday I noticed an ad for their “powerful primetime: Matthews, Olbermann, Scarborough.” Keith Olbermann’s Jose Canseco interview was promoted on NBC affiliates. But it isn’t enough.

“Why doesn’t MSNBC promote its strong primetime lineup [the way FNC and CNN do]?,” an analyst wondered today. Rick Kaplan’s been in charge for a year, and MS’s ties to NBC have improved, but the cable network desperately needs more promotion. “They have to start promoting themselves better,” the analyst said…

> Update: 7:35pm: From an e-mailer: “Chris Matthews is always great when he appears on Leno. Olbermann was SURREAL when he was on Leno, and one of the funniest guests I’ve seen in a long time! Somebody needs to send Scarborough off to Letterman and get Olbermann back to Leno. Great way to introduce hosts as ‘real people’ and to an audience that isn’t lumped in with the typical MSNBC/NBC News viewer.”

> Update: 7:45pm: “The MSNBC advertising budget is decided at 30 Rockefeller Center,” another e-mailer says. “That should tell you everything you need to know.”

MSNBC’s Blogcam Broadcasts

Very cool: MSNBC is airing segments with blogmaster Jeff Jarvis via his webcam (blogcam) at ‘Buzzmachine World Headquarters’ (his den). Trey Jackson has the video. “It looked surprisingly good (video), and MSNBC has booked him for more webcam appearances,” LostRemote writes, including two segments today.

“Anybody can broadcast anywhere not only over the internet but also via big, old cables,” Jarvis blogs. He described how it happened: “A Logitech laptop camera atop my screen; the screen atop a box to get it to eye-level; notes for the spiels taped to the screen; MSM Messenger to show the video; a phone to get the audio back; a very long ethernet cable to get to the router so we didn’t rely on wireless; lots of lamps … et voila: TV.”

Vester vs. Omarosa?

“You should have seen the Linda Vester interview with Omarosa on FNC,” an e-mailer says. “I’m hardly an Omarosa-defender, but Vester was weirdly aggressive and instigated a catfight with her. It devolved into the two of them trading insults and Omarosa calling Vester an idiot. It was hilarious!” Does anyone have a Tivo clip or a transcript?
> Update: Johnny Dollar has posted the highlight video.

Ratings: Headline Prime Reactions

> “This is significant! HLN creates, rehearses, promotes then begins airing 3 new primetime shows in less than 6 months, uses big brother CNN to cross-promote, and within 3 days it’s beating MSNBC in primetime? What is MSNBC to do? How can CNN take the success of its HLN initiative and adapt it to itself? It must stink to work at MSNBC right now.”

> “Just remember what happened to Donahue…He had more than a million viewers his first week.”

> “Let’s see what her numbers are in a month or two, then we will have a real picture of her ratings. I predict she will drop to Dennis Miller-land ratings within 4 to 6 weeks.”

> “Looking at the ratings for Nancy Grace for the 23rd: She got a .3, and Anderson Cooper is also a .3 What do you make of that?”

> “Headline Prime doesn’t exist just to get ratings. It exists to narrow the gap between CNN and FNC and widen the gap between CNN and MSNBC. Remember, CNN pulls in the real revenue, HLN doesn’t. So is Prime pulling away FNC/MSNBC viewers? Is it pushing “real news” viewers over to CNN?” I don’t know — do you?

The Critics Opine On HLN Changes

In the Kansas City Star, Aaron Barnhart says the new graphics on CNN Headline News are terrible: “I liked the old graphics, but they’ve shrunk the type and replaced the headline display with the CNN ticker. Instead of staying put, the letters now march across the screen. CNN might as well kiss goodbye the thousands of gyms that show Headline News to treadmillers. The new graphics will give them motion sickness.”
> David Kronke: “Showbiz Tonight is TV’s equivalent of cotton candy — fluffy and forgettable.”
> Robert Feder: “Just about the only good thing to come out of all the changes at CNN Headline News lately is the addition of an hour to Robin Meade’s morning show. The expanded “Robin & Company” now airs from 5 to 9 a.m. weekdays.”