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Archives: January 2008

CNN Debate Fourth Most-Watched on Cable

Last night’s CNN GOP debate from the Reagan Library ranked as the fourth most-watched primary debate on cable, with 4,000,000 million total viewers. The 90-minute debate ranked #3 in the A25-54 demo in cable, with 1,400,000 million viewers. The numbers are based on Nielsen Fast Nationals, Live + SD.

The debate gives CNN the top four highest rated cable debates in this primary cycle in total viewers.

ABC Goes Mobile For Real-Time Results

ABC_1.31.jpgMobileContentToday has the story and internal memo from ABC News president David Westin as the network continues to push its mobile content offerings, including a real-time election results feature.

Click here to see the site.

As for how ABC’s mobile content is doing, Westin writes, “we’ve seen traffic to our mobile web site grow 12% in December over November; video views were up 31%. And, let’s be frank, that’s without any real promotion. In the coming months, we will be looking for ways to take our growing light out from under the bushel basket.”

Charlie Gibson: State-By-State Primary System Is “Dreadful”

Gibson R & K.jpg “Not to get on the soapbox,” said ABC’s Charlie Gibson during a guest appearance today on Live With Regis & Kelly, when talk turned to the presidential primaries. “(But) I think this is a dreadful system.”

Instead of going state-by-state, Gibson continued, “I believe in regional primaries. I think we ought to have four regional primaries…Do Northeast, South, Midwest, West, and then rotate them every four years so that a different one comes first.

“Then you could advertise regionally, you don’t have to travel back and forth across the country…and have the primaries a month apart.”

Gibson also talked with Regis and Kelly about his career at ABC News. “I’ve been very fortunate. This is a day when people change jobs a lot and I’ve worked for one company since 1975. And I’ve always said the day they fire me I’m going to write them a letter and tell them, ‘Thank you. I’ve had a great time.’”

Dialing on Debate Night

Both CNN and Fox News used focus groups with dials to judge the CNN GOP debate last night. On CNN, Erica Hill (two days before her official start date) appeared on Anderson Cooper 360 following the debate to report on the reactions of the group. On FNC, Frank Luntz‘ focus group results will be shown on Hannity & Colmes tonight, but the group did discuss their reaction to everything from the candidates answers to Cooper’s questions. Also part of FNC’s focus group — British actor John Cleese.

David Muir: Charlie Gibson “Set The Bar”

David Muir.jpg ABC’s David Muir is interviewed by New York Magazine’s Daily Intelligencer, which states that the column is “developing a new newscasting crush” on Muir. Some excerpts from the chat:

What’s your favorite campaign-trail anecdote? Muir: “When one of the pilots of the (John) Edwards press plane was handing out the food and drinks while we were waiting to take off from Iowa. I turned to my producer and asked, ‘Should we be worried?’”

What do you think we’re going to know the day after Super Tuesday? Muir: “That we still have a long way to go until November.”

What type of coverage intimidates you?
Muir: “The idea of doing what Charlie Gibson did in New Hampshire…moderating two back-to-back debates with the Democrats and the Republicans. He set the bar.”

Earlier: New York Magazine names Muir one of television news’ “upstart challengers” in the world of political coverage.

Koppel’s One-Night-Only on BBC…Or Is It?

Gail Shister
TVNewser Columnist

Koppel_1.31.jpgIt’s only a one-shot deal, but Ted Koppel could become a more regular presence on BBC America, says executive producer Rome Hartman.

A Lancashire lad, Koppel will make his “BBC World News America” debut at 7 p.m. next Wednesday. The ABC expat will analyze the previous day’s “Super Tuesday” results, with Matt Frei anchoring.

“In the best of all worlds, Ted would be an occasional contributing analyst,” says Hartman. Wednesday “is only a one-time deal, of course, but if you’re me, you hope it turns into something more.”

Hartman, exiled EP of Katie Couric‘s “CBS Evening News,” labels Koppel as “one of the smartest, best journalists in America. If he feels like having a little fun and wants to do it again, it would be my dream come true.”

Dream on, Rome. With Koppel already senior news analyst for NPR and managing editor for the Discovery Channel, we’re guessing he’s not looking to increase his workload.

Then again, Koppel being Koppel, he might surprise us. Particularly since Tom Bettag, his EP and best bud, goes back two decades with Hartman.

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Reagan-ful Setting For CNN GOP Debate

In the setting of the Reagan Library, the GOP candidates have begun their final debate before Super Tuesday. CNN has set the stage with the former Air Force One in the background, set to look inside like Ronald Reagan was still its passenger. As the four remaining GOP presidential candidates debate who’s most like their setting’s namesake tonight, moderator Anderson Cooper laid the plan for some possible fireworks tonight: “The only rule tonight is, there are no rules,” he said at the beginning of the broadcast.


And before the debate, fresh off his endorsement for Sen. John McCain, Rudy Guiliani arrived with the candidate to the debate tonight.


The Scoreboard: Tuesday, Jan. 29

25-54 demographic: (L +SD)

Total day: FNC: 329 | CNN: 249 | MSNBC: 177 | HLN: 106

Prime: FNC: 717 | CNN: 639 | MSNBC: 551 | HLN: 145

  5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p:
FNC BigStory: Hume: Shep: YouDecide: YouDecide: H&C: YouDecide:
  266 432 671 726 774 650 388
CNN Blitzer: Blitzer: Dobbs: Elec.Cent..: Elec.Cent.: Cooper: Elec.Cent.:
  205 334 481 592 751 574 380
MSNBC Hardball: Spec.Cov.: Spec.Cov: Spec.Cov.: Spec.Cov.: Spec.Cov.: Spec.Cov.:
  161 196 391 494 614 544 273
HLN Prime: Prime: Beck: Grace: Beck: Grace: Showbiz:
  117 83 189 195 92 154 168

Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.

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NBC’s Super — Mostly on MS

Nightly News anchor Brian Williams will anchor Super Tuesday primary results coverage on NBC from 10-11pmET. Joining Williams will be Tim Russert and Tom Brokaw, with Today anchor Ann Curry reporting on exit polls.

Williams will also anchor a one-hour edition of Nightly News at 6:30pmET, as well as filing updates during primetime for the network as primary and caucus results are available.

On MSNBC (where Williams, Russert and Brokaw will be appearing as well) Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann will anchor coverage from 6pmET-2amET.

With the cable outlet option, NBC News will have the shortest network prime time coverage on Super Tuesday. CBS News is planning for two hours while ABC News has a five-hour coverage plan.

Click continued to read the entire press release…

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The Ticker: Woodruff, Pitts, Greed…

> ABC’s Bob Woodruff talks with Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett who suffered a near-fatal, on-the-field collision in September. Woodruff’s interview with Everett, as well as interviews with his family, doctors, teammates, and coaches will air tomorrow night on World News and Nightline, and Friday morning on GMA.

> Tomorrow on the CBS Evening News, Byron Pitts reports on a misdiagnosis by military doctors that lead to the death of an Iraq war veteran. But because of a little-known 1950 Supreme Court ruling, the soldier’s family cannot sue the federal government.

> Tonight at 9pmET, American Greed returns to the CNBC line-up. The series, which examines the dark side of the American dream, exposes the story of Martin Frankel, a self-taught stockbroker and con man “who left a trail of financial fraud, empty bank accounts…and death.”