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Archives: April 2008

Wolf Blitzer’s CNN Starting Five

blitzertv_4-30.jpgESPN The Magazine interviews DC sports fan (and CNN anchor) Wolf Blitzer in this month’s edition.

Blitzer is asked where he’d slot some of the CNN talent in if they were to field a basketball team, and he goes into full Coach Blitzer mode. “Anderson (Cooper)’s gotta be a guard. I gotta be a guard. Candy (Crowley) and John (King) forwards. Lou Dobbs at the center position,” he says.

He also compares his work with that of ESPN anchor Chris Berman. “He brings out different points of view, and keeps people honest,” he says. “When you’re doing an interview and someone says something completely ridiculous, you gotta say, ‘What are you talking about?’ I admire Chris Berman for what he does.”

Is Arianna Being Kept Off NBC/MSNBC?

Russert_4.30.jpgDeadlineHollywoodDaily reports Arianna Huffington may be being kept off NBC News and MSNBC shows as she promotes her new book Right Is Wrong: How The Lunatic Fringe Hijacked America, Shredded The Constitution, And Made Us All Less Safe.

“…one insider says she was booked on Keith Olberman [sic] and Morning Joe to talk about her tome — and then unbooked. ‘These are shows that call her regularly to come on. And then the word came from on high that she had to be cancelled.’ Arianna’s accolytes are pointing the finger at Tim Russert, well known to be ridiculously thin-skinned, for blackballing her internally at NBC and not permitting her on any of the NBC network or cable outlets.

The site also claims, Huffington is “booked all over CNN, ABC, and CBS (but not Fox News Channel because she chose not to go on there).”

Related: GalleyCat and FishbowlLA attend a weekend book party at Huffington’s estate, but not for her new tome…

CNBC’s Buffett Meeting Plans

buffett_4-30.jpgCNBC will give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at Warren Buffett‘s Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, with a one-hour special, “The Billionaire Next Door: All Access,” airing Monday night at 9pmET.

CNBC’s Becky Quick will be in Omaha, Nebraska for the shareholder meeting this weekend, with camera crews following Buffett inside the meeting for the first time ever. Quick will report on the meeting and the access beginning Monday morning on Squawk Box at 6amET.’s Warren Buffett Watch site will blog updates throughout the weekend.

Monday night’s special will also feature an exclusive interview with Buffett from the meeting.

Earlier: FBN’s weekend Buffett plans.

> More from an insider: CNBC does not have an exclusive with Buffett. He is giving FBN, Bloomberg and CNN interviews from the floor of the arena showroom area.

April Ratings: Rankers

Fox News finished April as the seventh most highly rated cable network in prime time. CNN finished at #21 and MSNBC finished 29th.

In Total Day, FNC came in at #9, well ahead of CNN (25th) and MSNBC (30th).

Fox News had nine of the top ten highest rated programs for the month of April, with The O’Reilly Factor capturing the top spot again. CNN’s highest rated show was Larry King Live (7th), while MSNBC’s was Countdown with Keith Olbermann (19th).

In the A25-54 demo, FNC had seven of the top ten programs. LKL finished 6th and Countdown came in 9th.

Click here to view the April cable ranker.

Click here to view the April program ranker.

Ted David Leaves CNBC

TDavid_4.29.jpgTVNewser obtained an internal memo from CNBC VP Jonathan Wald:

One of CNBC’s originals is moving on. Ted David started here just a month before CNBC went on the air in 1989 and he has been a valued member of the staff ever since, most recently as the principal voice of CNBC Radio. Please join me in thanking Ted for his many years of service at CNBC. We wish him the best of luck in his retirement. Ted’s last day on air will be May 2.

5 Questions For… Heather Cabot

Alissa Krinsky
TVNewser Contributor

Cabot.jpgFormer ABC World News Now and World News This Morning anchor Heather Cabot has forged a new career. The mother of 2-year-old twins, Cabot is the founder of the blog, The Well Mom. She’s also a Yahoo! Web Life Editor and a columnist for The Huffington Post. Cabot and her family live in California. Her husband is former 60 Minutes producer Neeraj Khemlani, now VP of Programming and Development with Yahoo! Media Group.

1. TVNewser: Moving from a career in TV news to one that combines new and old media…
Cabot: Keeps me on my toes. I never thought that TechCrunch and LifeHacker would be staples of my media diet. But there you go. Life takes you to some unexpected places sometimes. The best part of being a consumer spokesperson for Yahoo! is that I get to learn something new every day and share useful tips with viewers and listeners. Publishing The Well Mom, my weekly ezine that empowers moms to better care for themselves in mind, body and spirit, allows me to be entrepreneurial and creative on my timetable. Writing in my sweats with a cup of coffee and my twin two-year-olds napping down the hall is a gift.

2. TVNewser: When it comes to covering issues of importance to mothers, America’s news organizations…
Cabot: …could probably do better if they had more resources. But, let’s clarify. Issues that matter to moms matter to most everybody. Whether it’s the healthcare crisis, the lack of affordable and high quality childcare, low achieving public schools, workplace discrimination, food and product safety, global warming or skyrocketing gas prices, these are stories that need to be covered with depth and doggedness. It’s becoming harder and harder to do real reporting in the face of industry-wide budget cuts and lay-offs.

Read more

The Ticker (P.M. Edition): Profit, Healing, Awareness…

> CBS Corp. which runs the CBS TV network, as well as a publisher Simon & Schuster, outdoor advertising and a bunch of radio stations, saw a 14% increase in profit in first quarter. CBS earned $244.3 million, or 36 cents per share, beating analysts’ expectations.

> Insiders tell us PBS’ Jim Lehrer is on the mend after undergoing heart surgery last week. We hear colleague Judy Woodruff visited Lehrer in the hospital and says he is doing well and is in good spirits.

> Cancer survivor Dan Abrams, host of MSNBC’s Verdict, will serve as master of ceremonies for the Rays of Hope Gala benefiting the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. CBS’s Bob Schieffer, a bladder cancer survivor, will be among those recognized at next Wednesday’s Gala in Washington, DC.

April Ratings: Waking Up With FNC

FNC’s morning show Fox & Friends saw a strong month, up 21% from 7-9amET in Total Viewers year-to-year. The increase was the most by any cable news program before 6pmET compared to April ’07 (when all networks saw increased ratings after the Virginia Tech shootings).

Fox & Friends averaged more than one million viewers this month (1,023,000). The program strongly defeated second-place CNN’s American Morning (at 389,000, down 13% from year-to-year) and MSNBC’s Morning Joe (at 347,000, up 3%). April ’07 was the month Don Imus was fired.

In the A25-54 demo, Fox & Friends was down 3%, MSNBC’s 7-9amET was down 19% and American Morning dropped 35% year-to-year.

FNC was again the number one rated cable news channel in Total Viewers during Total Day and prime time this month, for the 76th consecutive month. In those two categories, this month FNC beat MSNBC and CNN combined in Total Viewers.

April Ratings: CNN’s Political Dominance Continues

CNN grew 17% in Total Viewers during prime time year-to-year, up from April 2007 when the Virginia Tech shootings saw increased viewership across the board. CNN also continued to dominate political coverage, winning all time slots in the A25-54 demo and Total Viewers during the April 22 Pennsylvania primary.

The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer was the top-rated show in the A25-54 demo for April at 4pmET, surpassing FNC’s Your World and MSNBC Live by 12% and 69% respectively.

Headline News’ Glenn Beck saw the most gains of any program at 9pmET, up 22% in Total Viewers and 13% in the demo year-to-year.

CNN and Headline News finished first and second in the monthly cume audience, in Total Viewers and the A25-54 demo. Nielsen calculates the monthly cume audience as viewers who watch the network for six or more minutes at a time.

April Ratings: MSNBC Up in Total Day & Prime

MSNBC was the only cable news network to show a total day, Total Viewer increase year-to-year, averaging 342,000 in April ’08 vs. 333,000 April ’07. Last year, all networks saw increased viewership as a result of the coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings.

MSNBC also saw gains in prime time year-to-year, up 17% in Total Viewers and up 13% in the A25-54 demo.

Countdown with Keith Olbermann again finished in second at 8pmET, topping CNN’s Election Center. Both shows trailed FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor. The time period saw an A25-54 demo gain of 21% for MSNBC, while FNC fell 12% and CNN dropped 23%.

At 6pmET, Race for the White House with David Gregory gained 46% it Total Viewers and 15% in the A25-54 demo, compared to last year when Tucker Carlson occupied the hour. Also up for MSNBC was the 5pmET edition of Hardball with Chris Matthews, up 13% in Total Viewers.