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Archives: October 2011

5 Things You Need to Know This Week: Halloween!

In a spooktacular, ghoulicious episode of “5 Things You Need to Know This Week,” we count down our five favorite Halloween costumes. With special appearances by Beyoncé, Blake Lively, Brian Williams, and Brian Williams.

For more videos, check out Mediabistro.tv, and be sure to follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV


Royals, Rockers On Halloween Morning Shows

Today is Halloween, which means that on the network morning shows, the anchors were forced to wear silly costumes in an effort to entertain viewers… and each other.

On NBC’s “Today,” the crew dressed up as the Royal Family following the Royal Wedding, with Matt Lauer as Prince William, Ann Curry as Kate Middleton, Savannah Guthrie as Prince Charles and the return of Meredith Vieira as Queen Elizabeth II:


On ABC’s “Good Morning America,” the hosts dressed up as their favorite rockers. Robin Roberts dressed up as Nicki Minaj, George Stephanopoulos dressed as Lady Gaga‘s alter-ego Jo Calderone, and Sam Champion and Josh Elliott dressed as, well, watch:

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Analysis: News Corp. Threatens to Bring Fox and Fox News Channel Into DirecTV Spat

In case you aren’t caught up, November 1 (that’s tomorrow) DirecTV will drop a slew of News Corp.’s cable channels, including FX, SPEED, National Geographic Channel, FOX Soccer, FOX Soccer Plus, FOX Deportes, FUEL TV, Fox Movie Channel and the Fox Sports Networks unless the two sides come to an agreement on a new carriage deal.

Now, News Corp. is bringing up the threat of losing Fox and Fox News Channel if a deal isn’t reached soon. To be clear, Fox and FNC will not be going off of DirecTV in the immediate future, so NFL and political junkies shouldn’t fret just yet. That having been said, it is possible that by Jan.1, if a deal isn’t reached, DirecTV customers could be without the broadcast networks and cable news channel.

If you want News Corp.’s view on the DirecTV spat, click here. For DirecTV’s take, click here.

Analysis is after the jump.

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Sam Donaldson on Co-Anchor ‘Jealousies’ and Why ‘The News Business Has Moved On’

There is no trick involved in tonight’s Halloween treat for Boomer news junkies — Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts really are co-anchors again.

The hosts of ABC’s ‘This Week’ from 1996 to ’02, Donaldson and Roberts have reunited to front ‘Primary Issues,’ a four-part election series that launches tonight at 9pmET on RLTV. It continues each night through Thursday.

Donaldson and Roberts will host from Washington, with business journalist Consuelo Mack in New York and former ‘Today’ regular John Palmer in the field. Ben Stein will provide commentary.

Donaldson, 77, who owns a ranch in New Mexico, says it was easy to get back in the saddle with Roberts, 67.

“Cokie and I have a mutual respect,” he tells TVNewser. “One of the problems with co-anchors is that jealousies sometimes show up on the air. I can’t deny that I’ve had some of that in the past, but never with Cokie. We never had a dispute. We shared everything.”

A 42-year ABC veteran, Donaldson works mostly in the radio division. He just re-upped with

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‘Rock Center’ Books Jon Stewart, As It Places Two Segments Online

On the premiere of NBC’s “Rock Center” tonight, host Brian Williams will sit down for a conversation with comedian and “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart. Williams made the announcement during “Sunday Night Football” on NBC last night. Stewart does not frequently give interviews, usually limiting appearances to programs in which the host has appeared on “The Daily Show.”

Williams is a veritable “Daily Show” regular.

In addition to the Stewart booking, “Rock Center” released two extended previews of its long-form stories online early. One of the stories features Harry Smith traveling to a town in North Dakota that is having a job boom thanks to a petroleum discovery. Another features Kate Snow looking into the “birth tourism” trade, which has wealthy (and not-so-wealthy) foreign women paying to enter the U.S. in order to give birth:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

CNN Prepares Morning Show Refresh

What we first reported in September, is about to happen at CNN. Soledad O’Brien who has been CNN’s lead documentary correspondent, will return to anchoring mornings. O’Brien anchored “American Morning” from 2003 to 2007.

The morning shuffle, which could be announced this week, will come nearly a year after the last permanent anchor team split. John Roberts moved to Atlanta and Fox News in January. Kiran Chetry left CNN in July.

CNN is expected to break up the mornings into two two-hour shows: 5-7amET and 7am-9amET, both produced from New York. O’Brien is expected to lead the 7am while Ashleigh Banfield, who anchored on MSNBC, CourtTV and most recently has been working for ABC News, is expected to co-anchor the 5am, likely alongside Zoraida Sambolin who, according to TimeOut Chicago is joining CNN from NBC station WMAQ.

The new shows are not expected to hit the airwaves until after the New Year. O’Brien is finishing up a new “Black in America” series for November and, as she told us last month, she plans to take a few weeks off after what’s been a busy 2011. Banfield’s contract with ABC runs through the end of the year.

Paula Zahn’s ‘On The Case’ Returns Tonight

Season five of “On the Case with Paula Zahn” will premiere tonight on Investigation Discovery. The former ABC, CBS, Fox News and CNN anchor has helped make the program ID’s signature long-form journalism show, and a solid compliment to its off-network acquisitions from NBC, CBS and ABC News.  The program was the first one to crack a 1.0 household rating for ID earlier this year.

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Watch CNBC, MSNBC or Bloomberg… No Cable Subscription Necessary

Last week we noted how Bloomberg has released an iPad app that let’s users watch the channel live on their tablet. But the iPad isn’t the only place Bloomberg is available for streaming online.

As noted by Ad Age last week, RadixTV sells a $15 a month package giving subscribers access to Bloomberg, CNBC and MSNBC on just about any device. The service is targeted for business professionals, who may not have access to a television while at work.

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Former MTP Moderator Marvin Kalb Says the New Sunday Morning Ratings Battle ‘Almost Inevitable’

He was one of CBS’s “Murrow’s Boys”, then a moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press, now a Fox News contributor.  Not surprisingly, Marvin Kalb has a lot to say about television news.

TVNewser caught up with Kalb, 81, during a visit to Chicago’s Pritzker Military Library Thursday night, during a speaking tour for a book he co-authored with his daughter Deborah KalbHaunting Legacy: Vietnam and the American Presidency From Ford to Obama addresses how the shadow of the war continues to affect White House decision-making to this day.

TVNewser: In your talk tonight you said that “today’s reporters are better educated about the military than they’ve ever been”. Which current tvnewsers do you think do a good job of covering the Pentagon, the military?

Kalb: Jim Miklaszewski at NBC does a very fine job. At CBS, David Martin is a highly-experienced, skillful, knowledgeable reporter who’s about as solid in covering the Pentagon as anybody you can find.  And there are many others as well, but those are two first-rate TV reporters.

TVNewser: I want to ask you about Andy Rooney, whom you know well and who’s in the hospital right now.  Do you know anything about his condition?

Kalb: No I don’t…Andy is a remarkable example of a reporter who started in World War II, and right up to the present day, was able to observe the nuttiness of life.  And reported with a touch of humor and class.  And he will always be among my favorites.

TVNewserFox News CEO Roger Ailes recently talked about a “course correction” for the network.  As an FNC contributor, what are your thoughts on that?

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New Class of Ailes Apprentices Graduates

Another class — the seventh — of the Ailes Apprentice Program has commenced. On Wednesday, Bryan Llenas, Amanda Morales, Steven Soto and Georeen Tanner were among the Ailes Apprentices to graduate.

Fox news host Geraldo Rivera, former New York mayor David Dinkins, astronaut-turned-politician Jose Hernandez and benefactor and Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes were all in attendance for the ceremony. Each year, a select group of individuals is chosen for the one-year program. They are mentored by Fox executives and others outside the news business. Upon graduation they are given a certificate, a stipend and, if they’re fortunate enough, a job.

> Earlier on TVNewser: FNC Launches Fox News Latino & Honors the 2010 Ailes Apprentice Program Graduates

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