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Posts Tagged ‘Joel Cheatwood’

Joel Cheatwood expected to leave Fox News, join Glenn Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts

After revolutionizing local TV news in the 1990s and developing talent for a new kind of cable news in the 2000s, Joel Cheatwood is ready for his next act, and it involves one man: Glenn Beck.

Cheatwood is expected to depart Fox News when his contract expires next month and join Beck’s company Mercury Radio Arts.

The news was first reported by Mediaite.com. A source telling the site, Cheatwood would “be joining Mercury Radio Arts very soon to work closely with Glenn on his next creative idea.”

A few hours later a Fox News insider told Deadline.com, that the network had no intention of renewing Cheatwood’s “$700,000-a year-contract.”

“Joel lost Roger (Ailes)’s respect and trust a long time ago,” the insider told Deadline.

But Cheatwood’s leap from programming TV news to developing a single talent should not surprise anyone whose been following his story.

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Rabbis Turn to Rupert Murdoch to Sanction Glenn Beck & Have Roger Ailes Apologize, Fox Responds

Over 400 rabbis wrote a public letter to News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch to sanction Glenn Beck. The rabbis are also demanding an apology from Fox News CEO Roger Ailes over the uses of and references to Holocaust and Nazi imagery.

An excerpt obtained by Variety reads:

In the charged political climate in the current civic debate, much is tolerated, and much is ignored or dismissed. But you diminish the memory and meaning of the Holocaust when you use it to discredit any individual or organization you disagree with. That is what Fox News has done in recent weeks, and it is not only ‘left-wing rabbis’ who think so.

The open letter is set to run on Thursday in News Corp.-owned Wall Street Journal and in the Jewish publication Forward.

“We haven’t seen the ad,” Joel Cheatwood, senior vice president of development for Fox News, said in a statement yesterday, “but this group is a George Soros backed left-wing political organization that has been trying to engage Glenn Beck primarily for publicity purposes.”

Florida Runs Your News

florida_9-2.jpgGrowing up in South Florida, I should have known I would someday end up somehow involved in TV news. For better or worse, the state of Florida — and in particular the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale market — has had maybe the biggest impact on the television news industry outside New York and LA.

For one, the number of major national anchors who did stints in South Florida will astound you. CNN’s Larry King and “60 Minutes” correspondent Steve Kroft both did stints at WPLG very early in their careers. King also once worked at current NBC O&O WTVJ, where Katie Couric would later be a general assignment reporter.

“Get this,” says current-HLN anchor and former Miami anchor/health reporter Robin Meade. “When I was at WSVN in 1994-ish, I did the mornings. Rick Sanchez was the main anchor at the station. Shepherd Smith was a street reporter for the same channel. Linda Stouffer (former HLN anchor) was the weekend morning anchor. And Charles Molineaux (former HLN anchor) was my co-anchor in the morning. Soon after I left, I believe Shawn Robinson started doing the mornings there before heading to access Hollywood.”

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Fox News SVP Disagrees with Account of Beck Meeting

beckcheatwood_8-3.jpgA senior Fox News executive is refuting the account we posted earlier today of a meeting between Roger Ailes and Simon Greer of Jewish Funds for Justice regarding comments Glenn Beck made about the holocaust.

Fox News SVP of Development Joel Cheatwood tells TVNewser, “Never did we talk about Glenn ‘crossing the line.’”

Cheatwood says that during the meeting, he and Ailes explained Beck’s perspective that the holocaust is one of the worst events in history and should be handled with a tremendous amount of sympathy. They reinforced that everyone in the media needs to be sensitive around this topic.

Cheatwood said he felt it was an “honest, open, dignified meeting,” and that Greer’s account as it appeared in the Yahoo! article “didn’t bear any resemblance to the truth.” “The story basically — as I read it — indicated that Roger Ailes and myself had agreed with Greer,” he told us.

“We absolutely stood behind Glenn Beck 1000%,” he said.

Fox News Execs Meet Following Beck Holocaust Comments

beck_8-3.jpgYahoo! News’ Michael Calderone writes of a July 26 meeting involving Fox News chairman and founder Roger Ailes as well as SVP Joel Cheatwood. They reportedly met with Simon Greer of Jewish Funds for Justice regarding comments host Glenn Beck had made recently on his radio program:

Simon Greer, chief executive of Jewish Funds for Justice, told The Upshot that when Greer approached them, Ailes and senior vice president Joel Cheatwood agreed that Beck crossed the line in comparing Greer’s worldview to that of the Nazis and promised to speak with Beck about the matter. Two days later, Greer said he received a handwritten letter from Beck.

Beck’s initial comments were in reaction to a piece Greer had written for the Washington Post.

UPDATE: Cheatwood denies this account of the meeting to TVNewser. Read his version here.

Glenn Beck Gets Sarah Palin for the Hour from a Pricey Perch

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Glenn Beck interviewed new Fox News contributor Sarah Palin for the full hour on his show this afternoon. The program was taped earlier today, not in an FNC studio, but in lower Manhattan with a view of the Statue of Liberty over Beck’s shoulder.

The interview touched on Palin’s political career, her VP run, even the Saturday Night Live parodies.

Battery_1.13.jpgAt the end of the show there was a lower third graphic for BatteryGardens.com, which is the Website of a restaurant and event space in Battery Park. So did Battery Gardens give up the pricey space in exchange for the on-air mention? FNC exec Joel Cheatwood tells TVNewser, “There were no promises or discussion whatsoever…this was just a website to explain/identify where the show was originating from.”

Also interesting, that Beck, not Sean Hannity got the second interview with Palin. (O’Reilly went first last night). We hear that Beck muscled his way into getting the second interview ahead of Hannity.

Beck has interviewed Palin several times since her VP run. In fact, his first guest when he joined Fox News one year ago next week was then-Gov. Palin.

More: FishbowlDC has the ratings from last night’s O’Reilly Factor…

Update: A promo aired on Fox News at 11:18pm mentioning that Palin would be a guest on Hannity Thursday night.

Glenn Beck & The Woman Who Didn’t Kill Her Husband…or Maybe She Did

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Glenn Beck aired another of the James O’Keefe ACORN videos yesterday. This time, Tresa Kaelke, an ACORN employee in San Bernardino, CA tells O’Keefe, who was posing as a pimp, that she once was an escort and got away with killing her abusive husband.

After playing the clip, Beck gets riled up, pondering: “Maybe a jury might conclude that it might be justifiable homicide. I don’t know. But we haven’t even been able to confirm from the state of California, whether Tresa’s husband from 10 years ago was killed, or if he’s dead or if she even had a husband. Did she make the story up? I don’t know. Nobody’s asking questions.”

It appears, Beck’s team didn’t ask questions. But two reporters in San Bernardino did. From their story in the Press-Enterprise:

Since she claimed on the video to have killed her husband, two San Bernardino police homicide detectives interviewed her at the [ACORN] office Tuesday. Police said they have been in contact with Kaelke’s former husbands and the homicide claims do not appear accurate.

One of her ex-husbands, Ronald Kaelke said he was unaware of any investigation or that his ex-wife had made any claims of murder.

“As far as her murdering an ex-husband, that’s news to me,” Ronald Kaelke said. “She’s definitely got problems and goes off the wall sometimes.”

So what does Fox News have to say about Beck playing video of an “off the wall” ACORN employee apparently making things up?

Joel Cheatwood, FNC’s SVP of Development tells TVNewser, “As Glenn has steadfastly maintained throughout the show’s coverage of this latest ACORN scandal, the individuals on the tapes are not the real story.”

Beck, who has criticized the national media for not covering this and other stories, does not host a ‘news’ show but rather is part of the programming division of the channel. None of Fox’s news shows aired this particular tape.

Cheatwood says the real tale of these tapes is the “erratic and unconscionable behavior demonstrated” on them, which has already led to major changes for the organization.

Also, if you look closely at the video you’ll also notice the time stamp (lower left in image above) is off — by about 4 years. Cheatwood tells us, “We’re aware of it – according to the filmmaker, he never changed the date stamp in his camera and has confirmed all the video was shot in 2009.”

And by the way, last night’s show — the one that featured the video of Tresa Kaelke — was Beck’s highest rated program since he joined Fox News in January. Something tells me we may see more tapes like this, whether what’s on them is factual or not.

• See Beck’s segment after the jump…

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Bill Shine on the “Win-Win” of Glenn Beck

beck_1-19.JPGAt 5pmET today, Fox News premieres one of the biggest free agent signings in the network’s short history, as Glenn Beck takes over to compete with MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews and CNN’s The Situation Room.

“He’s an established star, he’s huge on radio, big on TV,” SVP Bill Shine tells TVNewser today. “That for us is a win-win. Hopefully we get the radio audience to follow over to TV…In terms of going up against the competition I think we’re going to do very well.”

Shine says another FNC executive, Joel Cheatwood, was “instrumental” in bringing Beck from Headline News to FNC. Cheatwood was one of the creators of Beck’s show at HLN.

“We always kept one eye on Glenn,” says Shine. “We talked about some way to make that work, and Joel was a leader trying to get that done.”

Shine says the show will differ somewhat from the HLN program. “We don’t want to change Glenn,” he says. “He’s a very talented, smart guy. It’s a new studio, new graphics and the way the show is produced will be a little different than the way he did it over there.”

But in the wake of “Hannity” at 9pmET, what does another right-of-center opinion host mean for the direction of FNC? Click continued to see Shine’s take and some of the other Beck profiles from the past week…

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FNC’s Jay Wallace: “People Tuned in to Us for the First Time and They Liked What They Saw”

hume_11-7.jpgTuesday at 11pmET was the culmination of almost two years of Election 2008 coverage, and now the news networks move on to covering the advent of an Obama administration.

In an interview with TVNewser, FNC VP of news editorial Jay Wallace reflects on election night: “I thought it was a great success. We were all very happy. We launched two brand new HD studios and HD control rooms to complement them. We used election day as the finish line for a lot of projects we wanted to get done for the past year, year-and-a-half.”

Wallace says FNC plans to transition their prime time shows into the new HD studios “by the end of the year.”

In addition to the studios, FNC rolled out one of its newest toys — the Launch Pad. During the night, everyone from Megyn Kelly, to Brit Hume to Karl Rove used the set-up. “It was something that, as we got in there and started playing with, we kept thinking of new people who could use it,” said Wallace. “It kind of became the water-cooler of that studio.”

And the action at News Corp. HQ was not just happening at Fox News. Wallace describes the night as being, “on a scale we had not done before.” Five separate “channels” originated from the building — Fox News, Fox Biz, FOX broadcast, Fox News Radio and The Strategy Room on Foxnews.com.

But the story-behind-the-story is always how the ratings look the next day, and for FNC, it was their best prime time ever in younger viewers. Wallace says the record night proved many wrong.

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O’Reilly Segment Sheds Light on Months of FNC-Nielsen Disagreement

fnc_10-27.jpgExclusive: A segment on The O’Reilly Factor last Thursday opened a window into a battle between Fox News Channel and Nielsen, the company that provides audience measurement for all networks. At the heart of the matter, time-shifted audience ratings. Fox News and most other networks use Nielsen’s C3 method of measurement when selling advertising. C3 “measures how many viewers watch commercials during the live telecasts plus on digital video recorders in the following three days.”

But according to FNC SVP Joel Cheatwood, there are a number of concerns Fox News has had with the method for counting the DVR audience. “We have, for the past 18 months, just begged Nielsen for transparency in how they process their information,” Cheatwood tolds TVNewser today. “One of the most widespread complaints is just a total lack of transparency.”

Another complaint is the small sample size when it comes to calculating viewership. Nielsen spokesperson Gary Holmes tells TVNewser that 14,000 households make up the national sample for Nielsen. Because “25% of the population has DVR,” Holmes estimates that 25% of the Nielsen sample is DVR-capable as well, putting the figure at approximately 3,500 households. “3,500 is an adequate sample size,” says Holmes. “3,500 is not too small.”

Cheatwood disagrees. The 3,500 sample size equates to approximately 65-100 DVR households watching cable news on a given night, and as few as 8-10 households making up the time-shifted ratings, says Cheatwood. “The sample is so small it just defies any application of credibility,” says Cheatwood. “It was one piece of information that confirmed our greatest fears. It just doesn’t pass the test at all. First be transparent, secondly, please, so much rides on the information you put out there, please take the time to make it credible.”

The transparency issue goes both ways for Nielsen and FNC. Click continued to see both sides, more background on what led to O’Reilly’s Thursday segment and see the Factor segment…

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