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Posts Tagged ‘Mike Straka’

FNC VP of Digital Mike Straka Out

Straka_3.10.jpgTVNewser has learned Mike Straka, the VP of Fox News Digital, has departed the network. We hear Straka is headed to HDNet where he is going to host a mixed martial arts program.

A Fox News spokesperson confirms Straka’s last day was yesterday.

A source tells tells us Straka accepted the HDNet job while still working as a Fox News VP, likely a conflict of interest. His HDNet show premieres March 26.

At FoxNews.com, Straka oversaw production and content distribution for the website and served as EP of “The Strategy Room,” the daily live streaming program. Straka had been with FNC since its launch in 1996.

Prior to FOX, Straka worked on the assignment desk at CBS News Radio. He began his career as a CBS page.

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“It’s Not TV” — It’s The Strategy Room

strategy_11-3.BMPThe “studio” is an open room with a table and a couple cameras at the end of a long hallway on the Foxnews.com floor. The “control room” is essentially a person sitting at an audio board. Amid the wires and audio equipment is an XBOX, where guests from Shepard Smith to Geraldine Ferraro have hit the sticks for a round of Guitar Hero.

TVNewser visited The Strategy Room today, located on the 14th floor of the News Corp. building, home to Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network. The Foxnews.com program streams nine hours a day non-stop, even staying “on air” while anchors and guests switch between hours.

“It’s rough by design. It’s not TV, it’s a different platform,” EP of Fox News Digital Mike Straka tells TVNewser.

Whatever it is, it’s working. According to VP of Fox News Digital Jeff Misenti, The Strategy Room averages more than 250,000 streams a day, while all of the Foxnews.com streams get more than one million a day.

“It creates buzz and energy and its really fun,” he says of having the program originate on the floor.

So what will viewers of The Strategy Room see when they tune in? Fox News anchors and correspondents host the program, usually for an hour each, and are joined by everyone from political pundits seen on the FNC air to comedians like Colin Quinn to, um, Michael Lohan. Today, Joe the Plummer was on during the 9amET hour.

strategy2_11-3.BMPThen there’s the moments that develop simply out of having more time and being on the Web. Like Rick Leventhal ragging on Phil Keating for his copious sweating after he finished a report. Or Julie Banderas bringing her puppy Sasha during anchoring duties. Or the Web hit video of Shep playing Guitar Hero (see it here). “You’re not going to see that anywhere else,” says Straka.

For Misenti, it’s part of a larger push on Foxnews.com. “We definitely see that people do want to engage with each other,” he says. As part of the site’s evolution, there can now be up to 12 separate streaming feeds, including The Strategy Room. The player can be the location for FNC/FBN prime time promotion within the flash player, and comments from viewers are added in real time.

So what does The Strategy Room have planned for tomorrow night? And will it still be there when the Election ends?

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“The Most Offensive Interview We’ve Ever Done”

garrett_9-11.JPGTVNewser received several tips Monday about the Fox & Friends After the Show Show featuring comedian Brad Garrett. Here’s an example: “Hi, just watched the after the show show on foxandfriends.com. Things got pretty heated between Brad Garrett and Steve Doocy.”

We went to find the clip and there was a problem — it wasn’t there.

Mike Straka, EP of Fox News Digital, tells TVNewser, “All of the After The Show Shows go out live on the Web, uninterrupted. If one is watching the live stream player on FOXNews.com at 9amET, one will see the Webcast, including those that aren’t posted for video on-demand viewing.”

And after obtaining the full After the Show Show, it started making sense. Garrett goes on a rant using his bluest material, aimed at everyone from African Americans to women (and a whole lot about Sen. John McCain).

“This is the most offensive interview we’ve ever done,” said Doocy.

“In this instance, Brad Garrett’s kind of humor might be more suited to a pay cable audience rather than our Internet audience,” says Straka. “While the FCC does not regulate the Web, we do, and we stand by all of our decisions.”

By the end of the 10 minutes, Garrett turned his attention to Doocy’s lack of a “sense of humor.” “I think your name-calling is offensive,” said Doocy.

Click continued to see the complete unreleased (and uncomfortable) After the Show Show from Monday…

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The Ticker: FNC, BBC, CNBC…

> THR’s Paul J. Gough writes about The Strategy Room, Foxnews.com’s popular Web show (3 million streams and counting). “That TV verite was in evidence Thursday night, when a little after 6 p.m. ET [Brian] Wilson was told on camera by Mike Straka, the vp/editorial producer for video operations at FoxNews.com, that the plug was being pulled,” wrote Gough of the end of the two week Webcast.

> BBC World News America begins a year-long periodic segment tonight at 7pmET, tracking a shipping container as it travels the globe. Viewers can tune in to see BBC correspondents follow the container and tell the stories of the goods being shipped, or follow online in real-time by GPS.

> A special edition of “On the Money,” hosted by Carmen Wong Ulrich airs tonight on CNBC at 8pmET. It focuses on what the government bail-outs of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mean to the homeowner and potential homeowner.