Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
Denver's Rocky Mountain News has been put to bed for the last time. The 150 year old newspaper printed their final edition today. Many other newspapers face bankruptcies and layoffs. "Dead tree media" is feeling the pains of a recession and new technology. CNN's David Bohrman spoke with The Miami Herald while he was in Florida at the We Media conference. Below are excerpts from the article where he warns that TV news needs to change the way that they do business... or else.
TV news must embrace new media, CNN exec warns, Using the Internet and social-networking sites is essential to the survival of television news, a CNN senior vice president told a media conference in Miami.
The fact sends chills down television reporters' spines even as they compulsively repeat it: Last year, earthquakes in Japan, China, Los Angeles and San Francisco were first reported not on TV but on the Internet's Twitter social-networking site.
''It tells you something about the far-reaching tentacles of Twitter and Facebook and the other social-networking sites,'' muses David Bohrman, CNN's Washington bureau chief and senior vice president. ``And it tells you something about some of the challenges facing TV news.''
Amid the daily obituaries for the newspaper business, where bankruptcies and layoffs have become a grim daily routine, there's been comparatively little notice that television news confronts many of the same problems: declining audiences, aging demographics, fierce competition from new digital media and a broken business model.
''Everything needs to be deconstructed,'' Bohrman says. ``Everything is going to be changing.''
Bohrman told The Miami Herald that he's skeptical of most of the worst-case scenarios, including the collapse of local news. ''Local newscasts, when they're good, are the centerpiece at most stations,'' he argues. ``And I think that there's a largely untapped mother lode of hyper-local information that stations can use to good effect. You want to know if that road two blocks over is under repair, if you'll be able to get to Safeway or not. I'm intrigued by that. I don't see anyone seriously accessing it yet, but someone will.''
Even so, Bohrman acknowledges these are tumultuous times for television news. One sign, he says, was the way cable-news nets took over most of the heavy lifting during last year's presidential campaign.
''I think we did 30 primary nights last year, wall-to-wall coverage for each one,'' he says. ``The broadcast networks did something on Super Tuesday, and they had some little cut-ins into their regular programming a few nights, but mostly viewers had to turn to cable for that coverage. And they did. We did some great ratings last year.''
And along the way, he says, there were some great lessons about how television news can attract that elusive younger audience. One of the most profound: Instead of keeping the new digital media at arm's length, television should embrace them.
CNN has led the way, he says, with its sponsorship of two presidential-primary debates in which the questions were asked not by reporters but by viewers who submitted their own videos to YouTube. Result: a 2,200 percent jump in viewers aged 18 to 34.
''We had 407,000 viewers in that demo for the first YouTube debate,'' Bohrman exclaims. ``CNN never had that many young viewers for anything, not in its whole life. We went with the new digital media, and guess what? All the younger viewers came with them.''
CNN has continued the practice, adding Twitter to some of its news shows and partnering with Facebook for simultaneous video-and-viewer-commentary during its coverage of President Obama's address to Congress this week.
''People like to gather to watch a big event,'' Bohrman says. ``Twitter and Facebook allow them to do that and share their reactions.''
Photo credit: ALEXIA FODERE
Ryan Seacrest's radio show turned five this week and several celebrities called to congratulation him. Among the callers... CNN's Larry King.
CNN's Senior White House Correspondent, Ed Henry, does an hour long radio program on CNN Radio: 44 With Ed Henry. He takes viewers calls (including Keith the hair dresser); is briefly joined by Lisa Desjardin; spoke about his own mortgage issues; and talking to George Clooney.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Here is a video of Christiane Amanpour and Irshad Manji who recently spoke at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.
Jessica Yellin got to party it up Oscar style this past Sunday night. Jessica attended the Moet & Chandon’s Oscar Viewing PartyPlace: Georgetown home of Rick Rickertsen, managing partner of private equity firm Pine Creek Partners.The hook: One of a handful of Oscar parties thrown by Moet (the official champagne of the Oscars) in cities around the country.Charitable component: Attendees heard a spiel from Kate Roberts of Five & Alive.Perks: “Official” Academy Awards programs shipped in from L.A., a “red carpet” made from red candles.Food: The usual Washington spread of cheese, veggies, beef and pasta.Drink: Copious amounts of Moet & Chandon champagne, natch.Notable attendees: David Washington and Yosi Sargent from the White House Office of Public Liaison, CNN’s Jessica Yellin, “Meet the Press” Executive Producer Betsy Fischer, Ambassador Said Jawad of Afghanistan, Evans, Washington Kastles owner and venture capitalist Mark Ein.Seen: Two of Rickertsen’s paintings (he has a vast art collection) sliding away to reveal large flat-screen TVs. Rickertsen chipping in to help roll up the carpet and move the furniture in the living room to make more space for the crowd, which numbered about 100.
Anyone else missing Miles O’Brien? Since the beginning of the year there have been at least 3 major stories that were just missing that extra bit that Miles would always bring to the stories he reported on. Well great news. Miles is getting a new show as the anchor and correspondent of Blueprint America: A Tale of Three Cities." To read more about Miles new show you can click here.
That is it for me. Another big thank you to our amazing researcher Julie for her great finds. ~ Sapphire
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
The Gracie Awards:
Here's a picture of Ms. Crowley at the 29th Annual Gracie Awards.
Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC will be featured in CNN's upcoming series "Black In America 2," which examines African American life. Anchor Don Lemon will moderate a town hall forum today. The event is open only to current students and faculty.
Wonder Women and Women to Watch luncheon on March 10 in New York City is being hosted by Campbell Brown. The luncheon, co-sponsored by Multichannel News and the New York chapter of Women in Cable Telecommunications will be held at the New York Hilton.
John Roberts:John Roberts will be the commencement speaker at the University of Colorado, Boulder May 8th. He'll also speak at their journalism school commencement the day before. Roberts' son graduated form the U of C last year.
David Gergen will deliver the inaugural commencement address for Elon law school’s first graduates. Commencement is scheduled for 3 p.m. May 24 at Carolina Theatre in downtown Greensboro. Elon will also present Gergen with an honorary doctorate at the ceremonies.
Better Late Than Never:
Larry King visited the Hillel School in Tampa on Friday, Feb. 20th as part of his duties as head of the Larry King Foundation. Students at the school had raised $10,000 to help patient "Ace" Douchet pay for his heart bypass surgery.
Ali Velshi was on The View on Tuesday, February 24th.
On Friday February 20th the 10th Annual Minority Business Summit was held. The 'Women of Influence' Breakfast featuring Soledad O’Brien was held at the new Baltimore Hilton. CNN's Roland Martin was also in attendance.
And on Monday, February 23rd at Midwestern State University’s Akin Auditorium in Wichita Falls, Texas. Her appearance, entitled “An Evening With Soledad O’Brien: Her Life Stories,” was part of MSU’s Artist-Lecture Series.
Thanks to Julie as always for all the research. ~Phebe
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
FOX almost swept the week. They had the highest demographic ratings (Adults 25 - 54) in every prime time spot this week except for Tuesday night at 10PM when CNN took the top spot. Overall, CNN came in second this week (except at 8PM when they placed fourth). MSNBC took third place (except during the 10PM hour when they slip to fourth). HLN fills in the exceptions with second place at 8PM; fourth place at 9PM; and third place at 10PM.
^ Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Demographics where noted; Live + Same Day (LS) Fast Track Nationals.
CNN has special programming on CNN.com/LIVE on today. Here are a few screencaps from the day:
Monday, February 23, 2009
12p - State of the Nation: Foreign Policy Special with Christiane Amanpour
1p State of the Economy special hosted by Ali Velshi and Christine Romans
3p - Suze Orman answers viewers questions on the economy
Sunday, February 22, 2009
State of the Union with John King was back in Washington, D.C. this morning. King managed to speak with 10% of the nation's governors in one program. (And they probably talked about another 10% who weren't on the program.)
The first guests were two governors: Gov. Haley Barbour (R- Mississippi) and Gov. Deval Patrick (D - Massachusetts). Gov. Barbour is prepared to take funding from the stimulus bill, but not all of it. He's not willing to change their policies regarding unemployment benefits.
King used the frontpage of the Boston Herald in his discussion with Gov. Patrick and mentioned that his first job was delivering that paper many years ago. Gov. Patrick is faced with needing to raise taxes (via a gas tax) in order pay for projects and services. Gov. Patrick made an interesting statement concerning the lack of bipartisanship with the stimulus bill: Is the Congress ready for bipartisanship? He alluded that there was a disconnect between what people out in the field (ie outisde Washington) and the politicians. To quote a phrase that we frequently hear from Gloria Borger, "You think!"
King questioned the governors about the state of their national guard units. Are they ready to send more troops overseas? Gov. Barbour indicated that they are meeting their recruitment goals. Gov. Patrick commented that he is concerned about equipment that goes over and either doesn't return or is returned in bad repair.
The next guest to come to the table, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R), Senate Minority Leader. Sen. McConnell was echoing an argument that we heard on the campaign trail that lifting the Bush tax breaks on the wealthiest Americans means that the Democrats want to tax small businesses. Sen. McConnell wants to tackle social security instead of eliminating the tax cuts. Sen. McConnell defered to the ethics committee when asked about whether Sen. Burris should remain in the Senate.
James Carville (D) and Ed Rollins (R) discussed the speech Pres. Obama is scheduled to make before Congress on Tuesday night. Carville, who happened to be sporting purple Mardi Gras beads, believes that this speech will be more important than President Obama's inaugural address. When discussing the $1.2T decifit, Rollins suggested that Obama inherited it, but that it would be much more as we continue.
John King was in Michigan this week and interviewed GM Auto workers. He also spoke with Sherrill Freeborough who owns a Saturn dealership. If GM eliminates the brand over the next few years, Freeborough will have to find another car line to sell at her two dealerships.
10 AM: Reliable Sources
Howard Kurtz took a look at Sen. Burris' sudden refusal to talk to the media with former CNN host, Tucker Carlson, Lynn Sweet and Ryan Lizza. I think that Carlson and Lizza could have argued about the role of the media and whether or not the Congressional leadership should have seated Burris for hours.
The next topic for the panel was about FOX News' frequent use of the word "socialism" when discussing the Obama administration's policies. Lizza made a comment about how Pres. Obama has saved FOX since they now have someone to attack (after having been so meek during the Bush administration.) Carlson did a good job of not answering a question Kurtz asked about MSNBC:
KURTZ: Does MSNBC, where you recently worked, do anything comparable to what Fox does in terms of pounding a message?
CARLSON: I don't know. I haven't worked for Fox. But every network has a meeting in the morning, a story meeting. Every newspaper has the same, the budget meeting, where they figure out what the big stories are and how they're going to attack them, and different channels take it in a different perspective.
The next panel (Dahlia Lithwick and Amy Holmes) discussed the Bristol Palin interview. Amy Holmes (R) made an interesting comment: "What was so peculiar about this, in the interview, Greta asked her, "So when did you tell your parents you were sitting down with me to do this?" And she was like, "Oh, yesterday." So, what was the context? Was it because Bristol is doing a book negotiation? Is it because she felt she was maligned and misunderstood? And Greta never really put it in a context so that we can understand, why are we listening to Bristol Palin right now?"
Kurtz finally got to interview Bernard Goldberg this morning. Reminder- he's the one that cancelled on Kurtz last week. Goldberg is the author of "A Slobbering Love Affair" which takes a look at the media's coverage and reaction to Pres. Obama's campaign. Kurtz asked him, "So are you saying that journalists for mainstream news organizations deliberately and consciously set out to elect an African-American?" Here's the short version of Goldberg's answer: "And to sum it up really in a sentence, I think in elite liberal circles, certainly inside the media, race trumps gender, and that's why they slobbered over Barack Obama, and took Hillary Clinton the back room and beat her with a rubber hose."
ABC's Robin Roberts spoke with Kurtz about the Oscars. Kurtz was having fun needling the serious journalist, Roberts, about working the red carpet. He wasn't able to find out who she will be wearing tonight.
Donna Brazile (D), Kevin Madden (R), and Gloria Borger got to be on the first panel. The top topic was the state governors who are threatening to not accept some of the funds being offered in the stimulus bill. The also discussed Pres. Obama's plan to cut the deficit and to eliminate Bush's tax cuts for those making over $250K; nationalizing the banking system; and the Governor's conference that is taking place this week in Washington, D.C. When discussing the governors who might be running for President in the future, Kevin Madden had this to say, "Well, first of all, my mother is so disappointed in me, because I'm 37, the same age as Bobby Jindal, and I'm not governor of any state yet."
While in Michigan, King also spoke with Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D). She's more than willing to take any federal stimulus money that is refused by another state.
The second political panel included Jessica Yellin, Barbara Starr, and Ed Henry. They discussed what the President needs to do on Tuesday night when he addresses Congress and the American people. They also discussed the war, Pentagon spending, and troop levels in Afghanistan. The economy is over shadowing the discussion of foreign policy and issues- both in what is expected in Tuesday night's speech and in the media coverage.
This week, the diner conversation was in Lansing Michigan with three people who voted for Pres. Obama. No review from John King on the food... has he found a diner that he didn't like?
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger joined King in the D.C. studio. Unlike some of the Governor's Republican colleagues, he's welcoming the stimulus money. He also believes that despite rhetoric that he used during the campaign, it is now time to support the President and come together as Americans (not Democrats or Republicans). What happens to the Governor once his term ends? He wouldn't answer that question.
The last time King spoke with the Governor, there was a discussion about an Obama cut out and the Governor getting back into the bedroom. King followed up to find out how that was going.
Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan defended the Obama housing plan. King questioned Donovan about the what the Administration will do about the Gulf Coast: 6870 trailers and mobile homes; 318 households in hotels.
Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) from Montana got to have the last word. He had an interesting comment regarding the difference between state and federal governments: "In Washington, D.C., they debate, governors deliver."
Ever wonder what is being discussed as they go into commercial? Well, as we got closer to the end of the show, they started to forget to turn the microphone off as they went into commercial breaks. King said to Schweitzer, "You get the last word. You own Sunday." Then after the interview, "That's the fastest four minutes in television. You got a lot done."
The return of the podcast. When Reliable Sources was absorbed into State of the Union with John King, the weekly podcast of the program disappeared. This week, it returns! Reliable Sources Video Podcast and direct link to today's podcast. Based on Kurtz's recent tweets, I think that both Kurtz and Reliable Sources fans are glad to have this back. Looking for a podcast of today's State of the Union with John King? Well, it is still under former management. To find it on the CNN Podcast website, click on the link for the Late Edition podcast. The direct link to today's podcast. Don't grumble too much... this is only the sixth program and the program's website and podcasts are both up and running. A label on a podcast link is minor in comparison.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: State of the Union with John King will be broadcasting on Tuesday from 12:00 PM ET - 1:00 PM ET on CNN.com/LIVE. CNN's coverage of President Obama's address to Congress starts at 8:00 AM ET on CNN.com/ LIVE.