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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Larry King: Hard Choices

Last week, BusinessWeek.com posted a story about Larry King almost leaving CNN in 1989.

As Larry King Live nears the end of its run, the king of talk remembers his decision to stick with CNN

As told to Ronald Grover

It was 1989, and I had been doing Larry King Live for about four years. My contract with CNN was up, and I had three months to look around. My agent, the late Bob Woolf, got a lot of substantial offers for me to consider.

Fox (NWS) wanted me. ABC (DIS) said they wanted to put me on behind Ted Koppel. The King brothers [of King World Productions] wanted to give me a deal similar to the one they had given Oprah. The show would be syndicated and I would get 9 percent of the profits.

I was making $800,000 at the time and the deals would have paid me $1.5 million. It should have been a no-brainer. I decided to take one of them, and I told Bob to get it done. It was a good time to take the chance. My show was doing well, and it was a lot of money.

I remember getting picked up that night at LAX. I was dating Angie Dickinson at the time, and we were going to dinner at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The next morning, at 6 a.m., I get a phone call from Ted Turner in New York. He's got Bob Woolf in his office and they're on speakerphone.

"I hear you want to leave," Ted says to me. "Say it to my face." I hear Bob behind him saying, "That's unethical." But Ted says, "Screw the ethics. Tell me goodbye to my face."

That's when I remembered discussing it with Angie the night before. She had asked me, "Are you unhappy, is that why you're leaving?" I wasn't. She said, "If you take all that money, the moment you're unhappy you're going to say to yourself: Why the heck did I make the change?"

She was right. I told Ted I was going to stay. Our show started to take off, and pretty soon I was making a lot more money. It turned out to be the right decision. Sometimes you don't need to make a change to succeed. Sometimes success is right in front of you.

Later on, I was at The Palm restaurant in Washington. Michael King was sitting across the room from me. He stands up and shouts, "I made you big money!"

Source: Business Week, July 22, 2010



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Friday, July 30, 2010

Green iReporter

The Gothamist recently had a little bit of fun with CNN's iReport...

Meet CNN's Newest Reporter: Ted

CNN has been going through some growing pains lately; between Larry King's retirement and Octavia Nasr's mis-tweet, as well as previously losing Lou Dobbs and Christine Amanpour, CNN has parted ways with a lot of talent, and is desperate for new blood (see also: Eliot Spitzer).

So when the FDNY had their busiest week in almost 30 years during last week's heat wave, they turned to their newest, finest, greenest iReporter, Ted, for coverage of the 4-alarm East Village fire last week.

Apparently, this was Ted's first hard news assignment. He was back to his usual entertainment beat the next day, interviewing Lady Gaga fans outside of Rockefeller Center.

Source: Meet CNN's Newest Reporter: Ted, Gothamist, July 11, 2010



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Exec Producer of New 8 PM Hour Named

Liza McGuirk has been named Executive Producer of CNN’s new 8 pm program with co-hosts Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker set to launch this fall. The announcement was made by senior vice president of programming Bart Feder and is effective immediately.
“Liza has the experience producing quality television that is smart and informative, and she has the editorial muscle to develop a program that will be provocative and entertaining,” said Feder.

Most recently, McGuirk has been the executive producer of CNN’s Sunday morning news and discussion program Fareed Zakaria: GPS. Launching that program in June 2008, she has produced a one-of-a-kind public affairs program on cable news. Nominated for an Emmy after just months on the air, the Zakaria program led by McGuirk has provided intelligent and insightful programming about domestic and international issues.

Said McGuirk, "After working with Fareed Zakaria, I'm delighted to be working with two people, Eliot and Kathleen, who are truly his equals at exploring the world of intelligent ideas. Most of all, I look forward to bringing that kind of elevated discussion to primetime.”

Before rejoining CNN in 2008, McGuirk spent 25 years working in television journalism and has extensive experience in all areas of television reporting and production. An Emmy-award winning producer, McGuirk was at CBS News for eight years, including four years producing and writing segments for 60 Minutes correspondent Ed Bradley. McGuirk also worked at CNN from 1980 to 1989, where she wrote and produced daily newscasts, supervised story coverage and produced a number of special events, among them, political conventions and presidential trips overseas. She was the fifth person hired when CNN was in its infancy. Before returning to CNN in 2008, she was a freelance documentary producer, teaming up with Christiane Amanpour on several projects.

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President Ed Henry

Earlier this month, CNN's Ed Henry won an election...

CNN Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry was elected president of the White House Correspondents Association board Thursday.

Henry garnered 86.9% of the votes to win the honor.

The WHCA board is perhaps most in the spotlight at the moment as it will decide which news organization will inherit Helen Thomas' front row seat in the White House Briefing Room.

Henry came out in support of Fox News, which is seen as the frontrunner along with Bloomberg News.

"When CNN bid for the front row in 2007, Fox could have challenged it and had a knock-down, drag-out fight like the one we might have this time," Henry said. "But they did the gentlemanly thing and said CNN had more seniority. I've got to honor that commitment."

Source: The Huffington Post, July 16, 2010



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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Arwa Damon Revisits Ramadi

Arwa Damon appeared on International's BackStory Thursday to talk about a trip she made recently back to Ramadi. She had traveled to the city is the spring of 2006 on an embed with the 82nd Airborne when the convoy she was traveling in struck an IED. Today she took a look back, showed what the city s like today, and talked with host Michael Holmes about what the future may hold for the city's residents as the American military heads home.

video

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Craig Ferguson's Skit Skewers LKL

Craig Ferguson did a take on Larry King Live this week. As Ferguson said recently he's going to miss Larry because of all the material the program provided his writers.

video


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Soledad O'Brien Take Five

The current issue of Jet Magazine has an interview with CNN's Soledad O'Brien:

CNN’s Soledad O’Brien has carved quite a nice niche for herself as the anchor/reporter for the network’s In America documentary series. It started off with 2008’s "Black in America" and since then the unit has produced five more, chronicling the struggles of Blacks, Latinos and gays, as well the Black church and next month's look at life in New Orleans five years after Katrina.

O’Brien spoke with MyJet247.com about that series, how she balances work and family and her proudest moments.

Q/ Did you always know you wanted to be a journalist and tell stories?

A/ I was pre med in college and always thought I was going to go to medical school and not for any real reason I just felt like it was the right thing to do when I was in high school. I was a candy striper and I got my nurse’s aide certification. So, when I decided not to go I was just completely perplexed because I hadn’t thought of another career. I had started working at a TV station, WBZ, in Boston. It was surprising to me how immediately I thought ‘Oh, this is exactly what I want to do!’ And it kind of dawned on me that everything that was happening around me was very exciting and I sort of thought I could be really good at this. I always liked writing and telling stories.

To read the full interview at MyJet247.com: TAKE FIVE: Anchor Soledad O'Brien



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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ratings For The Week Of July 19th


1 - Rick's List began airing instead of Campbell Brown on Thursday, July 22nd.
2 - Based on four nights of regular programming.


Rating calculations are weekly averages based on nightly ratings provided by TVNewser with data by Nielsen Media Research. Numbers reflect Live and same day (DVR) data.


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Here's Piers....


Piers Morgan was interview by Jay Leno last night on The Tonight Show. Apparently he isn't at liberty to tell us what we don't want to hear. It was an interesting interview that can be viewed in its entirety on The Tonight Show website. Here's the portion where they talk CNN.

video



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Monday, July 26, 2010

The New Yorker: Snapped Cable

Nancy Franklin wrote a piece for the August 2nd edition of The New Yorker that looks at what has gone wrong with CNN. Here's an excerpt:

CNN is now perceived to be a loser, not just quantitatively but qualitatively, overshadowed by two loudmouth networks, one partisan by calculation, the other by imitation. CNN has tried to carry on as a genuine news outlet, but something’s not working.

To read the entire article follow the link.




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and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Your Views on the News, July 24, 2010



There hasn't been much new CNN news to report this week, unless you want to talk about the premiere of Rick's List in prime time. Didn't think so......

Maybe this lull is the calm before the storm we all feel is coming?







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Friday, July 23, 2010

All Things Piers?

It seems we've been devoting an inordinate amount of space and time lately to Piers Morgan and here we go again.....





The LA Times reported that the sticking point of CNN's negotiations with Piers was not money but NBC. As we reported a few weeks back a British site said Morgan had signed a 30 week contract with CNN. That made us wonder what CNN's plans were for LKL's time slot the other 22 weeks of the year. We still don't know that answer, but thanks to the LAT we know that Piers will be back at the America's Got Talent judges desk during his off time from CNN.

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Rob Marciano on the Clean Up in the Gulf



Rescue – Saving the Gulf premieres Saturday, July 24 at 8pm ET & PT
and on CNN International on Saturday, July 24 at 8am ET & PT

As the focus shifts from oil surge to clean up operations following the disaster aboard BP’s Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico, CNN’s Rob Marciano reports on what it will take to skim the oil from the ocean, decontaminate beaches, and rescue animals fouled by oil.


Marciano joined the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Elm, 9 miles off the coast of Alabama to learn first-hand how oil skimming really works. From the engine room to the navigation deck, Marciano shows viewers the sights, sounds and smells of the intense, interconnected teamwork that keeps this uniquely massive 24-hour operation going. Gripping oil slicked ropes on the deck to steady the skimmer and boom, in scorching +100-degree sun and oppressive oil fumes, Marciano accompanies the crew as they siphon oil to a nearby barge. Back on shore, he reports on the beach cleaning crews battling fatigue and frustration as they confront the sheer enormity of clearing wide swaths of oil and tar balls that arrive with each tide. As they shovel and bag oil deposits, the oppressive heat ‘nearly melts [the] mind,’ Marciano explains.


Marciano will also be on the front lines with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the International Wildlife Bird Rescue and Research Center as they rescue and rehabilitate oiled birds from the wild, reporting on the painstaking work being done to clean oiled feathers, nurse wildlife back to health and release birds into safer areas along the Texas coast.
“The persistence of the people working to clean up the Gulf demonstrates their grit and strength,” says Marciano. “It’s a fight and a struggle every day – against the elements, against the oil, against sheer exhaustion. This is what it takes. Viewers will be inspired by their extraordinary determination to reclaim their way of life.”


More information on how viewers can support the clean-up activities in the Gulf of Mexico can be found by following the link.


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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ratings For The Week Of July 12th

1 - Based on four nights of regular programming

Rating calculations are weekly averages based on nightly ratings provided by TVNewser with data by Nielsen Media Research. Numbers reflect Live and same day (DVR) data.

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Your Views on the News, July 17, 2010


It seems we have beaten the Piers Morgan announcement to death so what to talk about this weekend? Since so many of us think we are better at Jon Klein's job then he is why not tell us what you would do if you were going to rescue the network. Give us your line up for CNN's dream team in prime time but be realistic, please.
I'll start it out, after the jump.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ratings For The Week Of July 5th


1 - Ratings based on four nights of regular programming
2 - Ratings based on three nights of regular programming


Rating calculations are weekly averages based on nightly ratings provided by TVNewser with data by Nielsen Media Research. Numbers reflect Live and same day (DVR) data.


All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Piers Morgan's £5.5m Deal with CNN

According to Waveguide UK Piers Morgan has signed a £5.5m (approximately 8 million US) deal to replace Larry King.

'The Britain's Got Talent judge agreed to the four-year contract with US network CNN and will work for 30 weeks of the year so is expected to move to the States.
Chat show legend Larry is due to step down from Larry King Live later this year and rumours had been rife as to who would replace the 76-year-old interviewer.
American presenters Ryan Seacrest and Katie Couric were said to be in the running but producers thought former newspaper editor Piers would make the ideal replacement.
However, Piers' new deal means he will have to quit his role on the Britain's Got Talent judging panel because he will not have enough time to commit to the programme. "



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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Piers Morgan Live?

From the New York Times:
Piers Morgan a Step Closer to ‘Larry King’ Chair
By BRIAN STELTER AND BILL CARTER

Piers Morgan, the mean judge on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” is poised to take over Larry King’s coveted time slot on CNN, thanks to an imminent deal between the two media giants that own the channels.
NBC, which attracts 20 million viewers to “Got Talent” each summer, has signaled that it is willing to share Mr. Morgan with CNN. That decision frees Mr. Morgan to directly negotiate with CNN and, according to three people involved in the delicate maneuvering between the companies, a contract could be signed within a few days.
If completed, the deal would vault Mr. Morgan, a native of Britain, onto the Mount Rushmore of TV’s top interviewers, alongside Oprah, Barbara and Katie. It will also demonstrate that CNN thinks there is still room in primetime for long-form interviews with public servants and starlets, a stark contrast to the partisan pundits on its higher-rated competitors.
“Larry King Live” is the biggest vacancy on television this year and the prospect of “Piers Morgan Live” starring a foreign-born talent show judge has baffled many people inside CNN.

"Rick's List" adds 8pm slot as of July 22



From TVNewser:

CNN's Rick Sanchez is coming to primetime, at least temporarily. On "Rick's List" today, Sanchez casually dropped this line:

"Pretty soon we're going to have two things going on. A: We're going to be doing this newscast at 8:00 at night. We're excited about that, and my book is going to be coming out."

Presumably Sanchez's program will shift to 8 p.m. temporarily, until the panel show hosted by Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker is ready to debut later this Fall.

Campbell Brown, who announced that she would be stepping down earlier this year, has continued to host her program since she revealed her decision. CNN has confirmed that Brown's last day at the network will be July 21.

A spokesperson for CNN tells TVNewser that Sanchez will start his 8 p.m. show Thursday July 22, and will continue hosting his afternoon program from 3-5.

Sanchez has been a regular fill-in for Brown, and had previously anchored "Out In the Open" at 8 p.m. in 2007.





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Monday, July 12, 2010

Funnymen Look at CNN

Stephen Colbert's 'The Word' included Kyra Phillips and Rick Sanchez

video


Craig Ferguson on the retirement of Larry King and who (Anderson Cooper) could replace him.

video


David Letterman's Top 10 Reasons that Larry King retired:

video


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Friday, July 9, 2010

Your Views on the News, July 9, 2010


Jay Rosen's newest edition of 'The Politics Blog' for Esquire.com had 5 excellent suggestions for what CNN needs to do to fix its identity crisis and ratings woes.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ratings For The Week Of June 28th

1 - Based on four nights of regular programming


Rating calculations are weekly averages based on nightly ratings provided by TVNewser with data by Nielsen Media Research. Numbers reflect Live and same day (DVR) data.


All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Octavia Nasr fired after 'simplistic' tweet

Senior Editor of MidEast Affairs Octavia Nasr has been fired by CNN after a tweet that raised a furor.

Commenting on the death of Shiite cleric (and former Hezbollah leader) Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, she described him as "One of Hezbollah's giants I respect a lot." Since Fadlallah was virulently anti-American and is, in fact, labeled a terrorist by the US, it was definitely a tweet that garnered attention on the internet.

Tuesday, Nasr posted an explanation of her tweet on one of the CNN blogs, in which she described interviewing Fadlallah early in her career, acknowledged Fadlallah's terrorist acts but also pointed out that he was one of the most liberal clerics on women's rights. (A point also made by others on Twitter... even some CNN reporters.) But the post was not enough to undo the damage, in the eyes of CNN brass.

Report from the New York Daily News
Report from The New York Times

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Monday, July 5, 2010

Putting the "Porter" Back in "Reporter"

Nic Robertson, producer Tommy Evans, and their cameraman Chris recently took a bumpy helicopter ride to Balochistan, Pakistan and did a Back|Story piece on the trip. Nic says that Chris likes filming these pieces because they put the 'porter' back in 'reporter' -- which Nic demonstrates by lugging the luggage (and tripod!) to and from the chopper during unscheduled stops. Fun clip, and at the end, BKS host Michael Holmes talks to Nic about the political situation in Pakistan.

video


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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Where's the Diversity CNN?

The National Association of Black Journalists on Friday lashed out at CNN for its decision to replace Campbell Brown in the 8:00 p.m. time slot with two white co-hosts, Kathleen Parker and Eliot Spitzer. “The company missed another opportunity to place a person of color in prime time,” NABJ said in a statement. “Are you telling us that CNN could find no one better than an ex-politician who quit being New York governor after consorting with prostitutes to grace America’s living rooms each night? CNN does have Tony Harris anchoring in the morning, and Fredricka Whitfield, T.J. Holmes, and Don Lemon on the weekends. But that’s not prime time. The same can be said about MSNBC.” Contacted by Journal-isms.com, CNN cited several of its African-American correspondents as examples of its commitment to diversity, adding: “The new 8:00 p.m. program will have a rotating panel of diverse guests.” Read the NABJ's letter to cable executives after the jump.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Piers Morgan to Replace Larry King?

Bombshell? Simon Cowell Says He “Helped Broker The Deal” For Piers Morgan To CNN

Leave it to Simon Cowell, the most brutally honest person on TV, to potentially break the news that yes, CNN is indeed hiring Piers Morgan to replace Larry King.

During a brief interview with Extra TV, Cowell said he personally helped “broker the deal.” As in, done deal.

See video and link for complete article from Midiaite after the jump.


Your Views on the News, July 2, 2010

A few interesting articles to discuss or dismiss this week.
The Wrap: CNN's Jon Klein: We’re Not Endorsing One Side or Another
Mediaite: CNN Pres. On Olbermann’s Claim That Larry King Wanted Him Hired: “It Didn’t Work”
And two others about Anderson Cooper
The Wrap: Troubled Times at CNN, Anchors at Odds with Cooper
The Wrap: Anderson Cooper is 'Happy at CNN' and Mad at 'The Internet'







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