NBC Suffering With Williams Off The Air

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The debacle surrounding Brian Williams has not only cost NBC News much of its credibility, but based on the initial ratings since Williams was suspended without pay for six months, it is costing them a big chunk of their viewers.

According to Nielsen’s fast national data, viewership fell dramatically for the NBC Nightly News in the first week with Williams off the air.

Last Monday, Nightly News averaged 9.8 million total viewers, but by Thursday that had fallen to 8.6 million, a drop of more than 12 percent in just 3 days.

The main beneficiary of the tumult at NBC is ABC’s World News Tonight, anchored by David Muir. WNT beat Nightly News by 347,000 viewers on Wednesday, which was a huge difference from the previous week when WNT trailed them by 400,000 viewers.

NBC News has replaced Williams with Lester Holt for the time being, but he is facing the difficult task of not only replacing the top evening news anchor in America, but trying to restore the division’s credibility as more stories emerge about Williams’ long history of lying on the air.

In time, Holt may be able to regain some of the viewers lost during this debacle, since Americans tend to be creatures of habit in their television viewing. But restoring NBC News’ credibility will be a much longer process and can only truly occur if they fire everyone who enabled Williams to get away with lying for so long.

This article originally appeared at AIM.org and is reprinted here with permission.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

New York Times’ Dean Baquet: ‘We Will Fix The Things The Buyouts Broke’

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New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet issued a memo on Tuesday in which he admitted that last year’s buyouts hurt the company in many ways. But he vowed to fix those things in 2015:

“By any measure, 2014 was a dramatic year — a sudden leadership change ending with the departure of treasured colleagues. But those headlines belie what you all accomplished for readers and the world.

“We will fix the things the buyouts broke. We will look internally to fill important jobs. We will carefully and judiciously make a few outside hires. I know it seems incongruous to hire after reducing the staff. But if we stop bringing in new talent we run the risk of missing a generation of future stars.”

Indeed, 2014 was a tumultuous year for the company as the paper abruptly fired Baquet’s predecessor, Jill Abramson. The year also saw some 100 staffers taking buyouts or being laid off, thus robbing the Times of decades of institutional knowledge and hurting morale in the process.

While Baquet was optimistic about the future of the Times, he also noted that he couldn’t guarantee that further cuts wouldn’t occur, underscoring the fact that the paper still faces competitive challenges ahead.

The Times has largely staked its future on providing news digitally. But as the news becomes increasingly commoditized, it will become more difficult to profit from it and the company may well find itself facing the same financial problems it did just a few years ago.

Read the full memo here.

This article originally appeared at AIM.org and is reprinted here with permission.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Hillary’s “People” Cover Flops

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It’s been a rough year for Hillary Clinton on the sales front. First it was her book “Hard Choices” that failed to sell despite a massive P.R. campaign, and now, as Adweek reports, the June 16 issue of People Magazine, featuring Clinton on the cover, was the worst selling issue of the year.

The Clinton cover sold just 503,890 copies, which is well below the magazine’s average of 700,000-plus. The best-selling issue was a tribute to the late Robin Williams on August 25, which sold over one million copies.

 

This article originally appeared at AIM.org and is reprinted here with permission.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

CNN President Jeff Zucker Insists HLN Is “Not For Sale”

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Mediabistro reports that HLN held an all-staff meeting Wednesday in Atlanta to discuss the future of the troubled network. The meeting was led by HLN general manager Albie Hecht, with CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker also present.

Jennifer Westhoven, who covers the economy, business, and money for HLN, tweeted out Zucker’s statement about the network.

The tweet was in reference to this past summer’s negotiations with VICE media about a partnership that would have largely turned control of HLN programming over to VICE. Those talks ended when the two sides couldn’t agree on VICE’s valuation.

Even though the talks ended months ago, VICE founder Shane Smith apparently still has his eyes on the network, telling Jeff Jarvis at the Paley Media Council that HLN is a “distressed media asset,” and that VICE could do a better job with it than the current management.

Zucker reacted angrily to Smith’s comments, calling him an a*****e, but Smith is right. HLN’s ratings have plunged, with the network firmly lodged in a distant fourth place in the cable-news ratings.

With VICE flush with investor cash, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them take another run at HLN. Even though Zucker says the network isn’t for sale, it’s not entirely his decision to make.

 

This article originally appeared at AIM.org and is reprinted here with permission.

Photo Credit: Fortune Live Media (Flickr)

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Chuck Todd Admits MSNBC Has A “Liberal Perspective,” Says Fox News Feels “More Campaign-y”

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During an interview with HuffPost Live, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd admitted that MSNBC’s evening line-up has a “liberal perspective,” while Fox News, due to Roger Ailes background, feels “more campaign-y:”

“I think it’s a little bit different because, look, I’ve always thought the Roger Ailes political past sort of makes it, because he actually worked as an operative, it always feels a little more campaign-y than what gets accused on the MSNBC side. I certainly think at night there’s certainly a liberal perspective [and] a conservative perspective. I think in the daytime both channels would argue that there’s a lot more straight-forward reporting during the daytime, and I think there’s a lot of evidence to support that.”

Todd’s “campaign-y” comment was a veiled reference to the liberal charge that Fox News is an arm of the Republican Party, while ignoring the balance that Fox offers on its shows when discussing politics. Todd also conveniently left out the fact that Hardball host Chris Matthews worked for former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill for six years and has openly declared his allegiance to Hillary Clinton in 2016. Which network is more campaign-y again?

If Todd had answered the question honestly he might have said that Roger Ailes is a master programmer, as compared to MSNBC’s Phil Griffin, and that he is the reason that Fox has been the top rated cable news network for the last 12 years. He would have also said that MSNBC’s ratings are so bad that the future of liberal television is now in doubt. But that level of honesty was apparently too much for Todd to handle.

 

This article originally appeared at AIM.org and is reprinted here with permission.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom