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August 28, 2015

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When did The Beatles make their U.S. television debut?

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 9th 2009 5:09PM
The Beatles and Ed SullivanApparently, it wasn't The Ed Sullivan Show, as most of us think.

Sure, that was their first major, nationwide U.S. TV appearance where they actually performed, but what show did they first appear on in general? When Walter Cronkite died recently, CBS showed footage of Cronkite's CBS Evening News broadcast from December 1963 -- a rebroadcast of what ran on the CBS Morning Show on November 22; it was going to run on Cronkite's show that night too but you can guess why it didn't -- where they showed footage of an interview that someone did with the group. Sullivan saw the footage and called Cronkite because he wanted them on his show.

But now Brian Williams' NBC Nightly News blog says that the group's first appearance was actually a few days earlier, on November 18, a piece by Edwin Newman on The Huntley-Brinkley Report.

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Should Brian Williams do a regular spot on The Jay Leno Show?

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 7th 2009 4:29PM
Brian WilliamsAs we've said here many times before, Brian Williams is a funny guy. It's great to see a newsman be able to do really funny bits while talking to Conan O'Brien or Jon Stewart. But should he be doing it all the time?

Williams is going to be a regular on The Jay Leno Show when it debuts next Monday, introducing a regular segment titled "Stories Not Good Enough For Nightly News". Will it hurt your opinion of him (he got some negative press when he hosted SNL), or can you separate the serious news Brian Williams with the Jay Leno Show Brian Williams?

Should Brian Williams be a regular on The Jay Leno Show?
Why not? He can be serious and funny, it's not a big deal.472 (57.7%)
No way. He should stick to the news.69 (8.4%)
Who cares? I'm not watching Leno!277 (33.9%)

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Blame Jon Stewart's trustiness on the news media clusterf#*$

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jul 26th 2009 11:03AM
Jon StewartWalter Cronkite is a tougher act to follow than letting Metallica open for William Hung.

But now that the news legend and former most trusted man in America has passed on to that big newsroom in the great beyond, America needs someone else to trust. They need someone they can depend on to get the hard, cold facts about the important stories that truly affect their lives. They need someone to cut through the political haze of misdirection and mediocrity that cloud almost every major news story like a lingering beer fart.

That man is ... Jon Stewart. Don't like it? Blame the rest of the news media for not doing a better job.

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Jon Stewart investigates the Karl Malden/Brian Williams connection

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 3rd 2009 2:32PM
I don't know if the word "obitutainment" has been used before, but it's here now. Jon Stewart mentioned it last night in this installment of the Rippy Awards (I just now realized it refers to R.I.P., ha). And this isn't about Michael Jackson! It's about Karl Malden and his connection to an NBC anchor Brian Williams. I think I'm as connected to Malden as Williams is.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Rippy Awards - Celebrity Crypts

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Please note: Brian Williams does not need Viagra

by Bob Sassone, posted May 25th 2009 8:06AM
I've mentioned before how funny a guy Brian Williams is. It doesn't usually come out on NBC Nightly News, of course, but it shines on talk show appearances. On Friday, he was on Jay Leno's show and talked about the type of ads that run during his new show, including spots for products that help men ... in various ways. (Video also here.)

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Brian Williams is funnier than you will ever be - VIDEO

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 4th 2009 10:07AM
If you asked the average TV watcher what celebrity makes the funniest late night interviews, news anchors would probably be the furthest answer from their minds. It would also just be after physicists, felons convicted of violent crimes and Joaquin Phoenix.

Lately, however, one dedicated newsman has become the most entertaining guest on the late night talk show circuit with the kind of timing, humor and comedic gravitas that even some so-called "professional" comedians have trouble displaying. It could with the greatest of ease turn his own news program into the most hilarious show on television, if the news he reported didn't make us want to jab a corkscrew in our eyes.

That man is NBC's Brian Williams.

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Katie Couric isn't going anywhere, haters!

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 19th 2009 5:06PM
CouricRemember when every single person in the world said that Katie Couric would be gone from The CBS Evening News by the end of 2008? HA!

Not only is Couric not going anywhere, her show is actually doing better, thanks in part to the election coverage. It's still in third place, of course (and I think it will probably stay there for quite some time, if not forever), but her ratings are improving. The first week of this month, Couric's show trailed ABC's World News by 1.5 million viewers. That might seem like a lot, but Couric trailed that show by 2.8 million viewers the same week last year. The same thing happened last week compared to the same week in 2008. Hey, at least it's a move in the right direction.

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Nielsen ratings for the week ending June 1

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 4th 2008 5:44PM


Here are the weekly TV ratings, by number of viewers.

Um, OK, I had to do a double take (or maybe a triple) when I saw these ratings for Lost. Number 1 for the week?? I knew it would do better since it was the season finale, but the top spot, up 18 spots from last week? That's pretty cool.

The new edition of Password took the number 3 spot. Meanwhile, the number 18 show really kinda baffles me.

1. Lost (ABC)
2. Two and a Half Men (CBS)
3. Million Dollar Password (CBS)

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Brokaw to Couric: Be careful!

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 17th 2008 4:23PM

Katie CouricThat's the advice the NBC newsman gave Katie Couric when she left The Today Show to take the anchor gig at The CBS Evening News in 2006.

He told her that going from a morning show like Today to a hard news anchor position was "a dive off the high board" and that it's "harder than it looks." Though I wonder if anyone gave that advice to Brokaw when he left Today to do The NBC Nightly News back in the 80s. Or maybe they didn't because he's a guy, right?

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Katie Couric will probably leave CBS early (maybe, possibly, maybe not)

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 10th 2008 10:39AM

Katie CouricThis is approximately the 57th "Katie Couric is doing badly in the ratings and will probably will fired or quit her job at CBS" story that has surfaced in the past year, but since it's The Wall Street Journal, perhaps he has a little more gravitas to it?


The newspaper is reporting that "CBS executives" and "people close to Couric" say that she will probably leave her job as anchor of The CBS Evening News well before her contract is up in 2011. She might even leave in early 2009, right after the current Presidential election is over.

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The six best news anchors

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 18th 2008 10:06AM

Katie CouricWay back in August, I listed my choices for the three worst anchors on television. I said in that post that "later this week" I was going to name the best news anchors on television. Apparently, "later this week" meant seven months later. Sorry about that!

Here are my choices for the six best news anchors currently on television. Feel free to disagree and argue with me in the comments section (as if you need any suggestion from me for that).

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Out of the Blogosphere

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 16th 2008 9:21AM

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New mystery announcer debuts on NBC Nightly News tonight

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 17th 2007 1:07PM

NBC Nightly NewsOK, this isn't exactly "Who Shot JR," but it does have people guessing.

NBC Nightly News will have a new announcer starting tonight (longtime announcer Howard Reig retired in 2005), and they're trying to make it a surprise. The only clues from the network is that it's a name we all know, and this person had "an extensive, award-winning theatrical career for nearly forty years." Some of the guesses from fans include James Earl Jones, Patrick Stewart, James Lipton, Morgan Freeman, and ... Tom Brokaw? Yes, he was great in A Streetcar Named Desire.

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Les Moonves still believes in Katie

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 6th 2007 3:01PM

Katie Couric"No offense to those over 60, but that's not a demo we want."

That's a quote from Les Moonves at a press conference yesterday, talking about statistics that say the average age for a viewer of the nightly network news programs is 61.

Looks like all of the younger people in the country are getting their news from the web and cable.

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Brian Williams is blogging about his SNL gig this weekend

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 2nd 2007 3:04PM

Brian WilliamsNBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams has two gigs this week: hosting the nightly news show and preparing to host Saturday Night Live this weekend, rehearsing and helping to write some segments. Some people say he's blurring the line between news and entertainment, but I'm looking forward to seeing how he does. And he's keeping a blog of how the week is going so far.

The Daily Nightly is one of the better network news blogs anyway, but these entries show Williams' funny side. After working one night, he actually had to go to 30 Rock and join the writers for their all-night writing session.

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