While the NBC broadcast network hemorrhages cash, NBCU's cable consortium makes money in buckets. Even in the NBC microcosm, NBC News is making money with 'Today' and the 'NBC Nightly News' while the entertainment and sports divisions aren't doing well. Which is why it's not surprising that news president Steve Capus defended his boss to Jon Friedman of Marketwatch.com.
According to the AP, out of all the network evening news reporters, Mitchell clocked in the most minutes on camera during the last decade. Her total: a staggering 2,416 minutes.
Robert Bazell, also of NBC, finished in second, with 2,328 minutes.
The Society of Professional Journalists has issued a public statement criticizing the news division for using an "extensive gesture" to score an exclusive with Goldman and thus "jeopardized its journalistic independence and credibility in its initial and subsequent reports."
Did NBC cross a line or should the reporter with the biggest bank account score the scoop?
George Michael, the sportscaster and longtime host of the nationally syndicated George Michael's Sports Machine, succumbed to a long battle with cancer on Thursday.
To call him ahead of his time would be an understatement. He basically invented the hyper clip style format of shows like ESPN's SportsCenter, brought a great deal of personality to TV sports reporting and sportscasting and even inspired and mentored the likes of Pardon the Interruption's Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon.
On Dec. 3, cable giant Comcast justified a long-standing industry rumor and completed an $8 billion deal to acquire a controlling 51% of NBC Universal stock from former owner General Electric.
Huge companies gobbling up big (but not as huge) companies is nothing new in any business, especially broadcasting. All of the major networks are owned by parent companies. Disney owns ABC. Newscorp owns Fox. Westinghouse owns CBS. Now, Comcast possesses NBC -- as Conan O'Brien celebrates in this clip.
TVTattle has compiled a smart series of stories on exactly what the deal could mean to you, the viewer. For instance, Comcast, a cable company, may have purchased NBC to "devalue" free TV, much in the same way Judge Doom from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? bought the Red Car company so he could "dismantle it" to run his freeway through Toontown. And if you British literature snobs can think of a better metaphor, be my guest.
There is also talk that Comcast might drop the NBC brand. Does that mean the company will also take out the NBC peacock Ol' Yeller style?
NBC just sent me a series of photos showing the interviews that will be conducted during the network's "A Woman's Nation" series. As part of the series, NBC, CNBC and MSNBC personalities will interview each other about "the state of women in American life," as the accompanying press release has stated.
In most of the pics, the pairs -- Andrea Mitchell/Rachel Maddow, Kathie Lee Gifford/Jenna Bush Hager, Mika Brzezinski/Hoda Kotb, Natalie Morales/Suze Orman -- sit on the comfy chairs, legs crossed. As you can see from the pic above, Ann Curry, who's paired up with Meredith Vieira, wants to be different: shoes off, feet tucked under her rear end. She's really into this conversation, know what I mean? She's listening. She's comfortable.
It's so Ann Curry, isn't it?
Both shows returned to the airwaves Monday with new episodes. Both also had cable news celebrity cameos so big, no lightning fast news ticker announcing an accidental nuclear missile launch could draw your attention away from them.
The Daily Show returned with another appearance by CNN's gray-haired uber-anchor Anderson Cooper and an interesting interview with new Meet the Press moderator David Gregory. The Colbert Report picked up former Hannity and Colmes pushover Alan Colmes and wound things up with an interview with CNN reporter John King.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that NBC Universal has already laid off 30 people as part of their ongoing effort to cut costs across the board.
So far, the 30 people who have been given their pink slips worked in the sales departments. More pink slips are expected to land on desks later this week in the news division, the first areas of the media industry that normally take a bullet when Wall Street starts firing in all directions like Hunter S. Thompson on an ether binge.
But not all publicity is bad publicity. In some cases, it's revived the careers of celebrities who flopped out of the spotlight like so much unsupervised fish. Rick Astley wouldn't have had the chance to perform during the last Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade if the Internet hadn't turned his ear-drum-grinding song into an ear-drum-grinding Internet prank. Chuck Norris wouldn't have become a born-again celebrity, columnist, and media pundit without a certain web site making him sound like he could kick God's ass unless God has Chuck Norris' fists.
Now another blogger has another target in their sights, giving an overlooked celebrity who is on TV just about every night the rare chance to swing the spotlight on them with a simple pull of the trigger. And it's not NBC Nightly News' Brian Williams. It's NBC Nightly News' Brian Williams' ties, thanks to high school English teacher Nancy Donnelly and her popular blog, the Brian Williams Tie Report.
I live in a pretty small town that's chock full of poor, uneducated people and I can assure you that most of those citizens still think of computers as that fancy technology they use in them colleges and whatnot. And the Internets, well that's where you go for sin! But the young people, who have grown up with computers and the web are more savvy than their parents and if they can afford a computer, then they're online. Most are playing World of Warcraft, but they're still on there.
NBC News is opting to insert an element of change in its convention coverage. The network announced today that the late Tim Russert's son, Luke, has been hired by NBC News and will be put on his father's beat, politics.
Luke Russert's first assignment is Decision 2008, where he will be correspondent-at-large at both the Democratic and Republican conventions. While this hiring smacks of nepotism -- or allegiance to the memory of Tim -- Luke is not without some journalistic skills. He's a Boston College graduate, majoring in History and Communications, and has been co-hosting a sports talk show on XM Satellite Radio. He shares the microphone for that program, 60/20 Sports, with political analyst James Carville.
MSNBC is reportedly making a series of changes, amping up the political chatter. Considering how much politicking is going on now, including Tucker, it's hard to fathom how switching Carlson for Gregory is going to increase the discourse.
NBC is trying to save money everywhere.
Longtime Dateline host Stone Phillips is being let go by the network, for money reasons. Phillips' current co-host, Ann Curry, will continue to do the show. I guess NBC wants someone in there who is already under contract and does other stuff at the network. Curry is the newsreader on The Today Show too. She'll be joined by various NBC reporters as rotating co-hosts.
No word on what Phillips will do now. I wonder why they didn't just keep him on and have him do other things at the network and MSNBC? Maybe he didn't want to, who knows.
It's not often that TV news executives are well-known, but Gordon Manning was one of those people.
Manning was with NBC and CBS news for several years, involved in many of the top news stories of the 20th century, including the student uprising in Tiananmen Square in 1989 for NBC, CBS' Watergate and Nixon's trip to China coverage in 1972, and even set up an interview between NBC's Tom Brokaw and Mikail Gorbachev in 1987, just before his meeting with President Reagan.
Manning was famous for something else we all see now: the color-coded election night map! NBC first did that in 1976.
Manning died Wednesday in Westport, CT of a heart attack.
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