Some suggest this Beck-free week wasn't just a much needed vacation for the host, or for the viewer for that matter.
TVNewser spoke to some Fox insiders who claim the network ordered the silver haired devil to take a week off so some of the heat over his advertising boycott could die down.
If you happened to be watching Fox News' 3-hour UParty 2009 New Year's Eve special, you might have caught a glimpse of some unbelievable words scrolling across the bottom of the screen. " ... and let's hope the magic negro does a good job. " Wait ... what the ... ?!
The ticker usually contains news bites from Fox itself, so those particular words might have garnered a little shock. As it turns out, though, it's all very innocent. Well, sort of. It was actually a text message from a viewer that said, "Happy New Year and let's hope the magic negro does a good job. Love, Jen and John C."
Lots of changes this week in the land of TV news:
- Liz Claman is leaving CNBC. She was going to renew her contract, but decided she wanted to go some place else. She has to wait 90 days, however, because of a non-compete clause in her contract. She's been with the financial network for almost 10 years. I remember Claman from her days on Channel 7 in Boston.
- Two guys play the Beverly Hills, 90210 theme on one guitar.
- More talk about a merger between CBS and CNN.
- This fall's new shows can teach you a lot about life.
- The season is over, so why not catch up on some reading?
- Star airbrushes Jennifer Aniston.
- Rate the season at AOL Television's Best and Worst poll.
- Mo Rocca hangs out with Former President Bill Clinton.
The latest from the land of CNN, MSNBC, and FOX News:
1. Jeff Greenfield is leaving CNN. He's going over to CBS to become part of their Election 2008 (or whatever CBS is calling it) coverage. The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz says that Greenfield hasn't been too happy with the way CNN has been using him lately.
2. Dan Abrams to lose his title at MSNBC. Last year he got a promotion from on-air host/analyst to general manager, but it looks like Abrams will lose that title when the cable network moves from New Jersey to 30 Rock in NYC. The move probably won't happen until the end of the year.
3. Nancy Grace and John Gibson news. Both of their shows (Grace on CNN Headline News and Gibson over on FOX News) had "Breaking News" reports that Michael Jackson was really ill in the hospital, when he actually is just a little sick and not in the hospital at all. Yet more evidence that the "Breaking News" and "This Just In" and "Developing News" graphics are waaaaay overused. Don't the networks use judgment anymore?
[via TV Newser]
What do you get when you combine Rosie O'Donnell, Donald Trump, Bill O'Reilly, Britney Spears, Anderson Cooper, Keith Olbermann, Geraldo Rivera, Walter Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow and a cat? A satirical video lampooning the news judgment shown by many in the TV news industry.
Released last night during the Radio and TV Correspondents Association dinner -- yes the same one where presidential advisor Karl Rove pretended to be a hip-hop master -- the JibJab guys who created the hilarious 2004 campaign videos have now aimed their guns at the elite TV media personalities.
And hilarity ensues.
Both CNN and Fox News were fighting to get a seat in the front row of the new White House press briefing room, and CNN has won.
The White House Correspondents Association decided to give the front row seat to CNN "based on CNN's 27 years of covering The White House, as well as the resources it brings to the in-town and travel pool, and its daily prescence at the briefings."
CNN wasn't the only winner. Veteran journalist Helen Thomas, who was knocked back to the second row to make way for the cable news outlets recently, will get back her front row seat. The association has decided to honor a commitment they made to Thomas years ago. She has been covering The White House since the early 60s.
The new White House briefing room will be ready in June. (And if anyone isn't sure what that headline means, I'm referring to an old commercial with Bob Uecker.)
[via TV Newser]
Or maybe America isn't asking why. If the ratings are there, then they must be watching. But I have to wonder: what the hell do these people do that they are watching so many hours of The Today Show in the morning? I mean, I work from home and write about TV, and even I can't imagine having any interest in it. Though I guess I'm not the demographic they're shooting for.
If they actually do a fourth hour of the show, I really hope they have more celebrity interviews! And cooking demonstations! And maybe makeup tips and fashion segments!
I always have to chuckle a little bit when I see articles like this (and we see a couple of them every single year) that tell us how many hours a day we watch television. Because while the "average American" watches 4 1/2 hours of a television a day (or 1555 hours a year), I must spend at least double that, around 10 hours a day.
The other statistics don't really surprise me though. The Census Bureau says we spend around 10 hours total a day watching TV, listening to the radio, listening to music, surfing the web, and reading magazines and newspapers. Now, I think all of those things are just a part of everyone's day and there's really nothing surprising about it. That's a lot of territory, and the rest of the time of course has to be done eating, commuting, working, talking on the phone, and sleeping.
How many hours a day do you spend watching television?
[via TV Newser]
CBS News and Sports President Sean McManus says that he is going to start looking for additional reporters for the Sunday night show after the New Year rolls around, though he doesn't say that they will be "replacements" for Bradley. But people are starting to talk about it anyway, wondering if CBS will get another big name to fill the vacancy. Some are saying it might be CNN's Anderson Cooper, though those rumors about Cooper joing the network (probably as host of The Early Show) have surfaced before. Others are saying Lara Logan or Byron Pitts, though many think it will be somebody who already contributes to 60 Minutes, like Bob Simon or Scott Pelley.
Who do you think should replace Bradley, if anyone? Just a couple of reporters to add to the rotation, or a star to actually say the words at the start, "I'm ______ _______."
- David Thomas over at FireJeffZucker.com wonders why the Sci-Fi Channel isn't in HD.
- For election day today, TV Newser is going to update his blog every hour, with the latest TV News news and analysis. Check out the real Wolf Blitzer and the cardboard Wolf Blitzer.
- Great article over at TV Party about the original pilot for The Twilight Zone.
- TV Guide's Matt Roush has a rundown on all of the midseason comings and goings.
- Over at PopWatch, George Lucas says he's done with big screen movies and will be focusing on TV now. As a moviegoer, I applaud this. As a TV lover, it makes me cringe.
- Great episode of Heroes last night, eh? TV Addict has an interview with stars Adrian Pasdar and Milo Ventimiglia.
- I don't believe this story at all. It just seems like some bs someone made up because Mario Lopez is doing so well on Dancing with the Stars.
But the best quote is about NBC's choices if Couric happens to bolt to CBS: "While the charming Morales is a favorite within NBC News, Weekend Today co-anchor Campbell Brown has more experience in hard-news reporting and would also be a serious candidate to join Matt Lauer on the weekday show. Says one person familiar with the talks, 'I think they would like to morph Natalie and Campbell together.'"
Well, why wouldn't they? With Campbell's hard-news chops and sparkling personality, and Morales' engaging style and eyes you could get lost in, NBC would be able to create an über-anchor that even the iconic Couric would have difficulty beating.
Alas, the technology to create the Borales (or should it be called the Nampbell?) hasn't quite been perfected, so we'll just have to see which of these standouts wins the position next to Lauer. That's if Couric leaves, which as the daily updates we're given testify, isn't a done deal by any means.
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