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1-20 of 29 items from 2015   « Prev | Next »

CBS News’ ‘Face the Nation’ Hits Viewership High in Bob Schieffer’s Final Season

14 hours ago | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

David Letterman’s exit from latenight drew big ratings Wednesday night, but another longtime CBS figure — Bob Schieffer — is also going out on top.

With the 2014-15 television season in the books, the Schieffer-hosted “Face the Nation” is celebrating its largest audience since the 1987 advent of Nielsen’s people meters (3.42 million), up 5% from last year. By comparison, ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” averaged 2.85 million viewers, and NBC’s “Meet the Press” averaged 2.83 million. (“Face the Nation” benefits in comparisons to the other networks’ shows because only its first half-hour is included in averages; its two half-hours air back-to-back in just about 76% of the country.)

In the key news demo of adults 25-54, “Face the Nation” (0.8 rating for its first half-hour) finished ahead of “This Week” and “Meet the Press” (both at 0.7 for their hours).

Capping a journalism career spanning 52 years, Schieffer is retiring this summer from CBS News »

- Rick Kissell

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Todd to Rand Paul: Were We Really Better off with Hussein in Power?

17 May 2015 10:24 AM, PDT | Mediaite - TV | See recent Mediaite - TV news »

The old Iraq One-Step tripped up a pair of Gop candidates this week and swung the foreign policy discussion momentarily in anti-interventionalist Senator Rand Paul's (R-ky) favor. On that note, Meet the Press host Chuck Todd asked the 2016 candidate if he thought the world would have been better off with Saddam Hussein in power, those being the only two options. »

- Evan McMurry

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Chuck Todd to Martin O’Malley: Can You Still Run on Your Baltimore Record?

3 May 2015 1:25 PM, PDT | Mediaite - TV | See recent Mediaite - TV news »

Former Baltimore Mayor and potential 2016 Democratic candidate Martin O'Malley received some attention last week, but not the kind he wanted, as his tenure came under scrutiny as the backstory to the inequality and tension between Baltimore's African American community and law enforcement. On Meet the Press Sunday morning, host Chuck Todd asked if he could "still run on his record." »

- Evan McMurry

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NBC’s ‘Today’ Scores Rare Demo Victory Over ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’

1 May 2015 11:03 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

The evening news ratings derby isn’t the only hotly contested news daypart these days, with NBC’s “Today” making things interesting in the morning wars by scoring a rare demo victory over ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

While “Gma” is on its way to a third straight seasonal crown, “Today” last week edged ahead of “Good Morning America” in adults 25-54 (1.50 to 1.48 in rating/1.793 million to 1.765 million in 25-54 viewers), according to national estimates from Nielsen. This is the strongest position for “Today” relative to its ABC rival since February 2014, when NBC was the morning ratings leader during its coverage of the Winter Olympics.

“Today” has beaten “Gma” in adults 25-54 on 20 days during 2015, including six of the last 10 over the past two weeks. The NBC show has had momentum early in the week, winning Monday through Wednesday while ABC has taken Thursday and Friday.

In total viewers, “Good Morning America »

- Rick Kissell

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White House Correspondents’ Dinner: Cecily Strong Admits President Obama a Tough Act to Follow

26 April 2015 10:44 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Saturday Night Live” star Cecily Strong delivered several zinger’s during her headlining gig at Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner. But the NBC talent admits she was forced to change her routine after President Obama stole some of her thunder. “I kept checking in with my writers — I knew where they were sitting — and I would go, ‘Should we keep it? Cut it?'” There were two I chose to cut,” Strong told “Meet The Press” host Chuck Todd in an interview taped immediately after the dinner, but she didn’t say what the jokes were about. Also Read: Obama Brings the. »

- Anita Bennett

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CNN Names Jake Tapper Host of Sunday Talk-Show ‘State of the Union’

24 April 2015 6:50 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Jake Tapper has joined the roster of new journalists taking part in TV’s Sunday talk-show fray.

Tapper, who joined CNN in January 2013 from ABC News, will be the new host of “State of the Union,” the Time Warner-owned outlet’s Sunday politics-focused talk show, Tapper confirmed on Twitter on Friday morning. He replaces Candy Crowley, who anchored the show for years and left CNN late last year. A rotating group of hosts have filled her seat in the interim.

Tapper is expected to start the new role in June, while continuing to anchor his late-afternoon weekday program, “The Lead.”

He will take the reins of the program as several new faces surface at the Sunday-morning programs, which have long been viewed as a venue for sophisticated discussion of complex issues. John Dickerson is slated this summer to take over CBS’ “Face the Nation” from Bob Schieffer this summer. Chuck Todd »

- Brian Steinberg

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Chuck Todd’s Grade for Hillary Clinton Presidential Launch: A (Video)

13 April 2015 5:59 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Chuck Todd graded Hillary Clinton’s presidential announcement rollout Monday, giving the candidate an A. “I think it went correctly,” the “Meet the Press” host said about Clinton’s campaign. He credited the memo that was sent out by Clinton’s campaign, the video that showed every “part of the Democratic coalition represented,” and the upcoming road trip Clinton will take to Iowa. Also Read: Hillary Clinton Presidential Bid Fires Up Hollywood, Haters on Social Media Todd says the road trip gives the launch “humanity”: “You throw that in there, you take a B+ launch and make it an A. »

- Jordan Chariton

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CBS Will Add More ‘On The Ground’ Reporting to ‘Face The Nation’

12 April 2015 12:12 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

CBS wants to add something extra to the ranks of the decades-old Sunday-morning talk shows: shoe leather.

Rather than turning to a veteran TV anchor with decades of hosting and interviewing under his or her belt, CBS said Sunday it would fill Bob Schieffer’s seat at “Face the Nation” with an operative with years of experience in longer-form reporting and analysis as well as traveling a beat.

John Dickerson, who will this summer take the reins of what is typically the most-watched among the nation’s Sunday public-affairs program, has logged years covering politics for Slate and Time magazine and has spent nearly 20 years in Washington covering the White House, Congress and economics. He authored a longform series on presidential attributes, which won the Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency.

“I think ‘on the ground’ is a good way of putting it,” said David Rhodes, president of CBS News, »

- Brian Steinberg

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Megyn Kelly Blasts ‘Sexist’ Chuck Todd: ‘We Don’t Need Your Help’ So ‘Butt Out’ (Video)

9 April 2015 5:04 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Rand Paul continued his media tour Wednesday night, responding to charges that he’s thin-skinned after he got into testy exchanges with “Today” co-anchor Savannah Guthrie earlier in the day Appearing on Megyn Kelly’s Fox News show, she brought up “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd, who advised Paul to be “careful” because his contentious interviews are “turning into a habit.” “He needs to probably watch videotape of himself,” Todd had said. Also Read: Rand Paul Accuses Savannah Guthrie of ‘Editorializing’ on ‘Today’ (Video) Kelly didn’t like Todd’s assertion: “We don’t need your help, Savannah Guthrie doesn’t need your help, »

- Jordan Chariton

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CBS News’ Bob Schieffer Retiring

8 April 2015 6:07 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

“Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer has announced he is retiring, CBS News confirmed on Wednesday, in a move that will open a seat at one of the longest-running programs on television.

The journalist, who has worked in the industry for more than 50 years — 46 of them with CBS — will say goodbye to the newsroom this summer. He made the announcement in Fort Worth at Tcu’s Schieffer College of Communication, where he was speaking at its annual Schieffer Symposium.

“Bob’s been with CBS since 1969… chief Washington correspondent since 1982 … and host of ‘Face the Nation’ since 1991. That broadcast is in its 60th year and has never been better or more powerful, ranking consistently No. 1 this season,” CBS News president David Rhodes said in a statement. “He’s been an inspiration and a mentor to so many colleagues — and frankly, to me. You could see at Tcu tonight how that inspiration »

- Variety Staff

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‘The View’ Launches Ted Cruz Birther Movement Following His Presidential Bid (Video)

23 March 2015 9:45 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

The View” panel took on the first official presidential candidate, Ted Cruz, on Monday when a guest co-host rallied for a birther movement to haunt the Canadian-born politician’s campaign. “He was not born in America, he was born in Canada, so how can he run for president?” comedian Michelle Williams said. “I’m a Ted Cruz birther — I want to see the birth certificate.” Rosie Perez blasted the Texas senator for his denial of climate change, and backed California Governor Jerry Brown’s criticism of Cruz as being unfit for the role of president during a “Meet the Press” appearance on Sunday. »

- Jordan Chariton

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NBC News Quest For Outsider Finally Leads Back to Lack

6 March 2015 7:01 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

In hindsight, the circuitous and bumpy path that brought NBC News back to old pro Andrew Lack can be traced to an especially jaundiced view of broadcast news – namely, that the traditional model is so broken only an outsider can be trusted with the process of reinventing it.

Certainly, ABC enjoyed success by reaching beyond the usual suspects to tap Ben Sherwood, whose stratospheric rise propelled him from the news division to oversee the network group. Yet that turnaround under Sherwood – who had experience as a network insider, which he used to further lobotomize “Good Morning America,” then extend its soft-news values elsewhere – might be a case of the exception that proves the rule.

NBC fell for the myth of the gunslinger, someone who can come in and clean up a lawless town. That included putting NBC News under Deborah Turness, a Briton who previously worked at ITV; and NBC »

- Brian Lowry

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Andrew Lack Returns to NBC As News Chief, Will Face Challenges Restoring Credibility

6 March 2015 6:28 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

NBCUniversal is banking that the homecoming of one of its best-known former executives will help reverse its fortunes in the tricky area of TV news.

The Comcast-owned media conglomerate confirmed Friday that Andrew Lack, a one time president and chief operating officer of NBC, would return in April to oversee NBC News and MSNBC – two media properties struggling to maintain their audiences in the face of various challenges. CNBC will remain under the aegis of president Mark Hoffman, who will report to NBCU CEO Steve Burke, according to a memo Burke sent to staffers Friday.

Lack arrives in the wake of a discomfiting February revelation from “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams that he falsified his account of a 2003 reporting excursion to Iraq, which resulted in a six month suspension.  Lack replaces Pat Fili-Krushel, a veteran TV-industry executive who has worked in the senior ranks at Walt Disney and Time Warner. »

- Brian Steinberg

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ABC’s ‘This Week’ Beats NBC’s ‘Meet The Press’ In February Sweep For First Time In 22 Years

26 February 2015 11:43 AM, PST | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

ABC’s This Week beat NBC’s Meet the Press in the news demo for the February sweep – the first time that’s happened in 22 years. The ABC Sunday Beltway show turned in its strongest sweep performance in the news demo in six years, and its smallest news demo gap against frontrunner, CBS’s Face the Nation, during a February ratings derby in four years. For the February sweep, This Week with George Stephanopoulos drew 3.017 million total viewers — 954,000 of them in the news… »

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Jon Stewart and Brian Williams: TV News, Entertainment, and Accountability

13 February 2015 4:30 AM, PST | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

There has been a lot of chatter -- jokes, tweets, rueful speculation -- noting the paradox of Brian Williams' forced six-month leave from the anchor chair at "NBC Nightly News" and Jon Stewart's near-simultaneous announcement of his retirement from "The Daily Show," but the biggest irony may be this one: we all care who'll replace Stewart (if, indeed, anyone can) but aren't the least bit concerned with who's replacing Williams (Lester Holt, as it turns out). And the reason is simple: we consider fake newsman Stewart accountable, while we hold no such expectations for real newsman Williams.

The truth is, Stewart and Williams -- who seem like pals whenever the latter visits the former's show -- have a lot more in common than either would probably like to admit. They're both from Jersey, both telegenic, both funny. Indeed, it's Williams' efforts to be amusing that seem to have led to his undoing. »

- Gary Susman

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TV Is Ready for ‘The Nightly News With Jon Stewart’

11 February 2015 3:22 PM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

When Jon Stewart and Brian Williams happened to disclose the next chapters of their careers nearly simultaneously Tuesday, the confluence of events was greeted with an obvious joke: What if they simply exchanged jobs?

You have a news anchor whose downfall, some have suggested, was fueled in part by his overly keen interest in exploring the world of entertainment. Then there’s the comedian who transcends categorization as mere entertainer with his potent satire of current events.

The vacuums both men leave behind make it only natural to wonder what it might be like if they switched chairs. And while it’s a fairly preposterous notion, one half of the equation is actually worth taking seriously.

While Stewart has never openly aspired to be in the news biz, the opposite may not be true if Williams’ reported interest in being considered to replace Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show” is true. »

- Andrew Wallenstein

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Brian Williams Suspended From NBC News for Six Months

10 February 2015 4:51 PM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Hoping to tamp down a controversy growing around one of its best-known on-air personalities, NBC News on Tuesday suspended Brian Williams, the most-watched evening-news anchor in the U.S., from his duties as chief anchor and managing editor of “NBC Nightly News” for six months without pay in the wake of a scandal over misleading statements he made about his time covering the Iraq War in 2003.

The furor over Williams’ embellishments have engulfed NBC News since early last week, when his account of facing enemy fire while riding in a helicopter in 2003 was challenged by Iraq veterans. Williams’ last broadcast took place on Friday. Lester Holt will continue as substitute anchor.

NBC News has launched an internal probe of Williams’ statements about the Iraq helicopter incident as well as other reporting that has since been challenged, NBC News said in a statement released Tuesday evening.

“We have concerns about comments »

- Brian Steinberg

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What NBC Must Do to Avoid Firing Brian Williams

9 February 2015 12:11 PM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

It wasn’t exactly surprising when Brian Williams announced Saturday that he was vacating the anchor desk at “NBC Nightly News” for the next several days. The scandal now known as Choppergate shows no signs of abating, making his presence a problem at a network that had just announced its intent to conduct an internal investigation.

But what was interesting about Williams’ own declaration was that his timeout was positioned as being of his own volition. “I have decided to take myself off of my daily broadcast” are his exact words, the subtext of which sends a not-so-subtle message about NBC: The news division doesn’t want to be seen yet as taking any particular action. So Williams’ vacation has been cast as his prerogative.

Nevertheless, NBC News has to take some kind of action sooner than later regarding Williams, and it’s not going to be an easy decision. »

- Andrew Wallenstein

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Brian Williams’ Self-Inflicted Wound Helps Arm NBC’s Critics

5 February 2015 11:14 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Brian Williams is inevitably going to be criticized by lots of couch-bound observers who have never reported from a war zone (including yours truly), but given the forces eager to pounce on any slip by the news organization he represents, he has committed perhaps the worst kind of self-inflicted wound.

The NBC anchor’s faulty and seemingly self-aggrandizing “memory” about his stint reporting from Iraq in 2003 pushes enough hot buttons to create a perfect storm of bad publicity. And NBC News has once again looked tardy, at best, in formulating a PR strategy in response to bad news, as it was during transitions at “Today” and “Meet the Press.”

Williams has benefited from coming across as a likable anchor – as comfortable throwing out one-liners on a talkshow as he is delivering the news. But he has stepped into the proverbial hornets’ nest, for reasons both of his own making and beyond his control. »

- Brian Lowry

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Brian Williams’ Tall Tale Raises New Challenge For NBC News

5 February 2015 10:48 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

The waters have been choppy for NBC News in recent years, with its “Today” franchise having ceded ground to ABC’s “Good Morning America” and its Sunday-morning mainstay “Meet the Press” struggling to find a new identity after the death of longtime host Tim Russert. Amidst that chaos, Brian Williams was supposed to be the anchor – in both senses of the word.

Now Williams, whose “NBC Nightly News” is the most watched evening newscast in the United States, has added to the challenges facing the NBCUniversal news division.

There have been no signals that NBC News is taking Williams off the air or readying any sort of disciplinary action in the wake of a disclosure Wednesday that he has on multiple occasions falsely stated that he was on a helicopter shot down by enemy fire while on an NBC News reporting trip in Iraq in 2003. Yet the admission seems to »

- Brian Steinberg

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