Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Saturday Aircheck

In August, 1986, after being the dominant Top 40 radio station in Northern California for two decades, KFRC, The Big 610 changed formats. This is raw video from the final Top 40 show on KFRC for morning star Dr. Don Rose. George Zema is Dr. Don's engineer.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Beck’s Attacks on George Soros Draw Heat

The Fox News host Glenn Beck was criticized Thursday by the Anti-Defamation League, a leading Jewish advocacy organization, in response to a televised segment about the financier George Soros and the Holocaust.

Throughout three programs this week, Beck has portrayed Soros, a billionaire investor and philanthropist, as a “puppet master” who is “notorious for collapsing economies and regimes all around the world” and whose “next target” is the United States. Citing Mr. Soros’s statements about the decline of the dollar, Mr. Beck said, “Not only does he want to bring America to her knees, financially, he wants to reap obscene profits off us as well.”

Brian Stetler at writes Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, took issue with Mr. Beck’s depiction of Mr. Soros as a “Jewish boy helping sending the Jews to the death camps,” calling it “offensive” and “horrific.”

On Tuesday on his Fox program, watched by about 2.8 million people, Mr. Beck said that during the Holocaust, the 14-year-old Mr. Soros “used to go around with this anti-Semite and deliver papers to the Jews and confiscate their property and then ship them off.”

Mr. Beck continued: “I am certainly not saying that George Soros enjoyed that, even had a choice. I mean, he’s 14 years old. He was surviving. So I’m not making a judgment. That’s between him and God.” He also said that “many people” would call Mr. Soros “an anti-Semite,” though “I will not.”

Fox stood by Mr. Beck. Joel Cheatwood, a senior vice president at Fox News, said in a statement Thursday afternoon that the “information regarding Mr. Soros’s experiences growing up were taken directly from his writings and from interviews given by him to the media, and no negative opinion was offered as to his actions as a child.”

Read more here.

Also Read Here:

George Soros Is REALLY George Schwartz And 10 More Terrifying Things We Learned From Glenn Beck's Expose  (Business Insider)

Beck Responds to ADL Statement Calling His Soros Reporting ‘Horrific’ & ‘Offensive’ (The Blaze)

Newsweek, The Daily Beast To Wed

Some weddings take longer to plan than others

From Tina Brown:
The union of The Daily Beast and Newsweek magazine finally took place with a coffee-mug toast between all parties Tuesday evening, in a conference room atop Beast headquarters, the IAC building on Manhattan’s West 18th Street. The final details were only hammered out last night.

What does this exciting new media marriage mean? It means that The Daily Beast’s animal high spirits will now be teamed with a legendary, weekly print magazine in a joint venture, named The Newsweek Daily Beast Company, owned equally by Barry Diller’s IAC and Sidney Harman, owner (and savior) of Newsweek. As for me, I shall now be in the editor-in-chief’s chair at both The Daily Beast and Newsweek, bringing with us as CEO my Daily Beast business partner Stephen Colvin, who launched The Week Magazine in the U.S., as well as Maxim, as president of Dennis Publishing. His dynamism has created 66 new ad campaigns for us since I persuaded him to join The Daily Beast a year ago.

It’s a wonderful new opportunity for all the brilliant editors and writers at The Daily Beast who have worked so hard to create the site’s success. Working at the warp-speed of a 24/7 news operation, we now add the versatility of being able to develop ideas and investigations that require a different narrative pace suited to the medium of print. And for Newsweek, The Daily Beast is a thriving frontline of breaking news and commentary that will raise the profile of the magazine’s bylines and quicken the pace of a great magazine’s revival. I'm impressed with how Newsweek's outstanding staff has continued to put out a lively, well-informed magazine after the departure of their tireless editor, Jon Meacham.

The Daily Beast houses many top talents from the print journalism world: Our executive editor, Edward Felsenthal, and managing editor, Jane Spencer, are formerly of The Wall Street Journal. We’re also home to columnists like Howard Kurtz, who only recently arrived from The Washington Post, and Peter Beinart, formerly of The New Republic. They and many of our other contributors from newspaper and magazine journalism joined forces here with the young digital natives of our newsroom to make something new at The Daily Beast. Today, we look at print from the refreshed point of view of an expatriate who sees the old country with new eyes. That will create a great new creative energy—just as on the business side, it offers a superb dual marketing platform.

It takes two inspired entrepreneurs like Barry Diller and Sidney Harman to undertake such a challenging media experiment. Barry Diller brought me to IAC to partner with him in his vision of a new website that would curate the news for smart readers, with a distinctly independent point of view. With nearly 5 million unique visitors a month after just two years, The Daily Beast has evolved into a site that also, and now predominantly, offers original journalism. Barry’s support, insights, and intellectual daring have been a joy to work with every step of the way. Both of us look forward to joining with Sidney Harman, who made his fortune and reputation as founder of Harman International, the worldwide audio manufacturer, and has a mind that’s alive with a cultural curiosity that’s exactly what you need to succeed in the publishing world. I very much admire his passion to restore Newsweek to its glory days, and with a bit of luck and a lot of hard work, we will. Join us for the journey!
Tina Brown is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast. She is the author of the 2007 New York Times best seller The Diana Chronicles. Brown is the former editor of Tatler, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and Talk magazines and host of CNBC's Topic A with Tina Brown.

WGN Fires Metheny, Laski

Kevin Metheny, the WGN-AM 720 program director whose abrupt moves to grow the audience grew a well of resentment among some long-time listeners, is leaving the station along with his most controversial hire, former convicted Chicago City Clerk Jim Laski.

Phil Rosenthal at The Chicago Tribune writes the station said Thursday a series of hosts will fill in for Laski, whose show airs weeknights at 7 when not preempted by sports play-by-play, until a new show is announced. Newsman Steve Betrand is set to be the first substitute.

"The next step in the station’s evolution is the development of a show from 7 (to) 10 p.m. that best complements the rest of our evening programming—something on which we will be very focused going forward," Tom Langmyer, the station's vice president and general manager since 2005, said in a statement.

"Our goal is to continue developing engaging and relevant programming, while still keeping the hometown connection that Chicagoans have come to identify with WGN radio."

Metheny's exit, after 23 tumultuous months in the job, comes less than three weeks after the resignation of long-time radio executive Randy Michaels as chief executive Tribune Co., parent of WGN-AM as well as the Chicago Tribune. Metheny had enjoyed the backing of Michaels, who installed him in Chicago.

Read more here.

Apple-Twitter Partnership a Win-Win

Why Didn't Facebook Take the Deal?

Thursday, Apple's Ping service unveiled a new partnership with Twitter.

The deal gives Twitter users the option to link their accounts to Ping, iTunes' troubled social network, and port activity between the two services. It's a huge win for both Apple and Twitter, but the real question asked by Austin Carr at is : why didn't Facebook take the deal?

Clearly, Facebook was Apple's first choice. Steve Jobs desperately wanted the networks' 500 million users (Twitter has 175 million) to help populate Ping through Facebook Connect.

But after a reported 18 months of negotiations between Apple and Facebook, the deal crumbled. Why?

Because of Facebook's demands for "onerous terms," according to Steve Jobs.

Critics might argue Facebook made the right move. After all, giving Apple access to its half-billion users is a lot to stomach. On the other hand, Mark Zuckerberg and Co. may have lost out on something more valuable: user behavior. Apple, through iTunes, has created a community of very willing customers: Users let Apple store their credit card information, and are eager to buy apps and songs and movies and books. No social network has reached that point, and Apple could be the key.

Read more here.

Talk Host Already Out As Chief-of-Staff

Radio host Joyce Kaufman, whose comments may have triggered a threat against Broward County schools in Florida , has announced she won't become chief of staff for conservative Congressman-elect Allen West.

Meanwhile the phone call warning of the attack that led to a three-hour lockdown has been traced to a caller outside South Florida, Pembroke Pines Police said Thursday.

Kaufman said she didn't want to tarnish West's reputation. I will not be used in an electronic lynching by proxy,'' Kaufman said Thursday.

According to the Miami Herald, police said the call that came into WFTL 850 AM was made by a woman from outside South Florida, who said her husband was planning to carry out a mass shooting in Broward County.

Because the threat involved government buildings and because it was made from another part of the state, the FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement have joined the investigation. According to Capt. Dan Rakofsky with the Pembroke Pines Police, WFTL received an e-mail addressed to Kaufman late Tuesday, expressing the threat. The call came into the radio station the next morning.

While police will not say whether the call and e-mail were threatening toward Kaufman or in defense of her, there is some suggestion the e-mailer may have been upset that Kaufman has come under media scrutiny lately for alleged inflammatory comments she has made on her radio show.

Read more here.

35 Hours Of Video Uploaded To YouTube Every Minute

Remember in March The official YouTube blog 'Broadcasting Ourselves' reported that more than 24 hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute?

Well, the amount of video uploaded to YouTube has now increased to 35 hours per minute. That breaks out to 2,100 hours uploaded every 60 minutes, or 50,400 hours uploaded to YouTube every day.

If we were to measure that in movie terms (assuming the average Hollywood film is around 120 minutes long), 35 hours a minute is the equivalent of over 176,000 full-length Hollywood releases every week.

 Another way to think about it is: if three of the major US networks were broadcasting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for the last 60 years, they still wouldn’t have broadcast as much content as is uploaded to YouTube every 30 days.

Read more here.

Santa Rush Buys A Christmas Tree

Limbaughs offer Palm Beach a bigger, better Christmas

Christmas on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, FL may be 10 feet taller, and brighter, thanks to a certain radio talk show host.

According to a story by William Kelly in the Palm Beach Daily News, Rush Limbaugh and new bride Kathryn Rogers Limbaugh have offered a crowning touch for this year’s multi-million-dollar makeover of the town’s most glamorous street: a 40-foot-high holiday tree.

This isn’t the first time the conservative lightning rod has offered a little holiday cheer. Last year he and then-girlfriend Rogers gave the town $100,000 toward new holiday decorations.  Because the tree is worth more than $25,000, it must be approved by the Town Council, which has placed it on Tuesday’s meeting agenda.

Before the Limbaughs stepped in, it appeared the Avenue was headed for a blue Christmas. The town owns and installs a 30-foot tree on the Avenue each year, but it is aging and needs replacement, Public Works Director Paul Brazil said.

Avenue property owners and merchants asked the town for a nicer tree to match the extensive makeover that occurred there this summer. But the town said its stocking was empty and that, even if funds were there, its procurement process wouldn’t allow enough time to buy a tree for display this season.

Limbaugh offered to buy the town a tree after learning from his golf pal, Council President David Rosow, that the old one may have seen one season too many.

Read more here.

NPR Fires Back At Debt Commission Proposal

From On Media blog:

Among the suggestions in [Wednesday's] explosive draft report by the National Commission for Fiscal Responsibility and Reform’s co-chairmen was the elimination of the $500 million currently going to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting — i.e., defunding NPR and PBS.

NPR, having just gone through a round of more politically-motivated calls for defunding in the wake of the Juan Williams firing, responded Thursday:
The National Commission’s proposal to eliminate federal funding for public media would have a profound and detrimental impact on all Americans. Public radio is the last remaining source of independent, noncommercial and thought-provoking broadcast media in the country — and in some small towns and communities, is the only remaining source of free, accessible local, national and international news and information, music and cultural programming. Public radio stations are located in nearly every major city and small town delivering vital and highly trusted news and information to 37 million Americans each week — reaching more citizens than the circulation of the top 120 national newspapers combined.

In a time of media decline, especially in local, international and investigative reporting, public radio’s role in fostering an informed society has never been as critical as it is today. The public radio audience is one of the few in media that has consistently grown — doubling in the past decade alone.

Federal funding has been a central component of public radio stations’ ability to serve audiences across the country. It’s imperative for funding to continue to ensure that this essential tool of democracy survives and thrives well into the future.
In the midst of the Williams firing, NPR argued that it received less than 2 percent of its annual budget directly from the federal government, but CPB does partly fund the member stations that pay NPR membership fees.

Also read here:

NPR critics silent at network's board meeting (Current: Public Media)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

NBC’s Matt Lauer Agitates Kanye West With Questions

Matt Lauer is holding his ground against Kanye West -- claiming he stands by his recent interview with the rapper ... despite Kanye's allegations that Matt manipulated him into showing remorse for George W. Bush.

A posting at  reports Kanye flipped out on Twitter Wednesdasy -- after "Today" aired a clip of the interview -- claiming Lauer "tried to force" his answers during Tuesday's sit-down ... in which the rapper said, "I would tell George Bush, in my moment of frustration that I didn't have the grounds to call him a racist."
But Lauer stood by his interview -- which addressed the rapper's famous post-Katrina remark that Bush "doesn't care about black people" -- airing the entire segment this morning to prove that nothing was taken out of context.

During the pre-taped interview Tuesday on the Today show set, West said he “empathize[d] with the idea of being pegged as a racist.” But Lauer wanted more. He asked West to “look at his face” as he played video of the President speaking out against what West had said. West didn’t like the whole exercise, and while he expressed why, his head started darting around the studio, getting agitated.

Kanye is scheduled to return to "Today" for a performance on November 26th -- and sources at the show tell us they're still expecting the rapper to show up.

Read more here.

Are NY Times Print Subscribers Stupid?

Editor on the ‘Beauty’ of Readers’ Ignorance

The New York Times cultivates an image as the preferred read of the intellectual elite, but at least one of the paper’s higher-ups seems to think its customers aren’t all that bright.

According to media writer Jeff Bercovico at, during a panel discussion at the Digital Hollywood New York conference, Gerald Marzorati, the Times’s assistant managing editor for new media and strategic initiatives, explained why the paper’s print business is still robust. “We have north of 800,000 subscribers paying north of $700 a year for home delivery,” Marzorati said. “Of course, they don’t seem to know that.”

As evidence that Times subscribers don’t realize how much a subscription costs, he pointed to what happened when the paper raised its home-delivery price by 5 percent during the recession: Only 0.01 percent of subscribers canceled. “I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that they’re literally not understanding what they’re paying,” he said. “That’s the beauty of the credit card.”

The panel’s moderator, former MySpace CMO Shawn Gold, seemed taken aback by Marzorati’s remarks. “This is the last panel your company will let you on,” he predicted.

Read more here.

Thumbs Up! Gene Shalit

NBC's Today show takes a look back at some of the memorable moments from the show’s beloved movie critic, Gene Shalit

Ads, Politics Blur Media Lines

Talk Show Hosts Help Raise Cash and Attention

Cable-news network MSNBC briefly suspended liberal host Keith Olbermann last week for crossing a line between the media and politics when it learned he donated $2,400 each to three Democratic Party candidates. But that line is increasingly porous—especially in the rough-and-tumble world of talk radio, according to a story by Douglas A. Blackmon and Sam Schechner at

In radio, a lot of money is already flowing in the other direction. A handful of the top talk-radio hosts in the U.S.—including Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity—are being paid to use their voices and faces to promote politically motivated groups. Messrs. Beck and Hannity also have highly rated television programs on Fox News.

Mr. Beck, whose radio program averages 10 million weekly listeners, has given paid endorsements on the show since May for FreedomWorks, a Washington, D.C.-based libertarian advocacy group that worked closely with tea party groups to support dozens of conservative candidates in last Tuesday's election. As part of what are called "live-read" advertisements, Mr. Beck has urged listeners to join FreedomWorks—a group he also had expressed support for prior to the commercial advertising arrangement.

Mr. Beck declined to comment directly, but Christopher Balfe, president and chief operating officer of Mr. Beck's production company, said in a statement the spots are no different than any other advertising and Mr. Beck won't endorse any service or product he doesn't believe in. Mr. Beck previously has also dropped at least one advertiser after he no longer supported the company, Mr. Balfe said.

Read more here.

Lambert, Shelton: "It" Couple of the CMAs

Here's the complete list of winners from the 44th Country Music Association Awards:
  • Entertainer of the Year: Brad Paisley
  • Female Vocalist of the Year: Miranda Lambert
  • Male Vocalist of the Year: Blake Shelton
  • Vocal Group of the Year: Lady Antebellum
  • Vocal Duo of the Year: Sugarland
  • New Artist of the Year: Zac Brown Band
  • Album of the Year: Revolution, Miranda Lambert
  • Single of the Year: "Need You Now," Lady Antebellum
  • Song of the Year: "The House That Built Me," Miranda Lambert (Songwriters: Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin)
  • Video of the Year: "The House That Built Me," Miranda Lambert
  • Musical Event of the Year: "Hillbilly Bone," Blake Shelton featuring Trace Adkins
  • Musician of the Year: Mac McAnally, guitar

Pew: Election Results Draw Big Interest

Most Followed Returns on Election Night

The results of the midterm elections dominated both the public’s interest and media attention last week as Republicans easily won control of the House while making big gains in the Senate and in many statehouses.

Fully 43% say they followed news about the election outcome more closely than any other news, according to the latest News Interest Index survey conducted among 996 adults from Nov. 4-7.  News about the elections accounted for 57% of the newshole, the highest level of coverage for any story since the 2008 elections, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ).

While Republicans followed campaign news more closely than Democrats throughout much of 2010, partisans tracked the outcome at similar levels. Fully 57% of Republicans and 50% of Democrats say they followed the election results very closely. Roughly four-in-ten independents (41%) say the same. However, Republicans (61%) are more likely than Democrats (42%) and independents (39%) to say the election is the story they followed most closely.

Read more here.

WGST-AM Goes Local In Drive Time

640 WGST-AM (Atlanta), which has been going all syndicated talk on weekdays the past 15 months, is bringing back local talk radio to both mornings and late afternoons Monday through Friday starting tomorrow.
Rob Johnson

Rodney Ho at reports, Rob Johnson, a talk show host from Modesto, has arrived in Atlanta and is scheduled to start his live, local show in the mornings. He was last on KMPH-AM/840 in Modesto. Based on Arbitron measurements, Modesto is the 113th largest market in the United States with 426,000 people ages 12 and up in the area.

Rusty Humphries, a producer for Steve & Vikki on Altanta's Star 94 back in the 1990s, became a popular syndicated talk show host with nearly 300 affiliates. He will be coming to Atlanta from Oregon to do his show from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. starting tomorrow. He will continue to syndicate his 9 p.m to midnight show.

“Some talkers are the iron men of the business,” said Michael Harrison, editor of Talkers magazine, which tracks the talk radio world. “He’s one of them.”

Rusty Humphries
 Harrison is a fan. He said Humphries has “paid a lot of dues. He lost his wife. His father died in Vietnam. He became very overweight, then lost 100 pounds and now runs marathons. He’s done some very exciting overseas broadcasts from war zones. He’s risked his life interviewing terrorists in their terrorist camps in the Middle East.  Atlanta is going to be getting a pretty colorful guy.”

He’s conservative, Harrison added, but not angry. “He’s a creative, fun guy,” he said.

Talkers estimates that he has more than 2.75 million listeners and is in the top 20 among most popular talk show hosts in the country.

Humphries, in an interview Thursday, told Ho he is well aware of GST’s woes over the years. “There’s a definite signal problem,” he said. “Some very smart, good radio broadcasters have had tough times there. I’m not coming in expecting to be the savior. But I still believe in talk radio.”

Read more here.

Fox Business Signs Lou Dobbs

When Lou Dobbs left CNN a year ago in the face of protests against his tough stance on illegal immigrants, many predicted he would wind up on Fox News. reports they were close. After a year of running his own radio show, Dobbs has signed a “multiyear” deal for a daily show with Fox News’s sibling, Fox Business Network, the network announced Wednesday.

Dobbs will develop and host a new daily show that will premiere in the first quarter of next year and will appear on other FBN shows to provide analysis and commentary.

“I'm excited and feel privileged to join the great team that Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes and Neil Cavuto have created, and I can't wait to make whatever contribution I can to Fox Business,” Dobbs said in a statement.

It’s a coup for the three-year-old FBN, which still lags behind rival CNBC in reach, though it did beat it on election night, the L.A. Times, which broke the news, said.

Read more here.

Also read here:

Lou Dobbs joining Fox Business Network (Joe Flint at

Pat Sajak's Mea Culpa

"I Put Keith Olbermann on National TV"

This YouTube video reminded The Wheel of Fortune host that he was the person who introduced Keith Olbermann to America.

Writing at Pat Sajack writes:
Keith was a sportscaster at the local CBS affiliate in Los Angeles at the same time I was doing a talk show for that network. I thought Keith was pretty funny on the air, and I suggested we have him come on the show and talk sports. This was the first of several appearances he made on the show, and he always did a nice job.

Keith tended to wear out his welcome at stations and networks, and he bounced around to several places before he found his niche at MSNBC. When he first went on the air there, he was actually quite entertaining. He was wry and amusing, and he looked at the news at a kind of cockeyed angle that I enjoyed.

I’m not sure how he morphed into the bitter-sounding, hate-mongering name-caller he’s become, but I’m sorry he did.
Read more here.

Also Read Here:

MSNBC has a big ratings night with Keith Olbermann's return (Washington Post)

Keith Olbermann Responds to Pat Sajak Criticism (TVNewser)

Most Wanted 2010 Holiday Gadgets

Consumer Electronics Association Study
Spending on consumer electronics items will reach an all-time high this holiday season, as the country begins to bounce back from the recession and Apple takes over the world. Santa Claus has received your SMS and will accept your Groupon via Facebook for an "uber-bundle" of iPads for the whole family. reports Shawn DuBravac, chief economist and director of research, and Steve Koenig, director of industry analysis, for the Consumer Electronics Association presented market research predictions for the upcoming holiday season at an event in New York on Wednesday.

Seventy-four percent of people plan to spend money on consumer electronics this season, and they will spend $232, on average, on these gifts. (Interesting how Apple is the only company that has its products named and it has two in the top 10).

Read more here.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cowboys Let Domain Registration Lapse

Just when you thought the Dallas Cowboys had hit rock bottom, the franchise reached a new low away from the football field.

According to Marcus Vanderberg at, the team forgot to renew its registration on the domain and the website was pulled Sunday night, hours before firing head coach Wade Phillips.


The team renewed its registration but it takes up to 48 hours for all Internet servers to recognize renewals.

According to ComScore, the Cowboys website is the second-most popular NFL website behind

How about them Cowboys, eh?

Read more here.

KWDJ Dumps Rush Limbaugh

Owner Says He's Ticked As Rush Promotes Web Listening

Eric Kauffman, operator of local conservative talk station Foxtalk 1360 AM KWDJ, said that when he took famous talk show host Rush Limbaugh off the air last week, he found himself the recipient of a firestorm of criticism and feedback from listeners of his conservative talk show line-up. reports, over the last week Kauffman estimates his office has received 75-125 calls as well as a number of e-mails on the matter, “...a lot more than normal.

KWDJ will remain a conservative talk station, Kauffman assured listeners during several on-air announcements about the decision last week, simply with new hosts. In fact while host John Gibson is slated to replace Rush, Kauffman says he is currently reworking the line-up, with the exception of a several staples, and is talking suggestions.

“Obviously Rush has a huge following,” Kauffman remarked, “I get that.”

Still, the decision to pull Limbaugh was a business-based decision, Kauffman said, and not about political philosophy.

Why take Limbaugh off the air?

It wasn’t because of Limbaugh’s conservative political views, Kauffman explained several times on the air last week, as well as during a phone interview, but because Limbaugh began telling listeners to tune to his show on his own website, rather than on the radio – that the listening experience was actually better on the internet.

And Kauffman says that he found many listeners in the community were doing just that – turning off their radios and turning on their computers to navigate to Rush’s site.

Read more here.

Tom sez:  Rush has been plugging his online Webcam for years. Not much new here. Perhaps Rush is charging station more that they can afford.

'Magic Wall' Drives CNN Anchor Up the Wall

CNN anchor John King's "magic wall" sent him over the edge when his beloved touch screen jammed. The DC-based anchor had a meltdown while anchoring his 7 p.m. show, "John King USA," from CNN's New York studio just days before the midterm elections, according to pagesix story.
After a slew of technical and editorial errors, King lost his cool when his signature and somewhat overworked touch screen malfunctioned.

"I wish I brought a gun to work," King yelled at studio operators on Oct. 29, according to several CNN sources.

According to a source, Turner Broadcasting System CEO and chairman Phil Kent called King into his office to reprimand him. "Phil has always been a huge fan of King and has always protected him when people were tired of his hothead antics, so this is a blow to him," the insider said.

Read more here.

CNN: The Choice Is Clear

CNN Domestic unveiled a new promotional spot Tuesday night.

Networks Seek To Stop FilmOn

Four top U.S. television networks have asked a federal court to stop the Internet video service from offering TV channels over the web and on Apple's iPad for free.

Reuters reports, Plc which claims to be the first high definition Internet television network, launched in September 2010 and was founded by British billionaire entrepreneur Alki David.

The network's suit comes as start-ups have sought to bypass traditional media companies by offering programming to Internet users without paying fees to free-to-air channels.

"It's against the law to steal a broadcast signal and stream it to wireless devices and over the Internet, without the copyright owner's permission," the networks said in a joint statement.
The networks, eager to control the way their programs are distributed, in September sued ivi Inc, a service that offers TV channels over the web for free. Some TV networks have also blocked videos on their websites from Google Inc's (GOOG.O) Google TV.

FilmOn, a Berlin-listed company, initially charged users $9.95 per month, to access "over 30 premium free-to-air television channels." But it began offering the service for free after the networks sued FilmOn days after its Sept. 27 launch, according to a copy of the restraining order seen by Reuters.

Read more here.

KO Returns: "Not A Publicity Stunt"

Keith Olbermann opened his first show back on Tuesday mischievously. The camera showed an empty desk, then he slowly edged his way into the picture, saying, “Oh, hi. What’s new?”

Attack On News Crew Called "Regrettable"

A WFTV-Ch. 9 (Orlando) photographer attacked by mourners after a memorial service Monday night is doing OK and was not seriously injured, news director Bob Jordan said today.

The memorial was for Anthony Rodriguez, a 15-year-old who was killed last week by a hit-and-run driver. Anthony’s brother Miguel was injured in the hit-and-run.

According to Hal Bocker at, mourners attacked the WFTV crew after the service, the station reported. WKMG-Ch. 6 recorded the attack outside St. Andrews Catholic Church in Orlando and captured the victim’s father, George Torres, yelling at the TV crew.

WKMG Video image
WFTV photographer Bernard Moynahan suffered a bloody nose in the attack and fell to the ground, where he was punched and kicked. A WFTV reporter told Orange County sheriff’s deputies that the attack followed an interview between Miguel Rodriguez and a crew from Spanish-language Univision.

“It’s regrettable and most unfortunate,” WFTV news director Bob Jordan said. “When I step back and take a larger picture, I see the case of a father going through the most difficult emotional period in his life, losing a child. I can empathize with that. In a highly emotional state he did something he regrets.”

Jordan added, “This is a law enforcement matter. We’re not taking any action as a television station.”

Read more here.

To view raw video of attack, click here.

Outspoken Radio Host Named Chief of Staff

In the wake of last week's GOP victories in the midterm elections, some conservative firebrands who have leveled harsh criticism at Washington officialdom will soon themselves become Capitol insiders.

Congressman-elect Allen West (R-Fla.), who rode the tea party wave to unseat Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.), has hired Joyce Kaufman, a local conservative talk radio commentator known for her provocative and sometimes incendiary statements, as his chief of staff, according to The Washington Post.

In discussing the move on her show Tuesday afternoon, the husky-voiced radio commentator said she is excited to come to Washington and get a "bird's-eye view" of Congress. Kaufman dismissed the outgoing Democratic leadership as "garbage."

"Over these months I have been blessed to form very wonderful relationships with the West family," Kaufman said, adding that she had been a supporter of his campaign. "I looked at this family and [told] myself, how do you not fight and put them up on the pedestal when we've got this garbage up on the pedestal now, people like Nancy Pelosi?"

It's true that newly minted Washington chiefs of staff do not usually employ such rhetoric when talking about their new jobs. It's also true that few freshman classes in Congress contain as many rabble-rousers as the incoming Class of 2010.

West's campaign manager, Josh Grodin, defended Kaufman's outspoken style. "What's been working in Washington has not been working," he said. "Things need to be different."

Kaufman is an afternoon host on WFTL-850 AM in the South Florida market. The station on Tuesday announced on its Web site: "Joyce Kaufman becomes a Washington Insider!"

Read more here.

Huge Premiere Numbers For Conan

Conan O’Brien’s Long-Awaited Return to Late-Night Television Attracts a Young Audience with Median Age of 30
TV By the Numbers reports, Conan O’Brien’s new TBS talk show was a hit with young viewers Monday night, delivering an audience with a projected median age of just 30.  Conan – which featured guests Seth Rogen, Lea Michele and Jack White – was watched by
  • 2,451,000 adults 18-34
  • 3,285,000 adults 18-49
  • 4,155,000 adults 25-54
By contrast,  Conan on TBS was also tops among younger viewers, drawing 3.285 million in the 18-49 demographic, beating Late Show with David Letterman with 1.336 million and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno with 952,000. TBS' Lopez Tonight, which aired after Conan, was the fourth ranked talk show, drawing 883,000 viewers in the demo, and besting Comedy Central's duo of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart with 687,000 and The Colbert Report with 551,000.

Of course, the ratings for O'Brien will likely drop in the coming weeks, but he and TBS can still cheer about the figures for his debut.  O’Brien has a strong following among younger viewers, and social media has proven to be a key way for him to connect with his fans.  “Conan’s audience has been very vocal online, and he clearly made a smooth transition from Twitter to TBS,” said Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks.  “Conan delivered an extraordinary audience and stands out as the youngest late-night talk show on television.”

Also read here:

How Conan O'Brien Beat Leno And Letterman: Social Media (

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lawsuit Against Nancy Grace Dropped

CNN talk-show host Nancy Grace received an apology  from Florida lawyers who once accused the bombastic personality of "ambushing" a grieving mother as the two sides announced a settlement in a wrongful-death lawsuit over the suicide of Melinda Duckett.

The Orlando Sentinel is reporting Grace and the network agreed to establish a $200,000 trust fund dedicated to finding Duckett's missing son, Trenton. Melinda Duckett's estate had sued Grace, saying she drove the young Leesburg mother to suicide in 2006.

Duckett, 21, was grilled by Grace after reporting her 2-year-old son, Trenton, missing from his bedroom Aug. 27, 2006, then killed herself with a shotgun at her grandparents' home in The Villages on Sept. 8, 2006, the day that the taped interview with Grace was to be broadcast. Leesburg police say Duckett is still the lone suspect in the boy's disappearance.

The settlement must be approved by a federal judge in Ocala.

Under terms of the agreement, which was filed jointly in federal court by lawyers for Grace and for the estate, the money in the Trenton John Duckett Irrevocable Trust will transfer immediately to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children if Trenton is not found alive by his 13th birthday. He would be 6 today.

Read more here.

Conan Return: A Cold Opening

Olbermann Apologizes To Fans...

But Not To MSNBC

In an aggressive statement questioning the legitimacy of his two-day suspension from MSNBC, Keith Olbermann told his fans Monday night that they were responsible for his scheduled return to the air on Tuesday after revelations that he had contributed to the campaign funds of three Democrats in last week’s election.

Bill Carter at reports, in an open letter to “Countdown” viewers, he blamed NBC for creating a donation policy that was “inconsistently applied,” and said he did not know the rule existed. Referring to what he called a “ground-rattling” outpouring of support, he said the viewers’ efforts “should remind us of the power of individuals spontaneously acting together to correct injustices great or small.”

He acknowledged that there should have been a conversation with NBC executives, saying that the donations had merited public acknowledgment and perhaps an internal warning. Instead, he said, he had been suspended even after one of his representatives was told he would not be, and he learned about the suspension through the media.

"A Statement to the Viewers of Countdown"

Read more here.

Also read here:

Olbermann saga highlights the decline of journalism (Doug Thompson, Capitol Hill Blue)

Report: Olbermann "Furious" At MSNBC

Keith Olbermann might have been suspended from MSNBC after breaking company rules regarding making contributions to political candidates, but now sources tell Rob Shuter at it's Keith whose demands have been met, allowing him to return to his perch atop the cable network.

"Keith is furious about the way this has all been handled and insisted that MSNBC bosses apologize to him before he would agree to return," a network insider tells Shuter. "Keith sees himself as the star of MSNBC, the person who put them on the map and discovered fellow network anchors Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell. To be treated like this by the network he helped shape, he considers disgusting."

MSNBC employees follow ethics guidelines barring them from making political contributions. After Olbermann's "indefinite suspension without pay," it appears those rules may see some revision.

"In addition to an apology, Keith is demanding that the rules be changed," an executive tells Shuter. "Keith thinks it's unfair that FOX News anchors can make contributions and support candidates and he can't. It's his money that he has earned, he should be allowed to do whatever he wants with it. What sort of country do we live in where an actor can trash a hotel room with an escort and drugs and Keith can't donate money to people running for office he believes in? It makes no sense. If they think they can slap Keith's wrist and have him to return a few days later like nothing happened, they are wrong. They picked the wrong guy."

But expect Keith to have a lot more to say on the matter on Tuesday, when he returns to the air.

Read more here.

Gibbs Jawbones India Security

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is  known for sparring with White House reporters, making for what often seems an antagonistic mood in the press briefing room.

But during President Obama's trip to India, Michael Calderone at reports Gibbs assumed the role of press advocate and threatened to pull Obama out of bilateral talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh because three U.S. reporters were blocked from covering the meeting.

Read more here.

Obama Blames the GOP for the Health Care Bill

It figures, writes Jim Hoft at  Barack Obama blamed the Republicans for the fact that democrats rammed through their unpopular health care bill without a single Republican vote.

Barack Obama:
“I made the decision to go ahead and do it. And, it proved as costly politically as we expected. Probably actually a little more costly than we had expected… Partly because I couldn’t get the kind of cooperation from Republicans that I hoped for. We thought that if we shaped a bill that wasn’t that different from previous bills that had introduced by Republicans, including the Republican governor in Massachusetts who’s now running for president, that we would be able to find some common ground there and we just couldn’t.”
Accord to Hoft, here are a few points regarding his statement:
- The health care bill was passed before not after the unpopular financial bill.
- Mitt Romney is not currently running for president.
- We’ve never been a bill like this proposed nationally unless you count Hillarycare.
- Obama was pushing the bill for over a year before democrats rammed it through.
- It was the central focus of his first two years in office.
- They didn’t even read the bill.
- Democrats thought it would be more popular by the midterm election.
- His other emergency economic proposals were complete bombs, too.
Of course, Steve Croft did not bother to question the president about any of his inaccurate statements.

Read more here.

ESPN Breaks Up ‘Sunday Night Baseball’ Team

ESPN ended its 20-year association with Jon Miller and Joe Morgan as the voices of “Sunday Night Baseball” on Monday. They declined to renew Morgan’s contract and have asked Miller if he wants to stay on as the radio voice of the Sunday night games. Discussions are ongoing according to a story by Richard Sandomir in the Bats Blog at

“We’ve decided to make a change and introduce new voices and new perspective,” said Norby Williamson, an executive vice president of ESPN. He added: “Twenty one years is an eternity in this business. And today is about acknowledging the contributions they made to the franchise.”

Each announcer is a Hall of Famer. Morgan entered as a player in 1990 and Miller received the Ford C. Frick Award from the hall earlier this year in recognition of broadcasting excellence.

It is nearly certain that Miller will be replaced by Dan Shulman, who will be joined by Orel Hershiser, whom ESPN added to “Sunday Night” last season. Bobby Valentine might be the third voice if he does not get a managing job. Williamson declined to talk about the new team.

Miller is the lead play-by-play voice for the San Francisco Giants, calling games on radio and TV. He could take ESPN’s offer and shift to radio (where he has been calling the postseason for years) or increase his workload on Giants games. Miller’s decision could be delayed because he is on vacation.

Read more here.

Opinion: iNet Radio Threat to SiriusXM Gone

From Brandon Matthews Satwaves Pro:
Bad news Howard. Bad, bad news. You might want to sign that contract with Sirius XM (SIRI) right away, because thanks to this week's election results, Internet Radio has been dealt a mighty blow.

For years I have written that Internet Radio posed little threat to Satellite Radio, for a multitude of reasons. Most recently, I pointed out that Internet Radio services compete more with iPods and CDs than they do with even terrestrial radio, due to its music only content offerings.

My main argument however, was that the costs of data streaming would exclude much of the market potential of Internet Radio.

The F.C.C. had sought to force Internet Service Providers to stream content at any cost, for free, to all of the world. This was easily shot down by the U.S. Court of Appeals earlier in the year. The election results however, have all but ended the idea. Internet Radio as a viable alternative to Satellite Radio, is dead.
Read more here.

Regulator: Islam Radio Channel Breaks Rules

Britain's Islam Channel broke broadcasting regulations by condoning marital rape, encouraging violence against women, and promoting an anti-Israel, pro-Hamas line, the country's broadcast regulator Ofcom ruled Monday.

According to a CNN story, one violation came during an advice program in which a female caller asked if a woman could hit her husband back if he was beating her. The host, as part of his answer, said the most a husband could do was hit her with a stick the size of a pen "just to make her feel that you are not happy with her."

The same host said in another program that for a woman to wear perfume when praying in a mosque made her a prostitute in the eyes of the Prophet Mohammed.

Another violation took place in a discussion about an Afghan law that, critics say, allows men to rape their wives.

"To refuse relations would harm a marriage," a guest on the program said.

The Islam Channel "does not condone or encourage violence toward women under any circumstances," the broadcaster told Ofcom during the investigation.

Read more here.

Sesame Street Parodies "Apps"

Muppets: "There's an app for that" A recent Sesame Street segment featured a parody of Apple's "there's an app for that" jingle.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Christie Irks MTP's Gregory

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie irked NBC’s David Gregory — and probably won over more conservatives weary of the media in the process — by suggesting on “Meet the Press” that the host was acting as an advocate for Democrats in the way he spoke about taxes, according to a posting at

Christie, a Republican known for his tell-it-like-it-is attitude, disagreed with Gregory’s characterization of the looming battle in Congress over the Bush years tax rate as “tax cuts.”
Christie, saying such word choice drives him “crazy,” said: “This is maintaining the current tax policy in a weak economy, and what you’re advocating through your question is…” Gregory interrupted: “That’s not fair. I’m not advocating. I’m questioning whether or not they have to be paid for.”

Christie shot back saying the debate over taxes is not about whether to make cuts, but rather is about whether Congress wants to raise taxes during a bad economy.

Read more here.

Net Neutrality Advocates Silent

Tuesday’s election aftermath

The list hasn’t been finalized, but it’s almost as if Washington’s battles for the next two years have already been determined, reports The Daily Caller. From fetishistic scenarios in which California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa uses his new-found investigatory powers to topple the White House, to hemming and hawing about the fate of Obamacare, the drastic power shift in the House means Washington has a new, GOP-oriented agenda.

Not on said to-do list? Net neutrality. The regulatory principles that the progressive grassroots rallied around for the last 19 months are getting little air-play.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) may have succeeded in drumming up enough support to get suspended MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann back on the air — but it failed to help a single congressional candidate who signed its net neutrality petition: All 95 Democratic congressional candidates who signed the PCCC’s pledge to regulate the Internet lost their races.

Now, analysts say the issue of net neutrality is on ice.

A perusal of the left’s most colorful standard-bearers suggests as much. Media reform group Free Press has remained silent since Tuesday. Prior to the election, Free Press rallied around NPR in the Juan Williams debacle, and didn’t even attempt to make net neutrality a midterm issue. Which could mean that it’s now either gearing up for a fresh assault on FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, or revisiting its focus.

The only leftist group to come right out and admit that Tuesday’s results are bad news was Public Knowledge.

Read more here.

NPR CEO: Takes 'Calls For Defunding Very, Very Seriously'

Speaking at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington Sunday on the “Future of Journalism,” National Public Radio President and CEO Vivian Schiller said she takes calls for defunding NPR “very seriously,” while stressing how important government funding is for public broadcasting, especially for NPR’s member stations. She also recognized there’s a possibility that, with the new GOP majority in the House, those calls for defunding might be renewed.

“If defunding to public broadcasting were to occur, it would be devastating to public broadcasting. That’s a fact,” Schiller said, according to Matthew Boyle at

After Schiller fired commentator Juan Williams several weeks ago for comments he made about Muslims on Fox News’ “O’Reilly Factor,” calls for defunding NPR erupted again.

“Almost all federal funding goes to member stations,” Schiller said. “Very, very little of it goes to NPR, but a lot goes to stations.”

While NPR headquarters only receives about 1 percent of funding from tax dollars, member stations receive about 9 percent of their funding from tax dollars, Schiller said. She said that the 9 percent NPR member stations receive from taxpayer dollars is essential for them to stay on the air.

Read more here.

Conan O'Brien Returns To Late Night On TBS

Looking to move past 'Tonight Show' debacle

Conan O'Brien returns to late-night television Monday , hoping to once again become successful rather than merely sympathetic and rich.  He'll have a new network (TBS), a new time (11 p.m.), a new show name ("Conan"), a new all-purpose nickname ("Coco"), a new bandleader (Jimmy Vivino) and, very likely, some new features.

David Hinckley at writes:  he'll also be a big fish in a smaller pond, since his last gig was hosting NBC's iconic "Tonight Show." That ended Jan. 22 with his awkwardly handing the show back to the man he had replaced the previous June, Jay Leno.

While no one came out of that messy "Tonight" shuffle looking good, Conan was less damaged than Leno or NBC.

He was widely seen as the victim of blundering and grievous insensitivity by NBC, plus perhaps some quiet conniving by Leno.  When the dust settled, though, Conan landed on cable rather than broadcast television, which is usually viewed as a downshift.

So the optimistic spin here is that he's not stepping down, but returning to his roots. On cable, the drumroll implicitly promises, his fans will see the old wacky cutting-edge Conan, not the restrained "Tonight" Conan who discreetly left the Masturbating Bear in hiber­nation.

Whether he can reawaken the Bear, specifically, may be up in the air. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Conan noted that NBC claims the rights to the characters he created during his long run as the network's "Late Night" host, which could leave the Bear and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, among others, on the sidelines.

Read more here.

And The Countdown Continues....

NBC: Olbermann Suspension Ending Tuesday

Keith Olbermann's suspension from msnbc television for donating to three Democratic campaigns will end this coming Tuesday, NBC announced Sunday night. according to a story at   Olbermann was suspended indefinitely Friday for violating NBC News rules about donations.

(, a joint venture of NBC Universal and Microsoft, also has a policy against its journalists contributing to political campaigns.)

In a statement released Sunday evening, Phil Griffin, president of msnbc television, said he had deliberated about Olbermann’s status for several days.

“I have determined that suspending Keith through and including Monday night's program is an appropriate punishment for his violation of our policy,” Griffin said. “We look forward to having him back on the air Tuesday night.

On his own Twitter account, Olbermann broke his silence about the suspension  on Sunday. “Greetings From Exile! A quick, overwhelmed, stunned THANK YOU for support that feels like a global hug & obviously left me tweetless XO,” he wrote.

Olbermann Refused On-Camera Mea Culpa

From Mike Allen's Playbook at
BEHIND THE CURTAIN: Network sources tell Playbook that Keith Olbermann was suspended because he refused to deliver an on-camera mea culpa, which would have allowed him to continue anchoring “Countdown.”

Olbermann told his bosses he didn't know he was barred from making campaign contributions, although he is resisting saying that publicly.

Olbermann may not hold as many cards as he thinks. He makes $7 million a year, and MSNBC's prime time is not as dependent on him as it was before the addition of Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell, who make considerably less.
Also read here:

The Media Equation: Olbermann, Impartiality and MSNBC (David Carr, NYTimes)