Lou Dobbs Hopes For The Presidency, His Former Staff Hopes To Keep Jobs

dobbs_11-23Now that Lou Dobbs is free from his CNN constraints, he’s appearing everywhere from Fox News to NBC. But the on-air and off-air members of his show’s staff want to stick around CNN as the network transitions away to a new show and format.

The New York Post reports they will have to re-apply for jobs within CNN to stay with the network.

Michael Shain writes that “more than 20 producers and reporters” will have to re-apply for jobs, while a spokesperson told “The interim 7 p.m. newscast [now called 'CNN Tonight'] is being produced by the former Dobbs team.” But for how long?

Dobbs’ show, more than any on CNN, has its own set of reporters that appear almost entirely on his program only. Those include Kitty Pilgrim (the usual fill-in host for Dobbs when he was out), Bill Tucker, Lisa Sylvester and Casey Wian. With Dobbs’ timeslot now known as CNN Tonight, the correspondents are back in the rotation – Pilgrim’s reports have aired several times last week. A CNN spokesperson tells Mediaite the network “cannot comment on individuals, but CNN is encouraging Lou Dobbs staff to apply for positions with the new 7pm program – as well as for other openings within the network.”

Some other parts of the Post story weren’t as accurate. It says Dobbs “amassed the largest single staff at the network” (not true, says CNN) and operated “independently from the rest of the network in a closed-off area” (also not true).

Meanwhile Dobbs is dropping hints about a political run – for the White House. In an interview with WTOP radio, Dobbs said, “Well, I’ll tell you this much – it’s one of the discussions that we’re having. For the first time, I’m actually listening to some people about politics.” Of course, we’ve got a long road to 2012.

Related: Politics Daily has a cartoon about what the Dobbs-less CNN may turn into.

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Martha Stewart: Palin Is A ‘Boring, Confused And Dangerous Person’

Picture 3It’s on! Power Grid fixture Martha Stewart has taken a direct shot at Going Rogue author Sarah Palin on the red carpet in a clip that aired Thursday on HLN. After being asked, “Why do you think she’s polarizing to so many people?” the daytime star, business mogul and ex-con was not shy in her response, showing some uncensored grit by shooting back, “She’s very boring to me. Very boring.”

“She’s kind of a dangerous person,” Stewart continued. “She’s dangerous.” And that’s not all! “She’s so confused,” said Stewart, “and anyone like that in government is a real problem.” Stress hers!

When informed about Palin’s best-seller status, Stewart responded, “Good for her!” But left with a zinger: “I wouldn’t watch her if you paid me.” Brrrr! Check out the clip:


Saturday Night Fight: Will Fox Carry The Best Coverage Of The Health Care Vote?

110th_US_Senate_class_photoThe senators of this great nation have agreed to give up their Saturday to cast the first vote for health care reform with the initial roll call expected around 8 p.m., according to the Associated Press. But that means a full day’s worth of legislative festivities with the starting gavel coming at 10 a.m. this morning and no end in sight. But where should those engaged citizens hoping to tune in for coverage of the debate turn? It all depends on your obsession level with the United States Senate, health care reform and of course, CSPAN.

The aforementioned Associated Press report provides a solid recap of where we are up to this point, running down the following facts:

  • “The vote will determine whether debate can go forward on Majority Leader Harry Reid’s 2,074-page bill to dramatically remake the U.S. health care system over the next decade.”
  • “The two [necessary Democrat] holdouts are Sens. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.”
  • “After the vote Saturday night, senators will leave for a Thanksgiving recess. Upon their return, assuming Democrats prevail on the vote, they will launch into weeks or more of unpredictable debate on thehealth care bill, with numerous amendments expected from both sides of the aisle and more 60-vote hurdles along the way.”

Elsewhere, Brian Beutler is liveblogging the proceedings at Talking Points Memo, while the New York Times will doubtlessly have coverage on The Caucus blog.

But the television front is where things get most interesting, especially when it comes to the cable news wars. Two weeks ago, when the bill passed in the House, Fox News made a valiant and concerted effort to show their newsiness, interrupting pre-recorded programming for live highlights from the House floor, including notable speeches and the final vote. And they were rewarded in the ratings. CNN and MSNBC, meanwhile, both missed Nancy Pelosi’s speech, though the MSNBC online video player was streaming coverage all day.

When it comes to all day coverage for the truest obsessives, CSPAN is the only sure bet and no one would dare question it. But with the rest of the networks vying for more, er, entertaining coverage, it will be interesting to see if the other stations will have adjusted their strategy since Fox’s domination two weeks prior. You can be sure we’ll be watching.


Ratings Upset: Sean Hannity’s Sarah Palin Interview Beats Bill O’Reilly’s

Cable news ratings, November 17, 2009: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

• He may be the top-rated cable news host, but more people watched Sean Hannity’s interview with Sarah Palin Wendesday night than watched Bill O’Reilly’s interview with Palin Thursday night. Hannity had 4,200,000 total viewers while O’Reilly got 4,120,000 (he has two more parts, tonight and Monday). In the A25-54 demographic, Hannity had 1,149,000 while O’Reilly had 1,069,000.

• In the demo, HLN finished 2nd in prime time, followed by MSNBC and CNN. In total viewers during prime time, MSNBC was 2nd and CNN was 3rd.

Check out all the ratings below, and leave your own thoughts in the comments:

TV NEWS RATINGS: 25-54 DEMOGRAPHIC (L +SD)
Fox News CNN MSNBC CNN Headline News
5 pm Beck

 

689

Blitzer

 

138

Matthews

 

108

Prime

 

126

6 pm Baier

 

525

Blitzer

 

118

EdShow

 

102

Prime

 

121

7 pm Shep

 

477

Tonight

 

148

Matthews

 

175

Issues

 

195

8 pm O’Reilly

 

1069

Brown

 

193

Olbermann

 

316

Grace

 

359

9 pm Hannity

 

744

King

 

258

Maddow

 

240

Behar

 

188

10 pm Greta

 

571

Cooper

 

216

Olbermann

 

208

Grace

 

259

11 pm O’Reilly

 

519

Cooper

 

151

Maddow

 

127

Showbiz

 

145

TOTAL DAY 420 149 116 142
PRIME TIME 795 222 255 265
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.
TV NEWS RATINGS: TOTAL VIEWERS (L +SD)
Fox News CNN MSNBC CNN Headline News
5 pm Beck

 

2730

Blitzer

 

627

Matthews

 

554

Prime

 

261

6 pm Baier

 

2359

Blitzer

 

617

EdShow

 

540

Prime

 

280

7 pm Shep

 

2078

Tonight

 

578

Matthews

 

597

Issues

 

450

8 pm O’Reilly

 

4120

Brown

 

695

Olbermann

 

1188

Grace

 

1018

9 pm Hannity

 

2871

King

 

980

Maddow

 

877

Behar

 

654

10 pm Greta

 

2113

Cooper

 

585

Olbermann

 

584

Grace

 

522

11 pm O’Reilly

 

1691

Cooper

 

462

Maddow

 

382

Showbiz

 

412

TOTAL DAY 1656 548 417 328
PRIME TIME 3035 753 883 718
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.


Sarah Palin Interview Gives Sean Hannity Second Best Ratings of 2009

Cable news ratings, November 16, 2009: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

Sean Hannity’s interview with Sarah Palin last night – her cable news first during the book tour – gave the 9pmET FNC show it’s 2nd highest total viewer average of 2009. It also gave Hannity a rare cable news ratings victory in both total viewers and the A25-54 demographic. He had more demo viewers than his cable news competition had in total viewers.

• The top non-FNC show was Nancy Grace’s at 8pmET for HLN in the demo and Keith Olbermann’s at 8pmET for MSNBC in total viewers.

Check out all the ratings below, and leave your own thoughts in the comments:

TV NEWS RATINGS: 25-54 DEMOGRAPHIC (L +SD)
Fox News CNN MSNBC CNN Headline News
5 pm Beck

651

Blitzer

123

Matthews

107

Prime

86

6 pm Baier

472

Blitzer

117

EdShow

118

Prime

116

7 pm Shep

452

Tonight

135

Matthews

132

Issues

202

8 pm O’Reilly

1065

Brown

126

Olbermann

288

Grace

355

9 pm Hannity

1149

King

208

Maddow

273

Behar

152

10 pm Greta

747

Cooper

171

Olbermann

162

Grace

197

11 pm O’Reilly

599

Cooper

117

Maddow

129

Showbiz

149

TOTAL DAY 451 119 113 150
PRIME TIME 989 168 241 231
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.
TV NEWS RATINGS: TOTAL VIEWERS (L +SD)
Fox News CNN MSNBC CNN Headline News
5 pm Beck

2512

Blitzer

538

Matthews

502

Prime

183

6 pm Baier

2235

Blitzer

546

EdShow

495

Prime

256

7 pm Shep

1980

Tonight

589

Matthews

625

Issues

500

8 pm O’Reilly

3868

Brown

569

Olbermann

1041

Grace

1036

9 pm Hannity

4200

King

835

Maddow

957

Behar

537

10 pm Greta

2283

Cooper

611

Olbermann

575

Grace

499

11 pm O’Reilly

1774

Cooper

409

Maddow

361

Showbiz

370

TOTAL DAY 1693 470 401 339
PRIME TIME 3490 672 860 675
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.


O’Reilly’s Demo Rating Tops CNN and MSNBC’s Total Viewers Tuesday

Cable news ratings, November 17, 2009: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

Bill O’Reilly had the top rated cable news show again last night, in total viewers and the A25-54 demographic. His demo average of 1,012,000 viewers gave him more a higher demo rating than CNN and MSNBC’s total viewer rating.

Nancy Grace had the top non-FNC show for HLN at 8pmET, in total viewers and the demo.

Check out all the ratings below, and leave your own thoughts in the comments:

TV NEWS RATINGS: 25-54 DEMOGRAPHIC (L +SD)
Fox News CNN MSNBC CNN Headline News
5 pm Beck

 

628

Blitzer

 

116

Matthews

 

166

Prime

 

167

6 pm Baier

 

524

Blitzer

 

138

EdShow

 

122

Prime

 

148

7 pm Shep

 

558

Tonight

 

151

Matthews

 

162

Issues

 

253

8 pm O’Reilly

 

1012

Brown

 

147

Olbermann

 

256

Grace

 

463

9 pm Hannity

 

711

King

 

168

Maddow

 

211

Behar

 

223

10 pm Greta

 

564

Cooper

 

268

Olbermann

 

198

Grace

 

298

11 pm O’Reilly

 

520

Cooper

 

209

Maddow

 

105

Showbiz

 

197

TOTAL DAY 416 126 108 182
PRIME TIME 763 195 222 321
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.
TV NEWS RATINGS: TOTAL VIEWERS (L +SD)
Fox News CNN MSNBC CNN Headline News
5 pm Beck

 

2663

Blitzer

 

552

Matthews

 

635

Prime

 

268

6 pm Baier

 

2337

Blitzer

 

586

EdShow

 

458

Prime

 

300

7 pm Shep

 

2094

Tonight

 

563

Matthews

 

649

Issues

 

592

8 pm O’Reilly

 

3741

Brown

 

596

Olbermann

 

1004

Grace

 

1069

9 pm Hannity

 

2678

King

 

629

Maddow

 

893

Behar

 

493

10 pm Greta

2077

Cooper

 

647

Olbermann

 

685

Grace

 

583

11 pm O’Reilly

 

1610

Cooper

 

527

Maddow

 

373

Showbiz

 

421

TOTAL DAY 1567 478 420 358
PRIME TIME 2832 624 861 697
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.


John King On CNN Ratings, Lou Dobbs And Plans For His New Show

king_11-19John King takes over the 7pmET timeslot on CNN early next year, as the network moves from its advocacy journalism previous host, Lou Dobbs, to a more traditional newscast.

We spoke to King yesterday as he was on the road in Little Rock, Arkansas, visiting his 45th state in 45 weeks. He talked about plans for the new show, what he’ll take from Dobbs’ previous program, and yes, ratings.

The CNN anchor still has some time before the show debuts in a couple months, and for now, King is focused on his current show, State of the Union. But King told Mediaite there was a “diverse group” of young people and those with more experience that are “kicking around a whole bunch of ideas.”

“We’re having a fun, lively debate about how to structure the format, the pacing of the show,” he said.

“If you over-worry about [ratings] then you don’t have consistency and don’t have foundation.”

One thing he said he does expect is to have extended interviews, upwards of 8-10 minutes, to let the story breathe. This seems to be something he’ll take from his current Sunday show role, where he has the luxury of four hours. While the show will be largely a “Washington-based public affairs show,” King plans to incorporate a little sports, arts and culture as well.

Of course, the big question is will it be able to help turn around CNN’s ratings, which are reaching historic lows. But King, somewhat echoing the sentiments of his boss Jon Klein, says he’s not focused on them. “I want people to watch the program obviously,” he said. “One of the goals of having a program is to have an audience…But you can’t do that. If you over-worry about that then you don’t have consistency and don’t have foundation.”

But he did have a goal in mind when it comes to the tone of the show. “People are still as thirsty and engaged as they were during the presidential campaign, we’re just not giving the information in an interesting and compelling way,” he said, saying the program needs to be “relevant” in its news dissemination. Some other adjectives: he hopes the show is “fun, fair, interesting, provocative and compelling.”

Of his predecessor, Dobbs, King notes he has a different approach to journalism. But, “One of things I admire about Lou is he had great passion for what he did…Some of how Lou approached issues became controversial and I will leave that debate to others.”

King also pointed to Dobbs’ focus on the middle class and issues for the group as something that put the former CNN anchor “ahead of the curve in identifying important issues.”

>>>NEXT PAGE: Will The ‘Magic Wall’ be a part of the new show?