Monday Links and Open Thread

  • Specialists video: Series premiere opens with
  • Friday’s numbers: Tucker Carlson-Maddow-Martha MacCallum 1-2-3.
  • Megyn will host 9am hour of Today, airing opposite Ripa and Ryan.
  • Come rain, go Shine: Fox exec is out…Hannity hardest hit.  Wemple.
  • Rothstein: Viewers want more Morning Joewithout Joe and Mika.
  • MediaBuzz video: talks Trump, ‘fake news’, and ESPN.
  • Hogue: The News Specialists better avoid the Mika trap.  Today’s lawsuit.
  • MSNBC hires Glenn Thrush.   CNN swells mingle with the brunch bunch.

53 thoughts on “Monday Links and Open Thread”

  1. Sources said MSNBC chief Phil Griffin was furious with Brian Williams’ disdainful treatment of Maddow. According to a source, “Phil gave Brian a very stern rebuke, telling him, ‘Don’t you ever do that again.’ But Rachel didn’t seem bothered by it and just laughed it off.”

    A source at the network said, “Not only did Brian go way over the top with his coverage of the Syria missile strike, he then totally patronized Rachel by thanking her for ‘visiting’ her own show and being ‘a part’ of his ‘beautiful’ coverage! Has he not learned anything from ‘Misremember-gate’?”

  2. I don’t remember the reporter suing today. However, as a viewer on outside observing, not sure I buy it at first glance. FNC has had talent with health issues that may have been out and came back sharing what happened: Jennifer Griffin with cancer, Neil Cavuto with MS and heart condition, Janice Dean with MS. I’m sure there have been others as well. Gretchen Carlson​, Kelly Wright, Julie Roginsky, seem credible to me. Not so sure about this lady.

    • This really bites. Are Heckle and Jeckle trying to destroy what their father built?

    • The fear also did not make sense with the placement of Tucker Carlson in the loftiest of the primetime spots and giving Eric Bolling a show. They would not have done either of those things if they wanted to change the network.

    • Except for checking her Twitter to see when Patti Ann is on, I may have to settle for more dependable sources of news – The Drudge Report, The Onion and the voices in my head.

  3. I swear AJ Katz at TVNewser isn’t very well informed, his latest gaffe is in his Bill Shine resigns post. Katz tries to relate Hannity tweeting Sunday about the now-retracted allegations of sexual harassment made against him (and numerous other issues with the woman) to his Shine tweets last week. As seen by the one comment, this is where fake news starts.

  4. Suzanne Scott becomes president of programming and Jay Wallace has been promoted to president of news. Scott had been Shine’s second-in-command in programming and has been with the network since it began in 1996. When will the two be accused of something?

    • Suzanne psychically grabbed by butt. Just now. I am going to sue for punitive damages.

  5. Re: Today’s Lawsuit – I’ve read some horror stories in my lifetime but that one sent chills down my spine. I hope Falzone wins 50 million.

  6. Rupert really wants nothing to cloud him getting his big prize of Sky and he will do anything to make sure anything that could hamper it is put out.

  7. One comment on Twitter
    “According to three Fox sources, Hannity has a ‘key man clause’ in his contract that would allow him to quit at any time. He’s very loyal to Shine.”

    But where would he go? Greta’s experience exercising her “key man clause” was hardly the road to greener pastures she thought it would be. Her ratings are embarrassingly low.

    Even Margaret Hoover, Kirsten Powers and Mary Katharine Ham who all left for CNN for different reasons seem to have hardly found greener pastures. Other than last week when asked to comment about Mr. Bill — they hardly appear.

    My advice to Sean is stay where you are. Your stature as the face of primetime has only improved since O’Reilly’s departure. Don’t buy into all the speculation that the Murdoch sons will move the channel to the middle and undermine a conservative formula that has dominated the ratings for years. Ain’t gonna happen IMO.

    • Hannity makes so much money doing radio that he doesn’t need the TV show. If he is not happy at Fox, leaving wouldn’t be that tough for him.

      Not being on TV would hurt his visibility quite a bit though.

      Also, Fox News has to really worry about him leaving. They will be in a really tough spot. The story about the Murdochs would not go away. A lot of the other hosts will constantly be asked about what is going on with the network.
      Plus, they are already struggling with replacing shows right now and they would have to find another prime time one.

      • Sean making a bold public declaration is nothing new.

        Remember in 2009 when he told Charles Grodin he would agree to be waterboarded for charity.

        Then in 2014 he threatened to leave New York over Gov. Cuomo’s “anti-extreme conservative” remarks.

        Since just a short while ago Sean confirmed a tweet that says, “He is not negotiating for an exit,” I fully expect calmer voices to prevail and he will stay.

        Yet a Daily Beast article suggests I don’t know what I’m talking about. :-}

        “Sean Hannity Eyes Fox News Exit, Insiders Say”

        Meanwhile millions of potential viewers just added his show to their DVR since he said he would have more to say then.

        • Hannity does have too good of a gig at Fox right now. He makes a lot of money and does mostly the same thing night after night (unless he is doing something out of studio).
          Also, I think they mostly leave him alone to do what he wants. If the execs start meddling, then he might be gone.

          • He has the right to leave via the ‘key man’ provision in his contract. (I like how Gabe Sherman tweets that ‘three sources’ say Hannity has this in his contract, while back when Ailes left it was widely discussed that Sean, Bill, and Greta all had the provision, and I think Shep too!). But it’s a time-restricted deal; you have x weeks to take advantage of it or you are committed for the rest of your contract.

            This whole business of starting a new news channel is soooo ridiculous. There are so many channels now that cable companies can’t possibly carry them all. The investment would be huge to do a start-up from zero and get any kind of coverage at all. So just ignore all that palaver you hear about a new channel.

            What might work is something streaming that even cord-cutters could sign up for. But that, conversely, is not a mature option just yet for news programming.

            So Hannity stays put, bitches and whines if something doesn’t go his way, and things chug along. But the cable news race tightens.

          • The one caveat to the “new” channel might be that they could try and buy out an existing channel like OAN.
            Beyond that, if you think of all that goes into a news channel they better have someone with really deep pockets ready to invest because this is a very tall order.

          • Also companies like NBC are killing off lower rated channels because Cable companies don’t want them anymore. They would be better off doing a Blaze OTT model but again that’s not helped Beck so…

          • Beck’s BLAZE was doing great until he went #NeverTRUMP, then subscribers started fleeing

      • Hannity might not need a TV show because of his radio show but he must like TV as well since that’s what he’s been doing for 20 years.
        Yeah he really can’t leave .. right now on the FNC point of view, they can’t move Tucker any more.

  8. Bad start for The Specialist! The second I saw Mark Cuban I shut the TV off! LOL

    I’ll have to see how the show is tomorrow!

    • I couldn´t watch it either! And I don´t like the name “News Specialists”! Sheesh.

    • Bad first day. While the show was going on, most of the online talk about Fox was Shine and Hannity. Then, most of the talk about the show was negative.

      It was a mess. There was far too much crosstalk. The director looked like they had trouble keeping up with who was talking. You would assume that a producer would tell them to stop interrupting and talking over each other during the first commercial break. Instead it continued through the whole show. Hosts shouldn’t be cutting off guests as much as they did. They needed to just slow down. There is plenty of time for everyone to get their comments in.

      The format didn’t work. They rotated who started out blocks but that person didn’t seem to stay in control of the discussion. The chemistry was lacking (Bolling is 20 years older than Eboni and 25 years older than Timpf. On The Five, four of the five hosts ages were in a 10 year span). Timpf and Williams talked way too fast. They also showed their lack of experience in hosting TV.
      Williams will probably settle in, but Timpf looks like she is in a role that is not a good fit for her. She does not seem ready to be a host.
      Bolling has done enough TV that he had to know that it wasn’t good.

      It felt like a thrown together Fox Business Network show or even just an old Fox News Strategy Room hour. There is potential with having guests, but if they don’t know how to interact well with them. What is the point? Also, if/when they struggle finding good guests, the hosts have to be able to carry the show.

      The name made no sense. There was nothing where one of the hosts were looked at as a “specialist”. Also not a fan of the desk set up. Looked like Alex Wagner’s old MSNBC show. The hosts have to keep turning their heads back and forth to look at who is talking.

      The show needs to improve a lot. I would have assumed that these issues would have been evident during the practice shows and they would have adapted. Maybe the practice shows were better than this though.
      They should just have Bolling be the host for a while (read off prompter, lead off the discussions) and give Timpf and Williams more time to get comfortable in their roles.
      They need to get better quickly though. Fox is not in a place where they can just let prominent time slots have shows that take a long time to start being good.

      • I needs a lot of fine tuning , I am accounting for the fact they only had week (which is why the should have held off a for a little) maybe it will get better when they where they need to so some fixing. Wish they had though of a better name too.

        • The Greg Gutfeld Show was horrible in the beginning too, don’t know how long it took, 2-3 months of tweaking? but it is a GREAT Show now!

          • The Five did have 10 announced hosts for five seats, rotated between nine of them (Geraldo was one of the original ten, but didn’t appear until years later), and went to seven before eventually going to six.
            Five of the original ten had hosted shows at Fox.

            Outnumbered originally announced seven hosts (and started having others host as well pretty quickly) for four seats and wound up with three official ones.
            Four of the original seven had hosting experience at Fox. The two most frequent hosts from the very beginning were already anchors at Fox.

            Both The Five and Outnumbered needed to find the right balance of talent and have them get comfortable with each other, but they were much better produced from day one. They both found their groove pretty quickly. The formats they started with continues to be what both of them still do.

            The Specialists has three hosts for three seats. Two of them have never hosted their own show at Fox.
            Perhaps they were too focused on selecting NYC based talents. They should have considered having a rotation that also included DC people like Katie Pavlich, Guy Benson and Lisa Boothe. Then they could have taken some time to found the right combination.
            It’s usually easier to cut back on people than to add people later.

            Also, The Five was announced 12 days before its first episode. Carlson and MacCallum’s shows were announced 11 days ahead. It was announced that Bolling was going to be doing a new show 13 days ahead. Having less than two weeks to prep a new show is not all that rare at Fox.
            [Not sure when the actual format for some of the shows was decided though.]
            Although, a long prep time doesn’t necessarily make for a good first show. Greg Gutfeld Show had months and the first episode was awful.

          • They also have to find the right people to be in the rotation on the show like Red Eye did. I think they have a lot to work on to smooth out the show and they might have to make some changes but ones they think might fit.

        • Them needing time to settle in makes sense, but there were simple fixes that any producer at Fox should have realized immediately.

          Constantly talking over each other should never last an entire episode. The people in the control room must have quickly noticed that it was frustrating to listen to. The hosts must have had IFBs in their ears. Someone should have said something to them.
          They should have had the person who leads off the segment keep
          Timpf and Williams have done enough TV that they should know to be more patient and not need to comment so quickly. They have proven that they know to do so on other shows. They also should know that they don’t have to talk so fast. Everyone almost seemed like they started talking faster because they were afraid of being interrupted.
          The show should have better plotted the speaking order. It’s basic panel show stuff. The Five and Outnumbered both realize how to do this.
          With the limited amount of prep time, they needed to just keep it simple.

          It wouldn’t surprise me if Bolling didn’t want to do a show at 9:00, but I would be surprised if The Strategists is what he was hoping for when it came to a post-Five show for him. He went from the most successful panel show on cable news that is now in primetime and might wind up becoming the #1 cable news show in viewers. He was working with some of the biggest stars at the network, with years of FNC hosting experience and he had years-long relationships with them. Now he is on another afternoon panel show, with a couple of millennials he hardly knows and who have never hosted a major show before. It also is highly unlikely that it will be a top-5 cable news show.

          Gutfeld’s show had months to prepare and had a horrible first episode. It lead to an immediate change the next episode, but they also kept having problems for months because they didn’t want to admit what wasn’t working.
          Hopefully this show learns from the first episode, notices the criticism out there and tries to fix issues quickly instead of being stubborn.
          It might come down to simply if the show has a good executive producer or not. If not, the show probably won’t improve much.

          Williams seems to have the right attributes to be a good host. She should be good at it pretty quickly. I expect the first episode to be her low point. She just needs to relax and be allowed to head up the discussions when it is her segment.
          Timpf needs a lot of time though. She is much better at being a commentator than host right now. She is still young, but I still don’t see much that makes me believe she will ever be a good host. She is too opinionated to want to be the one asking the questions and then listen.
          They need to find ways to play to her strengths. Fortunately for them, that should be able to come in time.

          Even if it improves, I don’t see this show (at least this lineup) working long term. It’s just not the right kind of show for Timpf or Bolling and I don’t know how you make it work for one without making it worst for the other.
          I think they should have had Melissa Francis, Eboni and Watters be the hosts, kept Bolling on The Five and tried Timpf on a new show on the weekends. Perhaps a new variation of Red Eye or some sort of comedy news show aimed at a younger audience. Give her some more time to develop.
          Also, if Fox has been thinking highly of Timpf for a while, they should have put her full-time on Red Eye months ago or kept Red Eye around just to put her on it.

      • They should have just given Bolling and Eboni the show and drop Kat. The show looks like a three ring circus. Roger Ailes is probably laughing his head off.

  9. Today’s most popular links:
    5 Fox exec is out
    4 swells mingle
    3 without Joe and MIka
    2 hardest hit
    And the most popular link in today’s links…
    1 Hogue: The News Specialists better avoid the Mika trap.

    • If he can get a stake in the new venture — I’d jump on it if I were him.
      Big gamble, but could pay huge if the new network is a success.

  10. I was going to edit my previous comment with an addendum, but instead I’ll write here:
    Re: “MediaBuzz video: Joe Concha talks … ESPN”: I only watch ESPN (and/or its other channels) for game broadcasts; some 30 for 30 or SEC Storied documentaries; some E:60 segments; and the league drafts. (I also like Jon Gruden’s QB Camp ahead of the NFL Draft.) I will occasionally watch SportsCenter, but will not watch the opinion shows. I used to, but politics and schadenfreude (i.e. mocking outrageous YouTube videos) drove me away.

  11. I DVR’d “The Specialists”. Didn’t hate it but didn’t really love it. On the plus side: The 3 hosts are interesting, smart, and seem to have decent chemistry. Liked how they went for guests that aren’t on cable news all the time. Cuban and McKinnon good first day choices. But on the negative side, WAY too many people talking at one time which gets annoying really fast. Somebody needs to referee. Won’t DVR it every day but will check the clips online.

  12. Tucker’s segment w/ Jeff Mason and Joe Concha was gold — GREAT TV.

    Credit to Mason for coming in and taking the fire and to Concha for taking him to task.

    • I was pleased by Concha’s observation that BYU graduates wouldn’t be hired for the DC press Corp.

      In an interview where Mason simply deterred to his status as being the president of the WHCA whenever held to account for differing standards of treatment of Obama Admin, Mason’s expression after that remark said what he wouldn’t have expressed aloud on the show.

  13. Appreciate Concha mentions that Thrush made headlines last year after WikiLeaks email dumps showed the reporter sharing stories in advance with Hillary Clinton campaign chief John Podesta and Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri.

    “Because I have become a hack I will send u the whole section that pertains to u,” Thrush wrote to Podesta in an 2015 email.

    He also asked Podesta to keep the exchange between them.

    “Please don’t share or tell anyone I did this Tell me if I f—ed up anything,” added Thrush.

    Podesta replied that he saw “no problem here.”

    • From that disgrace he zoomed right up from Politico to the NYT and now television news.

      He’s proved his tribal bonafides with his jettisoning of journalism standards on behalf of Team Clinton/Obama.

      Democracy dies unless the media eschews professionalism.

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