TV networks

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Trump TV Rumors Gain New Life

Son-in-law Jared Kushner reportedly met with investment banker for 'informal' talk about possible network

(Newser) - Donald Trump said last month he has zero interest in forming a media company , but a short conversation said to have taken place between his son-in-law and the head of an independent investment bank has generated new buzz around that rumor. Per Reuters , three sources "with knowledge of the... More »

NFL Ratings Are Tumbling

One theory is that the election is stealing interest

(Newser) - The NFL has endured criticism about concussions , allegations about domestic violence among its players, and Tom Brady's DeflateGate , and yet the viewers kept coming back to the networks for more gameplay every Sunday (and Monday and Thursday and Saturday). Until now, per the Wall Street Journal , which reports on... More »

TV Is Getting 'Supersized' —and Annoying

'NYT' critic James Poniewozik says episodes are becoming more and more bloated

(Newser) - These days there's said to be "too much TV to choose from," but according to TV critic James Poniewozik writing for the New York Times , there's another prevalent problem: too-big TV, or what he refers to as TV that's "come down with a case... More »

Why Things Are So Dismal at CNN

Q2 viewership hasn't been this low since the Gulf War

(Newser) - CNN's glory days are unquestionably behind it. Want proof? Q2 of 2012 clocked in as its lowest-rated quarter in 21 years. In fairness, Deadline notes that all three cable news networks reported a dip, but when you stack up the numbers, things looks pretty gloomy for the network: It... More »

For New Season, Networks Look to Go Big, Brash

Don't expect your average cop shows and sitcoms

(Newser) - As they ready their fall lineups for advertisers, the major networks are stepping off last season's beaten path of struggles and flops. “We were looking for fresh,” says NBC Entertainment’s new president. “I really want people to see the concept for a show and go:... More »

Olbermann to MSNBC: I Want an Apology

'Keith sees himself as the star,' says an insider

(Newser) - As Keith Olbermann prepares to return to MSNBC tomorrow, it’s the network, not the host, that’s reportedly apologizing. Olbermann “insisted that MSNBC bosses apologize to him before he would agree to return,” a network insider tells PopEater . “Keith sees himself as the star of MSNBC,... More »

NBC, CBS Reject Ground Zero Mosque Ad

It decries plan to build 'monstrous' facility

(Newser) - CBS and NBC have declined to air an ad from a conservative group protesting the building of a mosque near the site of the World Trade Center attacks, Politico reports. The ad, sponsored by the National Republican Trust PAC, shows a montage of 9/11 horrors amid Muslims praying. "On... More »

Kornheiser Suspension at ESPN Is Ridiculous

Hannah Storm comments are par for the course, so why now?

(Newser) - Tony Kornheiser “is one of those guys whose ugly side is his only side,” writes Jack Shafer, so ESPN’s move to suspend him after some lecherous but fairly standard comments about colleague Hannah Storm rings false. In fact, punishing him “for being an oozing bag of... More »

Sold: All CBS' Super Bowl Ad Spots

62 slots are filled at $2.5 to $3M apiece, with a payday of around $200M

(Newser) - CBS has already sold all of the in-game ad slots for the Super Bowl, quite a feat considering networks often scramble for ad buyers well into the week preceding the game even when the economy is up. The network claims to have sold only the 62 formatted spots, but an... More »

Shirley's a 'Dolt,' but ESPN Firing Is PC Hooey

The network just wants money, and made a calculation: Jeff Pearlman

(Newser) - Jeff Pearlman isn’t particularly enamored of Paul Shirley, the ex-NBA player cum ESPN contributor who said some regrettable things about condoms and Haiti (read them here ), but the network’s move to dump him just illustrates its money-grubbing essence. Here’s the formula: “An employee says something... More »

Fox Preps Conan Late-Night Offer

Network is quizzing affiliates about freeing up 11pm slot

(Newser) - Fox has taken a keen interest in the newly available Conan O’Brien and is looking to move fast on a deal. Talks with Conan's reps could start as early as this week, and the network has already begun polling affiliates about the possibility of clearing an 11pm spot—now... More »

Dumbest TV Biz Mistakes

From election-night snafus to the WGA strike

(Newser) - It’s been an embarrassing decade for TV networks, as the Hollywood Reporter proves with its list of the aughties’ biggest industry mistakes:
  1. Hollywood writers’ strike: It was unnecessary and “mutually destructive”—and for viewers, “has there ever been a longer 14 weeks?”
  2. ABC’s rejection of
... More »

Please, Apple, 'Blow Up' the Cable Companies

Steve Jobs and crew are getting closer to an online subscription service

(Newser) - Apple is getting closer to launching an online television subscription service, and MG Siegler relishes the challenge it could pose to cable companies. “Just as Apple transformed the music industry thanks to the iTunes/iPod combination, and the mobile industry thanks to the iPhone, a device that offered all the... More »

Lou Dobbs: I Wasn't Forced Out

Ex-CNN host says he hasn't talked with Fox

(Newser) - Lou Dobbs says he doesn't feel as though he was pushed out of CNN, where he worked for all but 2 years of its existence until last Wednesday. "I don't know if people will believe it, but we had a very amicable parting on the best of terms,"... More »

Comcast Near $35B Deal for NBC Universal

Cable giant has been in talks with owner of network for weeks

(Newser) - Comcast is near a $35 billion deal to acquire NBC Universal, which encompasses the network, a movie studio, cable channels and more, sources tell the Wrap. Bankers from the cable giant and General Electric, NBCU’s parent company, met Tuesday after Comcast decided to think bigger than a pursuit of... More »

Obama and Cable News: It's Love/Hate

Prez can't stand the "chatter" that obfuscates real issues

(Newser) - President Obama tries to downplay the “cable chatter” of the 24-hour news networks, but his frustration with them is as old as their fascination with him. “I think a lot of this stems from the election,” press secretary Robert Gibbs tells Politico, when some donors “would... More »

Fox: Tea Parties Not Covered CNN: You Lie!

Ad sparks network tea party war

(Newser) - Rival networks were quick to go on the counterattack after being accused by Fox of ignoring last weekend's tea party protests in the capital, Mediaite reports. A full-page Washington Post ad from Fox asked, "How Did ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC And CNN Miss This Story," prompting the... More »

Why Hollywood Wants Leno to Fail

Some see new, cheap show as threat to jobs

(Newser) - Tonight marks the premiere of Jay Leno’s new show, and many in Tinseltown—not just rival execs—are hoping it flops, the Los Angeles Times reports. That’s because it substitutes cheap fare for the traditional 10pm drama. Many in the industry see the show as a “potential... More »

Your Guide to Today's Jacko Media Orgy

Let the 'freak show' begin

(Newser) - Surprisingly, the elephants entering Staples Center this morning aren’t there for the “Michael Jackson Memorial Orgy of Excess”—but for the circus, opening tomorrow. “That seems completely appropriate,” writes Lisa de Moraes for the Washington Post. As for today’s “freak show,” 16... More »

Trudeau Mocks Journos for Overtwittering

Character 'Roland Hedley' has 2,900 followers

(Newser) - Cartoonist Garry Trudeau has been lampooning TV journalists for decades in Doonesbury, so it’s natural he would satirize their latest folly: excessive Twittering. Roland Hedley, Trudeau’s fictitious TV journo, has become an avid Twitter user both in print and in the real world, where @Roland_Hedley boasts 2,900... More »

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