January 27, 2010 |
That Fox News scored a ratings victory usually wouldn't be a surprise. The cable news channel has beaten CNN and MSNBC for the last eight years, and its margins over its rivals keep growing. But last week, it managed to push past a competitor in another genre: USA, the powerhouse entertainment channel that has long held the spot as the top-ranked basic cable network in prime time. The network was lifted by the huge audience that tuned in for its coverage of the special election to fill the late Sen. Edward Kennedy's seat in Massachusetts, underscoring how Fox News is benefiting from the conservative populist movement gaining steam across the country.
January 19, 2010 |
Some of the most dramatic television images beamed from Haiti's quake-ravaged communities have shown harried doctors frantically tending the wounded with rudimentary tools. "To say it's primitive is an understatement," CBS News medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton said Saturday on "The Early Show." "This is analogous to Civil War medicine." Ashton would know. As she spoke, the network aired footage of her in scrubs and a face mask, assisting in the nighttime surgery of a 15-year-old girl in shock from a hasty amputation.
January 15, 2010 |
Anderson Cooper clambered to the top of a pile of rubble along a ruined Port-au-Prince street, joining the clutch of men digging fervently inside a dark crevasse. As his cameraman zoomed in on a pair of small, naked feet, the CNN anchor described the struggle to free 13-year-old Bea. The images swept the cable station's audience, in an instant, into a moment as intimate as it was epic, as unsettling as it was affirming -- a microcosm of Haiti's struggle these last three days. Could a handful of amateur rescuers, armed with a single shovel, win one skirmish against the country's sweeping devastation?
December 8, 2009 |
When Comcast Corp. assumes control of NBC Universal, the company will inherit a portfolio of news organizations, including a top-shelf network news division that dominates the competition. Powered by the "Today" show in the morning and "NBC Nightly News" in the evening, NBC News is one of the few bright spots at the broadcast network. It's also one of the few aspects of the venture that will be largely new terrain for Comcast. Until now, the Philadelphia-based cable television operator's experience in news has been limited to running a handful of local television channels that produce newscasts, including the East Coast regional network CN8 until it shut down at the end of last year.
November 3, 2009 |
How you react to "By the People: The Election of Barack Obama," a new documentary premiering tonight on HBO, will be largely a matter of how you feel about Obama himself, and his election and presidency. (Birthers, come not here.) That the film itself is partial to its subject -- not just Obama but the army of campaign workers and supporters who put him in the White House and who are the meat of the film -- is clear even before you watch it: Taking a cue from the campaign's own playbook, HBO's website asks viewers to "spread the word" and "promote this film from your blog or Facebook page."
October 30, 2009 |
White House versus Fox News eye gouging has been all the rage in recent days. The Obama administration calls the cable outlet a partisan political organ. Fox retorts that the president can't take a fair punch. Fox says just check its news programs -- filled with "fair and balanced" coverage -- and don't peg its reputation solely on the work of commentators like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly. The debate over the meaning of Fox News has become so routine, and so routinely partisan, that one hesitates to join the fray again.
October 26, 2009 |
It's been a long time since Fox News, which avidly cultivates its outsider status, got to play the underdog. But after White House aides recently labeled the top-rated cable news channel "a wing of the Republican Party" and argued that it is not a news network, Fox News found itself back in a spot it relishes: firing back at a more powerful adversary. The salvos by administration officials have rallied liberals who complain that the channel has a conservative agenda. The activist group MoveOn instantly jumped in the fray, urging Democrats to stay off Fox News programs.
October 19, 2009 |
Baltimore may be called Charm City, but for WBAL -- the local television station that carries NBC's "The Jay Leno Show" -- there isn't much to smile about lately. Usually, WBAL is in a neck-and-neck race for viewers against arch rival WJZ. But since NBC debuted "The Jay Leno Show" in prime time five weeks ago, the station's 11 p.m. newscast -- where silver-haired Rod Daniels' 25-year run as anchor is the longest in Baltimore history -- has been shellacked in the ratings. Now WBAL is a distant second.
October 9, 2009 |
In the television news business, they call them duopolies. How about a more descriptive name? Zombie stations. Turn on KCOP Channel 13 for the weeknight news at 11 p.m. and you won't see KCOP anchors. Or KCOP reporters. They aren't backed by KCOP writers. In the last year, even the KCOP logo disappeared. The station's news operation has been taken over -- lock, stock, news desk and teleprompter -- by its duopoly partner, KTTV Channel 11, the local Fox television affiliate, which itself has been hobbled by mass layoffs in recent months.
September 1, 2009 |
Executives at several local television stations defended their coverage of the Station fire over the weekend after Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich and some viewers complained that the fire, despite evacuations and threats to homes, did not receive the continuous coverage given previous large blazes. Antonovich on Monday accused television news stations of being negligent in failing to provide comprehensive fire coverage. "There were a large number of evacuations taking place, people and animals were in danger, and people had no information of where to go," Antonovich said in an interview.