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.
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 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 |
For three days, I couldn't find my fire on TV. And that's a problem -- before and after -- you've been evacuated from your La Crescenta home as I, my husband and my three children were in the early morning hours this weekend. As a television critic, I have spent hours watching endless news loops of Octomom coverage, Tim Russert memorials and the Sarah Palin watch. Less than two months ago, I sat through at least an hour's worth of overhead shots of a freeway emptied in anticipation of Michael Jackson's memorial procession.
August 31, 2009 |
KNBC-TV Channel 4 was the big winner at the Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards again this year, picking up eight statuettes, including two of the three given for best newscasts. KNBC also captured eight last year to lead the pack. But while the Emmys for best local news programs were split last year among KTLA-TV Channel 5, KCBS-TV Channel 2 and KCAL-TV Channel 9, this year KNBC won both in the category of newscasts 35 minutes or less (for "Channel 4 News at 11 p.m.") and newscasts longer than 35 minutes (for "Channel 4 News at 5 p.m."
August 21, 2009 |
Justin Cartwright was born in South Africa in 1945, came to study at Oxford in the mid-1960s and has lived in England ever since. Like his previous novels, "To Heaven by Water" showcases his uncanny ability to get the British scene just right, combining the perspective of a onetime outsider with the innate knowledge of one thoroughly at home. The novel is a snapshot of a particular time in London -- the present -- and will serve very well one day as a time capsule of this interregnum.
August 20, 2009 |
When it comes to reporting news, and even the less-urgent doings of the world, plainness is a virtue. The awfulness or delight of any truly awful or delightful story will speak for itself; complex issues do not benefit from screaming. The stopwatch that ticks through the CBS television newsmagazine "60 Minutes" perfectly encapsulates the straightforward, unadorned approach that the program -- created by Don Hewitt, who died Wednesday at age 86 -- has maintained since it went on the air in 1968 (a year in which there was much screaming, from many sides)
April 20, 2009 |
After years of toiling in the shadows of a giant, ABC's Sunday morning public affairs program, "This Week With George Stephanopoulos," is finally beginning to step into the spotlight once exclusively occupied by NBC's "Meet the Press." It's the economy, stupid, plus "This Week's" round table has been called pretty smart. "Meet the Press" has long been the dominant program, so far this season attracting about 4.3 million viewers each week.
March 5, 2009 |
After talking to journalism students at Stony Brook University recently, John Houseman of New York's WPIX-TV left behind 18 new video cameras. Houseman, assistant news director at WPIX, had enlisted students at the Long Island campus as contributors to his news operation with an investment of $119 per camera. He wants the budding journalists -- as well as students at Fordham, Rutgers and New York universities -- to send in material if they see something they believe to be a story.