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August 2, 2008 | Howard Rosenberg, Special to The Times
Memo to Barack Obama: You know in your heart the surge strategy worked. That is, the media surge strategy -- enticing a posse of network anchors and press hordes to ride your coattails and hang on your every word during last month's picturesque swing through the Middle East, Afghanistan and Europe that culminated in a speech before an estimated 200,000 flag-waving Berliners. Memo to John McCain: You were watching too. And admit it, worrying.
July 17, 2008 | James Rainey
Barack Obama's trip to Europe and the Middle East, seen as crucial to burnish his foreign policy bona fides, will play out before big audiences. All three television network anchors plan to interview the Democratic presidential candidate during the tour. Political analysts see the combined audience of 20 million as a potential boon to Obama, but also a bust if he makes any major missteps.
July 14, 2008 | Howard Rosenberg, Special to The Times
Tailored suit, tasteful hair, good posture, all business, only rare hints of perkiness. I've been checking out Katie Couric, really putting the evil eye on her. You know, Couric, the former NBC "Today" superstar and subsequent $15-million-a-year Jeanne d'Arc who fell hard from her CBS high horse when delivering no miracles to lift that network's evening newscast from third in the ratings. Media wonks are now wondering who will leave office first, George W. Bush or Couric.
June 7, 2008 | Howard Rosenberg, Special to The Times
Former Times Television Critic Howard Rosenberg, a Pulitzer Prize winner for criticism in 1985, will be writing occasional commentaries about news on television and the Internet. -- It seems like a couple of centuries since His Holiness Pope Walter reigned as God's deputy on the airwaves. Even longer if you think about leave-'em-laughing funnyman Keith Olbermann.
March 2, 2008 | Peter Rainer, Special to The Times
In this Apatowian Age of the Big Baby comedy, Will Ferrell is the undisputed avatar. He plays seriously self-absorbed characters who do not have much self to absorb. He is also, obliviously, a tantrum-throwing tease. In movie after movie and, before that, on "Saturday Night Live," he bares his midriff, he displays the ringlets of his fuzzy-wuzzy chest. Can no one stop this man from mooning? From streaking?
February 5, 2008 | Dawn C. Chmielewski, Times Staff Writer
The New York Giants weren't the only ones to walk away winners from Super Bowl XLII. News Corp. said it reaped $250 million in advertising revenue for the day of the game -- the biggest day in Fox network history. The football game, with the Giants' unexpected victory over the previously undefeated New England Patriots, was the second-most-watched telecast ever, with 97.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.
February 4, 2008 | Matea Gold, Times Staff Writer
A voracious appetite for political news has prompted the broadcast television networks and their cable counterparts to gear up for extensive coverage of Super Tuesday, offering programming more typical of a presidential general election than a February primary day. "This dominates in ways that politics hasn't dominated since November of 2000, which was all politics all the time," said Phil Griffin, NBC News' senior vice president in charge of MSNBC.
December 10, 2007 | Francisco Vara-Orta, Times Staff Writer
Her name is Oleander, and her freeway drama gripped the residents of Riverside County like few car chases ever could. For two months, the golden retriever mix wandered a six-mile stretch of Interstate 10, surviving on little food and water, loping along on a broken leg. Frightened, she evaded the California Highway Patrol officers who tried to rescue her, weaving her way through the median strip's oleanders -- hence the name given by her would-be rescuers.
December 4, 2007 | John M. Glionna, Times Staff Writer
Edwin Maher was having a "Broadcast News" moment, feeling a flicker of self-doubt, an attack of the sweats waiting to happen beneath the white-hot studio lights. The veteran Australian TV reporter and weatherman was starting a new job abroad as a prime-time news anchor. But decades of on-camera presence couldn't prepare him for this gig, mouthing the party line for an imposing state-run TV network with armed soldiers posted at the entrance gates. He was reading the news in communist China.
November 20, 2007 | Matea Gold, Times Staff Writer
CBS news writers, graphic artists and other staffers who work for the network's television and radio news operations voted by a wide margin to authorize a strike against their employer, the Writers Guild of America announced Monday. Of the 300 employees who cast ballots in last week's special election, 81% backed a labor stoppage to protest working for more than 2 1/2 years without a contract.
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