The crime reporter with nearly 4,000 Los Angeles Times bylines and countless radio and TV interviews to his name is headed to the small screen for good. LA Observed reports that Andrew Blankstein is leaving the paper …
While professional news organizations have long used amateur-produced video (remember Abraham Zapruder’s film of the JFK assassination?), NBC News today joins the ranks of news providers who are beginning to embrace it as a first resort instead of a last. …
NBC News Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd went on MSNBC’s Morning Joe this morning to whine about NBC Entertainment’s plans for a Hillary Clinton miniseries. “A total nightmare” for the news division, Todd called it. What’s knotting his knickers is a recent threat by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus to yank primary debates from NBC after NBC Entertainment announced it had bought a Hillary Clinton miniseries. “There’s nothing we can do about it and we’re going to only own the negative,” Todd complained of the Clinton mini, announced at the just-wrapped Summer TV Press Tour 2013. “People are going to see the peacock, and they see NBC,” he said of the project, which NBC Entertainment chief Robert Greenblatt said he hoped to broadcast before Clinton might declare a presidential run.
Here may be a good place to mention NBC News signed Chelsea Clinton to a short-term contract as a “special correspondent” in the fall of 2011 and renewed in ’12.
NBC News just announced that long time anchor and correspondent John Palmer has passed following a brief illness. In his 40-year career, which ended with his retirement in 2002, he was a familiar presence in the network’s coverage of national and international affairs. He covered the administrations of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan as NBC‘s White House correspondent and in 1980 delivered the first reports of the aborted rescue of U.S. hostages in Iran. He also reported the 1986 explosion of the Challenger Space Shuttle. Palmer was news anchor on The Today Show from 1982 to 1989, a period when it became the top-rated morning show. NBC called Palmer “a brilliant, brave, and tireless journalist who guided viewers through many of the most significant events of the past half-century – from the early days of the civil rights movement through the tragedy of 9/11. ”
Here’s the network’s statement:
George Zimmerman is suing over an edited 911 police call from the night he gunned down Trayvon Martin. The case against NBC News was stayed pending the outcome of the criminal case. Now that’s out of the way, Zimmerman’s Philadelphia attorney James Beasley is ready to proceed, according to The Washington Post. “We’re going to start in earnest ASAP. We just have to get the stay lifted which is a ministerial act,” Beasley told the paper via e-mail. When asked how the not-guilty verdict affects the civil case against NBC News, Beasley responded, “This verdict of not guilty is just that, and shows that at least this jury didn’t believe that George was a racist, profiling, or anything that the press accused George of being. That probably doesn’t get you that much, but it’s simply time for us to start the case and hold accountable anyone who was irresponsible in their journalism.” The original 24-page complaint accused NBC of creating “this false and defamatory misimpression using the oldest form of yellow journalism: manipulating Zimmerman’s own words, splicing together disparate parts of the recording to create the illusion of statements that Zimmerman never actually made.”
Filed in Seminole County, the suit adds that “NBC News saw the death of Trayvon Martin not as a tragedy but as an opportunity to increase ratings, and so set about to create the myth that George Zimmerman was a racist and predatory villain.” NBC correspondent Ron Allen is named as a defendant, as are Lilia Rodriguez Luciano and Jeff Burnside; the latter two were fired after an internal investigation determined that the tape had been edited. NBC apologized to Zimmerman, but that was not enough. Here’s how NBC, in a March 27, 2012, broadcast of the Today show, manipulated the tape:
Here is what NBC edited:
Zimmerman: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.”
But the full tape went like this:
Zimmerman: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.”
911 Police Dispatcher: “OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?”
Zimmerman: “He looks black.”
NBC News has hired high-profile former NYPD and LAPD topper Bill Bratton as an analyst. It’s part of a trend by news outlets to secure on-air talent with strong law enforcement backgrounds to spearhead coverage of high-profile stories such as the killings in the elementary school in Newtown, the movie theater in Aurora, and at the Boston Marathon. Bratton, the only person to have led four of the country’s largest police forces, was a frequent on-air contributor at various news operations during coverage of the marathon bombing. Bratton will help NBC News catch up to CBS News, which has been getting a lot of attention in this field since hiring John Miller in 2011. Miller has straddled journalism and law enforcement his entire career, beginning as a reporter before migrating to the NYPD (at the request of then-commissioner Bratton),and also working for the LAPD and FBI. On September 11, 2001 he sat by Peter Jennings at ABC News, where he was working at the time. Miller is credited with reporting ahead of others the magnitude of the death toll at Newton, and with waving CBS News off the erroneous report an arrest had been made in the Boston bombing, among other things.
NBCUniversal‘s cable news network said this month that it will offer “in-depth, continuing coverage” of George Zimmerman’s murder trial, including going live “as news warrants.” This morning’s opening arguments indeed were live on MSNBC — and the network ended up having to apologize for it. No delay was in place as prosecutor John Guy began with a pointed quote from the defendant: “F—ing punks. These assholes always get away.” Chuck Todd, host of MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown and NBC News‘ chief White House correspondent, immediately apologized for the profanity and vowed that the network would deploy a delay going forward. But at least one other uncensored f-word also aired live. This is exactly the kind of scenario NBCU execs had in mind when they asked the FCC last week to consider revamping its policies on broadcast indecency.
Michael Viqueira‘s new home away from home will be at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. As it ramps up to launch this year, Al Jazeera America has tapped the former longtime NBC News man as its White House correspondent. Working from the news organization’s D.C. bureau, he will cover White House daily press briefings, all presidential events and trips and other White House news and events. “Michael Viqueira is a seasoned national correspondent with deep experience covering Washington politics,” said Ehab Al Shihabi, Executive Director of International Operations for Al Jazeera and the senior executive in charge of developing Al Jazeera America. “Every political activity in the Capitol has an impact on the average American and his knowledge and extensive network of contacts will allow him to dig deeper to bring important news and information to light for the American public.”
NEW YORK — May 20, 2013 — Deborah Turness, former editor of ITV News, the United Kingdom’s most-watched commercial network news service, has been named President of NBC News. It was announced today by Pat Fili-Krushel, Chairman, NBCUniversal News Group.
Turness joins CNBC President Mark Hoffman and MSNBC President Phil Griffin as part of the NBCUniversal News Group leadership team reporting to Fili-Krushel. She will be based at the NBC News headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Plaza and begin her new role on August 5.
As President, Turness will be responsible for all aspects of the NBC News division including the programs “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams,” “Today,” “Meet the Press,” and “Dateline” as well as its news bureaus around the world. She will also oversee all breaking news, investigative and enterprise reporting, along with the division’s digital properties including NBCNews.com. Additionally, she will have oversight of Peacock Productions, an award-winning in-house production company.
NEW YORK –April 30, 2013 — Maria Shriver, the Peabody and Emmy award-winning journalist, producer and best-selling author, joins NBC News as a special anchor reporting on the shifting roles, emerging power and evolving needs of women in modern life.
Through a series of special projects, prime-time reports and appearances across multiple NBCUniversal properties – including NBC News, CNBC, MSNBC and NBC Sports — Shriver will examine the profound impact that women’s rising influence and leadership has had on all aspects of American culture and society.
If you care about news, then the Pew Research Center’s latest annual State Of The News Media report will make you want to cry. Providers across all platforms became “more undermanned and unprepared to uncover stories, dig deep into emerging ones or to question information put into [their] hands,” Pew’s Project for Excellence In Journalism finds. The shortcomings stood out during the election when “campaign reporters were acting primarily as megaphones, rather than as investigators, of the assertions put forward by the candidates and other political partisans.”
Even in a year with an exciting presidential election the collective audience for ABC, CBS and NBC’s evening newscasts fell 2% to 22.1M “resuming the downward trajectory of nearly three decades” after an uptick in 2011. Total audience for local TV newscasts — the nation’s #1 news source – shrank last year in all key time slots except for early morning and across stations aligned with all the networks, resuming a downward trend that seemed to have ended in 2011. Viewing of the evening newscasts that aired between 5:00 and 7:00 PM at the major network affiliates fell 7% last year. One reason: young people are tuning out. About 28% of adults under 30 regularly watched local news last year, down from 42% in 2006. Local news devoted 40% of air time to sports, weather, and traffic, up from 32% in 2005. And just 20% of the stories last year ran at least a minute, down from 31% a decade ago.
Calling journalism “a noble calling,” NBC News president Steve Capus announced to the network’s staff today that he’s leaving after eight years running the division and over 20 years at NBC. Back in July, NBCUniversal consolidated its “news brands,” as Steve Burke said in the accompanying memo, under the new News Group chairmanship of Patricia Fili-Krushel. Here’s the memo Capus sent out today:
Working in network news is not a solitary pursuit; it is the ultimate “team sport,” in which success is derived from the collective performances of remarkable people united in purpose and dedication. I have seldom described my role as “presiding” over NBC News. Instead, I have viewed it as leading a collaborative effort to pursue journalistic excellence.
It has been a privilege to have spent two decades here, but it is now time to head in a new direction. I have informed Pat Fili-Krushel that I will be leaving NBC News in the coming weeks.
NBC News has revealed that chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel and members of his production team were freed from Syrian captors on Monday, after a firefight at a checkpoint. The group disappeared last Thursday, shortly after crossing into northwest Syria from Turkey. NBC had been attempting to enforce a news blackout, but Engel’s kidnapping was outed Monday afternoon following online reports by the Turkish media. The captors were unidentified and not believed to be loyal to the Assad regime, NBC News said, adding that there had been no contact with them, nor any calls for ransom during the five-day period. Two of the kidnappers were killed during a confrontation Monday evening when they were moving the prisoners to a new location and ran into a checkpoint manned by members of a Syrian rebel group. Despite having been blindfolded and bound during their captivity, Engel and the production team were said to be unharmed and have been safely moved out of Syria.