Fox News Channel chief Roger Ailes will make a rare appearance on CNN on June 15, when the network premieres 41ON41, a profile of President George H.W. Bush. The gimmick is that 41 people will be seen on screen, talking about Bush – including Ailes, who was a campaign advisor. And yes, the two-hour film, weaving first-person accounts of the policy decisions and personal life experiences that shaped Bush’s life and presidency, is premiering on Father’s Day — and three days after Bush celebrates his 90th birthday. The George Bush Presidential Library Foundation funded the film, which is executive produced by Bush’s former White House speechwriter Mary Kate Cary and Rick Kaplan, formerly of CNN and ABC News. The film team also includes Nancy Stern Winters and Lisa Lax at Lookalike Productions who produced and directed the film.
In addition to former First Lady Barbara Bush, the film’s 41 storytellers include: Read More »
Larry Kudlow‘s 7 PM ET CNBC program, The Kudlow Report will end its run at the end of this month, with Kudlow staying on as a senior contributor to the business network’s business-day programs. No word yet as to a replacement program. Kudlow, who has been a part of CNBC for its 25-year history, had headlined The Kudlow Report since January of ’09, after hosting Kudlow & Company from ’05 to 0’8., and partnering with Jim Cramer in Kudlow & Cramer before that. “In my career, I have encountered few television hosts with Larry’s range,” CNBC president Mark Hoffman said in a memo to staff, a copy of which was obtained by TVNewser. “As an interviewer, he is unfailingly polite and energetic, skillfully grilling guests but always ending a segment graciously. Larry has always brought great enthusiasm to every program and appearance.”
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The former CNBC host will be doing double duty on cable for Fox. Maria Bartiromo will appear daily on Fox Business Network but also will host a weekly biz show on Fox News Channel every Sunday, it was announced today. After two decades at CNBC, Bartiromo made the jump to FBN last November. Today the CAA-repped host signed a multi-year contract as Global Markets Editor with FBN that will see her start at the upstart biz network on February 1. “I tapped Maria to report live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange while at CNBC, and I am delighted to have her join me once again alongside our star lineup at FOX Business,” Fox News boss Roger Ailes said in a statement. No precise date has been set for when either of Bartiromo’s Fox shows will launch but they are expect to hit the air by the late spring.
CNN Worldwide chief Jeff Zucker says Fox News chief Roger Ailes dismissal of CNN in a recent interview ” is meant to deflect your attention from the book this week and is silly.”
Zucker was referring to Gabriel Sherman’s new unauthorized bio of Ailes, The Loudest Voice In The Room: How The Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News And Divided a Country.
“We happen to be in the news business, as opposed to some other ‘fair and balanced’ networks,” Zucker told TV critics attending Winter TV Press Tour 2014. “I think really you know what’s going on there. He hasn’t done an interview in a long time and does one the week the book comes out; he’s trying to deflect attention,” Zucker said, noting there is no other network “covering news in such a substantial and serious way as CNN.”
Zucker said he had not read “Loudest Voice,” “but I’ve read about the book and from what I understand it confirms what we’ve known all along, which is that the Republican party is being run out of NewsCorp headquarters, masquerading as a news channel.”
Contacted for comment, a Fox News rep countered that CNN might have been trying to deflect from its own ratings woes.
Zucker also dismissed rumors about CNN and late night. CNN is not looking to get into business with Jay Leno … Read More »
Roger Ailes bragged “I want to elect the next president” in the walk-up to the 2012 presidential election, recommended a speech coach for Mitt Romney’s running mate, and was the brainchild behind that four-minute video criticizing President Obama’s policies that was telecast on Fox And Friends at the start of the general election, according to the new, unauthorized Ailes biography, The Loudest Voice In The Room.
Ailes also once called Bill O’Reilly “a book salesman with a TV show,” and, when he was an exec at NBC, offered a female employee a bump to her salary if she’d have sex with him, according to the New York Times’ look at an advance copy of the 560-page biography, set to publish on January 21 by Random House, written by New York magazine contributing editor Gabriel Sherman. Fox News has blasted all points of the bio.
“These charges are false. While we have not read the book, the only reality here is that Gabe was not provided any direct access to Roger Ailes and the book was never fact-checked with Fox News.”
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“Today’s ruling is a major win for all journalists,” Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes said this morning, after New York’s top court ruled one of his reporters can’t be forced to reveal sources used to cover the Aurora, Colorado movie theater mass murder. The New York Court of Appeals ruled 4-3 that the state’s shield law protected New York FoxNews.com reporter Jana Winter from being compelled to name sources. Winter first reported that law officers told her James Holmes kept a diary depicting violence and gave it to his psychiatrist before 12 movie-goers were gunned down during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in July of ’12. Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to multiple counts of murder and attempted murder; prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Holmes’s lawyers wanted Winter brought to Colorado to name her sources, arguing they had violated a gag order and would not be credible trial witnesses.
Related: Aurora Theater Shooter Now Pleads Insanity
“There is a substantial likelihood that a New York reporter will be compelled to divulge the identity of a confidential source (or face a contempt sanction) if required to appear in the other jurisdiction — a result that would offend the core protections of the shield law, a New York public policy of the highest order,” the court said, overturning a mid-level appeals court’s decision, according to news reports. Read More »
Fox News chairman Roger Ailes does not recall a specific or negative incident with former FNC contributor Bill Kristol, “doesn’t have an issue with him,” and the reason Kristol ended his decade-long run as FNC contributor this past summer was owing to the network having “made a lot of changes,” Fox News said this morning. This, in response to a report in Politico that Kristol, the editor and publisher of The Weekly Standard, left his Fox News contributor gig two years after he and Ailes got into a disagreement that had a cooling effect on their relationship.
Related: Jon Stewart To Fox News Channel: “Go Fuck Yourself”: Video
The report cited anonymous sources, who told columnist Dylan Byers that Ailes had asked Kristol in 2011 to take a negative stance toward “a certain individual” because Ailes wanted to “give that person a bad reputation.” That resulted in “coolness” between the two men, though their relationship remained cordial.
Related: Fox’s Megyn Kelly Returns To Cable News Ratings Top Spot
“Roger doesn’t recall a specific or negative incident — he likes Bill and doesn’t have an issue with him,” Fox News said in a statement this morning. “We made a lot of changes at the network and had been … Read More »
Things are changing at Fox News Channel on October 7. That’s when the cable news network will celebrate the 17th anniversary of its launch — and also will have an almost all-new primetime lineup. Megyn Kelly is taking over Sean Hannity’s 9 PM slot with The Kelly File as Hannity moves to 10 PM. On the Record With Greta Van Susteren moves from 10 PM to 7 PM, taking over the Fox Report slot soon to be vacated by Shepard Smith, while ratings juggernaut The O’Reilly Factor stays at 8 PM. This is the first significant shift in FNC’s prime lineup in more than a decade — since Van Susteren debuted at 10 PM in 2002. “As the network continues to dominate with the top 13 programs in cable news, Fox News already redefined primetime viewing to extend well beyond the antiquated 8-11 PM format”, said FNC boss Roger Ailes in a statement today. “We’ve developed a deep bench of engaging and thought-provoking personalities that have grown with Fox News as it has evolved into the most influential and successful cable network in television. These changes will enable the network to continue setting the industry standard for years to come.” This is the latest of a series of changes at the cable news network that has seen Smith get a new show and new role, former The View co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck join morning show Fox & Friends and F&F’s Gretchen Carlson get her own daytime show.
Related: Fox News Shifts Sherpard Smith, Opens Primetime Slot
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Just over two months after announcing that Megyn Kelly would be moving to primetime later this year, Fox News Channel today made the first move of its anchor pieces. The cable news network said Thursday that as part of a new multi-year deal with FNC inked earlier this summer, Shepard Smith would be moving on from the nightly 7 PM ET Fox Report slot and having his 3 PM slot adapted and expanded. This fall, in a brand new studio, Shepard Smith Reporting will take over where the Smith-hosted Studio B had previously been. Additionally, Smith will also head a newly established multi-platform breaking news division as its Managing Editor. In that role he will break in on-air and online with stories in primetime and throughout FNC’s broadcasting day. “Shep is a premier journalist and one of the finest newsmen of the modern era. He will exemplify the ethos that FOX News is when and where the news is, as it happens, no longer bound by a traditional evening format conceived in the 1960’s,” said FNC chief Roger Ailes in a statement today. No word as to what will replace the Fox Report in that desirable 7 PM slot but with Ailes bringing Kelly to primetime and fellow host Sean Hannity and Greta Van Sustern having signed new contracts earlier this year, there are more pieces on the board to move still. In terms of Smith, … Read More »
Turns out former Fox News exec Brian Lewis isn’t going quietly. Just over a month after being “terminated for cause”, the longtime close aide to Roger Ailes and FNC EVP Communications has lawyered up. And his attorney has come out swinging: “I have just been retained and am still plotting our course of action,” said Judd Burstein in a statement today. “But two things are very clear to me. First, Brian Lewis no longer has any confidentiality obligation to News Corp or Roger Ailes because of the false and malicious statements made by Fox to date. Second, Roger Ailes and News Corp have a lot more to fear from Brian Lewis telling the truth about them than Brian Lewis has to fear from Roger Ailes and his toadies telling lies about Brian Lewis.” Gawker first reported the hiring of the NY-based Burstein, who has represented the likes of Donald Trump and adman/TV host Donny Deutsch.
Related: Fox News’ Brian Lewis On His Departure
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UPDATE, 1:40 PM: “There has been rampant speculation surrounding my departure from Fox that I am not addressing at this time…I will say it has been an honor and privilege to work for Roger Ailes the past 20 years and I wish nothing but the best for him and the great people at Fox News,” FNC’s ousted EVP Corp Communications Brian Lewis told TVNewser this afternoon. Other than that, he had nothing to say, except to single out one press report about his exit as “particularly ludicrous” without elaborating, the site reported. Lewis’s exit has been linked to Gabriel Sherman’s upcoming book on Ailes and Fox News by various sources, including Politico and Matt Drudge. Sherman’s take on Lewis’s ouster, for New York Magazine, suggests Ailes had begun leaning more heavily on people other than Lewis for strategic advice. Sherman said that, in April of ’12, Lewis told him he’d been “overruled” a few days after the Fox News mole story broke in Gawker, as to how the network should react; Lewis told him FNC planned to sue Gawker and might try to have the mole arrested, Sherman wrote. Sherman also reported Lewis called Bill O’Reilly a “chucklehead,” in reference to a photo Gawker unearthed during its Gawker/mole period.
PREVIOUS: “Financial Irregularities” — that’s the intriguing reason given by Fox News Channel, which said today it terminated its EVP Corporate Communications and longtime Roger Ailes confidante Brian Lewis last month. “After an extensive internal investigation of Brian Lewis’ conduct by Fox News, it was determined that he should be terminated for cause”, the network said in a statement, citing also “multiple, material and significant breaches of his employment contract”. Fox News said Lewis was “terminated for cause” on July 25, but word of his departure leaked out today. Read More »
After years of a steady schedule, Fox News Channel is shuffling its primetime deck. The cable news network announced today that Megyn Kelly will be joining FNC’s primetime lineup in some as yet unspecified capacity. The daytime America Live host is currently set to go on maternity leave later this month. FNC also said today that it has signed new long-term contracts with its evening stars Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Greta Van Sustern, as well as news anchors Shepard Smith and Bret Baier. Both Kelly and Van Sustern were reupped by FNC back in early May. Read the release from FNC today here:
Megyn Kelly will move to FOX News Channel’s (FNC) primetime lineup upon her return from maternity leave, announced Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO, FOX News. Additionally, the network has signed long-term deals with Bret Baier, Shepard Smith, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren. A new schedule will be announced at a later date.
In making the announcement, Ailes said, “Megyn is an exceptional talent who has successfully filled and surpassed each role we have given her at the network. Her ability to command the screen, delve into the facts and lead a debate is what makes her one of the most sought-after anchors in the business.”
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Media are calling it an all-out book war. Vanity Fair’s website today published an excerpt from the March 19th biography Roger Ailes: Off Camera by Zev Chafets about the Fox News Channel lightning rod for media and political controversy. But the excerpt was devoid of much punch except for a number of insulting one-liners uttered by the 72-year-old Roger Ailes. But he stayed respectful of boss Rupert Murdoch and explained why their relationship works: because it’s profitable. (“Does Rupert like me? I think so, but it doesn’t matter. Our relationship isn’t about love—it’s about arithmetic. Survival means hitting your numbers. I’ve met or exceeded mine in 56 straight quarters. The reason is: I treat Rupert’s money like it is mine.”) Expected this May but apparently now delayed is New York magazine writer Gabriel Sherman’s book The Loudest Voice In The Room: Fox News And The Making of America. It was supposed to be an HBO film produced by MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski but that TV project too has been put on hold when Deadline first reported about it. As for Chafets’ book, Ailes reportedly agreed to cooperate with exclusive interviews and access to colleagues and family sometime after Sherman began working on his book. But Chafets’ publisher told Politico that Ailes “had no control over the editorial process”. Chafets is best known for having written a favorable biography of Rush Limbaugh. The third Ailes book is reportedly by Ailes himself but there’s no publication date as of yet.
Fox News Channel announced today it has brought former Congressman Dennis Kucinich on board as contributor to the top-rated cable news network. He will debut Thursday night on The O’Reilly Factor. “I’ve always been impressed with Rep. Kucinich’s fearlessness and thoughtfulness about important issues,” said Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes in a statement Wednesday. The strongly liberal Kucinich had represented Ohio’s 10th District since 1997, but he lost his seat in redistricting in during the fall elections. He ran unsuccessfully for president in 2004 and 2008. Here’s FNC announcement:
FOX News Channel (FNC) has signed former two-time presidential candidate and former U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) as a contributor in a multi-year deal, announced Bill Shine, Executive Vice President of Programming for the network. Kucinich will provide analysis and commentary across FNC’s daytime and primetime programming, as well as on Fox Business Network (FBN). He will make his debut in the new role on The O’Reilly Factor (8:00 PM/ET) this Thursday, January 17th.
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Fox News has confirmed New York Magazine‘s claim that Roger Ailes is cutting back air time for Fox News contributors Karl Rove and Dick Morris for the time being. (“The election’s over.”) Ailes told media watchers he had a “what the?” reaction to Rove’s election-night meltdown. Morris kept predicting a Mitt Romney landslide on Election Day. NYM says Ailes’ deputy Fox News programming chief Bill Shine “is requiring producers to ask for approval before lining up any Rove or Morris appearances”. Both pundits made several appearances in the days after the election, but their visibility on the network has faded since then. A spokesperson for Ailes denies any rift: Ailes and Rove plan to meet this week. Meanwhile, President Obama held a Tuesday afternoon briefing on the fiscal cliff for MSNBC primetime hosts Rachel Maddow, Al Sharpton, Lawrence O’Donnell, and Ed Schultz, who tweeted about it.
UPDATE, 11:45 AM: News Corp has made this official with a press release. See below.
PREVIOUS, 10:55 AM: In addition to leading cable’s politically conservative news channel, the new deal will keep Roger Ailes at Fox Business, the Fox station group, and first-run syndication unit Twentieth Television, Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz reports on Twitter. Although Ailes’ previous deal lasted until next summer, he was widely believed to be negotiating a high-priced renewal. Indeed, one report said he was angling for at least $30M a year, far more than his $21.1M package for the fiscal year that ended in June and even ahead of COO Chase Carey’s $24.8M. Ailes has a strong hand to play now: Profits from Fox News will be especially critical for News Corp next year after it spins off its publishing operations including Dow Jones. People close to the 72-year-old former GOP political consultant had hinted that he might turn the page and either retire or try something different — he said last year that he’d like to run the Cleveland Indians. New York magazine writer Gabriel Sherman, who’s writing a book about Ailes and Fox News, wrote last month that the news network “is his kingdom, and he rules over the operation unchallenged. He has yet to publicly designate a successor. And his competitive streak provides plenty of drive for him to keep the ratings numbers juiced.” Read More »
Apparently so according to New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman, who’s writing a book about Fox News and its founder. Although Ailes’ current deal runs to next summer, his lawyer, Peter Johnson — who’s also a Fox News contributor — has begun to negotiate a multi-year deal Sherman says citing “two sources with knowledge of the discussions.” One person said to be “familiar with the talks” claimed that Ailes may want more than $30M a year; this week News Corp reported that Ailes collected $21.1M for the fiscal year ending in June. Ailes could justify the increase by pointing to Fox News’ importance as a cash cow for the company. It will become even more central to News Corp once the media giant spins off its publishing operations. The problem: Rupert Murdoch made $30M and COO Chase Carey made $24.8M last year, and Sherman notes that it’s “hard to see Murdoch paying Ailes more.” Still, in previous run-ins with Ailes “Rupert has always capitulated,” the writer quotes an unnamed “intimate” saying. Meanwhile someone “close to Ailes” says that the 72-year-old former GOP political consultant is considering whether he wants to stay or find something else to do. Sherman’s book caught the eye of HBO, but execs decided in July not to proceed with a movie fearing that it would be tainted from the start by the channel’s ties at Time Warner to CNN.
EXCLUSIVE UPDATE: I scooped yesterday that HBO had done a secret deal for an Untitled Roger Ailes Project being executive produced by Fox News rivals from MSNBC. Today I’ve received this email from HBO Films President Len Amato: “We recently decided not to pursue the Ailes project. It had become clear to us before even receiving a script that due to our company’s CNN affiliation the film could never be seen as objective.” Interesting, because today I’ve confirmed that none of the dealmakers have yet been informed by HBO that the project isn’t going forward. “HBO was trying hard to keep the project under wraps,” one of the dealmakers tells me. My reporting blew that.
Related: HBO Targeting Roger Ailes With Movie Produced By MSNBC Rivals
The HBO movie would have been based on the upcoming manuscript by media writer Gabriel Sherman who has written two cover stories for New York magazine on Ailes and Fox News, including his mammoth article “The Elephant In The Green Room” which prompted complaints from the Fox News CEO. Last year, Sherman signed a book contract with Random House which at one point was tentatively titled The Loudest Voice In The Room: An Inside Account Of The Rise Of Fox News but isn’t formally titled now. NYC-based Hotchkiss and Associates made the HBO deal for the film rights to Sherman’s book tentatively titled The Loudest Voice In The Room on behalf of … Read More »
UPDATE: HBO Not Proceeding With Fox News’ Roger Ailes TV Movie Produced By MSNBC Rivals: “CNN Affiliation” Cited As The Reason
EXCLUSIVE: HBO appears obsessed by GOP Conservatives. There have been movies about the 2000 Bush vs Gore election standoff and Sarah Palin and most recently a TV series featuring George W Bush’s severed head. Now HBO has done a secret deal for an Untitled Roger Ailes Project. It’s based on the upcoming manuscript by media writer Gabriel Sherman who has written two cover stories for New York magazine on Ailes and Fox News, including his mammoth article “The Elephant In The Green Room” which came out a little more than a year ago and prompted complaints from the Fox News CEO. Last year, Sherman signed a book contract with Random House tentatively titled “The Loudest Voice in the Room: An Inside Account of the Rise of Fox News”. I’ve also learned that executive producing this latest HBO project are two of Ailes’ competitors: Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, the co-hosts of MSNBC‘s Morning Joe. NYC-based Hotchkiss and Associates made the HBO deal for the film rights to Sherman’s book on behalf of the Ross Yoon Agency. Scarborough’s and Brzezinski’s producing deal was negotiated by WME Entertainment, the Hollywood agency run by Ari Emanuel who is a Democratic activist (and the brother of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the former Obama White House chief of staff).
None of this has been announced … Read More »