The Week: Most Recent Media:Cable News Feuds recent posts.en-usThu, 03 Jan 2013 15:10:00 -0500http://theweek.com Recent Media:Cable News Feuds from THE WEEKThu, 03 Jan 2013 15:10:00 -0500Is Al Jazeera a legitimate news channel?<img src="" /></P><p>Just hours after Qatar-based Al Jazeera revealed that it was buying Al Gore's Current TV, Time Warner Cable announced on Thursday that it was dropping Current from its stable of offerings. Current executives said Time Warner was dropping their channel because it had not signed off on the transaction. Time Warner's move was a clear setback to a deal, reportedly worth $500 million, that marks Al Jazeera's most forceful push yet to get its news programs into American living rooms, and shed its reputation as the media arm of Islamists. So what's the network's story? Does Al Jazeera simply present the...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/harold-maass" ><span class="byline">Harold Maass</span></a>Thu, 03 Jan 2013 15:10:00 -0500Why Al Gore sold Current TV to Al Jazeera<img src="" /></P><p>It's easy enough to understand why Al Jazeera agreed to buy Current TV, the cable network owned by former Vice President Al Gore and business partner Joel Hyatt, on Wednesday: The Qatar-based pan-Arab media conglomerate has struggled to gain access to American viewers, and the acquisition of Current TV &mdash; to be shut down and replaced by a new channel based in New York, provisionally named Al Jazeera America &mdash; will pipe it into some 40 million U.S. homes. That will put it ahead of its nearest foreign rival, BBC World News, which reaches 25 million American TV sets. Al Jazeera, in announcing...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/peter-weber" ><span class="byline">Peter Weber</span></a>Thu, 03 Jan 2013 07:53:00 -0500The grassroots movement to get Piers Morgan deported: Could it actually work?<img src="" /></P><p>Can a foreign-born political commentator be deported for making political comments? That's the question &mdash; and the goal &mdash; of more than 60,000 Americans who have signed a petition to deport British journalist Piers Morgan for his outspoken views on gun control. On a recent episode of his CNN series <em>Piers Morgan Tonight</em>, Morgan called guest Larry Pratt, the executive director of Guns Owners for America, "dangerous" and "an unbelievably stupid man" for arguing that the U.S. needs more guns to fight gun violence. Pratt responded by calling Morgan "morally obtuse." (Watch a video of the heated...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/scott-meslow" ><span class="byline">Scott Meslow</span></a>Tue, 25 Dec 2012 13:00:00 -0500Can Jeff Zucker turn CNN around?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Jeff Zucker, the former head of NBC Universal, has been tapped to lead CNN, the middle-of-the-road network that has fallen far behind its more partisan rivals, MSNBC and Fox News, in primetime ratings. Zucker has long been one of the favorites to succeed Jim Walton, but <strong>his tenure at NBC had its ups and downs</strong>. He made&nbsp;<em>Today</em>&nbsp;the most profitable show on television as its executive producer, but was also responsible for a highly publicized spat between Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien that may have permanently scarred O'Brien's soul. NBC began to trail all three of its broadcast competitors under...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryu-spaeth" ><span class="byline">Ryu Spaeth</span></a>Thu, 29 Nov 2012 13:33:00 -0500How MSNBC is catching up to Fox News<img src="" /></P><p>Fox News has long dominated the cable news industry by serving up red meat for conservatives. But now, after years on top, the "fair and balanced"&nbsp;network is slipping, and liberal MSNBC is catching up. According to Brian Stelter at <em>The New York Times</em>, Fox still has two million more viewers than MSNBC on any given night. But on average, the two networks are separated by just "300,000 viewers in the coveted 25- to 54-year-old demographic that advertisers desire." And on the three nights following last week's election, MSNBC surpassed Fox in that demographic. "Were closer to Fox than we've ever...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 12 Nov 2012 17:30:00 -0500Can celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain save CNN?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper aren't exactly known for cursing and boozing, so when CNN announced&nbsp;this week that it was hiring profane hedonist Anthony Bourdain as a host, the news came as something of a surprise. The celebrity chef &mdash; whose loyal following enjoys watching him devour animal parts, guzzle alcohol, and pontificate on everything from Lebanese politics to Chicago hot dogs &mdash;&nbsp;will host a weekend travel show on CNN in 2013. Bourdain has hosted The Travel Channel's popular&nbsp;<em>No Reservations</em> since 2005 (the show will not be renewed after this season), and CNN...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 30 May 2012 13:29:00 -0400Why Univision's new Hispanic cable channel is in English<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">This week, ABC News and Univision announced the creation of a cable news channel for Hispanics. The twist? All the programming will be in English, which is a departure for Univision, the dominant force in primetime among Spanish-speaking viewers. The new channel, which doesn't have a name yet, will debut in 2013, and a companion website will appear this summer, just ahead of the November elections. Here, a guide to the latest addition to the cable news family:</p><p class="p1"><strong>What kind of programming will the network have?</strong>&nbsp;<br />Besides news, the channel will&nbsp;feature&nbsp;lifestyle, health, and entertainment...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 08 May 2012 14:05:00 -0400Does CNN need to lean further left to win back viewers?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">CNN's ratings slipped&nbsp;to a 10-year low last month, renewing concerns that the channel, which has positioned itself as nonpartisan, can't compete against its hyper-ideological cousins to the left and right. Liberal-friendly MSNBC is the greatest beneficiary of CNN's decline, and consistently enjoys double the number of primetime viewers. Fox News, the favorite cable network of conservatives, outpaced CNN long ago, and its primetime audience is four times as large as CNN's. Does CNN need to get in on the partisan shouting game?</p><p class="p1"><strong>Partisanship certainly worked for MSNBC:</strong> While CNN is sticking...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 04 May 2012 12:59:00 -0400Will anyone hire Keith Olbermann?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Well that didn't last long. Current TV, the languishing cable channel co-founded by Al Gore, fired liberal firebrand Keith Olbermann this week, ending a rocky, eight-month marriage. While Current claims the mercurial Olbermann flouted its values of "openness, collegiality, and loyalty to our viewers," Olbermann is lamenting his "foolish" decision to join Current, and says he'll sue. It's not the first time that Olbermann, a veteran of ESPN and MSNBC, has left an employer on spectacularly bad terms. For all his popularity with liberal viewers, the latest divorce is cementing the perception that...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 02 Apr 2012 11:40:00 -0400America's most loved and hated news personalities: A slideshow<img src="" /></P><p>Once upon a time, a handful of genial anchors dominated television news. Now the media landscape offers picky viewers dozens of options, spanning both the ideological spectrum and the likeability spectrum. Here are the country's favorite and least favorite news personalities, according to a new poll from Harris Interactive:</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 29 Feb 2012 14:48:00 -0500Was MSNBC right to fire Pat Buchanan?<img src="" /></P><p>MSNBC announced Thursday that it was dropping longtime political analyst Pat Buchanan, following a bitter controversy over his book,&nbsp;<em>Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?</em> The cable news channel had suspended Buchanan four months ago after critics said the book &mdash; with chapters such as "The End of White America" &mdash; was homophobic, anti-Semitic, and racist. Buchanan called the decision "an undeniable victory for the blacklisters" who lash out at anything challenging liberal orthodoxy. Did MSNBC make the right move, or was it wrong to silence Buchanan?<br /><br /><strong>It's about time...</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 17 Feb 2012 16:49:00 -0500Did MSNBC fire Pat Buchanan?<img src="" /></P><p>The pairing of pundit Pat Buchanan, one of the nation's most recognizable paleoconservatives, and liberal-leaning MSNBC has always been odd. And now the cable news channel has put Buchanan on indefinite leave. The apparent trigger: Buchanan's rabble-rousing viewpoints in his new book <em>Suicide of a Superpower</em>, which has chapters titled "The End of White America" and "The Death of Christian America." Since the book's release, the former GOP presidential candidate has appeared on the network just once, a promotional spot on Sean Hannity's program. "Because of the content of the book, I didn't think...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 09 Jan 2012 11:38:00 -0500Is Keith Olbermann on the way out at Current TV?<img src="" /></P><p>It sounds all too familiar: Keith Olbermann, who left ESPN in a huff in the 1990s and bailed on MSNBC&nbsp;last year after publicly feuding with his cable bosses, is at odds with network executives again. The newsman, who hosts&nbsp;<em>Countdown</em> and is chief news executive at Current TV, has been off the air for several crucial days during the network's coverage of the Iowa caucuses. Current's president says&nbsp;Olbermann chose not to anchor the election night coverage, with the cable star&nbsp;pushing back, claiming he was "not given a legitimate opportunity to host under acceptable conditions....</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 05 Jan 2012 18:12:00 -0500Morning Joe's 'obnoxious,' 'sexist' promo<img src="" /></P><p><strong>The video:</strong> "Sexist." "Icky." "Obnoxious."&nbsp;The reviews aren't good for a new promo for MSNBC's&nbsp;<em>Morning Joe.</em>&nbsp;(Watch it below.)&nbsp;The three-minute spot features the show's co-host, Mika Brzezinski, getting up early, making lunch for the kids, feeding the dog, then donning a skimpy running outfit before jogging to work through the streets of New York. Meanwhile, her male co-hosts &mdash; Willie Geist and Joe Scarborough &mdash; are shown drinking, smoking, gambling, and partying all night with young women. They just barely manage to put down the whiskey bottles and make it to 30 Rock...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 29 Nov 2011 11:15:00 -0500Should MSNBC give Al Sharpton his own show?<img src="" /></P><p>MSNBC is&nbsp;reportedly&nbsp;considering giving the Rev. Al Sharpton his own 6 p.m. show, hoping that he'll fill the star-power void created by the January ousting of Keith Olbermann. MSNBC would retain Cenk Uygur, who occupies the slot now, but move him into another spot. Though Sharpton is a controversial and high-profile civil rights leader, not a broadcaster, he has been subbing for Uygur for two weeks with better-than-average ratings success. Could he click as an MSNBC regular?</p><p><strong>Hiring Sharpton would be smart:</strong> This makes sense in many ways, says Colby Hall at <em>Mediaite</em>. "Sharpton is a...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 20 Jul 2011 14:29:00 -0400Why CNN canned Eliot Spitzer: 6 theories<img src="" /></P><p>As part of&nbsp;"a big shakeup of CNN's troubled primetime lineup,"&nbsp;the cable news network has cancelled Eliot Spitzer's<em> In the Arena.</em> Spitzer's show, which long struggled in the ratings, was originally a duet with conservative columnist Kathleen Parker. In February, CNN ditched Parker, and reformatted the show as a Spitzer solo act. But the program continued to flail, and Wednesday night's show was the last for the former crusading New York governor felled in 2008 by a prostitution scandal. Why did Spitzer have such a hard time finding a big audience, and what led CNN to give him the boot...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 07 Jul 2011 09:55:00 -0400