June 12, 2006
Abrams, a Duke University graduate with a law degree from Columbia University, began peppering NBC News President Steve Capus with memos about how to improve MSNBC shortly after Capus took over his job about a year ago.
“His memos were thoughtful and insightful and provocative,” Capus said. “There was one that was eight pages long. That was the one that made it clear to me that he was serious about an examination of the channel.”
Fox executives declined to be interviewed.
One school of thought on the FNC silence might be that FNC chose not to engage Winslow for this story given the shots taken at it by CNN’s Jonathan Klein and David Payne and MSNBC’s Bill Wolff. It’s no secret that FNC doesn’t view either CNN or MSNBC as its competition anymore. It has publicly stated that it views the broadcast news networks as the competition now. So engaging in a tit for tat with executives of networks it has beaten might be considered as rehashing a long since decided battle in their eyes.
I am not conviced that this battle is irrevocably decided though. FNC seems unstoppable but then so did CNN when MSNBC and FNC hit the air.
A strange pattern of MSNBC not carrying live news events occurred today. Early this morning while FNC and CNN were carrying the Iraq Military press conference, an emailer noted that MSNBC stayed with Imus in The Morning. Johnny Dollar emailed in later to note that MSNBC didn’t cover Jeb Bush’s storm prep presser and didn’t cover President Bush’s statement on how his Camp David Iraq war pow-wow was going. MSNBC instead stuck with The Abrams Report.
It appears Dan Abrams and Phil Griffin have some work to do…
From an emailer…
Fmr. Conn. State Prosecutor Susan Filan is hosting The Abrams Report today. This is about the 4 or 5th time she has hosted while Dan was sick or on vacation.
TMZ.com thinks Dan Abrams promotion is a “smart move”…
MSNBC has made a bold move by appointing Dan Abrams chief honcho at MSNBC. Based on what I know, it’s a smart move.
Dan and I have been friends for a dozen years. He’ll probably be mad at me for saying this, but sometimes I’d give him career advice as we worked out at a gym in New York City (not that I’m wiser than him, just older).
CNN announced that Charile Rose will be on Larry King tonight for his first television interview since returning to his show…
In an exclusive live interview, Larry King talks to Charlie Rose on Monday, June 19, about the PBS talk show host’s recovery from heart surgery. Rose returns to The Charlie Rose Show program tonight for the first time since the surgery.
Rose was traveling to Syria to interview President Bashar al-Assad when he felt a shortness of breath during a stopover in Paris. He underwent surgery in March to repair a heart valve.
Here is MSNBC’s official release on the news…
Dan Abrams, a nine-year veteran of MSNBC and NBC News, has been named General Manager of the NBC News 24-hour cable news channel, effective immediately. NBC News Senior Vice President Phil Griffin, who spent nearly ten years at MSNBC, most recently as vice president of primetime programming, will oversee MSNBC. Griffin will also continue to oversee NBC News’ “Today.” Abrams will report to Griffin. Both announcements were made today by NBC News President Steve Capus.
“MSNBC is a key asset in the NBC News portfolio and this management restructuring will enable it to build on the momentum it already has,” said Capus. “With his nine years of experience at MSNBC, Dan will bring an insider’s perspective to the job. Dan is passionate about MSNBC and has the experience and strategic vision to lead it into its second decade. We are also extremely fortunate that Phil Griffin will re-assume a leadership position overseeing MSNBC,” Capus continued. “Phil is an immensely talented executive and producer whose insight and drive are welcome as we focus on the future of MSNBC.”
GretaWire has an update…
Tonight, we’ll update you on Catherine Herridge and her son Peter. Catherine is now out of the ICU… and on schedule. She is in pain but she told me it is manageable pain.
Now that Catherine is out of the ICU, I can speak to her often and keep you up to date. We are sending a producer and video crew to her today to get her on camera so that you can also hear and see her. Her voice is very strong and her spirit likewise very strong. As you might imagine, we are all inspired by this story so it is with great pleasure that we report this story to you tonight.
Steve Capus’s internal memo to employees on the news that Dan Abrams will be named General Manager and Phil Griffin Executive In Charge of MSNBC…
We begin this week with some exciting news about the future of MSNBC. I’ve asked two MSNBC veterans to step up, take on new responsibilities and help me with the management of the cable channel. Dan Abrams is the new General Manager and Phil Griffin is the NBC News Executive-in-Charge of MSNBC.
Dan and Phil are known by each and every person who works at MSNBC and, for that matter, NBC News. It was important to me that we stay within NBC News as we looked for leaders to grow MSNBC and take advantage of the real momentum propelling the channel everyday. Dan and Phil join an enormously talented senior staff at MSNBC - and the new combination will be a formidable team. I’ve enclosed the press release that will be sent out shortly - but I wanted you to hear the news directly.
We will be hosting a “Town Hall” meeting for MSNBC employees this afternoon at 12:30 in the Main Studio. For those of you who are unable to attend, we will rerun the meeting on in-house channel 20, throughout the day. The meeting will also be carried live on Channel 20 of the 30 Rock Jerrold system.
Join me, please, in offering congratulations to Dan and Phil. At the same time, I thank everyone at MSNBC for their hard work, creative thinking and determination. Thank you.
The LA Times Scott Collins writes about MSNBC’s future after the fall of Rick Kaplan…
Executives have already started scrubbing some initiatives begun under Kaplan’s watch, including “Weekends With Maury & Connie,” a low-rated series with husband-and-wife hosts Maury Povich and Connie Chung. The brass is also said to be unhappy with “Rita Cosby Live & Direct,” a 10 p.m. show with the husky-voiced former Fox News anchor that after a strong start has struggled to build an audience.
Other offerings may just get tweaked, including shows hosted by legal analyst Dan Abrams, former Congressman Joe Scarborough and conservative pundit Tucker Carlson. But no one’s immune from scrutiny: Even the hard-charging Matthews, who’s spent seven years on the network, has been encouraged to interrupt guests less frequently.