January 24, 2007
Steve Capus’ State of the News Division internal memo to staff…
From: Capus, Steve
Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 3:28 PM
To: @NBC Uni News Everyone; @MSNBC Everyone (NBC Uni MSNBC); @NBC Uni News UK Everyone
Subject: State of the Division
As the New Year begins, one thing is abundantly clear: no one will ever be able to accuse this news division of standing still. We’re off to a fast start, with a series of significant developments.
The ratings performances for our broadcasts and online outlets demonstrate true leadership. Nightly News, Today and Meet the Press are all solidly in first place, during a time of intense competitive pressure. Brian, Matt, Meredith, Ann, Al and Tim, and everyone who works behind the scenes to support them, have made us all so proud. Dateline grew dramatically in 2006 and has been a big part of the turnaround in NBC’s primetime schedule - all credit to Stone, Ann and the Dateline team which is first rate across the board. At the same time, the News Productions business has grown and is a fantastic success story. The same can be said for our two MSNBC platforms. MSNBC.com, a clear leader in online news, is setting new performance records with each passing month. And what more can be said about MSNBC cable? Simply put: while other cable news outlets have struggled with shrinking audiences, MSNBC has grown and grown and grown. Lead by Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, Joe Scarborough, outstanding documentaries and imaginative daytime programming, we have a true advantage with our 24-hour cable news network. MSNBC’s momentum, creative push and editorial leadership will result in a 2007 to remember.
Peak viewing periods with number per channel for the SOTU:
FNC - 9:45-10:00 (4,762,000)
CNN - 9:45-10:00 (2,613,000)
MSNBC - 10:30-:10:45 (1,815,000)
FNC was number one by a mile last night. In Total Viewers and Demo viewers, FNC had nearly a 2:1 lead over CNN . But CNN didn’t finish in 2nd in the Demo. MSNBC did. That’s going to sting in Atlanta. MSNBC beat CNN at 11pm in Total Viewers and beat both FNC and CNN in the Demo at 11.
Cable News Daily Ratings for January 23, 2007
P2+ Total Day
FNC – 1,132,000 viewers
CNN – 622,000 viewers
MSNBC – 427,000 viewers
CNBC – 268,000 viewers
HLN – 209,000 viewers
P2+ Prime Time
FNC – 3,398,000 viewers
CNN – 1,732,000 viewers
MSNBC – 1,358,000 viewers
CNBC – 453,000 viewers
HLN – 362,000 viewers
25-54 Total Day
FNC – 345,000 viewers
CNN –200,000 viewers
MSNBC – 198,000 viewers
CNBC – 115,000 viewers
HLN – 97,000 viewers
25-54 Prime Time
FNC – 973,000 viewers
CNN – 535,000 viewers
MSNBC – 624,000 viewers
CNBC – 159,000 viewers
HLN – 144,000 viewers
Morning programs P2+ (25-54)
FOX & Friends – 752,000 viewers (312,000)
American Morning – 360,000 viewers (139,000)
Imus in the Morning– 377,000 viewers (164,000)
Robin & Co. – 168,000 viewers (90,000)
Dan Abrams internal memo to staff on MSNBC’s SOTU coverage…
From: Abrams, Dan
Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 4:46 PM
To: @MSNBC Everyone
Wow. What a night for MSNBC! We already knew that our State of the Union coverage was by far the most interesting and comprehensive, but now we learn that we beat CNN handily in the key demographic for the night as well. In fact at 11 pm, we beat both Fox and CNN!
On an evening as important as this one, this victory represents a crucial turning point for this network. So many people deserve so much credit– from the dayside team that started us off with the “all politics” coverage led by Susan Sullivan and Meghan Schaefer, to the NBC and MSNBC anchors who hosted those hours throughout the day, to the prime time teams led by Bill Wolff, Izzy Povich and Chris Licht, and of course, to our all-star political team led by the tireless executive producer of the day and night, Tammy Haddad. Tammy and her team must be singled out for their leadership and hard work resulting in a day that should make us all proud.
A special thanks to Tim Russert, Brian Williams, Tom Brokaw, Andrea Mitchell, Ann Curry, David Gregory, Campbell Brown, Chip Reid, Tucker Carlson, Norah O’Donnell and Phil Alongi. Joe Scarborough’s coverage from the floor and late-night anchoring also helped distinguish us.
Vice President Cheney’s interview with Wolf Blitzer is airing all afternoon on The Situation Room. It appears that the interview was contentious on several occasions. Here’s a highlight…
UPDATE: On Your World, Neil Cavuto asked White House Spokesman Tony Snow about the questioning of the VP regarding his daughter and Snow thought it was out of line and that there’s a different set of standards for this Administration’s children vs. the Clinton Administration.
BLITZER: Here’s the problem that you have, the administration: credibility with the Congress and with the American public, because of the mistakes, because of previous statements, “the last throes,” the comment you made a year-and-a-half ago, the insurgency was in its last throes.
How do you build up that credibility, because so many of these Democrats and a lot of Republicans now are saying, they don’t believe you?
CHENEY: Well, Wolf, if the history books were written by people who are so eager to write off this effort or declare it a failure, including many of our friends in the media, the situation obviously would have been over a long time ago.
Bottom line is that we’ve had enormous successes and we will continue to have enormous successes. It is hard. It is difficult. It’s one of the toughest things any president has to do. It’s easy to stick your finger in the air and figure out which way the winds are blowing, and then to try to get in front of the herd. This president doesn’t work that way.
If Doocy or the staff at Fox and Friends had taken to check their facts, or simply made a call to his office, they would have learned that Senator Obama was not educated in a Madrassa, was not raised as a Muslim, and was not raised by his father – an atheist Obama met once in his life before he died.
Later in the day, Fox News host John Gibson again discussed the Insight Magazine story without any attempt to independently confirm the charges.
CNN’s Political Ticker has a Dana Bash entry noting the bumper car like atmosphere for some high powered interviewees in the Post SOTU evening…
While Sen. Barack Obama donned a microphone at the CNN camera position on one side of a column, on the other side was Sen. Hillary Clinton getting ready for an interview with NBC News.
Just then, an elevator around the corner opened and Republican Sen. John McCain came darting out. He was just able to sneak past Obama and the CNN camera before the Illinois senator’s interview began.
Clinton wasn’t so lucky.
After her NBC interview ended, the “in it to win it” candidate was slated next for ABC, but there was a problem — the ABC camera was on the other side of CNN’s, where Obama was on live TV.
Obama was blocking Hillary Clinton from where she wanted to go.
“Is there a metaphor in here somewhere?” Clinton was asked.
“No, there’s just a very crowded rotunda,” she replied with a smile.
The San Antonio Express News’ Jeanne Jakle writes that about Ainsley Earhardt coming to FNC in February…
A Fox News spokeswoman said she’ll begin her new reporting gig on Fox — as well as handling overnight cut-ins — the first week of February. Earhardt couldn’t be reached at KENS as she is house hunting in New York this week, Davis said.
The New York Times’ Bill Carter writes about the spat between CNN and FNC over the Obama school incident…
On its Web site yesterday, Insight defended its report, saying, “Our reporter’s sources close to the Clinton opposition research war room confirm the truth of the story.”
CNN’s political director, Sam Feist, said he had seen the Insight report discussed on “Fox and Friends.” Mr. Feist said he wanted to determine the validity of what he said, if true, would be a “holy-cow political story,” so he sent a correspondent, John Vause, to Jakarta from Beijing. Mr. Vause’s report, broadcast Monday on CNN, described the Jakarta school as unaffiliated with Islamic fundamentalism. The school headmaster said it was a “public school” that did not “focus on religion.”
The president of CNN US, Jon Klein, said that his network’s report was “not a response to Fox per se, though they did seem to relish repeating the Insight-reported rumor without bothering to — or being able to — ascertain the facts.”
A Fox News spokeswoman, Irena Briganti, said CNN was mainly looking for publicity in attacking its higher-rated rival. Of Mr. Cooper’s comment, she said, “Yet another cry for attention by the Paris Hilton of television news, Anderson Cooper.”
MSNBC keeps on pumping out creative advertising. The latest ad for its political team is a homage to Monday Night Football with flashy graphics and animation with the sounds of helmets and pads colliding. They even use the old Monday Night Football theme music. Interesting that Olbermann gets top billing over Matthews considering Matthews is the political wonk…
MSNBC has been making clever use of their lower thirds in the post SOTU coverage near the top of the Midnight hour. They’ve been using them as teases for tomorrow’s programming and other coverage notes. MSNBC was advertising Don Imus’ guests (Tim Russert, Charles Schumer), tomorrow night’s Countdown (more Hillary Clinton interview), MSNBC’s SOTU live bloggers, MSNBC.com’s SOTU coverage, as well as reminding viewers to watch tomorrow for more SOTU wrap up coverage.
As of 10:50 pm, 25,000 people have voted on the President’s Speech…