CNN's Zucker: We will Do Less with Less

CNN boss Jeff Zucker is warning the staff that job cuts are coming at the cable news network.

“We are going to do less and have to do it with less,” Zucker said during a call-in to a news meeting last week. 

Zucker’s comments feed growing concerns among employees at CNN and other operations of Turner Broadcasting, which has nearly 13,000 full-time employees.

Zucker made his comments to staff the day after Turner chief John Martin sent a memo to staff saying a more streamlined company would be in place by the start of next year and that employees would begin hearing more in coming weeks. Turner executives are trying to refocus the business, including shedding costs, spending more on original programming to boost ratings and looking to prioritize other growth options.

Zucker said, “We now have a sense of what Turner is expecting from CNN. I am working with the senior management team at CNN to figure out what this means for us. This will result in changes and what we do and what we stop doing.”

CNN has already stopped doing a lot of news coverage under Zucker. If you work there, keep your head down and your resume updated. 

H/T Atlanta Journal Constitution 

Hmmmm? Maybe That's why all the Softballs

CNN's Brian Stelter acted as if his interview with Glenn Beck was a huge get. It always seemed to us that, Beck never met a camera or microphone that he didn't like.

Stelter interviewed Beck a couple of weeks ago on CNN's Reliable Sources and by many accounts, Stelter appeared to lob Beck a bunch of softball questions.

Then, word came down that Beck had met with CNN suits to talk about bringing his online Blaze network to HLN.

So, did Stelter know that Beck was talking to CNN/HLN about joining the network? And if he did, shouldn't he have disclosed that fact in his interview? 

Stelter took to Twitter to claim he knew nothing about the talks with his bosses:

If it's true that Stelter knew nothing about the talks, shouldn't his bosses filled him in? They knew that Beck was coming on Reliable Sources, did they not see there was a conflict? Shouldn't somebody have disclosed that information? If I was Stelter, I would be pissed that my boss made me look like I was hiding something. 

It surely makes the puff piece on Beck even more suspicious.

Also, it took over 6 months to get an interview with Glenn Beck?! Are you F-ing kidding me? I would have given up after 5 minutes, because honestly, who really cares?

Just saying.... 

Sinclair to Breathe Life into El Paso Station

If you're like me, you have always wanted to work in the big market of El Paso, but you just couldn't find a TV news job there.

Well, Today is your lucky day...... 

Sinclair is looking to breathe some life into El Paso's KDBC.

The company recently purchased KDBC, along with KFOX and is going to expand the station's news presence. 

For nearly five years, KDBC has broadcast its news programs from the corner of a studio inside a competitor, KTSM Channel 9, with little more than a desk, a chair and a news anchor.

But the CBS affiliate will soon move into a renovated Westside office building with KFOX and KDBC will once again have a studio, newsroom and sales force of its own.

“It’s a nice spin for El Paso because Sinclair, this huge broadcast company, has decided that El Paso is big enough and is healthy enough to come in here and invest,” said Kevin Hayes, general manager of KFOX, who will also run KDBC.

“For the first time in years, CBS is going to have their own set, their own control room, their own reporters, their own team,” Hayes said.

In addition, Sinclair is buying its two El Paso stations new live trucks and updating the stations’ graphics, including a new logo for KDBC. Hayes says KDBC on-air talent like longtime weathercaster Robert Bettes remain under contract with KTSM.

Hayes said Sinclair’s investment in El Paso, and the revival of KDBC, marks a major shift in the media landscape. It is also a vote of confidence by one the country’s biggest owners of local television stations in the El Paso broadcast market.

H/T El Paso Inc

Glenn Beck Kicking The Tires at HLN?

Sources say Time Warner is talking to Glenn Beck about a partnership with HLN.  If a deal was reached, Beck's "The Blaze" would take over HLN's cable position. The Blaze is a conservative 24-hour news and entertainment network funded by subscriptions and founded by Beck, a right-wing talk show host who built a huge following on Fox.

Time Warner has also been in talks with online news network, VICE.

So the bottom line is, there's a lot of talking and rumors, but no one has written a check. So there's still a chance we could wake up to the Al Sharpton Network.

H/T The Wrap


Al Gore, "Al Jazeera Using Underhanded Tactics"

There's some irony in the fact that Al Gore is suing Al Jazeera; the group that he sold his crappy Current TV network to. Gore says AJ is withholding millions of dollars in an escrow fund from the sale.

Gore contends Al Jazeera is using the 'underhanded tactic' of using the balance of tens of millions of dollars left in escrow to try to win over distributors to carry the channel.

The irony lies in the fact that "Mr. Global Warming" threw principles aside when selling to "Big Oil" supported Al Jazeera, all in the name of profit.

Neither side actually knows anything about running a TV network. But hey, at least they both share the same first name.

H/T Variety

Jose Canseco to "Meet The Press"?

NBC may have jumped too quickly in naming Chuck Todd as host of 'Meet The Press'. Former baseball star Jose Canseco is interested in the gig.

Canseco sent a tweet to NBC suits saying he is much better than Gregory or Kalb and even submitted a promotional shot.

Too bad NBC requires pre-employment drug testing and a background check. I think he'd have better luck sending this to Jeff Zucker. He could be perfect for 'New Day'.

CNN's Don Lemon 'Schooled' By Hip-Hop Star

CNN's Don "It's all about me" Lemon got a little surprise when he interviewed Talib Kweli in Ferguson. Lemon asked the rapper why he chose to go to Ferguson and participate in protests?

Kweli said the media was doing a horrible job of making sure the stories get out in the right way.

Then the interview went south and the two started arguing about who greeted whom:

KWELI: Let me explain something. I would listen to you if you had the decency—let me finish—if you had the decency to greet me.

LEMON: I do have the decency. I invited you to come on CNN.

KWELI: Let me tell you what happened. You didn't invite me. Nicole invited me, first of all. You came up—you didn't even say nothing to me. You were on your phone the whole time. You asked how to pronounce my name. You have no respect for who I am.

All of this on Network TV. I'm sure Walter Cronkite is spinning.

H/T Gawker