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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ratings for the week of June 22, 2009

Ratings for the week June 22, 2009 - June 26, 2009

Adults 25-54
FOX686,500 1
MSNBC395,000 1
Adults 25-54
FOX528,000 1
MSNBC327,667 2
Adults 25-54
MSNBC261,000 1

Last week started out like every other week in recently memory as far as the nightly ratings went. But the numbers changed once the announcement was made that the "King of Pop", Michael Jackson, had died on Thursday afternoon.

Let's start with FOX, they were on track to sweep the Adults 25 - 54 demographic ratings with a first place sweep at 8PM, 9PM, & 10PM on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. On Thursday & Friday, they found themselves in second place in all three prime time slots. The regular programming average for the week (using a 4 day average that excludes special coded programming on Thursday at 8PM & 9PM) put FOX with the highest average at 8PM and second place at 9PM & 10PM. (I haven't gotten to say that in a very long time!)

MSNBC was doing well in the ratings on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday with second place finishes in time slots except for Monday & Tuesday night at 10PM when they slipped to third place. On Thursday & Friday, they they were consistently third except for Friday at 10PM when they placed fourth. MSNBC ran special programming on Thursday night from 8PM - 10PM and also on Friday night at 9PM. Their Adults 25 - 54 demographic average for regular programming put them in third place at 8PM using a four night average (not including Thursday), third place at 9PM using a three night average (not including Thursday or Friday) and fouth place at 10PM using a four night average (not including Thursday).

HLN had regular programming all five nights and wasn't doing as well as they have in past weeks even at the beginning of the week. HLN was in fourth place in all time slots except at 8PM on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and on Friday at 10PM when they moved up to third place. This put their average for the week (using a five night average) in fourth place at 8PM and 9PM. At 10PM, the five night average pulls them up to a third place finish. Sometimes other network's special proramming hurts you and in other cases it helps you.

Last but not least, CNN's ratings for the week. Viewers may watch CNN on a daily basis significantly less now than compared to last year, but when a huge story breaks CNN's ratings sky rocket. The ratings for Monday through Wednesday were similar to what we've seen over the last several months. At 8PM, they were in fourth; at 9PM, they were in third; and at 10PM, they were in second on Monday & Tuesday (with John Roberts and Campbell Brown filling in for Anderson Cooper) and dropped to third on Wednesday. On Thursday and Friday, CNN swept all three prime time hours (8PM, 9PM, and 10PM) with a first place finish. The impact this had on the average for the week, along with CNN using their regular programming line up to cover the Michael Jackson story, left CNN in second place at 8PM and in first place at both 9PM and 10PM.

One more note about CNN's ratings on Thursday & Friday... CNN had the highest Adults 25 - 54 demographic ratings on Thursday & Friday every hour from 5PM - midnight. They also had the highest Total Viewer ratings on Thursday every hour from 6PM - midnight and on Friday from 9PM - midnight.

1 4 night average used. Thursday night excluded for special programming covering Michael Jackson's death on FOX at 8PM & 9PM and MSNBC at 8PM & 10PM.

2 3 night average used. Thursday and Friday night excluded for special programming covering Michael Jackson's death on MSNBC at 9PM.

^ Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Demographics where noted; Live + Same Day (LS) Fast Track Nationals.

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Monday, June 29, 2009

From Iraq to Afghanistan

Today is the day that Iraq takes over the running of the war... not that American troops are coming home: 130,000 will remain on bases in Iraq, to render assistance in a supporting role as the Iraqi army and police forces try to maintain control of the cities. Other troops will be heading to Afghanistan, to beef up our presence there.

On Saturday's edition of The Situation Room, Wolf Blitzer spoke with Michael Ware about what is coming next for Iraq. The conversation was recorded Friday:

Today on NewsRoom, TJ Holmes ran a report from Atia Abawi that looks at what American troops are doing in Afghanistan, and then spoke with Atia afterwards:

Later, Ali Velshi (filling in for Rick Sanchez) spoke with both Michael and Atia:

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I've had several requests to cross post these clips from yesterday, so here they are... during the early Sunday programs (NewsRoom and Sunday Morning), Betty Nguyen spoke with Michael Ware three times about the coming drawback of troops. Baghdad is currently coping with a massive sandstorm, and at the end of each clip, Betty and Michael had some fun with the weather discussions. Since we so rarely get to see Michael's playful side, it was a rare treat to see him laughing and goofing around a bit. Enjoy.




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Where in the World...?

MONDAY: Michael Ware is in Baghdad. Don Lemon was in for Heidi Collins; Ali Velshi was in for Rick Sanchez (above); John Roberts was in for Anderson Cooper.

TUESDAY: David Mattingly was in Columbia, South Carolina. Ali was in for Rick; Campbell Brown was in for Anderson.

WEDNESDAY: Reza Sayah was in Atlanta (having left Tehran, where he had been under virtual house arrest); Anderson hosted AC360 from Paris. Ali was in for Rick.

THURSDAY: Anderson co-hosted with Campbell during her program to cover the death of Michael Jackson; AC360 was two hours to continue coverage. Ali was in for Rick; Kitty Pilgrim was in for Lou Dobbs.

FRIDAY: Don was in Los Angeles; Sanjay Gupta was in Charleston, South Carolina. TJ Holmes was in for John; Carol Costello was in for Kiran Chetry; Betty Nguyen was in for Kyra Phillips; Ali was in for Rick; Kitty was in for Lou.

SATURDAY: Susan Roesgen was in Los Angeles.

SUNDAY: Karl Penhaul was in Atlanta; Don was on the red carpet at the BET awards.

It was certainly one heck of a week.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

State of the Union June 28, 2009

Hopefully, I'm going to be able to make it through this post without any of the technical issues that have plagued me this month. Sunday morning's State of the Union with John King started off with an interview with the Commander of the Multi-National forces in Iraq, General Ray Odierno from Camp Victory in Baghdad. The US has to remove troops from the cities in Iraq by Tuesday. They discussed the state of Iraq as well as the influence of Iran within Iraq. King also asked the General about the haircut he gave Stephen Colbert.

Between interviews, King took a few moments to look at some of the political ads that have started to air: both liberal ads attacking a Democrat not supporting the President's health care plan (which includes a clip from State of the Union) and the latest Republican and conservative ads. Personally, I'm not ready for the airwaves to become saturated with 2010 ads.

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) joined King in the DC studio. The main topic was health care reform: future of Medicare, a public option, and paying for healthcare. They also discussed the energy cap & trade bill that passed the House this week, the stimulus money Minnesota's received, the Senate race that still has not been resolved in the Governor's state, the damage to the GOP brand (as a result of philandering of several Republican politicians & campaign promises that aren't realized), the Republican's stand on same sex marriage, and is it "derelict of duty" when a Governor doesn't tell his staff how to contact him when he's out of the state.

John King was in Ohio this week and reported on the Republican party's 2010 political battle.

Howard Kurtz's Reliable Sources started with a look at the latest political scandal (South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford (R) ). Dana Milbank, Amanda Carpenter, and Nico Pitney joined Kurtz to discuss the scandal, and the publication of some of the Governor's emails to his mistress.

Pitney was the topic of discussion as result of a question he asked at a recent Obama press conference. Here's an excerpt from a report from Carol Costello:

Fair criticism or not, some say the President is fueling the fire by playing favorites. Before holding a press conference Tuesday, the White House gave Nico Pitney from The Huffington Post a heads-up the President was going to “call on him.”

President Obama: “Nico, I know that you, and all across the Internet, we’ve been seeing a lot of reports coming directly out of Iran. Do you have a question?”

In short – that’s unusual. And it didn’t sit well with some journalists.

Dana Milbank, who writes the sketch column for the Washington Post says, “Either a news conference with the President is an unscripted event or it isn’t. The question is when people tune into see the President in a news conference do they have any confidence that they’re in fact watching a news conference or is this some sort of a pre-produced television program?”

Nico Pitney, the national editor for the Huffington Post claims the question wasn’t scripted. Pitney IS well known for blogging tirelessly with protestors inside Iran. He says the White House knows that and called to inform him the President would call on him. Critics, he adds, are just miffed because the scripting of the press conference didn’t go according to tradition.

“President Obama, for whatever reason chose to do a different order, but everyone recognizes that the White House gets to decide how these press conferences go,” Pitney says.

Source: CNN AMFix blog

A heated discussion ensued between Milbank and Pitney over the circumstances that Pitney got to ask his question. All agreed that it was a valid question, but Milbank and Carpenter didn't like the appearance of the White House having influence of the press. Then the panel turned to ABC's White House health care coverage. You can read more about this on the CNN Political Ticker.

And of course, the discussion turned towards the media's coverage of Michael Jackson's death. The panel, Carlos Diaz, Eric Deggans, and Diane Dimond, took a look at the less than favorable coverage the pop star had received, is this story going to drag on like the Anna Nicole Smith story did, and although TMZ was the first to report the Michael Jackson's death, it wasn't credited with it.

A few quotes from the discussion:

DIMOND: I got a call from "Maclean's" magazine, the Canadian magazine, that said help, quick, can we excerpt parts of your book? Because we're going to do our whole issue -- we've thrown it out and we're going to do the whole issue on Michael Jackson.

So it depends on, what media are you talking about? I'm sorry, I'm a longtime trained journalist, worked right there in Washington, D.C., at the White House and Capitol Hill. And when the evening newscast is 99 percent Michael Jackson, now, I have trouble with that.

Their reason for being is to tell me what's happening in the world, all over the world, capsulize it for me, not just give me one story. So there I have a problem.

KURTZ: …Diane mentioned the network newscasts, which led Thursday night, Friday night, of course, with Michael Jackson. Back in 1977, CBS led with another story, the Panama Canal instead of Elvis' death. And it just seems like everybody is on this Jackson bandwagon.

DIAZ: It's because people are talking about it. I mean, you know...

KURTZ: Is that the standard? Is that the media standard, whatever people talk about becomes the most important story?

DIAZ: Yes. It is now.

I mean, I'm not a 40-year veteran of TV journalism, but I can tell you that you cater to what everyone is talking about. That seems to be the new standard. And everyone on Thursday, everyone was talking about Michael Jackson's death. Farrah Fawcett died five hours earlier, and it's as if she never even existed. So that's the thing.

Source: CNN Transcript, Reliable Sources, June 28, 2009

Just before this segment, John King provided a news update and as he handed it back off to Kurtz, they briefly discussed how the war in Iraq takes a back seat to other stories.

KURTZ: Hey, John.

You know, you led off this morning with General Odierno talking about the U.S. pullout from major Iraqi cities, which is supposed to be completed by Tuesday. And as you know, a series of bombings this week left more than 200 dead, and yet the coverage this week on cable and, to some extent, on the broadcast networks, Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Mark Sanford.

Are our priorities a little screwed up?

KING: Well, well of those things you just mentioned are legitimate news stories, but sometimes Iraq has become, I believe, the forgotten war. And we won't forget it here for obvious reasons. There are still, as the general said, 131,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, some key deadlines coming up. The question is, will they be home on time? So it does get overshadowed, I would argue, too much. It's a very important story, and we'll keep covering it.

KURTZ: I would agree with you, overshadowed too much. Thanks very much, John.

Source: CNN Transcript, Reliable Sources, June 28, 2009

How much information are stockholder entitled to on the health issues of a head of a company? Kara Swisher and Steven Levy discussed Apple's Steve Jobs secrecy over his health and recent liver transplant. Apple's stock has done well even though Jobs had taken six month leave of absence, but should they have been more upfront over the condition of Jobs? Swisher had an interesting parting comment on topic:

SWISHER: Here's the thing. Apple did very well while he was away.

I mean, I think the problem is we put him up as this iconic figure, and then Apple did just fine when he was away. They did even better. The stock is doing even better.

I mean, the idea that there's not a company behind this man, I always say he's not Willy Wonka and the Apple execs aren't Oompa Loompas. I mean, these are very talented executives

KURTZ: Right. Well, you know, we in the media tend to personalize these...

Source: CNN Transcript, Reliable Sources, June 28, 2009

Kurtz also took a look at sidekicks and the passing of Ed McMahon. And as Kurtz turned the program back over to King he reminded us that the news buzz earlier in the week was about a reality TV show (Jon & Kate…) but quickly swept through several stories including events in Iran, the deaths of McMahon, Fawcett, Jackson, the DC Metro train accident, and Governor Sanford's scandal.

James Carville and Mary Matalin joined King in Washington, D.C. this morning. The first conversation was about the health care legislation.

This led into a discussion on what adjustments the parties will have to make in order to succeed in the 2010 election and the fall out from the Governor Mark Sanford scandal. Its fun to watch Matalin's face while Carville is speaking, it's not uncommon to see her rolling her eyes.

King went to West Virginia for the CNN Diner segment this week. He was in Fosterville where coal mining is key to the local economy.

This week's political panel included Dan Balz, Gloria Borger and Dana Bash. The focused on the health care legislation including the possibility that in order to pay for it they will have to tax health care benefits, the climate bill that passed in House, Governor Sanford, and whether the Republican party can take advantage of Democrat "failures" to win elections in 2010 & 2012.

King referred to them as the "original hybrid" as an introduction to a report about Mule Day from Columbia, Tennessee.

The noon hour started off with a 40 minute repeat of the 9AM hour. While waiting for live programming to return, it’s a good time to take a look at the weekly staff briefing that was once again back in Washington. (If you want the TV screen in the background, you can see that this was taped during Wednesday's Situation Room.

King spoke with Karl Penhaul about the Honduras military coup. The President of Honduras, Jose Manuel Zelaya, has been taken to Costa Rica where he spoke to CNN.

The Last Word this week went to T. Boone Pickens to discuss the House climate legislation. Pickens made the argument that the legislation is only the first step. The US imports 68% of their oil from foreign countries. He wants to see the US move to natural gas and made frequent references to House bill 1835. King ran out of time and had to cut the discussion abruptly short in order for GPS on time at 1PM.

Here's this week's video clip of the "Sounds of Sunday":

Here are the links to this week's podcasts of the program:

Earlier this month, King was in Cleveland and was the keynote speaker at a CJN Foundation event. The Cleveland Jewish News had a write up about the appearance:

Photo Credit: Marc Golub/
Cleveland Jewish News

He came, he spoke, he conquered.

CNN chief national correspondent John King may not be Caesar, but as keynote speaker at last week’s CJN Foundation tribute event, he had more than 600 people in attendance at his feet. Funny and informative, the Roman Catholic-raised convert to Judaism wowed the crowd with stories about his spiritual path and insights on politics, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the media business.

King also noted his support for the Foundation’s project to create a searchable digital database of the newspaper’s 45 years of issues. King, who converted to Judaism 13 months ago before marrying CNN reporter Dana Bash, stressed the importance of preserving the history of Jewish Cleveland as the “cherished” legacy of future generations.

Since becoming a Jew, the Boston native, 45, said, “I feel like a new person who (had) lost track of who I was.” He and his wife keep kosher at home, he added, noting how faith “sets your compass.”

In a lighter vein, he joked about his interests and talents derived from his non-Jewish heritage. lHis refrigerator at home is stacked with beer. And recently he fixed his own garbage disposal, an ability passed down from his father, who taught him carpentry, plumbing and electrical skills. The traits have led his wife to often quip: “You are so not a Jew.”

You can read the full article on The Cleveland Jewish News website.

One final note tonight… here are links to the latest articles by Tom Foreman in Metro:

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturday's Scoop

Christiane Amanpour did an interview with The Women on the Web where she discusses the crisis in Iran, the role of women in the Iran conflict and many other topics. Click here for the article.

We received the following note as a comment on last week's blog. Thank you to the person who posted the comment! Here is the goodbye letter Alessio Vinci wrote to CNN

Dear friends and colleagues,

It's never easy to say good bye to a company like CNN; let alone when you have been working here for 20 years.

Nevertheless, I have decided to accept an offer to continue hosting a leading news and current affairs show on Italian Television. The decision was made all the more arduous by the fact that I'm leaving behind an amazing group of people with whom I have shared innumerable assignments around the world.

After such a long time at CNN, there are countless people to whom I will always be immensely grateful - at a professional and personal level. I can't possibly mention them all here.

But there are a few who I'd like to thank: Eli Flournoy and Kim Norgaard, the two guys with whom I started off back in 1990, when my accent was so thick I never dreamed I'd ever be allowed on-air!

Parisa Khosravi - who has believed in me from the very beginning and Tony Maddox who has always been understanding and supportive.

Finally, Hada and Alessandro with whom I shared my last few years.

The good thing about my new job is that I will always be based in Rome, with virtually no travel involved. That means, anytime any of you wish to come and visit I will always be here.

The best way to reach me is at:

[email address redacted]

Thank you all, once again, and please do stay in touch.

Ciao from Rome,


Congratulations to Dan Rivers, CNN's Bankok Correspondent, on the birth of Amelie Saffron Elizabeth Rivers (6lb 3oz)

Programming Note Reminder: Don Lemon will be hosting "CNN Presents: 'Man in the Mirror" today and tomorrow at 8pm, 11pm, and 2am.

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Man in the Mirror Hosted by Don Lemon

Don Lemon CNN Man in the Mirror Michael Jackson June 25, 2009

A quick programming note for you...

CNN Presents: 'Man in the Mirror': A special CNN Presents takes an in-depth look at the life and legacy of Michael Jackson. On Saturday and Sunday at 8p/11p/2a ET. Hosted by Don Lemon.

Don Lemon CNN American Morning June, 26, 2009 Los Angeles

More information can be found on CNN's website where they have posted a timeline and pictures of Jackson's life. Don Lemon was reporting from Los Angeles this morning. This afternoon, he provided a behind the scenes look at the location where CNN was setup.

Don Lemon CNN American Morning June, 26, 2009 Los Angeles

If you've been following Lemon on twitter, he was questioned about his glasses and posted a picture.

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Ware: Back in Baghdad

Well, it's been awhile since I've been able to do an all-Michael Ware post, but here we have one. Michael is back in Baghdad in the run-up to the beginning of the end of the American-led war in Iraq -- per the SOFA signed by the Bush administration, as of June 30th US troops are required to pull out of the cities and can only re-enter them at the invitation of the Iraqi government.

Monday, Michael spoke with International's Hala Gorani about the latest rash of bombings:

A few hours later he spoke with Hala again with the latest death tolls:

On Tuesday, Michael Holmes interviewed Michael for BackStory. It was 8pm in Baghdad, and things were a bit casual; however, Michael apparently felt that if he was going to be interviewed he ought to at least be shod. (I'd say "Crikey!" but he'd probably hurl one of those shoes at me... so instead I'll just quietly grumble about his pesky journalistic ethics.) This very short clip teased the interview (and yes, for you Tommy Evans fans, there he is in the background at his familiar post):

Due to some technical glitches, the interview itself was split into two segments, running Tuesday and Wednesday. This is the full clip as posted to

Wednesday and back on Hala's program after another heartbreaking major bombing:

Domestic finally got some airtime with Michael, as Wolf Blitzer talked to him about the bombings and the increase in tensions. Jack Cafferty also had a comment:

And this morning, John Roberts talked to him briefly as well:

It's always good to hear Michael's perspective on what's going on in Iraq, even though we seem to be heading into yet another very dangerous time there; nobody knows the players and reads the currents as well as he does. (We're also looking forward to the AC360 special that he and Tommy were working on in Pakistan recently, which is slated to air next month.)

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Out of the Box June 24

Soledad O'Brien to receive award on 7/3

Better Late Than Never

CNN’ers at the White House Correspondents Dinner

Roland Martin posted the following tweet. "I'm hosting several Black In America screenings in DC, Philly, Atlanta, NY, New Orleans in July. And I'll be at Essence July 3-6; Alonzo Mourning's Summer Groove July 8-11;and the Alpha Phi Alpha convention July 17-19. So it will be a busy July when I return from vacation ..."

Roland Martin to address NABA members at 40th anniversary celebration

Fareed Zakaria at Pacific Coast Builders Conference

Launch Party for Larry King’s book

Alina Cho attends cocktail party for Bulgari in support of Save the Children

6/15 Time Warner Center summit moderated by Christine Romans, Ali Velshi, and Andy Serwer
Picture of Christine Romans from 6/15 even

Soledad O’Brien moderates Public Forum on “The Evolution of Blacks in Accounting ... NABA Impact”.

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ratings for the week of June 15, 2009

Ratings for the week June 15, 2009 - June 19, 2009

Adults 25-54
Adults 25-54
Adults 25-54

The network that had the highest Adults 25 - 54 demographic all five nights during the 8PM, 9PM, and 10PM hours: FOX. And everyone else... MSNBC took second place during 8PM and 9PM after landing in second place four out of five nights during both time slots.

HLN came in third place during the 8PM hour with four third place finishes and one second place finish. At 9PM, they remain in fourth place.

CNN continued in fourth place during the 8PM timeslot. During the 9PM hour, CNN came in third place for the week after four third place finishes and one second place.

I left the 10PM ratings to last since the day to day ratings were all over the place. When all five days were averaged, CNN came in second for the week after coming in third place twice (Monday & Thursday), second place twice (Tuesday & Wednesday), and fourth place on Friday. Third place for the hour goes to MSNBC. They also came in second place twice (Monday & Thursday), third place twice (Wednesday & Friday) and fourth place on Tuesday. HLN follows behind in fourth place after coming in fouth three times (Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday), and second place (Friday) and third place (Tuesday) once each.

^ Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Demographics where noted; Live + Same Day (LS) Fast Track Nationals.

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Can't Stop the Signal

The demonstrations and violence in Iran continues, and the ability for international media to cover the events became more difficult, with authorities first limiting reports to one per day and then enforcing a rule that everything must be cleared by the state prior to broadcast. Friday, Reza Sayah was able to do his single report, in which he spoke first with Hala Gorani and then Wolf Blitzer. Both portions were carried on Domestic:

Reza has not been on the air since Friday, presumably because the monitors are not approving his reports. Iranians are bravely risking imprisonment and worse to get information out to the rest of the world.

On NewsRoom yesterday, they showed a clip of Michael Holmes talking to Ivan Watson about how Iranian police and the offical thug-squad known as the Basij deal with unrest:

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There is also news from other international fronts -- Phil Black reported Sunday on the massive bomb set off in Kirkuk which created the largest death toll so far this year in Iraq:

And this morning he had a report on the situation in Mosul, where there are serious concerns about whether the lid can be kept on the violence when US troops are required to leave Iraqi cities next week:

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Nic Robertson reported this morning on a campaign by the Pakistani army to retake Buner from the Taliban:

Nic also has been reporting on the escape of a New York Times reporter who has been held captive by the Taliban for the past seven months. Media outlets had not publicized David Rohde's abduction in Kabul last November for fear of putting him in increased danger from his captors, but when Nic met with the spokesman for Mullah Omar recently, he did ask about him:

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Where in the World...?

MONDAY: TJ Holmes was in for John Roberts; Kitty Pilgrim was in for Lou Dobbs.

TUESDAY: Reza Sayah was in Tehran; Christiane Amanpour was in London; Ivan Watson was in Istanbul. TJ was in for Rick Sanchez.

WEDNESDAY: John King was in Cleveland. Wolf Blitzer was in for Larry King.

THURSDAY: Ivan was in Atlanta; Gary Tuchman blogged while on vacation in Morocco; Anderson Cooper tried to get to Washington for an interview but his flight was unable to land there and went back to New York. Don Lemon was in for Heidi Collins; Wolf was in for Larry, who was in Dallas to interview the Jonas Brothers. Campbell Brown's program was bumped for a Money & Main Stspecial. Domestic took the International feed overnight to cover Ayatollah Khamenei's speech.

FRIDAY: Carol Costello was in for Kiran Chetry; Betty Nguyen was in for Heidi; Wolf was in for Larry; Erica Hill was in for Anderson. Domestic took the International feed overnight to cover the Iranian protests.

SATURDAY: Betty and TJ were on an hour early to cover the Iranian protests; Nic Robertson reported from Islamabad. Domestic took the International feed overnight to cover the Iranian protests.

SUNDAY: Phil Black was in Baghdad and Mosul (above).

(Also, it seems like Ivan Watson and Josh Levs were on nearly constantly all weekend, they really did an incredible job.)

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

State of the Union June 21, 2009

Welcome to a shortened version of Sunday highlights from State of the Union with John King. Computer issues have left me to rely solely on a handful of video clips.

First, lets start with the behind the scenes clip from Ohio:

While in Ohio, King reported on the Cleveland Clinic which doesn't operate like a typical hospital:

John King also stopped by Progressive Field not only to see the Indians play the Brewers, but to talk to three fathers who had brought their kids to the ballgame.

Back in DC this morning, King interviewed four Senators about the protests in Iran and more discussion on health care reform. One particular answer from Senator Feinstein caught my eye:

KING: With me here in Washington, Republican Richard Lugar and Democrat Dianne Feinstein. In Iowa, Republican Chuck Grassley and from Pennsylvania, Democrat Bob Casey.

Let's get straight back to our conversation about Iran and first, a bit of history. It was Persia until 1935, then in 1953, a coup engineered in part by the United States and Britain knocked out the prime minister of Iran and the shah returned to power. Then in 1979, the Islamic revolution, the shah and his family were forced into exile, the Islamic Republic of Iran is proclaimed, and Ayatollah Khomeini returns from exile. And we all know tragically 52 Americans were taken hostage inside the U.S. Embassy. Today, we see violence in the streets over Ahmadinejad's disputed reelected victory. Human rights organizations say prominent activism politicians are being arrested.

Senator Feinstein, I want to come to you out of the context, especially, given the role in the past. The United States and the British government did interfere in Iranian politics. It may have been 50 something years ago. You're the chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee again. You are briefed when the United States does things covertly. You saw the Iranian foreign minister saying Britain, Germany, France, the United States are meddling in their affairs. Can you look the American people in the eye this morning and say absolutely not, no U.S. taxpayer dollars are being spent to undermine the regime?

FEINSTEIN: I can say this, to the best of my knowledge, there has been no interference with the election, there has been no manipulation of people following the election. These questions have been asked as late as this past week of people in the clandestine operations who would know this and in a formal setting, and that's the answers we were given.

So I think, you know, by blaming the United States and Great Britain, the regime is trying to take the responsibility from its own shoulders and clearly I think most people see that the responsibility belongs on those shoulders, not ours.

KING: Do you trust -- I'm going to stay with you for one second because of your role. Do you trust the intelligence? The legacy of Iraq was we put too much reliance on dissidents who may have an axe to grind or electronic eavesdropping and not enough intelligence on the ground, eyes and ears that we know and trust. Do you trust the intelligence you get from Iran?

FEINSTEIN: Well, I don't think our intelligence candidly is that good. I think it's a very difficult country in which to collect intelligence right now. So I think our ability to get in there and change the course of human events is very low, to be very candid with you.

Source: CNN Transcript, State of the Union with John King, June 21, 2009.

For some reason the words "plausible deniability" came to mind while listening to the Senator's answers. Maybe it is just my cynicism peaking whenever I hear a politician go out of their way to clarify a response.

The political panels included David Gergen, Gloria Borger, and Brianna Keilar. Bill Bennett and Donna Brazile were the two strategists this morning.

And finally, here's John King's recap of the "sounds of Sunday":

This week's podcasts:

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday's Scoop

Reza Aslan has a new article in Time. Click here for the article.

Forbes has published a list of personalities that are "poised 'to become a breakout star' in the world of entertainment". Among them, Campbell Brown, who said: 'I am immensely flattered but, sadly, I fear my talents are limited to good old fashioned journalism.' Click here for the link from

Best of luck to Alessio Vinci who we learned through Twitter will be leaving CNN.

The video above was posted on Twitter by one of Kyra Phillip's producers. You can follow Kyra through @KyraCNN.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Who Runs Iran?

The election turmoil in Iran continues to dominate the news this week, and I have been trying to pull some clips that explain what is happening as far as the political realities within the country.

Tuesday, Ivan Watson (in Istanbul) filed a report explaining what the Guardian Council is and why they are important in this process. Afterwards, Tony Harris asks him questions regarding the various factions of protesters:

Later, the same report airs on The Situation Room, followed by a different comment from Ivan. Then, Wolf Blitzer does a brief bio of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei:

Tuesday night on AC360, Anderson Cooper hosts a three-way discussion with Christiane Amanpour, Reza Aslan, and political scientist Kaveh Afrasiabi:

On Wednesday's NewsRoom, Heidi Collins spoke with Reza about the future stability of Iran -- how will things change because of what is happening now? However this resolves, things have changed, spurred especially by the technology of the internet and social networking sites:

Today on American Morning, John Roberts talked with Middle Eastern scholar Fawaz Gerges about the power structure inside Iran:

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Out of the Box June 17

David Gergen

David Gergen to speak at Leadership Summit 6/23

Soledad O’Brien

CNN to be honored by the Trevor Project at the ninth annual Trevor New York gala on 6/29. The award will be accepted by Soledad O’Brien

Jeffrey Toobin

Jeffrey Toobin to be featured speaker at ABA 2009 Silver Gavel Awards Presentation on 7/1

Better Late Then Never

David Gergen

Info on David Gergen’s talk at the Growth Conference on 6/3

David Gergen to speak at The Willow Creek Leadership Summit 8/6-8/7

Soledad O’Brien

Soledad O’Brien speaking on 6/9 in Boston
Alina Cho

Alina Cho attends party for GQ Creative Director Jim Moore on 6/11
Alina Cho attends party to celebrate Clive Christian’s new furniture showroom in NYC

Thanks again to Julie for the great finds ~ Sapphire
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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ratings for the Week of June 8, 2009

Ratings for the week June 8, 2009 - June 12, 2009

Adults 25-54
Adults 25-54
Adults 25-54

Once again, FOX consistently had the highest Adults 25 - 54 demographic all five nights and for all three prime time hours.

As for everyone else... at 8PM, it was almost a sweep. MSNBC had the second highest average ratings for the week after coming in second on four out of five nights. Next, comes HLN in third (they came in second one time and the rest of the week slipped to third.) CNN was a consistent fourth all five nights.

The 9PM hour mirrored the 8PM hour... MSNBC came in second place four out of five nights. CNN came in third four out of five nights. HLN held the fourth place spot all five nights.

During the 10PM hour - all three networks took second place on at least one night. At the end of the week, HLN had the second highest average for the week. Three of the nights they were in third place and two nights they took second place. CNN's average for the week put them in third place even though they had two second place finishes, but the two third place finishes and the one fourth place finish (on Friday night) brought their average for the week down. MSNBC took second place on Friday night, but lagged behind in fourth the other four nights.

^ Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Demographics where noted; Live + Same Day (LS) Fast Track Nationals.

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.
All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Slow-moving Military Coup

Events in the Iranian election certainly caught everyone off-guard this week, and in fact devolved so quickly that it was hard to keep up with them. Here, Reza Aslan talks to John Roberts on Thursday's American Morning, before the bottom fell out:

Friday, Reza spoke with Rick Sanchez about what was clearly coming into focus as massive election fraud:

(Reza has a column posted today on The Daily Beast that is the source of the post title.)

Here also are the clips from Sunday's Fareed Zakaria GPS of Christiane Amanpour's report from Tehran and the panel discussion:

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Also, a look at the latest move for al Qaeda, reported by Barbara Starr, with an appearance from Peter Bergen:

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Where in the World...?

MONDAY: Joy Behar was in for Larry King.

TUESDAY: Christiane Amanpour was in Tehran to cover the election; Nic Robertson was in London; Ted Rowlands was still in Wichita, Kansas.

WEDNESDAY: Allan Chernoff was in Miami; John King was in Orlando; Ed Lavendera was in Mexico City; Karl Penhaul was on Fernando de Noronha Island, Brazil; Anderson Cooper was in Los Angeles.

THURSDAY: Don Lemon was in Hamilton, Bermuda; Anderson was still in Los Angeles. Kitty Pilgrim was in for Lou Dobbs.

FRIDAY: Gary Tuchman was in Chicago. Kitty was in for Lou. AC360 was a special report, "American Radical: The Lone Wolf" (above).

SATURDAY: no events

SUNDAY: no events

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