Brian Williams To Depart MSNBC
Had he not exaggerated his reporting during a field trip in Iraq in 2003, which led to his suspension and demotion in 2015, Brian Williams would have gone down as an evening newscaster legend. Williams, who has been with NBC News for 28 years, announced that he would be hanging up his boots this past week.
He is not retiring; instead, he will just be leaving the NBC News family at the end of the year. Williams, since 2016, has been anchoring MSNBC’s late-night news show, the 11th Hour. The show, which was supposed to be a temporary fill leading up to the 2016 election, proved to be very popular that it was permanently added to the schedule soon after.
Williams’ star continued to shine at MSNBC as he became one of the leading news anchors for the network during election night, and he was also at hand for its breaking news coverage.
MSNBC had offered Williams a contract extension, but he declined it, choosing to go the free agency route. Williams says he has no job lined up, but speculation has already begun on where he would go, with possible destinations being CNN Plus and CBS News.
With the departure of Williams, MSNBC is having an anchor crisis as he is the second high-profile news anchor to announce their departure. Rachel Maddow said she would be stepping down from her primetime show, moving to a weekly format, as she is looking for a simpler work schedule.
MSNBC president Rashida Jones, who is still in the first year of her tenure, has a lot on her plate as she ensures MSNBC remains relevant in the ratings game after these marquee departures. Whoever she chooses to fill those roles will have an enormous task as they have to fend off CNN, which will look to capitalize on this opportunity and at the same time try to catch up with Fox News, which is on a ratings tear.
(Los Angeles Times, New York Times, CNN)
Second Round Of EPL Bids Are Due This Thursday
The folks at the English Premier League must know that they are sitting on a hot property as they asked NBC Sports, CBS Sports/ESPN, and WarnerMedia, this past Thursday, to go through a second round of bids to earn the right to broadcast the soccer league within the US. NBC Sports which has been showing the matches since 2013, is in the final year of its $1 billion contract. By the look of things, this go around the Premier League intends to make more money with the next contract. They will likely split its soccer package rewarding more media companies and moving away from the one media house model showing. This strategy doesn’t bode well for NBC Sports as it has used the soccer content to boost its Peacock streaming service. The lack of soccer content will be a huge void to fill. (The Times)
Disney Plus Adds Two Million Subscribers During The Last Quarter
All the positive vibes that Disney was receiving because of the rapid growth of Disney Plus came to a crashing halt as the house of Mickey revealed that its flagship streaming service added just 2.1 million subscribers during its fiscal fourth quarter. This amount was lower than what analysts had expected. Still, Disney CEO Bob Chapek remained very optimistic, saying that “we’re confident that we are in the right trajectory to achieve the guidance that we provided at last year's investor‘s day reaching between 230 and 260 million paid Disney Plus subscribers globally by the end of the fiscal year 2024 and with Disney Plus achieving profitability that same year.” Chapek also said that they are going to increase content spending so that they can keep up with the other streaming services. (Broadcasting + Cable)
Disney Is Open To Letting ESPN Embrace Sports Betting
The family-friendly atmosphere that Disney espouses works well for most of its properties except for ESPN, which has had to walk the fine line when covering sports and adhering to corporate policy. But, that is about to change as Disney has shown the willingness to look away as ESPN is now contemplating joining the sports betting world. During its fourth-quarter earnings call, Disney head Bob Chapek said that they could attain significant revenue by getting into gambling and doing so, he said, will not affect the overall perception of the Disney brand as they had conducted internal research to determine if such an association would indeed bring harm to the brand. Based on those results, ESPN has been given the go-ahead to jump into sports betting. (The Streamable)
Shiona McCallum joins BBC News covering the technology space. (Talking Biz News)
Telemundo names Patsy Loris new executive vice-president of news. (TVNewser)
Dana Varisnky is moving to NBC News from Business Insider, where she will be a health news editor. (Talking Biz News)
Brittany Shepherd joins ABC News as a political reporter. (Brittany Shepherd/Twitter)
Maria LaMagna Morales joins CNN Plus as senior editor, content programming. (Talking Biz News)
ESPN resigns Jeff Passan. (New York Post)
Zoe Schiffer joins NBC News and a tech investigations reporter. (Talking Biz News)
Adam Boulton is leaving Sky News after more than 30 years. (The Guardian)
Former ESPN exec Jay Rotham joins the XFL exec team. (Andrew Marchand/Twitter)
Hallie Jackson Now to debut on NBC News Now Monday, November 15. (Variety)
A talk with ABC News’ This Week with George Stephanopolous’ executive producer. (TVNewser)
Netflix is looking to power its growth by going in with Japanese movies and shows. (The Streamable)
ESPN wants to put the Sunday NFL Ticket on ESPN Plus. (Front Office Sports)
Does CNN still stand by its reporting of the Steele dossier? (Washington Post)
NBC to air the Winter Olympics after the Super Bowl. (AdWeek)
Shaquille O’Neill believes Charles Barkley will not quit TNT’s Inside the NBA. (New York Post)
Nielsen is under pressure from networks to count streaming views. (New York Times)
Disney to be flexible with its theatrical vs. streaming releases. (The Streamable)
What consumers should have expected during Disney Plus Day. (AdWeek)
ABC News’ GMA3 this week to feature guest hosts from Good Morning America and World News Tonight - QR
ESPN’s Adam Schefter tries to make amends for his incomplete reporting on the Dalvin Cook situation. (Awful Announcing)
Hulu now has 43.8 million subscribers after adding one million subscribers. (The Streamable)
ESPN Plus now has 17.1 million subscribers after adding 2.2 million subscribers. (The Streamable)
Discovery chief David Zaslav indicates he will move to L.A. after the WarnerMedia-Discovery merger. (Variety)
Fox News’ Chris Wallace wins the Panetta Institute Jefferson-Lincoln Award for Commitment to Dedicated, Responsible and Bipartisan Journalistic Leadership. (TVNewser)
FuboTV grows to nearly a million subscribers. (MediaPost)
Fox Sports debuts a new score bug for college basketball. (Brandon Costa/Twitter)
Netflix releases its streaming video games. (The Streamable)
Netflix is going full steam ahead with entertainment journalism. (Next TV)
ESPN’s digital and social platforms shone in September. (ESPN PR/Twitter)
ABC News renews the Tamron Hall Show. (TVNewser)
CBS Sports acquires the Barclays FA Women’s Super League. (ViacomCBS Press Express)
Fox News’ The Five vice president Megan Albano discusses the show’s success. (TVNewser)
Kids’ content is in demand by streaming services. (The Streamable)
Check out ABC News’ Washington, DC. studios. (NewscastStudio)
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A MarkHenry Media LLC publication - Issue #68 - 2021