Good morning Washington. Perez Hilton is a WHCA guest! And Donatella Versace, too! And it’s the birthday of Politico’s Jonathan Martin and Mike Allen’s Mom. Speaking of Jonathan Martin’s b-day, Mike Allenhas this to say: “Without J-Mart, Politico readers would know a lot less and the campaign trail would have a lot fewer exclamations of ‘SOLID!’ and ‘SO GOOD!’ (Martin’s the last person we know who carries a checkbook in his back pocket.) No truth to the rumor that TAGG ROMNEY will jump out of the cake. But KEVIN MADDEN has a touching tribute: ‘Happy Birthday to Jonathan Martin — a guy who has Patrick O’Connor’s style, John Bresnahan’s charm, a face for radio and a brain that should be left for science.'”
Today’s “Angry Journalist” rant of the day: “With the exception of the Wall Street Journal, most of today’s print mass media is biased crap, agenda-based sensationalism, mere entertainment. I do believe there is a market for solid journalism (objective and fact-based), but readers like myself have to look pretty hard to find it.”
Washington Post reports, “Leon Walczak, 61, a retired Washington bureau chief for Business Week and a writer and editor who specialized in national politics, died March 28 of pancreatic cancer at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda.”
Also from The Washington Post, “Betty Miles James, 84, one of the first female reporters at the Washington Star, died March 18 of congestive heart failure at Ingleside at Rock Creek, a Northwest retirement community.”
“Democrats dominated election coverage by about a six-to-one margin over Republicans in a week when making headlines was not necessarily a good thing, according to a Project for Excellence in Journalism study of campaign coverage from March 24-30.”
Vanity Fair’s Michael Wolffereports, “The Sulzberger family would never let go of The New York Times. Or would it? With the latest shareholder assault on the ‘invulnerable’ paper’s management — this one from a couple of upstart hedge fundsâ€”the author plays out the most likely (and unlikely) scenarios.”
Wonkette reports, “Mystical Pennsylvania Foodstuffs Confuse NYT Reporter”
Mad.co.uk reports, “The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp since December, is set to sell its US print edition in London, the first time the newspaper has been printed in Europe.” Romenesko has more.
Joe O’Connell, a Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News reports, “What happens if the newspaper presses stop rolling? That’s the big question behind the documentary Stop the Presses: The American Newspaper in Peril, which has its world premiere today at the AFI Dallas International Film Festival.”
Slate’s Jack Shaferwrites about the New York Times, “The paper’s design director defends its expanded summary pages.”
Bloomberg reports, “A U.S. Senate committee plans to vote April 24 on a measure to reverse federal rules that let companies such as Tribune Co. own a broadcast station and daily newspaper in the 20 largest markets.”
E&P’s Steve Outingwrites, “I stopped getting the print edition of my local newspaper this month. Among my new-media expert colleagues, I’m behind the curve with that move; many gave up the print habit long ago. But compared to the general population, I’m still ahead of most folks. I admit, I feel a bit guilty about this. After all, I write for and offer advice to newspapers on an industry website.”
A NBC release announced, “MSNBC ends March 2008 tied for #2 in primetime in the advertiser-friendly 25-54 demographic, the best monthly finish for MSNBC compared to CNN since May 2001. In primetime, there is a true three-way race in cable news, with only 66,000 viewers A25-54 separating first and second place. MSNBC also delivered its best-ever quarterly weekday primetime ratings in 1Q08 in total viewers, and best in the 25-54 demographic since 4Q01.”
An ABC release announced, “For the week of March 24-28, ‘ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson’ was the #1 evening newscast among Adults 25-54 and tied for first place among Total Viewers. The ABC broadcast averaged a 2.1/8 and 2.55 million among key demo viewers, outperforming NBC’s ‘Nightly News’ by 90,000. Among Total Viewers, ABC and NBC both averaged 8.41 million.”
The New York Times reports, “The historic and long-running presidential campaigns of Senator Barack Obama and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton have injected issues of race and gender into politics as never before. With campaign coverage center stage on the cable channels, producers and critics are again assessing the diversity among pundits, who talk (and talk) about things like Mr. Obamaâ€™s pastor, the Hispanic vote, Iraq and the economy.”
Politico looks at the upcoming Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association dinner.
TVNewser reports, “FNC was the fourth ranked cable network during the first quarter of 2008 (during prime time), despite not hosting a debate during the time period. CNN, who hosted four highly rated debates, finished #14 while MSNBC came in at #27.” And, “Fox News had the top five program in Total Viewers, and 15 out of the top 20, during the first quarter of 2008. The top CNN program was CNN Election Center at #6, while the top MSNBC program was Countdown with Keith Olbermann at #20. The O’Reilly Factor was the top program during the time period.”
“While CNBC continues to grow in Total Viewers, the A25-54 demo numbers continue to slide. For Q1 2008, CNBC was down in many “business day” hours (5amET-7pmET) year-to-year,” reports TVNewser.
“Headline News had one of its best quarters in five years in Total Viewers (today day). Also, Glenn Beck Tonight at 7pmET posted its best quarter ever in Total Viewers, while Nancy Grace’s 8pmET hour scored its best quarter ever in the A25-54 demo,” TVNewser also reports.
CBSNews.com reports, “CBS, reeling from disappointing earning in the last quarter has done some layoffs, at the corporate level, and separate from that, at some local O&O stations. On corporate level, TVNewser reports that CBS News has made cuts in to editorial, technical operations and the bureaus. The total cuts amount to 1 percent of the staff, the post says.”
TVNewser reports, “In the first quarter, Fox News Channel was the most-watched channel in all of cable news, winning both the today day and prime time categories in Total Viewers. This marks the 25th consecutive quarter in which FNC has won these categories.”
Also, “In addition to MSNBC tying for second in the A25-54 demo in prime time for the month of March, the network experienced a 63% year-to-year increase in weekday prime time, averaging 885,000 Total Viewers.”
And, “As TVNewser first reported Friday, CNN did in fact win the ad-friendly A25-54 demo in prime time for the first quarter.”
The Wall Street Journal reports, “Consumers appear to be turning down the volume on television purchases. As the largest specialty-electronics retailers get set to report year-end results, recent consumer surveys and comments from a TV supplier and from club stores point to slowing TV demand. The category has been among the few bright spots in big-ticket spending for the home as the economy has weakened.”
TVNewser’s Gail Shisterasks, “Will Thrills Abound When Obama Plays Hardball?”
A release announced, “From his riveting radio reports of World War II to his dramatic television showdown with Sen. Joseph McCarthy, Edward R. Murrow established the gold standard for American broadcast journalism. Celebrating the centennial of the legendary broadcaster’s birth, Murrow’s son Casey Murrow and former colleagues Richard C. Hottelet and Marvin Kalb will explore Murrow’s life and legacy at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 24, 2008, in GW’s Jack Morton Auditorium, located at 805 21st St., NW. The seminar will be moderated by Michael Freedman, GW vice president and professorial lecturer in journalism and former general manager of CBS Radio Network News.”
The Village Voice reports, “Supposedly Democrat-Friendly MSNBC Has Let a Clinton-Hating Joe Maul New York’s Senator”
TVNewser asks, “Do Cable’s Pundits Reflect Diversity of Presidential Race?”
Radar reports, “Former Vanity Fair and New Yorker editor Tina Brown has more than her much-ballyhooed bio of Bill and Hillary Clinton coming down the pipeline: Radar has learned that the erstwhile ‘Queen of Buzz’ is partnering with InterActiveCorp honcho Barry Diller to launch her own news aggregator website. The site, Brown tells Radar, will have ‘no ideological stance’ and will be edited by Edward Felsenthal, the former deputy managing editor of the Wall Street Journal who is currently a consultant at Portfolio.”
A reader asks, “Have there been any talks of a website called Politics 2 or Politics II?”
The AFP reports, “They’re angry at their demanding editors. They’re angry about the mushrooming workload in shrinking newsrooms. They’re even angry about other angry journalists. But these angry journalists are happy they can now vent their frustrations to the rest of the world, courtesy of angryjournalist.com, a sort of online complaint board allowing ink-stained wretches to gripe anonymously. Ironically, their anger is partly fueled by the Internet, which has forced newspapers and television networks to reinvent themselves with painful consequences for their staffs.”
The New York Observer’s Doree Shafrirwrites, “‘There’s not one path anymore,’ David Hirshey, executive editor of HarperCollins and former longtime deputy editor of Esquire magazine, said the other day. ‘Thirty years ago, you worked at a newspaper, you moved to a magazine, and then you wrote books or screenplays. Today you can be a blogger who writes books or you can be a stripper who wins an Academy Award for Best Screenplay.'”
The New York Observer reports, “Interviews with editors of magazines like Wired, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Us Weekly and several others elicited more of the same:Magazines are not, for the most part, worried about the Internet.”
A release announced, “WAMU 88.5, America Abroad Media, and The American Interest magazine will present a special town hall entitled ‘Foreign Policy and the Presidential Election: America’s Image Problem’ at 7 p.m., Monday, April 7, at the Kay Spiritual Center on the campus of American University in northwest Washington, D.C. This event is free and open to the public.” For more, click here.
Matthew Felling is hosting the “The Kojo Nnamdi Show” today on DC’s National Public Radio affiliate WAMU 88.5 from 12-2pm EDT.
Slate’s Jack Shaferwrites, “Rupert Murdoch addressed the students and faculty of Georgetown University this afternoon, explaining the ‘creative destruction’ wrought upon the news and entertainment industries by changing technology. Murdoch cast himself as a relentless competitor, which he is, who has taken on entrenched monopolies and oligopolies around the world, which is also true.”
BtoB reports, “Despite the slowing economy, mergers and acquisitions in the media and information industries kept up a fairly strong pace in the first quarter, according to a report released Tuesday by media investment bank Jordan, Edmiston Group.”
NPR’s On The Media reports, “The Project for Excellence in Journalism released its annual State of the News Media report and the state of the news is strong.”
MarketWatch’s Jon Friedman is “Pondering the strange appeal of the Newseum”
Washington Post’s On The Plane reports, “The White House press charter that ferries journalists, presidential staff and Secret Service agents whenever the president travels has been grounded. The chartered jumbo jet is one of the 52 Boeing-777 aircraft that United Airlines ordered out of service today until it can inspect them for possible problems with the fire suppression systems in the cargo holds. The jet is currently here in Bucharest, where President Bush is attending a NATO summit that opens tonight.”