And Now, The Memos (NBC)

By Chris Ariens Comment

NBCNews_9.8.jpgIt’s common for news execs to give their hardworking staff a pat on the back for a job well-done. In this age, it’s more of an e-pat. TVNewser obtained an email exchange between Tom Linder, News Director at the Minneapolis station KARE, to NBC News president Steve Capus. Part of it is below…

From: Lindner, Tom

Sent: Friday, September 05, 2008 9:50 AM

To: Capus, Steve (NBC Universal)

Subject: Thank you from KARE

The Peacock is strutting proudly today in Minnesota.

Allow me a personal moment to thank you and your teams for unprecedented cooperation in helping us do the best job of covering the RNC in our backyard.

It goes on.
Capus replied. And part of that email is below…

From: Capus, Steve (NBC Universal)

Sent: Friday, September 05, 2008 12:32 PM

To: ‘Lindner, Tom’

Subject: RE: Thank you from KARE


Thank you so much for taking the time to send this note. It means the world to all of us. In my experience, the relationship with NBC News and KARE has always been rock solid and built on mutual respect.

TVNewser was also sent the note Capus emailed to the NBCU staff Friday night (after the jump). It includes a shout-out to Olbermann and Matthews. “Our coverage hosted by Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews attracted twice the audience as in 2004 for the conventions.”

From: Capus, Steve (NBC Universal)
Sent: Friday, September 05, 2008 7:15 PM
To: @NBC Uni News Everyone; @MSNBC Everyone
Cc: Zucker, Jeff (NBC Universal); Tillinghast, Charles (NBC Universal, MSNBC)
Subject: Political coverage

Senator McCain last night accepted his party’s nomination at the Republican convention, concluding a remarkable two-week span in American politics – and here at NBC News. In millions of ways, Americans have cast their votes in support of NBC News political coverage. NBC News has produced the highest rated, most watched coverage of any network. What’s more, we’ve produced coverage which has been truly fair, complete, honest, respectful and balanced.

Here are some performance highlights for which the entire division can take great pride:

NBC’s primetime coverage of the RNC, anchored by Brian Williams, was the highest rated broadcast political programming every night this week. On Monday, the combination of hurricane Gustav and RNC coverage produced by the Dateline team also won the 10p timeslot. Last week’s NBC News coverage of the DNC ranked first three of the four nights.
Also on the broadcast side: Meet the Press with Tom Brokaw continues to dominate Sunday morning television. The first-place Today Show put even more distance on its competitors, with Matt in Denver and Meredith in St. Paul and Ann Curry playing a key role in primetime. Nightly News is alone at the top of the evening battles, with Brian’s convention coverage setting the standard.

MSNBC political coverage on cable was thorough and generated huge viewership. The “Morning Joe” broadcasts at the Denver and St. Paul diners were must-see programs for political junkies: First rate guests, with a diversity of viewpoints, kicked around the political stories of the day. The same held true throughout the day with hours hosted by Brian Williams, Andrea Mitchell, Tom Brokaw, David Gregory, Chuck Todd, Norah O’Donnell, David Shuster, Dan Abrams, Kevin Corke, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough.

And in primetime – MSNBC had spectacular growth during the conventions. Our coverage hosted by Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews attracted twice the audience as in 2004 for the conventions… and scored a solid second place in the key 25-54 demo during the DNC week. Here’s a fact that is too often overlooked: Year to date, in total day and sales prime ratings, MSNBC has earned the number one position for adults 18-34 in cable news.

The online political news race also goes to The site surged past its competitors and has become the web’s premiere destination for the best political news, analysis and video. Of’s 29 million total online video streams for the week ending August 30, 16 million streams – or 55% — were politics-related. And the site’s Decision ’08 Dashboard enjoyed 67-million page views during the week ending August 30th… with all signs pointing to enormous success during the RNC week, as well.

This performance gives us tremendous momentum as we head into the election season’s homestretch. We could not have hoped to achieve any of this success without the tireless work of Phil Alongi, Marion Porges, Naomi Karam and the political desk, Phil Griffin, Mark Whitaker, Chuck Todd and his political team, Betsy Fischer, Michele Jaconi, Vernon Gantt, Rick Jefferson, Mark Greenstein, Ray Herbert, Stacy Brady and her technical teams… Our friends at KUSA in Denver and KARE in Minneapolis, the News Channel – and so many others, it’s almost a crime to list names, as I know I will miss some key players.
I thank everyone for jobs well done.