Morning Media Newsfeed: Todd Makes MTP Debut | Scarborough Joins NBC News

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Chuck Todd’s First Meet The Press: ‘This Program Will Continue to Evolve’ (TVNewser)
Chuck Todd opened his first Meet The Press, surrounded by the press. At a new desk, with Todd at its center, NBC’s political director introduced those around him: MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, Nia-Malika Henderson of The Washington Post, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell and waiting in the wings, BuzzFeed’s John Stanton and Amy Walter, formerly of ABC News, now with the Cook Political Report. FishbowlDC For his first Sunday as moderator, Todd talked exclusively with President Barack Obama on topics ranging from ISIS to U.S. relations with Russia and Ukraine and the 2014 midterm elections. The interview took place at the White House over the weekend and aired during Sunday’s 10:30 a.m. broadcast of MTP. Deadline Hollywood Things got testy — and Todd showed a tendency to interrupt — when Obama defended his decision to delay executive action on immigration, saying the summer’s surge of unaccompanied children at the Mexican border changed the politics of the issue. He rejected Todd’s notion the postponement is a political tactic intended to help embattled Democrats in the months before midterm elections, saying that the delay will help make new immigration policies “sustainable” when they are announced later this year. HuffPost There were other small tweaks in the show; Todd threaded his big interview with President Obama throughout the show instead of front-loading it at the beginning, turning to the panel after each portion was over. Todd’s real test will be in the weeks and months ahead. Todd has vowed to cut down on the Beltway bloviators and said he won’t book politicians unless they actually have a stake in the issue at hand. And, of course, he has to pull Meet The Press out of its ratings sinkhole. Politico In selecting Todd as moderator, the NBC News brass is gambling on the belief that a Sunday morning public affairs show can still set the national agenda, as it did under the late Tim Russert. The payoff, they hope, is that Todd can once again make Meet The Press a dominant force in American politics and — though they’d never admit it publicly — effectively erase the nightmare that was David Gregory’s final year as moderator.

Joe Scarborough to Join NBC News as Senior Political Analyst, MTP as Regular Contributor (FishbowlDC)
In its continued revamp of NBC’s Meet The Press and the network’s political coverage, NBC News Friday announced that Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough will join the peacock network as a senior political analyst and regular contributor to MTP. TVNewser Scarborough will also join the network’s election coverage team and contribute to Today. FishbowlNY Despite the new duties, Scarborough will continue to host Morning Joe, a role he has held since 2007. FishbowlDC BuzzFeed Washington bureau chief John Stanton also announced Friday on Facebook that he’ll join Scarborough as a regular panelist on MTP. Stanton joined Scarborough, Cook Political Report’s Amy Walter, and WaPo’s Nia-Malika Henderson at the roundtable Sunday for Chuck Todd‘s long-awaited and highly anticipated debut as moderator.

Bruce Morton Has Died (TVNewser)
Bruce Morton, former CBS News and CNN correspondent, died at his home in Washington, D.C. Friday morning after a battle with cancer. Deadline Hollywood He was 83. He spent nearly three decades at CBS News, where he covered the Vietnam War, the space program, presidential campaigns, the Nixon impeachment hearings, the mid-’60s urban riots and contributed to the network’s reports on the assassinations of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the unrest in China’s Tiananmen Square. He moved to CNN in 1993 and retired from there in 2006. Variety On television and radio for CBS News, he made a record 146 TV appearances in 1988 alone — the most for any television news personality that year. He got his start in the news business while still a student at Harvard in Boston, where he wrote and read radio newscasts for WORL. In the late 50s, Morton was a reporter and editor for the local NBC-owned station in Pittsburgh, a role he assumed after serving as a general assistant for the New York NBC-owned station. Morton joined CBS News as a reporter in the Washington Bureau in 1964 and was elevated to correspondent in 1966. THR Morton was the recipient of six News and Documentary Emmy Awards as well as a Peabody Award.

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Rupert Murdoch Downsized New York Post‘s Joan Rivers Coverage (Capital New York)
The death of Joan Rivers at the age of 81 Thursday afternoon seemed like it was a story made for tabloid covers. The New York Post cover that ran Friday was not the cover that was initially queued up to hit the presses, according to a Post source who was briefed on the change. Originally, the source said, Post editors were planning to go bigger on Rivers, giving her at least half of the wood and a four-page inside spread similar to the treatment it gave coverage of the death of Robin Williams last month. They ended up going with two pages. Mediaite Sources said that Rupert Murdoch happened to be in the newsroom and didn’t like the direction they were going. It’s unclear why this would have happened, if it did, though it’s believed that Murdoch and Rivers didn’t have a good relationship, stemming from when Rivers hosted a late night show on Fox and fought with Murdoch a lot. FishbowlNY Some may consider this decision cold-blooded. But really, it just confirms that at age 83, Murdoch retains a steadfast and confident newspaperman’s feel for what he feels will move print editions.

Politico’s Rick Berke Emails Staff: ‘I Have Resigned as Executive Editor’ (FishbowlDC)
In an email to staff Sunday evening and after less than a year at the Rosslyn-based political news outlet, Rick Berke has resigned as executive editor of Politico. NYT Berke cited a disagreement over strategy with the organization’s founders, John F. Harris and Jim VandeHei. Berke, who had been an assistant managing editor at The New York Times, joined Politico in October. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Berke wrote, “While our overarching goals are similar, Jim, John and I have agreed to disagree over the strategy for achieving those goals. There is no acrimony and no drama — simply an acceptance by the three of us that the dynamics were just not there for us to function seamlessly.”

Josh Greenstein Joins Sony as President of Worldwide Marketing, Distribution (THR)
Sony has hired former Paramount exec Josh Greenstein as president of worldwide marketing and distribution, the role previously held by Jeff Blake. He’ll oversee the day-to-day management of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s worldwide theatrical marketing and distribution activities. Variety Greenstein, who has been at Paramount since 2005 and previously served as co-president of marketing and executive vice president of creative advertising, had already informed his bosses at the Viacom Inc.-owned studio that he would not be renewing his contract when it expires at the end of this year. Deadline Hollywood Before joining Paramount, he served as head of marketing for Dimension Films. Blake exited after launching Sony’s summer box office.

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Chris Mitchell Named Vanity Fair Publisher, Howard Mittman GQ Publisher (FishbowlNY)
Vanity Fair has itself a new publisher. Chris Mitchell, previously GQ’s VP and publisher, has been tapped for the same role with Vanity Fair. Mitchell had been GQ’s VP and publisher since 2011. Previously he served in the same role for Condé Nast Traveler. New York Post Wired publisher Howard Mittman will move into the vacated GQ publisher slot. Mittman, while at Wired, launched the Wired Business Conference, and Mitchell is credited with driving GQ to record revenue levels in 2013. Vanity Fair and GQ are running only slightly behind year-ago ad page tallies even as Media Industry Newsletter shows the tally on all monthlies was down nearly 6 percent.

Rob Marciano Makes ABC News Debut (TVNewser)
Former Entertainment Tonight co-host Rob Marciano made his debut on ABC News Friday night. On World News Tonight, Marciano, who is ABC’s senior meteorologist, talked with David Muir about Hurricane Norbert in the Pacific and rough weekend weather in the midwest. Deadline Hollywood It was announced last month that Marciano, the former CNN weatherman, was leaving his co-hosting gig on ET to return to his stormchasing roots, joining Ginger Zee’s team at Good Morning America. She was announced as Sam Champion’s replacement back in December as weather anchor.

NFL Season Opener Brings Easy NBC Victory (THR / The Live Feed)
NBC’s Sunday Night Football opener on Thursday between the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers was heads and shoulders above the rest. Sunday Night Football drew 26.9 million viewers, up 7 percent from last year’s kickoff game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos. Variety This makes it the third most-watched game in the 13 years that the NFL has opened its season with a weeknight contest. NBC Sports Live Extra’s livestream of the game attracted record-setting numbers, as fans consumed more than 25 million minutes, up 21 percent from last year (20.5 million). A total of 507,662 unique viewers streamed the game, topping the 2013 opener by 51 percent.

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Josh Elliott Makes Today Debut (TVNewser)
Over five months after he left ABC News for NBC Sports, Josh Elliott made his first appearance on Today Thursday. “Welcome to the Today show,” Matt Lauer said, introducing Elliott for his first segment. Elliott reported live from CenturyLink Field in Seattle to preview the NFL season. And Friday morning, Elliott reported from Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colo., interviewing a local high school football coach about his team’s community service during training camp.

Former BuzzFeed Viral Politics Editor Benny Johnson to Join National Review (FishbowlDC)
Former BuzzFeed viral politics editor Benny Johnson dropped some post-plagiarism scandal career news Saturday. “Honored to be joining National Review as their Digital Director on Monday,” he posted on Facebook Saturday afternoon.

The Top Cable News Shows in August Were… (TVNewser)
Fox News had the top 14 programs in total viewers and the top nine programs in the key adult 25-54 demographic in August. As usual, The O’Reilly Factor was the No. 1 program in cable news in both total and demo viewers, averaging 2,703,000 total viewers and 462,000 demo viewers. The Kelly File was second in total viewers and the demo, with 2,245,000 and 409,000 viewers, respectively. MSNBC’s highest-rated show in total viewers was The Rachel Maddow Show, which placed 15th overall with 810,000 viewers. Anderson Cooper 360 was CNN’s highest-rated daily show in both total viewers and the demo, finishing 17th overall in total viewers and 10th overall in the demo.

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Quartz Hits 6.8 Million Unique Monthly Visitors for Second Anniversary (FishbowlDC)
Global business news publication Quartz, an Atlantic Media property, in just two years has hit nearly 7 million unique visitors for the month of August 2014, a growth of 129 percent from where it was one year ago. And in celebration, publisher Jay Lauf and editor-in-chief Kevin Delaney Friday rang the closing bell at NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square.

The Battle to Own Branded Content (Adweek)
Doug Scott’s recent departure from OgilvyEntertainment, the successful unit he founded eight years ago, has raised questions about whether its WPP parent might fold it into another corporate entertainment sibling like media agency Mindshare Entertainment or GroupM Entertainment at the operating level. While Ogilvy execs say that isn’t in the works, such speculation still begs the larger industry question: As media, creative and PR agencies — along with production companies — vie to lead the growing number of marketer content initiatives, where should responsibility for branded storytelling reside?

Raycom-DirecTV Standoff Ends With Deal, Service Restored for 43 Stations (Deadline Hollywood)
Just in time for Sunday’s season-opening NFL games, Raycom Media and DirecTV settled their fee dispute with a new deal that put 43 broadcast stations back on the satcaster’s service. The two sides did not disclose terms of the deal. The deal was not entirely amicable, however. DirecTV took a shot at Raycom and other broadcasters pushing for higher retransmission-fee deals by calling for changes in legislation that mandates local broadcast channels be carried by pay-TV providers.

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