Apr 24, 2017
8:23 am

Bill O’Reilly Returns With ‘No Spin News’ Tonight (Billoreilly.com)

Bill O’Reilly is refusing to be silenced by a little thing like being fired from Fox News. The outspoken conservative cable star declared he’s back in action with a banner on billoreilly.com announcing a new installment of his “No Spin News” podcast will air tonight.

O’Reilly requires a premium membership for his Internet users to view the podcast under normal circumstances, but he’s seizing on the opportunity provided by his abrupt exit from FNC to drum up business for his online operation. The banner declares the the podcast will be available for free through Sunday, but beginning May 1 a premium membership will be required.

Tonight’s podcast will air at 7 p.m. ET, according to O’Reilly’s announcement.

Apr 24, 2017
12:44 am

So Sad: Erin Moran, Who Played Joanie Cunningham on ‘Happy Days,’ Dies at 56 (TMZ, YouTube)

Erin Moran, who played Joanie Cunningham on “Happy Days,” has died at 56, according to a number of media reports.

Writes TMZ, which broke the story, “[A]uthorities in Indiana got a call just after 4 PM ET Saturday from someone reporting an ‘unresponsive female.’  EMTs arrived and found Erin Moran’s body … she was already dead.”

The report adds: “Moran shot to the spotlight in the early ’70s when she was cast on ‘Happy Days’ as Joanie, the younger sister of Ron Howard’s character. She continued the role in 1982 alongside Scott Baio in ‘Joanie Loves Chachi,’ but the show only lasted one season.”

TMZ added that in 2012, “Moran had been the subject of tabloid reports of hard-partying, financial troubles and periods of homelessness, with husband Steven Fleischmann, after being kicked out of her mother-in-law’s Corydon, Ind., trailer home.”

Here’s a video we found of Moran as Joanie Cunningham, in happier days:

Apr 24, 2017
12:18 am

CNN Co-Anchor — Who Was with Fox News for 16 Years — Comes Forward to Accuse Roger Ailes of Harassment, Sexual and Otherwise. She Also Says Ailes Encouraged Her Not to Be ‘Fair and Balanced’ (CNN)

The co-anchor of CNN’S “New Day,” Alisyn Camerota, who previously worked at Fox News for 16 years, has come forward to accuse former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes of sexual harassment and “emotional harassment,” reports CNN.

Camerota also says Ailes sometimes berated her for not adding a conservative slant to the programs she was on.

The story also says “On Sunday an attorney for Ailes, Susan Estrich, denied Camerota’s account. ‘These are unsubstantiated and false allegations,’ she said. ‘Mr. Ailes never engaged in the inappropriate conversations she now claims occurred, and he vigorously denies this fictional account of her interactions with him and of Fox News’ editorial policy.’”

Camerota spoke about her allegations on Sunday’s “Reliable Sources” on CNN. Here’s the video clip:

Apr 21, 2017
4:44 pm

NFL Releases 2017 Schedule of Games to Be Carried on CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN, NFL Network and Amazon Prime (TVWeek)

The full schedule of televised games for the 2017 NFL season has come out, which includes coverage on CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN, the NFL Network and Amazon Prime.

  • Click on the link below to see the full announcement from CBS Sports on its 2017 NFL schedule, including “The NFL on CBS” on Sundays along with “Thursday Night Football.”

CBS Sports Leads the Way Into 2017 NFL Season With Most Games of Any Network

  • Click on the link below to see full details and schedule from NBC for its 2017 NFL lineup.

From Kickoff to Super Bowl LII, NBC Bookends the 2017 NFL Season & Is Home to a Record 28 Regular Season and Postseason Games

  • Click on the link below for details on the Fox NFL lineup in the announcement from Fox Sports.

FOX Sports Owns the Fall: Network Announces 2017 NFL Schedule Following Powerhouse Super Bowl Season

  • Click on the link below to see the full lineup of ESPN “Monday Night Football” preseason and regular-season games.

ESPN’s 2017 ‘Monday Night Football’ Schedule

  • Click on the link below to see details and the full schedule for NFL Network telecasts, with additional info about streaming on Amazon Prime.

NFL Network to Televise 18 NFL Games in 2017

Apr 21, 2017
4:41 pm

What’s the Most Tweeted-About TV Show of 2017? (Variety)

The TV show that has been the most tweeted-about of any show this year is one that does not have ratings, meaning that the Twitter data stands as a unique measure of the show’s popularity.

Variety reports that the show is “13 Reasons Why,” which airs on Netflix. The streaming service does not release ratings.

“’13 Reasons Why’ has amassed more than 11 million tweets since its launch on Mar. 30, according to Twitter data exclusively obtained by Variety,” the story reports. “The teen series, based on the YA novel of the same name, revolves around the suicide of a high school girl, Hannah, played by newcomer Katherine Langford, who co-stars with Dylan Minnette. The show is executive produced by multi-hyphenate superstar Selena Gomez, who happens to be the most-followed person on Instagram.”

The report notes that No. 2 in tweets is “The Vampire Diaries,” followed by “The Walking Dead” at No. 3.


Apr 21, 2017
4:33 pm

Will Bill O’Reilly Retire? Here Are Some of His Options (AP)

At 67, Bill O’Reilly is old enough and rich enough — walking away from Fox News Channel with what has been widely reported to be a severance package worth about $25 million — to retire gracefully. But veteran TV writer David Bauder writes for the AP that it’s unlikely viewers have seen the last of O’Reilly.

“He’ll have options, and retirement seems unlikely,” Bauder writes. “At least three conservative news outlets are eager to speak with him. O’Reilly, the top cable news personality for two decades until Fox News Channel fired him this week following harassment claims by women, would be a game-changer for any company trapped in Fox’s shadow.”

The report quotes Chris Ruddy, CEO of the Florida-based media company Newsmax, saying of O’Reilly: “He’s an incredible, unparalleled, unchallenged talent and I would be very eager to discuss the possibility of him on Newsmax. I think he has been unfairly treated.”

Newsmax’s television operation is in 10 million homes, Bauder notes, while another right-leaning outlet, One America News Network, is somewhat larger at 35 million homes. One America “has been inundated with emails from O’Reilly fans who want their hero back on television, said Robert Herring, Sr., the network’s founder and CEO,” Bauder notes.

Still, either operation would be a step down from Fox News, which is in 90 million homes.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze said Beck — who also made an abrupt exit from Fox News, back in 2011 — would be interested in speaking with O’Reilly, according to the report.

O’Reilly’s representatives weren’t commenting today on his plans.

Apr 21, 2017
2:11 pm

Sony Increases Profit Estimate (Variety)

Sony said today that it anticipates net profits for the financial year ending in March 2017 to be $620 million. “That represents a tripling of the Japanese corporate giant’s previous forecast of $222 million but is still only half of the $1.26 billion (JPY148 billion) it made in 2015-16,” Variety reports.

Full results for the year are expected to be announced at the end of next week. The company issued its revised forecast today after previously issuing guidance in February.

“The company left its gross revenue forecast unchanged at $65 billion,” Variety notes. “The company said that, since February, it has anticipated improvements in all divisions, with the exception of its components business.”

Apr 21, 2017
12:44 pm

FCC Relaxes Rules for TV Station Ownership — Is a Wave of Consolidation on the Horizon? (Recode, TVWeek)

The Federal Communications Commission continued deregulation efforts under the stewardship of the panel’s new Republican chairman, Ajit Pai, relaxing two key rules Thursday affecting TV stations and telecom companies.

Both moves were approved on 2-1 votes by the currently undermanned panel, with Pai and the panel’s other Republican, Michael O’Rielly, voting to approve over the dissenting vote of  Mignon Clyburn, currently the FCC’s only Democratic commissioner.

The agency’s approval of Pai’s order on TV station ownership “changes the way those stations calculate their footprints. In effect, Pai’s move makes it easier for TV station groups to grow without tripping a federal cap on their size — and as a result, it could set off another wave of industry consolidation,” Recode reports.

“In strongly opposing that proposal, Clyburn cited comments from CBS Corporation CEO Leslie Moonves, who signaled earlier this year that he could ‘buy some more stations’ if such a cap was lifted,” Recode notes. “She also highlighted recent comments by Sinclair Broadcast Group, which told the FCC something similar in a private meeting. Democrats in Congress have raised their fears with the commission that more consolidation could harm consumers.”

As we reported separately, Sinclair was quick to take advantage of the relaxed rule, announcing today the acquisition of 14 TV stations from Bonten Media in a deal that until the rule change would have put Sinclair over the cap.

In a separate ruling, “Pai successfully removed restrictions on the likes of AT&T and Verizon, which now have more leeway to raise prices for businesses that rely on dedicated links to their networks,” Record adds. “That includes hospitals and schools, for example, which tap this so-called ‘business data services’ market — a different pipe than, say, your usual home Internet — to transmit large quantities of data quickly and reliably.”

Apr 21, 2017
12:31 pm

Sinclair Wastes No Time Jumping on New Rule, Buys 14 TV Stations (TVNewsCheck)

The Sinclair Broadcast Group has added 14 stations in eight markets to its lineup of television stations. TVNewsCheck reports that Sinclair acquired the stations from Bonten Media for $240 million.

Sinclair announced the acquisition today.

“The deal takes advantage of the FCC decision yesterday to restore the UHF discount in calculating station group coverage for purposes of the FCC’s national ownership cap on station group coverage — 39% of TV households,” TVNewsCheck reports.

Sinclair said the acquisition adds about 1% to its total reach.

With the UHF discount in effect, Sinclair remains well below the cap at about 25%, the report notes. Were it not for the discount, the deal would have put the company above the cap at 39.6%.

Among the stations included in the deal are NBC affiliate WCYB-TV and Fox affiliate WEMT-TV in the Tri-Cities DMA in Tennessee-Virginia; ABC affiliate WCTI-TV and Fox affiliate WYDO-TV in Greenville-New Bern-Washington, N.C.; Fox affiliate KCVU-TV and ABC affiliate KRCR-TV in Chico-Redding, Calif.; ABC affiliate KTXS-TV in Abilene-Sweetwater, Texas; and ABC affiliate KAEF-TV and Fox affiliate KBVU-TV in Eureka, Calif.

Apr 21, 2017
12:17 pm

Viacom Names New Senior Executive (TVWeek)

Viacom appointed a new member of its senior executive team, adding the position of senior vice president, Communications & Culture, and promoting Julia Phelps to the role.

Phelps has been overseeing communications for the company’s international business as Executive Vice President of Communications at Viacom International Media Networks. She will continue to report to Bob Bakish, president and CEO of Viacom.

“Phelps will serve on the company’s senior executive team and lead corporate communications, corporate marketing and culture,” the company said in today’s announcement.

Said Bakish: “Julia has been an indispensable partner for me in developing and articulating Viacom’s strategy, while keeping us true to our values and responsive to our employees. It is absolutely critical that both our external stakeholders and our people understand and embrace our new vision for Viacom, and Julia’s insight, empathy and forward thinking make her uniquely suited to this task.”

The announcement adds: “Phelps will oversee Viacom’s Corporate Communications, Corporate Marketing, Corporate Responsibility and Special Events teams, as well as its internal creative agency, Catalyst.”

In her previous role, Phelps “led VIMN’s internal and external communications efforts for Viacom’s international brands, including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount Channel, VH1, COLORS and Channel 5,” the announcement notes. “Previously, Phelps served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for VIMN and as VP of Corporate Communications for Viacom.”

Phelps joined Viacom in 2005.

Julia Phelps

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