Black Eye

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We were disappointed this weekend by a fall movie season preview aired on CBS Sunday Morning.

One film was clearly missing from the list and we think we know why.

Note to CBS: In the age of Twitter a mention does not imply endorsement.

 

More News

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We’ve done a few stories in recent months about CBS This Morning and it’s not just because Gayle King works there. They seem to be doing something different and according to the ratings, it seems to be working.

CBS’s morning show, while still in third place, is gaining viewers while the morning shows at ABC and NBC are losing viewers. This might be due in part to CBS’s decision to make their morning program a destination for people looking for real news, less entertainment, fewer contests, gimmicks and skits.

The numbers suggest there is an audience for straight news and that audience is finding CBS. Not saying it’s good or bad, it just is. And it further suggests that there is always at least a niche audience looking for solid information on current events and the audience is big enough to attract advertisers and to turn a profit.

Good Move

John Dickerson

In case you missed it; last week Bob Schieffer announced he would be retiring later this summer as the host of Face the Nation.

This set off immediate speculation as to who his replacement would be.

Sunday, Schieffer put an end to that speculation.

John Dickerson, The CBS News political director known for his telegenic good looks, calm demeanor and professional prognostications, will take over when Schieffer officially steps aside.

The rapidity with which this decision was made suggests CBS News knew the Schieffer announcement was coming and lined up a replacement before an internal power struggle could ensue.

Should Be Fun

Face the Nation

I think the deal is; if you reach a certain age and you can keep a sense of humor about yourself you can do just about anything you want and people love you even more for it. Think Betty White.

This coming weekend, Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer will demonstrate that theory in practice as he plays himself on the CBS show Madame Secretary.

In this episode, Secretary Elizabeth(Bess) McCord is going through a bit of a breakdown, behind the scenes, after surviving a bomb attack in Iran. Her personal troubles are playing out as she needs to prepare for an appearance on Face – as the cool kids call both Face the Nation and Face the State – for short. How do we know how the cool kids talk? We just do.

Bob Simon

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In a recent appearance in Washington, D.C., former Nightline anchor Ted Koppel mentioned that writing seems to be a vanishing skill in most broadcast newsrooms. He wasn’t complaining about it, or saying it was wrong, he was simply making the observation that with a greater emphasis on live reporting, in today’s news broadcasts, rarely is there time to actually craft a script.

Bob Simon was always known as one of the great writers of CBS News and television journalism in general.

In the immediate aftermath of his death Wednesday night, in a New York City car accident, Simon’s ability to match words and pictures to tell a story has been his most remarked upon quality.

Chapin to Houston

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As we reported at the beginning of the year, Josh Chapin is longer with NBC CT. He has relocated to Texas and we now know he’s working at KHOU in Houston, one of the Lone Star state’s legacy stations.

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KHOU also served as the launch pad for one of the great careers in broadcast journalism. Check out the low tech weather map used in this special report by Dan Rather.

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Chapin will not be alone as a former Connecticut TV personality now making a living in Houston. Former WFSB sports anchor Khambrel Marshall works for cross town rival WPRC as part of the Local 2 Severe Weather Team. Marshall also hosts PRC’s version of Face the State.

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Defending Free Speech

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An unusual personal commentary from Scott Pelley, at the close of Friday’s CBS Evening News, is drawing lots of attention – in media circles – following the terror attacks last week in Paris.

As managing editor of the broadcast, Pelley has made an obvious effort to raise standards, focus on what CBS calls “original” (or 60 Minutes style) reporting, and on growing a strong and recognizable team of correspondents. Usually, this means there is very little room for the personal opinions of the anchor, making Friday’s commentary more remarkable.

Pelley said, “there is no Democracy without journalism,” and suggested terrorists understand this and it is why they have targeted journalists in their fight against western values they consider an affront to their religion. He tied last week’s attacks in France to the murders of 61 other journalists in 2014.

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