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Kentucky Senator Rand Paul was on the Late Show with David Letterman Thursday night.

Paul was promoting his new book “The Tea Party Goes to Washington.” Letterman asked the Senator about the Tea Party platform, and the conversation centered largely around tax cuts for wealthy Americans. It started with Letterman making a joke about Paul’s decision to wear jeans with a tie and blazer and ended with a brief discussion of education funding and the protests in Wisconsin. You can watch the whole clip online.

On a side note, while discussing the advantages of the private sector, Paul said Letterman can do better because he has to compete with other late night hosts. This set Letterman up for a joke about Jay Leno, but for astute public radio listeners, the conversation may be familiar. New York Times correspondent Bill Carter—who has written two books about late night television, one of which centers on the Letterman/Leno feud for the Tonight Show—recently discussed late night TV competition on The Sound of Young America. Carter says increased competition has made a few new stars (Letterman, Conan O’Brien, their writing staffs), it’s also hurt late night in general by splintering the audience and ultimately weakening the power of the Tonight Show. Carter certainly wasn’t arguing for state-run comedy shows or regulations on how many shows there can be, but his story connects to Paul’s argument in an interesting way.


The Courier-Journal has a story about a lawsuit relating to Insight’s new cable boxes.

A new study from Pew Research proves what most savvy observers either thought was inevitable or already true: The internet is the number one news source for 18-to-29-year-olds. The web toppled TV in 2010 to earn the number one spot.

The NRSC has a new ad out that takes aim at Democratic Senate candidate Jack Conway.

Conway himself, however, as a new ad that criticizes Republican Rand Paul.

Speaking of criticizing Republican Rand Paul, the NEA has released this ad.

And then there’s this…an editorial in the Lexington Herald-Leader about the recent violence outside of Monday’s Senate debate.

The Paul campaign condemned the attack, disassociated itself from the volunteer who stomped the woman’s head and called on activists “on both sides” to avoid “physical altercations of any kind.”

The problem with the Paul statement is that only one side, his side, resorted to violence.

We keep hearing this is the year of the angry voter. But what motivates people to physically assault a woman who’s carrying a political sign they don’t like?

Certainly not respect for the Constitution, which enshrines the right of all citizens to express their opinions without fear. Not a belief in the rule of law. Not common decency.

Some members of Paul’s Tea Party issue paranoid warnings that President Barack Obama and Democrats are totalitarians out to impose Marxist control over our country.

But look which side produced the goon squad.


Independent Jackie Green‘s decision to end his campaign for mayor and endorse Democratic candidate Greg Fischer has drawn more attention than any other endorsement or issue in the race.

There were conflicting accounts of what Green asked for, received and expected in exchange for his endorsement, with the two most disparate coming from the Courier-Journal and LEO Weekly. The CJ’s story did not include any references to an e-mail from Green to his campaign staff in which the candidate said there may be a role for the Green campaign team inside a Fischer administration. It’s unclear what Green meant by this, but the sentence has led to a conflict between the two papers that has–in the local media–nearly eclipsed the candidates’ controversy.

Fischer has released a television ad claiming vindication through the CJ’s story. The Republican Party of Kentucky has cited LEO’s story as a reason why the Attorney General’s office should investigate the Fischer campaign. (The Democratic party has filed a similar complaint against Republican candidate Hal Heiner‘s campaign over former Democratic candidate Tyler Allen‘s endorsement.)

So how could two media outlets investigate the same situation and end up with different results? The answer is one that draws us into journalism’s persistent quandaries of anonymous sources and the costs of access. The reporters who did the investigating have discussed their process in The Edit’s comment section:

If yesterday’s dose of campaign ads wasn’t enough…

First, the NRSC has a new ad accusing Democratic Senate candidate Jack Conway of waffling (flip-flopping, etc) on the Bush tax cuts (which Conway wants to extend). The spot swipes the Waffle House theme Conway’s supporters used at Fancy Farm to mock Republican candidate Rand Paul, who is no stranger to accusations of backtracking.

Next, incumbent Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth (who is running against Todd Lally) emphasizes jobs and GE in his latest ad.

And finally (for now), Democratic mayoral candidate Greg Fischer talks about education in his new ad. He says it’s time to fix the JCPS student assignment plan. Republican Hal Heiner and independent Jackie Green both favor scrapping the plan. Heiner says school diversity is still important, but he is calling for a new approach to education that would expand the magnet school program and offer incentives to teachers who work in under-performing schools. Green, however, says affordable housing should be more evenly distributed across the city. That, he says, would make neighborhoods and schools diverse.

Democratic mayoral candidate Greg Fischer has released a new television ad. The 30 second spot features various people saying they or their friends, peers and family are looking for jobs. You can watch the spot here.

The ad does not mention Fischer’s Republican opponent Hal Heiner or independent candidate Jackie Green.

It’s a tough time for many news outlets, but the Radio and Television Digital News Association says some TV stations are starting to weather the storm. A recent study shows that only 400 local TV news employees lost their jobs in 2009. That’s pretty high, but 1,200 lost their jobs in 2008.

The study goes on to say that the remaining employees are more efficient than ever:

Even as staffing fell, the amount of news on the average station rose to another record high of five hours per weekday. That’s up from last year’s record 4.7 hours.

The best news in this year’s survey regards planned staff changes in 2010. In a dramatic turnaround from a year ago, over 60 percent of TV news directors say they expect staffing levels to stay the same. That’s up nearly 20 points from a year ago. The number expecting a decrease in staffing dropped 77 percent from a year ago, and the percentage expecting an increase in staff went up by 145 percent.

Station profitability on news dropped slightly, but the percentage of station revenue produced by news remained the same.

2009 started with 770 TV stations producing original local news, shared with another 205 stations for a total of 975 using the content. Going into 2010, a net loss of eight stations left 762 stations producing original local news, and sharing it with another 224, for a total of 986 stations.

Only one network affiliate simply dropped local news completely in 2009. Most of the cuts involved independent stations, and most wound up continuing to run local news but getting it from another station.

But what about the quality of that news?

Maybe that’s the idea they had at Papa John’s central when they were brainstorming the new Super Bowl ad.

The Super Bowl is a big pizza delivery day, but rather than advertise before the game–like Pizza Hut will–Louisville-based Papa Johns will run a documentary-style ad two minutes into the game. And it apparently won’t look like a regular ad.

From the New York Times

The spot, scheduled to appear near the two-minute warning of the first half, will feature John Schnatter, the company’s founder, delivering pizzas to the people behind the scenes at Super Bowl XLIV on Feb. 7 — the on-field line painters, for example.

The commercial will be filmed on Sunday during the Pro Bowl by NFL Films for that in-the-game look. Because the Super Bowl will be played in the same venue as the Pro Bowl, when the commercial appears during the Super Bowl it may seem as if it is taking place live.

That may not look like a the other Super Bowl ads, but don’t all the recent Papa John’s ads follow Schnatter as he delivers pizza to unsuspecting customers? Has anyone ever ordered and had Schnatter come to the door with cameras? They’re created by the Zimmerman Advertising of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

WHAS-TV’s parent company Belo Corporation has posted a 150 million dollar loss for the last quarter. There’s no word on what this means for WHAS, but let’s hope news coverage remains strong. As we’ve seen with newspapers, cutting news staff doesn’t help much in terms of audience growth.

The Dallas-based TV giant’s losses are likely due to falling advertising revenue.

From Business First:

Total revenue decreased 17 percent in the third quarter when compared to the same period last year. Spot ad revenue was down 21 percent, including political ads.

The automotive advertising category alone plummeted 36 percent over last year.

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