Some people just can't get over a Fox/Time Warner deal
August 8th, 2014
10:13 AM ET

Some people just can't get over a Fox/Time Warner deal

By Brian Stelter, CNN

Is Rupert Murdoch's quest to take over Time Warner over just because he says it's over?

That's what media watchers are asking each other now that Murdoch has "walked away" - his words - from 21st Century Fox's proposal to acquire Time Warner, the parent company of CNN.

Some are relieved. Some are disappointed. And some... don't buy it at all. Since Murdoch's statement on Tuesday, I've talked to plenty of people whose reactions can be summed up with three words: "This isn't over."



July 27th, 2014
10:18 AM ET

Obama "most transparent administration in history?" These journalists disagree

In this Web-exclusive video clip, former Washington Post executive editor Len Downie and BuzzFeed investigative reporter Chris Hamby join Brian Stelter to discuss the Obama administration's record on transparency.

February 21st, 2014
04:08 PM ET

The rundown for this Sunday's show

By Hardy Spire, CNN
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Coming up on this week’s Reliable Sources at 11am Eastern time Sunday:

Brian is off to get married this weekend, but before he left, the team put together this show!

This week’s BuzzFeed profile of would-be New York gubernatorial candidate Donald Trump turned out not to be the puff piece he anticipated.   Trump’s response was to take on reporter McKay Coppins who Trump had hosted aboard his private plane and at his Florida estate during the interviews.  Brian speaks with Coppins and Politico’s Maggie Haberman about the reaction and whether the media should continue to take Trump and his political ambitions seriously.

And there are some stories which do not have two sides.  The climate change debate is one of them.  Nevertheless, many news organizations continue to equate the skeptics with the scientists.  This week NBC’s Meet the Press faced criticism for its debate between Bill Nye the Science Guy and Rep. Marsha Blackburn.  We’ll talk to Michio Kaku from the City University of New York and CBS News as well as Jack Mirkinson, Senior Media Editor at the Huffington Post.

We’ll also focus on an “Undercovered” news story – Bowe Bergdahl, the American soldier who has been missing in Afghanistan for five years.  Jake Tapper, CNN Chief Washington Correspondent and anchor of “The Lead” joins Brian.

Finally, Texas gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott raised eyebrows this week when he took the stage with former rocker Ted Nugent whose recent inflammatory comments about President Obama have caused many to ask whether the media should call out hate speech when they see it.  Christy Hoppe, Austin Bureau Chief for the Dallas Morning News speaks with Brian.

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Netflix faces House of Cards backlash
February 13th, 2014
01:15 PM ET

Netflix faces House of Cards backlash

By Brian Stelter, CNN

The calls started coming on Tuesday, when snow was in the forecast for the nation's capital.

"If/when DC shuts down for blizzard Thursday, Netflix would be smart to make new 'House of Cards' available one day early," tweeted Alex Conant, the press secretary for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Hundreds of people agreed, and said so online. Fox News anchor Greta van Susteren replied to Conant: "You are right...one day early would be appreciated." Someone even set up a petition on Change.org.

I chimed in too.

Like a lot of fans of the first season of "House of Cards," a Washington thriller starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, I'd been planning on starting my binge-view of season two this Friday, the long-awaited release day. But with so many people snowed in along the East Coast, from Georgia to Maine, wouldn't Thursday make more sense?

Read more of Brian's CNNMoney article here. 

Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable
February 12th, 2014
11:25 PM ET

Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable

By Brian Stelter, CNN Senior Media Correspondent

Comcast on Thursday will announce its intent to acquire Time Warner Cable in a $45 billion deal that will combine the two biggest cable companies in the United States. 

Comcast (CCV) has agreed to pay $158.82 per share of Time Warner Cable (TWC,Fortune 500) stock, according to two people with direct knowledge of the transaction who insisted on anonymity because the deal will not be publicly announced until Thursday morning.

The two companies expect the merger to receive government approval and take effect by the end of the year, but regulators are likely to take a close look at the potential impact on consumers.

Read more of Brian's CNNMoney piece here.

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Bob Costas' eye costs him a night in Olympic anchor seat
February 11th, 2014
02:45 PM ET

Bob Costas' eye costs him a night in Olympic anchor seat

By Brian Stelter, CNN

Bob Costas gamely anchored NBC's Winter Olympics coverage for five days despite a worsening eye infection and a whole lot of concerned comments from viewers.

But Tuesday, Costas said that he would step aside, at least for a night, putting a hiccup into his 14-year Olympic anchoring streak.

"Today" show host Matt Lauer will anchor NBC's prime time coverage of the Sochi games during his absence.

"I was trying to throw a complete game here, but I think we're going to have to go to the bullpen," Costas told "Today" show viewers by phone early Tuesday. "You're Mariano Rivera, at least tonight," he told Lauer.

Read more of Brian's CNNMoney story here.

What we're reading this week...
January 17th, 2014
06:42 PM ET

What we're reading this week...

By Elizabeth Cherneff, CNN
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Don't miss 'Reliable Sources' this Sunday, January 19 as host Brian Stelter broadcasts LIVE from Park City, Utah, site of the annual Sundance Film Festival! We'll speak with several directors and preview a few of the documentaries that have movie critics talking at Sundance this year, but in the meantime, here are some other media stories that caught our eye this week:

'The smart politics of Snapchat'  CNN's Peter Hamby regularly breaks news on the political front, but it was his CNN.com write-up on politicians and new media this week that caught our attention. After Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) joined the photo-sharing app Snapchat this week, many on social media platforms openly mocked the politician. But in an innovative approach, Hamby used the social media platform to successfully request an interview with the Senator, who talked to CNN about his views on social media outreach. Incorporating recent data/polling on how Americans consume their news, Hamby's piece offers a smart take on why we may see more politicians on both sides of the aisle embracing social media platforms in order to connect with voters.

'Time Warner sells Manhattan headquarters; CNN, other nets, will be on the move'  It's official– CNN (and other networks housed at NY's current Time Warner Center) will be relocating to different New York offices in the not-so-distant future. While the move is estimated to take place in late 2018, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes confirmed the plans, writing in a company-wide memo, "We expect that moving into a single location will save us three-quarters of a billion dollars in ongoing real estate costs over the next 20 years, which we can reallocate to doing more of what we do best – creating and sharing high-quality entertainment and journalism through great storytelling."

'Dan Rather calls out corporate media giving "sweetheart coverage" to Washington'  In an interview Thursday, veteran news anchor Dan Rather wasn't shy when commenting on the state of Washington media coverage. Speaking on AXS TV's 'Tom Green Live' show, Rather emphasized the need for reporters to be more transparent in disclosing politicians' influence in the business sphere and vice versa.  Critiquing the ties amongst top business and political leaders, Rather said, "Their [corporate media] big money contributed to political campaigns gives them heavy influence in Washington. They need favors. Of course, what the political powers need is 'sweetheart coverage.'"

January 3rd, 2014
04:55 PM ET

What we're reading this week...

By Elizabeth Cherneff, CNN

Through rain, snow, ice & freezing temperatures, Brian Stelter and the RS team are hard at work on Sunday's show. From the weather to the controversy over MSNBC anchor Melissa Harris-Perry's Mitt Romney segment to our RS exclusive interview with Hulu Head of Development Charlotte Koh, we've got a great show planned this week. In the meantime, here are some other media headlines that caught our attention this week:

'Ronan Farrow, Reluctant TV Star'  As MSNBC prepares to launch a new program hosted by Ronan Farrow this month, the New York Times takes a timely look at how the journalist/lawyer ended up as MSNBC's newest cable personality. While Farrow's name is undoubtedly linked to his famous parents, director/actor pair Woody Allen and Mia Farrow, the NYT highlights Farrow's equally impressive and far more private career path. Among several noteworthy items from the article is a quote from MSNBC  president, Phil Griffin, who, when asked about Farrow, said that after meeting with him in New York, “within 20 minutes I wanted to hire him.He’s got it.”

'CES 2014: The Verge Preview' 2014 means new resolutions and new trends and gadgets in the tech world. The annual Consumer Electronics Show kicks off later this month, and staff writers for The Verge have a robust preview this week of what to expect from CES 2014, saying "if 2013 was about introducing new tech like curved televisions and the Oculus Rift, 2014 looks like it’s going to be about making it both real and available for regular humans." From more wearable gadgets to smaller, portable tablets, it will be interesting to see what media consumption themes emerge following "the biggest tech party of the year." 

'Denver Post launches website devoted to weed'  In Colorado, weed was literally the word of this first week of 2014 after dispensaries in that state officially began selling recreational marijuana. The Denver Post made headlines weeks back when the paper appointed Ricardo Braca as its marijuana editor, and this week, Braca and colleagues launched 'The Cannabist,' a separate website devoted to covering "the culture of cannabis." On its website, 'The Cannabist'  writes that "our reach will span the globe as we address cannabis’ ever-expanding role in our weekly lives via news coverage, pot-rooted recipes, arts features, strain and gear reviews, lifestyle profiles, business articles and more, more, more."

Tune in Sunday at 11am EST.

December 13th, 2013
01:51 PM ET

What we're reading this week...

By Elizabeth Cherneff, CNN

There's no shortage of media stories on our radar this week as we near the end of the year. To see the latest pieces our host Brian Stelter  is working on, be sure to check back here on the RS blog throughout the week for updates. In the meantime, here are some other headlines that caught our eye this week- join the conversation and tell us what you're reading in the comments section. And be sure to tune in for an all new edition of 'Reliable Sources' this Sunday on CNN at 11am EST!

Invisible Child: Dasani's Homeless Life  In a five-part series published this week, New York Times investigative reporter Andrea Elliott and photographer Ruth Fremson paint a grim portrait of New York's homeless population through the eyes of 11-year-old Dasani. With supplemental videos, graphics and haunting still images, Elliott takes us on a vivid journey through the decrepit halls of Brooklyn's Auburn Family Residence/homeless shelter. The series features extensive sourcing notes and background compiled from Elliott's reporting, which journalists and critics among media circles are praising as a Pulitzer-worthy longform piece of investigative journalism. While New York City's sobering poverty statistics leave many readers coming away from the piece feeling angry or helpless, it's Elliot's poignant writing style and narrative skill that pulls this compelling piece together.

'Conrad Black defends Rob Ford interview' Folks in Canada and around the globe are all too familiar with this year's saga of embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, but it's a Canadian media mogul who's now facing scrutiny over his interview with the mayor conducted this week. On Monday, Canadian newspaper publisher Conrad Black conducted an interview with Ford in which the mayor made statements implying that a Toronto Star reporter was a pedophile. That reporter has since served Ford with a libel notice, but Black is also taking heat for his interview style/ not challenging the mayor on his statements. In a CBCNews interview this week, Black defended his interview, saying, "I put relevant questions to the mayor and he answered them... It's not for me to vouch for the truthfulness of his answers. I don't engage in a debating style on these things."

'A year after Newtown, little change in public opinion on guns'  As we near the one-year anniversary of the tragic Newtown/ Sandy Hook elementary school shootings, the Pew Research Center is out with new statistics that suggest attitudes toward guns haven't shifted drastically in the past year. Surveys taken shortly after the December 2012 shooting showed that respondents viewed the Sandy Hook shooting differently compared with the 2012 Colorado movie theater and January 2011 Tuscon/Gabby Giffords shooting. Public support for tighter background checks was also at a high in the immediate months after Newtown. With the defeat of the Senate bill on background checks and numerous gun control studies showing wavering public opinion on gun control this year, it appears that political and economic factors no doubt still play a role in shaping attitudes on this divisive topic.

November 22nd, 2013
04:42 PM ET

Sneak peek at this Sunday's show...

By CNN's Elizabeth Cherneff

Team Reliable Sources is happy to welcome back NPR TV critic Eric Deggans as our guest host this weekend!

First up on Sunday’s show, following separate apologies from MSNBC hosts Martin Bashir and Alec Baldwin this past week, we’ll discuss the broader impact on the cable channel with The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple and Amy Holmes, anchor for The Blaze.

Next we’ll turn our focus to Michigan’s Flint Journal newspaper, which apologized to readers after failing to realize/report that a candidate for city council was a convicted murder. Vincent Duffy, News Director of Michigan Radio, and Richard Prince of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education will join guest host Eric Deggans for the discussion.

With Buzzfeed announcing the addition of an international women’s rights correspondent to its ranks, we’ll look at the need for a dedicated beat reporter on this front with Buzzfeed foreign editor Miriam Elder and Lauren Wolfe, Director of the Women Under Siege Project.

In the wake of Bloomberg reporter Michael Forsythe’s suspension and ensuing allegations of self-censorship, we’ll analyze the journalistic repercussions of the decision with The Atlantic’s James Fallows and The New York Times’ Christine Haughney.

And in our constantly changing media environment, we’ll talk to author Jeff Jarvis and NYU School of Journalism’s Jay Rosen (who will be joining Glenn Greenwald/Pierre Omidyar’s media venture) about how these start-ups will compete with more traditional media outlets.

Finally, we’ll discuss the notion that films with non-white casts are often seen as “race-themed”, regardless of subject matter, with our panel, Viviana Hurtado, founding editor of The Wise Latina Club, and Alyssa Rosenberg, features editor for ThinkProgress.org

Tune in Sunday at 11am EST.

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