Rivera has trouble fitting in

Bio omission sends up flag

NEW YORK — Geraldo Rivera’s CNBC newscast is off to a solid ratings start — but the former yakshow host’s troubles fitting into the NBC News culture persist.

While much has been made of the fact that Rivera is now officially an NBC News employee — thanks to a big-bucks contract he inked last year — the Peacock’s just-released 1998-99 press guide features a bio for Rivera that conspicuously fails to mention the fact that Rivera is a member of the NBC News family. Just as curiously, the bio leaves out any mention of Rivera’s long-running, often-outrageous syndicated talkshow, which wrapped production a few months ago.

The bio blunder comes in the wake of several recent outbursts from Rivera in which the newsman has complained about getting the cold shoulder from some within NBC News (read: Tom Brokaw).

A CNBC spokesman, however, said nothing should be read into what’s missing from Rivera’s bio, labeling the lack of info about Rivera’s past and present situations “an oversight.”

“There was no attempt in any way to avoid any part of his broadcast history,” the spokesman explained. “The person who wrote (the bio) and updated it put in the info they thought was relevant.”

Meanwhile, a Rivera-hosted primetime special about law enforcement in the U.S. — targeted to air sometime in August on the NBC broadcast network — still has no airdate. The project is simply “taking a little bit longer than we thought,” a Peacock spokeswoman said.

As for Rivera’s new 7:30 p.m. CNBC newscast, “Upfront Tonight,” it attracted an average audience of 314,000 homes during its first five outings last week, according to Nielsen Media Research data. That’s up slightly from the 294,000 homes the now-canceled talker “Equal Time” had been averaging in the same timeslot during the third quarter.

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