News outlets shift programming, personnel
The post-election shuffle of programming and personnel began quickly for TV newsies on Wednesday, even as most news outlets spent the day parsing the what-it-all-means factor of Tuesday’s returns.
ABC News shuffled the assignments of a few top correspondents, naming Jake Tapper, who covered the Barack Obama campaign for the net, as its senior White House correspondent.
MSNBC unveiled a new on-air tagline, “The Power of Change,” that plays off Obama’s historic win and the cultural shift it represents. But MSNBC isn’t retiring its claim to being “The Place for Politics”; the two slogans will alternate in the cabler’s branding for the near term.
MSNBC also has renamed its 6 p.m. David Gregory-hosted hour from “The Race for the White House” to “1600 Pennsylvania Avenue” as it shifts from the election horse race to the Obama transition in the Oval Office. “Race” bowed in February and has boosted MSNBC’s primetime fortunes along with its skedmates “Countdown With Keith Olbermann” and “The Rachel Maddow Show.”
Fox News Channel redubs its 5 p.m. hour from “America’s Election HQ” to “America’s News HQ” as of today. That hour will get a complete makeover in the spring when commentator Glenn Beck, formerly of CNN Headline News, moves into the slot (Daily Variety, Oct. 17).
Campbell Brown’s 8 p.m. berth on CNN has similarly been retitled “Campbell Brown: No Bias, No Bull,” from “Campbell Brown: Election Center.”
The beat shifts at ABC News raise the profile of a rising star for the Alphabet, correspondent Tapper, to the high-visibility White House beat. He was previously senior national and political correspondent.
Martha Raddatz, who had been ABC’s point person at the White House since late 2005, has been tapped senior foreign affairs correspondent. Jon Karl moves from the national security beat to become ABC’s senior congressional correspondent.
As the news biz adjusts to life after the two-year marathon campaign, the magnitude of Obama’s win — as the first African-American to ascend to the nation’s top job — was reflected in the decision by BET to scrap its regular programming lineup in favor of nearly 24 hours of Obama-related programming. The lineup includes reruns of some of Obama’s famous oratory, including his address to the 2004 Democratic National Convention that signaled his arrival on the national political scene.
“This is the most historic moment in my lifetime, in my children’s lifetimes, in many of our viewers’ lifetimes,” said Debra Lee, chair-chief exec of BET Networks.