Cable News Giants Considering All-Hurricane Channel
Pool Resources To Contain Costs; Sponsored Levees In New Orleans Offered
Citing skyrocketing ratings and no end insight for content and programming, the heads of the major cable news networks have started discussions as to launching a 'Hurricane Channel', which would broadcast hurricane-related programming 24/7/365.
"It's wise, based on the patters emerging," said Stuart Vilma, a media analyst with IDG. "Stake out this turf and it opens the doors to cyclones, tsunamis, earthquakes … There's an umbrella of disasters that can be packaged this way."
Sources say the Fox Networks is leading the charge and made overtures to CNN and MSNBC. No word on when the Hurricane Channel would start up, as talks started just last week and there is no firm details on the operation.
It's being said that the National Hurricane Center, and AccuWeather may join in the operation and, the Hurricane Channel would go "head-to-head" with The Weather Channel.
A spokesperson for The Weather Channel was surprised by the news of a possible Hurricane Channel.
"I mean, who are people going to watch," said Kathy Lane, "in January, when it's zero-degrees and a blizzard is coming? Are you going to want that information, or more interviews from New Orleans or Houston with people in short-sleeved shirts?"
Roger Ailes, the chairman, CEO, and president of Fox News Channel did hint at the talks in a recent interview in New York on the coverage planned for Hurricane Rita.
"We need to get our bulls - O'Reilly, Hannity, and the others - back on track … Back backing Bush and pounding out the RNC positions … I mean, they can handle the routine disaster things … They know the questions to ask … How to show compassion but our ratings go through the roof when they're beating the drum and slapping liberals and democrats around … We might have a solution to that pretty soon.
Speculation is high that Fox anchor Shepard Smith would get the nod, having been Fox's man-on-the-ground in New Orleans, for Hurricane Katrina.
'Shep's doing a heck-of-a-job for us down there,: said Ailes. 'I mean he can make a slight breeze sound like Armageddon is coming in one sentence, then tug at your heartstrings in the next."
CNN President Jonathan Klein would not confirm talks of the Hurricane Channel but did mention that anchor Anderson Cooper would fit into such program, being that Cooper garnered media reviews of his coverage of Katrina, which included displaying raw emotions on-camera.
"Anderson is what I call three-hanky coverage, " said Klein. "Man, can he those waterworks going, or what!"
MSNBC didn't return calls and their spokesperson would neither confirm or deny participation in talks, or anything about the Hurricane Channel, other than "it would certainly cut cost, being able to pool resources".
"I don't think they want to plug Tucker Carlson into it," offered Vilma. "They've all but given up on that petri dish. They push his time slot back again and he's competing with infomercials."
"They might try to fit the new star in the stable there, Rita Cosby, though television sets around the country might explode if she, and former Fox colleague Geraldo Riveraappear in the same broadcast."
It is also being reported that advertising and sponsorship packages are being "floated" out to certain big name companies, some that include naming rights for the various levees in New Orleans. No word on if the Hurricane Channel would receive those payments or, if a deal has been struck with New Orleans and the Army Corp of Engineers.
"Hey," said Vilma, "If the Hurricane Channel is offering 24/7 coverage, someone will be willing to put their name on those levees."
Ailes tipped his hand a bit more in his interview.
"There's only so many runaway brides and missing teenager stories. Storms, hurricanes … You get mass evacuations, fires, damage, millions of people displaced, the economy … It's like a reality show, in real time … It's America, fair and unbalanced."
Hughes Makes Official Debut With Mid-East Jaunt
Fall Tupperware Line Just In; Says Flood Victims could have "saved heirlooms"
Karen Hughes, now that she is confirmed, is making her official debut this week, as Under Secretary of State, with stops in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Hughes has previously served as President Bush's campaign spokesperson and White House Communications Specialist.
Hughes has been in the position since March, when she launched International Tupperware parties as a means to promote the Bush Administrations positions and policies.
Ms. Hughes stated that the program shows how Tupperware is integrated into the American lifestyle "in a healthy and prosperous way". She believes that it can help in having these countries gain a better understanding of America and, at the same time, help themselves.
"Along with developing self-confidence and self-esteem, the representatives from these countries will be building an important economic platform", Hughes stated.
In Egypt, where Hughes displayed the new 2005 Fall line of Tupperware, she was peppered with questions about the hurricanes and devastation in New Orleans.
"It's really been terrible." offered Hughes. " So much was lost. If those people had used Tupperware, for instance, they could have saved a lot of their possessions, irreplaceable photos and family heirlooms."
Ms. Hughes also announced that, in 2006, she will be adding Mary Kay Cosmetics to the program and that an office will be set up in New Orleans under the President's new 'Gulf Opportunity Zone'.
"I've talked with many of the woman refugees in Houston and they were just sick over not having any make-up to wear while waiting to be rescued."
Monday, September 26, 2005
Cable News Giants Considering All-Hurricane Channel