What is the lawsuit about, Kenneth?
Dan Rather, the controversial former CBS anchorman best known for his strange pseudo-folksy “Ratherisms”, funny moments in the paths of hurricanes, and being mugged by someone who demanded “Kenneth, what is the frequency?”, is suing his former employer CBS, three of its executives, and its parent company, for $20 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages. He claims that they violated his contract by not giving him enough airtime on 60 Minutes, the investigation of his reporting on the credibility challenged story about George W. Bush’s National Guard service was a biased fraud, and that his public apology about the story was ghostwritten by a CBS PR person.
Rather who in the wake of scandal was basically forced to step down from the anchor desk in early 2005, told the Daily News, "I am standing up for myself. But it's also about trying to get to the bottom of what really happened inside CBS News and ... what happened between corporate leadership and the people with whom in Washington they need regulatory favors.”
CBS responded calling the suit, which included Rather complaining that the network wouldn’t let him cover hurricanes, “old news” and “without merit”.
Viva Las Vegas
There was no real reason for WNYW and WABC to send off reporters to cover the latest chapter of the O. J. Simpson saga. The waste of resources and pulling reporters off covering local stories to cover something that has no effect on the tri-state area is just wrong. There is really nothing to be gained to basically see Charles Leaf on Fox 5 and Jeff Rossen on channel 7 stand in front of some government building in Clark County Nevada. This is why there are affiliate news services.
Despite having fewer viewers than the syndicated infotainment show “Extra” that it replaced in the 7 p.m. time slot, WNBC’s Chuck Scarborough anchored New York Nightly News is slowly creeping up in the ratings. The first outing last week had a 2.1 rating and this past Monday’s newscast got a 2.6.
Free TV Downloads
Both Fox and NBC are offering up some free television show downloads, but they are taking different tacks. Fox is offering for two weeks free iTunes downloads of the season premiers of several of its shows. The shows are commercial free and are not DRM time limited.
NBC has decided to start their own free download service called NBC Direct starting in October offering shows for a week after they aired. It differs since it features ads you can’t skip and are DRM time limited to one week. However, of you want to watch them on your iPod or if you have a Mac or Linux box you will be out of luck since they use Windows Media DRM which only runs on Windows machines. However, they do claim that there will be a version for portable players and Macs by the end of the year. Still, it doesn’t seem right to roll things out when they aren’t fully ready.