RNC dumps NBC for February debate. CNN gets the nod

posted at 8:01 am on January 19, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

Last night an email alert from the RNC showed up in many of our inboxes informing us that there was a major change to the upcoming Republican debate schedule. The February contest in Houston, Texas was no longer going to be hosted by NBC News, with the honors going to CNN instead. Going one step further, the RNC has officially “severed ties” with the Peacock Network. (Politico)

The Republican National Committee officially severed ties on Monday with NBC for what was supposed to be a Feb. 26 Republican primary debate in Houston. Instead, CNN will host the debate in Houston on Thursday, Feb. 25, five days before Super Tuesday.

The committee voted via conference call Monday after negotiations with NBC failed, two sources familiar with the call confirmed. The RNC initially suspended the relationship with NBC on Oct. 30, following a debate on CNBC that angered many of the campaigns and the RNC for the network’s handling of the debate format and the moderators’ line of questioning.

At the time, NBC said it looked forward to working in “good faith to resolve this matter with the Republican Party.”

Those “good faith” negotiations apparently didn’t go anywhere. That’s probably not much of a surprise given what a disaster on wheels the last CNBC debate turned out to be. You may recall that Ed described the sordid affair as, an embarrassment that should be studied in journalism schools as a bald-faced example of media bias and hostility.

That’s putting it mildly, speaking as someone who sat through that debacle. Over at RedState, Leon Wolf noted that NBC really brought this on themselves and it’s going to hit them in the wallet as well as damaging their remaining credibility.

Hard to say that this is the wrong move for the RNC. There isn’t a trustworthy NBC property on television right now, and none of the candidates will be well served by fielding dumb, gotcha questions from openly biased moderators. By February 28th, the field will be winnowed down to the serious candidates, and there’s no use exposing one of them to NBC’s liberal stupidity.

Meanwhile, the GOP debates have been a ratings bonanza for every network that has carried them, due largely to the presence of Trump. The CNBC debate was by far the highest ratings that network ever received, and given NBC’s struggles (particularly in the increasingly vital live television arena), they stand to lose a pretty significant advertising windfall over the decision.

That’s no exaggeration. While CNBC may not have rung up the same numbers as CNN and Fox, the more than 14 million viewers they pulled in still registered as the biggest ratings the network has ever seen for anything and by a wide margin. How significant is that for the network? On the average day they frequently struggle to attract 200K viewers over an entire 24 hour period. Their political news counterpart, MSNBC, gets anemic numbers for their prime time line-up at best. Losing this relationship with the RNC for the remainder of the primary season is a big hit to the bottom line.

The remaining question which is likely being sorted out right now is who will be manning the helm for CNN now that they’ve picked up this windfall. Our company (Salem Communications) is still involved so we’ll probably see Hugh Hewitt, and Telemundo (an NBC Universal property) is still invited so they’ll have somebody on hand. But who will run the show? Jake Tapper did a pretty good job on his first turn, but Wolf Blitzer is always something of a disappointment. If they go any deeper into their anchor desk bench they could lose the accolades they gathered earlier in the season. I expect we’ll have that answer in the next week or so.

TapperDebate


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

The GOPe is sad they had to move from NBC.

So they choose CNN which is just as bad.

ConstantineXI on January 19, 2016 at 8:04 AM

One network dumped for another network to host the worlds largest clown show. Let’s get to the voting already.

Mr. Arrogant on January 19, 2016 at 8:09 AM

Sounds like jumping ship from the Titanic to the Lusitania…

Rogue on January 19, 2016 at 8:11 AM

…so sad!…I was really looking forward to Angrier Mitchell moderating Trump and Cruz!

JugEarsButtHurt on January 19, 2016 at 8:17 AM

It’s a good move if just to show a willingness to punish some of these arrogant creeps in the MSM. If Tapper hosts it’ll also be a much more useful debate. Punish enemies, reward the few decent journalists out there. It’s a simple formula.

forest on January 19, 2016 at 8:19 AM

As long as MSDNC is the news outlet for NBC, forget about any credibility.

That died with Russert.

Valiant on January 19, 2016 at 8:21 AM

Remember the last time when John Harwood was playing biggest prick arrogant NBC host in the room?

Being libtard nasty has consequences…

BigSven on January 19, 2016 at 8:23 AM

How many here think this would have happened if Trump was not on the ticket?

Johnnyreb on January 19, 2016 at 8:23 AM

If DNC can sever Fox, RNC can sever NBC

Nothing wrong there

Don’t want Wolfie though, ugh

cmsinaz on January 19, 2016 at 8:26 AM

…it’s going to hit them in the wallet as well as damaging their remaining credibility.

Ha ha.

Look, Jazz made a funny.

Pain Train on January 19, 2016 at 8:27 AM

Hugh Hewitt again? If it has to be Salem don’t they have other squishes they can use? What does Hugh the intellectual bring to the debates?

Edith Stifle on January 19, 2016 at 8:28 AM

Did CNN find the plane yet?

Galtian on January 19, 2016 at 8:30 AM

Edith Stifle on January 19, 2016 at 8:28 AM

I saw we Petition for Jazz to be the Salem MOD at this debate.

dougmva on January 19, 2016 at 8:32 AM

Commies will be Commies it is their destiny

Their goal is to have the world rebuilding old cars and playing dominoes all day.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on January 19, 2016 at 8:32 AM

I sawy we Petition for Jazz to be the Salem MOD at this debate.

dougmva on January 19, 2016 at 8:32 AM

dang keyboard again.. acting up.

dougmva on January 19, 2016 at 8:33 AM

Dougmva- that would be a nice switch out for sure

Edith Stifle on January 19, 2016 at 8:33 AM

Are you shitting me? CNN?? Really? Fcuk the RNC!

bernzright777 on January 19, 2016 at 8:37 AM

Hugh Hewitt again? If it has to be Salem don’t they have other squishes they can use? What does Hugh the intellectual bring to the debates?

Edith Stifle on January 19, 2016 at 8:28 AM

More substantive questions, fewer ‘just-make-the-Republican-look-bad’ ones; the kind of questions the GOP primary voter would like answers to.

Ricard on January 19, 2016 at 8:37 AM

On the average day they frequently struggle to attract 200K viewers over an entire 24 hour period.

I didn’t realize they were that pathetic. How do they stay in business?

Fenris on January 19, 2016 at 8:49 AM

It’s a good move, but mostly symbolic. Jake Tapper is fine with me. NBC is so partisan/pathetic. God only knows who the moderators could be. Would not put it pass them than to have Joe or Mika in the mix. They are so arrogant and they hate Rubio, (not that I love him, but would not be fair to any of the candidates). Boy, would that be frightening! Russert is so missed. Honestly we need to cut to the top three guys and let them talk. P.S. Still get a hoot after watching JT asking that final question to Hillary. That should be on this post, so putting it on for you. Go to 1:08 of the clip. Enjoy!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoZelziqbHE

whsiii on January 19, 2016 at 9:21 AM

Please, not Hugh. He may not be one, but he sure does look like a dufus.

vnvet on January 19, 2016 at 9:46 AM

As long as MSDNC is the news outlet for NBC, forget about any credibility.

That died with Russert.

Valiant on January 19, 2016 at 8:21 AM

Boy are you late to the game.

NBC’s credibility died over 40 years ago.

Younggod on January 19, 2016 at 9:52 AM

Don’t see any difference between the two……

Realdemocrat1 on January 19, 2016 at 9:57 AM

The RNC may have waited until after NBC did it’s Sunday night Democratic candidate debate in order to be able to have video ‘contrast and compare’ evidence on how the network treated Hillary, Bernie and Martin, as opposed to how they treated the GOP candidates back in late October.

That would also explain in part why CNN got the gig — the oh-so-sensitive to criticism RNC wanted to be able to prove NBC was biased, but they didn’t want people to say they were running away from hard questions by taking the debate to Fox, so it ends up at CNN (which I suppose is better than taking it to ABC, after George Stephanopolous’ planted question four years ago to set up the Democrats’ ‘War on Women’ spin against Mitt Romney).

jon1979 on January 19, 2016 at 10:09 AM

Telemundo is still in. So the RNC couldn’t bring themselves to separate those race hustlers from this at all, being that they are owned by NBC.

This is just a stupid smokescreen.

NWConservative on January 19, 2016 at 10:35 AM

If the bench isn’t deep enough, why not go for an all-star ballot?

The DNC seem to be happy with their pro bowl based model.

sesuncedu on January 19, 2016 at 1:17 PM

The RNC and GOP pols should just swear off NBC and ABC altogether. No debates, no Sunday morning shows, no interviews, no asking them questions at pressers. Just cut them off. Make it costly for the networks to become the communications wing of the DNC.

Zomcon JEM on January 19, 2016 at 4:07 PM

The RNC and GOP pols should just swear off NBC and ABC altogether. No debates, no Sunday morning shows, no interviews, no asking them questions at pressers. Just cut them off. Make it costly for the networks to become the communications wing of the DNC.

Zomcon JEM on January 19, 2016 at 4:07 PM

Works for me.
What, in response, can DeMedia do bad to the GOP that they haven’t already done?

AesopFan on January 19, 2016 at 6:24 PM