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Can Trump Win His Battle With The Unionized, Bureaucratic ‘Deep State’?

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On his first full day in office, Trump sent a powerful signal of intent by freezing pay raises and hiring of federal workers.

Public Unions: As the old expression goes, a new broom sweeps clean. And there’s no question that the new broom in Washington, D.C., is Donald Trump. Will he be able to sweep aside the massive Washington bureaucracy, the graveyard of good ideas and democratic governance?

Trump got off to a very promising start, as we noted on Monday. On his first full day in office, he sent a powerful signal of intent by freezing pay raises and hiring of federal workers. Trump administration officials have let it be known that he’d like to slice 10% off spending and 20% off the federal bureaucracy, part of a broad effort to slash just over $10 trillion from federal spending over the next decade.

Not surprisingly, this has frightened bureaucrats. An Associated Press headline captured it best: “Workers Dismayed By President Trump’s Federal Hiring Freeze.”

According to a Government Business CouncilGovExec.com poll, 28% of government employees said they will definitely or “maybe” consider quitting or retiring after Donald Trump was sworn into office. Another 7% said they don’t know. They know the ax is coming down.

Things are already moving along. Late last week, in the Senate, Sen. Marco Rubio reintroduced a spate of bills, including one that would enable Veterans Affairs employees to be fired for poor performance or misconduct. Meanwhile, the White House on Tuesday ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to stop awarding new contracts or grants, as part of a review of its operations. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bidding War? What Bidding War? 

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Stephen Battaglio reports: Megyn Kelly’s bestselling memoir is called “Settle for More,” but the star anchor may have to settle for less money if she decides to leave the Fox News Channel.

Kelly is said to have not made up her mind about staying with Fox News beyond the end of her contract in July, even with an offer of more than $20 million a year to stay, which would put her in the same income bracket as NBC’s “Today” co-anchor Matt Lauer.

“Katie Couric is the perfect example of how her success at the ‘Today’ show never transferred to anyplace else. And that happens with most people.”

So far no other networks have offered to top Fox’s figure, according to network news executives and agents familiar with the talks and who were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. A spokesperson for Creative Artists Agency, which represents Kelly, declined to comment on her contract negotiations.

Kelly’s future is being closely watched. She is the first breakout talent in the TV news business in recent years, becoming an even bigger name in the aftermath of her showdown with President-elect Donald Trump at the first Republican primary debate in 2015.

In an earlier era, her availability likely would have commanded a bidding war. But in a fragmented media environment where there are no longer surefire ratings hits, networks are cautious about making major financial commitments. Read the rest of this entry »


More People Watched ‘NCIS’ than the Democratic Debate

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The Dems’ ratings also couldn’t top the 15.7 million viewers who tuned in to watch the fourth episode of the season for CBS CBS drama NCIS

Tom Huddleston Jr. reports: Hillary Clinton was widely declared the winner of Tuesday night’s debate, but in terms of ratings, the Democrats lost to the GOP … and NCIS.

Hosted by CNN TWX and Facebook FB , the first Democratic debate of the 2016 election season averaged 15.3 million total viewers, according to Nielsen’s numbers. That marked a new ratings record for Democratic debates, but it still fell well short of the GOP’s numbers.

The first GOP debate aired on Fox News in August and pulled in a record-breaking 24 million viewers. Last month’s follow-up on CNN pulled in roughly 23 million, which was a record for CNN.

The Dems’ ratings also couldn’t top the 15.7 million viewers who tuned in to watch the fourth episode of the season for CBS CBS drama NCIS, starring actor Mark Harmon….(read more)

Source: Fortune 


Death Spiral: CNN’s 9 p.m. Hour Hits Second-Lowest Ratings in Nearly 15 Years

For MediaiteMatt Wilstein reports: 

With Bill Weir hosting CNN Tonight on Friday, averaged its second-lowest ratings during the 9 p.m. hour in both the 25-54 demo and total viewers in nearlyScreen-Shot-2014-05-12-at-3.35.39-PM 15 years. The CNN show had 48K viewers in the demo and 226K total, according to Nielsen.

The only other time the 9 p.m. hour rated lower than that in total viewers dating back to 2000 came on October 11, 2010 when Larry King Live had 196K. In the demo, it occurred on May 15, 2012 when Piers Morning Tonight had just 39K viewers. Read the rest of this entry »


Al Jazeera America races MSNBC to the bottom of the ratings scoreboard

Al Jazeera America launched last week, and we have the ratings from Nielsen for its first few days.

Not surprisingly given the low-rated channel it replaced (Current TV), and the fact that it lost a few million homes from AT&T before launch (it is currently in just over 40 million homes), AJAM’s launch ratings were pretty low by traditional cable news standards.

Read the rest of this entry »