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todayshowproducer

Layoffs at HLN as Network Plans Major Programming Changes

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Just six weeks after taking over as general manager of HLN, Albie Hecht is instituting sweeping programming changes in daytime and primetime that will lead to layoffs at the network.

 

“Raising America,” the 12pmET show anchored by Kyra Phillips, and “Evening Express,” the 5pmET program anchored by Ryan Smith, will both be cancelled. A spokesperson from HLN said announcements about new roles for Phillips and Smith are forthcoming. Beginning November 18, the shows will be replaced by a four-hour block of “News Now” from 1pm to 5pmET, anchored by a rotation of Mike Galanos, Susan Hendricks, Christi Paul and Lynn Berry.

 

A spokesperson for the network declined to comment on the number of people that will be affected by the layoffs, noting employees will be able to apply for open jobs internally and externally.

“While change is necessary to evolve HLN, it is also difficult. A handful of our family members will be impacted by today’s news,” Hecht wrote in a memo to HLN staffers this afternoon. “I know that I speak for all of us when I offer a heartfelt thank you and my sincere appreciation for their commitment.”

 

The memo from Hecht, which includes the network’s new programming lineup, is after the jump.

Team:

Today, I’m announcing programming changes to HLN’s dayside line-up. Effective November 18, these changes serve as a principal step as we continue to re-position the brand.

 

HLN’s new 6 a.m.-12 midnight schedule is as follows:

 

6 a.m.-12 noon ET: Morning Express with Robin Meade

12 noon-1 p.m. ET: Showbiz Tonight (repeat from previous day)

1-5 p.m. ET: News Now

5-6 p.m. ET: What Would You Do?

6-7 p.m. ET: Showbiz Tonight (LIVE, 5th floor NY newsroom)

7-8 p.m. ET: Jane Velez-Mitchell

8-9 p.m. ET: Nancy Grace

9-10 p.m. ET: Dr. Drew On Call (M-Th, Mystery Detectives Fri)

10-11 p.m. ET: HLN After Dark (M-Th, Mystery Detectives Fri)

11 p.m.-12 midnight: Showbiz Tonight (6 p.m. replay)

 

The programming shift also includes new assignments for some of our talent. News Now will be anchored by a rotation of Mike Galanos, Susan Hendricks, Christi Paul and Lynn Berry. In the coming weeks, we’ll have additional announcements about other talent impacted by these changes.

 

While change is necessary to evolve HLN, it is also difficult. A handful of our family members will be impacted by today’s news. I know that I speak for all of us when I offer a heartfelt thank you and my sincere appreciation for their commitment.

In the six weeks since I’ve joined HLN, I’ve been continually impressed with your professionalism and passion. We have a real opportunity to grow the HLN brand; let’s get started.

 

 

(DISCLAMER: I OWN NONE OF THE ABOVE! IT WAS COPIED AND PASTED DIRECTLY FROM MEDIA BISTRO'S TVNEWSER. CITATION BELOW)

 

Knox, Merrill. "Layoffs at HLN as Network Plans Major Programming Changes." - TVNewser. Media Bistro, 4 Nov. 2013. Web. 04 Nov. 2013.

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I stopped watching HLN when it stopped being Headline News. The amount of fluff on HLN exceeds even CNN which is really saying something.

 

I think they had better luck with the Headline News format than they do with whatever mess it is now.

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Why not just run 'Morning Express' from midnight in the US's eastern-most territory until noon in Hawaii? They could then LITERALLY call it a day and be done with it.

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I couldn't care less because I can't stand HLN as it is. However this is my mom's favorite news channel so I'm exposed to it regularly. Might as well rename it "Court TV" because that's what all their programming is about. Even better, sell the network to ABC because they share the same target audience and most people who watch ABC also watch HLN.

 

p.s. Nancy Grace and Jane-Velez Mitchell need to learn to treat their guest with respect and to stop yelling at the camera, even though I realize they are told to do that, not really their choice.

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I couldn't care less because I can't stand HLN as it is. However this is my mom's favorite news channel so I'm exposed to it regularly. Might as well rename it "Court TV" because that's what all their programming is about. Even better, sell the network to ABC because they share the same target audience and most people who watch ABC also watch HLN.

 

p.s. Nancy Grace and Jane-Velez Mitchell need to learn to treat their guest with respect and to stop yelling at the camera, even though I realize they are told to do that, not really their choice.

 

Oh good. Glad I'm not the only one who is subjected to this crap by their family.

 

You nailed it, it's a dumbed down version of Court TV. Because I don't remember Court TV oversensationalizing everything to the degree that HLN does.

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I couldn't care less because I can't stand HLN as it is. However this is my mom's favorite news channel so I'm exposed to it regularly. Might as well rename it "Court TV" because that's what all their programming is about. Even better, sell the network to ABC because they share the same target audience and most people who watch ABC also watch HLN.

 

p.s. Nancy Grace and Jane-Velez Mitchell need to learn to treat their guest with respect and to stop yelling at the camera, even though I realize they are told to do that, not really their choice.

 

Speaking of which, maybe he'll cut back on that too. I don't care if it gives you monster ratings, it feeds to the stereotype that Americans are more entertainment driven than information driven. Plus, we already have a network totally devoted for that, why do you feel the need to step in all of a sudden?

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HLN should just change their name to "TMZ TV" (aren't they both owned by Time Warner?). All it's become is celebrity news, supermarket tabloid stories, and crazy women on trial.

 

Sadly, politically charged news rules cable TV. FOX is number one because their only conservative competition (One America News; I don't consider Glenn Beck's Blaze TV a news network) is carried by only a handful of providers, and then there's MSNBC on the left which is far behind FOX but still averages twice as many viewers as CNN on a normal night. Not to mention the right's blind hatred of Al-Jazeera America. As I said before, they could be the most neutral news source, and people will still call them "the enemy."

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Plus, we already have a network totally devoted for that, why do you feel the need to step in all of a sudden?

 

Which one? Remember, Court TV is now Tru TV and they have done away with "In Session" and devoted all trial coverage to HLN.

 

 

HLN should just change their name to "TMZ TV" (aren't they both owned by Time Warner?). All it's become is celebrity news, supermarket tabloid stories, and crazy women on trial.

 

Sadly, politically charged news rules cable TV. FOX is number one because their only conservative competition (One America News; I don't consider Glenn Beck's Blaze TV a news network) is carried by only a handful of providers, and then there's MSNBC on the left which is far behind FOX but still averages twice as many viewers as CNN on a normal night. Not to mention the right's blind hatred of Al-Jazeera America. As I said before, they could be the most neutral news source, and people will still call them "the enemy."

 

Agree with everything except the last sentence. I think yes there are a lot of people who hate AJAM but as I've said before I am both on the right and I support AJAM and think they have potential. These people who hate AJAM are extreme right-wing. I like Fox News but still too much commentary not enough news (CNN is slowly dying its death courtesy Jeff Zucker) but I'll take it over MSNBC anyday.

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Which one? Remember, Court TV is now Tru TV and they have done away with "In Session" and devoted all trial coverage to HLN.

 

Agree with everything except the last sentence. I think yes there are a lot of people who hate AJAM but as I've said before I am both on the right and I support AJAM and think they have potential. These people who hate AJAM are extreme right-wing. I like Fox News but still too much commentary not enough news (CNN is slowly dying its death courtesy Jeff Zucker) but I'll take it over MSNBC anyday.

 

 

I agree with you about CNN. They've been on a "death spiral" ever since Ted Turner stepped down from the company which was known at the time as AOL Time Warner.

 

As far as AJAM hate, One America News claims to be "independently conservative" but just like what Glenn Beck is doing to get coverage for Blaze TV, OAN is also playing the "you pay for AJAM, you should also be paying for us too" card. There are a few conservatives who favor the extra competition, but I don't think the blind hatred is only coming from the far-far-right. Even Dish Network, which still calls the channel "Current," is distancing themselves from displaying the Al-Jazeera logo on their on-screen guide. I mean, if they were really "the enemy," would they still have given a half-hour one-on-one to Ron Paul? But, then again, there are some who don't think Paul is a pure conservative.

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Albie Hecht used to be at Nickelodeon. so I don't know what's gonna happen. He greenlit SpongeBob, All That and the Kids Choice Awards, and created Spike TV, but success in those areas doesn't translate to good news for a news channel.

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Albie Hecht used to be at Nickelodeon. so I don't know what's gonna happen. He greenlit SpongeBob, All That and the Kids Choice Awards, and created Spike TV, but success in those areas doesn't translate to good news for a news channel.

 

Of note, Albie Hecht has contributed to the Democratic Party in the past. That should tell you something about where HLN's news coverage is heading (more liberal if it already isn't). He is now barred from making political contributions...

 

 

I agree with you about CNN. They've been on a "death spiral" ever since Ted Turner stepped down from the company which was known at the time as AOL Time Warner.

 

Yep, but Zucker has made it worse and is trying to position it as an entertainment channel and not a news channel. Seriously, Anthony Bordain? HLN remains unwatchable.

 

Hey, does anyone's local cable system still air news updates from a local affiliate on HLN? I know KSAT used to do so here until around 2008 when they realized HLN was no longer a "headline news" channel and dropped their updates from TWC-SA.

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WBNS stopped doing the HLN updates a while back.

 

Headline News was great in the '80s and '90s. Funny how their 2001 relaunch was supposed to bolster the network but was actually the start of the decline.

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I honestly don't know why HLN still exists. Does anyone at CNN realize that HLN is likely taking potential viewers from CNN itself?

 

Here's an idea, CNN: Kill off HLN and replace it with CNN International. Go head-to-head with BBC World News and Al Jazeera America.

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I honestly don't know why HLN still exists. Does anyone at CNN realize that HLN is likely taking potential viewers from CNN itself?

 

Here's an idea, CNN: Kill off HLN and replace it with CNN International. Go head-to-head with BBC World News and Al Jazeera America.

 

HLN has an audience. It's not going away. The journalism purists like you and me and most who post on this board are just not in that audience. But there's an audience.

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Yep, but Zucker has made it worse and is trying to position it as an entertainment channel and not a news channel. Seriously, Anthony Bordain? HLN remains unwatchable.

 

 

No surprise that Zucker came from NBC Universal, which seems to be prone to making massive mistakes at their properties (the SyFy rebranding, naming winter storms at The Weather Channel). Something must have been in the water at 30 Rock. I'm surprised to begin with that Zucker didn't hire a seasoned NBCU exec to helm HLN!

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HLN has an audience. It's not going away. The journalism purists like you and me and most who post on this board are just not in that audience. But there's an audience.

 

Agreed. They need just change the name to "People TV" (Time Warner synergy at work). TMZ may be a Time Warner property, but Harvey Levin's very close to the FOX brass too.

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No surprise that Zucker came from NBC Universal, which seems to be prone to making massive mistakes at their properties (the SyFy rebranding, naming winter storms at The Weather Channel). Something must have been in the water at 30 Rock. I'm surprised to begin with that Zucker didn't hire a seasoned NBCU exec to helm HLN!

 

Lest we remember these four words...

 

The. Jay. Leno. Show.

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Here's an idea, CNN: Kill off HLN and replace it with CNN International. Go head-to-head with BBC World News and Al Jazeera America.

This is what bothers me.

 

CNN International is very good and shows actual news, why can't the US version of CNN be the same way?

 

(Thank God U-Verse has CNN International, now all I need is AJAM and BBC and I'll be set)

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This is what bothers me.

 

CNN International is very good and shows actual news, why can't the US version of CNN be the same way?

 

(Thank God U-Verse has CNN International, now all I need is AJAM and BBC and I'll be set)

 

Because Jeff Zucker is too busy screwing the US one over to even care about the International one. So the international folks can actually do their job well...

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Because Jeff Zucker is too busy screwing the US one over to even care about the International one. So the international folks can actually do their job well...

 

That was going to be my guess as well.

 

It's a real shame too. I'm really glad I have the international version so I can watch that instead of the other cable news networks.

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