HOT cable television viewers now have a replacement for CNN, after MSNBC
launched its channel Tuesday.
HOT dumped CNN from its package in November
after refusing to match the terms of their previous contract because CNN has
slipped behind Fox News as the top-rated news network. MSNBC, which is owned by
NBCUniversal, will be available exclusively to HOT subscribers.
chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell hosted her daily news
program from Israel on Tuesday, interviewing opposition leader Tzipi Livni.
Earlier the same day, Mitchell and company president Phil Griffin spoke at the
channel’s official launch in Tel Aviv.
Mitchell has covered Israel
extensively in more than three decades at NBC News, but she said nothing could
match the thrill of presenting her program, Andrea Mitchell Reports, from here.
She said Israel has been part of her identity since her parents took her in her
stroller to a New York parade for the newborn state’s
Griffin said recent visits here had taught him that
Israelis value information and debate, and said Israel and MSNBC shared the same
“start-up nation spirit.”
MSNBC was launched purely as a headline news
channel in 1996, he said, but a decade later it made the decision to provide
more in-depth coverage.
“When we did that our audience and revenue
soared... In other words, getting smart worked.”
Both speakers said this
was an opportune time to introduce their channel to Israelis, given that Israel
would be a central theme in the Republican primaries and the 2012 US
presidential elections. Griffin said, “Our audience cares about what’s going on
here. Every Israeli has a friend or family member in the United States, and now
they will have a unique window into America.”
HÍOT vice president of
content Yoram Mokady said Israeli media should treat MSNBC’s entry into the
local market as a chance to learn how professionals report the
“We’re very proud of our newspapers and our news channels, but at
times it’s good to see how the professionals do things abroad, and this is a
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