Irma approaches; weekend coverage; Rush evacuates; Disney shuts down; Fox boots Bolling; NFL ratings; Clinton's interview circuit

By Brian Stelter and the CNN Media team. View this email in your browser!
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Exec summary: TV networks are in special report mode for Hurricane Irma... Thursday's NFL ratings are being dissected... Eric Bolling is out at Fox News... Chris Christie is talking with CNN/MSNBC... Hillary Clinton's book rollout begins in earnest this weekend...

Here's what you need to know about Irma coverage

This was CNN's Patrick Oppmann in Caibarien, Cuba on Friday evening...

Friday night notes

Lester Holt continued to anchor from FL for NBC... David Muir for ABC... Jeff Glor for CBS... Later in the evening, Anderson Cooper on CNN and Chris Hayes on MSNBC anchored from Miami... While Tucker Carlson covered stories like "Stephen Colbert flashes Nazi salute" and "News site makes Hurricane Harvey a race issue" in between storm updates... "The Five" stayed with the storm though... This is the "largest evacuation" in Florida history... and the "first real test of Florida's post-Andrew emergency plan..."

TV networks moving crews to the west coast

Most of the live shots I saw on Friday were from the highly populated east coast of Florida, in and around Miami, but networks are moving some crews to the west coast, given the NHC's predictions about the path of the eyewall. The Weather Channel has Jim Cantore and Paul Goodloe moving to Naples and Chris Bruin in Tampa...

 -- After the latest shift to the west, "I just called my mom, I just told her, they now have a storm surge in Fort Myers, where they live, at six feet," meteorologist Bill Karins said on MSNBC...

By now, residents have heard the warnings...

The AP's Seth Borenstein writes: "Catastrophic, life-threatening, extremely dangerous. Scary? Forecasters hope so. The National Weather Service are using as fearful words as they can, on purpose, to warn people about Hurricane Irma and shock them into action, just as they did last month for Hurricane Harvey..."

At the Miami Herald

Oliver Darcy emails: Hello from Miami... all is quiet before the storm... except for the sounds of people boarding up businesses. I'll be embedded with the Miami Herald this weekend as Hurricane Irma barrels through Florida. Starting Saturday morning I'll be in the Herald's newsroom. Check my Twitter for real-time updates from the Herald's newsroom or follow me on Instagram for pictures...

 -- I asked Darcy what it feels like downtown: "Feels like a ghost town. Like the rapture happened and I got left behind."

Palm Beach Post evacuating its building

Julia Waldow emails: The Palm Beach Post, located in West Palm Beach, is evacuating its main building starting on Saturday. "We'll return as soon as possible," publisher Tim Burke said in an email to employees. This created trouble for some staffers who were planning on hunkering down at the office with their families.

 -- Burke told CNN: "The safety and security of our employees and their families is our utmost concern at this time... The building itself may not be able to withstand anything above a Category 2 hurricane, so we're not taking any chances."

 -- The paper is delivering a weekend edition on Saturday that combines content from Saturday and Sunday. It's hoping to get back into the building on Monday...

"20 essential personnel" working at the Sun-Sentinel

More from Julia: The Sun-Sentinel, which covers Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade, will operate from its newsroom in Deerfield Beach. Managing editor Dana Banker told me that that 20 essential personnel from the newsroom will be locked in the building... Like the Palm Beach Post, they're publishing a combined Saturday-Sunday print edition, then focusing on the web...

Local stations sending reinforcements

CNN's Joshua Chavers emails: "I'm noticing several local stations and local reporters tweeting about reporters from outside the markets coming in for reinforcement. Scripps sending extra to WPTV (West Palm), WFTS (Tampa) and also the Fox station in Fort Myers. I've noticed the Tegna station in Jacksonville doing the same thing... Really speaks to how huge the story is..."

Saturday and Sunday coverage notes

 -- CNN will be live nonstop for at least the next three days. Most of the hours will be co-anchored from Florida. Anchors in the region include Anderson Cooper, Victor Blackwell, Chris Cuomo, John Berman...

 -- Fox News will stay live starting at 5am Saturday... extra newscast hours have been added... Bill Hemmer will anchor from FL starting Sunday...

 -- The broadcast nets are planning to air special reports at various times on Saturday and Sunday, depending on sports programming, breaking news, etc...

 -- Weekday morning show teams are coming in on Sunday... Matt and Savannah on "Today..." Charlie, Gayle and Norah on CBS...

 -- MSNBC will have Brian Williams anchoring from 6am til noon on Sunday...

 -- NBC is pre-empting "Meet the Press..." Chuck Todd will anchor some afternoon coverage on MSNBC...
 -- NBC and MSNBC have signed up Sam Champion as a contributor for Irma coverage...

 -- CNN has signed David Halstead, former director of Florida's Division of Emergency Management, as a contributor...

 -- Via Variety's Brian Steinberg: "CNN has assigned 22 different correspondents to cover the event from Florida, Cuba, Haiti, and Puerto Rico, among other places..."

Rushing out...

Oliver Darcy emails: Rush Limbaugh indicated on his radio program Thursday that he had evacuated his Florida home. On Friday, Mark Steyn filled in for him.

This, of course, came just days after Limbaugh expressed skepticism about the seriousness of Irma and floated unfounded theories about why media outlets were aggressively covering the looming storm. You can read my full story about it here…

Disney World is shutting down for at least two days

The hotels are staying open but the parks are closing. "Disney officials say they hope to resume normal operations at the parks on Tuesday." CNN's Natasha Chen has info on all the Orlando-area parks here...

MSNBC no longer replaying 9/11/2001 coverage

Every year since 2006, MSNBC has re-aired the "Today" show's live coverage from 9/11/2001. I thought Irma coverage would cause this commemoration to come to an end this year. It turns out MSNBC executives had already decided to "move away" from the rebroadcast, even before Irma. "We have decided internally to move away from the re-air and instead focus on other ways of the commemorating 9/11 such as long-form documentaries," a spokesman said Friday...

Fox boots Eric Bolling

Tom Kludt emails his latest: A month ago, Eric Bolling and Charles Payne found themselves in limbo at Fox News over harassment allegations. They were both off the air, an especially tough blow for Bolling, who had just landed a hosting role on a new show, "The Specialists."

On Friday, in the span of hours, their fates were revealed: Payne is back at Fox Business, while Bolling is out. And his show is canceled. It's a meteoric fall for Bolling, who was clearly well thought of among Fox brass... He had just signed a new contract in June...

 -- Kludt adds: Know who else thinks highly of Bolling? President Trump, who, if the trend holds, will eventually comment on Bolling's ouster. But will Trump rush to Bolling's defense, as he did with Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly? Again, if the trend holds, yes...

What about the lawsuit Bolling threatened?

Yashar Ali, who broke the news about the claims against Bolling, emails: "For those who have asked, Eric has not yet withdrawn his 50 million dollar defamation claim against me."

Kludt reached out to Bolling's lawyer to see what this means for his lawsuit against Ali... no response yet...
For the record, part one
 -- "New Uber CEO steps down from New York Times board..." (Marketwatch)

 -- Robert Bianco announces: "After 31 years as a TV critic, and nearly 20 at USA Today, it's time to move on. I loved every minute of my turn. I wish you all the same." (Twitter)

 -- Lloyd Grove's day-after story about Graydon Carter: He "didn't want to axe Vanity Fair staff, so he left..." (The Daily Beast)

 -- The AP's Jonathan Lemire is NBC/MSNBC's newest political contributor... (Twitter)

 -- My better half reminds me that Friday is the 25th anniversary of NYC's cable news channel NY1... (Twitter)

The NFL ratings game

Frank Pallotta emails: The NFL's kickoff took a ratings hit. But was Hurricane Irma to blame? The Chiefs' surprising victory over the Patriots nabbed 21.8 million viewers for NBC Thursday night. That's significantly down from last year's 25.2 million. However, Irma may have played a part in the year-over-year decline. The Weather Channel and CNN saw big spikes in viewership on Thursday. Fox and MSNBC were also up. 

Still, the opening night ratings are a concern for the league and its TV partners. And if the numbers don't rebound, the NFL may eventually run out of excuses. Read more...

EXCLUSIVE:

Christie in talks with cablers about contributor job

Hadas Gold emails with this scoop: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is in talks with both MSNBC and CNN for a possible contributor gig after his term ends in January, according to three sources with knowledge of the talks. Both networks declined to comment. Our sources tell us the talks can't proceed beyond the surface level because of New Jersey state ethics rules. Christie already tried his hand at sports radio, auditioning for the co-host role on WFAN to replace Mike Francesa. Last month Christie said he didn't want the job. 

Here's Gold and Oliver Darcy's full story -->
For the record, part two
By Francesca Giuliani-Hoffman:

 -- Journalists paid homage to David Carr on Friday. This would have been his 61st birthday. (Twitter, Twitter, Twitter, Twitter)

 -- Medium is adding curated stories from CNN, NYT, FT, The Economist and other publishers to its subscription deal... (Medium)

 -- Indira Lakshmanan is calling out CNN and Fox News for not disclosing more details around recent reporting errors... (Poynter)

 -- "What Caused Hollywood's Summer From Hell?" The Atlantic's Derek Thompson weighs in... (The Atlantic)

 -- Does Kris Kobach's contributor deal with Breitbart run afoul of federal conflict of interest statutes? (HuffPost)

"What Happened:" the interview tour 

On Friday evening CBS released the first clip from Jane Pauley's interview with HRC. Here are the confirmed interviews I know about:

 -- The Pauley interview is set to air on "CBS Sunday Morning" this Sunday...

 -- The book "What Happened" comes out on Tuesday...

 -- The "Pod Save America" crew will interview Clinton at home, and release it as a bonus edition of the podcast on Tuesday...

 -- First talk show: "The View" on Wednesday...

 -- First late night show: "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" on September 19...

Clinton sitting down with Cooper

Scooplet: HRC will also be speaking with CNN's Anderson Cooper...  He co-moderated a pivotal debate between Clinton and Trump last fall...

Facebook's $1 billion* budget for shows

If you don't subscribe to the WSJ's CMO Daily newsletter, I really recommend it. Lara O'Reilly's headline for this next story was "You Know What's Cool? A Billion Dollars."

She was linking to colleague Deepa Seetharaman's report that Facebook "is willing to spend as much as $1 billion to cultivate original shows for its platform, according to people familiar with matter. The figure, which could fluctuate based on the success of Facebook's programming, covers potential spending through 2018, one of the people said."

A billion $$ is the magic # Apple has also budgeted for its TV push... When I pointed this out, the WSJ's Joe Flint tweeted, "It's the 'wow' figure. Oooh, a billion dollars! Somehow $750 million doesn't quite that the same oomph..."
For the record, part three
By Julia Waldow:

-- Despite being blocked in China, Facebook has recently looked for office space in Shanghai. If successful, the move "would be a symbolic victory for the social network..." (NYT)

 -- British tabloid publisher Trinity Mirror hopes to acquire Northern & Shell's print brands, including OK!, Star, and The Sunday Express... (NYT)

 -- "I had no idea I had that effect on people." "Curb Your Enthusiasm's" Larry David spoke to author and "Origins" podcast host James Andrew Miller about the evolution of his hit HBO comedy... The ninth season premieres on Oct. 1... (THR)

 -- Spike Lee and Jordan Peele are teaming up to direct/produce "Black Klansman," a drama/thriller inspired by real-life events... (THR)

This week's "Reliable" podcast

My guest Mark Lilla, the author of "The Once and Future Liberal," had some very interesting things to say about "identity politics," Fox News, the "story" conservative media tells its audience, and why he believes liberals fail to tell a more compelling one. Check out Francesca's recap here... And subscribe to the "Reliable" podcast feed via iTunes...

These are "Campus Publisher Stories:"

Julia Waldow emails: Snapchat will publish the content of four student papers -- The Daily Californian of UC Berkeley, The Battalion of Texas A&M, The Daily Orange of Syracuse University, and the Badger Herald at the University of Wisconsin at Madison -- on its Discover tab. The deal, restricted to those who use the app on campus, marks the beginning of a program called Campus Publisher Stories...

 -- Kurt Wagner's recap for Recode: "Snapchat wants to get deeper into news, so it's adding college newspapers to Discover..."
Trump and the media

Today in leaks...

Mueller looking to interview Sean Spicer and Hope Hicks

CNNPolitics' Sophie Tatum writes: "Robert Mueller is looking to interview six White House advisers including acting communications director Hope Hicks, former press secretary Sean Spicer and former chief of staff Reince Priebus, people familiar with Mueller's request told The Washington Post on Friday. Meanwhile, Politico reported Friday that Mueller is planning to interview 'up to a dozen White House aides' in the coming weeks, and cited a source who said the current aides Mueller is seeking to talk to are not all 'the marquee names you would think' -- adding that he could start by interviewing lower-level staffers and then working his way up..."

"Billy Bush Saturday"

That's what Steve Bannon calls the weekend of the "Access Hollywood" tape. The tape, he says, was a "litmus test." CBS released the tape-related clip on Friday morning... Chris Cillizza had this reaction...

Troy Gentry, 1967-2017

Heartwrenching news from Medford, NJ: "Troy Gentry, one half of country duo Montgomery Gentry, has died following a helicopter crash," Sandra Gonzalez reports. He was supposed to perform with Eddie Montgomery on Friday night in Medford...
The entertainment desk

Deal for "Chappaquiddick"

News from TIFF: "Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios has closed a huge North American rights deal for 'Chappaquiddick,' the John Curran-directed drama about the night Ted Kennedy drove his car off a bridge, ending the life of Mary Jo Kopechne and his chance at the White House," Deadline reports...

Lowry's take on "Top of the Lake: China Girl"

Brian Lowry emails: Already an Emmy nominee for "The Handmaid's Tale," Elisabeth Moss adds to her status as reigning queen of the limited series in "Top of the Lake: China Girl," a less-impressive sequel to her SundanceTV miniseries that nevertheless highlights how women's roles have improved since networks began funneling resources from TV movies into more ambitious series...

"The Orville" is "trapped in a strange dimension"

Brian Lowry emails: Seth MacFarlane's "The Orville" -- receiving an early preview the next two Sundays -- is one of the stranger constructs of the new fall season. Set 400 years in the future, the Fox series can't quite decide whether it wants to be a spoof or homage to "Star Trek," and winds up trapped in a strange dimension between the two...

Good luck to all the Emmy nominees

One more from Lowry: The Emmys kick off Saturday and Sunday with the Creative Arts ceremonies, mostly honoring technical areas, like music, production design and sound. Still, there are a few higher-profile categories, including guest actors, in advance of the main ceremony that CBS will televise on Sept. 17...
For the record, part four
By Lisa Respers France:

 -- I talked with "Atlanta" star Lakeith Stanfield and former pro football player (and husband of "Scandal" star Kerry Washington) Nnamdi Asomugha about their roles in the film "Crown Heights." The movie dramatizes the true story of Colin Warner, a wrongfully convicted man who spent decades behind bars for a murder he did not commit. They talked to me about the pain of injustice and why everyone should see this movie...

 -- Troubled singer Sinead O'Connor sat down for an interview with 'Dr. Phil' set to air next week. She talks abuse, her career and why she's sick of being labeled mentally ill...

 -- We no longer have to be jealous of the UK: CBS has announced that "Celebrity Big Brother" is coming to the US...
What do you think?
Email reliablesources@cnn.com... we appreciate every message. The feedback helps us craft the next day's newsletter!
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