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Bill Maher: We’re Not In ‘Dull Times’ for Our 20th Season

Maher spoke with Deadline on a variety of topics regarding what has changed since he began hosting the show in 2003.

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“Real Time with Bill Maher” is entering its 20th season on HBO, and the comedian/late-night host spoke with Deadline on a variety of topics regarding what has changed since he began hosting the show in 2003.

One of the aspects that Maher mentions that the show has changed since his first season hosting the program is the politics. He goes into specifics regarding how the two parties have altered from the first years George W. Bush to the present day. 

“Now, since about I don’t know 2015 or so there’s been a real sea change in what’s going on, on the left,” Maher said. “Now, I always will maintain that the right is the more dangerous faction in this country, especially since they don’t believe in elections — I mean, you have to keep that in perspective.”

“One side does not believe in the form of government we have. What do you do about people who are in the government who don’t believe in your form of government?”

Maher then transitioned to discussing how he sees the United States entering his 20th season and covering politics in this country. 

“Not a great place. It could’ve been worse if the election went the other way,” Maher said. “And I, again, per the prediction you were talking about, think the real day of reckoning is going to be between election day 2024 and Inauguration Day 2025, because that’s when the rubber really hits the road.”

Finally, Maher reflected on where he sees the show now that it’s running on two decades, saying that they’re not living in ‘dull times’ and reveals what some of the talking points will be for them this year. 

“I mean, I’ll say this, we don’t live in dull times. It’s frightening in many ways, sometimes depressing, but not uninteresting,” Maher said. “I feel like Covid is still the dominate issue of our lives right now, and it should not be anymore. And I think the big discussion on our show Friday night when we go on is that is should we continue with the Covid policies we’ve had in the past?”

“Or do we have to do a reset and just say this thing is never going away and we can’t always be living in a state of emergency? And of course, the other thing is, as we’ve been talking about also, Trump and what’s going to happen with our democracy.”

News Television

Sinclair CEO Says Political Environment Is “Very Good for Our Business”

Sinclair’s CEO, Chris Ripley, offered his perspective on political ads at the MoffettNathanson 9th Annual Media and Communications Summit.

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The midterm elections are here, and according to one television executive, it’s the best time considering the amount of political advertisement money pouring into stations at the local and national. 

One key beneficiary of that cash inflow is Sinclair Broadcast Group, the No. 2 owner of local TV stations in the U.S. The company’s CEO, Chris Ripley, offered his perspective on political ads at the MoffettNathanson 9th Annual Media and Communications Summit.

“Some of these primary races are crazy,” Ripley said, per Deadline. “On the one hand, I lament that we’re in the political environment that we are. On the other hand, it’s very good for our business.”

Ripley used an example to make a point with his claim, citing U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Vance who won his primary race after spending a heavy amount ont television ads. 

Furthermore, the television executive adds that the $75 million spent on TV ads for the primary was 40 times more than what was spent on the primary in the last election. Ripley also added that spending on ballots is also up and should continue to increase as issues like abortion and legal gambling arise. 

“More and more issues are going on direct ballots,” he said. “With what’s going on with abortion rights, that’s going to just even add to that category.” Legalizing sports betting or cannabis are other issues generating significant ad spending.

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News Television

NBC News Correspondent Pete Williams to Retire

Williams will remain with NBC News through July before calling it a career. 

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NBC News

NBC News has announced Justice Department and Supreme Court correspondent Pete Williams will be retiring from the company. The reporter has been with the network for nearly three decades and has been at the forefront of many breaking news stories in Washington, DC. 

“Pete has been one of the nation’s foremost authorities covering the Supreme Court and the Department of Justice for nearly three decades,” NBC News President Noah Oppenheim said in a memo to staff

“His career has been defined by his reputation for accuracy, reliability, and unmatched expertise in the subjects he covers.” 

Williams has covered various topics for NBC News, including the court cases dealing with the Affordable Care Act and marriage equality. Earlier this year, the correspondent was the one who reported the news that Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer would retire at the end of the current term.

“In short, for generations of NBC News reporters, working alongside Pete has been a daily masterclass in journalism. But perhaps more importantly, it has been a masterclass in what it means to be a good colleague,” Oppenheim added.

“Pete’s decency, kindness, and generosity are unmatched. For those that know Pete well, it’s his warmth, humor, wit, and compassion that will be missed most.”

Williams will remain with NBC News through July before calling it a career. 

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News Television

Chris Licht: CNN Must Be Beacon of Journalism to Functional Democracy

“Now, the next chapter of CNN is one where we aspire to be a beacon for the kind of journalism essential to a functioning democracy,” Licht said

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CNN’s new president Chris Licht shed some light on the direction he plans to take the company at the Warner Bros. Discovery upfront. 

Licht spoke at the presentation alongside Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who expressed that CNN will be organized “to advocate for journalism first” and deliver for viewers “seeking more accurate information and less yelling and conflict.”

Furthermore, Licht proposed similar aspirations as he summarized his plan for the cable news channel to double down on what many might call sane news. 

“Now, the next chapter of CNN is one where we aspire to be a beacon for the kind of journalism essential to a functioning democracy,” Licht said, per Mediaite.

“In a time where extremes are dominating cable news, we will seek to go a different way — reflecting the real lives of our viewers and elevating the way America and the world views this medium.”

The new CNN president also vows to “challenge the traditional philosophy of cable news, delivering programming and commentary that questions the status quo, shatters group-think, holds our leaders on both sides of the aisle accountable to facts, and fights fearlessly to get to the truth.”

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