Bernie Madoff is now in jail for the rest of his life — what better time to start speculating about who gets the first jail house interview!
Broadcasting & Cable’s Marisa Guthrie got a jump on the sit-down exclusive sweepstakes, and not surprisingly, all the networks are interested in making it happen. So who gets the big get? It’s time for another edition of Mediaite Oddsmakers.
• NBC’s Today show: 2:1 – The fact that NBC is speaking so openly about wanting the interview means they’re already working overtime trying to make it happen (“We’re definitely interested,” says Today EP Jim Bell in the B&C article). This has to make them the front-runner. Matt Lauer has a history of high profile interviews, especially recently, and if Madoff wants the audience, he would have clearly the largest morning show viewership. It also would get the extra exposure of MSNBC and CNBC, and probably later turned into a Dateline special.
• CBS’ 60 Minutes: 3:1 – Whether its Pres. Barack Obama‘s frequent appearances or a famous whistle blower, 60 Minutes is a spot that offers by far the biggest platform possible. A Madoff exclusive would be the most viewed TV event of the week. It also would allow Steve Kroft‘s reporting to go full circle – he had an exclusive with the Madoff whistle blower earlier this year. EP Jeff Fager sounds interested.
• ABC’s Good Morning America: 7:1 – It’s going to take some work to drag the exclusive away from Today if Madoff decides to go morning TV. But Tom Cibrowski, EP of GMA, sounds like he and his staff are making a big push. “We have a coordinated effort,” he tells B&C. Barbara Walters, and even Charlie Gibson, could put on their GMA-alum hat to conduct the interview as well.
• NBC Nightly News: 8:1 – Brian Williams could do the interview, or it could go to a correspondent. If Madoff wants evening news, this gives him the most eyeballs.
• CBS Evening News: 9:1 – Although not mentioned in the B&C article, we imagine there is some push going on within CBS to get Katie Couric this interview. First of all, she could do the interview for 60 Minutes, where she’s a contributor. This would also boost her profile in the evening news game – a profile in need of boosting, judging from the ratings. Her bread-and-butter are the “big gets,” going back recently to the iconic sit-down (and stand-up and walk-around, etc) with Gov. Sarah Palin. A dark horse to get the interview.
• ABC World News: 10:1 – This means Charlie Gibson gets another big interview, after he had the first with Palin back when she started her media tour. It’s a possibility as well.
• CNN: 20:1 – The problem with CNN is, despite being sure to draw viewers for the event as it does for many events, it doesn’t have nearly the pull of a network. No cable channel does. But being a 24-hour news network, the interview would be replayed incessantly. Anderson Cooper would probably be the choice here.
• Fox News: 30:1 – Gets more viewers than CNN, but who would conduct the sit-down? It could go to the anchor emeritus, Brit Hume, but if we had a choice, we’d love to see Shep Smith get a shot at him.
• CNBC: 35:1 – Obviously, being a financial story, CNBC has spent a larger percentage of time covering the story than the other outlets. And it would get picked up across all NBCU networks. John Harwood would likely get this interview.
• Other: 50:1 – Could it go to FBN? Bloomberg? Or maybe to Inside Edition? Of course, Madoff may elect to keep quiet (maybe write a book!), and then this will all be for nothing. Except the fun of speculation.
Who do you think will get the Bernie Madoff exclusive? Vote now!
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