RightNetwork | Media Matters for America


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  • Is It Really "Business As Usual" At RightNetwork?

    Blog ››› ››› BEN DIMIERO & JOE STRUPP

    RightNetwork, the conservative media outlet that launched less than a year ago with great fanfare -- and investors that included actor Kelsey Grammer -- appears to have stalled for more than a month.

    RightNetwork.com, which features video and other content, has not been updated since late June, and the network's Twitter feed and Facebook pages have been stagnant since May 31.

    RightNetwork President Kevin McFeeley claims it is "business as usual," an answer he gave several times when asked specifically about a lack of new programming and web items, as well as about the status of the network's future funding.

    But from the looks of the site, launched Sept. 8, 2010, things appear to be at a standstill.

    The most recent videos on RightNetwork's website appear to be several Father's Day messages from soldiers posted on June 17.

    The top of RightNetwork's website still features an episode of Drive Thru History, a video series produced by Dallas-based ColdWaterMedia, that was posted May 31.

    Blogger Jim Hoft, whose presence at RightNetwork seemingly drove plenty of traffic to their site, inexplicably jumped ship on June 7, offering this notice on his GatewayPundit.com blog:

    I also want to thank Right Network for hosting me these last 6 months.

    Asked why RightNetwork's website hadn't been updated in more than a month, McFeeley -- who spoke with Media Matters Aug. 4 -- said: "Our social media guy accepted an offer somewhere else, so, you know, we're trying to replace him. But, It's just business as usual."

    When pressed on the issue, McFeeley insisted that while RightNetwork's Twitter feed hadn't been updated, the network had released new videos since late June, adding, "And like I said, the guy who was tasked with that responsibility left us about a month ago."

  • When Fox News just isn't enough, right-wing paranoia "on-demand"

    Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

    Just in time for the fall elections, RightNetwork -- a Kelsey Grammer backed cable network "with entertainment designed to appeal to political conservatives" -- has launched.

    Unlike many cable networks however, RightNetwork will begin as a paid "on-demand" service rather than a basic cable enterprise like BRAVO or a stand-alone paid premium network like HBO.

    The network's first series will follow "a couple of Tea Party-backed candidates for public office."

    Media Matters previously noted, the network will also host Right 2 Laugh a comedy program "for people who…don't want to hear their president called a Nazi." The show will have to do better than Fox News' 1/2 Hour News Hour, which was canceled shortly after launching.

    AP's David Bauder reports:

    Jeff Cohen, an Ithaca College journalism professor and liberal activist, questioned whether the kind of audience that likes conservative talk shows want something similar in entertainment, and whether it can be pulled off.

    "Comedy requires irony," Cohen said. "It can't be frothing with hate or fear. Drama requires complexity. It can't be all black and white."

    While Grammer narrates a programming highlight reel available on RightNetwork's website, he hasn't participated as an actor or producer in any of the network's programming. The only other investor the privately held company has identified is Ed Snider, chairman of Comcast-Spectacor and owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and Flyers.

    Snider's involvement led to initial false reports this spring that Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable company, was a backer of RightNetwork. However, the network doesn't even have a deal to distribute its programming through Comcast, which aggressively markets video-on-demand offerings. So far, Verizon FiOS subscribers are the only customers who can access the shows on demand, McFeeley said. Similarly, Nokia is the only mobile phone outlet.

    It illustrates the huge challenge RightNetwork faces in trying to build its brand at a time cable and satellite companies have little space to offer new networks, said Derek Baine, a senior analyst at SNL Kagan. Only the Anime Network, which had some limited success with a specialized lineup of Japanese animation, and Fearnet, which offers horror films and has the backing of Comcast and movie distributor Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., have tried the video-on-demand model to start, he said.


  • RightNetwork's Right 2 Laugh: "for people who…don't want to hear their president called a Nazi"

    Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

    From media critic Jeff Cohen we get this gem on Huffington Post about the soon to be launched Fox News competitor, RightNetwork:

    Get ready for the new entertainment web/TV network called RightNetwork - promoted as having "pro-America, pro-business and pro-military sensibilities." A centerpiece of the channel is "Right 2 Laugh," a stand-up comedy series produced and hosted by Evan Sayet. Formerly a Bill Maher writer, Sayet is concerned about comedy being dominated by leftists.

    On NPR yesterday, I heard Mr. Sayet say something incredibly funny. He described "Right 2 Laugh" as "a safe haven for people who have values more like the heartland who don't want to hear their president called a Nazi."

    I laughed my ass off at the joke...until I realized he wasn't joking when he said that conservatives "don't want to hear their president called a Nazi." Listen here.

    Cohen goes on to note that Glenn Beck and Fox News -- both highly rated in their own regard -- are repleat with Nazi imagery and references. Cohen even cited this list from Media Matters of the right-wing media's use of Nazi imagery.

    Media Matters' Joe Strupp reported on the formation of RightNetwork in April:

    Flyers' hockey owner Ed Snider has just picked up another right-winger. This one won't help Philadelphia finally win another Stanley Cup, though.

    The sports mogul and long-time backer of conservative causes says he's a major investor in a new cable TV network that may have an even more difficult task than bringing hockey's crown back to Philly, and that is toppling the right-wing ratings champ, the Fox News Channel.

    The Snider-funded RightNetwork -- with a looser approach to conservative topics, including a so-called comedy show and a jocular frontman in sit-com star Kelsey Grammer -- is hoping to come to your cable box as early as this summer.

    Right 2 Laugh will have to do better than Fox News' 1/2 Hour News Hour, which was canceled shortly after launching.