By DANIEL SONNINSHINE
In an unusual media twist, a news network has emerged that is designed to do something that was last seen as a normality in a galaxy long, long ago: to deliver actual news. Although some straight news reporting still exists on cable news and major networks, for better or for worse, most of the programming is opinion-based. The art of broadcast news journalism, to many, is a skeletal relic of the past. Many bemoan what they see as nonstop editorial pieces, no matter how the material is presented or masked.
Is it a bad thing – to have opinion shows in an abundance?
Not necessarily. It depends upon one’s tastes, desires and, well, personal opinion. Some, maybe many, viewers prefer opinion-based shows—and absolutely love them; some even love one-sided opinion shows, especially those that comport to their own views. Others, however – and it may also be many others – despise, can’t stand, and outright hate ONE-SIDED opinion programming. All that said, based upon overall ratings, surveys, and polling, the great majority of viewers like some two-sided opinion shows, but mixed in with straight, factual news shows.
Enter Quick Hits News, a new broadcast news network, comprised of several award-winning, well-known TV journalists, including Emmy winner David Shuster (former MSNBC host/anchor and Fox News correspondent) and Antonio Mora (former ABC and “Good Morning America” anchor and correspondent). Created for the purposes of telling straight, factual news, the network – which has daily programming that can be watched at QuickHitsTV.com, Happs.TV, and on most cable and satellite systems – is delivering just how they have promised, which means: news, news, and more news. Opinion, of course, is integrated into the programming because, let’s face it, as stated above, most viewers want to hear some opinions. The opinions on Quick Hits News, however, are even-handed, where both sides of the spectrum are always evaluated.
At a time when the approval ratings for the media are, literally, at under 10%, the show style at Quick Hits News appears to be what nearly all Americans are seeking. The programming features a true anchor, who serves as a moderator. Straight news is delivered to the audience, with no spin or filter. Topics are discussed and debated, with opinions (and even strong opinions) levied. But, again, the audience is always getting both sides of the coin. And the participants – all well-known journalists and TV personalities who can be quite entertaining – ensure credibility and respectability in their work. And that’s because a cornerstone of the new Quick Hits News shows is the promise of professionalism in their presentation of the news. Upon the network continuing in this path, it can fast-track to the top of the broadcast news industry because, in simple terms, there currently is no other network quite like it.
Who are the journalists on Quick Hits News?
David Shuster is an Emmy award winning broadcast journalist who is best known for his work at NBC News and MSNBC where he hosted his own news shows and served as the primary backup host for “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” and “Hardball with Chris Matthews.” Shuster anchored the channel’s prime time coverage of breaking news stories including politics, natural disasters, and the death of MIchael Jackson. As a field correspondent, his assignments included the Iraq war, the selection of a Pope, and Hurricane Katrina. Shuster was an evening news anchor for Al Jazeera America, where he guided the network’s political coverage. He most recently served as Anchor and Managing Editor for i24News, where he co-anchored prime time shows with Tal Heinrich.
Arielle Hixson is a powerhouse journalist, recognized for her riveting passion for storytelling. Most recently Arielle was a Correspondent/Fill-in Anchor at i24 News, an international news network. She reported live on a variety of global topics, from unrest in the middle east, to Brexit in the UK and protests in Asia. Prior to i24 she worked as an Anchor/Reporter with Channel One News, an educational news network that reached millions of students across the U.S. While working at Channel One she earned a Telly for her eight part series on technology, science and the brain. Arielle was also sent to Cambodia for a special series on the Cambodian Genocide, where she interviewed victims of landmines while walking through an active minefield. She received her masters in Journalism at Georgetown University where she had the opportunity to work as the sole White House national press intern during the 2012 Presidential Election. Arielle graduated with honors in psychology from Wesleyan University.
Joe Williams is a senior news editor for US News & World Report and is a reporter-at-large for the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, which focuses on social and economic inequality. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic and other national publications. Before joining US News, Williams was deputy White House editor for Politico and deputy chief of The Boston Globe’s Washington bureau.
Julia Sun is a television host known for her uplifting energy and passion to serve Millennial and Gen Z viewers. She’s been seen on a hundred NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX affiliate channels across America, on streaming platforms Roku and Amazon Fire TV, and on THE world’s foremost broadcast agency, Reuters. Among the luminaries on her shows are A-list celebrities and influencers, Olympic and Super Bowl champions, U.S. presidential candidates and White House staff, star entrepreneurs and CEOs, and New York Times best selling authors. Away from the camera, she was an aeronautical engineer at a leading aerospace and defense manufacturer, an analyst at a top investment bank, a co-founder and chief architect of a women’s healthcare mobile app, and an actor Off-Broadway. Forever a California gal at heart, Julia holds a B.S. degree in engineering from Cornell University.
Randall Pinkston was a correspondent/anchor for Al Jazeera America. Previously he was with CBS News. After a stint as a White House Correspondent in CBS’s Washington Bureau, Pinkston became a general assignment reporter, contributing to CBS broadcasts, including CBS Evening News, Morning News, Weekend News, CBS News Sunday Morning and 48 Hours. Pinkston also contributed to the CBS Reports documentary, Legacy of Shame with Correspondent Dan Rather. Pinkston has filled in as anchor on the CBS Evening News-Weekend Edition, Up to the Minute and CBS Morning News.
Kenneth Del Vecchio has served as a legal/political analyst for multiple major news networks, such as Newsmax, Fox News Channel and i24 News, appearing on hundreds of shows. Frequently involved in fiery, but professional debates, Del Vecchio is a noted Republican political strategist and criminal and constitutional law expert. A former judge, Del Vecchio is the author of some of the nation’s best-selling legal books, including a series of criminal codebooks published by Pearson Education/Prentice Hall and ALM. Also a best-selling criminal suspense novelist, Del Vecchio is an acclaimed filmmaker who has written, produced and directed over 30 movies that star several Academy Award and Emmy winners and nominees. His films are distributed through industry leaders such as Sony Pictures, Lionsgate, NBCUniversal, and eOne Entertainment. He has starred in numerous movies as well. Del Vecchio is the founder and chairman of Hoboken International Film Festival, called by FOX, Time Warner, and other leading media “One of the 10 Biggest Film Festivals in the World.” In addition to previously sitting on the bench, Del Vecchio is a former prosecutor, who is a practicing criminal defense, commercial litigation, and entertainment law attorney for 25+ years, wherein he has tried over 400 cases.
Teresa Krug is a reporter, producer and videographer, who has worked out of East Africa, Southeast Asia and the Middle East for some of the world’s largest news outlets, including The Associated Press, Al Jazeera English/America, CBS News, The Guardian and NowThis. Krug is best known for her extensive work profiling Samia Yusuf Omar, a Somali Olympic runner who fled her home country in hopes of realizing her athletic dreams in Europe. Krug now resides in Arkansas, where she focuses on issues of human rights, politics and climate change across Middle America. She has an MPA from Columbia University, and double degrees in sociology and journalism from Iowa State University.
Michael Shure is a Los Angeles based award-winning broadcast journalist who has spent most of his career covering U.S. politics. He worked as a field correspondent for CNN, served as a host/correspondent for the on-line news show, “The Young Turks,” hosted his own politics show on Current TV, served as a national political correspondent for Al Jazeera America, and most recently served as the Senior national correspondent for i24News. Shure has appeared as an actor in several films and the television show “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
Mike Yam joined Pac-12 Network as its lead studio host for its August 2012 launch. Prior to his arrival he spent four years at ESPN where he served as an anchor on SportsCenter and was heavily involved in the network’s NBA, college football, and college basketball coverage. Yam currently hosts Pac-12 Network’s football and basketball pregame and postgame shows, weekday shows and sport specific podcasts. Outside of his Pac-12 Network duties, Yam can be heard regularly on SiriusXM radio. Intel Sports leans on Yam’s skills as a host and play-by-play voice on its NFL, college basketball and golf coverage in virtual reality. Previously, Yam was a regular voice on the radio as co-host of ESPN’s “Fantasy Focus” and a frequent fill-in on ESPN Radio and its affiliate in New York City. Yam was also an NBAtv anchor and studio host. A graduate of Fordham University and winner of the Marty Glickman Play-by-Play award, Yam began his broadcasting career hosting “One-on-One” on WFUV radio in New York.
Rahmah Pauzi is a video producer and documentary filmmaker based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Her works have been published on PBS NewsHour, NPR-affiliate WNYC New York Public Radio, PBS Frontline (VR), Channel News Asia, Al Jazeera English, The Huffington Post, NY1, International Business Times, and BFM Radio Kuala Lumpur. She has worked on documentaries for Foreign Policy Association, Malaysia Investment & Development Authority (MIDA), British Council Malaysia, New York Community Trust, and was also a part of the team for the documentary film The Kleptocrats.
Robert Ray is an Atlanta based broadcast journalist with a decade of experience as an on-air correspondent, producer, writer, and videographer. He is currently working as a traveling correspondent and visual producer for the Washington Post. Previously, Ray served as a national correspondent for Al Jazeera America. Ray specializes in live, “breaking news” coverage during hurricanes, storms, wildfires, and other natural disasters. He has also reported on terror attacks, U.S. politics, and major sporting events including the Super Bowl, World Series, and Daytona 500.
Daniel Sonninshine is an Empire State News staff writer, who is in search of greatness. A 20-something smart fellow, he is now lifting weights in an effort to obtain more power. If that doesn’t work, he will ask to write more editorials for Empire State News and less fact articles. He also dabbles in film reviews. Favorite flicks include The Godfather, Blazing Saddles, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, It’s a Wonderful Life, and The Passion of the Christ.
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