Sarah Palin Makes SNL Debut

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After weeks of speculation, Sarah Palin appeared on Saturday Night Live. The Alaskan Governor and Vice Presidential nominee helped SNL take home a 10.7 rating/24 share, a nearly 161% improvement over the shows October average from 2007. SNL also received its highest overnight rating since 1994, when Nancy Kerrigan hosted. The Palin clips are already a huge hit online, thanks to NBC using HULU and to syndicate Palin's opening skit and Weekend Update rap before the West Coast version of the show went live.

NBC head Jeff Zucker announced that the Peacock will slash next years budget by $500 million. Zucker blamed the economy for the 3% cut, while analysts believe pressure from parent-company GE may have also been strong. The budget cuts come as NBC prepares for an uncertain time in Ad spending, with locals getting rocked and major advertisers cutting their budgets.

Yahoo is expected to announce another round of layoffs this week. The layoffs have been looming since Yahoo brought in Bain & Co to help restructure, and many believe Yahoo will layoff somewhere between 1,000-3,000 employees. Yahoo is also expected to cut its operating budget by 15%.

John McCain helped Late Night with David Letterman earn its best ratings since 2003. The night of McCain's appearance Letterman took in 6.53 million viewers, posting a 1.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic, the best since Oprah appeared in 2005.

Plus, today's consulting question, "What's going on with the SAG negotiations?" Shelly has the answer on today's MediaBytes.

Shelly Palmer is a consultant and the host of MediaBytes a daily show featuring news you can use about technology, media & entertainment. He is Managing Director of Advanced Media Ventures Group LLC and the author of Television Disrupted: The Transition from Network to Networked TV (2008, York House Press). Shelly is also President of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, NY (the organization that bestows the coveted Emmy(r) Awards). You can join the MediaBytes mailing list here. Shelly can be reached at