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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Last Week at a Glance by the Ratings Guru


With a documentary a year in the making, Baseball and a week of fires, television viewership for cable and broadcast was at very strong levels last week. That is the focus of our ratings analysis, not all the October analysis released today. Every channel wanted to get its positioning in, and all it did was give me a headache…and I’m used to looking at the fine points of audience ratings. Suffice it to say that CNN was up +7 percent in the 8PM-11PM time period for the key demographic of Adults 25 – 54, October 2007 versus October 2006, and that’s a good thing.

There were so many schedules changes over last week, I’ll try to look at the time periods as fairly as I can, and apply the audience delivery over the various time periods so there is a good comparison. With such “jumbled” schedules, some may have issues, but last week made us researchers cross-eyed trying to plot the audiences in a way that is fair to all channels.


When you have CNN across the board 8PM-11PM up in the 300,000+ range for Adults 25-54, you know that there is serious news breaking. That was the case on Monday night – consistency of viewership for the three hours other cable competitors could not match. Tuesday was the night that coverage put CNN in the #1 position for the key demo again for 8PM-12MD – yes, even with one hour outside of primetime – but it all started with an exceptional performance at 8PM of a special edition of AC360. AC and his staff was only 6% off of Bill O’Reilly’s audience for the key demographic of Adults 25-54. COUNTDOWN was close to a 100,000 off of 360’s audience – not exactly a close third in the time period. Wednesday through Friday audience gradually eroded, but it was still a much stronger performance for the time period even with a fairly weak LKL on Friday. Bill O’Reilly as usual, lost -26% of his key demo on Friday versus his Monday audience and -45% off of his Thursday audience with fire coverage.


FOX News: 494,000 +6% up over last week’s performance
CNN: 372,000* +48% up over last week’s performance
MSNBC: 314,000 +11% up over last week’s performance


With fire coverage solidly in this time period, this was a consistently strong hour for CNN. Most of LKL was fire coverage and the first 2 hour block of the long-awaited “Planet in Peril.” PLANET could have easily gotten lost in the wall-to-wall fire coverage, but it was able to attract all age groups, boosting CNN to 532,000 Adults 25-54 and 1,574,000 for 2+. It blew the competition off the map and the two hour special provided a tremendous lead-in for a normally weak 11PM performance for AC360. It retained much of its audience for the Wednesday night installment, even increasing a huge +37% from its 8PM lead-in program of a special AC360, delivering 503,000 Adults 25-54. Thursday’s LKL was fire coverage, dropping down to normal levels and 9PM on Friday saw “Planet” rebroadcast to a respectable audience of 202,000 Adults 25-54. 9PM for CNN for the week was basically a statistical dead heat with Fox News in the key demographic.

FOX News: 341,000 +6% up over last week’s performance
CNN: 334,000** +6% up over last week’s performance
MSNBC: 149,000*** +5% up over last week’s performance


Considering the low AC360 was coming off of from the previous Friday, Monday started out strong for the news program with building fire coverage. “Planet” on Tuesday in the time period also held onto its lead-in audience with this being the best night of the week for CNN in each of
the primetime hours. “Planet” continued to hold up on Wednesday and provided a great lead-in both nights for a special live AC360 at 11PM. Thursday at 10PM witnessed some erosion with fire coverage and Friday with a rebroadcast of “Planet,” it did solid, but average repeat ratings. The 10PM lead-in for the 11PM programming gave CNN a boost in order to have a solid, strong performance 8PM – 12MD for the week. MSNBC had good growth percentages, but it still has a long way to go to be competitive in actual audience for all nights against Fox and CNN. Regardless of whether it was AC360 or "Planet," in the 10PM time period last week, CNN won the 10PM time period beating both GRETA and MSNBC's fare.

FOX News: 329,000 +9% up over last week’s performance
CNN: 320,000**** +29% up over last week’s performance
MSNBC: 190,000 +29% up over last week’s performance

And a special note on the environmental documentary “Planet in Peril”: How much did it increase in the time period for its four hour run against the previous week Tues/Wed 9P-11PM Adults 25-54 CNN audience – try 92%!

*4 day average applied to 5 days; LKL aired Friday.
**4 day average applied to 5 days; News Programming/PIP aired in the time period.
***Dan Abrams 4 day average applied to 5 days; Abrams does not air on Fridays.
****AC360 2 day average applied to five days; PIP aired on three days.
^Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Adults 25-54 LIVE + SAME DAY (LS) Fast Track Nationals.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tricks & Treats

Welcome to your All Hallows Eve edition of All Things CNN.

First, a clip from yesterday's The Situation Room. Does Wolf Blitzer have pre-Ellen dance anxiety? He showed a clip of yesterday's Ellen featuring Presidential candidate Barack Obama.

We're still waiting to hear when Wolf will be Ellen's show or vice versa.

What do you dress your horse up as for Halloween? I found this clip on the CNN website: As part of a Halloween competition at a pet store, a woman brought in a Clydesdale horse dressed as a poodle.

I couldn't resist pulling this out of the CNN archives. Last Halloween (2006), then White House Press Secretary Tony Snow had all "eyes" on him during a briefing. CNN's Jeanne Moos explains:

Happy Halloween! Or if you're celebrating the Celitc festival, Happy Samhain!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Genarlow Wilson on Out In The Open

Photo courtesy of
Tonight, Rick Sanchez sat down with Genarlow Wilson who was recently released from prison after the Georgia Supreme court ruled his ten-year sentence was cruel and unusual punishment. Rick Sanchez has followed Genarlow's case very closely for some time now. It seemed fitting that he got a chance to interview Genarlow as a free man.

Rick spoke with American Morning fill-in Rob Marciano about the interview. Here is the transcript:

ROB MARCIANO, CNN ANCHOR: Genarlow Wilson says his sights are set on going to college. The 21-year-old was released from prison on Friday after the Georgia supreme court ruled his ten-year sentence amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. His four-year court battle drew national outrage after he was sent to prison for having oral sex with an underaged teenager back in 2003.

Our Rick Sanchez sat down one on one with Wilson and joins us live this morning.
Good morning, Rick.

RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, Rob. Good to see you as usual.

MARCIANO: Hey, listen, you spoke with Genarlow back when he was in prison. Now he's out of prison. Obviously he's a little bit happier now. But is he bitter about the whole thing? Is he angry at the experience?

SANCHEZ: You'd think, right.


SANCHEZ: You'd think he'd be bitter after going through something like this, two-and-a-half years in prison, hard time with rapists, with murders, with, I mean, all types of really bad people, and basically for a law that most people in the state, including the legislature, has decided, no, ruled, that it's outdated, that it shouldn't be on the books, that really it should amount to nothing more than a misdemeanor. Yet he sits there for those two-and-a-half years. Finally the supreme court says this is ridiculous. This is really just unusual punishment against this young man. He gets out not bitter at all, not even a little bit, as a matter of fact. I was curious when he said this to me. In fact, take a listen for yourself:


GENARLOW WILSON, FORMER PRISONER: You can't let everything that you've been through, you know, get the best of you and turn you bitter, because you will never achieve anything. You know, I feel like everything I've done and, you know, everything that I've endured, it's only made me stronger as a person. You have to be very open-minded to the situation. Of course, I believe that it was absurd, but you know, I had to look at it as, you know, these gentlemen were doing their job, and you know, they felt like they were carrying out the law.


MARCIANO: Certainly a matured young man there, Rick. Another question for you, there were five other defendants in this case. They entered guilty pleas. Got out a little bit earlier. Wilson could have done the same thing and been freed a long time ago. Did he say when he chose not to do that?

SANCHEZ: He chose not to do that from the very start, and his argument is, Rob, I'm not a child molester. I was 17 years old, and I had a relationship, albeit stupid, using bad judgment at a party where there were drugs and alcohol, with a 15-year-old girl. That's a teenager with another teenager. Does that make me a child molester? And his main reason for not wanting to do so, he says, is he's got a little sister, and if he'd done this, he wouldn't be able to be around her, by law. Here's his explanation:


WILSON: It wasn't necessarily just about the time, you know, it was the principle. It was that, you know, I didn't want to be labeled as a sex offender, because I am not one. I might have had lesser time, but then again, I would have nowhere to go, because I would have no home. I wouldn't be able to stay with my mother because I have a little sister.
You know, when you're a sex offender, you can't be around kids. Basically that's like, I can't even have kids myself, you know, so what is the point of life?


MARCIANO: Boy, you really see in that video, Rick, when he's there reunited with his family, all of the decisions he had to make, all the motions he may have went through.
Did he talk with you at all about the night when all of this went down, New Year's Eve, 2003, his behavior with the 15-year-old girl. Did he say why, you know, why he did what he did, and furthermore, why in the heck did videotape it?

SANCHEZ: Because he was a stupid teenager, that's why.

MARCIANO: Fair enough.

SANCHEZ: Really, I mean let's just call it what it is. He was 17 years old. It's a youthful indiscretion. He got invited to a party. A bunch of his buddies were there. They were getting high. They were -- pardon me -- they were drinking, and they behaved in a stupid way, as people sometimes do in their lives.
I mean, that's why, you know, Rob, we at CNN, and I took it on to do and continue to follow this story because, as a dad, with teenage boys, I asked myself, what would I do if my son did something like this? Well, you know, heaven forbid, because I'd be really, really angry at my son, and I would have a right to. But do I want the state to step in, and say we're taking your son and we're putting him in prison for 10 years because of something like this? I mean, I think this is the parents' job, and that's where I think maybe it was an overreach on the part of the justice system. But I asked him these questions, and he does own up to it. Here's what he says:


WILSON: I don't think any of us made very wise decisions, you know, but I don't think that any of us can go back then and change what happened. You know, for the most part, I think all we can do is mature from it, you know, make sure it doesn't happen again and, you know, and someone can get caught up in the same thing, but you know, yes, I was young then. You know, I've done some idiotic things in my teen years, but, you know, every average teen does.


MARCIANO: ... being a teenager is in this country, Rick. It seems like our friend here has grown up quite a bit.

SANCHEZ: He has, Rob, and there was a certain understatedness about him now, you know, a quietness about him. I think he's learned his lesson. One never knows. We all grow throughout life. But I think he's going to do well, and I think he's very committed now to helping others not make the same mistake that he has as well. He says he wants to go to college, maybe study sociology. Should be an interesting story. And we're going to have a lot more on this tonight at 8:00 p.m., our exclusive first-time interview with Genarlow after getting out of prison.
-- Rob.

MARCIANO: We look forward to that. And always good to see you, Rick. Thanks very much.


Click here to see Rick's interview with Genarlow Wilson as well as additional information regarding Genarlow's case.

The YouTube debates are set!
The eight major Republican candidates for President of the United States of America have all signed on for the YouTube Debate this coming November in St. Petersburg, Florida. Here is a portion of today's press release:

CNN, YouTube and the Republican Party of Florida today announced that the eight major Republican candidates running for president – Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Rep. Duncan Hunter, Sen. John McCain, Rep. Ron Paul, Gov. Mitt Romney, Rep. Tom Tancredo and Sen. Fred Thompson – will participate in their first-of-its-kind Republican primary debate scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 28, at the Mahaffey Theatre in St. Petersburg, Fla. CNN’s Anderson Cooper will moderate this program designed to allow voters, no matter where they live, ask questions of the candidates for this country’s highest office.

CNN also announced that the ground-breaking program will broadcast live from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. (ET) on CNN, CNN International, CNN en EspaƱol, CNN Airport Network and CNN Radio and stream live on, ensuring that people around the country and the world can watch these candidates’ answers to lively and thoughtful questions coming exclusively from their fellow citizens via video.

Like the Democratic CNN/YouTube/South Carolina Democratic Party debate, this innovative, live forum will feature video questions submitted to YouTube that will be broadcast and answered by the candidates on CNN. Over 2,225 questions have been submitted thus far; online users are able to submit their video queries through Sunday, Nov. 25 at or or

I enjoyed the Democratic YouTube debate and find it hard to return to the traditional style debates. I'm really looking forward to see how the Republican candidates handle citizen inquiries on foreign and domestic issues.

The Situation Room wins in Demo two months in a row!
According to CNN, The Situation Room at 4pm was #1 in cable news in P25-54 at 4pm for the second consecutive month.

TSR topped FNC's Your World for the month of October by 7% (192k vs 180k).

Congratulations to Wolf Blitzer and his team!

Tonight's Out in the Open

Rick Sanchez did a one on one interview with Genarlow Wilson this weekend. Wilson, who was released from prison Friday, spent more than two years behind bars for a teen sex conviction. The Georgia Supreme Court upheld a ruling that Wilson's 10-year prison sentence was cruel and unusual, and ordered him released from prison. Sanchez will air the in-depth report inquiring about Wilson's life in prison, whether he has been in contact with the female at the center of his case, and his views on "National Black Out Day" and the fairness of the justice system, tonight at 8pm ET for Out in the Open.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Secret Lives of CNN Journalists

A recent Washingtonian article, Journalists' Secret Lives, by Patrick W. Gavin and Jonathan E. Kaplan featured a few familiar CNN journalists. Here are a few excerpts from the article:

Usually they’re the ones asking about the private lives of people. We turned the tables and asked journalists to tell us about their lives—from their morning reading rituals to their secret passions.

These Shoes Are Made for Stalking

Photograph by Jay Clendenin

Days spent chasing lawmakers on the Capitol’s marble floors can be a challenge, especially for women. The hard marble puts pressure on knees and backs and even makes for slips. What’s the footwear of choice for congressional correspondents?

CNN congressional correspondent Jessica Yellin prefers clogs because they’re good for posture and are more attractive than many other ergonomically friendly shoes. Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times favors Dansko’s comfy shoes.

Mostly True Confessions

Sure, they may hunker down with the latest book on Iraq after a hard day’s work, but journalists also indulge in their share of guilty pleasures, many involving junk food, TV, or both.

CNN’s Ed Henry likes nothing more than watching HBO’s Entourage or Curb Your Enthusiasm with a big bowl of ice cream.

After Deadline

They may not transform themselves as dramatically as Clark Kent, but many Washington journalists have alter egos, pursuing hobbies and passions far outside their line of work.

CNN’s John Roberts fell in love with motorcycles as a kid—he tried making one by attaching a lawn-mower engine to his bicycle. It worked. Years later, Roberts is the proud owner of two Harley-Davidsons.


Jeffrey Toobin will appear on PBS's Tavis Smiley on Friday, November 2, 2007.

Lou Dobbs will appear on Late Night with Conan O'Brien on Tuesday, November 6, 2007 to promote his new book, Independents Day: Awakening the American Spirit


Happy Birthday to CNN's Ali Velshi who will be celebrating his birthday on Monday, October 29th!


Mystery Journalist

So who was the man behind the spectacles?

This week's Mystery Journalist was CNN's senior political analyst, Bill Schneider.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Dalai Lama Speaks with Dr. Gupta

Dalai Lama and Dr. Gupta

This week, Dr. Sanjay Gupta interviewed the Dalai Lama for his show House Call and for American Morning.

For those of you that aren't sure who the Dalai Lama is here's a brief bio from his website:

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is both the head of state and the spiritual leader of Tibet. He was born on 6 July 1935, to a farming family, in a small hamlet located in Taktser, Amdo, northeastern Tibet. At the age of two the child, who was named Lhamo Dhondup at that time was recognized as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso. The Dalai Lamas are believed to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and patron saint of Tibet. Bodhisattvas are enlightened beings who have postponed their own nirvana and chosen to take rebirth in order to serve humanity.

In 1950 His Holiness was called upon to assume full political power after China's invasion of Tibet in 1949. In 1954, he went to Beijing for peace talks with Mao Zedong and other Chinese leaders, including Deng Xiaoping and Chou Enlai. But finally, in 1959, with the brutal suppression of the Tibetan national uprising in Lhasa by Chinese troops, His Holiness was forced to escape into exile. Since then he has been living in Dharamsala, northern India, the seat of the Tibetan political administration in exile.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a man of peace. In 1989 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet. He has consistently advocated policies of non-violence, even in the face of extreme aggression. He also became the first Nobel Laureate to be recognized for his concern for global environmental problems.


Coming up this week on Larry King Live from Larry's website:

Tuesday- "Mentalist and magician Criss Angel with a stunning psychic event. He'll blow your mind and break into someone else's! It's a Larry King exclusive. "

Wednesday (HALLOWEEN)- "Spirits talk to psychics John Edward and James van Praagh. "

Thursday- "The comic is now a bee -- no joke! Hear the latest buzz from Jerry Seinfeld about his newest project, 'Bee Movie' "

Go to the Larry King Live website to email your questions for these guests!

Have a good week!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Amanpour Honored

On Tuesday, Queen Elizabeth II awarded CNN's Chief International Correspondent, Christiane Amanpour a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in a ceremony in London.

A CNN Press Release stated:

Amanpour is among a small number of journalists to have been awarded a CBE. Her investiture today by Queen Elizabeth II took place in Buckingham Palace, where Amanpour was accompanied by her parents, husband and son.

“I am incredibly thrilled and very proud,” Amanpour said. “In the current climate, with so much weight put to sensationalism and tabloidism, for me personally this is a really nice moment because actual serious journalism is being recognized.”

“This is a wonderful honor for Christiane and a tribute to her outstanding dedication to the profession of journalism,” said Jim Walton, president of CNN Worldwide. “Everyone at CNN is extremely proud of the work she does and very excited for her on this important day.”

Below is a clip from an interview that John Roberts did with Amanpour shortly after she received the award:


Mystery Journalist

Can you name this CNN journalist?

Let us know who you think it is and we'll reveal this journalist's identity in Sunday's post.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

California Wildfires ~ CNN is There!!!

Starting this past Sunday, CNN has been covering the California wildfires full force. Strangely coinciding with the premier of Planet in Peril, the CNN/Headline News team, through television, blogs and their website has had comprehensive coverage of the California wildfires. With close to a million people evacuated and thousands of acres destroyed, CNN covered all the angles.
On The Air

CNN reporters have been covering the Wildfires from on the ground all over California and the studios.

In California:

Anderson Cooper

John Roberts
Kiran Chetry
Rick Sanchez

Kyra Phillips (A San Diego native)
Sanjay Gupta

John King
Ted Rowlands
Rob Marciano
Thelma Gutierrez

John Zarrella
Chris Lawrence
Brian Todd

Ed Henry

Dan Simon
Sean Callebs
Randi Kaye
Elizabeth Cohen

Reggie Agui
Kara Finnstorm
Allan Cheroff

Reporting from CNN studios

Wolf Blitzer

Chad Myers

Tom Foreman
Kelli Arena

Larry King
Heidi Collins
Don Lemon
Tony Harris
Erica Hill
Barbara Starr
Reynolds Wolf
Frank Sesno


When breaking news happens, there are many stories that can not make it on air. This is where the blogs come in. They tell stories we might not have known about from a first hand prospective from the front lines.

To read the complete blogs, click here

CNN Website

Some of the best footage that came through to CNN came from viewers at home who sent in I-Reports of the wildfires.

The last five days have been hard on everyone but most especially the residents of the many different areas affected by the fires in California, thankfully we have had their story brought to us by the terrific team of CNN and Headline News reporters. We at All Things CNN want to thank them for all their hard work over the past few days sharing the stories of tragedy, sacrifice, heroism, loss and hope. If you would like to help the residents of California, you can go to CNN’s Impact your World for more details.

All Things CNN would also like to send our thoughts and prayers with our readers who may be directly or indirectly effect by these fires.


Photo by: Justin Larose/CNN

On a lighter note, if you were curious to know why Kiran Chetry was stationed at the Qualcomm Stadium, we got our answer today. Kiran announced to People magazine that she is pregnant with her second child. The stork is certainly busy at CNN with both Kiran and Campbell Brown both expecting. Congratulations to Kiran and her husband, Chris Knowles. You can read the article with People here.


Scott Safon Named Executive Vice President,
Chief Marketing Officer of CNN Worldwide

Marketing and branding innovator Scot Safon has been promoted to executive vice president & chief marketing officer of CNN Worldwide, it was announced today by Jim Walton, president of CNN Worldwide. Safon oversees branding; consumer and trade advertising; and marketing and promotion of the CNN portfolio of networks and businesses, including CNN/U.S., Headline News, CNN International and, and their news and information programming, personalities and events. He is based in Atlanta at CNN world headquarters and reports to Walton.
“Our marketing and promotion efforts reflect a quality, intelligence and point of view that set CNN apart,” said Walton. “As a creative executive, Scot sets the tone for that work. But he is equally important to me and to our organization as a strategist and leader. His influence and impact are felt, and welcomed, throughout CNN. I’m pleased to acknowledge his contributions to our continuing success." Formerly senior vice president of marketing and promotion, Safon joined CNN in 2002. He and his marketing and promotions teams executed award-winning campaigns supporting the debut of CNN’s The Situation Room, Anderson Cooper 360°, the re-launch earlier this year of and CNN’s continuing election coverage. Previously, Safon headed marketing for TNT, where he conceived and guided campaigns supporting the network’s signature original films and miniseries including George Wallace, Door to Door, James Dean, Pirates of Silicon Valley and Gettysburg . Safon also led marketing efforts for the successful “We Know Drama” positioning that he helped develop. Earlier, Safon managed the CBS Television account for Backer Spielvogel Bates and Grybauskas/Beatrice in New York , where he began his career with D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Inc. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in economics and history from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Cornell University . Safon, who was named a “Brand Builder” by Television Week in 2006 for the Anderson Cooper 360° launch campaign, serves on the board of directors of Promax.

Congratulations to Scott on his promotion!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Planet in Peril and Rollercoasters

Night two of Planet in Peril did not disappoint. Here are more of the beautiful images from PIP.

And with all the money spent on producing a quality documentary did the gamble pay off for CNN? It's looking good, here is an analysis of the over nights.


As you can well imagine, television viewership went through the roof last night with the interest in the California wildfires and because most channels and networks sent their anchors out to cover this fast moving and very serious story.

In the middle of all this was CNN’s heavily promoted PLANET IN PERIL. With most channels providing live coverage all day long and the networks jumping in at their 6:30PM broadcasts along with primetime specials, it was a toss-up of what would happen to the highly promoted environmental special documentary.

AC360 normally doesn’t air at 8PM up against BILL O’REILLY and COUNTDOWN, but it started at a special time last night. For key advertising demographics, it is hard to beat CNN in breaking news coverage. Normally Fox News owns 8PM with all viewers – not quite, last night.

8PM: Adults 25-54 2+TOTAL AUDIENCE

Fox News 592,000 2,771,000
CNN: 556,000 1,342,000
MSNBC: 460,000 1,087,000

Viewership was ‘way up for all channels 2+, and it’s almost impossible to beat Fox News in 2+ because of their extremely heavy viewership with Adults 50+. It’s nice to say you’re #1, but it isn’t in the demographic target that advertisers want. In the key demo of Adults 25-54:
Fox News was up 25% over Monday’s performance.
CNN was up a whopping 43% (OUT IN THE OPEN aired Monday)
MSNBC was up 28%.
BUT!!! CNN, in a rare situation only lost to Fox News in Adults 25-54 by -6%! AC360 did its job in pulling in massive amounts of viewers not normally in the time period for the channel.

9PM: Adults 25-54 2+TOTAL AUDIENCE

Fox News: 471,000 1,893,000
CNN: 532,000* 1,574,000*
MSNBC: 211,000 589,000

Interestingly, PIP (they only give us the two hour program audience performance) was slightly lower (-4%) than its lead-in program of AC360, but that is understandable with the interest in the fires in the key demo and 360’s extraordinary performance at 8PM.
PIP outperformed AC360’s 8PM time period lead-in performance, 2+ Total Audience, by 15%.
More people of all ages tuned into PIP to boost its 2+ audience including valuable 18-34 year olds.
PIP was #1 in the time period for the key demographic of Adults 25-54.
PIP’s 2+ Total Audience increased 28% from Monday’s CNN 9PM LKL’s Total Audience – NOT BAD!!!!
PIP’s Adult 25-54 was 40% higher than Monday’s LKL’s Adults 25-54 delivery – WHOA!

10PM: Adults 25-54 2+TOTAL AUDIENCE

Fox News: 492,000 1,615,000
CNN: 532,000* 1,574,000*
MSNBC: 262,000 647,000

PIP continued at 10PM to trounce the competition in a number of areas.
PIP was #1 in the time period for the key demo of Adults 25-54.
PIP increased its Adults 25-54 audience in the time period from Monday (AC360) by a huge 44%!
PIP increased its 2+ audience in the time period from Monday (AC360) by 39%. All ages wanted to view this program.
Again, while television viewership was ‘way up last night, PIP’s audience experienced substantial audience increases over its regularly scheduled CNN programming.
Gee, in other words, AC topped AC!

11PM: Adults 25-54 2+ TOTAL AUDIENCE

Fox News: 452,000 1,252,000
CNN: 505,000 1,126,000
MSNBC: 265,000 607,000

We’re looking at the 11PM hour, as AC360 was live last night.
· AC360 beat Fox for the first time in months (I can’t confirm it, but I believe it was the repeat BILL O’REILLY program). Even though, AC360 repeats rarely beat Billo. With fresh fire coverage, AC360 took the time period for the key demographic of Adults 25-54.
· AC360 only lost to Fox News by 10% in 2+ TOTAL AUDIENCE. Fox as we know is a very old skewing channel.
· MSNBC was just a non-starter for both demographics.
· Television audiences drop drastically at 11PM. As many of you know, AC360’s repeat normally less than 200,000 Adults 25-54. AC360 had a HUGE 60% increase in that target audience at 11PM over most normal broadcasts of the program!

Even though there were advantages throughout the night for all channels, this is by anyone’s account a stellar performance by CNN.

*PIP is a two hour average from 9-11PM. All other programs were 9PM-10PM and 10PM-11PM.
^Courtesy Nielsen Media Research, demographics as noted, LIVE+Same Day Ratings (LS) Fast Track National performance.

And now for the Rating Guru's analysis of last weeks ratings.

IT’S LIKE A ROLLERCOASTER OUT THERE!! (For the Cable Ratings…that is….)

Was it an up and down week for the “big three” cable channels? Well, yeah…
One week does not a program make, so I wouldn’t take the increases or the decreases too seriously as a trend. Baseball and to a lesser degree this week, football (sorry NY Giants and Atl Falcons) on ESPN still affect the channels, but it seems primarily with older audiences. While we don’t have demographic breakouts other than Adults 25-54 and Total Audience 2+, we hear rumors that AC360 is charging ahead with Adults 18-34. That is always good news that younger demos are watching news programming.

Hard News reigned on Thursday this week due to the interest in coverage coming out of Pakistan for the failed assassination and bloody aftermath.

FOX fell across all time periods last week; CNN triumphed with increases in LKL (it is very guest dependent) and at 10PM, everyone was down. 360 because of an unbelievably poor performance on Friday, Oct 19 – the lowest in months, brought the average of the program down further than its competitors. All demographic comparisons are for Adults 25-54 or 2+ where noted. Let’s see what happened hour by hour:


On a time period basis, CNN did very well in holding its audience with a 4 day OUT IN THE OPEN and a Friday of KEEPING THEM HONEST. The block was only down -2% from the week prior. That is small enough to be a statistical error on Nielsen’s part. FOX was down -8% as BILL O’REILLY took Friday off, and wow did it show. He lost -54% of his audience from Thursday in showing a repeat Friday. It didn’t really affect the Friday performance of CNN’s “HONEST,” but boosted COUNTDOWN’S audience that night. COUNTDOWN however, had its strongest night on Thursday. OUT IN THE OPEN’S best night was also Thursday – not surprising with the assassination attempt in Pakistan. 8PM on CNN still has its work cut out for it.

8PM Adults 25-54 (000):*

Fox News: 464,000
CNN: 192,000
MSNBC: 279,000


LKL’s best performance for the week was Thursday in Adults 25-54, but Joy Behar’s substitution for Larry King on Friday was the best performance for 2+. Fox’s HANNITY AND COLMES at 9PM did exceptionally well on Wednesday with a weak program on LKL with Dr. Phil. Even Dan Abrams beat LKL on Wednesday…think Larry better rethink Dr. Phil as a guest…perhaps Dr. Phil has enough exposure with his daytime program. For the week, H&C was down -7% in the key demo of Adults 25-54, LKL was up +17% to the prior week – LKL is very guest dependent for the ratings. Dan Abrams’ four day average and applied to five days (he doesn’t air on Fridays) was identical in audience from last week.

9PM Adults 25-54 (000):*^

Fox News: 321,000
CNN: 314,000
MSNBC: 142,000


With breaking news on Thursday, that was AC360’s best day. Friday…well for the key demographic of Adults 25-54, they deserted the program. But, oddly, 2+ was only off 12% from Thursday’s audience high, so it was the key demo that suffered. For Adults 25-54 on Friday, 360 was off a whopping 46% from its strong Thursday time period. For the total week, GRETA was off -5% from last week, AC360 was off -10% and MSNBC’S “Doc Block” was off -9% from the week before in Adults 25-54. If 360 hadn’t had such a disastrous delivery on Friday and held a typical average for 10PM, it would have only been off -4%.
Can’t blame Friday on Baseball...MSNBC and GRETA trounced 360 by 54% in the key demographic…could be just a ratings aberration since 2+ hung in there.
Did broadcast network programming affect 10PM? Well, on some nights, and only slightly this week. One can’t blame the nets on Thursday at 10PM with the meltdown of VIVA LAUGHLIN on CBS…yikes…canceled after two airings…mercifully.

10PM Adults 25-54 (000):*

Fox News: 299,000
CNN: 226,000
MSNBC: 135,000

Next week will be interesting with the California Fire coverage, PLANET IN PERIL and The World Series so stay tuned…Let me know your questions and I’ll try to answer them!

*Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Adults 25-54 LIVE + SAME DAY (LS) Fast Track Nationals.
^ Abrams does not air Fridays – four day average applied to five days for a five day Abrams average.

And finally we'd like to wish James Carville a very happy birthday.

Planet in Peril

After a year of waiting, tonight we got to see the first part of CNN's Planet in Peril.

Anderson Cooper, Jeff Corwin, and Sanjay Gupta have been travelling the globe examining the effect that humans have had on the planet's environment.

Anderson Cooper and Jeff Corwin report from JJ Market in Thailand where endangered species are sold illegally. They accompany the Thai police as they raid the market.

Next, Jeff Corwin visits Madagascar where 90% of the wildlife is unique to the island. The forests where these unique animals thrive is disappearing as they're cut down to make way for people.

Do you see the lizard in the picture?

The cry of the lemur is just haunting. Above are pictures of the Indri lemur which is the largest type found on the island. This creature does not do well in captivity so preserving its natural habit is vital to its survival.

This might just be the TV debut of the Black Sifaka lemur.

Jeff Corwin participated in a rapid assessment program that attempts to go into habitat and identify the species that occupy it. They're hopes are to find a new species that could be used to have the area protected from deforestation. They never know what they're going to find. Sometimes there are dozens of new species and sometimes they're "absolutely skunked".

This little guy might just be something new that was discovered during the RAP. They'll know for sure in about a month.

Mass extinction of species has happened five times in known history. We're currently experiencing the sixth great spasm of extinction but this time it's different. Prior instances were caused by events like ice ages. This one: human beings.

Anderson Cooper reported on the reintroduction of the gray wolf to Yellowstone National Park. It's fascinating to see the ripple effect one species has on the entire environment- not just other animals.

The wolves were missing for over 70 years. Since they're at the top of the food chain, they aren't the only ones that benefit from their kills. Other animals and bugs are provided with food.

Willows have grown up in the last 10 years because elk have been forced to change their behavior (and there are fewer elk). The willows provide a home to song birds and material for beavers to use to build damns. The beaver damns have created a pond where fish and water fowl thrive. Everything is connected.

Did you notice the REM song playing in the background?

Anderson Cooper and Jeff Corwin traveled to Cambodia where tigers are hunted by poachers. A poacher can get up to $25,000.00 for a tiger on the black market. Rangers who go out into the forest to track poachers and remove snares only get paid $30.00 a month.

Rangers find over 7,000 snares a year. They also find wounded and dead animals.

Asian sun bears are hunted for their organs.

In China, exotic wildlife is used in medicine and served as delicacies. Sanjay Gupta reported on the wildlife found in the markets and in restaurants.

The segment on the bear farms was by far the hardest part of the two hours for me to watch. How horrifying!

50% of China's rivers are polluted. Sanjay visited an area were the river is being polluted by factor and people are using the contaminated water on crops. The area has become a cancer hotspot and Gupta spoke with one woman who had lost her husband to the disease.

You don't have to go to the other side of the world to find an example of how the products that people create have an effect on the environment and humans. Anderson Cooper had a body burden test conducted on himself.

The results of the test showed that at one time he was exposed to DET. The test also showed high levels of a chemical commonly found in makeup.

I've only touched on just some of the highlights of the two hour program. Not including commercials and live news breaks, there was approximately 1 hour and 26 minutes of programming. I think that this program has lived up to all the hype. The program was full of great reporting and outstanding footage.

I was struck by all of the unintended consequences of our actions. Ultimately, much of the damage that has been done to the planet was done to improve the standard of living for humans. Everything is connected.

The best part.... it's not over. Wednesday, we'll get to see Part 2 of Planet in Peril.


Happy Birthday to former CNN correspondent Andrea Koppel who will be celebrating her birthday on October 24th.