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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Presents and Ratings at a Glance

I hope Santa Claus was good to all of ATC's readers? He certainly outdid himself at my house. I struggled with something to post today (the holiday's are notoriously slow press release times), When I mentioned my dilemma to BA she sent me a great idea for a post. Here's a list of what we though some of our favorite CNN personalities needed for Christmas. If you've got a suggestion we'd love to hear it.

John King - a pair of nice warm gloves (and the sense enough to use them)
John Roberts - a helmet that's still in one piece
Jack Cafferty - Head On- as much as he rants, he must get a headache more times than not
Wolf Blitzer - dance lessons so he looks good when he visits Ellen
Veronica De La Cruz - more viral videos that she can put Ali, Rob, and JR in
Bill Schneider - a new hat (no explanation needed)
David Mattingly - proper fishing lessons or cooking lessons on how to prepare Carp
Karl Penhaul - a new CNN windbreaker- as many storms has he covered this year- he's probably in need of a replacement
Drew Griffin - a display case for all of his awards
Gloria Borger - a book deal- they always put her on with Toobin & Cafferty and Wolf always seems lost when he gets to her and can't push her book- because she doesn't have one.
Rick Sanchez - the ability to just say no to those daredevil investigative pieces.
David Gergen - a place to live in NYC so we can see him actually sitting at the roundtable discussions
Jeffery Toobin - even more snark!
Erica Hill - more dramatic pet videos
Anderson Cooper - two words....Flin Flon!!!

Since I won't be posting again until 2008 I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year. ~ Phebe


Wow, with vacations, substitutions, program pre-emptions and rebroadcast programming, don’t expect much from last week or this week. Everyone is down, and this week is already lower in audience viewership. But, chin up, no one in the industry pays much attention to the ratings (other than football) and the advertisers buying ad time know what they are getting. In fact, they are probably getting a little more from the broadcast nets as the writers striking and the networks and producers refusing to budge for a settlement won’t be helping television much in the coming weeks. It should actually help cable, and the primaries should help cable news.

Let’s look at last week, and since there were so many disruptions, look at it on a time period basis. Any other way is not fair, and fairly meaningless. All programs were coded as regular programming, so it is important to look at the time period performance, not what anchor was in the chair. Everyone had ups and downs with no pattern other than viewership is not evident with any consistency on any channel.

8PM: ^
Fox News: 414,000
CNN: 178,000
MSNBC: 220,000

No surprise, everyone is down from the week before, but reruns of programming hurt, particularly when the program has a large audience to begin with as is the case with Bill O’Reilly and Keith Olbermann. O’Reilly’s Friday program (sorry, I can’t give it the news nomenclature of broadcast, he isn’t news, he’s a topical commentator...) fell 57% from its Thursday airing – woof! COUNTDOWN was down with Keith Olbermann only being in attendance a few days and airing the year in review of his blooper segment – “Oddball.” OUT IN THE OPEN had a couple of very weak days, pulling the average down from last week. Strangely, OUT IN THE OPEN had its strongest days on Monday and Friday – most programs had average Mondays and very weak Fridays.

9PM: ^
Fox News: 287,000
CNN: 264,000
MSNBC: 134,000*

HANNITY & COLMES had a major fall off in audience from its Bill O’Reilly lead-in this week, but had a very strong performance on Tuesday – its one bright spot. The program is off over 125,000 viewers from the week before – a consequence of viewership of television being ‘way down this week. LKL did well on Monday with his interview with presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and also did well on Wednesday, but had no joy with another Christmas program on Friday. The strong nights for LKL allowed the program to be one of the few to be basically equal in its performance in comparison to the week prior. Dan Abrams being on four days over five had extremely low numbers with a disaster outing on Monday.

10PM: ^
Fox News: 293,000
CNN: 217,000
MSNBC: 192,000

GRETA didn’t have as drastic a fall off, and actually gained audience from her lead-in at 9PM on Fox News. As typical, her lowest night was Friday down 82,000 viewers from Thursday’s performance. AC360 had an odd week. Monday was its strongest night, losing very little audience from its lead-in of LKL. However, Tuesday, the 11PM repeat actually beat the 10PM first run – I’ve never seen that happen…Wednesday was back to normal with the 10PM hour topping the 11PM repeat by 100,000 viewers, but slipped substantially Thursday and had another dismal Friday. MSNBC’s high point was Friday where its “docblock” beat both GRETA and 360. MSNBC with its investigations/doc block had a very up and down week, but Friday’s #1 ranking for the time period is out of the ordinary.

So there you have it. Don’t expect much for the holidays; look for politics to hopefully bring everyone’s performance back in January. Let’s also hope the interviews Jon Klein has done saying he sees Campbell Brown improving 8PM with her start in February and targeting 360 to beat GRETA in 2008 get the support they need to do what Mr. Klein is predicting. To be fair, Rick Sanchez has done an admirable job in “holding down the fort” at 8PM. 360 will have to pour it on when viewership increases in Jan/Feb 2008 to take control of momentum in 2008 at 10PM.

See you next week – and let me know if you have any questions. And yes, the broadcast nets really fell last week too in audience delivery…it’s the holidays.

And happy holidays to all!

Ratings Guru

*4 day average applied to 5 days; Dan Abrams only airs 4 days.
^Courtesy, Nielsen Media Research; Adults 25-54 LIVE+SAME DAY (LS) Fast Track Nationals.


Anonymous said...

I think it is very possible for 360 to top Greta
in 2008. I think the Peterson case is keeping
Greta in front right now. I also looking forward
to Campbell Brown's program.They seem to be
thinking out of the box for this one to bring
something different for the hour.Rick has been
doing a good job holding down the fort.2008
should be an interesting year for CNN. I have
noticed some political decorations on the set
out of New York. Since Jan 2008 will be big
and politics CNN should pull in some decent
ratings. said...

If AC360 gets the right resources along with promotion and advertising, it has a very good shot at beating GRETA, particularly with it being an election year. CNN has been positioning themselves as the "election coverage channel."

The same holds true for Campbell Brown. She has the chance to be a strong second with resources and promotion and advertising (P&A). It is a mountain to climb to try to beat Bill O'Reilly - he has so much audience 55+ (CNN doesn't skew so old) that it will be nearly impossible to take the 8PM hour. The 10PM is an entirely different story.

And with the events this AM, I am sure journalists are scrambling to get back to their broadcasts. We may see a real upswing tonight in Cable news viewership as well as network.

And sorry, yes, I do know how to spell admirable - I asked my blogger bosses to correct it!
Ratings Guru