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Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Year 2008

I hope you've enjoyed the bonus day that we've been given this month. I have to admit that I try to think of February 29th as that extra few hours that I'm always saying that I need.

So, why do we have leap year? Here's an explanation that CNN offered on their international broadcast.

All Hat; No Cattle?

This week Ali Velshi was in Texas with the CNN Election Express. Monday's American Morning Ali showed us that he was definitely NOT all hat; no cattle.

This is a picture of CNN's John King, explaining that he might need to resort to taking hostages... or worse. Why? We'll check out this CNN All Access Podcast to find out.

Mystery Journalist

Let's see if you can identify this week's Mystery Journalist. Let us know who you think this is in the comments.

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

CNN Heroes and Jeanne Moos

CNN Heroes Looking For a New Batch of Heroes

Last year CNN set out to look for people that they could honor in a special ceremony they called CNN Heroes. After a successful campaign with over 8000 nominees CNN is doing it all over again.
CNN has opened the nomination field this year to include the following 7 categories.
* Championing Children
* Community Crusaders
* Defending the Planet
* Everyday Superhero
* Medical Marvel
* Protecting the Powerless
* Young Wonders (21 or under)

If you know a person or group that you believe is deserving of some recognition for the hard work they do, you can nominate them by following the link. Once there just click on the nomination form and fill in as needed. No date or host information for the 2008 CNN Heroes ceremony has been announced yet but as soon as we have some details, we will let you know.

Alissa Krinsky of TVNewser recently did 5 questions with Jeanne Moos. I personally am a huge fan of Jeanne’s segment “Moos Unusual” so I thought I would share this article with everyone
5 Questions For...Jeanne Moos
Alissa KrinskyTVNewser Contributor

1. TVNewser: Of all my stories, the one that got the biggest viewer response was:

Moos: Gay penguins? Two-headed turtle? Three-legged pantyhose? It's all a blur.Actually, the stories that get the most response are the ones that make people mad. It's impossible to do humor without offending SOMEONE. And when I occasionally do something serious (for instance, a recent piece on how reporters demonstrate water boarding on themselves), people get upset because they think I'm being funny when I'm not. They miss the missing joke.

2. TVNewser: As a former hard news reporter, when big stories break, I feel...

Moos: Irrelevant.Itchy to get past the big news so I can get back on the air.Relieved it's not me out there doing live shot after live shot.Though these days I AM covering the biggest news story of the year. I'm more or less a video columnist covering the Presidential race. A media blog once called me "CNN's commenterista"...a title I liked a lot, though I'm not sure what it means.
3. TVNewser: My most adrenaline-pumping moment while on assignment:

Moos: My most adrenaline-pumping moment involved a cranky circus hippo famed for her excess slobber. Would you like to see the video (from 1997)?
4. TVNewser: The secret to continually coming up with pun-filled witticisms for my stories is...

Moos: Screening every frame of tape. As long as I'm not at a loss for pictures, I'm not at a loss for words.I like to bounce my story ideas off the girls in the makeup room while they plaster me with makeup.

5. TVNewser: Ten years from now, I'd like to be...

Moos: Alive.And kicking...maybe kicking the last block of whatever the hottest news magazine show is 10 years from now.

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


We don’t offer much opinion here at ATC, we try to just keep you up to date on the latest programming, personalities and ratings, where it concerns CNN. But occasionally something catches our eye, or our ear, and we just can’t let go of it without a little closer examination.

A former producer at CNN’s American Morning has been blogging about the trials and tribulations behind the scenes of the program. This producer, Chez, was fired several weeks ago. I mentioned this first at our sister blog, All Things Anderson, on Valentine’s Day. Now the executive producer of American Morning, Ed Litvak, also has been dismissed.

If we are to believe the producer, and I do, Litvak was doomed to failure, practically from the beginning. Decisions concerning American Morning were, and still are, being made by Jon Klein. If they worked (and the jury is still out on that one) Klein would be a genius. If they didn’t work it would be Litvak’s fault and he would be shown the door (as he has been).

In Chez’s words “As far as I know, Ed Litvak gave Jon Klein exactly what he wanted; during my tenure as a producer on AM I never saw anything that would make me believe otherwise. Once again, I may not have agreed with Ed on many things, but I never doubted that it was always Klein running the show.And yet when all Klein's big ideas failed, guess who wound up taking the blame and losing his job?”

So is Klein running AM? It’s hard to say, but if he is, he’s not doing a great job. In the key demos (ADULTS 25-54) American Morning's increases over the last year are within the Nielsen statistical error range - +/-3%. that translates to zero growth in the most desired demo. As our Ratings Guru has told me many times, news skews old and old is not where the advertising money is.

There were a few other items of interest on Chez’s blog. Here are some examples:
“He (Litvak) was forced to constantly juggle duties while making sure to placate the various egos, each of whom believed that his or her wants and needs should be top priority.”

"I watched my bosses literally stand in the middle of the newsroom and ask, "What can we do to not lead with Iraq?" -- the reason being that Iraq, although an important story, wasn't always a surefire ratings draw. "

"I watched the media in general do anything within reason to scare the hell out of the American public -- to convince people that they were about to be infected by the bird flu, poisoned by the food supply, or eaten by sharks. I marveled at our elevation of the death of Anna Nicole Smith to near-mythic status and our willingness to let the airwaves be taken hostage by every permutation of opportunistic degenerate from a crying judge to a Hollywood hanger-on with an emo haircut. I watched qualified, passionate people worked nearly to death while mindless talking heads were coddled."

And a conversation he relayed that he had with to former Internet correspondent Jacki Schechner:
"Think about how frustrated and disillusioned most of the American Morning staff is."Not simply frustrated and disillusioned, but outright miserable.
And then she reminded me that in the past year-and-a-half, nearly 20 mid to high-level people have left American Morning; many of them quit with no other job to go to -- they just wanted out of the business."

There is more to read at Chez's blog...both on this topic and others. He writes with humor and an engaging style that warrants a read, when you have the time.

One quick bit of business and then I'll turn you over to our Ratings Guru. We have changed our email address for All Things CNN. The new address is , please add us to your address books.
That's it for me this week. ~ Phebe

We Covered All That Last Week and Over the Weekend!

We can just look at regular program performance this past week having already covered all of the above on ATC and ATA. 60 Minutes was even covered last night on ATA. So we’re just looking at regular performance from last week, right? Sort of…

I am sure all cable news/information channel executives are doing cartwheels in the hallways with the audiences being posted for the primary and debate coverage – and they should. Viewers are tuning in, in record numbers OF ALL AGES to debates, primary coverage, analysis of both political categories and many times spill over and add to the audience performance to coverage on additional nights. While we can’t point directly to these political events driving audience on other nights, there are some nights that do increase, and there would be no other reason. However, once again, to all the blog sites that went after CNN for not holding onto debate audiences with regular programming the next night – no cable channel can achieve that – so don’t hold them to a higher standard than anyone else.
While each of the cable channels covering the political landscape can really thank Senators Clinton, Obama and McCain for the up tick in their viewership -- coverage, breadth and depth of reporting, context and perspective are critical elements which comprise these programs. CNN is still the leader at the end of February in coverage of primaries and debate audience based on Nielsen Media Research.

I’ve seen every headline from each cable channel touting how much audiences have increased in February, and unless I have the actual time period numbers and where they are sourced from, I cannot guarantee the accuracy. We analyze the numbers on a weekly basis in primetime, so you have a very good idea who is winning audience and why. So I’ll leave the press releases to the other blogging sites. Accurate sourcing is critical to me as a research nerd, and while I would like to print all of the superlatives, I can’t without seeing written verification. I will say this about Digital performance. There are several sources to derive the number of site users (called “Uniques”) and the length of the visits (called “Engagements”). These are critical numbers in order to sell cross-platform advertising and ad support for channel websites. There are several sources for this information, including Nielsen, but the largest and industry standard is COMSCORE. Does it mean they are better than the rest? No, just the preferred measurement company. All channels use different companies for digital measurement, so I can’t honestly tell you which channel can be #1 in these audience measured areas. Their sampling differs from company to company, so comparisons would not be fair. Suffice it to say News/Information channels site visits are through the roof in February due to interest in primary, debate and political coverage as are straight news sites such as the broadcast network news websites, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

Even sorting through the primetime numbers to extrapolate regular programming, there are some areas you want to be aware of, as well as what is happening with regular programming.


Fox News: 566,000
CNN: 294,000
MSNBC: 434,000

Other than a higher than normal Wednesday, Bill O’Reilly posted typical audience figures for the 8PM hour. CNN’s ELECTION CENTER benefited from primary coverage as well as an usually strong Monday performance. COUNTDOWN, other than Friday, posted very strong numbers throughout the week with heavy concentration of pre and post debate and primary analysis (yes, even though they didn’t carry the debate this past week).

Courtesy: CNN; Google Images

Fox News: 375,000*
CNN: 375,000**
MSNBC: 194,000+

FOX News and CNN were tied in the 9PM hour with LKL only airing three times in the week – but posting an exceptional performance with Jon Stewart on Wednesday night – over ½ million viewers tuned in to see the Comedy Central/Oscar Host with Larry – a very high number for LKL. MSNBC typically took third in the time period with Dan Abrams only airing three nights for the week.

Courtesy: CNN

Fox News: 347,000
CNN: 665,000
MSNBC: 301,000#

Yup, since CNN coded post-debate analysis on Thursday as a special AC360 and primary coverage on Tuesday night as well, it was a big week for the CNN 10PM program. Even if I eliminate those nights and take the three day average with a weak Friday performance, AC360 still tops GRETA by 20,000 Adults 25-54. MSNBC programmed a special post-debate COUNTDOWN (with a very strong delivery and competitive to GRETA’s performance that night) on Thursday, but since it wasn’t coded their normal “Special Investigation,” it could not be counted in the time period average.

When CNN can post the #2 cable program with the Democratic Texas Debate and the #3 program with the Special AC360 following the debate, it’s a good week for Cable Program Rankings. It’s an even better when AC360 is the strongest program in all of primetime (8PM-11PM) for the entire week.

Yup, there are cartwheels in the hallways and a lot of “high-fives.”

*4 Day Average; primary aired Tuesday.
**3 Day Average; primary aired Tuesday; debate aired Thursday.
+3 Day Average; did not air Friday; primary aired Tuesday.
#3 Day Average; special Countdown aired Thursday; primary coverage aired Tuesday.
^Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Adults 25-54, Live + Same Day (LS); Fast Track Nationals.

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Eco Solutions

Are you familiar with the program Eco Solutions? I happened to have caught the latest episode on Live this weekend. What is it? It was a half hour program that focused on green solutions that are being used through out the world.

The Eco Solutions website describes the program as:
How do we sustain economic growth while preserving the planet? Every week, Eco Solutions takes viewers around the world to meet people who have thought of a solution and are putting it into practice.

If you haven't seen it before, you might be surprised at the variety of ways that power can be generated without the use oil, coal, etc. Kristie Lu Stout anchored the program. All of the stories featured on this past week's program can be found on Below are the links to the videos:

Spain's new solar power tower (Al Goodman reports)

Geothermal's green credentials (Hugh Riminton reports)

Winged boats sail green (Hugh Riminton reports)

Farmers turn waste to watts (Andrew Stevens reports)

China's 'Sunshine City' (Eunice Yoon reports)

Villagers learn to create light (Arwa Damon reports)

If you have CNN International, you can view Eco Solutions at 2300 GMT Mondays or 0400 GMT Tuesdays.

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Foreign Intelligence

Well, since I am filling in this Monday, and since I let off a little steam on Saturday about the narrowing of CNN's focus to all-politics-all-the-time, I thought that today I would post some examples of what CNN is so very good at: focusing on important issues, bringing us a global view, taking us out of our corner of the neighborhood and explaining why the rest of the world impacts us, too.

On Sunday's Late Edition, John King filled in for Wolf Blitzer, and among his guests was Senator Chuck Hagel. Hagel represents Nebraska , although he is retiring from the Senate at the end of this year, and currently sits on the Foreign Relations Committee. In this first clip, he talks about what we are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it is two minutes that cuts through the politics of "the surge" and asks the questions we should all be asking before we vote:

In this clip, Sen. Hagel talks about the recent election in Pakistan (he was a member of the Senate delegation that observed the polling to make sure it was legit) and why the coming transition of power is of vital import to us:

So on Sunday mornings, at least, we do still get a taste of international issues.

Meanwhile, Turkey once again crossed into the Kurdish region of northern Iraq to chase members of the PKK terrorist group to ground. This latest and largest incursion into another country was again met with restraint on the Kurdish/Iraqi side, but there's no telling how long that restraint will hold. Turkey is our ally, and we are currently the main defenders of Iraq's border; not many ways that this plays out well for our side. Michael Ware reported on the latest, but it was only aired on CNN International:

Finally, Newsroom anchor Kyra Phillips is currently in Baghdad, and this morning they did share her filmed report of the journey into the country and to the bureau itself. It's an interesting look at what it takes to just travel there, let alone report the story. Things are better, but there is still a long way to go:

So... still some news from beyond our borders making it onto CNN. You just have to work harder to find it. (And I still wonder what they think is going to happen to their audience once the election is over?)

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN
and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Get Rich, Sleep Well

CNN's Ali Velshi will be traveling around Texas this week on the CNN Election Express bus talking to people about the upcoming primary. Did you also know that he has a book scheduled to be released on Thursday, February 28th? The book is titled: GET RICH, SLEEP WELL: Making Money in Good Times & In Bad

Get Rich, Sleep Well is a straightfoward guide to starting – or rebuilding – a healthy financial portfolio. A lifesaver for those who never learned to invest their money properly or those who have lost most of their money in the market, this book informs readers on how to invest sensibly and with discipline. A variety of financial planners and advisors share investment plans and model portfolios that readers can use as templates for their own.

Also this week, CNN will be reporting from North Korea covering the New York Philharmonic's performance in Pyongyang. Alina Cho will be covering the story for American Morning and will also be sharing her own personal story. Below is a clip from Friday's American Morning.

You can access her blog at American Morning's website. Below is her last blog entry from February 20, 2008:

Hitting the right note in secretive society

SEOUL, South Korea – I leave for North Korea in less than a week to cover the New York Philharmonic’s concert in Pyongyang. It is the first time an American orchestra has ever been invited to play in this communist country.North Korea is one of the most secretive societies in the world, and going there for me is a huge professional and personal accomplishment. I was born and raised in the United States, but I am of Korean descent. My parents were born in South Korea and both fled the North Korean army during the Korean War. My dad’s two uncles disappeared during the war and part of my reporting will include the search for my relatives who I believe may be living in Pyongyang.

That’s the personal part of my journey. I’ll have more on that in my next posting.

But first I’ll be reporting on the Philharmonic and how they feel about going to North Korea. I spoke with several members of the orchestra, including violinist Michelle Kim, whose parents were born in North Korea and who — like me — has a personal stake in this trip.

Right now I’m in Seoul, South Korea — in part to interview my own family — including my 90-year old grandmother and my parents, who came all the way here from the States to help me with this story. I’m off to interview them right now, and I’ll tell you more about my family’s story later. Stay tuned.

Posted by: Alina Cho, CNN New York general assignment correspondent

Christiane Amanpour will also be reporting from North Korea. You can see her reports on CNN International starting Monday at 22:00 GMT.


Mystery Journalist

This week's Mystery Journalist was Dana Bash.

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

CNN = Politics

CNN = Politics. It sounded like a catchy slogan, but in the past several weeks it has become a near-literal truth: all politics, almost all of the time. If a story doesn't involve an actual crime being committed, it better have a poll attached to it if it wants some attention.

Last week, with Pakistan holding historic elections, we in the US were lucky if we got ten minutes of coverage about it per day. You remember Pakistan -- nuclear power, home of the Taliban, hideout of Osama bin Laden? The outcome of that election was just slightly important for this country's future... yet the network that should have been explaining the ramifications of the voting there was instead firmly focused on the election here, despite the fact that it is still nine months away.

Ballot Bowl was a terrific idea: allowing us to hear the uncut, unfiltered speeches of candidates in ways we never have before. But what was great on the weekends is far less welcome every weekday. Did we really need to lose the one single hour we were getting of international news with Your World Today? Are we not xenophobic and isolationist enough already?

Similarly, This Week at War has morphed into This Week In Politics. Do our troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan deserve even less attention than we have been giving them, simply because things may be going well for the moment? We can't honor their sacrifice and commitment by spotlighting them for one single hour every weekend? Even if it returns after November, think about how much has changed in Iraq since May of last year... nine months is a long time to turn away from a story as chaotic as these.

I am a dyed-in-the-wool political junkie. I volunteered for my first presidential campaign when I was 12. But even I am up-to-here with the nonstop campaigning, and we are still months away from the start of the "real" campaign! 

Additionally, having to fill the better part of seventeen hours per day leads to the worst kind of excess in journalism: whipping up controversy. Each tiny thing gets shouted up, graphics are plastered across the screen as replay after replay tries to make it headline-worthy. Please. Leave this kind of distasteful idiocy to the competition. We -- those of us who have chosen to make CNN our trusted source of news -- deserve better.

(And I hate to say this, but when you come up with a catchy slogan to describe your own team of reporters, then try to convince everyone else of its truth through sheer repetition hour after hour ... it's really kinda pathetic. Even if it is true. Stop talking the talk; trust your people to walk the walk -- they'll do you proud. Every time a journalist repeats that line his credibility is lessened, so keep the promos about it in the ad space. Better yet, let others sing their praises. They really are good enough to earn it on their own.)

I completely understand the wall-to-wall coverage in the evenings, when ratings are all-important and CNN's political coverage is bringing in a lot of viewers. But can't we have a broader range of coverage, including international news, during the day? Are we really not going to have in-depth programming about the war until after the election? The economic shows have deservedly been left on in their weekend slots, isn't it possible to move This Week at War to an earlier time for the next few months, or bump the SIU repeats for now? 

If voters need more information about anything right now, it is the economy and the wars and the ways in which international events are affecting both. CNN has always given us valuable assets in those areas. We need them back.

(And yes, I have a definite bias about this... but that doesn't mean I'm wrong!)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Where in the World...?

It seems like there wasn't as much travel this week, but that's only because people tended to stay in one place for several days...

Saturday, Don Lemon continued to report from DeKalb, Illinois about the campus shooting. Sunday on Late Edition, we saw Candy Crowley in Chicago and John King in New Orleans. 

Monday, John Roberts was off, Dana Bash was in Houston, Wolf Blitzer was in New York, and Suzanne Malveaux was in Waikiki. (Rough assignment!) And Michael Ware was in Islamabad, reporting on the Pakistani elections.

Tuesday, Christianne Amanpour was in New York, discussing the Fidel Castro "retirement." Dana Bash was in Columbus, Ohio as she follows the McCain campaign. Wednesday, Sanjay Gupta was in El Centro, California for his flight with the Blue Angels. John Roberts hosted Election Center from Austin, Texas.

Thursday, Dana Bash continued to tour Ohio, reporting from Toledo and Perrysburg. John King and Campbell Brown were in Austin for the debate.

Friday, Dana Bash was in Indianapolis, and Ali Velshi (above, although the photo is from Saturday morning) was in Austin to kick off a Texas tour on the Election Express. John Roberts was back in New York for both American Morning and Election Center, arriving just before a big winter storm hit.

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

CNN Ratings- Primary & Debate

Wisconsin, Hawaii and Washington State Primaries and
Democratic Debate – Austin, TX Feb. 21

You know, it’s a little scary when you know there was a primary this week, but you can’t remember what states or parties they were for and have to go back and look them up! Whew!

But, the key demographic of Adults 25-54 continue to tune to CNN as the channel of choice for primary and debate coverage.

Courtesy: CNN

Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2008 Wisconsin, Hawaii, Washington State Primaries/Caucus 9-11PM:^
Fox News: 692,000
CNN: 825,000
MSNBC: 673,000

All channels aired regular programming at 8PM, which is why we have not included it in the average. While CNN with ELECTION CENTER did feature all political coverage with a build up to the primary coverage, COUNTDOWN and BILL O’REILLY also featured substantial political stories and commentary by contributors.

What drove the CNN coverage? A very strong showing at 10PM for the special coded AC360. 255,000 more viewers 25-54 tuned into AC360 versus YOU DECIDE on Fox News. As expected, there was even more of a disparity between CNN at 10PM and MSNBC’s “SPECIAL COVERAGE – 272,000 audience advantage for CNN. What is surprising is how close MSNBC came to beating Fox News in the key demo – only off by 17,000 viewers. This difference in audience is within the Nielsen statistical margin of error - +/-3%.

A couple of other side notes: The number #1 program in all of primetime 8PM-11PM Tuesday night – SPECIAL AC 360 with 952,000 viewers 25-54.


CNN beat Fox News in Total Audience 2+ in only the 10PM hour of primary coverage, but beat MSNBC handily by 613,000 Total Audience 2+.

However, even more telling is how the 8PM programming turned out, and it deserves showing:

8PM: ^
Bill O’Reilly: 570,000
COUNTDOWN: 438,000

Yup, your eyes are not deceiving you – CNN beat Bill O’Reilly in the key demographic of Adults 25-54. Audiences clearly expected primary coverage to start at 8PM because this is an enormous increase in the time period for CNN, not seen since its SUPER TUESDAY coverage on Feb. 5.

Courtesy: CNN Democratic Debate – Austin, TX

Thursday, February 21, 2008 Austin, TX Democratic Debate, 8P-9:44PM; Adults 25-54:^

Fox News: 449,000*
CNN DEBATE: 2,986,000
MSNBC: 189,000*

CNN DEBATE Total Audience 2+: 7,576,000

Americans are watching debates in record numbers, particularly on CNN. To be fair, Fox News and MSNBC’s numbers are time period averages of their regular programming. However, at 10PM, MSNBC went into post-debate coverage and increased 359% from 117,000 to 420,000 for Adults 25-54. MSNBC didn’t quite beat Fox News, but came very close – only 11,000 Adults 25-54 difference.

Courtesy: All Things Anderson Blog; Special post-debate AC360.

HOWEVER, CNN far and away took the night with the debate and a post-debate Special AC 360 analysis. 360 delivered almost 1.3 million viewers 25-54 years old which far surpassed Fox News and MSNBC.

This debate ranks 3rd for the entire debate season which began in April 2007. The top ranking debate is still the primetime ABC Democratic debate which was rerun on CNN and the #2 ranking debate is CNN’s historic (for cable) Democratic Debate on Jan. 31, 2008 in Los Angeles.
CNN now has 6 of the top 10 debates for this long 2007-08 debate season.

Courtesy: Google Images; CNN; BROKEN GOVERNMENT CNN Special Programming

Even BROKEN GOVERNMENT easily took the time period for CNN at 11PM Eastern in comparison to post-debate coverage on MSNBC and a rerun of Bill O’Reilly on Fox News.

All in all, a great Tuesday primetime and another great debate for CNN on Thursday.

^Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; demographics noted; Live + Same Day (LS), Fast Track Nationals.
*Time period averages only.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Taking A Ride With The Blue Angels

This week Sanjay Gupta went for the ride of his life. He got to take a ride with the Navy's Blue Angels. Thursday morning, he was on American Morning and discussed the experience.

Here are a few other reports from that Dr. Gupta filed on the effects of the flight:


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.


Finally tonight, a few high resolution pictures of the CNN debate in Austin, Texas courtesy of CNN and E M Pio Roda.

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

CNN Debate and Some CNN Winners

Tonight CNN along with Univison had a debate between Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in Austin, Texas. Campbell Brown served as moderator and John King and Jorge Ramos of Univsion served as panelist.

Here are some picture highlights from the evening.

CNN and Headline News win Gracie Awards

CNN and Headline News won four Gracie awards. The awards will be presented on May 28, 2008. To read the full list of winners, follow the link.

* CNN Presents: God's Warriors: Outstanding Documentary/ Long Format
* Where's Molly?: Outstanding Feature/Soft News
* CNN Heroes-An All Star Tribute :Outstanding Special Program
* Showbiz Tonight Better with Age: Outstanding Magazine Show

Congratulations to all the winners!!!

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

LKL, SIU and the Ratings.

Larry King's lost touch with the people? Say it isn't so! Tuesday night brought us another hilarious LKL guest appearance by Jon Stewart.

CNN: Special Investigations Unit–Broken Government Scorched Earth
Miles O'Brien latest edition to the SIU series premieres on Thursday, Feb. 21, at 11 p.m. It will re-air on Saturday, Feb. 23, and Sunday, Feb. 24, at 8 p.m., 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. (Eastern)
Criss-crossing the country, O’Brien reports on examples of frustrating environmental policy failures, and savvy citizens working to find solutions. In Texas, O’Brien finds a company that has so far been able to evade toxic waste compliance by filing for bankruptcy, despite reporting corporate profits. In Iowa, O’Brien reports that despite broad, bipartisan political support and federal subsidies, the promises that corn ethanol would be a renewable fuel that would lessen the nation’s reliance on petroleum imports are being called into question. In the Badlands of South Dakota, O’Brien reveals the irony of two competing, multi-million-dollar federal programs – while one agency works to restore the endangered black-footed ferret from the brink of extinction, a rival government agency has hatched a plan that could kill them off again. Back in Washington, D.C., O’Brien investigates charges by global-warming scientists that their federal bosses have interfered with or silenced their scientific findings that do not support Bush administration policies.
Finally, O’Brien reports on innovative citizens, corporations and state governments that are working to bypass gridlock to find solutions to these challenges.
For more information on these and other environmental and technology stories, CNN’s science and technology team has launched a new blog with commentary on a range of issues at

That's it for me this week. Take a few minutes to check last week's ratings, always an interesting read. ~ Phebe


Four days of straight regular programming. Now you may or may not like the outcome, but as I have always said, don’t shoot the messenger. We stick to the facts, but every once in a while throw in a snarky comment – humor me, numbers can make you go blind.

But there are times you may wonder why I don’t comment on certain channel statements or charts that are issued. As an example, there is a chart that is published weekly, listing the Top 50 cable channels. We don’t comment on those. Why? Well, my role is what happened during the week in cable news/information in primetime for the “big three” and that published ranking takes into consideration all cable channel formats. It is not really fair to compare disparate formats all lumped into one list for primetime, and also based on the widest possible demographic – Total Audience 2+. The whole purpose of cable programming was to target audiences – one can get mass audience (well most of the time…) on broadcast television. Cable allows for specialized viewing and that is a good thing – just not a way to measure the success of a channel. And further, advertisers look at Adults 18-49 or Adults 25-54 in a block of programming basis called “dayparts,” or on a program basis – not on Monday – Sunday 8PM-11PM or Monday – Sunday, 24 hours called “Total Day.” The advertising industry just does not value channels that way. That channel chart is very different than the weekly Top 20 Cable Programs. However, based on Total Audience 2+, the program list is normally dominated with kids/teen/wrestling programming unless the primary or debate audiences are extremely high.

And just another FYI. This is a site for information primarily about CNN. You may see statements about the channel’s successes that I don’t mention. They tend to be promotional announcements or press releases. If they are not sourced directly to specific Nielsen audience figures that we can verify, we don’t print it. Many channels want to highlight their achievements and we are all for that. But unless I have the facts to back up what I write, I don’t write it. It doesn’t mean it isn’t correct, but I don’t write about anything unless I know exactly where it is sourced in Nielsen and is it a fair valuation by the advertising industry.

I have said in the past, I would be very happy to have additional demographic information so that I could give you a better idea of exactly what kind of audiences watch a channel – but that information is not available to us on any kind of consistent basis. So, we work with what we have, and it is sourced.

Viewership is ‘way up not only on cable, but on the way back for broadcast now that the writer’s strike is over, AMERICAN IDOL (referred to as the “death star” by the other nets – well, because it is with 29 million viewers even with the start of the “Final 24”) is in full swing and we have the “February “Sweep;” although much regular programming will be back on the air by March/April so it won’t help this month.

Fox News: 496,000*
CNN: 297,000*
MSNBC: 390,000*

CNN’s ELECTION CENTRAL is actually up +7% over last week even though it is still coming in third in the time period. And CNN had an up tick the week before last. Now it may not be a trend, but it shows there is interest in the hour. FOX is down -10% from the week before, and COUNTDOWN is up slightly, so there is some fluctuation in the time period.

Fox News: 436,000*
CNN: 355,000*
MSNBC: 214,000*

With so much political coverage in the 9PM time period the week before, LKL did have some audience erosion, as did Fox News. Hannity and Colmes did code their Tuesday program as an H&C even though everyone else coded “Election Coverage.” It would have raised their five day average to 478,000 versus the 4 day I posted – so I’ll let you decide. LKL was NOT coded on Tuesday during election coverage, so there is no way I can average in CNN’s time period killer audience of 1 million viewers into the average. Even though MSNBC brings up the rear, it is up slightly in audience over last week – probably due to regular programming and not having such an emphasis on politics that Dan Abrams doesn’t cover consistently.

Fox News: 420,000
CNN: 459,000
MSNBC: 230,000*

This is a tough call. It was very clear that Primary Coverage was on all channels last Tuesday, but only MSNBC coded their coverage as “Special” rather than their normal investigation block. Fox News and CNN both coded their programs as regular programming – GRETA and AC360, but it was primary results coverage. Do I count that as part of the regular program average? According to Nielsen, I should. Is it fair? No, it is not regular programming. YIKES! This is going to happen continually. So their averages are in the above numbers. AC360 beat GRETA on the basis of the huge Tuesday primary performance. The program lost to GRETA on Thursday’s NIU shooting coverage/New Orleans and Friday’s taped 360. Monday they were basically tied and Wednesday 360 far outperformed GRETA.

Courtesy: Google Images

CNN is still tops in Primary coverage and it will be very interesting to see how the debate does on Thursday (Feb 21, 2008). It is the highest viewership night in Television and there appears to be great interest in the two democratic candidates, so next week should be interesting along with the results from the Tuesday primaries. Oh, BTW, “the phrase that shall not be named” used on CNN now has the internet moniker of “TBPTOT.”

Just a little current information:

Courtesy: Google Images

Anderson Cooper was on Conan O’Brien Tuesday evening, February 19, 2008. Conan did take the time period against Kimmel, Ferguson and even Carson Daly’s late, late program (but not Letterman or Leno on at an earlier time period). But the numbers are so small at that hour for broadcast (big for cable), there isn’t much difference. It did a 1.7 Household Rating and a 6 Share – over 2 million viewers in broadcast terms.

*4 day average; Potomac Primary aired Tuesday on all channels.
**3 day average; Potomac Primary aired Tuesday; Dan Abrams does not air Fridays.
^Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Adults 25-54 and other audience where noted; Live + Same Day (LS), Fast Track Nationals.

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Weekend in NOLA & Thursday's Debate

CNN released more information on the coverage leading up to Thursday's debate. Here's a breakdown:

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

8 p.m. to 9 p.m. (ET)

John Roberts hosts CNN Election Center from Austin

Thursday, February 21, 2008

6 a.m. to 9 a.m. (ET)

CNN’s American Morning will broadcast from the University of Texas campus with John Roberts co-anchoring from Austin and Kiran Chetry co-anchoring from New York

8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (ET)/7p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (CT)

Democratic presidential debate

Moderator: Campbell Brown

Panelists: John King & Jorge Ramos

On CNN, on CNN International, and stream live on Live will provide extended coverage with Melissa Long co-anchoring from Austin and Reggie Aqui co-anchoring from the Live studio in Atlanta.

For the debate, CNN Radio will provide live coverage for affiliates and anchored by Lisa Desjardins and Steve Kastenbaum.

CNN Radio will also produce a half-hour, pre-debate program.

CNN Newsource will provide its affiliates access to live reports on-site from “RunningMate” exclusive correspondent Samantha Hayes.

11:30 p.m. (ET)/10:30 p.m. (CT)On the Univision Network, on and on RadioCadena, Univision’s AM radio network (in Spanish) the debate will be rebroadcast.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Midnight to 3 a.m. (ET)

On CNN and on CNN International- a replay of the debate and post-debate program

6 a.m. to 9 a.m. (ET)CNN’s American Morning will broadcast from the University of Texas campus with John Roberts co-anchoring from Austin and Kiran Chetry co-anchoring from New York.
10 a.m. to noon. (ET)Headline News will re-air the debate

This past weekend, you could find several of the CNN anchors and journalists on hand for the NBA All Star weekend in New Orleans. Below are a few excerpts from an article that ran in this morning's The Times Picayune. Dave Walker spoke with both Wolf Blitzer and John King while they were in town. You can read the full article here.

The dudes from Barenaked Ladies, it turned out, are devoted "Sit Room" loyalists.

After meeting Blitzer at a pre-concert reception Saturday, they later led the House of Blues crowd in a call-and-response name-check of Blitzer, a CNN stalwart since 1990.

"They saw I was there, and they had a little fun with 'Wolf Blitzer,'" said Wolf Blitzer, after wrapping Sunday's live two-hour "Late Edition." "They're all from Toronto, and I'm from Buffalo (N.Y.), and we talked a little bit about that.

"They're huge fans of 'The Situation Room.' They watch it all the time. Who knew?

Also in town for the All-Star festivities on Time-Warner's dime was John King, CNN's chief national correspondent and master manipulator of the Multi-Touch Collaboration Wall.

If you don't know what that is, you're not among the huge numbers Blitzer said are plugging into CNN's political coverage.

The wall, developed by a New York company named Perceptive Pixel, is the breakout media star of the campaign so far.

It's basically a giant iPhone screen -- touch-sensitive and fronting enough computing power to allow King -- or whoever's poking it at an individual moment -- to zoom, squeeze and whoosh through maps and graphics.

It's "Minority Report" meets a pollster's fever dream, and King, a political correspondent for The Associated Press before joining CNN in 1997, is its first maestro.

"My son jokes with me... that he actually likes what I do now," King said. "But I'm a little worried about it, because the cab driver who brought me here today said, 'I love that map board.' It's obviously connecting with people in a way beyond what I would've thought.

"It scares me a little bit because I don't want it to become a gimmick. There are a lot of things in television that are for show and not for tell. I think this is great show and tell. You can use the technology to bring some of the nuts-and-bolts of it closer to people."

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