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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ratings At A Glance For The Week of March 23, 2009

American Morning starts at 5am (ET) on Wednesday, April 1, 2009 to cover President Obama's speech at the G-20 summit live.

Ratings for the week MARCH 23, 2009 - MARCH 27, 2009

Adults 25-54
FOX795,500 1
CNN207,750 1
MSNBC414,250 1
Adults 25-54
Adults 25-54

Yet another week of FOX taking the top spot in the ratings for every hour of primetime on all five days. As for the other three networks, everyone gets to take a turn at coming in second, third, and fourth.

CNN came in fourth for the week in the Adults 25 - 54 demographic at 8PM. The 9PM hour bounced around a bit through the week in the demographic, with three third place finishes, one fourth place, and one second place. (BTW the second place finish was on Friday- the night that Tavis Smiley hosted the program.) The average for the week put CNN in third place at 9PM. At 10PM, CNN had the second highest average.

MSNBC gets third place at 8PM. During the 9PM hour, they had the second highest average and at 10PM, they claimed fourth place.

HLN was back in second place at 8PM. The 9PM hour averaged for the week in fourth. At 10PM, HLN comes in third place for the week.

1 4 day average ratings. Tuesday night Presidential primetime press conference not included.

^ Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Demographics where noted; Live + Same Day (LS) Fast Track Nationals.

This past week has been filled with mountains of articles about the cable news ratings. Can't post them all, but here are a few that caught my eye:

From the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

As always with numbers — especially TV ratings — it depends on which ones you look at and who’s spinning them.

Case in point: Nielsen Media data released Tuesday on the ever fierce cable news network wars.

Executives at CNN boasted the network’s best first quarter in six years in terms of average viewership, but it still finished a distant second to Fox News and many news reports zeroed in on what happened in March: CNN dropped to third place behind Fox and MSNBC in the prime-time news category among viewers age 25-54.

CNN/US President Jonathan Klein downplayed the meaning of one month’s data and hung CNN’s hat on having the best first quarter in six years.

“CNN is more than ever the source of reliable news, and that’s how we like it,” Klein said.

Fox News declined interview requests.

Overall, Fox News averaged 1.2 million viewers during the entire first quarter. CNN pulled in an average 741,000 viewers during the time period. (Fox News and CNN have finished No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, since 2002.)

For the 8 to 11 p.m. news category among the prized 25-54 set, Fox News averaged 552,000 viewers in March — ahead of 332,000 at MSNBC and 288,000 at CNN, according to Nielsen data supplied by Fox News.

It was the first time CNN, owned by Atlanta-based Turner Broadcasting System, finished third in that category since it started nearly 30 years ago.

What worked during the first quarter last year — a prime-time lineup of election-based news shows followed by Anderson Cooper 360 — isn’t doing the trick now. Campbell Brown’s 8 p.m. show is pitted against two popular shows on the rival networks: “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox and “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” on MSNBC.

And, News Corp-owned Fox in January launched the Sean Hannity show during the 9 p.m. prime-time slot to follow O’Reilly.

The fact that Fox News’ average viewership for the quarter grew 26 percent compared with a year earlier, vs. 17 percent growth for CNN, suggests Fox News may also be taking advantage of its more conservative reputation now that a Democrat is in the White House.

“We have seen some evidence that Fox was maybe benefitting more because it was the opposition network,” said Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Washington-based Project for Excellence in Journalism.

And from the New York Times:

MSNBC ran a countdown clock in preparation for the big event last Tuesday night. CNN’s run-up thrummed with portent, while a skeptical Fox News joined in the fervent speculation.

So what had the cable news stations in overdrive? A fairly routine, some might say boring, presidential news conference that did not make news.

That didn’t stop squad after squad of panelists from weighing in on CNN — tearing apart President Obama’s mien and message down to the last blink and nod. A huge electronic display showed a “word cloud” — words in a size that indicated their frequency of use. (Gee, I liked it better when John King used a digital maps to annotate and caress delegate totals.) And before it even started taking apart the content, Fox pointed out that the president had used — gasp — a teleprompter.

There is no question that the stakes are high in this presidency, and it’s hardly an epiphany that in order to feed the 24/7 beast, cable news has to turn every little thing into a big event. But something else is at work here. Gorged on ratings from a historic election and still riding on leftover adrenaline, the cable networks have steadfastly remained in campaign mode. And the hyperbolic rhythms and requirements of a cable news world have never seemed less relevant to the story at hand.

“On the cable networks, the intensity of conflict is what drives their shows, so everything is turned into a referendum,” said John D. Podesta, president of the Center for American Progress, who served as chief of staff for President Clinton and the co-chairman of the transition team for Mr. Obama. “It’s worse than it was four years ago, and its worse than it was four years before that. It’s on a new slope.”

Roosevelt used a radio to broadcast hope in grim times. Mr. Obama has many more megaphones at his disposal, but they go both ways, a feedback loop that threatens to drown out the message.

It’s not just a cable phenomenon: He’s done interviews with most of the big media outlets, and almost everywhere else as well — not only ESPN, “60 Minutes” on CBS and “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” on NBC but also Al Arabiya, Black Enterprise magazine, Telemundo and the Univision Radio host Eddie Sotelo, nicknamed Piolin.

Just in case you missed those, Mr. Obama went directly to the public on Thursday with a first-of-a-kind town hall meeting on the Web that was mostly a replay of the themes and data points from the Q. and A. with the professional journalists earlier in the week.

My children would say that Mr. Obama is on the verge of violation for oversharing. But he’s also fulfilling the demand of a media apparatus that requires ceaseless updating and a daily verdict.

After a recent round of big name renewals and contracts, the cable networks are loaded with red meat eaters and cud chewers. MSNBC is pretty much wall-to-wall politics with a roster to match — the obsessive Chris Matthews, the freakishly partisan Keith Olbermann and the reliably left-leaning Rachel Maddow.

Fox, too, sees politics everywhere, with Bill O’Reilly on the hunt for new enemies every day and Glenn Beck’s increasingly popular atavism. And CNN still has all manner of political boots on the ground — panels stacked like cordwood even though the election is long past.

In the old model of cable news, a neutral host would referee fire-breathers fighting it out from either side. But now the middle ground is eroding and everybody seems to be pushing something.

It’s been a bit of role reversal, with politicians lecturing about the need for reasoned debates and the people formerly known as journalists demanding that lines be drawn and various people be held to account.

How politicized is the current cadre of broadcast blabbers? Two cable news hosts — Mr. Matthews and Larry Kudlow of CNBC — had public dalliances with running for office themselves, and their networks were fine with it.

“I have been participating in this aquarium for 20 years and there has been a definite shift,” said Mark McKinnon, vice president for Public Strategies and a media adviser to both President George W. Bush and Senator John McCain. “It is not just a permanent campaign by the administration, it’s coming from the media. They clearly need that political crack to keep the ratings going.”

Some of the viewers seem to have noticed that all of the election coverage is short an actual election. According to Nielsen, CNN, after hitting 3.28 million viewers on average during the week of the actual election, had drifted down below a million by mid-March. Fox News, 3.54 million the week of the election, is still above 2.1 million, while MSNBC, which hit 2.17 million, had 886,000 the week of March 16.

One outfit that will probably do O.K. is the Obama administration. Regardless of how much traction his policies continue to lose, the president’s approval ratings are still high. Mr. McKinnon suggested that he should continue to seize the moment and don the sandwich board whenever possible.

“The success of his presidency will be determined by this first six months,” he said. “He doesn’t have the luxury of not swinging with everything he has right now. The dynamics of the office mean he will be out of political capital soon enough.”

But the business of governing, which involves incremental progress and endless negotiations, isn’t a made-for-television event — unless your only idea of television is C-SPAN. We’re not waiting for late returns from California any more. Instead, we’re getting unemployment figures from Michigan. While it’s a far less exciting story, it’s a far more important one.

And lastly, a link to an article titled CNN: Victim of Ideology, or Its Own Shortcomings? that describes CNN as the network forever seems to be planting a big "kick me" target on its back....

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

Monday, March 30, 2009

Winning Hearts and Minds

A lot of news last week about the war in Afghanistan, as President Obama unveiled a new plan for the war there. But are more troops really going to resolve the problem? Friday, Campbell Brown spoke with Christiane Amanpour, who is just back from a visit to that country, where she filmed interviews that will be featured in a two-hour documentary scheduled for August about how we can change the negative attitude many Muslims around the world have about the West:

[As Greg Mortenson said in that interview, schools in Afghanistan are a vital component for that country's future. The New York Times' journo Dexter Filkins recently wrote an article about young girls in Kandahar who were doused with acid because they dared to attend a school -- sadly, a frequent method of discouraging girls from education -- and that article inspired a frequent ATA/ATC contributor to set up a blog to help people find ways to raise money for the school. Please take a moment to read the article and check out Mavis' site.]

Peter Bergen was a guest on AC360 Friday night, and Anderson Cooper asked him about the new plan for Afghanistan:

Christiane also spoke to John Roberts today on American Morning:

Also today on American Morning, John spoke with Reza Aslan about an upcoming conference on the future of Afghanistan ... a conference that will include representatives from Iran:

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In other world news, Wolf Blitzer spoke with Reza Sayah this afternoon about the assault on a police training facility in Lahore, Pakistan that left at least eight cadets and instructors dead:

And finally...last Monday Michael Ware spoke to Wolf about the situation in Mexico:

That's a wrap for today. Don't forget to watch Jack Cafferty on The Daily Show tonight, that should be a terrific interview! Hope your March is going out like a lamb and that you don't get pranked too badly on Wednesday!

UPDATE: Campbell Brown has started her maternity leave, so Roland Brown is hosting her program for the next eight weeks. Also, Zain Verjee has a new gig -- I totally missed this, but Wolf announced it on Friday:
The good news -- Zain is going off to London to become an anchor of a brand new CNN International morning show that will debut fairly soon. The bad news, Jack, she's leaving THE SITUATION ROOM and heading off to London. And we're going to miss her terribly.

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

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Highlights from State of the Union with John King for March 29, 2009

CNN's State of the Union with John King and Reliable Sources are now on Facebook: State of the Union with John King

Reliable Sources

Also, according to the State of the Union with John King website, you can sign up for a State of the Union newsletter by emailing:

John King started off Sunday's program with President Obama's Afghanistan war strategy. He spoke with Gen. David Petraeus & US Special Representative Richard Holbrooke.

State of the Union with John King CNN March 29, 2009State of the Union with John King CNN March 29, 2009

The discussion included the additional troops being deployed to Afghanistan; President Karzai and the upcoming election; the magic map was used during the discussion about the Afghanistan/ Pakistan border; Iran's nuclear capabilities and their participation in meetings about Afghanistan; and whether or not Obama should say that the "surge" worked.

State of the Union with John King CNN March 29, 2009

Gen. Petraeus has a difficult job. Having served under the previous commander-in-chief and now reporting to the current commander-in-chief, he's going to continue to be asked to compare the two administrations. He does a very diplomatic job of avoiding the question (which he probably should continue to do - at least if he wants to keep his job.)

Obama's approach to Iran, Iraq

Obama's 'Af-Pak' strategy

State of the Union with John King CNN March 29, 2009State of the Union with John King CNN March 29, 2009

Next was a discussion with two democrats, Rep. John Spratt and Sen. Kent Conrad. Sen. Conrad spoke about the flooding in Fargo, North Dakota. Rep. Spratt and Sen. Conrad discussed the President's budget proposal.

A close look at Obama's budget

John King visited St. Louis this past week and reported on the cut backs in mass transit.

Closed bus route devastates couple.

State of the Union with John King CNN March 29, 2009State of the Union with John King CNN March 29, 2009

Later on in the program was King's breakfast diner segment which was also taped in St. Louis at Sweetie Pie's. The final segment from St. Louis was King's visit to Afro World where he once again spoke with owner, Sheila Forrest. She started selling Obama buttons during the campaign and interest has not decreased since he's taken office.

CNN has posted a behind the scenes video clip of John King talking about this trip to St. Louis.

Behind the scenes with John King

Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz started out with a discussion with Mike Jacobs of the Grand Forks Herald about the floods in North Dakota.

Next up was a discussion about the media taking a critical look at the Obama administration (Is the honeymoon over?) with Chip Reid, Ann Compton, and Kevin Chappell. All three were lucky enough to have been able to ask the President a question in the East Room during the prime time press conference on Tuesday night. In addition, they discussed the coverage of the criticism and lack of praise for the administration about the stock market.

Kurtz talked with Gloria Allred and Ray Richmond about the Octo-mom's conflict with Dr. Phil. The discussion turned into a shouting match between Allred and Richmond. Why won't the Octo-mom saga just go away?

The octomom saga

Ed Gillespie talked to Kurtz about media bias. They discussed NBC, MSNBC, & FOX news (oddly CNN was absent from the discussion).

State of the Union with John King CNN March 29, 2009

If you missed any of Reliable Sources, you can always view the program's podcast:

State of the Union with John King CNN March 29, 2009State of the Union with John King CNN March 29, 2009

The 11AM hour sent the program back to John King and the start of the panel discussions for the morning. The first panel consisted of David Gergen, Alex Castellanos, and Donna Brazile. They discussed the spending proposed in the budget, the Treasury Secretary's performance this week, and the war in Afghanistan

State of the Union with John King CNN March 29, 2009

At one point, the typical newspaper display behind King was replaced by a set of pages. The page on the top left is On the top right is the State of the Union with John King website. In the bottom left corner, is And the bottom right corner looks like ti could be the facebook page.

State of the Union with John King CNN March 29, 2009

The second panel included Barbara Starr, Jessica Yellin, and Dana Bash. The budget was at the top of the discussion list with comparisons to 1993 & 1994 as well as talk of budget cuts for the Pentagon and the policy on Pakistan.

State of the Union with John King CNN March 29, 2009

Christiane Amanpour, who recently returned from Afghanistan, spoke with King about the administration's policies towards the country and the war.

State of the Union with John King CNN March 29, 2009

Senator Mitch McConnell got the last word on this Sunday's broadcast. The discussion revolved around the budget proposal and big government as well as the administration's policy on Afghanistan and Pakistan and the state of bipartisanship in Washington.

Obama disappoints GOP leader

If you missed Sunday's State of the Union with John King, CNN has two podcasts available: an audio podcast *new* and a video podcast.

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

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Now or Never

Jack Cafferty appeared as a guest on a couple of CNN programs this week to talk about his book. On Thursday he appeared on Larry King's program:

And on Friday Campbell Brown had a recorded interview with him:

I love Jack's dry sense of humor and his scathing honesty. And even without ever meeting her, it is so clear that his late wife must have been an extraordinary woman. I can't wait to get this book.

Also, Jack will be appearing on The Daily Show this Monday, March 30. Should be a memorable interview!

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A couple of the world economy pieces ran this week. This first one is from Frederik Pleitgen (in Berlin) and Stan Grant (in Dubai):

This one features Kyung Lah (Tokyo), Stan Grant (near Abu Dhabi), Ivan Watson (Istanbul), and John Vause (Beijing):

And here's an unusual financial piece -- Nic Robertson gives us a look at a "financial boot camp" the Army is running in Baghdad:

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Where in the World...?

SUNDAY: Christiane Amanpour was in Chaghcharan, Afghanistan.

MONDAY: Michael Ware was in New York. TJ Holmes was in for Tony Harris.

TUESDAY: Wolf Blitzer was in New York to cover the President's press conference; John King was also in New York. Betty Nguyen filled in for Tony; TJ filled in for Rick Sanchez.

WEDNESDAY: Don Lemon was in The Situation Room, as he visited Washington for an interview with RNC head Michael Steele; Jill Dougherty was in Mexico City with SecState Clinton; Anderson Cooper hosted AC360 from El Paso, Texas. Fredericka Whitfield filled in for Tony.

THURSDAY: Anderson spent the day in Juarez, Mexico, then hosted from El Paso (above); Randi Kaye and Drew Griffin were also in Mexico; Gary Tuchman was in Tuscon, Arizona. Jack Cafferty appeared on Larry King Live, as a panelist and a guest. Don filled in for Tony.

FRIDAY: Christiane was in New York; Peter Bergen appeared on AC360 to discuss the President's plan for Afghanistan; Jack was on Campbell Brown's program; Anderson was still in El Paso; the second hour of AC360 was the fourth installment of Ali Velshi's "Money Summit" series. Don was in for Tony; Tavis Smiley filled in for Larry King.

That's a wrap for me today. Have a great weekend!

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

Friday, March 27, 2009

Turn The Lights Out


8:30PM local time, wherever you live on planet earth. Saturday 28 March 2009

Earth Hour was featured on Larry King Live earlier this week. Here's a clip from the interview with Edward Norton:

The podcast is also available from



This year, Earth Hour has been transformed into the world’s first global election, between Earth and global warming.

For the first time in history, people of all ages, nationalities, race and background have the opportunity to use their light switch as their vote – Switching off your lights is a vote for Earth, or leaving them on is a vote for global warming. WWF are urging the world to VOTE EARTH and reach the target of 1 billion votes, which will be presented to world leaders at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009.

This meeting will determine official government policies to take action against global warming, which will replace the Kyoto Protocol. It is the chance for the people of the world to make their voice heard.

Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. In 2008 the message had grown into a global sustainability movement, with 50 million people switching off their lights. Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome’s Colosseum, the Sydney Opera House and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square all stood in darkness.

In 2009, Earth Hour is being taken to the next level, with the goal of 1 billion people switching off their lights as part of a global vote. Unlike any election in history, it is not about what country you’re from, but instead, what planet you’re from. VOTE EARTH is a global call to action for every individual, every business, and every community. A call to stand up and take control over the future of our planet. Over 74 countries and territories have pledged their support to VOTE EARTH during Earth Hour 2009, and this number is growing everyday.

We all have a vote, and every single vote counts. Together we can take control of the future of our planet, for future generations.

VOTE EARTH by simply switching off your lights for one hour, and join the world for Earth Hour.


On News To Me last weekend on HLN, Eric Lanford talked with Nick Greenlee, the creator of the viral video MAC VS PC. If you haven't seen the video, you can click here.

On a much sadder note, this was posted to the News To Me blog on Tuesday:

“News To Me” - final episode

We just wanted to let you know that this weekend’s episode of “News To Me” (airing March 28th and 29th) will be the last.

Starting in April, “News To Me’ is leaving the HLN schedule to make way for a new weekend edition of “Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell.”

More details and a proper thank-you are forthcoming.

Posted by: Producer Grayson Thagard

Seems like no good deed goes unpunished at HLN. News To Me stories have been #1 on's Most Popular list. Over the last few weeks, I've seen a lot of comments wishing CNN had more viewer interaction with their programming. News To Me content was driven by their viewers and those that submitted stories to CNN. Removing this program... not a good move. (But that's just my opinion.)

Watch the final episode on Saturday & Sunday at 7:30pm, 9:30pm, * 12:30am ET

On last clip for you tonight, Becky Anderson reported on medical training in Second Life.

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

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Twitter ~ CNN Style

Hello everyone. Hope you have had a great week. I have been so busy getting ready for a busy travel weekend so my post is going to be short tonight but it flows with the topic. I have a new addiction and it is Twitter. I heard about Twitter maybe a year ago on CNN when they did a story about a man who had been arrested and he got word to his friends with the simple word “arrested” Twitter is a free service where people can communicate with each other using up to 140 characters (hard but possible) Well I signed up for Twitter and never thought much of it but over the last few weeks I am hooked. The best part is I can keep up with many people at CNN. We have all seen how Rick Sanchez and others at CNN have made twitter a vital part of their shows. Well I thought I would put a list together of all the people and shows at CNN that I follow. If you know of any more please feel free to add them to the comments.

Just click on a name and you will be taken to the desired page on twitter

Rick Sanchez (Mr. Twitter)

Jack Gray (as funny with 140 characters as he is with a whole blog)

American Morning

CNN Top Stories

Former CNN’er Miles O’Brien tweets as well.

You can also follow our blog on Twitter as well as our sister blog All Things Anderson

That is it for me tonight. Hope you all have a great weekend and happy tweeting ~ Sapphire (Sapphire_81)

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

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Out of the Box, March 25th

Frank Sesno:

CNN reporter Frank Sesno will host PBS's Planet Forward on April 15th. The program asks for written and video commentaries making a case for how the United States should deal with its current and future energy challenges. Then these submissions will be aired and a panel of scientists, policymakers, and business leaders will debate the issues they raise. Broadcast times vary, check your local listings.

Anderson Cooper:

Anderson Cooper will speak at Elon University on April 7th, where he will conduct a question-and-answer discussion with students at 2pm and deliver a special lecture at 4pm in the Koury Center’s Alumni Gym. Elon is located in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Cooper is also speaking at the University of Delaware campus Wednesday, April 15th at 8:30 p.m. in the Bob Carpenter Center. Tickets will go on sale Tuesday at UD box offices and via Ticketmaster. Cost per ticket is $5 for students, $10 for faculty and staff, and $25 for the public

In the 'better late than never' category:
Suzanne Malveaux:
Suzanne Malveaux emceed the National Medical Association’s 2nd Annual Global Health Gala Awards Dinner honoring the William J. Clinton Foundation on Tuesday, March 24th at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Soledad O'Brien:

On March 23rd O'Brien spoke at NYU in Kimmel concerning women and diversity issues, as part of the Women as Changemakers series spurred on by Women’s History Month. To read more follow the link.

Wolf Blitzer:
And I'll leave you with an audio clip from National Public Radio's 'Wait Wait Don't Tell Me'. In each episode they play this bluff the listener game where the three panelists tell the caller a crazy story from the news, only one of which is true, and the caller has to decide which is the real one. For the 3/7 pod-cast one of the made up stories was about the Situation Room and Julie made a clip for our enjoyment.

That's it for another week, have a good one. ~Phebe

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

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ratings At A Glance- Week of March 16, 2009

Ratings for the week MARCH 16, 2009 - MARCH 20, 2009

Adults 25-54
Adults 25-54
Adults 25-54

More of the same for this week, FOX swept the demo in all five days of prime time slots. Everyone else takes their turn in fourth place: CNN at 8pm, HLN at 9pm, and MSNBC at 10pm. Second place for the week was split between MSNBC (8pm and 9pm) and CNN (10pm). Third place was shared by CNN (9pm) and HLN (8pm and 10pm).

^ Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Demographics where noted; Live + Same Day (LS) Fast Track Nationals.

Two ratings related article to pass along to you tonight - this one from

More evidence that CNN is going to have to find a new strategy fast or risk becoming a cable news also-ran: In the month of March so far, the Time Warner-owned network has come in fourth place in prime time among adults 25 to 54, the key demographic for advertisers, more often than not.

Through March 17, CNN trailed not only Fox News and MSNBC but also its own sister network, Headline News, on nine out of 17 days. On one day, March 13, CNN even drew fewer 25-to-54 viewers than CNBC -- the first time that's happened since November 2007. And of the eight days it finished higher than fourth in the demo, five were either Saturdays or Sundays, typically the lowest rated nights for the news networks.

Asked about the trend, a CNN spokeswoman offered a statement that emphasized the network's long-term ratings growth -- while ignoring the even sharper gains made by Fox News and MSNBC -- and its claim to being No. 1 in total reach. (As I've noted before, that claim is based on CNN's "cume," or cumulative audience, a measure generally considered less important to advertisers.)

CNN is having its best March in prime time among total viewers since 2003 (Iraq war) and its second best March in adults 25-54 (also since 2003/first best 2008). CNN is not blowing with the political winds, but is continuing to grow by providing reliable, respected journalism and we will continue to offer straight forward reporting that includes a broad range of information, opinion and fact.

On TV, CNN reaches the most viewers every month, averaging 75.7 million compared to FOX's 61.3 million and MSNBC's 55.8 million. averages more than 30 million unique users each month and HLN averages another 52.8 million viewers.

And finally, I heard this the other day while I was in the car... it is from NPR's All Things Considered: Fox News Thrives In The Age Of Obama. In the article (or audio clip), David Folkenflik takes a look at the maybe unexpected high ratings FOX has experienced since the inauguration.

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

Monday, March 23, 2009

Moving Forward

Christiane Amanpour is back in Afghanistan, and yesterday spoke with John King about President Obama's video message to the leadership of Iran:

Nic Robertson filed a report from Baghdad about the increase in funerals -- which sounds like a bad thing in that war-weary capital, but actually is not:

Reza Sayah is back in Islamabad and reported on what seems to be the end of the protests over the delay in reinstating the Chief Judge seventeen months after he was fired by then-President Musharraf:

On Saturday's "best of" edition of The Situation Room, Wolf Blitzer spoke with actor Gary Sinese about a new documentary titled "Brothers at War," about two brothers serving in Iraq and why their older brother embedded with their unit in order to find out why they chose to serve:

This morning, Michael Ware spoke with Kiran Chetry about the situation in Mexico and the parallels to Prohibition:

That's it for me this week!

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

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Highlights from State Of The Union on March 22, 2009

Highlights from State of the Union with John King returns this week.

The first “word” (interview) this morning was with Christina Romer, the chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors. The topics were a discussion of the toxic asset purchasing program, outrage over AIG, and future regulatory reforms. Paul Begala later mentions in the program that he thought that she did very well, but I just wasn't impressed with her answers and maybe she wasn't the right person to speak for the administration.

King used the magic wall to bring up graphs of several economic indicators. He came close to having one of those TV moments- it sounded like on the way to the wall he almost tripped on a chair. Live TV can be dangerous on a Sunday morning.

Budget economic forecast

Senator Judd Gregg spoke with John King about AIG and the budget. He warns of government bankruptcy if spending remains at the level in the proposed budget.

The first panel of the morning included Dana Perino & Paul Begala. They discussed Obama's gaffe on the Tonight show & budget deficits.

John King visited New Orleans this week. He visited the Lower 9th Ward and reported on a health clinic that has been setup in what used to be home. His column about the trip appears on

A few side notes, King talks about his visit in a video posted on CNN's website .

And Dave Walker of The Times-Picayune had an article on the paper's website this morning about King's visit.

Louisiana is the touchdown state for this week's edition of "State of the Union with John King," airing from 8 a.m. to noon Sunday (March 21) on CNN.

(And, yes, we're getting two-timed by CNN. Anderson Cooper was just here Tuesday for a live "360" stand-up and stories from Chalmette. These things happen in threes. Who's next, Larry King? "Let's take a call. River Ridge, you're on with the Octomom!")

Anyway, John King regularly ventures out into the field for "Union," and segments this Sunday will include a sit-down (and oil-rig field trip) with U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, a visit to a 9th Ward health clinic, a visit to CNN contributor James Carville's Tulane University class for a guest lecture by Newt Gingrich, and some coffee talk with civilians at Cafe du Monde.

"We put our travels into the show every week," King said by phone from the Baltimore airport immediately upon disembarking from his flight from New Orleans.

"This week will have more of our travels than other weeks. It was a very diverse trip. It's like a good Cajun meal. There's lots to chew over."


King said his takeaway, based on the reporting he did here, was that the city and state may be dodging the worst of the global economic crisis.

"Your state's the only state in the country where the unemployment rate went down last month," King said. "For the worst of reasons, New Orleans has already had its recession.

"Money is flowing in. You have a stimulus plan of sorts in that there is reconstruction money coming into the state. The take of everyone (I talked to) was that times are tough everywhere, but perhaps you're not getting it quite as badly as Michigan, Ohio and Indiana because you dealt with the trauma of Katrina.

"Again, it's for the worst of reasons, but it somehow makes you stronger and better able to deal with (the busted international economy)."

It was the first trip back to New Orleans for King since his February 2008 visit for the NBA All-Star Game.

A fiend for the Washington Wizards like his CNN colleague Wolf Blitzer, King said the passage of a year between visits here revealed progress.

"Psychologically -- absolutely, without a doubt," said King, who significantly grew his brand during the recent campaign season by mastering CNN's giant iPhone graphics toy (technically, a Multi-Touch Collaboration Wall). "There's very clear progress from year to year.

"There's also some giant question marks."

With Salazar, King did a helicopter flyover of the city.

"You see a lot of green," King said. "Which was quite striking, because a lot of that green is where houses used to be." 

At 10AM, Howard Kurtz was on with Reliable Sources. He started with his interview Steve Kroft from CBS News' 60 Minutes about Kroft's interview with the President.

Kurtz's first panel included Jim Geraghty (National Review), John Aravosis (, and CNN's Jessica Yellin and they discussed the media's coverage of AIG bonuses.

The next panel, Mark Leibovich, Jeff Jarvis, & Julie Mason, discussed Obama's Tonight show appearance, Obama's college hoops picks, gossip about the white house staff (“the US Weekly approach to Washington journalism” as Kurtz put it), Greta's husband advising Palin, & Jarvis plugged his book, “What Would Google Do”.

Kurtz talked with Rep. Aaron Schock who was “stalked” by TMZ. Kurtz grilled the Congressman about his acceptance of the TMZ video as way to get to his constituents.

The program was turned over to John King at 11AM for a discussion with James Carville and Bill Bennett. The discussion included AIG, the economy, and government spending.

King showed a clip of the Former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich lecturing at Toulane University in James Carville's class. Bill Bennett immediately pipped up that he had real PhD and wanted an invitation to Carville's class as well. Gingrich made the statement that the people on Sunday morning talk shows were always wrong and didn't know what they were talking about. King showed more clips from his visit to Carville's classroom later on in the program.

The segment wrapped up with their picks for the NCAA basketball tournament: King & Carville: Louisville; Bennett: Duke.

King had a breakfast discussion in New Orleans this past week at Cafe du Monde where they discussed the economy and the recovery of New Orleans.

The next panel discussion included Ed Henry, Jessica Yellin, and Dana Bash. They talked about the toxic asset plan, budget deficit, and AIG bonuses along with Sen. Dodd's involvement.

King also spoke with Christiane Amanpour about relations with Iran. Amanpour was reporting from Afghanistan.

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) got the last word on the program. The discussion was about the economy, how Washington's acts impacts the citizens of Michigan, and AIG bonuses.

One final note, Happy Birthday to Wolf Blitzer who celebrated his 61st birthday on Sunday.

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