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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ratings Headlines

The regularly schedule Ratings At A Glance feature will return next week. This week I have a few ratings related articles for you ponder.

Nancy Grace
Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell Posts Highest 7 P.M. Ratings in Network History
Beats Countdown with Keith Olbermann for Third Consecutive Month

In February, HLN posted the largest year-to-year gains of any cable news network in primetime, the third consecutive month it earned that claim among both total viewers and the key P25-54 demographic. It also enjoyed more P25-54 growth than its competitors in total day for the recently completed reporting period. HLN’s growth was fueled in part by the success of Nancy Grace at 8 p.m., which beat MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann in the key P25-54 demo to rank as the No. 5 program in all of cable news.

HLN’s M-Su primetime audience grew by 56 percent in total viewers over a year ago (671,000 vs. 431,000) and by 62 percent in P25-54 (272,000 vs. 168,000), with each weekday program from 7 p.m. on enjoying increases in excess of 30% in the key P25-54 demo. Gains in total day were also impressive, building by 19 percent in total viewers (333,000 vs. 279,000) and 28% in P25-54 (151,000 vs. 118,000).

Nancy Grace topped Countdown with an average of 470,000 P25-54 viewers at 8 p.m. in February 2009, versus the 448,000 mark attained by Countdown. Nancy Grace’s audience grew an impressive 83 percent over last year in the key demo and 74 percent in total viewers – the greatest growth of any cable news program in its time period. Nancy Grace also outperformed Countdown among P25-54 in their same-day repeat telecasts at 10 p.m. (310,000 vs. 285,000).

In its fourth full month on the air, Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell posted the network’s largest 7 p.m. audience in P25-54 (241,000) since the launch of HLN’s primetime block in February 2005 – beating its own record set last month. The show also scored the largest P2+ audience at 7 p.m. in the network’s history (596,000).

Showbiz Tonight scored its highest month ever at 11 p.m. in the P25-54 demo (237,000). The show also scored the most growth in the demo in its time period with an impressive 33 percent gain over February 2008.

From the AP on cable news ratings:

NEW YORK – The end of the presidential campaign hasn't meant the end of interest in cable news programming, particularly those shows that filter stories through the strong points of view of their hosts.

Fox News Channel and MSNBC showed double-digit percentage increases in viewership on February, compared to the same month a year ago, according to Nielsen Media Research. CNN showed some declines, which the network partly attributes to extraordinary viewership for presidential debates it held in February 2008.

Plainly, the story of a new administration dealing with an economic crisis drives interest. But cable has moved in the direction of programs centered on a host with strong views, and it's apparent that viewers became used to them during the campaign and stuck around for the start of the Obama administration.

"Those of us who have strong personalities in prime time are going to do better at this," said Phil Griffin, MSNBC's chief executive.

Fox News Channel is up 29 percent in total viewership this month compared to February 2008 (Nielsen's February measurement is actually Jan. 26 through Feb. 22), and it remains the cable news leader.

"The O'Reilly Factor" — the most popular prime-time program on cable news (3.6 million viewers) — is up 33 percent over February 2008. "Hannity" is up 38 percent from the year before, when he was partnered with liberal co-host Alan Colmes.

For Fox, it's a resounding answer to the notion that the network would lose audience or influence with the beginning of the Obama administration. Those who predicted that may have forgotten the network established its popularity during the Clinton administration.

O'Reilly's nemesis, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, is up 32 percent to nearly 1.4 million viewers, Nielsen said. Rachel Maddow's talk show had 1.2 million viewers, more than double what the network aired in her time slot last year.

MSNBC's Griffin acknowledged he was surprised the numbers have held up so well.

"The game has changed," he said. "The news game is on cable. We are still in an interesting, important time when people are glued to what's going on ... The voices they hear on cable are the ones they've come to identify with."

MSNBC's prime-time weekday average of 1.16 million viewers in February was up from 881,000 last year. Fox's average of 2.84 million is up from 2.22 million in 2008. CNN's average dropped from 2.04 million last year to 1.37 million this year, Nielsen said. CNN argues last year's numbers were inflated because they included three exclusive presidential debates the network sponsored; take out those three nights and the average was 1.47 million.

Larry King's audience is up this year, but viewership dropped for "Anderson Cooper 360." And CNN's 8 p.m. hour, now hosted by Campbell Brown; last year it had rotating hosts as "Election Center."

"I think CNN is going to have some big decisions to make," Griffin said.

Not so, said Jon Klein, CNN U.S. president. He's bullish on the network's prime-time approach, which he defines as telling stories with no political agenda. He noted that CNN had its best February taking into account all time slots since 1995, when there was no Fox News Channel or MSNBC.

"That's how we have made our name — by separating ourselves out from the predictable, impotent rage of the partisan extremes," Klein said. "Look at Campbell Brown's show. It is all about delivering the dose of common sense and clear thinking that is necessary for a time like this, and we don't mean clear thinking as a euphemism for our way of thinking or ideology."

CNN's ratings are also deflated because viewers, on average, tend to stick longer with shows on the competition.

Fox declined to make an executive available for an interview.

And one last article:

Is CNN destined to wind up the No. 3 cable news network? It may be premature to ask that, but you have to wonder after the release of February ratings numbers that show MSNBC gaining fast from behind while Fox News continues to surge out ahead.

Both of those networks, of course, make abundant use in prime time of a weapon that CNN refuses to wield: partisan opinion. At 8 p.m., Bill O'Reilly and Keith Olbermann crush Campbell Brown's buzzy but weird experiment in commentary without ideology, No Bias, No Bull. In the 9 o'clock hour, Rachel Maddow appears to be on a course to overtake Larry King in a matter of months, if not weeks, a development that will surely hasten his already-overdue retirement. Only at 10, where MSNBC rebroadcasts Countdown, does CNN seem secure at No. 2 -- and that could evaporate if MSNBC makes good on a threat to develop a new show for the slot.

Discussing the February ratings with AP, MSNBC president Phil Griffin suggested that it's CNN's lack of hosts with partisan points of view that's holding it back. "Those of us who have strong personalities in prime time are going to do better at this," he said, adding, "I think CNN is going to have some big decisions to make."

In fact, those decisions were made long ago, and it's unclear whether CNN could reconsider them even if it wanted to now that MSNBC has taken up the positioning -- the liberal answer to Fox News -- that CNN has so strenuously avoided for years. All that remains is for CNN to hype its centrism -- in that same AP story, network president Jon Klein boasts that "we have made our name by separating ourselves out from the predictable, impotent rage of the partisan extremes" -- and hope it's enough of a draw to prevent a slide to No. 3.

Is anyone really surprised that CNN's ratings for February are down? Last year's primary coverage was an incredible boost for CNN primetime... this year there just isn't as much excitement going on... just night after night of bad news.

Anyhow, there's been a lot of discussion over the last few weeks about what's wrong with CNN's lineup and why their ratings aren't living up to expectations. So if we could wave a magic wand and put you in Jon Klein's seat- what would your CNN line up would be from 6 AM - MIDNIGHT

Who would get a time slot and when?

Who would get sent back to the correspondent desk?

Who would get a pink slip?

What programs would get a content overhaul?

Also keep in mind when you're making these grand decisions- some of these folks have good sized contracts that you'd still have to pay even if you show them the door. Like it or not- news is a business and you have a parent corporation and stock holders to account to.

Until next week... talk amongst yourselves...

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


Anonymous said...

I think HLN could actually have bigger prime time
ratings if the bosses would move ShowBiz to the
9pm hour and run Lou Dobbs at 11. That would
also help 360 /11pm. One thing I think Nancy Grace
shows is that there are a huge number of people who
do not like the programs on FNC, MSNBC and CNN
for the 8pm hour. I think that also applies to Issues
as well.

Anonymous said...

Wow I have been thinking about this for some time.

1. Get rid of American Morning as a tittle.
Switch to all women. It can be Zain and
Kyra, Alina and all of the women at CNN
be they anchors, reporters and from CNN
International. Change the name to something
like ' Girlfriend I've Got Some News" Use
music from beginning to end like Natural
Woman and invite viewers to e-mail in
songs to be used on the playlist for the

2. Have only one program called the CNN
Newsroom airing fro 9am until noon.
Have 3 or 4 anchors so that everything
does not look so stationary.

3. From 12pm-4pm have a show called
something like the CNN Mega News Mix.
It is everything . It is the big stories of
the day, national and worldwide. It is
newspapers and mag articles for the day.
Top stories from DIgg, Reddit, Stumbled
Upon, Mixx, Kosmix, AOL, Yahoo, Google, Front Pages from around the
world form Newseum.Use viewer phone
calls, e-mails, tweets and coments from
Myspace and Facebook.I-Report. Cool
stuff from the web you might discover
from popurl, alltop and delicious.

4. In an effort to expand the viewership
base hire Current TV's Connor Knighton,
and the entire Vanguard Journalism Team.
Mix them into the CNN familyI say this
because a while back CNN said something
about all platform journalists. That is
essentially what everyone at Current is.
Besides they can give you amazing docs.
In fact in many ways they do what AC
used to do travel the world with a camera
to find out what is going on. They can do
reports for 360, TSR and all of the other
shows that air on CNN.

5. For now keep The Sit Room on for 3
hours but make it the last time you
will hear from pundits. From 7-midnight,
no more pundits or panels. I for one am
so over the talking heads. i am starting
to tune them out.

6. At 7pm air a nightly newscast anchoed
by John Roberts. Let;s say now less than
25 stories.

7. From 8-10pm. The stories the viewers
submit and would like to see covered
on CNN. I mean legit news stories no
items from gossip or blog. Say there
is an item in your hometown paper
that you think should be on CNN.
Maybe I was on a science or medical
site and submit an item for the anchors
and the reporter to cover for the night.
Yes this is radical but you have to think
outside of the box. I say have Erica Hill
and TJ Holmes anchor the program.

8. 360 airs from 10-midnight.

9. Have Larry King do specials that
will air on Sat & Sun. I think it
will give CNN to brand new shows
for the weekend instead of repeats.

10. Move Lou Dobs to HLN because I
think he is helping drag down CNN's
ratings. His program has been sinking
along with No Bias, No Bull and Larry
King. Once their contracts are up just
don't renew them.

Dan said...

Personally I think they should carry International programming instead of re-runs.

They should keep American Morning as usual but put TJ Holmes instead of Roberts.

The newsroom needs to go back to 2 anchors, one is too too boring, and they are just not able converse with anyone on air.

Then Kyra Phillips should have a show, Kyra should have a forum debate type show, News across America.

The Situation Room should do two hours, then run an half of an hour of CNN international and a half hour of The Situation Online with Abbi Tatton. Then another hour of the Situation Room with Suzanne Malveaux & Blitzer. Weather should be included through out the entire program.

News on the fast lane should debut instead of No bias no bull! (They do have bias and too much bull) Anchored by Erica Hill & Rob Marciano.

Larry King needs to start phasing in Ryan Seacrest, so as soon as Larry retires the change isn't so sudden. and so that way new blood comes to the show.

2 hours-Anderson Cooper 360 should be Anchored from a new location from New York, somewhere where times square is in the background. News should be with Randi Kaye. And weather with Jacqui Jeras.

Then a late night news show with John Roberts and Joe Johns about how the world went today, and comedy, something like Rachael Maddow.

Anonymous said...

1. Give John Roberts Campbell Brown's show (and change the name).

2. Erica Hill and T.J. Holmes host American Morning.

3. Make 360 an hour and give Jack Cafferty a show at the 11pm slot.

4. Make Christine Romans the Chief Business Correspondent (Ali Velshi annoys me).

5. Make The Sit Room an hour and move it to 7pm, give Lou Dobbs the 6pm slot and give Soledad O'Brien a show at 5pm.

6. Start a social networking site on (like facebook/Twitter). Whenever Rick Sanchez talks about Twitter or facebook, is advertising for another site and directs viewers away from their own site. If CNN had a social network on .com a ton of people would join, (especially when Rick is on), which means more money for CNN. Just a random thought...

7. Have an international news show during prime time. Maybe Becky Anderson could host it.

Anonymous said...

I forgot something....

8. Get the anchors out of the studio on occasion. Looking at the same old studio everyday gets very boring. If the top story is "Alabama man's 10 victims include family", get the anchor to Alabama so the viewers can experience the actual event taking place (if possible).


Anonymous said...

And I forgot one more thing... sorry...

9. Bring back Crossfire as a weekly show in place of King's 9pm show, maybe on a Thursday (I really enjoyed that show and miss it).

The End

Anonymous said...

Dan I would rather see AJ Hammer replace
Larry King, I don't see Ryan Seacrest bringing
in viewers he bores me to sleep. I have so
tired of American Idol and even their ratings
are down this year. It may not be a bad idea
to make the Situation Room 2 hours again.
That may not be a bad idea to have 2 anchors
for the Sit Room. That is definitely one program
that should have more international news. CNN
should utilized the internet more and take it
the next level by making it live and have the
reaction on the sides like they do with weather
in the morning on American Morning.I agree
with Abbi Tatton. There is always great
material on Bring some of he people
on to help give it a flavor that is hip
and modern. I have tried during the day with
the single anchors but I can not take Rick
Sanchez. the Rick cam is the most ridiculous
thing ever and the single anchors are way
way too boring as you say. One thing I would
say though instead of Randi Kaye anchoring
the briefs on 360 how about Rochelle Carey
from HLN her personality is a lot like Erica's.
But I think there is no doubt that Anderson
Cooper and Erica Hill will play a vital role in
reshaping the new CNN. I don't think you
can leave Kiran Chetry or Campbell as major
anchors. Anchoring is a gift. You either have
or you don't. Maybe they should have a 6 am
hour long show that tells people the big stories
to look forward the day and a fresh look at news
from across America and around the world and
cut AM back to 2 hours. And last but not least
please fix the set in Atlanta it looks outdated on

Anonymous said...

I, for one,do not get what people see in Nancy Grace.
She overacts,overreacts,and is overdramatic.Not only that,she is rude and condescending to callers and guests,and keeps interrupting them.(Larry King does this a lot too,interrupt his guests).
She has been sticking with basically one story for the past six months,Caylee Anthony,that is until the OTHER little girl,Hayleigh Cummings(?) went missing.Now this is basically 99% of her programming.
It seems as if this kind of sensationalism brings in the viewers and ratings.
Jane Velez Mitchell seems to be the same thing.
This is what people prefer to news?
Oh well,to each his own,but I personally can do without the tabloid material,night after night.
CNN does not know what to do with itself since the election is over.It seems as if the eggs were indeed all in one basket with that,and now they are lost.Either that or they did not get the memo that is indeed over.They seem to be still trying to get what life they can from it,by having the same panels on all the time,analyzing everything to pieces,especially over at AC360.I do not even know what is going on with them,the show is stale,and even Anderson himself looks like he would rather be somewhere else at times.
We never get anything from other places in the world like we used to,and to think,this used to be a two hour news program.Not to mention the fact that Anderson goes nowhere anymore.
I suppose I wish for the show that I first started watching in 2005,but that is long since gone,sadly.
The producers and all involved seem to be more concerned with pleasing the folks on the blog/chat/whatever it goes by than trying to fix the show itself.They are more interested in adding more litte ''features''.Well,all that crap will not matter one bit if the show still sucks,or no one is watching it.
CNN needs a major wakeup call.As soon as possible.Perhaps Jon Klien is the reason that this once great network has gone to crap lately.To me,he just does not get it,or have a clue.Or is he and the entire network in a state of denial?
IMO,all their insane decisions began with the whole Aaron Brown thing,and just kept on rolling from there.Look at how many great people they have lost or gotten rid of since then.
They are not the most trusted name in news anymore.
They need to wake up and try to decide what to do,instead of letting all this ramble on as if nothing is wrong.
The only thing bearable over on HLN is Mike Galanos,IMO.
I am not too fussy about some of their new Barbie type anchors and new talent they keep shoving at us.
They can read the prompter,wonderful.That will never make them real journalists in my book.Are people so shallow that they prefer the pretty people giving them their news nowadays?
I guess that is a foolish question,and I already know the answer,hey.

Anonymous said...

Hou about this "primetime" line up??

4-7pm: THE SITUATION ROOM with Wolf Blitzer (the program is great... it just needs a little bit more of international news and maybe a new studio for HD -- that would be grat!)
7-9pm: Something like a big CNN primetime news/variety program with T.J. Holmes and Erica Hill, from NYC.
(At least something different to compete against O'Reilly and Olbermann).
9pm: A JACK CAFFERTY program, from NYC (for some good insights!)
10pm: AC360ยบ, the way it is.

Get read of Lou Dobbs... leave him at HLN. And as someone said, give Larry King a weekend special's show. Also get read of Campbell Brown's show... it sucks. And do something about "CNN Newsroom"... this "one host" deal is way too much boring.

And try to broadcast some shows live from CNN International, like Your World Today, International Desk...

That's it!

Anonymous said...

It seems to be a consensus building that TJ Holmes
and Erica Hill need to do a show on CNN.I say put
them in the 9pm hour simply because FNC and
MSNBC are younger for the hour, having someone
older likely will not work. Also, it would be a better
lead-in for 360.

CNN is in meltdown right now and Jon Klein had
better fix it. I am not sure ideological programs
of left vs right work now in tv. Panels and opinion
is what is killing CNN right now. Don't dig a deeper
hole. It is obvious viewers don't like the talk. The
talk works for FNC because it is their niche.That
also makes them older. CNN quit trying to copy
FNC. It is not working.

I too am a fan of Current TV. Conor Knighton's
Infomania might be the right program for the
8pm hour. Knighton is quick, witty and smart.
In many ways he reminds me of Anderson Cooper.
Knighton's take on how the media covers the news
is a riot. Dude is likable. Definitely Lou Dobbs and
Campbell Brown have got to go. they are dragging
down the prime time numbers.

Dayside CNN had better get away from the solo
anchor like yesterday. It is putting them in too much of a deficit in viewers with FNC. It is likely
also dragging down Wolf.

Let's face it CNN needs an extreme makeover.
Just don't mess with 360.Although I would like
to see Anderson get 360 back to it's originality.

Don Lemon and John Roberts should be a part
of the lineup at 6 or 7pm. Also Kyra because
she has the personality and great writers for
her show. Who ever does the writing during
her 2 hour slot is awesome. Amercian Morning
should also be scratched.And for goodness CNN
make better story selection and add more

Anonymous said...

CNN is in meltdown right now and Jon Klein had better fix it.

How exactly is CNN in "meltdown"? It's the most profitable news organization in the world. It just had the most successful year in its history. It has the most popular news website. It's weekly cumulative audience numbers are tops, and always have been. I'm sure they'd love to be doing better in the prime time ratings (and I'd be refreshing my resume if I were Campbell), but it's far from a crisis. Especially with HLN in the stable to pick up the lowest common denominator side of the audience, I'd say they're doing pretty well.

Anonymous said...

Campbell Brown is working no better than Paula Zahn did.She needs to go,and so does Lou.
Kiran Chetry was also a mistake,they should have left AM alone with Soledad and Miles.
As for a replacement in one of those time slots,I think John Roberts is a better nighttime fit than mornings.
As for the Erica?Well,she had her own show already over at HLN.
Now she is regulated to news bulletins and bascially a sidekick on 360.So,perhaps she should have stayed where she was in the beginning,she had more work to do at least.
I thought she had been hired as a correspondent?Well,she does not go anywhere for anything.
She is more suited to her Saturday morning stints on CBS.

She certainly does have the experience or qualifications to be involved in reshaping the future of the new CNN,for heaven sake.

Anderson on the other hand,is one example of someone who IS.
He has the 'chops'' needed,as an anchor/correspondent/journalist.Plus,he has the years of work on air and in the field to prove it.
I just wish someone would wake up and fix his show,what USED to be a great one is now sucking badly,and everyone including him,does not seem to give a crap about doing anything.They are still in an election mental state.Well,it is over,though they do not see that,apparently.Enough with the panels.
Here is a concept for them:try giving us some NEWS from around the world,if they can remember how to.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:50 , yes CNN is profitable likely
do to being a part of the Time Warner family.
Yes indeed 2008 was an amazing year for CNN.
But we are now 3 months into 2009 and the
numbers do not look good for CNN. I base my
analysis on the ratings posted on TV Newser &
TV By the Numbers. Campbell Brown is not the
only problem CNN has. The only show getting
more than a million viewers is 360. All i am
saying is that the 6 and 7 hours are crucial to
your first prime time program.In my opinion
that is what is hurting Larry King and can even
eventually hurt 360. It is simple if you are in
a million plus viewer gap by 5. It is very un-
likely you will make the difference it will grow.
You can see the numbers are not moving up
but down. The ratings for CNN at 5,6,7 and 8
are getting lower and lower. Right now they
need to make some major changes before it
is too late. You have to admit something is
turning people off.

Anonymous said...

With regards to anyone getting the boot,so to speak,and then having to pay their contract?
Well,Aaron Brown 'left',and did they not have to pay him?
No one is invincible there,no matter how much we might want them to stay.
If anyone has to go,in my opinion,it should have been Klien-a long,long time ago.
Isn't he,or wasn't he,the one who said about the new 'talent' lighting up our screens-with Kiran Chetry being an example?Oh please!
I am STILL waiting for them to light up MINE.All the 'new kids' over the past few years will never make up for the REAL journalists,both those who are there now,and those they have dumped.The likes of TJ, Don,Erica Hill or any of them will not reshape the new CNN,nor be the ones to take it into the future- the experience is not there.They may be ok at reading us the news,but primetime is a whole other story five nights a week.There are plenty of others who deserve a primetime slot AHEAD of the names I mentioned.

A few ideas:
Give us more International programming,and less repeats over and over.
Lou Dobbs switch to HLN.
The whole army of afternoon anchors is a bit much,especially Rick Sanchez.
Jack Cafferty needs a show of his own.

Anonymous said...

I think prime time is what needs to be fixed right
now. Lets try this.

6pm : Evening hr long newscast with John Roberts
that will compete with ABC,CBS and NBC.

7pm : TJ Holmes, Erica Hill and Jack Gray
for 2 hours.

9pm : AC 360 live for 2 hrs on CNN. Since
360 is the best thing going for CNN
right now please reward 360.AC and
team have earned the right to have 2
hours each night.

11pm : Don Lemon recapping the top 30 plus
stories of the day with a look ahead to
news that will matter for the next day.

Dayside needs some changes as well.
Perhaps all women will work in the morning
it can not get any worse and women are now
the majority population. BUt have Kyra and
Zain be the only permanents and work others
in from all of the CNN networks. Besides women
all have favorite songs.

I do not dig the solo anchor format either.
Maybe CNN needs new programs for the day
up until 4.

TSR needs to pick up the pace and add more
stories.Right now it is the same thing over and
over again. Expand Jack's role along with Abbi.
but have it for 2 hours. During the political
season it makes sense to have 3 hours of politics.
But now it is overkill. The stimulus is now the law
so why is CNN still stuck on the stimulus.

But CNN has to get rid of Lou Dobbs and
Campbell Brown. Lets see how long it takes
for the network to realize there is a problem.
At first CNN had to only worry about Fox now
MSNBC has to be dealt with or CNN will be 3
or 4 . I think HLN should be used more as
a weapon against MSNBC. AJ Hammer at 9
on HLN. I think that might also help CNN
at 11. If Showbiz can top Maddow at 11,
it might do some damage at 9. Also CNN
should have news question during the day.
Since Madoff is the big story of the day.
How about a question about what is a ponzi.
After the break give the answer. Have a question
in relation to the news story during all hours.
I also like the social network idea that would
permit people to submit stories. The 360 blog
would be a great place for this. It could potentially
have millions of unique visitors and be a cash cow.

Anonymous said...

Anderson Cooper is the primary anchor at
CNN right now. Television news is a business
and you are only as good as your ratings. Aaron
Brown and Miles have nothing to do with CNN"S
ratings. That is yesterday's news. Yes there have
been mistakes : Kiran Chetry, Campbell Brown,
Rick Sanchez and Lou Dobbs. But Jon Klein was
right on spot with Anderson Cooper. His problem
is he needs to fix the rest of CNN.I say move Hill
and Holmes into prime time people are already
familiar with them and they woudl fit quite
nicely with 360.It will be interesting to see
how things work out with Roland Martin. He
he gets good numbers will CNN give him a
show ? I do agree that John Roberts is being
wasted on the morning program. Having 2
hosts at is definitely different it make just
work .

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:50 , yes CNN is profitable likely do to being a part of the Time Warner family.

That doesn't make any sense to begin with, but especially when you look at other parts of Time Warner. Warner Bros. had to downsize last year, they've sold off the cable distribution business to keep it from being a drag on the rest of the company, and AOL has been a complete disaster from day one. How is it benefitting CNN to be part of that?

There's a lot of well-deserved Klein-bashing going on around here (and he has an amazing tendancy to say stupid things in interviews at exactly the wrong time... another reason I'd being watching my back if I were Campbell). However, part of the reason CNN was so successful last year was when Klein glommed on early to what turned out to be the big stories of last year, the economy and election. They even created special shows out of dust (Issue #1, Election Center, and Ballot Bowl) just to keep the momentum going. When those shows started, I thought it was ridiculous, but Klein turned out to be right.

It is possible that Klein is better as what you might call a wartime consigliore: responding well to big news, but tone-deaf for how to keep the network relevant in the absence of transcendent stories.

Anonymous said...

I sum up the situation at CNN this way,
too much talk and not enough news. I
do not understand all of the panels. It
is like they are trying to make 360 as
boring as Dobbs, Brown and King. Why
would you do that ? Some night's I can
think of 20 stories that should have
been on CNN but are not.I thought 360
was not suppose to be your typical cable
news program. Sadly that is what the
show is becoming.

Anonymous said...

i think CNN might be getting the message there
is some great news on the 360 blog.It seems like
they might be going the way of a social networking
site.I kinda get the feeling something big is about
to happen with 360.

Anonymous said...

Here's my two cents worth:
6 - 9 AM: Kyra Phillips, Alina Cho, & Jim Acosta
9 - 11 AM: Heidi Collins & Brianna Keilar
11 AM - 1 PM: Betty Nguyen & TJ Holmes
1 - 2 PM: Lou Dobbs (he does still have a following - even if you don't agree with his views)
2 - 4 PM: Fredricka Whitfield & Don Lemon
4 - 7 PM: Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer (along with Jack Cafferty & the Cafferty File)
7 - 9 PM: John Roberts & Campbell Brown
9 - 10 PM: Larry King
10 - 11 PM: Anderson Cooper
11 PM - 12 AM: Re-air primetime lineup

I'm not going to list out a full lineup for the weekend but here are a few of my notes:

Keep: House Call, Your $$$$$, GPS, State of the Union with John King/ Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz. Add: Bring back This Week At War with Tom Foreman & beg Miles O'Brien to come back. Give him his own program covering aerospace, technology, & the environment.

Those that I would hand pink slips to: Rick Sanchez, Kiran Chetry, & Erica Hill.

Content changes: there would be more international stories... maybe a check with the CNNi newsdesk through the day. "Breaking News" would be just that - something that has JUST happened- not a rehash of what happened 12 hours ago.

I'd be willing to leave 360 as a two hour program only if it was live and a co-anchor (no clue who) could be added so that Anderson Cooper could spend more time reporting / anchoring from the field.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of Kyra, Alina and Jim Acosta in
the morning. Maybe have another man to make
things even. Maybe Rob the weatherman. He was
anchoring this morning.It makes no sense to me
to keep Campbell and get rid of Erica Hill.
Erica has proven herself. i agree there might
be a bit of Klein bashing going on here. He did
many things right.CNN set many records with
Jon Klein in charge. I too would hate to see TJ
and Betty split. I really like the two of them
anchoring together. But who would replace
them on weekends.I am sorry but Campbell
Brown and Rick Sanchez are not strong anchors.
To be fair the article also should mention that
HLN is also giving MSNBC a headache. Keith is
being paid big bucks as well. How come the
question does not apply to him ? Nancy Grace
has beaten him for 3 straight months.

Anonymous said...

Anderson needs to be live for 2 hours.
The last thing CNN needs is 2 hours of
Campbell Brown. There are time when
AC tops FNC at 10 and 11.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the majority of comments here except to axe Erica Hill and keep Campbell Brown. I also don't necessarily think you need two anchors for every broadcast. Here's a lineup that I would watch:

6am - 9am - Keep American Morning title but have Kyra Phillips, TJ Holmes (their energy is needed and their chemistry is popping) Alina Cho - she is real good and Reynolds Wolf the weatherman, is a star in my book. And it would be good to have them report from across the country and not just read news from the set day in and out. Give me some incentive to switch from Good Morning America.

9am - 1pm - Let this time slot alone be called CNN Newsroom. Keep Heidi for two hours by herself. Bring in Zain Verjee and Fredricka Whitfield to co-anchor the remaining hours. Also keep Rob Marciano as the weatherman.

1pm - 3pm - Create some kind of program - News Outlook or something - and have Soledad O'Brien as the host. I think her talents are being wasted on "Special Projects"

3pm - 5pm - Situation Room with Wolf with some CNN International News. I agree with the earlier suggestions to let this be the only time we hear from the political pundits.

6pm - 7pm - John Roberts with a news hour to compete with the major networks.

7pm - 8pm - Jack Cafferty MUST have his own show. A lot of viewers love Jack, myself included, and this would be an excellent lead-in to the start of prime time.

8pm - 9pm - Don Lemon and Melissa Long (she does excellent work at so I don't know how feasible this would be) but incorporate most of the IReports here.

9pm - 10pm - Hire Connor Knighton and have him compete with Maddow in that time slot. This would be a good lead-in to 10pm hour and should help retain viewers.

10 pm - midnight - AC 360 live.

Banish Rick Sanchez to weekends. This would give him more time for his twitter nation and his followers on facebook and myspace etc

Put Lou Dobbs tonight on HLN and only have Larry King specials.

Pronounce the benediction on: No Bias, No Bull. Campbell needs to go back into the field.

I would hand out one pink slip - Kiran Chetry. She NEEDS to go ASAP!

Anonymous said...

There is one simple solution for some of
CNN's soft spots. Be original . Forget about
what FNC or MSNBC does. Try not to be
anything that them. But please be a news
alternative. I for one think they should
have real time blogging and tweets. i really
think that during hour 2 of 360. They should
get rid of the crawl and add more news on
camera with video and pics and sound bites.
Most definitely they need to update every hour
as late a 2 o'clock you can see the same news
that aired on American Morning. By that time
there has to be some new stories. That is the
problem with CNN Newsroom. I think viewers
might see it as the same thing over and over
again.Please can the single anchor format.
I am not big on the graphics and colors used
on the Newsroom either. More news less
politics with left vs right.I say this because
I think CNN like the MSM are a little bit puzzled
when it comes to covering President Obama.
CNN seems to cover everything from the
ideological spectrum. I am with Jon Stewart
and that one. The do nothing but give out
misinformation to confuse the public.Rather
than using talking heads how about using
infographics to put things into perspective.
For instance earmarks are 1 percent of the
budget. One thing CNN definitely needs to
do is to give their prime time shows different
identities. Each program for 6 to midnight
should not be the same and try and cover
some different stories. One does not have
to be a genius to figure out things are really
going to change when it comes to programs
that are on Mon-Fri as well as weekends.
During the weekend I would like to see more
in depth reporting. Call it raw or rough cut
or whatever. But there is so much material
on, from CNN affiliates around the
US and reports from CNN International that
could used to fill programming voids. I noticed
that Don Lemon has been using a lot of photo
essays on weekends. I would like to see more
of this on the weekend. This week in pictures
is always on AOL. i do not know if Time Warner
has rules that do not let the media properties
share material but it is a massive media machine
on all platforms. I would like to see no repeat
weekends. I think if you use all of the media
outlets owned by Time Warner it is wealth of
material.I also like what they are doing with
Josh Levs, but add some of the talent from to give the most popular stories as
well. Obviously his job is to search the web
and find cool stuff why not have an entire
team who does this and air the program
right before the Situation Room and ask the
viewers to be participants as well. I know
people who would gladly submit items
everyday just like they do on DIgg. The
internet is a great tool and tech wize CNN
is way ahead of everyone else. It just needs
to be put to better use.I think at this point
tv news is beyond passive and has to add
more interactive segments.CNN's new
programs from 6-midnight needs to be
jammed packed news sessions.

Anonymous said...

I been watching CNN through out the day
has anyone notice little changes here and
there.CNN had better get out of the left
vs right mindset and find a more interesting
way to cover politics and cover news that people
care about. It is clear CNN needs a new program
lineup. Please get rid of those annoying panels.
Nobody cares what they have to say. Most of
all stop with the annoying cliches. No more your
money or socialist crap.

Anonymous said...

How about this :

Morning show with Kyra,Zain,Alina,Jim Acosta
and Rob Marciano.

Only one program called the CNN Newsroom
with Hedi Collins,Tony Harris and Josh Levs
and the guy Tyson who does the I-Reports
and Nicole Lipan from I have also
noticed that CNN is trying to bring the weather
people in a little more. Why not have them do
weather and cool landscape pics and video
related to weather. Run the show up until noon.
Recently there was something I came across on
the internet about the strangest architecture.
Use the picture and the weather map to show
where in the world it is located and tell us what
the weather is like there. Every week Nasa has
new photos use them during weather to make
the weather segments more interesting,There
is a website called HDR Creme that has amazing
photos just for this type of thing.

Noon to 3, Don Lemon, Betty and Soledad.
Come up with a name for the program
and hire some of the people from Current
to be a part of the program. I really think
CNN should hire Laura Ling and the entire
vanguard team form current and put them
with Michael Ware and Christiane.The SIU
Docs are bad and Vanguard would be a
great replacement. Call it the News Map
or someting that shows they are covering
news across America,the globe and beyond.
If ever there were 2 networks made for each
other it is CNN and Current TV.
Please no more Rick Sanchez. CNN viewers
have suffered enough.

John Roberts at six. But a different take
and style. News stories fall into different
items. Say for instance. John intros a story
from Dr Gupta on something he did called
Bartendaz. After John reads the intro run a
5 second grahic that maybe says fitness
with music under the graphic. Please those
sound effects are getting old. Same thing
applies to technology,science art, politics,
photos.Of course have interviews that
matter no chattering class.I forgot after
the animated graphic roll the story.

Begin the Sit Room at 3 instead of 4.
Have Jack Cafferty on for the 5pm hour
to take on Glen Beck as the last hour of
the Sit Room sort of like what they do with
Reliable Sources as a part of State of the
Union.I agree let the Sit Room and State
of the Union be the only places we have
to hear from pundits and talking heads.

Try Larry King at 7 to see if can bring
in a million viewers for the hour. That
could help CNN for the 8pm hour.

At 8 I say TJ and Erica. With the cool
music that the original 360.I nominate
Death Cab for Cutie's 'I will possess
your Heart' for the theme song it has
a long music intro that is really awesome.

Conor Knighton at 9. Keep the Pigeon John
theme song ' Weight of the World'.

Anderson Cooper live for 2 hours.
No more panels.

I like the idea of no repeat weekends.
I also believe this is a way for CNN to
make itself a true 24/7 network.To me
no repeat does not apply to stories that
aired earlier in the week but full programs.

I don't know how you do it but I am sure
Jon Klein and people at CNN can figure it
out. But how about building a system at
CNN that will itemized stories in different
cats. For example music. Let's say John
Roberts does an interview with Bono on
new music coming from U2.It is stored into
a server or hard drive system that can be
called up anytime. Have the reporter or
whomever did the story do an on camera
intro use video,pictures or frame grabs as
the intro is being done. Cue the graphic
with music after the anchor or reporter has
finised.At the end of the story have a pic
of the anchor or reporter who did the story
with words telling you what they do at CNN
and if you have any comments on the story
e-mail them to CNN . Not only that they can
be used overnight instead of all of the re-runs.
Maybe CNN can air an hour of CNN International
before the morning show Monday - Friday.

Finally can CNN come up with some decent
opens for all of their show. Right now it its
just people reading on camera. I also am in
favor of idea of news question and infro-
graphics air just before the breaks and during
the bump in on the program. Infographics are
great sources of information and can be used
as explainers and used during voices overs or
can stand along without reading but music.
As each piece is running have the internet
style timer like you see on with
the bar showing how much time of the story
you are seeing and how much is left. Also
highlight newspapers and mags from around
the world using the flip type animation that
see when you scan the cover art albums on
you i-pod each day. Upgrade it through out
the day.

Anonymous said...

I say air the program with the women at Noon
and let it run for a couple of hours. I kinda like
the idea of rotating hosts that would keep the
show from becoming boring and predictable.
Besides I know I would not mind a little Robin
Thicke or Justin Timberlake during a program.
I say move Don Lemon back to Mon-Fri and
put him on the air with Betty and Fredericka.
If there is breaking news I do not like Rick
Sanchez in the chair. There is a sleaze factor
about his program and I for one do not watch
CNN while he is on the air. Putting Don Lemon
on before Wolf gives CNN some journalism
chops in case there is breaking news. I would
have Cafferty and Gray on for hour 3 of the
Situation Room at 6. The 2 Jacks post great
blogs so give them a show together.

John Roberts at 7, Erica Hill and TJ Holmes at
8, with Conor Knighton at 9.Have AC be on
with a 2 hour live continuous program until

If CNN would hire the Vanguard journalists from
Current, I say make them a part of 360. Anderson
and a team of journalists who travel the world to
bring you the news would be great.It would be
a way to get better 360 specials instead of those
annoying financial summits that should have never
been a part of 360 to begin with. Mariana Van
Zeller is like Christiane. She travels to dangerous
places like Laura Ling to cover stories with their
cameras. Adam Yamaguchi does good work as
well along with Kars Larsen who was the journalist
that Anderson interview some time ago about
waterboarding. Yes Laura is Lisa's sister. The
thing I like about the Vanguard team is that they
find stuff that nobody else seems to know about.
Sort of subterranean if you will. Maybe the specials
could be called 360 Subterranean. These specials
could run during the weekends on CNN and could
fill a programming void. 360 really needs it's
hipness back.

I say on weekends make the news viewer's choice.
Set up a site for viewers to submit stories 24/7.
Mix the viewers choices in with the news of the
day and perhaps a CNN reporter covered story in
relation to the topic. Air the story submitted by
the viewer and give that person a shout out. Say
if someone submits a story about the Sudan and
it just happens that CNN recently aired an interview
with George Clooney about his visits there. I say
have Josh Levs, Nicole Lipan and guy who does
the I-Report show on CNN I be involved and used
through out the day along with legit news that
will happen on weekends.

Anonymous said...

I am a huge fan of Current. I can tell you this for
what CNN is paying Campbell Brown Lou Dobbs
and Kiran Chetry here is list of people they could
hire form Current who could be a big boost to
CNN and the 360 blog and any future
internet projects CNN might undertake. Plus it
would give CNN some original shows. Current
was actually the 1st network to use Twitter with
hack the debate.I don't know if anyone at CNN
knows about Current but along with Conor
here is the list.

Adam Yamagugi

Christof Putzel

Jason Silva & Max Lugavere ( they are a team)

Kaj Larsen

Laura Ling

Mariana van Zeller

Angela Sun

Nzinga Blake

Rawley Valverde

Douglas Caballero ( he can help out Lola )

I say this because these are people who really
ahead of everyone else when it comes to the
future of journalism.I can't see FNC doing this
because they are not that committed to news.
There are all sorts of trouble for GE so I am
not sure they would pump money into MSNBC.
Besides there are problems with CNBC as well.
Mixing old school and new school has to happen
why do it now. That said you still need pros.
All am saying is instead of paying millions to
these 3 CNN could hire people who can deliver
something. You would get more than your
money is worth. If CNN is really serious about
being cutting-edge it is my hope that CNN
would set up it's own broadband channel that
you can access via Something like
a news version of Hulu.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for misspelling Adam's last name it is
actually Yamaguchi. The point I am trying to
make is that all of these people do not cost a
million dollars. It's not even close.

Anonymous said...

Let's see how things go this week with
Road to Rescue. I would be on the lookout
for changes in April. I for one can't figure
out why Student News on weekends.

Anonymous said...

Ouch. TV by the Numbers has the ratings for
Friday.CNN's numbers are going way down .
No more Chetry,Sanchez,Dobbs,Brown or No
Bias, the program is damaged goods no matter
the host. Are viewers suppose to sit through
Dobbs, Brown and King back to back? Cam you
say boring to the max. Are we really suppose to
believe Lou Dobbs is looking out for us, Yeah on
what planet?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed that Erica Hill has not been
on 360 lately. Could it be she is working on
something for her own show? I have a feeling
something is up.

Anonymous said...

Whoever wrote this article is wrong. CNN is left. They just do their best to downplay it but it's obvious. Also, with Rollins, Gergen, Campbell, King, (both Kings) and my favorite Wolf Blitzer they are sooooo boring. What a snooooze. Add Anderson Cooper with his inside sexual jokes about the Tea Parties and why should they have any ratings? There brand is fading.