Pointless Comparisons…

Ok, I’ve seen a few of these the past few days so Christy D’Zurilla’s blog entry on the LA Times’ website concerning Red Eye besting CNN primetime last week isn’t the first. But it was the one that finally got me annoyed enough to write…

This comparison is beyond stupid. The shows aren’t in the same time slot, aren’t covering the same subject matter most of the time, and have audiences who tune in for different reasons. There is no comparison. It’s completely apples and oranges. It would be like ABC hyping Lost crushing the Today Show on NBC in the ratings.

Media writers should know better than to make these kinds of comparisons. Do you think CNN thinks about Red Eye when its 360, Larry King, and Campbell Brown staffs hold their daily production meetings? Do you think Red Eye’s staff thinks about them when they hold their meetings? Mediaite’s headline “Red Eye Celebrates Third Year By Topping CNN Prime Time Last Week” is purely asinine from a credibility standpoint. It’s a great PR headline though. Might as well slap a bow on it and ship it off to FNC…along with a bill for services rendered.

This just does a disservice to more important stories, namely CNN’s primetime issues and Red Eye’s resilience at an ungodly hour for east coasters. Both are stories deserving notation. But there is no intersection between the two. And sloppy inattentive media writers need to learn that.


17 Responses to “Pointless Comparisons…”

  1. starbroker Says:

    It’s not a pointless comparison. Although they could have made it better and pointed out the lowest rated show on FNC in the demo is only beaten by 4 shows (2 repeats) total in all of cable news:


    The fact that a show on at 3:00 am ET/ Midnight West coast is doing so well is amazing and certainly news.

    Why shouldn’t this fact be touted as much as possible? You’ve got cluless people at WM/Endeavor and CAA trying to get their people booked on CNN shows or MSNBC shows etc, but they should really be pushing their clients to be booked on “Red Eye”.

    Also what big stories are CNN pushing that Red Eye doesn’t? Red Eye certainly deals with better topics than Campbell Browns show does and Greg could beat her in a debate easily. She is clueless. Always has been a joke.

    Red Eye is certainly more entertaining witht he guests than Larry King.

    So we are left with a guy wearing his Prada loafers while he is playing host of “The Mole” as he flies around the globe trying to “show compassion”. The Paris Hilton of CNN certainly isn’t bringing in the ratings. So much for his staff of 50 people working on that show. Time to cut bait and let him go.

    Yes, there have been many who have complained about “Red Eye’s” time slot. Rupert would be far better off bringing the gang to Fox (network) instead of Conan and airing it at midnight or so. The show could also be very good if it were moved over to their FX Network.

    Excellent story on the new FX:

    But this is NewsCorp we are talking about and the things that are logical often don’t make it.

  2. While I wouldn’t compare the content, I would compare the ratings. The simple fact that a low-budget late night show that airs at what you perfectly described as an “ungodly hour” beat a once dominant cable news network’s prime time lineup is incredibly significant. And to your LOST comparison, it would be more like Last Call With Carson daily beating whatever ABC puts on at 8. If that were to happen, I assure you NBC would be making a commercial or two…

  3. Why shouldn’t this fact be touted as much as possible? You’ve got cluless people at WM/Endeavor and CAA trying to get their people booked on CNN shows or MSNBC shows etc, but they should really be pushing their clients to be booked on “Red Eye”.

    You gotta be kidding? No A-lister is going to want to do Red Eye. It’s just too edgy (and too partisan) to risk ones “A-list reputation”. I’m not saying that I agree with this rationale 100% but it is the rationale.

    But the comparison is stupid. Mediaite’s headline is beyond stupid. It paints Red Eye as in direct competition with CNN Primetime. It’s not.

    The issue is not whether the ratings for Red Eye were greater than what CNN got in primetime. The issue is are they in competition with one another? If they are, the comparison has merit beyond mere statistics. If not, it doesn’t.

    They aren’t in competition with one another so this is nothing more than a statistical footnote. I have no problem with it being written up as a statistical footnoe. However that’s not what we’ve been seeing. There’s a difference between reporting a story based on the facts and hyper-inflating it. Sloppy MSM writing. Very sloppy.

  4. And Red Eye could never make the leap to FOX. Not at 11:30pm anyways and not without some format changes and more self-restraint.

  5. Well Fox already gave Red Eye a trial run in primetime (or maybe 11pm) on the weekends a few years back and it was a flop.

  6. It’s a perfect respite from cable-news reruns at midnight here on the West Coast. I’d be interested to know how much of the audience is from here. It’s a Fox show us West Coast lefties can enjoy, which I imagine has something to do with its numbers.

  7. Perhaps a better comparison than Red Eye vs. CNN Primetime would be Red Eye vs John Stewart. That’s the show they try to mimic the most. Hmmm I wonder how that ratings battle would look.

  8. That’s a better, though not really 1:1, comparison…

  9. Off topic, but Courtney Freil was on Red Eye last night. She said she wouldn’t be uncomfortable going through one of those airport super-scanners. At which point the entire world shouted, “No s**t!”

  10. starbroker Says:

    Joe: Courtney probably forgets that the scanner would show her as she really is–flat chested. But if you went by the comments around here– she is best to avoid an MRI. It wouldn’t show that much activity going on on upstairs.

    And in regards to another thrread–heres a reality check. A Listers and B-LIsters agents aren’t having to push their clients to be booked on MSNBC, CNN etc. They are being pestered to have them on.

    And to the other person– RED EYE reruns were not a flop on Fox. And what is really amazing is that Red Eyes numbers at 3:00 am are higher than they were at 2:00 am (which they moved it back because of expanded election coverage) and then just gave Beck that time slot.

  11. A listers wouldn’t do MSNBC unless it was an extraordinary circumstance, such as a pet cause, that they wanted to get out. The same thing applies to CNN but to a lesser extent. They’ll do Larry King because King is known throughout the industry as a soft touch; a safe place to be.

  12. Conversely, Red Eye is infamous for how the discussion can veer off in wild an unexpected directions, complete with double entendres. That’s the kind of situation an A lister (or even a B lister) would want to avoid out of fear of getting sucked into a situation not of their making which could reflect badly on them. Yes, they’re big babies, but I can understand their thinking.

  13. Some B-listers go on the show, but that’s about it. Although I don;t think they want any A-listers: That’s not Red Eye’s style.

  14. Larry King does have a repeat at 3am ET, directly opposite Red Eye. So it is interesting that Red Eye not only beats the rerun at that time but more impressively beats the original airing at 9pm ET. And Larry King is the King of CNN prime time.

  15. The 3am-3am comparison is apropro. I don’t think the other is noteworthy other than from a statistical standpoint…

  16. But Spud, can’t you see that it’s further proof of the innate superiority of all things Fox and the MSM (which, of course, Fox isn’t part of ’cause they’re all mavericky) is in the tank for Obama and really sucks bad?

  17. […] doesn’t. I just wrote that because I wanted to imitate Mediaite’s occasionally misleading headlines. But something did stuffed and Anderson Cooper was involved. The Albany Herald’s Jim West has […]

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