Parker Spitzer Crunch Time…

Lost in all the Olbermann news and the MSNBC schedule reshuffle that resulted from it is the impact this has on CNN and Parker Spitzer.

MSNBC clearly wanted to minimize the damage done at 8pm and that’s why it chose to slot Lawrence O’Donnell at that hour; I would surmise largely based on how O’Donnnell held on to Olbermann’s numbers during the month he filled in on Countdown last year.

But just because MSNBC is trying to minimize the damage doesn’t mean 1) there won’t be any, and 2) that this isn’t an opening for CNN. 8pm is now more in play in the battle for 2nd place starting Monday than it was as of Friday. That’s a fact, much as MSNBC would prefer not to ponder it.

But the window for trying to take advantage of this opening will be short and this puts all kinds of pressure on CNN to do something right now about Parker Spitzer. Dump Parker, dump Spitzer, dump both, can the EP, can the format…something! CNN cannot afford to not do a shake up right this very minute. And I imagine that Jautz and Company are evaluating their options at 8pm, knowing that they have an opening, not a big opening but an opening nontheless, to maybe get some numbers at MSNBC’s expense.

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10 Responses to “Parker Spitzer Crunch Time…”

  1. whitneymuse Says:

    They should do something; that show (Parker-Spitzer) is not watchable in its present format. Sorry the chemistry just is off; I watched 2X to just to see what it was about. I decided it was not worth my time and inquisitive purpose.

  2. I don’t expect much change in the ratings at MSNBC because of these personal and time-slot changes.

    O’Donnell should be able to keep KO’s numbers and we may even see them increase, over time, as those of us who found Olbermann less watchable as his personal behavior became more bitter and the show took on a more fanatical edge start to watch LOD’s replacement show.

    How Ed will do at 10PM will depend on how his show; and he; changes to reflect the later hour and somewhat different demographics that watch at that time of night. I expect he won’t do as well as LOD but hold the numbers he had in his old show. It’s not much of a gamble for MSNBC as they can always switch Ed back to 6PM and give the late night to Cenk or possibly even Martin Bashir.

    I thinks Cenk will hold Ed’s numbers at 6PM but as I said in an earlier post I think the whole late afternoon to start of primetime schedule is going to be reviewed over the next few months.

    Over at CNN I expect Parker to be gone in the next few weeks to be replaced by someone with a personality. I like Josh’s Michael Steele suggestion. That would be an interesting combination of flawed egos.

    I think Piers Morgan’s ratings will continue to gently drop as the viewers tire of his fawning self aggrandizing interviews. Maddow will continue to be a solid second in the time-slot.

    Ed’s new time-slot will offer an opportunity for Anderson Cooper to revive his ratings. That may be the main ratings battle over the next few months.

    The other black hole at CNN; that no one talks about because P/S is so bad; is John King USA. His ratings are even worse than P/S and there doesn’t seem to be much CNN can do until they just decide to cut bait and drop him. Even a moderately competent show should be able to give Matthews a challenge but King’s show is hopeless.

  3. If Parker wants out, it’s time for her to go. I think Elliot can hold his own and those who are tuning into watch (and who aren’t stuck because it’s the only news on their cable dial) are tuning in to watch Spitzer. So with MSNBC in flux and loyalties being tested, as Spud suggests in the OP, the time for CNN to make a change would be now.

  4. Piers Morgan had a great first week (great by CNN’s current standards) and while I didn’t watch a minute of his show, I can see clearly that he has the potential to be second behind Hannity and relegate Maddow to third.

    Morgan’s greatest weakness is the Parker/Spitzer lead-in.

    Time to kill Parker/Spitzer and move Morgan to 8 p.m., and schedule some high-profile liberal guests to steal the disenchanted Olbermann crowd away. Give Cooper his standard two hours, but start him at 9 instead of 10.

  5. jwe3: Morgan’s ratings are trending down and I expect he will be back to third or even forth by the end of next month. You might consider actually checking out his show before you pronounce the demise of Maddow’s show. There may be a lot of wishful thinking in your prediction. 🙂

  6. No wishful thinking. I watch Maddow far more often than I watch Piers. You are right he is trending down, but so is Rachel, and his premiere numbers were off the charts for cable news.

  7. If you watched any Maddow it would be much more than you watch Morgan since you said you “didn’t watch a minute of his show”.

    What evidence do you have that Maddow’s show is trending down? I haven’t seen that news mentioned anywhere legitimate.

    His premier numbers were good as one would expect but neither Maddow nor Billo lost audience that night. Morgan got his numbers from new viewers who wanted to see Oprah or check out his first show. He was a distant second to Billo so “off the charts” is a bit much.

    I expect he will be third (maybe even a distant third) tonight as people tune into see what LOD does in his new time-slot.

  8. Every quarter in 2010 when the new numbers came out, Maddow’s viewership was in decline from the corresponding quarter in 2009. That’s called trending down by every standard in the TV business.

  9. Tonight will be a huge test for Piers, and I predict he will fail. He’s been promoting an hour-long interview with Giuliani, and if that runs in its entirety, it means his show won’t feature a word on the Moscow bombing, State of the Union, Rahm Emmanuel’s court defeat and Olbermann’s firing.

    If you want to do a nightly show on CNN, you better be prepared to handle yourself beyond a pre-taped interview.

  10. Can’t even get a tangential topic going over here. That can’t be a good sign.

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