What Goes Up Must Come Down…

Throwing a wrench into CNN’s recent carefully choreographed pitch to advertisers about having a plan to retain viewers, The New York Times’ Bill Carter writes about CNN’s previously lofty ratings dropping the network back into 3rd place in primetime…

In a repetition of a pattern that has become familiar for CNN, the surge of interest in breaking news that helped drive up its audiences has faded – and so have CNN’s ratings.

The cable news network’s prime-time lineup has not capitalized much on the attention its news coverage gained, returning for the most part to a steady finish in third place behind Fox News and MSNBC. The decline was illustrated by ratings from Wednesday night, when CNN lost across the board, finishing third in each of the three hours from 8 to 11 p.m.

Even Anderson Cooper, who saw his ratings and reputation revived by his widely praised reporting first from Egypt during the political rebellion and then from Japan after the earthquake and tsunami, dropped behind both Greta Van Susteren on Fox and Ed Schultz on MSNBC on Wednesday night.

18 Responses to “What Goes Up Must Come Down…”

  1. mlong5000 Says:

    As I said before..CNN ratings spike had nothing to do with their on air host or programing but the fact that they had a 10 year head start on FOX and MSNBC in creating world wide resources that allowed them to report from these trouble spots before the others…..once the stories died down the onair stars couldn’t keep the viewers.

  2. You forget to mention that the person responsible for that ten year head start was Ted Turner; a man who believed in broadcasting the news and not opinion.

    The reason they fall back to third when there is no major news event is not because FNC OR MSNBC have better hosts it’s because they do opinion programing and that draws a bigger audience than straight news.

    You could switch Anderson Cooper with either Van Susteren or Schultz and as long as Cooper switched to doing opinion broadcasting and Van Susteren & Schultz switched to straight news the ratings would stay the same.

    You could do the same thing with any of the primetime hosts; even O’Reilly/Maddow vs Morgan. It would take a few weeks to work itself out but in the end the ratings would stay almost the same.

    Opinion draws more viewers than straight news. Period.

  3. lonestar77 Says:

    “Opinion draws more viewers than straight news. Period.”

    False. Parker/Spitzer & now just Spitzer still get destroyed. Also, Shep Smith destroys Hardball and Bret Baer destroys whoever he competes with.

    You may have a point when it comes to left-wing opinion (MSNBC) vs. left-wing news (CNN), I’m not sure how the numbers compare.

  4. wheresthebeef09 Says:

    ^ Parker/Spitzer and In the Arena are opinion shows? Says who?
    Another person who is making inane comments on programming he’s never watched.

    And I would be shocked if Shep DIDN’T destroy Hardball with his 2 million+ viewer lead-in.

  5. lonestar77 Says:

    If Parker/Spitzer & In the Arena are straight news shows, then everything on Fox is straight news.

    Also, news vs. opinion: Greta destroys Big Ed.

  6. Josh Kalb Says:

    In the Arena is an opinionated show, led by Spitzer with appearances by Will Cain and E.D. Hill.

    The show is doing poorly, not because it is opinion, but because it is boring and hosted by a disgraced politician. Spitzer isn’t exactly likeable.

  7. joeremi Says:

    Greta is rightwing hackery. She gave up news years ago.

  8. wheresthebeef09 Says:

    ED Hill and Will Cain DO provide their opinions – that’s what they’re there for. But Eliot, the “star” so to speak, sn’t sitting there spewing his own opinions on a regular basis a la Beck, Bill, Hannity or even Megyn Kelly.

  9. lonestar77 Says:

    Fine. In the Arena isn’t an opinion show and Eliot Spitzer doesn’t give his opinion. What a waste of time.

  10. wheresthebeef09 Says:

    ^ Why so fussy? I was just trying to express my opinion on a show which I watch regularly.

  11. joeremi Says:

    Hey, we found Spitzer’s viewer.

  12. lonestar77 Says:

    ^ Haha. Yeah, and you know Spitzer has to be disappointed that so few people are watching…I mean, it stands to reason that he’d be interested in voyeurism.

  13. joeremi Says:

    ^ That’s a cheap shot, LS. A good one. 😉

  14. P/S & ITA are balanced opinion which is for my point the same as straight news. Yes Shep does beat Hardball but my point was about CNN and the reason for their poor ratings not the opinion ratings war between FNC & MSNBC.

    Your original comment said that CNN’s poor ratings were because they had a ten year head start on getting resources. I disagreed and said it was because they do straight news and the other nets do opinion. I stand by that comment.

    The rest of your comments are FOX spin and not worth a reply.

  15. Josh Kalb Says:

    P/S was balanced opinion. ITA is slightly skewed toward the left since Spitzer is the main man in the program. No, it isn’t like any of the opinion shows on MSNBC, but it is still left.

    But does it really matter? I don’t care about CNN’s programming. I have Lunesta to help with my sleep problems, so I have no reason to watch CNN.

  16. harry1420 Says:

    crazy folks still think what fox does is news…and that actual hard news can be bias. WAKE UP PEOPLE: the presentation of the facts ( not opinion/commentary) is news. and with the presentation of the facts (news) the outcome can’t sway it one way or the other to be bias. the outcome is the outcome. with that said….when all you do is political commentary/talk/opinion/ programming is where it’s biased. will never quite understand how a person with sense can’t understand that. fox has their viewers thinking they are actually getting news. want poiltical talk/opinion/commentary/talk radio on tv then fox and msnbc are your stations!

  17. harry1420 Says:

    and could it be news is still the star at cnn? the star shines bright during big news events. who needs overpaid/bigheaded/full of hot air people on tv telling them what to think?

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