Imus Ratings Slide?

Now that FBN is fully rated by Nielsen we’re getting a better look at what its individual programs are doing. The Huffington Post has an un-credited column on Imus numbers.

According to the Nielsen ratings, Imus averaged 65,000 viewers in the first quarter of 2011–down 45% from his 2010 figures. Imus is also down 48% thus far in April when compared to his April 2010 numbers. (The show averaged around 127,000 viewers when it launched in October 2009.)

I don’t know how Nielsen works vis a vis numbers that come out after being publicly rated vs. all the numbers that came before that. Who has access to numbers that come from a time when FBN wasn’t rated officially? The above quote cites 2010 numbers…which was when FBN’s numbers weren’t publicly available. But someone had access to them.

And then there’s this tease pertaining to Imus:

But his show, once the top-rated program on FBN, has now slid to the 10th slot.

How about posting the entire 1-10 along with their numbers? FBN has only recently joined the public Nielsen family so there’s little information out there. TV by The Numbers doesn’t have a daytime breakdown by hour for FBN’s numbers. We need a baseline. Post the top 10 shows and their numbers so we know what’s going on. Instead of telling us what’s going on with FBN, this Huffington Post article is reflective of an ugly habit in the media writer industry. We don’t get a full accounting. We’re only teased with select items pertaining to FBN.

For instance, the program that follows it, Varney & Co, is averaging 20,000 more viewers thus far in April.

Some of the network’s business-related shows, such as “Cavuto” and “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” have been gaining traction in the ratings. Overall, though, the network is still struggling. For instance, on Friday, when all the cable networks saw their ratings spike due to the government shutdown fight, FBN averaged 61,000 viewers for the day—as compared to rival CNBC, which averaged 207,000 viewers.


13 Responses to “Imus Ratings Slide?”

  1. wheresthebeef09 Says:

    The math seems to be a bit fuzzy.

    Say Imus is averaging 65k viewers, and is now #10. With Varney getting 20k more, he’s probably averaging around 80-85k viewers.

    Yet FBN’s “total day” average was around 60k. (57k to be exact –

    So how can 10 shows rate higher than 60k, yet FBN has a total average daily viewership of 60k?

    Something is a little off here.

  2. Never been a big fan of Imus but this number drop seems a bit curious. That’s quite a drop.

  3. It makes sense that he gets lower numbers than Varney. Typically the 9-11 show on FNC does better than F&F.

  4. lesnessmanwkrp Says:

    WheresTheBeef you are mixing numbers up. Imus averaged 65K for the 1st Quarter.

    To know his April 2011 numbers so far (which are down 48% compared to 2010), you would need to know what his April 2010 numbers were

    In January of 2010, he was averaging 110K viewers. I don’t know what he did in April.

    What is clear from this latest leak is that Imus is gone when is contract is up. Imus should have known that when Kevin Magee was on his show and he didn’t exactly come out for Imus.

  5. Even before a network gets ‘officially rated’ they still have numbers, no? Otherwise where did the other FBN leaks come from last year? Right.

    Since the anonymous post seems to focus on Imus for the most part.. My money is on an internal FBN ‘leak’ which was approved from the top. Welcome to News Corp, Imus!

  6. Oh, and before I forget:

    The purpose of the ‘leak’ is to embarrass Imus so he’ll quit and FBN can get back to morning biz on the ‘financial’ channel!

  7. I have been an Imus fan for a long time and was pleased to see him back on the air – even if it was on Fox. However, I simply cannot stomach all this “Power to Prosper” garbage. They can make a political statement giving the weather report and I’m afraid Imus has fallen under their power. I like Imus but I hate Fox and I’m sure a lot of other people feel the same way. It’s just not worth it. Perhaps, he could go to another station??

  8. Yeah, what station would that be? If you like him, just listen to him on the radio. WABC is his flagship, and they have a nice online stream.

  9. But WABC is otherwise home to those evil right-wingers.
    Terance, I think this goes beyond embarrassing Imus. I think this meant to embarrass Fox. If I were Fox or Imus, I would be unfazed.

  10. Mike C – FBN has already been embarrassed plenty because they had to hire Imus to secure more carriage and/or bring up ratings in the first place.

    IMO, FBN wants Imus to take a buyout and go home. That said, props to Imus for securing a multi-year deal when he knew FBN was desperate.

  11. FBN doesn’t want Imus to take a buyout. Has he done as well as they hoped? No. But getting rid of him now would only compound the problem. What would they put on instead?

  12. Josh Kalb, might be going out on a limb here. But, one would think they could cover business news.

    How about trotting out some of these high profile and handsomely paid ‘acquisitions’ they poached from CNBC? Ya know, stick ’em behind a desk or couch style and talk about the markets.

    Seriously, what do you think will happen will Imus’ contract expires? He won’t be resigned and they sure aren’t going to put another shock jock in the 6-9:20 block.

  13. dwpender Says:

    FBN needs to realize that a serious markets/business channel needs a market oriented show in (at least) the 8 — 9 am timeslot. Hiring Imus in the first place looked like throwing in the towel on being a business network.

    FBN stands a chance to beat CNBC in the 8-9 timeslot if they wake up. CNBC’s Squawkbox is hopelessly mired in excressive political coverage — present and former politicians, bureaucrats (e.g., cabinets secretaries and undersecretaries), party strategists
    political analysts, etc. They too have forgotten their core audience and their identity.

    FNB COULD beat Sqauwk if they put on a Fast Money type show from 8-9. The business network viewer is focused on what trades he might make each day. FBN might make Jeff Macke (formerly of CNBC) a key panelist. Will FBN realize the opportunity?

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