MSNBC/CNN Battle for 2nd Heats Up? Maybe. Maybe not.

I’m not sure what to make of Bill Carter’s piece in the New York Times that MSNBC is in danger of falling to 3rd place in the demo for the months of September…

The ratings results for the month of September show that CNN, long relegated to third place in the prime-time cable news competition, is edging its way back up, while MSNBC is moving in the other direction.

For the month, CNN averaged 257,000 viewers in prime time in the category that counts most to the networks — viewers between the ages of 25 and 54 — because that is where the advertising money goes for news programming. MSNBC was just barely ahead with 269,000 viewers. (Neither approached the leader, Fox News, with 526,000).

What do we know from reading this article? Well we know for a fact that September has been good for CNN and not so good for MSNBC. But beyond that we really don’t know much else. Here’s some of what we don’t know:

– We don’t know for sure if this is a one time aberration or the start of a new trend. We can’t know that for many months yet.
– We don’t know for sure if this is because of Olbermann leaving MSNBC or because of a general malaise amongst progressives concerning the direction of the Obama administration and/or the Democratic party as reflected in the polls.
– We don’t know how Erin Burnett entering CNN’s lineup will impact 8pm or not as its lead in.
– We don’t know how future news cycles will impact the ratings for primetime…though history suggests big news cycles will boost CNN more than MSNBC (depending on the subject matter…politics vs. non-politics)

17 Responses to “MSNBC/CNN Battle for 2nd Heats Up? Maybe. Maybe not.”

  1. The younger end of that demo has been outside, searching the web on smartphones. Show me primetime winter ratings, then we’ll talk.

  2. MSNBC had a small audience of lefty liberals in prime time. Part of them went over to Current. It’s not like Current was going to pick up their viewers from CNN or FOX was it?

    Meanwhile, FoxNews rolls over all of them combined, as usual.

  3. Anyone who thinks KO’s one hour of programming has made any noticeable dent in any network’s ratings is bonkers.

  4. Carter’s piece is typical media laziness. He probably had a deadline and couldn’t come up with something better to write about.

  5. Adam Corolla’s The Car Show debuted on Speed Channel a month ago. That must be what did it..

  6. what time of year is pot harvested?

  7. Well, the Daily Kos tweets its slant on the issue:

    Without Keith Olbermann, MSNBC on verge of falling behind CNN

  8. Yeah, but Kos wants MSNBC to sink in the ratings. According to them, MSNBC is too far RIGHT. Kos has given interviews stating that since his bud Keith left, MSNBC doesn’t have any “true progressives” (however he defines that.) Add in that racist baby killer Joe Scarborough and their belief is that MSNBC is barely distinguishable from FOX.

    I guess the thinking is that if MSNBC gets overtaken, Immelt will see the light and program even further left. Although how, I’m not sure. (Replace Ed w/ Stephanie Miller? O’Donnell with Ezra Klein? Matthews with Gore Vidal? Scarborough with Weiner?)

  9. And here is The Lord of The Left, the Netroots Nugget, Tweeting @MARKOS himself this morning:

    lol. Without Keith Olbermann, MSNBC on verge of falling behind CNN.
    3 minutes ago via Tweet Button

  10. Kos is pissed because he was banned from MSNBC for accusing Joe Scarborough of murder.

  11. Bothers the mind what he would have to do to get banned from Current, thought I’m sure Markus Malarky is capable. Liberal Tommy Christopher of Mediate publicly called him a “piece of sh*t” a couple months ago. And he didn’t bother with the “*”.

  12. I heard a rumor that CURRENT was trying to secure the release of Carlos the Jackal for a work permit to host the ten o’clock show.

  13. ^ Maybe Olbermann has a brother.

  14. MSNBC is #1 in delivering African American viewers (2+) for the 7th consecutive quarter in M-Su Primetime.

  15. The people at DKos are being total clowns, and just pathetic puppy dog cheerleaders for Olbermann, as usual. I am all in favor of Current becoming a more liberal network, and possibly being the more indepedent non-corporate version of MSNBC in the future, but stop making a stupid feud out of it just because Olbermann left MSNBC.

    And did you read the first line of that article on DKos?

    It turns out building a network around Joe Scarborough wasn’t a brilliant move after all

    LOL… since when has MSNBC ever made Scarborough the face of the network or tried to build anything around him? MSNBC has never made that claim, and never would, knowing it would be complete suicide for their core viewers. It’s paranoid conspiracy theories. If anything, they’re building around Maddow/O’Donnell, hence adding Chris Hayes as their new weekend morning host, and continuing to promote more liberal personalities. Hell, they gave Al Sharpton a show and put him on the debate coverage. He’s just as liberal as Keith, if not more.

  16. MSNBC should replace their primetime with Lock up which is there best show plus it would be more facts then their current primetime

  17. denver internet marketing…

    […]MSNBC/CNN Battle for 2nd Heats Up? Maybe. Maybe not. « Inside Cable News[…]…

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