Archive for June 26, 2012

More CNN Ratings Woes and Programming Changes…

Posted in CNN on June 26, 2012 by icn2

I keep waiting for CNN to bottom out with these oxygen sucking ratings downer headlines. CNN’s programming isn’t that abysmal and yet the ratings keep on dropping. I’m beginning to wonder if the negative buzz is partly the problem; where all the horrid headlines are affecting viewing habits. Kind of like how banks sometimes fail; rumors start that a healthy bank is having trouble, there’s a run on the bank as everyone pulls their money out, and then the previously healthy bank does indeed fail.

Politico’s Dylan Byers makes a familiar point today, one that I’ve read too often lately…

While CNN struggles to make 24-hour news compelling, its competitors at Fox News and MSNBC have redefined the industry. They have eschewed traditional, straight-forward news gathering in favor of partisan, personality driven analysis — a model that is increasingly successful in an era of hyper-partisan politics, but one that CNN has resisted even as its ratings continue their slow and steady decline.

Right. And that’s why MSNBC and FNC’s ratings keep going up up up in primetime this year. Oh wait…they’re going down, down, down? Wha?

Looks like we need a new theory because everyone is down in primetime.

Look, I’m not going to try and snow you and say everything is pitch perfect at CNN because that obviously isn’t the case. But I think we need to put to bed once and for all the idea that personality driven analysis is the holy grail of cable news. I think the real story is that cable news is in a down cycle in what is historically an up cycle year (presidential election year). It’s hurting CNN worse because CNN is news dependent and with no major sustained breaking news cycles to feed off of and an unusually comatose election news cycle not generating expected election news cycle ratings, CNN is more vulnerable.

But that doesn’t mean CNN can stay the course and ride it out. Not with a primetime that typically consists of two live hours and one repeat, a lead-in which isn’t tearing it up in the ratings, and a lead-in to the lead-in which just got cancelled.

Meanwhile there was unpredictable predictable news in the morning. It was predictable that John Berman’s arrival would mean someone was leaving at Early Start. But what wasn’t predictable was that it was Ashleigh Banfield. Of the three potential anchors, Banfield, Sambolin, and Berman, Banfield had the biggest name recognition and the biggest cable news resume. So, on paper at least, Banfield’s departure potentially weakens Early Start. I say “potentially” because we don’t yet know how Sambolin and Berman will work out paired together. Maybe they’ll click and the show will rebound? Can’t know that yet.

Banfield’s arrival to 11am occurred as a result of Kyra Phillips demotion move to HLN where, if you parsed Scot Safon’s memo carefully, she’ll get POV’d. That may prove interesting but it’s still a harsh move for such a veteran CNN anchor who had persevered through many previous dayside talent purges.

Moving Banfield to 11 also has the (perhaps) unintended consequence of putting pressure on CNN to do something with Carol Costello’s preceding two hours. I’m actually quite dumbstruck that the network hasn’t done more to tailor Costello’s shift to her the way it has Suzanne Malveaux’s and Brooke Baldwin’s. It doesn’t even have the custom open that the other two have. They’ve tried a few things but nothing has really stuck. It still doesn’t feel like Costello’s show the way Malveaux’s and Baldwin’s do. They need to come up with a gameplan and stick to it.


The Hazards of Live TV: #25,167

Posted in Hazards of Live TV on June 26, 2012 by icn2

Q2 2012 Numbers: MSNBC

Posted in MSNBC, Ratings Related on June 26, 2012 by icn2

MSNBC is noting its Q2 numbers…


MSNBC Ranks #1 in Total Day, Sales Day and Primetime among A18-34

MSNBC has Largest Quarterly Advantage Ever Over CNN in M-Su Primetime for A2554 and Total Viewers

CNN Hits All-Time Low in Primetime for the Quarter – “Piers Morgan Tonight” hits all-time low for CNN at 9 p.m.

NEW YORK – June 26, 2012 – MSNBC continues to top CNN in all key ratings categories including Total Day and Primetime for the second quarter of 2012, according to data from Nielsen Media Research.

During a quarter that saw all-time lows (since at least 1991, as far back as data is available) for CNN in M-F Primetime, M-Su Primetime and the lowest quarterly delivery in Total Day in more than a decade (since 3Q00), MSNBC maintained strong leads over CNN in the morning with “Way Too Early” and “Morning Joe” and in primetime with “Hardball,” “PoliticsNation,” “The Ed Show,” “The Rachel Maddow Show,” and “The Last Word.”

MSNBC topped CNN for the quarter in weekday primetime in total viewers by 74% (812,000 vs. 468,000) and by 59% in A25-54 (226,000 vs. 142,000) . In Monday – Sunday primetime, MSNBC beat CNN among total viewers by 54% (689,000 vs. 446,000) and by 68% among A25-54 (217,000 vs. 129,000). This is MSNBC’s largest quarterly percent advantage over CNN ever.

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Free for All: 06/26/12

Posted in Free For All on June 26, 2012 by icn2

What’s on your mind?

MSNBC’s “The Cycle”: Your Reactions…

Posted in MSNBC on June 26, 2012 by icn2

Post your reactions to MSNBC’s new 3pm show here…

Bogus Claims?

Posted in Bloomberg on June 26, 2012 by icn2 Investigative Reporter Bill Dedman writes about a new ad campaign for Bloomberg’s Betty Liu and the subject of Pulitzer prize nominations…

Bloomberg Television has a new ad campaign in the New York City area, touting the journalistic credentials of its morning anchor, Betty Liu.

“PULITZER PRIZE-NOMINATED,” the ads shout at commuters on trains in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. “HAS ALL THE HEAVY HITTERS ON SPEED DIAL. AND THAT’S JUST THE ANCHOR.”

The only problem is that Liu has never been Pulitzer-nominated. The Pulitzer Prizes don’t list her among the nominees for any year.

When asked by about the discrepancy, Bloomberg TV said the ads are wrong and will be corrected.

It turns out that Liu is another example of a Pulitzer entrant — not a finalist or nominee — who routinely lists the word “Pulitzer” in her bio anyway. Like conservative author Jonah Goldberg, whose false claim on the cover of his book was described in this space last month, Liu was just one of thousands of entrants whose work was left on the floor at the end of the judging.

Dedman goes on to list prior instances in which Liu’s bio featured the term “pulitzer”.