Chris Matthews Finishes 4th In Prime Time Demo Friday

Cable news ratings, December 18, 2009: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

Chris Matthews averaged just 41,000 A25-54 demographic viewers Friday night at 5pmET for MSNBC – finishing behind HLN for 4th place. He was 3rd in total viewers. His 7pmET repeat was good enough for 2nd (ahead of CNN/HLN) in both categories.

Bill O’Reilly had the top show on cable news, again, in total viewers and the A25-54 demographic.

Check out all the ratings below, and leave your own thoughts in the comments:

TV NEWS RATINGS: 25-54 DEMOGRAPHIC (L +SD)
Fox News CNN MSNBC CNN Headline News
5 pm Beck

 

485

Blitzer

 

106

Matthews

 

41

Prime

 

95

6 pm Baier

 

362

Blitzer

 

109

EdShow

 

78

Prime

 

60

7 pm Shep

 

382

Tonight

 

103

Matthews

 

113

Issues

 

73

8 pm O’Reilly

 

714

Brown

 

103

Olbermann

 

184

Grace

 

189

9 pm Hannity

 

473

King

 

128

Maddow

 

157

Behar

 

137

10 pm Greta

 

331

Cooper

 

90

Olbermann

 

123

Grace

 

156

11 pm O’Reilly

 

429

Cooper

 

98

Maddow

 

124

Showbiz

 

171

TOTAL DAY 361 108 87 135
PRIME TIME 507 107 155 158
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.
TV NEWS RATINGS: TOTAL VIEWERS (L +SD)
Fox News CNN MSNBC CNN Headline News
5 pm Beck

 

2114

Blitzer

 

643

Matthews

 

460

Prime

 

256

6 pm Baier

 

1804

Blitzer

 

494

EdShow

 

514

Prime

 

194

7 pm Shep

 

1630

Tonight

 

414

Matthews

 

506

Issues

 

302

8 pm O’Reilly

 

3236

Brown

 

430

Olbermann

 

755

Grace

 

693

9 pm Hannity

 

2081

King

 

715

Maddow

 

745

Behar

 

630

10 pm Greta

 

1659

Cooper

 

514

Olbermann

 

414

Grace

 

478

11 pm O’Reilly

 

1529

Cooper

 

334

Maddow

 

398

Showbiz

 

397

TOTAL DAY 1446 507 367 344
PRIME TIME 2327 553 638 588
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.


Is Hillary Clinton Preparing For War With Canada Over The Arctic?

canadian_baconHere’s an interesting tidbit buried part way through Newsweek’s interview with Hillary Clinton and Henry Kissinger. As part of their interview-themed issue, out this week, Newsweek features the two comparing notes over what it’s like to be Secretary of State. Short version: very tiring. However in the process of describing how one of the requirements of her job is to keep an eye on future problems, which lead to a description of this scenario, perhaps call it Climategate, The War Games?

An area that we’re beginning to pay attention to, which is not in the headlines, is the Arctic. With the melting of the ice, with sea lanes opening that were never there before, or only-seasonal lanes becoming more all-weather, with five countries ringing the Arctic, which is an ocean, not a land mass like Antarctica. With Russia saying that they are going to have an expedition next year to plant their flag on the North Pole. With Canada saying, “No, you’d better not.” This is an area that we have to pay real attention to, but it’s not an area that I get called about by reporters or have to answer questions about at the White House yet.

So future war with Canada? (And actually, some journalists have been covering this.) Let’s hope not! Also, yeah, pretty unlikely all things considered. Though perhaps we should whether it’s part of Glenn Beck’s 100 Year Plan. You can read all the interviews here.


Diane Sawyer’s “World News” Career Begins

NEW YORK — Diane Sawyer follows quickly on the heels of Charles Gibson's retirement to launch a new era as anchor of ABC News' flagship evening newscast on Monday.

Women now hold two of the three top jobs on what have always been considered the most prestigious newscasts on broadcast TV. Three years ago, CBS' Katie Couric became the first woman to hold the job by herself.

ABC has deliberately downplayed the transition on "World News." The show's top producer promised minor changes to accompany Sawyer, including the show's first update of on-air graphics in five years and a greater concentration on chat with correspondents to go with Sawyer's more conversational style.

"The best job I can do is to produce a broadcast around the strengths of our anchor," said Jon Banner, "World News" executive director.

A veteran TV newscaster with a stint on CBS' "60 Minutes" in her background, Sawyer has co-anchored ABC's "Good Morning America" for the past decade. Her 64th birthday is Tuesday.

"World News" is a solid No. 2 in the evening news ratings. NBC's top-rated "Nightly News" with Brian Williams has been consolidating its strength, winning 60 of the past 61 weeks. NBC had its biggest advantage during the November ratings "sweeps" since 2005, according to the Nielsen Co.

Evening news viewership habits tend to be steady, except in times of transition. Viewers unfamiliar with ABC may tune in to check how Sawyer is doing – just as they did with Couric in 2006 – yet Gibson fans may be more inclined to surf around, too.

This period of churn is more important to third-placed CBS, and the "CBS Evening News" is preparing to take a strong run at ABC. But if Couric doesn't get more people to see whether CBS is fulfilling its promise of offering a more serious, hard-hitting broadcast, viewers may see those claims as just talk, said Andrew Tyndall, a news consultant who studies the content of network newscasts.

At ABC, Banner has been through his share of anchor transitions, caused by the death of Peter Jennings and the serious wounding of Bob Woodruff in a bomb blast. The veteran Gibson had been on duty since 2006.

"Any transition is difficult on an audience," Banner said. "We have had more than our fair share. Thankfully, this one we have been able to do some planning around."

ABC News President David Westin said the transition to Sawyer has been kept deliberately low-key. She hasn't been giving interviews, her new role hasn't been promoted outside of the network and she's starting on a holiday week where many viewers are preoccupied.

"In the end, this is not about the first day, and it is not about us," Westin wrote in a memo to his staff late last week. "Our focus must be and remain on the audience and what matters to the people we serve every day. If we show a steadfast devotion to serving that audience, all our programs will be successful over the long-term."


Vulcan Capital President Leaves

Paul Allen

The upheaval continue at Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) co-founder Paul Allen’s private investment firm. After only seven months on the job, Vulcan Capital president Chris Temple is leaving, we have confirmed with the company. The news was first reported by TechFlash. A spokesman tells us that Temple is leaving by “mutual agreement” and that a search has begun for a new president.

The changes comes as Allen (pictured)—who was once famously said to have a “reverse Midas touch”—has suffered some notable financial losses in recent months. Among them: He lost $8 billion, as well as his seat as chairman of the board, in the bankruptcy of cable firm Charter Communications (NSDQ: CHTR) and also took a big loss in the sale of DVR maker Digeo.

Vulcan owns or invests in more than 50 companies, including tech startups Evri and Xiant; it also owns the Portland Trail Blazers and the Seattle Seahawks.

Temple had been vice president of Vulcan Capital since September 2008; prior to joining the firm he had been the managing director at New York PE firm Tailwind Capital.

More to come.

Related


Take-Two Selling ‘Jack of All Games’ Distribution Unit, Lowers Guidance (Yet Again)

Take-Two interactive; Grand Theft Auto

That was quick. Less than a week after Carl Icahn upped his stake in Take-Two Interactive (NSDQ: TTWO), comes news that the company is selling off its physical games distribution business, Jack of All Games. Serendipitous timing? Perhaps. But it will only add fuel to the chatter about whether Icahn intends to help whip Take-Two into financial shape by any means necessary.

The game publisher is selling Jack of All Games to IT and tech distributor SYNNEX Corporation, in a deal potentially worth $43.25 million. SYNNEX will pay $36.5 million cash up front, and up to an additional $6.75 million depending on factors like the value of the inventory Jack of All Games is holding the day the deal actually closes, per the 8-K. The companies expect it to close in Q1 2010.

Take-Two acquired Jack of All Games in 1998, thinking that it made sense to control both the publishing and distribution of its games. Jack of All Games became the exclusive distributor of games from its studios like Rockstar and 2K Games to more than 20,000 game stores, including big box retailers.

But running the distribution business has clearly been impacting the company’s ability to focus on creating great games; Take-Two cited inventory write-downs as part of the reason it blew its fiscal Q4 (and full-year 2009) earnings report. In a statement, CEO Ben Feder said the sale will let Take-Two “focus” on its core business strategy.

Still, the news sent Take-Two’s shares down by about 5 percent in after-hours trading, as the company lowered guidance yet again—this time, taking in to account the loss of revenue it will face from selling off Jack of All Games. In addition to a “small after-tax loss,” the company dropped its fiscal Q1 and full-year 2010 forecasts: It expects to earn $90 million to $140 million in revenue in Q1, down from the $210 million to $260 million it said just two weeks ago. For the full year, it won’t even crack the billion mark—expecting revenue of $710 million to $910 million—down from $1 billion to $1.2 billion. Release.


Bret Baier Hopes To Be “Appointment Viewing For Political Junkies”

baier_12-21A lot has been written here and elsewhere about Fox News’ opinion hosts and the networks overall dominance in the ratings during 2009. But the enormous success is seen beyond the Beck’s, O’Reilly’s and Hannity’s too – as FNC’s news programming is seeing record ratings as well.

We talked to Special Report anchor Bret Baier about his first year at the helm of FNC’s 6pmET newscast, plans for 2010 and his lead-in, Glenn Beck.

“I think its fantastic,” Baier tells Mediaite today about his show’s big ratings. “We are building on what Brit [Hume] created, but its very news-driven in my mind. There are a lot of stories out of Washington that effect everybody’s life. It’s like drinking from a fire hose. Every day is a major, major story that a lot of people are paying attention to.”

The success of the show is evident from its year-to-year ratings average. With a week to go in 2009, the program is on pace to do significantly better than the 6pmET, Hume-anchored broadcast in 2008. It’s up 26% in total viewers and 34% in the A25-54 demographic. In a year where many cable networks not named Fox News have seen declines, the increased average is on par with much of the FNC line-up, including The FOX Report, anchored by Shepard Smith, an hour later (up 16% and 21%).

Still, it has to be noted that the huge year-to-year gains at 5pmET have helped the ratings for Baier’s program. And that thanks goes to Beck. “Glenn is the best lead-in any guy could ask for,” says Baier. “As I’ve said before, a rising tide is great for all the boats in the harbor. He has strong opinions. I don’t watch because that’s my crunch time. But he has done fantastic in the ratings and personally he’s a very nice guy.”

Still Baier’s program offers something very different than Beck’s – and as he looks toward 2010, Baier wants to solidify that point. “I’d like to be appointment viewing for politics junkies who can’t get enough of this stuff,” he says. “And I’m just one of them.”

>>> NEXT PAGE: Baier responds to Hume’s compliment, and the show’s new media outreach.