Radio Lou Dobbs Slowly Killing Career Of TV Lou Dobbs

dobbs_8-14There are currently two different Lou Dobbs‘. There’s Radio Lou Dobbs, who regularly unloads on Keith Olbermann, continues chatting about Kenyan birth certificates and generally causes a ruckus. Then there’s TV Lou Dobbs, who hasn’t mentioned the birther debate in awhile, hosts a more focused show and only generally gets in trouble when hammering illegal immigration.

But several stories this week describe the possibility Radio Lou Dobbs is hurting his TV counterpart.

Radio Lou Dobbs has only existed for a little more than a year – his show launched in March 2008. But in that short time he’s used the platform to expound on a broader range of topics, without the constraint of a major conglomerate over his head. Some of this has rubbed off on TV Lou Dobbs.

Jon Friedman of Marketwatch.com writes that Dobbs “has sold his journalistic soul to the devil.” (Sidenote: since Marketwatch is owned by News Corp. the link is from Foxbusiness.com. Just to add another layer to the saga.)

Dobbs definitely brought the birther debate onto his TV program, but the majority of it took place on radio. But Friedman writes it hasn’t helped, and may have hurt, his TV ratings.

According to CNN’s research, Dobbs has lost 31,000 total viewers in the past year. About 789,000 people were tuning into his show on a daily basis in June and July, down from 820,000 for the same period in 2008. It’s a decrease of 4%.

Bill Press writes a tongue-in-cheek column about the news that CNN’s President Jon Klein has instructed staff to avoid booking talk radio hosts.

Writes Press:

It took him a long time, but CNN President Jon Klein finally got around to doing what he should have done a long time ago. In order to maintain the professed trademark of his network for objectivity in broadcasting, he realized he had no choice but to fire Lou Dobbs.

Of course, cautious as he is, Klein did not fire the anti-immigration crusader directly, or even alone. He threw Dobbs overboard as part of a vendetta against radio talk-show hosts in general.

Obviously Dobbs isn’t getting fired. But Radio Lou Dobbs’ existence means TV Lou Dobbs gets thrown into discussions that involve the “noise” of talk radio. Dobbs has been a mainstay at CNN ever since its launch in 1980. And he’s evolved from a business guy to a news guy to an opinion guy. While TV Lou Dobbs has never shied away from controversy, there’s a good chance if he were to ever get fired for anything, it would be Radio Lou Dobbs’ fault.

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Bill O’Reilly Gets Most Demo Viewers In 2009 Last Night

Cable news ratings, August 12, 2009: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

Bill O’Reilly had his best night this year in the A25-54 demographic, with 1,080,000 viewers. He had 3,788,000 total viewers. Earlier this week, O’Reilly reached more than 1 million demo viewers for the first time in 2009.

• For the 2nd night in a row, FNC beat every competitor network (MSNBC, CNN, HLN and CNBC) combined in total viewers and the demo. FNC averaged 3,036,000 total viewers and 895,000 in the demo.

Glenn Beck had his 4th highest rated program ever last night in the demo. He has had four out of his top eight shows during August.

• MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann had the highest rated non-FNC show on cable news last night, in both categories. MSNBC won the battle for 2nd in prime time as well.

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

 

734

Blitzer

 

99

Matthews

 

120

Prime

 

66

6 pm Baier

 

459

Blitzer

 

161

EdShow

 

100

Prime

 

40

7 pm Shep

 

513

Dobbs

 

220

Matthews

 

151

Issues

 

120

8 pm O’Reilly

 

1080

Brown

 

182

Olbermann

 

405

Grace

 

282

9 pm Hannity

 

807

King

 

286

Maddow

 

333

Issues

 

122

10 pm Greta

 

790

Cooper

 

229

Olbermann

 

264

Grace

 

192

11 pm O’Reilly

 

727

Cooper

 

149

Maddow

 

181

Showbiz

 

149

TOTAL DAY 471 162 142 118
PRIME TIME 895 232 334 193
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

 

2386

Blitzer

 

636

Matthews

 

536

Prime

 

162

6 pm Baier

 

1932

Blitzer

 

624

EdShow

 

418

Prime

 

168

7 pm Shep

 

2019

Dobbs

 

677

Matthews

 

593

Issues

 

357

8 pm O’Reilly

 

3788

Brown

 

643

Olbermann

 

1136

Grace

 

686

9 pm Hannity

 

2843

King

 

985

Maddow

 

1042

Issues

 

374

10 pm Greta

 

2469

Cooper

 

788

Olbermann

 

828

Grace

 

403

11 pm O’Reilly

 

1927

Cooper

 

466

Maddow

 

540

Showbiz

 

342

TOTAL DAY 1613 601 454 260
PRIME TIME 3036 805 1002 475
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.

Campbell Brown Cheers On Fighting 8pm’ers From Sidelines

brown_8-12While her competitors at 8pmET are embattled in a continued feud in the face of a supposed ‘deal,’ CNN’s Campbell Brown has not weighed in – until last night.

Jumping snarkily into the debate, Brown knocked the “big swinging anchors,” and also the ‘breathless’ coverage.

Here’s how she describes the situation:

Big swinging anchor number one thinks that big swinging anchor number two is the worst person in the world. Big swinging anchor number two is so full of disdain of big swinging anchor number one he won’t even say his name, so he just goes after his boss the CEO of General Electric.

She continued to joke about the mock seriousness. “Don’t laugh people. This is a very important story,” she said. “The New York Times has been covering it breathlessly and those big swinging anchors have ratings a lot bigger than mine.”

Well that’s true – and that couldn’t possibly be a reason for jumping into the ring herself, right?

Here’s the clip:

Bill O’Reilly Tops One Million Demo Viewers For First Time In 2009

Cable news ratings, August 10, 2009: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

• Last night’s The O’Reilly Factor was the Bill O’Reilly’s highest rated show of the year in the A25-54 demographic. It was the first time the program had more than 1 million demo viewers (1,072,000). Will he beat it tonight when he turns the spotlight on GE?

• FNC as a whole had a huge night in prime time. The network beat CNN, MSNBC and HLN combined in both the demo and total viewers.

• So how did CNN’s Kathy Griffin-Levi Johnston combo go last night? The Larry King Live show was the network’s top-rated in both categories.

Keith Olbermann had the top rated show on MSNBC in both categories, and MSNBC topped CNN as in prime time demo and total viewers.

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

669

Blitzer

145

Matthews

174

Prime

144

6 pm Baier

490

Blitzer

115

EdShow

154

Prime

122

7 pm Shep

456

Dobbs

195

Matthews

188

Issues

148

8 pm O’Reilly

1072

Brown

225

Olbermann

406

Grace

327

9 pm Hannity

932

King

229

Maddow

327

Issues

172

10 pm Greta

645

Cooper

197

Olbermann

223

Grace

217

11 pm O’Reilly

533

Cooper

158

Maddow

225

Showbiz

187

TOTAL DAY 395 161 127 147
PRIME TIME 883 227 319 235
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

2417

Blitzer

716

Matthews

602

Prime

238

6 pm Baier

1988

Blitzer

522

EdShow

519

Prime

229

7 pm Shep

1833

Dobbs

675

Matthews

710

Issues

398

8 pm O’Reilly

3814

Brown

783

Olbermann

1243

Grace

875

9 pm Hannity

3118

King

810

Maddow

1082

Issues

431

10 pm Greta

2388

Cooper

636

Olbermann

733

Grace

493

11 pm O’Reilly

1657

Cooper

411

Maddow

530

Showbiz

411

TOTAL DAY 1410 511 413 297
PRIME TIME 3107 743 1019 588
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.

Hannity Wins on Sunday

Cable news ratings, August 9, 2009: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

Sean Hannity had the top-rated Sunday show in both total viewers and the A25-54 demographic. The 9pmET show had more total viewers than CNN and MSNBC combined.

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

NewsHQ

 

186

Zakaria

 

61

Special

 

130

News

 

50

6 pm News Sunday

 

211

Newsroom

 

86

Investigates

 

110

Prime

 

60

7 pm Report

 

301

Newsroom

 

95

Special

 

228

Issues

 

97

8 pm Huckabee

 

214

State of the Union

 

121

Special

 

192

Grace

 

128

9 pm Hannity

 

394

King

 

176

Special

 

242

Issues

 

121

10 pm Geraldo

 

365

Newsroom

 

187

Special

 

281

Grace

 

224

11 pm Huckabee

 

280

State of the Union

 

146

Special

 

228

Showbiz

 

263

TOTAL DAY 255 130 160 123
PRIME TIME 324 161 238 152
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 NewsHQ

 

1043

Zakaria

 

341

Special

 

287

News

 

164

6 pm News Sunday

 

1170

Newsroom

 

383

Investigates

 

327

Prime

 

179

7 pm Report

 

1287

Newsroom

 

410

Special

 

563

Issues

 

237

8 pm Huckabee

 

1356

State of the Union

 

442

Special

 

510

Grace

 

335

9 pm Hannity

 

1644

King

 

601

Special

 

571

Issues

 

282

10 pm Geraldo

 

1225

Newsroom

 

543

Special

 

540

Grace

 

402

11 pm Huckabee

 

806

State of the Union

 

376

Special

 

526

Showbiz

 

418

TOTAL DAY 911 442 338 250
PRIME TIME 1410 529 540 330
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.



Fox News Dominates Ratings During Plane/Helicopter Crash Special Report

Cable news ratings, August 8, 2009: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

• During the plane/helicopter crash on Saturday, Fox News was the #1 cable news network viewers went to get their news. The Special Report coverage – lasting from 1-8pmET, gave FNC a big victory in both total viewers and the A25-54 demographic (1,010,000 total viewers, compared to 576,000 for CNN and 380,000 for MSNBC). But MSNBC, which did not break into its doc block, was #2 in the demo.

• While MSNBC took some heat for not breaking into doc block beyond special reports on Saturday, it didn’t hurt them in the ratings. MSNBC tied FNC for #1 in prime time demo, and was #2 in total day demo. CNN was #2 in total viewers.

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 Special Report

 

215

Newsroom

 

163

Special

 

142

News

 

68

6 pm Special Report

 

236

Newsroom

 

140

Special

 

127

Prime

 

85

7 pm Report

 

217

Newsroom

 

122

Investigates

 

213

Issues

 

64

8 pm Huckabee

 

251

Presents

 

125

Investigates

 

156

Grace

 

99

9 pm Beck

 

353

King

 

119

Investigates

 

183

Issues

 

104

10 pm Manson Murders

 

307

Newsroom

 

170

Investigates

 

238

Grace

 

127

11 pm JER/FNW

 

231/260

Presents

 

111

Investigates

 

293

Showbiz

 

180

TOTAL DAY 230 137 180 106
PRIME TIME 192 138 192 104
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 Special Report

 

920

Newsroom

 

503

Special

 

302

News

 

246

6 pm

Special Report

 

905

Newsroom

 

467

Special

 

321

Prime

 

225

7 pm Report

 

941

Newsroom

 

464

Investigates

 

389

Issues

 

203

8 pm Huckabee

 

1671

Presents

 

484

Investigates

 

343

Grace

 

245

9 pm Beck

 

1424

King

 

611

Investigates

 

336

Issues

 

300

10 pm Manson Murders

 

845

Newsroom

 

640

Investigates

 

427

Grace

 

312

11 pm JER/FNW

 

680/860

Presents

 

252

Investigates

 

540

Showbiz

 

359

TOTAL DAY 870 485 345 250
PRIME TIME 1314 578 369 271
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.

CNN Claims “Journalistic Quality,” While Turning To Stand-Up Comedy

griffin_8-10It may be the summer slump, but most cable news networks are sticking with, you know, news, to get through it. But when health care isn’t drawing the ratings, the town hall protester loop gets boring and no one is drinking beers at the White House, one cabler decided to go a different route.

CNN decided not only to let Kathy Griffin take over Larry King Live at 9pmET (which she has in the past), but to conduct a full-on non-interview with Levi Johnston. It was Griffin doing a stand-up routine for more than 10 minutes, and it makes CNN’s claims of being the more ‘news-focused’ network that much more laughable.

“Our journalistic quality is higher than its ever been,” said CNN/U.S. President Jon Klein last month. And here’s what that translates to:

Describing her night with Johnston after the Teen Choice Awards, Griffin said, “I have a bruise in a naughty place.”

Later:

Griffin: How could you not shave, you’re on Larry King.

Johnston: You said you like me scruffy.

Griffin: You’re right I do like you scruffy, you dirty dog you.

This is really just the tip of the iceberg. Watch the full routine here.

Again, this is not Red Eye, Fox News’ comedy/news hybrid that airs at 3amET. It’s not MSNBC’s sarcastic Way Too Early at 5:30amET. It’s not even D.L. Hughley Breaks the News, CNN’s short-lived show fronted by a comedian that did, occasionally, break some news. This is Larry King, on CNN, at 9pmET. And it is a lot of things, but it certainly is not “journalistic.”

You could argue that CNN’s Michael Jackson-focused prime time coverage in early July could be justified as news coverage, even if it leaned toward infotainment. Now, that facade has evaporated.

For what its worth, at least no one really seemed to give a crap about the segment. Here’s the way it was teased on CNN.com (notice – misspelling that was up all night):
cnn_8-10

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