Greta Van Susteren Takes Top Spot In Demo Tuesday Night

Cable news ratings, March 23, 2010: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

Greta Van Susteren and her 10pmET FNC show enjoyed a rare victory Tuesday as she had the top cable news show in the A25-54 demographic. Bill O’Reilly was #2 – just 3,000 behind – and was #1 in total viewers.

• The top non-FNC show was Rachel Maddow’s 9pmET hour (by far) in both categories.

John King, USA remained in 3rd place in both categories at 7pmET.

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

662

Blitzer

171

Matthews

131

Prime

95

6 pm Baier

589

Blitzer

185

Ed Show

181

Prime

132

7 pm Shep

463

King, USA

188

Matthews

237

Issues

162

8 pm O’Reilly

845

Brown

183

Olbermann

381

Grace

194

9 pm Hannity

744

King

232

Maddow

429

Behar

180

10 pm Greta

848

Cooper

264

Olbermann

277

Grace

179

11 pm O’Reilly

731

Cooper

213

Maddow

196

Showbiz

168

TOTAL DAY 459 180 167 141
PRIME TIME 813 226 362 184
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

2547

Blitzer

546

Matthews

729

Prime

220

6 pm Baier

2445

Blitzer

577

Ed Show

840

Prime

228

7 pm Shep

1831

King, USA

661

Matthews

839

Issues

427

8 pm O’Reilly

3185

Brown

559

Olbermann

1270

Grace

645

9 pm Hannity

2724

King

692

Maddow

1457

Behar

615

10 pm Greta

2613

Cooper

884

Olbermann

897

Grace

503

11 pm O’Reilly

2010

Cooper

571

Maddow

564

Showbiz

334

TOTAL DAY 1613 593 638 305
PRIME TIME 2843 712 1208 581
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.


The Case For Nightly Broadcast News – And What’s Wrong With Cable News

Over the past ten years we’ve repeatedly read stories in the MSM that the big three nightly newscasts are a dying breed. We’ve read that viewership continues to decline. And there have been prognostications that one of the big three will get out of the nightly news business eventually; usually the network hinted at is CBS because it’s been stuck in 3rd place, well behind NBC and ABC, for longer than most of us can remember.

The premise concerning the “eventual demise” of broadcast news and its slumping viewership generally revolves around two things; the explosion of cable news outlets over the past decade and the increasing reliance on the internet as a news medium – both deliver news quicker to those who want it and make the big three nightly newscasts seem both redundant and woefully late to the story because of their early evening air times. That’s the theory anyway.

It’s a theory I and others have steadfastly adhered to. I surmise this is partly why Brian Stelter started out his media writing career in 2004 with a lesser known precursor to TVNewser called CableNewser which focused solely on the six cable news nets at the time; CNN, HLN, MSNBC, FNC, CNBC, and Bloomberg TV. It wasn’t until Stelter sold CableNewser to Mediabistro and it was re-branded as TVNewser that it was then expanded to cover all TV news outlets, broadcast and cable.

At the time, I felt that the expanded coverage of TVNewser perpetuated the “myth” of broadcast news relevance while shifting the focus away from where the future really was, cable news. And that, among other reasons, is why I started blogging at ICN in 2005. As far as I was concerned broadcast news was dead. It was just that nobody had bothered pulling the plug yet.

But a strange thing happened over the past five years since ICN launched: the broadcast news programs remained relevant while cable news began to become less relevant on a daily basis for almost everyone except political junkies.

I started watching nightly broadcast news again a couple of years ago and I have come to some sort of Alice in Wonderland bizarro world epiphany. For news, the broadcast networks still do it right and cable news is increasingly doing it wrong. As one who blogs exclusively on cable news, this revelation has been a tough pill to swallow. How did my TV news world become so topsy turvy?

>>>NEXT PAGE: The first problem with cable news – ratings.


Mitt Romney Pits His Record Against Obama’s In Larry King Campaign Stop

Mitt Romney is not wasting a single opportunity to make it abundantly clear to the American people that he wants Barack Obama’s job. Last night he visited Larry King to criticize the passing of the Democrats’ health care bill, calling it a violation of the oath of office and suggesting the means should have more closely resembled the Romney’s own negotiations for universal health care in Massachusetts.

Romney had previously stated that Obama had “betrayed” his oath of office– a statement King requested clarification on. Turns out Romney meant Obama had “violate[d] the principles which he laid out in the campaign” by passing health care reform, the single biggest campaign promise Obama made in 2008. Romney was more concerned with the means than the ends, though, citing the support he received from Massachusetts Democrats for the universal health care reform legislation passed under his tenure as governor.

“What he was supposed to do,” Romney suggested, was exactly what Romney did. Since exactly what Romney did was pass health care legislation that was not so different from Obama’s, Romney did eventually admit didn’t hate everything about Obamacare:

“Some elements in the bill are good, and many are bad. And the Democrats want to talk about the couple of maraschino cherries that are on top of the pile of dirt. But let’s talk about the dirt. But let’s talk also about the pile of dirt.”

And his insistence on talking about his record is not the only sign Romney is deliberately framing himself in opposition to the President. People who subscribe to his newsletter also received an email blast asking for contributions to his PAC in order to fight the health care bill.

Watch the Larry King interview below:



John King’s Slow Debut, Keith Olbermann’s Big Night Back

Cable news ratings, March 19, 2010: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

John King’s new 7pmET show John King, USA got off to a slow start Monday night, debuting in 3rd place on cable news in total viewers and the A25-54 demographic during the hour (way behind FNC and behind MSNBC’s Hardball repeat. It had less viewers than Campbell Brown the next hour. Keith Olbermann returned as Countdown host for the first time this month with the top non-FNC show in both categories.

Bill O’Reilly had the top show on cable news – and more than one million in the demo. Glenn Beck neared one million for 2nd place.

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

988

Blitzer

129

Matthews

156

Prime

88

6 pm

Baier

689

Blitzer

167

Ed Show

231

Prime

81

7 pm

Shep

638

King, USA

228

Matthews

293

Issues

118

8 pm

O’Reilly

1160

Brown

238

Olbermann

454

Grace

182

9 pm

Hannity

835

King

217

Maddow

385

Behar

144

10 pm

Greta

767

Cooper

312

Olbermann

332

Grace

133

11 pm

O’Reilly

673

Cooper

179

Maddow

246

Showbiz

140

TOTAL DAY 520 161 191 124
PRIME TIME 921 256 390 151
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

3446

Blitzer

665

Matthews

672

Prime

206

6 pm

Baier

2915

Blitzer

584

Ed Show

775

Prime

232

7 pm

Shep

2208

King, USA

693

Matthews

838

Issues

330

8 pm

O’Reilly

3949

Brown

713

Olbermann

1418

Grace

556

9 pm

Hannity

2671

King

800

Maddow

1354

Behar

473

10 pm

Greta

2408

Cooper

992

Olbermann

854

Grace

360

11 pm

O’Reilly

1842

Cooper

525

Maddow

467

Showbiz

332

TOTAL DAY 1783 601 621 289
PRIME TIME 3011 835 1209 456
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.


F-Bomb Round-Up: How The Media Quoted The Unquotable, Joe Biden

Joe Biden just handed the media an easy comic relief story (and a great trademark Joe Biden gaffe), but with the great power to entertain also comes the great responsibility not to offend. So how did the mainstream media chose to report the story without using Biden’s off-color adjective for the health care bill law? We went with the poignant euphemism “f-bomb;” for all you psycholinguistics majors out there, here’s what the rest of the media did.

  • The Associated Press, which prides itself on its “objective” and generally colorless coverage, avoided the word entirely in the title of their report (“How Big a Deal? Ask Joe Biden”). They used dashes to eliminate the unsightly letters.
  • The Washington Post’s “Reliable Source” column, being a gossip column and all, has a longer leash to run with, so they used some of Eric Massa’s “salty” language. The offensive word was replaced with “fracking.”
  • Meanwhile, the New York Times was prim and proper about Joe Biden’s “expletive,” describing it as “an adjective between big and deal, that begins with ‘f.’” But they embedded a video from the Mediaite library, so +25 “Whose Line is it Anyway?” points to the Times!
  • More points to the Columbia Journalism Review (we have egos to feed) for referencing us, and for brilliantly avoiding covering the issue by quoting the Times‘ ladylike writearound on Biden’s vocabulary, and lovingly mocking it.
  • The Kansas City Star was possibly the least amused of this press bunch, calling the word a “stinker” and nicknaming Biden “The Mouth that Roars.”
  • Apparently the British are much more lax about this kind of thing than Americans are: although a series of asterisks clothes the wanton word, the Times UK is calling it an “earthy reminder of its historic importance” that “helped immortalize” the moment. Let’s not get carried away, here.
  • The New York Post never fails to disappoint with sensational headlines, so why are we not surprised that the home page is now flashing the above comic book-esque photo headline, with an accompanying article opening with “Oh Joe he didn’t!”
  • Fox News, who first broke the story, went with the AP standard but, of course, they have more to report than just the news. The inappropriate language, they argue, was indicative of an “after-party” attitude the Democrats brought to the bill-signing. How unprofessional.
  • MSNBC, on the other hand, did a bit of everything, combining “&*$#ing” on the front page and a variety of number of dashes in the actual piece. They did report on some previously un-seen (irrelevant) “conflict,” though: President Obama seemed “impatient.” Drama!
  • And CNN, the most sober of the trio, went with Abigail Adams references (and the classic “F-word”).

And while you were reading, here’s how the cable news channels handled the affair on television:



Huckabee, Geraldo Go Live Saturday Night, Have Top Shows

Cable news ratings, March 20, 2010: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

Geraldo Rivera, Mike Huckabee and the rest of the FNC weekend line-up were live Saturday night talking health care, and the 10pmET program was the top cable news show in the demo while Huckabee at 8pmET was #1 in total viewers. Huckabee was later a guest on Rivera’s show.

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 353 148 197 72
6 pm 272 131 274 80
7 pm 330 142 121 138
8 pm 352 146 75 110
9 pm 433 158 177 107
10 pm 454 120 273 131
11 pm 271 132 262 152
TOTAL DAY 347 164 158 116
PRIME TIME 413 142 175 116
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 1340 709 525 237
6 pm 1314 576 667 287
7 pm 1336 645 329 415
8 pm 1755 604 286 345
9 pm 1504 528 420 351
10 pm 1490 413 535 325
11 pm 925 411 488 316
TOTAL DAY 1256 561 378 296
PRIME TIME 1583 515 414 340
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.


Fox News Wins (Almost) Every Hour Of Health Care Coverage Sunday

Cable news ratings, March 21, 2010: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:

• Fox News dominated cable news ratings with their health care coverage on Sunday, winning in total viewers and the A25-54 demographic, total day and in prime time. CNN was the clear #2 in every hour and every category. In fact, CNN surpassed Fox News in both categories during the 11pmET hour, when Pres. Obama gave his post-vote address. But for the all-important vote during the 10pmET hour, FNC was #1, as it was the rest of the day.

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 690 322 202 88
6 pm 822 282 222 100
7 pm 698 298 186 82
8 pm 843 389 214 91
9 pm 870 549 279 86
10 pm 1181 974 453 80
11 pm 906 1182 563 68
TOTAL DAY 580 361 209 93
PRIME TIME 965 637 315 86
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 2881 1298 609 209
6 pm 2800 1371 601 233
7 pm 2350 1183 603 300
8 pm 2690 1420 618 364
9 pm 2824 1988 752 323
10 pm 3344 3161 1250 179
11pm 2369 3300 1498 201
TOTAL DAY 1937 1199 564 260
PRIME TIME 2953 2189 873 289
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.