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.

Keith Olbermann Won’t Let ‘Truce’ Story Die (UPDATED)

olbermann_8-10After his show last night, Keith Olbermann took to The Daily Kos to, once again, address all the various storylines that have come from the supposed GE-FOX deal.

Will it quiet his critics this time? No. But it gave an insight into the new direction the MSNBC host is going when it comes to dealing with the deal.

Here’s Olbermann addressing the “deal” specifically:

…is there a deal? No. If one of the generals in the field says there’s no deal, he’s still fighting, he’s still firing, this statement should be given a little more weight than those of “insiders” or corporate spokesmen.

was there a deal? Based on what I’m reading, there are 94 different answers to that within a company I might work for, and more at another company. All I can say for sure is: I made no deal.

Although it’s not entirely clear, it sounds like Olbermann is saying there are “94 different answers” within NBC whether there ever was a deal. And there certainly is no longer a deal, as Olbermann took on Glenn Beck during his Special Comment last night and more entities at FNC throughout the show. But here’s the kicker:

Also, by the way, nearly everything in the last two pieces in The New York Times was leaked directly by Roger Ailes, especially his pathetic vision of having masterminded a deal in which he muzzled his entire network and sold out whatever the hell he thinks news is. If Ailes had any remaining credibility as a newsman, that’s out the freaking window now.

“Nearly everything” in these two New York Times pieces was leaked by Ailes himself, according to Olbermann.

These are stories that include quotes from GE, that indicate a storyline coinciding with the rest of the NYT story. In the initial article, GE spokesperson Gary Sheffer says, “We all recognize that a certain level of civility needed to be introduced into the public discussion…we’re happy that has happened.”

In the 2nd NYT story: “While both companies agreed that the tone should be more civil, no one at G.E. told anyone at NBC News or MSNBC how to report the news.”

Nowhere does this show a secret Roger Ailes plot to feed the story to the New York Times – a newspaper that has never had a buddy-buddy relationship with Ailes’ network. Instead, it’s a way for Olbermann to change the topic.

But the story isn’t going away – here’s two more reasons why.

> Update: Brian Stelter, who wrote both of the NYT stories, responds to Mediaite: “It’s unfortunate that Keith Olbermann is now engaged in an anonymous source guessing game. But it would also be unfortunate to let the accusation stand that ‘nearly everything’ in the Times stories about the ceasefire was ‘leaked directly by Roger Ailes.’ If Mr. Olbermann had asked me, he would know that I have communicated with Mr. Ailes only once: and that was in 2004.”

Meanwhile on the FNC side of 8pmET, Bill O’Reilly teased a segment comparing GE and Enron, but it never aired. We’ll have more on that later today… (the post is here)

O’Reilly Factor Tops ABC’s Friday Night Programming

Cable news ratings, August 7, 2009: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:


• Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly (update: Laura Ingraham filled in for O’Reilly) didn’t just have the top-rated cable news show Friday night, his program beat all of ABC’s entertainment programs from 8-10pm in total viewers. The 8pmET program slightly edged his colleague Sean Hannity’s 9pmET show in the A25-54 demographic.

• CNN’s Larry King had the top-rated non-FNC show in both categories.

• MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann not only beat CNN during his live 8pmET hour, but the repeat topped Anderson Cooper 360 at 10pmET in both categories.

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

 

521

Blitzer

 

145

Matthews

 

141

Prime

 

112

6 pm Baier

 

381

Blitzer

 

123

EdShow

 

168

Prime

 

78

7 pm Shep

 

365

Dobbs

 

183

Matthews

 

157

Issues

 

140

8 pm O’Reilly

 

607

Brown

 

262

Olbermann

 

337

Grace

 

307

9 pm Hannity

 

549

King

 

364

Maddow

 

255

Issues

 

132

10 pm The Manson Murders

 

444

Cooper

 

199

Olbermann

 

234

Grace

 

125

11 pm O’Reilly

 

429

Cooper

 

145

Maddow

 

185

Showbiz

 

145

TOTAL DAY 341 142 137 126
PRIME TIME 533 275 275 184
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

 

2015

Blitzer

 

618

Matthews

 

611

Prime

 

285

6 pm Baier

 

1469

Blitzer

 

485

EdShow

 

544

Prime

 

201

7 pm Shep

 

1429

Dobbs

 

617

Matthews

 

560

Issues

 

314

8 pm O’Reilly

 

2707

Brown

 

808

Olbermann

 

1024

Grace

 

719

9 pm Hannity

 

2268

King

 

1100

Maddow

 

836

Issues

 

403

10 pm The Manson Murders

 

1676

Cooper

 

630

Olbermann

 

705

Grace

 

403

11 pm O’Reilly

 

1310

Cooper

 

428

Maddow

 

496

Showbiz

 

353

TOTAL DAY 1251 477 420 274
PRIME TIME 2218 846 855 498
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.

How online journalists and bloggers forced Keith Olbermann to respond to Richard Wolffe controversy

keith olbermannJonathan Berr doesn’t know why Keith Olbermann singled him out when responding to recent online criticisms. In a statement to TVNewser, the MSNBC anchor said that Berr, “whoever he is, does not like my prioritizing caring for my mother and dealing with her death, and then doing as many shows as I could, ahead of vetting the comments of our analysts and my management team, frankly, I feel sorry for him.”

Of course the Daily Finance reporter is one of just hundreds of bloggers and online journalists that have gone after Olbermann recently after it was revealed that one of his guests hosts, Richard Wolffe, had corporate PR ties that weren’t disclosed during his broadcasts.

This isn’t the first time Olbermann has taken to the web to respond to online critics. He is a frequent Daily Kos contributor and has gone on there before to answer attacks from Salon’s Glenn Greenwald. Coincidentally, Greenwald was one of the many to lead the crusade with the Wolffe controversy.

In a piece titled, “Keith Olbermann screwed up badly,” Berr had echoed many of the points brought up by Greenwald and others, noting that Wolffe had been hired by a company called Public Strategies, which flouted his MSNBC influence. It was argued by many that the company is selling Wolffe’s access as a MSNBC journalist to its corporate clients.

I asked Berr in a phone interview if he thought it was a positive sign that Olbermann took his online critics seriously enough to respond. He said that he was encouraged by the engagement but wasn’t impressed with Olbermann’s response to the criticisms.

“It shows that he’s at least willing to engage with his audience for this issue, and I give him credit for that,” he said. “I don’t give him credit for not giving a coherent answer. All the answers he’s been giving don’t make much sense, and until he starts making some more sense, then people will continue to question whether he’s trying to hide something. The fact of the matter is that what Richard Wolffe was doing was hardly a secret. He was hired by the company, and it sent out a press release touting it … so this notion that he was doing something particularly secretive is hard to understand. I don’t get what Olbermann thought Richard Wolffe was doing, because in the press release it was pretty clear what he was doing. He was a PR consultant.”

Berr said he would have no problem with Wolffe hosting Olbermann’s show, as long as the proper disclosure is given.

“Wolffe was writing for the Daily Beast for awhile, and his affiliation with his company was disclosed on the Daily Beast, so why didn’t anyone at MSNBC notice that? I’m perplexed, I don’t understand how something so basic as knowing where someone works would slip through the cracks.”

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Mourning The Death of The GE/FOX Deal

countdown_8-8One week after news of a supposed “truce” (or “ceasefire” or “deal” or…) between GE/NBC and News Corp./Fox, it’s clear the deal has passed away.

Following Keith Olbermann’s strong attack on Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes and Fox News in general again last night (video after the jump), and another story about in-house tensions at 30 Rock, it’s time to talk about the supposed ‘truce’ in the past tense. So what killed it?

According to the New York TimesBrian Stelter, it all started to deteriorate, as one might imagine, after Monday night. “Fox News executives felt that MSNBC had broken the deal when Keith Olbermann, in an apparent show of independence, insulted his 8 p.m. rival, Bill O’Reilly, and the News Corporation’s chairman, Rupert Murdoch, on Monday,” writes Stelter.

O’Reilly responded, in a way, with his attack on GE two nights later. But in Stelter’s story, Fox says it’s not about them:

“At this point,” a Fox spokeswoman said Friday, “the entire situation is more about major issues at NBC and G.E. than it is about Bill O’Reilly and Keith Olbermann.”

So that puts the pressure on Olbermann and his bosses to stop their personal attacks. Which, to the detriment of salvaging any remnants of a deal, was not heeded last night. Instead, Olbermann set his sights on O’Reilly, but also, oddly, Fox Chairman Ailes. The basis for the attack was essentially something written about Ailes by the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz. “Negotiating with the people that his ‘nutcases’ might cover about whether or not those nutcases will or will not cover them might seem like journalism to Mr. Ailes, but clearly no actual journalist would agree with him,” said Olbermann last night.

Does Olbermann not see the hypocrisy here, or is he just hoping his viewers don’t notice? This is the exact same situation he himself is in. In the Times story today, both GE and FOX said the deal did not involve telling their talent how to cover stories. It’s a matter of how each network, and host, deal with this non-directive directive.

It’s clear what happened here: in the wake of the news going public, Olbermann reacted defensively by going on the offensive. O’Reilly responded, and Olbermann, still being questioned in the liberal blogosphere, went back and attacked. Here’s what will happen next: O’Reilly will attack GE next week. And the story of the deal that was, then wasn’t, will disintegrate.

But GE will not be happy. Will they be unhappy enough to officially reign in Olbermann, who essentially killed this deal and isn’t necessarily afraid to quit if he doesn’t get his way? We’ll see. Olbermann is still the top-rated host on MSNBC. He doesn’t pull in anywhere near the ratings of O’Reilly and others at Fox News, but he has a built-in, loyal audience. Now that he’s “going rogue,” GE will have to decide whether they’re with him or against him.

Here’s last night’s “Worst Persons”:


Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy


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CNN’s National Report Card Fails To Get High Marks

Cable news ratings, August 6, 2009: Check out the highlights, and see the full ratings below:


• CNN’s two-hour special, National Report Card, anchored by Wolf Blitzer and Campbell Brown, failed to bring in big numbers. With just 191,000 in the A25-54 demographic and 879,000 total viewers, the program finished 4th at 8pmET, behind FNC, MSNBC and HLN. Nancy Grace actually finished 2nd in the demo.

Anderson Cooper AC 360 had Lisa Ling as a guest at 10pmET, and although it did better than the CNN special before, it finished 4th as well in the demo. In total viewers, however, it was #2 in the hour.

Rachel Maddow topped Keith Olbermann on MSNBC last night, in both total viewers and the demo. It was the first time this week she had the top-rated MSNBC program.

• For FNC, Bill O’Reilly finished 1st as usual, but Glenn Beck came in at #2 in the demo. In total viewers, Sean Hannity had the 2nd highest rated 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 Beck

 

692

Blitzer

 

82

Matthews

 

186

Prime

 

65

6 pm Baier

 

442

Blitzer

 

145

EdShow

 

148

Prime

 

122

7 pm Shep

 

516

Dobbs

 

147

Matthews

 

165

Issues

 

144

8 pm O’Reilly

 

900

National Report Card

 

191

Olbermann

 

326

Grace

 

398

9 pm Hannity

 

633

__

 

 

Maddow

 

342

Issues

 

264

10 pm Greta

 

575

Cooper

 

246

Olbermann

 

247

Grace

 

295

11 pm O’Reilly

 

589

Cooper

 

143

Maddow

 

203

Showbiz

 

247

TOTAL DAY 374 133 125 150
PRIME TIME 703 210 305 312
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

 

2427

Blitzer

 

600

Matthews

 

600

Prime

 

210

6 pm Baier

 

1970

Blitzer

 

559

EdShow

 

505

Prime

 

239

7 pm Shep

 

1837

Dobbs

 

642

Matthews

 

542

Issues

 

375

8 pm O’Reilly

 

3716

National Report Card

 

879

Olbermann

 

1070

Grace

 

946

9 pm Hannity

 

2971

__

 

 

Maddow

 

1107

Issues

 

598

10 pm Greta

 

2474

Cooper

 

833

Olbermann

 

726

Grace

 

642

11 pm O’Reilly

 

1657

Cooper

 

437

Maddow

 

562

Showbiz

 

460

TOTAL DAY 1395 529 402 307
PRIME TIME 3055 867 968 713
Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.

Do You Want To Be The Next Cable News Star? Start Screaming

fnc_8-7Are you disillusioned with the path President Barack Obama and the current administration is taking this country? Do you want to see yourself on TV?

In the past, if you had complaints about the government people would tell you to write a letter. But letter-writing is so pre-24-hour-cablers. Here’s a step-by-step plan to get you your face all over your favorite, and least favorite, cable news shows:

Find out where a local meeting is: It doesn’t just have to be an official “town hall.” You can go to any sort of meeting where they may be talking health care. Try to find a Democratic Congressman who is running this. If not, settle for a Republican.

cnn_8-7Find a camera and a friend: Make sure it’s not too high quality, or else it will look fake and everyone (well, everyone not on Fox News) will think you’re a plant. A Flip cam is good, or a regular cell phone that has video. Make sure you have a friend who won’t get too angry him/herself, or else the camera will shake and the quality will suffer.

Go to the meeting: This is very important. You don’t want to get so angry you blow all your energy on the car ride over. Do not listen to conservative talk radio at all the day of the meeting.

Get angry: Be loud. Be combative. Interrupt. If the person running the meeting tells you to wait your turn, say things like “you work for us!” and “why won’t you listen to the public?!” Boo often. During the official Q&A section, make sure you don’t ask a question, and instead just give that person a piece of your mind. Do not look at the camera.

Upload the video to YouTube: Do this very quickly, preferably that night. Give it a title like “Town Hall Meeting Explodes” or “Free Speech Silenced.”

msnbc_8-7Send the video to every cable news network: Do not just stop at Fox News. There will be some news networks (CNN and MSNBC) that may suggest, or at least imply, you may be planted by the insurance companies or right-wing organizations. But they will still play your clip over and over again. Meanwhile, make sure in your email to Fox you give all your contact information, because they may ask you to come on and ‘tell your side of the story.’

Watch cable news the next day, and every day: If you’re loud enough and abrasive enough, that means you get to be replayed constantly on every cable news network. Get that DVR ready.

Bonus points if you’re very old, a minority or a veteran. Also, if you cause a riot. Good luck!

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» Follow Steve Krakauer on Twitter