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Rating the Airliner Story
Townhall.com ^ | March 20, 2014 | Rich Galen

Posted on 03/20/2014 9:32:35 AM PDT by Kaslin

A minor food fight has broken out among news anchors over the amount of attention the missing Malaysian airliner is getting on the Cable news programs.

There is no question that CNN has glommed onto this story and is not letting go. The other cable nets are often leading with the latest theory, conjecture, or unsourced leak, but then go onto other things like the Russian annexation of Crimea.

The other day Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly - the master of all he surveys in the ratings - said that, according to MediaBistro.com, "Watching some of this coverage is painful" after criticizing a rival network for doing five minutes on a possible electrical fire on board.

I didn't see that segment, but it is impossible to miss the fact that CNN is now wall-to-wall in its Flight 370 coverage and I wondered why they were betting so heavily on that one story.

The answer is: Ratings.

I looked at a comparison among the three major cable news programs from this past Monday March 17, and two weeks earlier, Monday March 3 - before the jet disappeared.

Across the board the CNN ratings are up. Way up.

There are two ways of looking at ratings. Total viewers and those who are "in the demo." The demo is short for demographic - adults from 25-54 years.

I'm not in the demo. Even when I was between the ages of 25-54, I wasn't in it.

Nevertheless, looking at all viewers (not just those in the demo) we find that on a normal news day - March 3 - starting at 4 PM, Jack Tapper's CNN program drew about 580,000 viewers. This past Monday, with the non-stop coverage of the airliner, Tapper drew almost 800,000 viewers an increase of about 38%.

Alex Wagner's 4 PM show on MSNBC also showed significant gains, in her case about 27%. The loser in the time slot is Neil Cavuto whose 4 PM Fox program lost about 13% of its viewers although at 1.3 million it still crushed the other two.

Moving to five o'clock, FNC's The Five led the group on March 3 with about 2.1 million viewers. Two weeks later they pretty much held their own with a 3 percent rise in viewers to 2.2 million.

The Ed Show on MS got a 6.7 percent boost but the big winner in terms of growth was Wolf Blitzer's 5 PM program that went from about 650,000 viewers on March 3 to 950,000 on March 17 a 46% jolt.

At 6 PM Bret Baier's program was flat over the two nights (but still drew 2.1 million viewers). Al Sharpton lost about 6 percent of his viewers but Blitzer - taking over the whole hour rather than splitting it with Crossfire - kept his 950,000 viewers which was an increase of 38%.

Moving along to 7 PM Greta, like Baier, was flat Monday-over-Monday with about 1.8 million viewers. Chris Matthews lost a whopping 14% of his viewers but Erin Burnett saw an enormous increase of over 77 percent, raising her audience to 892,000.

At 8 PM - the wholly owned subsidiary of Bill O'Reilly - Anderson Cooper's audience rose by nearly 41 percent over two weeks earlier to 836,000. Chris Hayes' MSNBC program was down about 8 percent as were Bill O'Reilly's numbers: Off about 9 percent.

O'Reilly still won the night with a total of over 2.8 million viewers, but that would explain his crankiness at the constant coverage by CNN. That nine percent loss represented 274,000 viewers.

The biggest loser in this comparison occurred at the nine o'clock hour when MSNBC's Rachel Maddow lost nearly 19 percent of her audience while the Piers Morgan slot on CNN gained nearly 78%.

At 10 PM Lawrence O'Donnell dropped about 15 percent of his MSNBC audience while a "Special Report" on CNN gained nearly 78% in that time slot that has proved so difficult for CNN to solve. Hannity held his own, gaining about 4 percent in the 10 PM hour.

CNN has not had much - you should pardon the expression - good news lately, lagging in almost every category in almost every time slot.

But over the period of the missing airplane MSNBC has lost some 288,000 viewers; Fox has held about steady with an increase of 29,000 over the course of the two nights, but an additional 2.7 million people watched CNN from 4 PM through midnight on March 17 than they had two Mondays previous.

That's how you rate an airplane story.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: airlines; iran; malaysia; mh370; waronterror

1 posted on 03/20/2014 9:32:35 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

I’m starting to give a crap less about it, more worried about the Ukrain and the country in south america that starts with a V...


2 posted on 03/20/2014 9:35:05 AM PDT by GraceG
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To: GraceG

0: Now you MSM guys keep The People focused on the missing jet and away from impeachment? Got it? Good...


3 posted on 03/20/2014 9:39:34 AM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: Kaslin

At this point, the story is little more than hype designed to boost ratings. Until and unless the plane is found, I’m not going to waste my time on all this endless speculation I will, however, pray for the family members. They need God’s strength and courage to get through this.


4 posted on 03/20/2014 9:39:54 AM PDT by fatnotlazy
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To: Kaslin

Online news only for me, they harp on a stupid subject for hours or for a whole day then they drift over to another fixated aspect and go on about that for hours on end.
Its torture for a sane person but must be music from heaven to the Obama crowds, OWS, LBGT and such. They thrive on that crap.


5 posted on 03/20/2014 9:41:38 AM PDT by Spartan302
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To: Kaslin

It’s better than every time some pretty blonde young woman goes missing. E.g., Natalee & Colmes.


6 posted on 03/20/2014 9:42:10 AM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: Kaslin

It’s an airliner. It’s a mechanical device, made by human beings, hired by Boeing. Boeing just happens to be the company that Obama hates because they wanted to move from a union stronghold, to a non-union stronghold. So now, one of their premier, golly-gee-Mister-Wilson brand new liners goes off the radar.

Wake me up next year, when they get the story straight.


7 posted on 03/20/2014 9:46:43 AM PDT by Terry L Smith
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To: Kaslin


I remember when the 24/7 coverage was the missing Chandra Levi and then BAM, one morning, 9/11 came along....


8 posted on 03/20/2014 9:50:45 AM PDT by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: onyx

What better way to distract the media away from cancer patients dying, d-rats losing elections and sinking poll numbers than to have a missing jet.

Sorass could easily pay each pilot a mill to just land somewhere. Keep the media attn off his boy-king who’s destroying Amerika.


9 posted on 03/20/2014 9:55:47 AM PDT by bicyclerepair (The zombies here elected alcee hastings. TERM LIMITS ... TERM LIMITES)
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To: Kaslin

Well it’s pretty clear that the media loves this story for its ratings which means that they want it to continue which means that they do not want the plane or wreckage to be found which means they will continue to bring paid experts to the microphone claiming that it’s in Pakistan — no Iran — no Somalia — no on its way to Israel .....


10 posted on 03/20/2014 9:58:14 AM PDT by Uncle Chip
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To: bicyclerepair

You’re most assuredly right about that and CNN is leading the way and gaining in viewer ratings.

Idiot, low-info voters.


11 posted on 03/20/2014 9:58:26 AM PDT by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: Kaslin

Despite the fact that very little new information has come out in the last ten days, it hasn’t stopped Megan Kelly and Sean Hannity from beating this story to death night after night after night. How many times do you need to mention that the transponder was turned off? How many times do you need to mention that the plane took a sharp left turn? How many times do you need to mention that the pilot had a homemade flight simulator in his home? How many former commercial pilots do you need to interview?


12 posted on 03/20/2014 10:00:22 AM PDT by GreenHornet
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To: Kaslin

Covering the missing jet prevents criticism of Obama’s inept handling of the situation in Ukraine, the Spartleys/Sennikku islands (china), and Venezuela.


13 posted on 03/20/2014 10:06:13 AM PDT by Thunder90 (All posts soley represent my own opinion.)
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To: Kaslin

O’Reilly has been pissing and moaning about it all week, calling CNN’s coverage “disgraceful” and that “we don’t do speculation on the Factor”. Well, whatever you call it, he has people on his show jabbering about it every night.

CNN is staking out sensationalism as their strategy. “If it bleeds - turn to CNN” That’s legit, let the market decide. It’s more credible than CNN pretending to provide unbiased hard news coverage. Let them become the supermarket aisle of cable news and viewers will vote with their wallets. But someone tell O’Reilly to shut up and quit whining about it, especially since it’s clearly working for CNN.


14 posted on 03/20/2014 10:09:13 AM PDT by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
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To: bigbob

Fox News went from the “Missing White Girl Channel” to the “Missing Plane Channel”


15 posted on 03/20/2014 10:09:58 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: GraceG

The two stories that I am most sick of and could care less about is the airplane story and the Russian story. Most likely because they have over saturated the story and it has become a bore.


16 posted on 03/20/2014 10:11:32 AM PDT by napscoordinator ( Santorum-Bachmann 2016 for the future of the country!)
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To: jsanders2001

Now you MSM guys keep The People focused on the missing jet and away from impeachment? Got it? Good…

As if there will ever be an impeachment. Please. That is the last thing that will happen. They barely got Clinton and that is only because he lied in a deposition. They will NEVER impeach Obama. The Democrats desperately wanted to impeach and imprison President Bush, but Speaker Pelosi wisely chose not too.


17 posted on 03/20/2014 10:13:28 AM PDT by napscoordinator ( Santorum-Bachmann 2016 for the future of the country!)
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To: Kaslin

Someone on Twitter suggested that CNN hijacked the plane.


18 posted on 03/20/2014 10:16:28 AM PDT by windcliff
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To: Kaslin

Shepard Smith’s (The Drama Queen) reporting has been abysmal. He repeated multiple times that when the aircraft was taken to 45000 feet it would have killed all the passengers due to lack of oxygen. Apparently Shepard Smith does not realize that the aircraft is pressurized. The height of the aircraft would have nothing to do with lack of oxygen. The only reason that they could have been dead is if the captain intentionally depressurized the plane.

Shepard Smith and others on all the networks have gone with sensational claim after another without vetting the data with pilots that understand the physics of flight. They have done a great disservice to the public.


19 posted on 03/20/2014 10:17:07 AM PDT by cpdiii (Deckhand, Roughneck, Mud Man, Geologist, Pilot, Pharmacist. THE CONSTITUTION IS WORTH DYING FOR!)
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To: Kaslin

Cheap huckster’s trick: keep the audience focused on your right hand so it isn’t watching what your left hand is doing.


20 posted on 03/20/2014 10:22:59 AM PDT by NRA1995 (I'd rather be a living "gun culture" member than a dead anti-gun candy-ass.)
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To: Kaslin

“Watching some of this coverage is painful” after criticizing a rival network for doing five minutes on a possible electrical fire on board.”

Hey Bill, the easy answer is don’t watch it if it bothers you.


21 posted on 03/20/2014 10:27:17 AM PDT by Parley Baer
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To: Kaslin
I didn't see that segment, but it is impossible to miss the fact that CNN is now wall-to-wall in its Flight 370 coverage and I wondered why they were betting so heavily on that one story.
The answer is: Ratings.

I have watched CNN more in the last couple of weeks than in the previous 10 years.
Why? Hard news; not Obama-managed, not moron-liberal managed.
Kudos when kudos are due.

And regardless what Bloviator O'Reilly whines about, CNN's wall to wall coverage is a plus, since no person with a life can watch any hard news network 24/7.

If CNN is smart, they will learn the obvious lesson. Hard news beats questionable, uninformed and idiot opinion every time. Specially with a stable of progressive Obamabots, which until the airliner mystery came along were essentially the OMNN, Obama Managed News Network.

There is also a message there for FOX, if they are humble enough to see it. ALL their regular opinion programs are predictable and redundant, when a hard news world event breaks.

For the moment, my most watched Cable News Network is CNN. They probably still have the best world network and resources capable of instantly covering any event worldwide.
In spite of the embarrassingly inept ignorant of science, technology, geography, history and general knowledge talking heads.

22 posted on 03/20/2014 11:37:07 AM PDT by publius911 ( At least Nixon had the good g race to resign!)
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To: publius911

I would have dropped Oreilly. He is just current affair tabloid tv on cable.

no substance at all.


23 posted on 03/20/2014 11:38:49 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: NRA1995
Cheap huckster’s trick: keep the audience focused on your right hand so it isn’t watching what your left hand is doing.

Not a problem, if viewers are knowledgeable, engaged and interested, with a brain, and can also multi-task.

24 posted on 03/20/2014 11:39:56 AM PDT by publius911 ( At least Nixon had the good g race to resign!)
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To: cpdiii
Shepard Smith and others on all the networks have gone with sensational claim after another without vetting the data with pilots that understand the physics of flight. They have done a great disservice to the public.

Hard to believe these talking heads are so ignorant. It is painful. Most of the issues discussed I could understand thoroughly after graduating high school; specially math, science and technology.

25 posted on 03/20/2014 11:43:17 AM PDT by publius911 ( At least Nixon had the good g race to resign!)
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To: Terry L Smith

The 777 is not brand new.


26 posted on 03/20/2014 2:25:17 PM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: onyx

You forgot shark attacks. That was big along with Levy, and partly on the tail of it.


27 posted on 03/20/2014 2:27:51 PM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: the OlLine Rebel

theoilline reb le wrote:
“The 777 is not brand new.”

Having fully retired from the aerospace industry, and removing all my irons from any such fires, I remember that particular plane as the one most touted in airline commercials, and such. Therefore, it is new, to me.

When the aerospace business began to be dominated by union thugs, dullards, and Negroe politicians, it was time to find a new niche.


28 posted on 03/22/2014 5:50:58 AM PDT by Terry L Smith
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To: napscoordinator
Now you MSM guys keep The People focused on the missing jet and away from impeachment?

Well at the very least, the health care debacle.

CNN barely mentions it and ABC's Nightline went 17 1/2 weeks without touching on it. The last mention from Nightline on health care was Nov. 14, 2013.

29 posted on 03/22/2014 6:22:57 AM PDT by Focault's Pendulum (I live in NJ....' Nuff said!)
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