Skip to comments.CNN, MSNBC Falling Faster Than Fox
Posted on 04/30/2003 12:43:40 AM PDT by Timesink
NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - All three major cable news services have reason to boast based on their April ratings, although judging by last week's results, some networks are falling to their usual numbers faster than others as the Iraqi war winds down.
And the broadcast networks also had reason to smile as its evening news viewership turned up 7% last week compared to the previous week, according to Nielsen Media Research. The Big Three's lack of gains during the Iraqi war brought a new flood of speculation about the future of the nightly newscasts.
But while the broadcasters' numbers failed to jump as high as their cable rivals during the war, they are remaining relatively stable in the aftermath as viewers tuning in just for war news are starting to abandon CNN, and MSNBC, and to a lesser degree, Fox News Channel. An average of 27.28 million people watched one of the Big Three newscasts in the week ending April 25 compared to 25.5 million the previous week.
Fox and MSNBC posted record viewership, and CNN had its best showing since the 1991 Gulf War (news - web sites). Fox won the overall cable primetime ratings race averaging 3.53 million viewers, a 203% gain. CNN finished third behind TNT with 2.27 million viewers, a 126% gain, and MSNBC grew the most, by 214,000 to average 1.15 million viewers to finish eighth. The numbers are through April 27.
CNN attracted more total viewers, 105 million overall to 86 million for Fox and 72 million for MSNBC, but Fox's viewers watch for much longer periods at a stretch, which enabled it to top CNN by 1.26 million viewers.
Initial returns from the restructured 7-9 p.m. ET hours on CNN and MSNBC show MSNBC closing the gap among all viewers from a deficit of 1.15 million in March to 914,000 in April. At 7 p.m., CNN's 988,000-viewers lead in March dropped to 706,000 while its 1.3 million advantage at 8 p.m. fell to 1.02 million.
For the day, Fox beat Nickelodeon, averaging 2.3 million viewers, a 237% gain; CNN finished third with 1.57 million, a 184% jump. MSNBC finished eighth with 834,000 viewers, a 199% leap.
Cable's slippage as the war ended is no surprise, but CNN and MSNBC have fallen faster than Fox.
Last week, Fox finished 2nd in primetime behind TNT, while CNN slipped to 12th, and MSNBC to 27th. And the year-to-year gains were much more modest as well, although Fox still showed triple-digit growth.
For the week ending April 27, CNN grew by only 30% from the previous year to 1.05 million viewers in primetime, while MSNBC posted a 51% gain to 507,000 viewers. Fox finished with 2.34 million viewers, a 142% gain.
The trends were similar among the key adult 25-54 demo as Fox won the month averaging 1.48 million adults, a 266% gain. CNN jumped by 247% to 974,000, and MSNBC drew 578,000 adults for a 221% jump. But last week, while Fox still showed a 184% year-to-year gain in the demo, CNN grew by 40% and MSNBC by 39%.
In the 7-9 p.m. slot, where both CNN and MSNBC launched new programs in April, CNN was the only network to lose viewership from March, dropping by 9% from 7-9 p.m., where Paula Zahn began her new show on March 31.
From 8-9 p.m., Zahn's numbers fell 13% below CNN's March figures when the network aired "Connie Chung Tonight" and war coverage anchored by Aaron Brown. She fared better at 7 p.m., dipping only 3% after replacing "Crossfire."
For MSNBC the results were mixed. The network grew by 14% from March in the 7 p.m. hour with "Hardball," which replaced "Countdown Iraq (news - web sites)." But at 8 p.m. Keith Olbermann's new "Countdown" show lost 3% from March when Bill Press and Pat Buchanan (news - web sites) debated.
Fox grew by 14% from 7-9 p.m. in April compared to March with "The O'Reilly Factor" growing by 10% at 8 p.m. and a 7 p.m. Shepard Smith newscast climbing by 21%.
What? Dump the Queen of Fox News for some Joe Blow from another network? Never!
5 to 6 am = Assorted
6 to 9 am = F&F
9 to noon = Fox and some clicking
noon to 3 pm = Rush on Radio and Fox on TV (Unless they dump a presser)
3 to 6 pm = Fox base and clicking
6 to 7 pm = Brit
7 to 10 pm = Tina's Yankees (or DVD)
10 pm till 11:35 clicking between Fox and Pms, (CNN removed)
11:35 Jay Leno's Monologue
I agree. FNC Needs a talented woman in that time slot.
No one has come right out and said it, but CNN is tired of paying Pauler Zahn the big bucks with nothing to show for it in the ratings - and has moved her to evenings as a way to get rid of her. Her presence on the morning show didn't help the ratings at all, and she won't do well at night either. She'll be somewhere else - another network or news organization - by the end of summer.
CNN also apparently decided that Heidi Collins, the blue-eyed redhead, wasn't a perfect fit for the morning show, as she has disappeared from it after only a week. That leaves the show with playgirl-with-a-pierced-navel Daryn Kagan, Bill "The Hummer" Hemmer (who has a very interesting resume for such a young guy - and who also LOVES the military), and Jack Cafferty who's a crusty old liberal newsguy but a quite funny one.
CNN will, of course, continue to rearrange the deck chairs on their Titanic, and none of it will work - because they still can't figger out the obvious.
Joe Scarborough is the Barry Bonds of MSNBC....
Take him out of their lineup and I go to FOX during his slot -- and bring the infield in for singles hitter, Greta Van Susteren.
Flame suit on.
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