Skip to comments.Bum start for CNN's 'Zahn' and 'Cooper' (Ratings for 7 and 8pm time slots down almost FIFTY PERCENT)
Posted on 09/10/2003 9:02:27 PM PDT by Timesink
Bum start for CNN's Best hopes for stemming slide against Fox News By Kevin Downey
'Zahn' and 'Cooper'
Best hopes for stemming slide against Fox News
By Kevin Downey
CNN's hopes of reclaiming No. 1 from Fox News Channel were dealt a major setback this week with the disappointing premieres of Anderson Cooper 360 and Paula Zahn Now.
The audience for Cooper on Monday was down 47 percent in the 7 p.m. time slot occupied last year by Crossfire, to 319,000 people, while Zahn's audience of 508,000 people was down 45 percent in the 8 p.m. time slot briefly occupied by the canceled Connie Chung. All figures are based on preliminary Nielsen Media Research data.
CNN's new programs pulled in roughly one-third the viewers of competing shows on Fox News. Most notably, Zahn faced The O'Reilly Factor, which was watched by more than 1.4 million people despite having a guest host on Monday.
Of course, first-night ratings aren't enough to determine whether a show will be a hit or not. Moreover, CNN has yet to promote the shows to the extent it did Connie Chung.
But clearly the Cooper and Zahn debuts are discouraging.
I think they would rather have had it start out high, although there is a chance they can build it up, says Brad Adgate, senior vice president and corporate research director at Horizon Media.
They are trying to make [the network] personality driven, which is what Fox News has been able to do with people like Bill O'Reilly. It seems Fox News has been able to create appointment viewing, but it's a little harder to be the second person in on that.
The audiences for CNN's new shows, which are actually reworked formats for CNN hosts, follow the network's disastrous performance this summer.
CNN's primetime audience fell 15 percent from last summer, to 746,000 people, and was down 9 percent in August.
Those declines can be attributed in part to comparisons to this time last year, when the first anniversary of 9/11 was approaching and a war in Iraq seemed increasingly likely.
Fox News' audience, however, was up significantly from that time.
The network's audience in the summer was up 22 percent, to 1.3 million people, and was up 20 percent in August.
People might be getting sick of the news and returning to other things, says Deana Myers, an analyst with Kagan World Media.
Fox News has a little bit more sensational news, whereas CNN just tries to report it.
CNN's standing in the cable news race is not good for Teya Ryan, CNN's general manager, who is reportedly being nudged out of the network.
CNN would not comment on that rumor, but if Ryan were to leave she'd add to a list of top executives who have left the network. Walter Isaacson, for instance, resigned as chairman earlier this year.
The reason for the departures largely comes down to CNN's slump.
The network was down again last week. Its primetime audience dipped 4 percent from last year, to 791,000 people. That was less than two-thirds the size of Fox News' 1.25 million viewers, which was up 34 percent.
Among the adult 25-54 demographic that many news advertisers favor, CNN's decline has been more pronounced.
Its audience in the demographic fell 13 percent last week, to 212,000 people, and was down 15 percent in August and 17 percent in the summer.
In the same time period Fox News posted low- to mid-single digit increases. Last week its 25-54 audience of 340,000 people was 2 percent higher than it was in the same week last year.
Perhaps CNN can take some comfort in the fact that it's still doing better than MSNBC, the No.3-ranked cable news network.
MSNBC's audience in the 25-54 demo was down 53 percent last week, to 82,000 viewers. That is less than half the size of CNN's audience and less than one-fourth the size of Fox News' audience.
They are trying to do the same thing as CNN, but it's very hard for them, says Adgate. They put on some personalities, but they haven't clicked with viewers.
CNN and MSNBC could do much better by showing Andy Griffith reruns.
They throw in a moron's quote right after the data that directly refutes the quote. LOL! ... trying to make excuses for the implosion of CNN. btw, what is CNN anyway? are they still around? Havent watched them in years! :-)
Trying to emulate pMSNBC probably won't work for you either.
Crossfire failed because you confused Fox News Channel reality shows with Fox Entertainment reality shows....
It's still on, but it's been demoted to the 4:30pm Eastern time slot and cut from an hour to 30 minutes.
Please FReepmail me if you want on or off my FoxFan list. *Warning: This can be a high-volume ping list at times.
10+ years ago, our TV was constantly tuned into CNN. Of course, that was before the choice of FoxNews was available. Now, we don't even know the number and it is never on. As for Keith Olberman and his ilk on MSNBC (or Tina Brown on CNBC???!!!): NEVER! My wife tunes into Chris Matthews every once in a while just to know what the Demo talking points are...
Since none of them are doing news anymore, they should just put WKRP on...Les Nesmond would be an improvement.
There was nothing on TV last night, so I decided to watch some in depth news. Not one of the stations does news anymore. They all have role-playing emcees trying to score ratings with celebrity guests.
Didn't MSNBC show some signs of life during the main phase of the Iraq war when they actually covered the news while the others were off on their tangents? Why did they ever go the personality route? I really resent my cable bill supporting this Oprah-in-the-evening type talk show trash, on all of the stations, including Fox. And CNN Headline news is indeciphrable with all of the stuff they include at once.
Note to CNN Programming Buffoons: Liberal lies and distortions without a captive audience is not good for the bottom line.
Ohmigawd! Their numbers are approaching those of MSNBC!
Actually, I'm among Anderson Cooper's fans. But not of his CNN work, where he does his chameleon act to fit in. Anderson is the son of Gloria Vanderbilt, raised in the Hamptons of Lon Ghisland. He worked briefly for NBC News Overnight, did some free-lance, and then was hired by Stone-Stanley (a production company in LA) to be the host of the reality show "The Mole" and "The Mole II." The show was sold to and ran on ABC. The Moles were a real thinking-man's reality series and developed a mid-sized and loyal following, despite ABC's general disdain for reality TV.
After The Mole II, Stone-Stanley signed Anderson to a multi-series deal for more moles.
And then, along came CNN. CNN hired Anderson on a temp basis to do some fill-in, which included stints on the Morning show, which at the time had Pauler Zahn on it. They liked him enough to offer him a full-timer, but there was that contract with Stone-Stanley. CNN bought that contract off, paid Cooper what he would have made had more Moles been produced, and tried to figger out a place for him.
At first, they slugged him in to Aaron Brown's Newsnight show when Brown went on vacation. Viewer mail indicates that Cooper was far more popular - admitted to BY Brown - and so Brown was instrumental in getting Anderson his own show so he could never again fill in for Brown. Lots of politicking at CNN.
Anderson is quietly gay, but it's not a big issue for him, and is said by all who know him to be a genuine nice-guy honest dude.
That's right, just keep "reporting" the news; I hope the execs at cnn end up without jobs.
Actually, I'm among Anderson Cooper's fans. But not of his CNN work, where he does his chameleon act to fit in.