Skip to comments.CNN's prime time ratings continue to decline
Posted on 09/23/2003 2:09:58 PM PDT by jmcclain19
Link via Drudge
CNN's prime-time ratings still down despite overhaul
By CAROLINE WILBERT The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
CNN still is putting the final touches on its new prime-time lineup, but the first two weeks' worth of ratings are down compared with last year.
The network said Monday it has hired contributors -- including former Defense Department spokeswoman Victoria Clarke and Time magazine columnist Joe Klein -- for the 8 p.m. show, "Paula Zahn Now."
Zahn's show drew an average of 598,000 viewers in its first two weeks since CNN relaunched it with the new name. That was down 25 percent from the time slot a year ago, when Connie Chung's program was airing.
The new 7 p.m. show, "Anderson Cooper 360," drew an average of 446,000 viewers in its first two weeks, down 32 percent from a year earlier.
While down from last year, ratings have improved since the shows launched and are up over last month, CNN spokeswoman Christa Robinson said.
The shows were designed to sharpen CNN's hard-news image. The network has repeatedly reworked both its schedule and management team in recent years after losing its cable ratings lead to Fox News.
Jim Walton, who took the reins of Atlanta-based CNN in January, canceled "Connie Chung Tonight," which did relatively well in the ratings but was criticized for its tabloid style. He moved the 7 p.m. debate show "Crossfire" to a half-hour slot in the afternoon.
Anchors Zahn and Cooper took over their time slots months ago, but their new shows officially launched Sept. 8, with on-air promos, a new set for Zahn and well-known guests. The network has been working all summer to put together an ensemble cast for Zahn's show.
In addition to Clarke and Klein, CNN is giving Zahn's show nearly exclusive access to other network contributors, including medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and legal correspondent Jeffrey Toobin. The idea is to provide viewers something different during prime time, instead of just rehashed versions of the news they've seen all day.
CNN last week overhauled its news management, naming local-news veteran Princell Hair to run the flagship network. The goal, CNN chief Jim Walton said last week, is to get viewers to watch CNN for longer periods of time -- key to improving ratings.
Walton said last week he doesn't expect to make any changes, however, in the prime-time schedule.
"I'm very pleased with it," he said.
The only value CNN is to me is entertainment value in seeing the faces of Woodruff, Blitzer and gang when news does not go their way.
What this article doesn't tell you is that the show "360" replaced, "Crossfire", itself had lost about FIFTY PERCENT of the 7 pm audience compared to whatever the hell they had on the air before they brought on Serpenthead and The Forehead and turned "Crossfire" into an hour-long liberal orgy. So these numbers are even more disastrous than you would think at first glance.
Why can't they just tell the truth, so as not to continually alienate the ever declining frustated viewership?
The rigid leftist party line in nauseous and is costing the stockholders many, many millions in lost revenue.
I am surprised to here that Torie Clark is going to do commentary for them. I always appreciated her at DoD and maybe she will inject a not of sanity.
If they'd stop the Bush-bash and anti-Americanism for just a few hours a day they might see a ratings increase.
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