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HLN

February 2014 Ratings: HLN Falls Back to Fourth In Demo

As it begins to reinvent itself as the TV home for social media, HLN remained in fourth place among the news networks in total viewers in both daytime and primetime. The network also relinquished its claim to third place in total day A25-54 demo viewers, losing to sister network CNN by just 3,000 viewers.

The ratings for January 2014 (Nielsen Live + Same Day data):

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 314,000 Total Viewers / 113,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 237,000 Total Viewers / 93,000 A25-54

Compared to the same month last year, when HLN was gearing up for the Jodi Arias trial, the network is down -16% in total viewers and -12% in the A25-54 demo in total day. In primetime, HLN is down -19% in both total viewers and down -19% in the A25-54 demographic.

HLN’s highest-rated show was “Nancy Grace,” which averaged 410,000 total viewers and 135,000 A25-54 viewers for the month. “Dr. Drew on Call” and “Forensic Files” round out the top three: “On Call” averaged 303,000 viewers and 114,000 demo viewers, and Files had 297,000 and 113,000, respectively.

Rebranded HLN Plans Trivia, Cartoon Shows

hlnlogo1With HLN’s rebrand as the “new TV home for the social media generation” underway, general manager Albie Hecht has announced plans for several new shows set to debut this year.

Among the shows, which all have working titles: “Keywords,” an Internet trivia game; “I Can Haz NewsToons,” a collection of social media’s best satirical cartoons; and “One.Click.Away,” stories behind online classifieds. HLN is also developing an app, “#WhatsYourFomo,” which was conceived by HLN staffers at its all-staff meeting in Atlanta last year.

“HLN is driving a development slate with a key goal in mind: debunk the myth that the world of social media is only about videos of cats riding skateboards,” Hecht said in a statement. “News that is shared can inspire a wide spectrum of programming and HLN’s ripped from the social media headlines approach will mirror what consumers are really doing digitally.”

Like Fusion, the recently-launched cable network from ABC News and Univision, HLN is targeting millennials. More in HLN’s release, after the jump. Read more

HLN President Aims to Break ‘Wall of Authority’ Between Host and Social Media User

Albie 304In a wide-ranging interview with our sister-site Lost Remote, HLN president Albie Hecht talks about breaking down the walls of authority between hosts and viewers through the new HLN.

“We’re not the news network…you are,” Hecht said. “It’s really important that this wall of authority be broken down, and the social media star is very much on our air and part of our conversation everyday,” adding that HLN will be leveraging the resources of CNN to target a social media audience.

In a cable news business that yearns for the ad-friendly 25-54 younger viewer demo, Hecht spoke about simply being there for young viewers who have previously been underserved by TV news.

“If there’s nothing there for them, they’re not going to go there,” he said.

For longtime HLN viewers, the revamped social storytelling model won’t alter one of the network’s norms: crime coverage.

“Justice is a huge topic in social media,” Hecht said, suggesting that how social media users feel about big trials like the ongoing Michael Dunn trial is part of the story. “We want to expand the conversation to how America feels.”

“RightThisMinute” will be the first new show rolled out, premiering tonight at 10pmET.  It will report on the most viral web videos and the back stories behind them before they go viral.

HLN Intends to Become ‘Home for Social Media Generation’

hln logo_304x200HLN’s rebrand as the “new TV home for the social media generation” has begun, network President Albie Hecht announced today.

As our sister-site Lost Remote reports, the network’s social conversion will roll out throughout the year and will feature an all-in social storytelling strategy, curating news from across social platforms while highlighting the most trending and viral stories and the social users behind them.

“While others report on the conversation, HLN will be a part of it,” said @AlbieHechtHLN. “Just as MTV was adopted by a disconnected target audience that was underserved by television, HLN will be the first TV home to embrace the social media generation and champion its interests.”

“RightThisMinute” will be the first new show rolled out, premiering tonight at 10pmET. It will report on the most viral web videos and the back stories behind them before they go viral.

“Morning Express with Robin Meade,” “News Now,” Jane Velez-Mitchell, Nancy Grace, and “Dr. Drew On Call” will also be getting a social makeover.

The full press release after the jump. Read more

HLN Cancels ‘Showbiz Tonight’, Keeps A.J. Hammer

hammer.aj.bio.approvedFirst on TVNewser: HLN has cancelled “Showbiz Tonight,” laying off the entire staff of about a dozen people. Host A.J. Hammer will stay on covering entertainment news.

The final broadcast will be this Thursday. As with other program changes that result in layoffs, the staffers are being encouraged to apply for other jobs at the network.

This is the first major programming cancellation at HLN ahead of major changes network president Albie Hecht has hinted at.

“I want to thank the entire Showbiz Tonight crew for their many years of tireless dedication and work,” writes Hecht in a note to staff, obtained by TVNewser.

“Showbiz Tonight” leaves HLN’s airwaves just short of 9 years on the network. The show debuted Feb. 21 2005.

January 2014 Ratings: HLN Grows in the Demo

It was a mixed bag this month for HLN. While the network remained fourth in total viewers, there are signs of life among younger viewers: HLN came in third among the cable news networks in the A25-54 demographic in total day, edging out CNN by just 3,000 viewers. Additionally, the network has grown its audience in the demo in both total day and primetime compared to January 2013.

The ratings for January 2014 (Nielsen Live + Same Day data):

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 307,000 Total Viewers / 123,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 226,000 Total Viewers / 101,000 A25-54

Compared to the same month last year, HLN is up +1% in total viewers and +11% in the A25-54 demo in total day. In primetime, HLN is down -2% in total viewers and up +6% in the A25-54 demographic.

HLN’s highest-rated show was “Forensic Files,” which averaged 414,000 total viewers and 173,000 A25-54 viewers for the month. “Weekend Mysteries” and  “Nancy Grace” round out the top three: “Mysteries” averaged 293,000 viewers and 128,000 demo viewers, and Grace’s program had 342,000 and 117,000, respectively.

Double Cable News Bill on SNL: Piers Morgan and Nancy Grace

Two cable news shows got parodied on the first Saturday Night Live of 2014 last night. In the cold open, Piers Morgan interviews Chris Christie, Justin Bieber and Alex Rodriguez, played by host and musical guest Drake.

Later in the show, Nancy Grace welcomes the owner of Baked (pretty brilliant name, actually) a marijuana bakery, to discuss pot legalization in Colorado.

2013 Ratings: HLN Only Cable News Network to Grow From Last Year

Although HLN finished 2013 last among the cable news networks, the channel — fueled by the trials of Jodi Arias and George Zimmerman — was the only network to grow its audience compared to the previous year.

The ratings for 2013 (Nielsen Live + Same Day data):

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 395,000 Total Viewers / 139,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 296,000 Total Viewers / 112,000 A25-54

In total day, HLN was up +22% in total viewers and +18% in A25-54 viewers compared to 2012. In primetime, the network is up +18% and +24%, respectively.

HLN’s highest-rated program for the year was “Nancy Grace.” Grace’s program averaged 493,000 total viewers and 168,000 A25-54 viewers, up +18% and +25%, respectively, compared to 2012. Jane Velez-Mitchell‘s program was also up significantly — +49% in total viewers and +56% in the demo — compared to last year.

HLN’s Ryan Smith Joins ABC News as Correspondent, Legal Analyst

ryan smith hlnHLN anchor Ryan Smith is joining ABC News as a New York-based correspondent and legal analyst. In his new role, which begins early next year, Smith will also provide legal analysis on ESPN’s programs and platforms.

“Ryan’s ability to cover a wide range of topics from the courtroom to the classroom has forged strong connections with viewers. I’m delighted he’ll now bring his many talents to ABC News and ESPN,” ABC News president Ben Sherwood wrote in a note to ABC staffers this morning.

Smith was most recently the anchor of HLN’s “Evening Express,” which was canceled last month. During his time at HLN, he also worked on “Morning Express” and as a host for InSession on truTV. He is a graduate of Columbia law school who previously worked as an entertainment and sports lawyer.

Smith will appear on all ABC News platforms beginning January 2. Read Sherwood’s full note after the jump. Read more

After Just Three Weeks, HLN Tweaks Upwave Programming

upwave hlnTurner Broadcasting is already making changes to HLN’s Upwave programming block, which debuted less than a month ago. Going forward, two shows — “The Tim Ferriss Experiment” and “The Dose” — will be dropped from HLN’s schedule.

In January, “The Tim Ferriss Experiment” will return on truTV, while “The Dose” will return as an original series on upwave.com. On December 8, those two shows averaged just 22,000 total viewers and 5,000 A25-54 viewers, HLN’s lowest ratings in 22 years.

“Cook Your Ass Off” will continue to air at 7pmET Sunday night, with an encore presentation at 8pmET to replace “The Tim Ferriss Experiment” and “The Dose.”

“The programming changes are a strategic decision to reposition the TV shows and to better position upwave as multi-platform brand in 2014,” a Turner Broadcasting spokesperson tells TVNewser.

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