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Morning Show Ratings

‘Top of the Morning’ Review: ‘Like a Breakfast Made Not Quite to Order’

New York Times reporter Brian Stelter‘s new book is reviewed by his own New York Times. Former Dallas Morning News TV critic Ed Bark, known as Uncle Barky, writes, “Top of the Morning” “ends up being like a breakfast made not quite to order.”

The eggs over easy have one hard yolk, and the bacon’s a little limp. The toast is well-buttered but burned, and the coffee’s short on heat. Edible? Yes. Fulfilling? Not quite.

“Sometimes Mr. Stelter seems to throw out verbiage mainly for his own amusement,” Bark writes, adding, “He knows how to turn a phrase.”

“Top of the Morning” ends up being a fairly engaging book that might set some industry tongues wagging. Tasty tidbits are served, but nothing close to Mr. Carter’s big-buzz revelation in “The Late Shift” that Mr. Leno hid in a closet to eavesdrop on a conference call in which top NBC brass discussed replacing him with Mr. Letterman as the “Tonight Show” host. If Ms. Curry ever did anything like that, well, she’s not telling.

Media Beat: Brian Stelter on Being Matt Lauer’s Nemesis

Brian Stelter, who launched the blog you’re reading almost 10 years ago, is now a published author. “Top of the Morning,” out today, lays bare a tumultuous year which saw one anchor pack her bags, another face a serious health issue, a ratings leader fall — and lose a quarter of its audience — and an entirely new show launch. In his first interview for the book, Stelter tells us about the secrecy behind “Top of the Morning,” the access he got, and what he thinks about being called Matt Lauer‘s nemesis.

  • Part II, tomorrow: What happens when Brian Stelter Tweets something he shouldn’t?

What Kind of Inside Access Did Brian Stelter Get for ‘Top of the Morning?’

Brian Stelter‘s new book “Top of the Morning,” about the morning show wars, excerpted over the weekend in The New York Times Magazine and this morning in Playbook, is out tomorrow. To get an inside account, Stelter had to get inside the networks as the battles were waged in what would be a tumultuous year for all three networks.

So, what kind of access did he get to the shows, anchors and producers? In “A note about sourcing” at the end of the book, Stelter writes that his visits to the control rooms and studios, “shaped the book in big and small ways.”

“NBC, ABC, and CBS insisted that most of these visits be off the record, with the understanding that they’d decide which quotes could be placed on the record later,” he writes. “I agreed to the restriction, knowing it was the only way I’d receive any access to the otherwise sealed-off studios, control rooms and production offices of the shows.”

ABC scrubbed a few curse words from producers’ mouths but allowed virtually every other quote. NBC was more heavy-handed every one of [former "Today" EP] Jim Bell‘s quotes from my control room visits were kept “off the record.” So were descriptions of Bell’s body language and his demeanor, descriptions of other staffers reacting to Bell, and some quotes from Ann Curry. NBC approved most of the rest of the control room material. Once in a while, on particularly sensitive days when the PR apparatuses of NBC and ABC denied access to their studios, I simply peered into their street-level windows like a tourist.”

More from Stelter tomorrow in Part I of our MediaBeat interview.

Morning Show Ratings: Week of April 8

A year after breaking the “Today” show’s 852-week streak, ABC’s “Good Morning America” continues to win the mornings. It was this week last year that “GMA” got its first weekly since 1995, resulting in a tumultuous year for long-dominant “Today” (More on that later).

Compared to the same week last year “GMA” is up +6 in viewers while “Today” is down -6%. The big gainer for the week was “CBS This Morning” up a whopping +20% in viewers and up +5 in the younger demo.

In the demo “GMA” also saw growth: +4%, holding a +63,000 viewer gap on “Today” which was down -11% vs. the same week last year.

The averages for the week of April 8:

  • Total Viewers: ABC: 5.494M / NBC: 4.834M / CBS: 3.004M
  • A25-54 viewers: ABC: 2.045M / NBC: 1.982M / CBS: 1.039M

 

Morning Show Ratings: Week of April 1

A year ago ABC’s “Good Morning America” was rapidly gaining on NBC’s “Today” show which had held the crown of morning show leader for more than 16 years.

During this week last year “GMA” lost to “Today’ by 190,000 viewers. This year, “GMA” has a 702,000 viewer advantage on “Today,” even widening their lead from last week.

For the week of April 1, “GMA” wins in both total viewers and younger viewer and is up +8 in viewers and up +7 in the demo. The biggest gainer of the week is “CBS This Morning” which is up +13% in viewers and flat in the demo. “Today” is down -9% / -11%, respectively, vs. last year.

The averages for the week of April 1, 2013:

  • Total Viewers: ABC: 5.338M / NBC: 4.636M / CBS: 2.787M
  • A25-54 viewers: ABC: 1.952M / NBC: 1.889M / CBS: 1.011M

 

Morning Show Ratings: Week of March 25 and Q1 2013

For the first time in 19 years “Good Morning America” has won a Q1 in Total Viewers and for the first time in 20 years, “GMA” has taken the A25-54 demo in Q1. The ABC morning show won last week in both measurements as well, though “Today” got close in the demo.

#3 “CBS This Morning” showed the most year-over-year growth in the quarter: +13% in total viewers and +4% in the demo. This is the closest CBS has gotten to NBC in a first quarter in total viewers since 1995, and in A25-54 viewers since 1994.

“GMA” was also up: +9 / +1%, respectively for the quarter. “Today,” which lost its 16-year reign as the morning leader at the start of Q2 2012, was down double digits: -12% in total viewers / -17% in the demo.

For the week, “GMA” was the only show to grow in both measurements: +6% / +11%. “CBS This Morning,” was up in total viewers compared to the same week last year: +12%, but was down -2% in the demo. “Today” was down -9% / -16%, respectively, but got within 4,000 younger viewers of “GMA.”

The averages for the week of March 25:

  • Total Viewers: ABC: 5.159M / NBC: 4.511M / CBS: 2.711M
  • A25-54 viewers: ABC: 1.837M / NBC: 1.833M / CBS: 991K

The averages for Q1 2013:

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Morning Show Ratings: Week of March 18

The “Today” show can’t catch a break. The NBC morning show, which has seen an endless stream of stories about the show’s troubling year, was expecting to win last week in the younger demo — in fact Nielsen fast nationals put the younger viewer win at its biggest since December.

But with the Nielsen final ratings out this morning, it turns out ABC’s “Good Morning America” has won in both total viewers and the A25-54 demo. “GMA” was up +5% in total viewers compared to the same week last year, while “Today” was down -5%. Both shows were down in the demo, ABC by -2% and NBC by -12%. “Today’s” gap with “GMA,” by 18,000 demo viewers, was the closest since January.

But perhaps the biggest news about the morning news is “CBS This Morning.” Despite being a distant third, the show is up +17% in viewers and up +9% in the demo year-over-year.

The averages for the week of March 18, 2013:

  • Total Viewers: ABC: 5.078M / NBC: 4.723M / CBS: 2.776M
  • A25-54 viewers: ABC: 1.918M / NBC: 1.900M / CBS: 1.059M

Morning Show Ratings: Week of March 11

ABC’s “Good Morning America” continues as the #1 morning show, and showing growth compared to the same week last year. “GMA” is up +7% in total viewers, and down slightly in the demo.

“CBS This Morning” is also up vs. last year: +6% in total viewers, also down in the demo. NBC’s “Today” show is down double digits again in both measurements: -15% in total viewers and -18% in younger viewers.

“GMA” continues to lead “Today” by its largest margin in total viewers (+606,000) and in A25-54 viewers (+81,000) in 21 years.

The averages for the week of March 11, 2013:

  • Total Viewers: ABC: 5.043M / NBC: 4.234M / CBS: 2.591M
  • A25-54 viewers: ABC: 1.897M / NBC: 1.816M / CBS: 1.001M

Morning Show Ratings: Week of March 4

“Good Morning America” holds a healthy +885,000 total viewer lead and a +219,000 younger viewer lead on NBC’s “Today” show.

But it was “CBS This Morning” that showed the most growth of the three morning shows last week. Still a distant third, CBS is up +15% in total viewers and up +10% in younger viewers compared to the same week last year.

“GMA” was up as well: +14% in total viewers and up +7% in the younger demo. NBC’s “Today” continues to show year-over-year declines: -11% / -19% respectively.

The averages for the week of March 4, 2013:

  • Total Viewers: ABC: 5.847M / NBC: 4.962M / CBS: 2.963M
  • A25-54 viewers: ABC: 2.202M / NBC: 1.983M / CBS: 1.130M

Morning Show Ratings: Week of February 25 and February Sweeps

“Good Morning America” has won its first February Sweep in 20 years and had its biggest Sweeps win over NBC’s “Today” show in more than 21 years, since November 1991.

Now a solid #1 in the mornings and with an added boost brought by the Oscars and Robin Roberts‘ return, “GMA” was up +7% vs. the November 2012 Sweep.

#3 “CBS This Morning” also improved from the February 2012 Sweep: up +15% in Total Viewers and up +6% in younger viewers.

Compared to the same week last year “GMA” was up +4% in Total Viewers and up +9% in younger viewers. “CBS This Morning” was up +11% in total viewers and up +1% in younger viewers. And NBC’s “Today” show was down -13% and down -19%, respectively.

The averages for the week of February 25, 2013:

  • Total Viewers: ABC: 5.835M / NBC: 4.814M / CBS: 2.863M
  • A25-54 viewers: ABC: 2.241M / NBC: 2.010M / CBS: 1.079M

The averages for February, 2013 Sweep:

  • Total Viewers: ABC: 5.669M / NBC: 4.821M / CBS: 3.012M
  • A25-54 viewers: ABC: 2.130M / NBC: 2.033M / CBS: 1.146M

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