New CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker’s first full month in charge shows some promising signs for the cable channel, even as inflated ratings from 2012 meant that most of the network’s programs (and most of cable news in general) were down compared to February of 2012.
The ratings for February 2013 (Nielsen Live + Same Day data):
- Primetime (Mon-Sun): 659,000 Total Viewers / 193,000 A25-54
- Total Day (Mon-Sun): 424,000 Total Viewers / 130,000 A25-54
Compared to February 2012, CNN was down -19% in total viewers in primetime and -32% in the demo, it was also down -11% in total viewers and -20% in the demo in total day (Note: percentages are based on a blend of Nielsen Live + 7 and Live + 3 data). That said, because February 2012 was so anomalous with major Republican primaries, debates and the coverage of Whitney Houston‘s death, the numbers were almost certainly inflated last year. That said, CNN is extremely close to MSNBC for second place in a number of categories, including total viewers in total day.
The good news for CNN is that a number of program managed to grow their ratings dramatically, despite the (relatively) slow news month.
7PM’s “Erin Burnett Outfront” was up +15% in total viewers and +11% in the demo compared to last year, while 8 PM’s “AC360″ was up +42% and +27% in those categories, respectively. “Starting Point,” which will soon be canceled to make room for a new morning show, was up +27% and +21% in total and demo viewers, respectively. The 5 and 6 PM hours of “The Situation Room” were also up in both categories.
At 9 PM, “Piers Morgan Tonight” was down -3% in total viewers and -25% in the demo compared to last year, while the 10 PM re-air of “AC360″ was down -21% and -34% in those categories. Morgan can say, however, that his program saw the smallest drop-off of any of the cable channels at 9 PM.
CNN’s February ratings release is below.