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Archives: August 2013

The Scoreboard: Monday, August 26

25-54 demographic (Live +SD)

  • Total day: FNC: 254 | MSNBC: 126 | CNN: 120 | HLN: 102
  • Primetime: FNC: 340 | MSNBC: 219 | CNN: 160 | HLN: 92

4p: 5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p: 12a:
FNC
Cavuto:

208

TheFive:

302

Baier:

321

Shep:

346

O’Reilly:

388

Hannity:

320

Greta:

311

O’Reilly:

317

Hannity:

196

MSNBC
Bashir:

113

EdShow:

117

Sharpton:

117

Matthews:

149

Hayes:

213

Maddow:

281

O’Donnell:

164

Hayes:

91

Maddow:

118

CNN
Tapper:

75

Blitzer:

84

Blitzer:

115

Burnett:

135

Cooper:

125

Morgan:

136

Cooper:

220

Burnett:

166

Morgan:

88

HLN
America:

63

Express:

46

Express:

52

Jane:

75

Grace:

83

DrDrew:

123

AfterDark:

69

Showbiz:

120

DrDrew:

103

Read more

August 2013 Ratings: Fox News, Far Out Front, Posts Lowest Demo Ratings Since 2001

Fox News remained on top of the cable news leaderboard in August, marking 140 months at #1 in total viewers and drawing more viewers than MSNBC, CNN and HLN combined in both total day and primetime. But the network declined across the board year-over-year and posted its lowest ratings in the A25-54 demographic since August 2001 in both total day and primetime.

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

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 1,543,000 total viewers / 251,000 A25-54
  • Total Day Mon-Sun): 968,000 total viewers / 192,000 A25-54

Compared to August 2012, Fox News was down -10% in total viewers and -24% in the A25-54 demographic in total day. In primetime, the network was down -15% and -24%, respectively. The network was down in both total viewers and the A25-54 demographic in every hour of programming from 9am-11pmET, except for “The Five,” which was flat in total viewers and down -25% in the demo.

In its last full month before Elisabeth Hasselbeck takes over as co-host, “Fox & Friends” was down -3% in total viewers and -23% in the demo. In primetime, which the network also plans to shake up this fall, “The O’Reilly Factor,” “Hannity” and “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren” were down for the month compared to August 2012: Bill O’Reilly‘s program was down -9% in total viewers and -25% in the demo, while Sean Hannity‘s show was down -21% in total viewers and -26% in the demo. “On the Record” was down -20% in both ratings measurements.

Despite the year-over-year losses, Fox News notched the top 13 programs in total viewers and the top 11 programs in the demo in all of cable news this month.

August 2013 Ratings: MSNBC Down Double Digits

MSNBC continued its rough 2013 in the ratings, continuing to lose significant audience from 2012. The problems were particularly prevalent in primetime, with some shows losing close to -50% of viewers.

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

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 520,000 Total Viewers / 173,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 348,000 Total Viewers / 119,000 A25-54

Compared to August 2012, MSNBC was down -28% in total viewers and -32% in the A25-54 demographic in total day and -36% and -32%, respectively, in primetime. MSNBC was the only cable channel to see viewership growth last August, thanks in part to live coverage from the Olympics.

“Morning Joe” was down -9% in total viewers and -17% in the A25-54 demographic compared to the same month last year, which actually was a better result than many of the programs that came later in the day.

In primetime, “The Rachel Maddow Show” posted all-time low ratings in total and demo viewers, down -43% and -47%, respectively. “The Last Word” posted a low in total viewers, losing -40% of its total viewer audience and -42% of its demo audience. at 8 PM, “All in” was down -48% and -42% in total and demo viewers, respectively, placing behind CNN for the hour.

In dayside, MSNBC was down double digits in pretty much every hour in total and demo viewers, including 6 PM’s “PoliticsNation,” which was down -31% and -37% in total and demo viewers, and 3 PM’s “The Cycle,” which was down -15% and -18% in total and demo viewers. One of the few programs to improve year to year was “The Ed Show” on Saturday and Sunday, which was up both days in total viewers, and in the demo on Saturday. This may help explain why the channel replaced the 5 PM edition of “Hardball” with the former weekend program.

It should also be noted that with the slow news month, the weekend crime programming like “Lockup” rated very well for MSNBC, helping to boost its primetime and total day averages.

August 2013 Ratings: CNN Up Compared To 2012

The good news for CNN in August was that it was the only cable news channel to improve on its August 2012 ratings in both total day and primetime, and it did so during a relatively slow news month. The less good news was that it slipped back to third place behind MSNBC, which hasn’t happened since April.

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

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 451,000 Total Viewers / 134,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 346,000 Total Viewers / 108,000 A25-54

Compared to August 2012, CNN is up +9% in A25-54 and up +6% in total viewers in primetime, and up +13% in A25-54 and up +6% in total viewers in total day. Last August every cable news channel was down except for MSNBC, which benefited in part from Olympics coverage.

“New Day,” in its second full month on CNN, had ratings that mirrored the channel as a whole: it was up double digits compared to August 2012 in both total viewers and A25-54 (+36% and +18%, respectively), but it slipped to fourth in the demo behind HLN’s “Morning Express,” although it retained third place in total viewers.

In primetime, the biggest gains came at 8 PM, where “AC360″ was up +16% in total viewers and up +15% in the demo compared to last year, topping “All In” on MSNBC in both categories. At 7 PM, “Erin Burnett Outfront” was flat in total viewers but up +14% in the demo, tying her program with “Hardball.” The 10 PM “AC360″ was also up single digits in both categories, while “Piers Morgan Tonight” ¬†was up+1% in total viewers and down -4% in the demo.

Pretty much every dayside hour was up for CNN in both total and demo viewers, with the exception being the 4-7 PM fringe programs. “The Lead” was down -12% in total viewers and down -1% in the demo, while the 5 PM “Situation Room” was down -11% and -4% in total and demo viewers. The 6 PM hour was down -11% in total viewers, and flat in the demo. Fringe will be getting a bit of a shakeup in September, when “Crossfire” debuts at 6:30 PM.

More from CNN below.
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August 2013 Ratings: Without Major Trial Coverage, HLN Fourth in Total Day, Primetime

With no major trial coverage this month, HLN was back in fourth place among the cable news networks in both total day and primetime. Compared to August 2012, HLN is up +2% in total viewers and down -9% in the A25-54 demographic in total day and down -1% and up +1%, respectively, in primetime.

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

  • Primetime (Mon-Sun): 308,000 Total Viewers / 112,000 A25-54
  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 243,000 Total Viewers / 91,000 A25-54

Despite losses for “Morning Express” — down -12% in total viewers and -22% in the A25-54 demographic year-over-year — HLN’s afternoon and early evening programming was strong, with every hour between 12pm and 6pmET up in both total viewers and the demo.

It was more of a mixed bag for HLN in primetime, however. At 8pmET, “Nancy Grace” was flat, down -1% in total viewers and up +1% in the A25-54 demographic. The 9pmET hour, home to “Dr. Drew,” was up +18% in total viewers and +6% in the demo, and “After Dark” at 10pmET was down -1% and up +5%, respectively.

Fighting Words: ‘Brian Lewis No Longer Has Any Confidentiality Obligation to Roger Ailes’

Brian Lewis is not going down without a fight. Lewis, whose firing as Fox News Channel’s top communications executive last month (which came to light last week) has hired pit bull attorney Judd Burstein. Gawker obtained this statement from Burstein:

I have just been retained and am still plotting our course of action. But two things are very clear to me. First, Brian Lewis no longer has any confidentiality obligation to Newscorp or Roger Ailes because of the false and malicious statements made by Fox to date. Second, Roger Ailes and Newscorp have a lot more to fear from Brian Lewis telling the truth about them than Brian Lewis has to fear from Roger Ailes and his toadies telling lies about Brian Lewis.

Just last week, Lewis seemed to take the high road about his dismissal, telling TVNewser: “I will say it has been an honor and privilege to work for Roger Ailes the past 20 years and I wish nothing but the best for him and the great people at Fox News.”

Burstein’s past clients include Donny Deutsch, Donald Trump and boxers Oscar de La Hoya and Lennox Lewis. Clearly, he’s looking for a fight.

The Scoreboard: Sunday, August 25

25-54 demographic (Live +SD)

  • Total day: FNC: 153 | MSNBC: 161 | CNN: 94 | HLN: 96
  • Primetime: FNC: 142 | MSNBC: 254 | CNN: 117 | HLN: 131

4p: 5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p: 12a:
FNC
NewsHQ:

140

NewsHQ:

87

FNSunday:

144

Report:

154

Huckabee:

131

FoxFiles:

125

Stossel:

169

Huckabee:

171

FoxFiles:

117

MSNBC
Finney:

55

EdShow:

56

Caught:

130

Caught:

154

Caught:

255

Caught:

227

Lockup:

281

Lockup:

296

Lockup:

344

CNN
Nwsroom:

74

Nwsroom:

84

Nwsroom:

91

Bourdain:

122

Lemon:

98

Crimes:

135

Spurlock:

117

Lemon:

54

Crimes:

94

HLN
Mystery:

124

Mystery:

89

Mystery:

68

Mystery:

52

Mystery:

97

Mystery:

118

Mystery:

178

Mystery:

182

Mystery:

173

Read more

The Scoreboard: Saturday, August 24

25-54 demographic (Live +SD)

  • Total day: FNC: 135 | MSNBC: 165 | CNN: 113 | HLN: 93
  • Primetime: FNC: 90 | MSNBC: 198 | CNN: 90 | HLN: 85

4p: 5p: 6p: 7p: 8p: 9p: 10p: 11p: 12a:
FNC
Cavuto:

62

Dream:

104

NewsHQ:

162

Report:

140

Huckabee:

97

Pirro:

76

Geraldo:

98

RedEye:

112

Pirro:

109

MSNBC
Disrupt:

104

EdShow:

100

Caught:

112

Caught:

157

Caught:

118

Lockup:

218

Lockup:

257

Lockup:

366

Lockup:

345

CNN
Newsroom:

134

Newsroom:

84

Cooper:

84

Bourdain:

115

Lemon:

93

Crimes:

75

Crimes:

102

Lemon:

100

Crimes:

136

HLN
Mystery:

134

Mystery:

121

Mystery:

92

Mystery:

102

Mystery:

95

Mystery:

55

Mystery:

105

Grace:

125

Mystery:

95

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Al Jazeera America Launch Ratings

Al Jazeera America launched last week, and we have the ratings from Nielsen for its first few days.

Not surprisingly given the low-rated channel it replaced (Current TV), and the fact that it lost a few million homes from AT&T before launch (it is currently in just over 40 million homes), AJAM’s launch ratings were pretty low by traditional cable news standards.

The highest rated show on AJAM last week was the Thursday evening edition of “Real Money with Ali Velshi,” which drew 54,000 total viewers.

The 2 PM Saturday edition of “News Live” averaged 48,000 viewers, while “Inside Story” Thursday at 12:30 PM averaged 41,000 viewers. “News Live” Thursday from 12-12:30 averaged 40,000. The debut edition of “The Stream” on Tuesday averaged 38,000 viewers, below Nielsen’s accuracy threshold, while the debut of “America Tonight” averaged 34,000 viewers.

The launch hour, which was Tuesday afternoon at 3 PM, and featured a preview of what was to come on the channel, averaged 22,000 viewers, below Nielsen’s minimum accuracy threshold. In other words, Nielsen says it cannot accurately count how many people watched it, and the number it gives is essentially a rough guess. This is also called “scratching.”

We do not have the adults 25-54 numbers, but given the total viewer numbers, one can surmise that they scratched.

We will be keeping our eyes on AJAM, which will be rated on a 24-hour basis starting this week. Last week’s ratings were still classified as being on Current TV.

Chris Hayes: Ratings Are a ‘Cargo Cult,’ Resulting in ‘Rain Dances’

The New Yorker takes a deep dive into the world of cable news, with a specific focus on MSNBC (subscription is required). A good deal of the article’s content will not be surprising to regular readers, but there are some surprising anecdotes.

For starters, Chris Hayes opens up about his ratings struggles at 8 PM, and how the format of his program has been tweaked ever so slightly. He now wears a tie, and isn’t afraid to call out competing cable news hosts by name.

“Obviously, the numbers are bad right now,” he said. But television ratings are notoriously noisy, distorted by imperfect monitoring and by the imperfect science of statistical extrapolation, so he was on guard against drawing lessons from a strong Thursday, or a weak Monday.

“Looking at day-to-day ratings tickles the worst instincts human beings have on casual inference,” he said, sounding as if he were a rat, describing his own lab. “It creates cargo cult. It creates rain dances. it’s like Oh my God, the number’s good today. What did we do yesterday? Well, we danced, and it rained. So let’s dance!”

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