TVSpy LostRemote AgencySpy PRNewser FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Middle of the Road and Back of the Pack for CNN in Prime

Politico’s Michael Calderone gets ahead of Monday’s May ratings release with an in-depth story on CNN’s prime time ratings woes.

Since Obama took office, CNN’s prime-time audience has dropped sharply, raising doubts about whether the network’s middle-of-the-road strategy can be effective against more opinionated programming on Fox News and MSNBC.

CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein takes a shot at the competition — in some cases, the much higher-rated competiton — with this statement, “It’s the oldest trick in the book to trot out over-the-top hosts and put them on a cable-news show.” It may be an old trick to Klein, but it’s a trick that viewers seem to like. And viewers = ratings = money. Calderone continues:

Klein, who last year trumpeted CNN’s quarterly win over Fox News in prime-time viewers in the 25-54 demographic preferred by advertisers, now maintains that the nightly block is just a fraction of the daily schedule, and that his network remains committed first and foremost to high-quality journalism.

As for the ratings picture for May – of the 24 weekdays of this ratings period (Friday’s ratings not yet counted) CNN has finished fourth in the prime time A25-54 demo 12 times.

About MSNBC, Calderone writes, “both Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow have watched their post-Inauguration numbers soften,” but adds, “MSNBC now has bragging rights” as the #2 cable news channel in prime time.

#1 Fox News beat MSNBC and CNN combined last month and that’s expected to happen again this month.

Mediabistro Course

Get $25 OFF Podcasting

PodcastingStarting July 31, learn how to develop and create your own podcast in just a a matter of weeks! In this course you'll learn how to determine the goals of your podcast, pinpoint your concept, contact and book guests, distribute and market your podcast and more. Get $25 OFF with code CLASS25. Register now!