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October 2010 Ratings: AC360 Lone High Note for CNN

The midterm elections didn’t do help CNN much in October, with nearly all of the network’s programming down compared to October ’09. The only program to see a gain was “AC360″ at 10 and 11 PM. Likewise, new program “Parker Spitzer” failed to improve upon the time period from a year ago, when Campbell Brown was in the anchor seat.

  • Total Day (Mon-Sun): 410K total/122k A25-54
  • Prime (Mon-Sun): 562k total/165k A25-54

Anderson Cooper’s “AC360″ was the highlight for CNN, with the program improving in both Total Viewers and A25-54 demo viewers for both hours. “AC360″ was up +5% in Total Viewers and up +9% in the demo at 10 PM, and up +26% in Total Viewers and +15% in the demo at 11 PM.

Beyond Cooper, the ratings aren’t so solid.


The network’s newest show, “Parker Spitzer,” was down -22% in Total Viewers and down -10% in the demo compared to last year, but those numbers are inflated as it includes the rescue of the final Chilean miner October 13. When that one night is excluded, the program is down -34% and -25% respectively.

“American Morning” had the worst performance of any of the cable morning shows, down -28% in Total Viewers and down -26% in the demo, while 9 PM’s “Larry King Live” was down -22% and -26% in the categories, respectively.

The afternoon and early evening programs were still down, though not as dramatically as the early primetime shows.

“The Situation Room” was down -16% in Total Viewers and -12% in demo viewers at 5 PM, and down -10% and -3% in those categories at 6 PM.

John King USA” was down -28% and -19% respectively, not a strong showing for a program dedicated to politics in the month before a midterm election.

—-From CNN’s Press Release—-

100 MILLION PEOPLE VIEWED CNN IN OCTOBER
REACHING APPROXIMATELY 15 MILLION MORE THAN FNC AND MSNBC

CNN’S ANDERSON COOPER GROWS 9% COMPARED TO A YEAR AGO, WHILE FNC DECLINES AT 10 PM AMONG 25-54; CNN, FNC AND MSNBC EXPERIENCE SIMILAR DECLINES AT 8:00 PM IN OCTOBER

CNN reached more than 100.1 million viewers in October, while FNC had 85.5 million, HLN had 85.2 million and MSNBC trailed with 83.7 million viewers. This represents CNN’s best cumulative advantage over FNC since July 2009 and the network’s best showing over MSNBC since April 2010.

For the month of October, CNN’s AC 360 at 10pm grew +9% compared to a year ago (October 2009), while FNC’s On the Record is down -6% and MSNBC’S Last Word/Friday docs are up +11% among adults 25-54.

During the month, CNN, FNC, and MSNBC saw similar declines at 8:00 pm vs. a year ago with FNC’s O’Reilly Factor dropping -11%, CNN’s Parker Spitzer off -10% and MSNBC’s Countdown down -8% in the key demo adults 25-54.

In October, CNN topped MSNBC during the daytime (9am-5pm) in both total viewers and the key demo 25-54 and in total day (6am-6am) among total viewers. In head-to-head comparisons with MSNBC’s daytime non-opinion programming – CNN had a 18% advantage among total viewers (492k vs. 280k) and a 63% lead among adults 25-54 (132k vs. 81k). MSNBC placed fourth every hour during the daytime in the demo 25-54, except at 3pm and 4pm where they placed third behind CNN Newsroom. While all cable news networks were down during the daytime versus year-ago, declines were more pronounced on FNC and MSNBC, with FNC down -10%, MSNBC dropping -12%, and CNN off the least at -6%. In total day among total viewers, CNN had 410k vs. MSNBC’s 409k.

At 5pm, CNN’s Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer topped MSNBC’s Hardball in both total viewers (603k vs. 578k) and in the key demo (150k vs. 142k) during the month.

CNN’s Black In America: Almighty Debt, reported by CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien, had a cumulative reach of 13.8 million total viewers and 5.8 million in the key demo adults 25-54 during the month of October.

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