Archive for the ‘Media – Ratings’ Category

About the fake news flap …

December 22, 2016

 Maybe folks should consider the source.


Big frenzy these days about fake news.

Though Facebook CEO Zuckerberg says that less than 1% of news postings are fake, the company is setting up a special truth-checking squad.

I find that interesting in a couple of respects.

First, getting one’s news via Facebook.


I find that scary.

But, not surprising since The WaPo reports a  recent poll that “more than one in 10 young adults (ages 18-29) say they rely on “The Daily Show” or its now-departed spinoff, “The Colbert Report” for news about what’s going on in the world.”



Pew Research reports similar findings … right around 10%.



This raises as obvious questions …


The other election battle: CNN edges Fox (kinda) … MSNBC a distant 3rd.

November 9, 2012


According to Ad Age

CNN Narrowly Wins Cable News Ratings Race on Election Night

For the time period 7 p.m. until 2 a.m.

  • CNN  … 8.8 million viewers
  • Fox News  … close second with 8.7 million viewers.
  • MSNBC … distant 3rd with 4.6 million .

For prime time 8 p.m. through 11 p.m.

  • Fox won … averaged 11.5 million viewers …  its highest prime-time viewership in history.
  • Fox  …  only cable news network with an increase in viewership from the 2008 election ( 9 million viewers)
  • CNN …  9.3 million prime-time viewers, 25% fewer than in 2008
  • MSNBC …  4.7 million prime-time viewers, down 21% from 2008.

Peak viewership 11 p.m. hour

  • CNN …  10.8 million
  • Fox …10.1 million

Technical point: Fox was triple feeding some parts of the night to Fox Business and Fox Network

Interesting point: Obama cruised, but MSNBC only got about 20% of the CNN-FOX-MSNBC pool of voters.  I would have expected that to be way higher.

An indicator of voter enthusiasm … and network cred.

October 22, 2012

What people watch is – in my opinion – an indicator of their preferences … since folks tend to read & watch stuff that is consistent with their beliefs.

And, the numbers of people watching is a rough indicator of intensity – how many folks are on the wavelength.

So, let’s look at recent cable news ratings …

Fox primetime averages about 3.5 million viewers … MSNBC about 1.5  … and CNN under 750k.

Note that Stewart & Colbert get  categorized as news shows (which still makes me scratch my head) … outdraws MSNBC and creams CNN.

Fox drawing more than double MSNBC has got to be good news for Romney … Comedy Central’s draw must be good news for Obama.

My prediction: Candi Crowley’s debate performance – interjecting herself into the Benghazi challenge, interrupting Mitt 26 times, giving Obama 9% more air time – will hurt her credibility as a newsperson and certainly won’t help CNN’s constant claim of being an unbiased source of news. That network’s slide will continue.

Reprinted from Drudge

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Cable news ratings … some reasons to fret.

October 2, 2012

The below chart — jacked from Drudge – caught my for a couple of reasons:

  1. No surprise, the top 6 spots go to much maligned Fox
  2. Comedy Central – Stewart & Colbert – are categorized as “news” … say, what?
  3. Stewart & Colbert outdraw MSNBC’s big 3 – Maddow, Schultz, O’Donnell
  4. CNN is practically off the charts … down around free access viewer  levels

A couple of things trouble me …

Though I’m a Fox fan,  it’s sad to see CNN tank. I think they tend to have the best analyst panels and the most mature discussions. It’s too bad that they surrendered their neutrality.  Veering left of center has, in my opinion, cost them.

Drudge probably has the networks properly categorized.  The fact that a big swath of folks get their news from Comedy Central can’t be good.

All of the numbers – even O’Reilly – are miniscule as a percentage of total adult population.  That suggests that the vast majority people who get news – get it from the major networks via their local channels. Since, for example, the networks haven’t been covering the Libyan terrorist attack cover-up, that’s problematic.

Oh well ..


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MSNBC edging out CNN … FOX on top (of course)

December 15, 2011

Recent ratings reported by Drudge …

I hadn’t realized how far CNN had fallen in the ratings … now being edged by MSNBC and getting whomped by the news spoofs on Comedy Central.

FOX rocks on.  But, for perspective, only about 2% of the U.S. adult population watches O’Reilly ….


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Finally, revenge against the cable guy …

November 18, 2010

Punch line: The number of people subscribing to US cable television services has suffered its biggest decline in 30 years as younger, tech-savvy viewers lead an exodus to web-based operations, such as Hulu and Netflix.

From the Financial Times …

The total number of subscribers to TV services provided by cable operators fell by 741,000 in Q3-2010.

The data suggest that “cord-cutting” – one of the pay-television industry’s biggest fears – is becoming a reality as viewers drift to web-based platforms.

The growth of Hulu and Netflix, the DVD subscription company which began testing a $7.99 per month streaming-only service last month, has become problematic for cable operators.

Hulu’s revenues are increasing sharply: the company is projected to generate more than $240m in 2010, up from $108m in 2009.

Devices such as Apple’s iPad also appear to be accelerating the move away from traditional multichannel television. More than a third of iPad users say they are likely to cancel their pay-TV subscriptions in the next six months.

The cable industry has launched a vigorous defense against cord-cutting: companies such as Comcast are backing “TV Everywhere”, which gives subscribers access to channels and programming online, and via their cable box.

Viewers pull plug on US cable television, November 17 2010

CBS goes retro … and I’m a happy man.

May 25, 2010

My 3 favorite TV shows of all time are 24, Mannix, and Hawaii Five-0.

So, my pulse elevated when I read that next year’s program line-up at CBS includes  a reinvention of Hawaii Five-O,”the tropical police series that was a top-ten CBS program in the early 1970s”.”

Below is a pic of the cast.  Guy on the left must be Danny (originally played by James MacArthur), guy in the middle must be Chin-Ho Kelly (originally played by Kam Fong) and the guy on the right must be Kono (originally played by a dude named Zulu).

Left to right: Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim, Alex O’Loughlin and Grace Park in the new ‘Hawaii-Five-O’ series.

But, the cast picture begs two questions:

(1) Where’s McGarrett ?

(2) What’s with the girl ?

All I can say is “Book him, Danno !”

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WSJ: Playing It Safe: New CBS Lineup Includes Crime Dramas, Remake, May 19, 2010

A sad day in HomaLand: Fox cancels 24 … adios, Jack.

March 29, 2010

I’ve pedaled for countless hours on my elliptical distracted from sweat & pain by the adventures of hero, Jack Bauer. 

It’s like losing a close friend.

And now, with no new 24 DVDs forthcoming, my family is confronted with a formidable challenge: “What’ll we get Ken for Christmas ?”

Tick, tick, tick … and done.

After eight seasons, Fox’s “24” is coming to an end.

The groundbreaking action drama will air its final real-time episode in May, the victim of a confluence of circumstances: a swelling budget, declining ratings and creative fatigue.

Trust me: Fox is the most trusted name in news … here’s the data

January 28, 2010

Punch line: A poll finds that 49 percent of Americans trust Fox News, 10 percentage points more than any other network.

Note: the polling organization PPP is the one that hit Scott Brown’s election margin on the button.

* * * * *

From Politico: Poll says Fox most trusted name in news, 1/27/10

Fox is the most trusted television news network in the country, according to a new poll out Tuesday.

A Public Policy Polling nationwide survey of 1,151 registered voters found that 49 percent of Americans trusted Fox News, 10 percentage points more than any other network.

Thirty-seven percent said they didn’t trust Fox, also the lowest level of distrust that any of the networks recorded.

CNN was the second-most-trusted network, getting the trust of 39 percent of those polled. Forty-one percent said they didn’t trust CNN.

Each of the three major networks was trusted by 35 percent or less of those surveyed, with NBC ranking highest at 35 percent. Forty-four percent said they did not trust NBC, which was combined with its sister cable station MSNBC.

Thirty-two percent of respondents said they trusted CBS, while 31 percent trusted ABC. Both CBS and ABC were not trusted by 46 percent of those polled.

Full article:

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In a separate WSJ/NBC survey, almost 1 in 4 of all registered voters get most of their political information from Fox

That compares to 37% for the big 3 networks combined, and 18% for CNN.  Only 8% rely on MSNBC (whew !)

I guess the 12% “none of these” track to Jon Stewart & Steven Colbert.  (Yipes.)


FOX soars … Air America crashes.

January 22, 2010

Punch line: Everything has been coming up roses for Fox since the White House declared war on the network last year.

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RCP: Media Wars: FNC Keeps Rising, Air America Crashes, January 21, 2010

On Tuesday, liberal Air America radio declared bankruptcy and will cease live broadcasts immediately.

On the same day Neilsen reported competition-dwarfing numbers for Fox News’s coverage of the special election in Massachusetts on Tuesday night. 

According to Neilsen, Fox News drew an 6.2 million total viewers during primetime Tuesday night, compared to only 1.5 million for CNN and 1.1 million for MSNBC.

Clearly, those numbers are driven in part by the fact that Fox’s right-leaning audience was intensely interested in the outcome of this race. But it also had to do with the fact that Fox simply provided more, and better, coverage of the event. Fox was the only network to cover Coakley and Brown’s speeches in their entirety.

And as  Miami Herald TV critic Glenn Garvin noted “MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, positively enraged that Massachusetts dared to elect a Republican, delivered two hours of nonstop bilious rage toward the state’s voters, calling them “irrational” and “teabaggers,” engaged in “a total divorce from reality, and hinting that they’re vicious racists to boot.”  Good thing nobody was listening.

Full article:

Somebody has to finish last … and it’s CNN.

December 9, 2009

Question: If FOX is so bad, why are so many people watching ?  Here are the nums …

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Excerpted from RCP: CNN is Missing Dobbs, December 2nd, 2009

Could things get any worse for CNN? Apparently, the answer is ‘yes.’

The pioneering and once dominant leader in cable news has been hemorrhaging viewers for some time and earlier this year suffered the indignity of slipping to last place among cable news networks, behind even its sister network Headline News.

Now come the November Nielsen ratings showing that the surprise departure of Lou Dobbs has cost the network even more viewers.

After Dobbs announced his resignation on air on Wednesday November 11, CNN suffered a 25% decline among all viewers in Dobbs’ 7pm time slot, and a 26% decline among adults 25-54.

Meanwhile – surprise, surprise – CNN’s competition in the 7pm slot at FOX News, The FOX Report with Shephard Smith, scored its highest rated month of the year in November with more than 2.1 million total viewers.

CNN’s fall after Dobbs’ departure also allowed MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews to eke its way into second place 7 pm slot in November with 672,000 total viewers.

And, CNN’s golden boy Anderson Cooper is fading in the ratings.  His numbers have slipped significantly through the past year. His 10 p.m. show, “Anderson Cooper 360,” has declined 62% in total viewers from November 2008. Last month, in Cooper’s time slot, Fox News’ “On the Record” attracted an average viewership of 1.9 million while “360” averaged 672,000; repeats of MSNBC’s “Countdown” and HLN’s Nancy Grace show averaged 655,000 and 458,000, respectively.

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Excerpted from NYT: CNN Drops to Last Place Among Cable News Networks, October 26, 2009

CNN  hit a new competitive low with its prime-time programs in October, finishing fourth – and last – among the cable news networks with the audience that all the networks rely on for their advertising.

CNN’s programs were behind not only Fox News and MSNBC, but even its own sister network HLN (formerly Headline News.) Three of its four shows between 7 and 11 p.m. finished fourth and last among the cable news networks. That was the first time CNN had finished that poorly with its prime-time shows.

Individually, the CNN shows were beaten resoundingly by all the Fox News programs.

CNN averaged 202,000 viewers between the ages of 25 and 54 – the group that television news organizations use as their basis of success because of their advertising sales. That was far behind the dominant leader, Fox News, which averaged 689,000.

The only CNN show from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. that did not finish last was Larry King, which was third, ahead of the new Joy Behar show on HLN. Mr. King averaged 224,000 and Ms. Behar 181,000. But Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News had a huge lead with 659,000 viewers in that age group. Second was Rachel Maddow on MSNBC with 242,000.

Bill O’Reilly on Fox News continued his long dominance with the biggest numbers of any host, 881,000 viewers. Mr. Olbermann, with his first-run program, was second with 295,000. Close behind was the first edition of Ms. Grace’s show with 269,000. Campbell Brown on CNN trailed with only 162,000.

CNN released a statement Monday saying, “CNN’s ratings are always going to be more dependent on the news environment, much more so than opinion-based programming especially in prime time.”