Analysis: Zucker Has Work Cut Out for Him at Third-Place CNN
All cable news nets had strong November with coverage of presidential election
By Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 11/28/2012 4:56:59 PM
All indications are that Zucker will be assuming the post that Jim Walton will be leaving vacant, as the New York Times' Brian Stelter reported Tuesday night. Zucker is the former head of NBCUniversal and the current executive producer of Disney-ABC's new talk show starring Katie Couric.
Unlike his time at NBC, which was winning primetime when Zucker took it over in 2000, CNN is the lowest-rated cable news network. Fox News Channel is basic cable's second-highest rated network, coming in behind only ESPN with an average of 2.6 million viewers in primetime, beating even NBCU's top-rated entertainment cable network, USA. Compared to last November, when there was no election, Fox is up 47% among total viewers and up 56% among news' key demographic of adults 25-54 in primetime. Fox News also boasts cable's top-two news programs, The O'Reilly Factor and Hannity, among that key demo.
MSNBC, with cable news' third-highest rated program among adults 25-54, Rachel Maddow, is the 11th-ranked basic cable network, averaging 1.3 million viewers in primetime. MSNBC showed the most growth in November, jumping 76% in viewers and 108% among adults 25-54 in primetime.
CNN comes in third, and is the 17th-highest ranked basic cable network, averaging 1.05 million viewers in primetime. Anderson Cooper 360 is CNN's highest-rated program, but it's the 19th-ranked cable news program, with 12 Fox shows, including a repeat of O'Reilly, and six MSNBC shows coming in ahead of it. Still, CNN also showed strong growth in November, adding 64% in viewers and 116% among adults 25-54.
CNN had a few other things to brag about in November. According to CNN, the network improved 59% in viewers in total day, jumping to an average of 652,000 viewers compared to last year's 409,000 viewers. The network also improved 98% in total day in the key adult 25-54 demo. That's CNN's "best monthly performance in total day in over a year among both total viewers and in the key demo 25-54 and in Monday-Friday prime among adults 25-54."
CNN's election results also were positive, with the network coming in first on election night among total viewers, and adults 25-54. CNN also was TV's top news network on election night among adults 18-34, and was the top network in the key adult demo for the entire day.
In general, November was a good month for news.
Fox News Channel remained cable's most-watched news channel, which has been true since January 2002, and boasted seven out of the top-ten cable news shows, including two runs of The O'Reilly Factor, Hannity, The Five, Special Report with Bret Baier, On the Record with Greta van Susteren, and The Fox Report with Shepard Smith.
In addition, America Live with Megyn Kelly and The Five both hit their highest-rated months ever in total viewers and in adults 25-54, while America's Newsroom and Happening Now both attracted their biggest audiences ever. Fox & Friends, Studio B with Shepard Smith and Your World with Neil Cavuto all hit their highest total viewers since September 2005.
The story was much the same over at MSNBC, where Hardball with Chris Matthews, PoliticsNation, The Ed Show and Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell all hit all-time highs among viewers, and Morning Joe and Rachel Maddow turned in their best adult 25-54 numbers since the last presidential election in November 2008.
Me - 11/28/2012 10:31:34 PM EST
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