The premiere of CNN’s new Chicagoland didn’t get totally whacked last night but it certainly didn’t make a ratings killing either – in fact it came a distant third in terms of total viewership compared to its cable news time slot …
CNN chief Jeff Zucker, who has vowed to shake up the network’s primetime this year, will experiment with several formats at 10 PM for five weeks. Don Lemon debuts on Monday — this time as anchor of The Don Lemon Show, leading into another new program called Making The Case at 10:30 PM. It’s Lemon’s second recent audition, having hosted the 11 PM program 11th Hour during Erin Burnett’s maternity leave last year. Lemon inserted himself into the Michael Dunn trial in a small way, when he announced he was “pissed” at the “ridiculous” jury’s inability to reach a decision in re whether Dunn was guilty of “murdering a teenager because his music was too damn loud.” Fox News’ Gregg Jarrett took the bait, saying in a series of tweets that “the sum total of what Lemon knows about the law and this case… could be written on the head of a pin” with plenty of room left over, to which Lemon responded, “Wow, someone is suffering from a bad case of the Michael Dunns. Guess my TV’s too loud…Mind your business old man.” (Jarrett is about 11 years older than Lemon.)
On Tuesdays, CNN will telecast one-hour special reports at 10 PM and on Wednesdays will present Death Row Stories. CNN’s docu-series Chicagoland airs Thursdays in the hour, and on Fridays is CNN Spotlight followed by Unguarded With Rachel Nichols. AC360 repeats are back at 11 PM Monday through Thursday, with Friday home to Death Row Stories in the hour. The five-week schedule was first reported on TVNewser.
For the first time since former New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter took over as anchor of CNN’s Sunday all-things-media program Reliable Sources, the show edged out Fox News Channel’s like-minded show MediaBuzz in the news demo. Reliable Sources‘ 193,000 demo viewers put it 21,000 viewers ahead of MediaBuzz at 11 AM; in overall audience, MediaBuzz (881,000 viewers), helmed by former Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz, enjoyed a big advantage over RS (384,000) as has his show every week.
In a biting segment on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, Jon Stewart demonstrates how Don King could be the answer to CNN’s ratings problems. Seems King was a guest on CNN and, when time came to switch gears and begin a report on men getting facial-hair transplants, King refused to go quietly into the night. He continued to talk over the report, winding up his commentary with the chant, “CNN today! CNN today!”
“I never said this before, but I was unable to change the channel from CNN,” Stewart confessed. “These news people are doing their best to do an incredibly stupid segment on beard transplants, but now, because of Don King, he’s making it real, and interesting! Give me more of the King!”
“CNN you have found your voice and it’s Don King’s voice talking over all your other voices,” Stewart advised, and illustrated. Watch here:
February Cable News Numbers: CNN Tumbles As Fox News Channel Logs 146th Consecutive Win; MSNBC Hangs On
February cable ratings are in – Piers Morgan may be out at CNN, but what about the rest of the network’s primetime, which looked none too good for the month, all losing around half their audience compared to same month last year? CNN‘s Anderson Cooper at 8 PM dropped 47% February to February in overall audience to average 421,000 viewers, and 46% in the news demo to 127,000 viewers for the month, according to Nielsen. In his defense, Cooper’s lead-in, Erin Burnett Outfront, dropped 39% to post an average of 293,000 viewers in February – CNN’s smallest monthly haul in the timeslot in more than two decades — and slipped 32% in the news demo to 100,000 viewers. Morgan’s getting scrubbed from 9 PM at CNN because, for instance, he logged 347,000 viewers for the month — down 46% – and 100,000 demo viewers — down 38%.
Meanwhile, Fox News Channel has now reached 146 consecutive months at No. 1 in total viewers, in both total day and primetime, among cable news networks, and is for February the only cable network up in both total viewers and the demo compared to last February. In all of cable, Fox News ranked third in primetime (8-11 PM) – behind USA Network and History – and fifth for total day. Meanwhile, neither CNN or MSNBC were able to crack the top 20 in either daypart. CNN ranked 39th in prime and 34th in today day; MSNBC 26th in prime and 27th in total day. Every hour of the day, Fox News dominated CNN and MSNBC combined in total viewers. It also beat both networks in the news demo.
Rebranded HLN Says First Slate Of Shows To Debunk Myth That Social Media Is About Videos Of Cats On Skateboards
HLN this morning unveiled its first program development slate since newly rebranding itself earlier this month as “the first TV home for the social media generation (millennials and the millennial-minded).” “HLN is driving a development slate with a key goal in mind: debunk the myth that the world of social media is only about videos of cats riding skateboards,” said Albie Hecht, who is EVP and general manager of HLN, a CNN Worldwide network reaching more than 100 million households. Set aside debate as to whether that myth got debunked awhile ago, and take a look at the list of shows HLN is developing, with which Hecht promises to de-myth-tify social media:
Does CNN have different playbooks for the hosts of its news programs? A funny thing happened as the network continues to cover the murder trial of Michael Dunn, who is invoking the “stand your ground” defense in the shooting of an unarmed teenager. The defendant took the witness stand today with cameras rolling in the courtroom. Before Erin Burnett OutFront aired the testimony, the host told viewers, “We wanna warn you that some of the language you are about to hear in this testimony that we have put together could be offensive.” Then the network went to a clip of Dunn recounting what happened just before the shooting: “I hear, ‘I should kill that motherf*cker.’” After an edit, he said, ‘Then I hear, ‘I should f*ckin’ kill that motherf*cker.” All of those curse words were bleeped. But 30 minutes later, during Anderson Cooper 360˚, there was no advance warning about coarse language. And the “motherf*cker” aired unedited. Followed later by a “sh*t.” After rolling that tape — the second and third F-bombs that aired on OutFront were not including in the 360 package — Cooper simply moved on to a panel debate about which side had a better day in the courtroom. He later apologized via Twitter:
CNN has added Michael Smerconish to its Saturday morning line-up. Smerconish will host a new weekly program that will air live on Saturday mornings from New York, it was announced today by CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker. Smerconish will also provide analysis and opinion on CNN programming throughout the week. He joins the network this month. From today’s announcement:
CNN this morning named Michelle Kosinski its White House Correspondent, and Dana Bash and Pamela Brown have been given new roles as the 2014 and 2016 campaigns approach. Kosinski will join senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta as CNN’s on-air team at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. As previously announced, Brianna Keilar has been named senior political correspondent and Suzanne Malveaux returns to the nation’s capital as national correspondent.
CNN continues to resuscitate franchises in hopes of bringing back viewers. This time it’s Inside Politics, returning this Sunday at 8:30 AM ET, this time anchored by the cable news network’s chief national correspondent John King. Inside Politics was cancelled in 2005 after more than 20 years, at the same time Judy Woodruff left the network. Inside Politics becomes the second show CNN cancelled in 2005 that it now has brought back, joining Crossfire, which relaunched last September. In keeping with Inside Politics‘ original format, the exhumed half-hour show will feature an ever-changing panel of political reporters.
UPDATE: Congressman Apologizes For Threatening To Throw TV Reporter Off Balcony After State Of The Union (Video)
UPDATE, 9:40 AM: New York Rep. Michael Grimm told a gaggle of reporters outside his office this morning he expects his mother to remind him he was not raised to threaten to throw reporters off of balconies. and that he’s scheduled a lunch with the NY1 reporter to whom he made the offer, Meanwhile, NY1 reporter Michael Scotto tweeted he’s accepted Grimm’s apology.
PREVIOUS, 7:53 AM: Time Warner Cable landed one of the biggest scoops of the State of the Union address last night, when a congressman offered to throw one of its reporters off the balcony in the hall, and/or break him in two, during a post-address interview (see video below). It’s believed to be a State of the Union Address first and understandably is the subject of some talk on the morning news show circuit today. “He did seem angry, he seemed angrier than I have ever seen a politician talk to a reporter about a question that he or she didn’t like,” NY1 reporter Michael Scotto reminisced this morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
“He” is New York Rep. Michael Grimm, whose campaign finance issues have been of interest to some news outlets of late — the FBI arrested his fundraiser Diana Durand earlier this month, according to published reports. Scotto told various TV news outlets this morning that Grimm has been dodging the media but, after President Obama’s speech last night, he agreed to give Scotto an interview — at the end of which Scotto tried to ask him about allegations about his campaign finances. Grimm can be seen telling Scotto he won’t discuss anything but the POTUS speech and the stalking off. Scotto may have pitched it a little too strong to his viewers when he wrapped up with: “Congressman Michael Grimm does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances, we wanted to get him on camera on that, but he, as you saw, refused to talk about that. Back to you.”
UPDATE: ‘Duck Dynasty’s’ Willie Robertson Creates Quandary For TV Reporters Covering President Obama’s State Of Union Address
UPDATE, 7:41 PM: Depending on who you ask, the most sought-after photo op during tonight’s State of the Union address wasn’t with that guy from the Oval Office. It was Duck Dynasty‘s Willie Robertson (and sometime his wife and co-star Korie) that led many lawmakers to bust out their smartphones to post a pic or grab some social media bragging rights. Here are just a couple of examples:
— Lindsey Graham (@GrahamBlog) January 28, 2014
— Alan Nunnelee (@RepAlanNunnelee) January 29, 2014
PREVIOUS, 6:55 PM: The arrival of Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson at the House chamber where President Barack Obama is delivering his fifth State of the Union Address tonight caused something of a quandary for those journalists trying to cover the event.
Over at CNN, Jake Tapper was positioned where the Washington glitterati enter the hall, in order to stand and applaud – or to not stand and applaud – at various points during Obama’s speech. After noting some of the Supreme Court justices had just walked by him, and that, in the past, there’d been talk as to whether they should even attend the pep rally, Tapper threw to Dana Bash, up in the gallery. She told Tapper that what she was about to describe was “more surreal and bizarre” than even Supreme Court justices because “what I’m looking at now, Willie Robertson is one –”
“I’m sorry to interrupt a discussion of Duck Dynasty,” Tapper broke in, convincing no one. He’d cut her off because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and VPOTUS Joe Biden were walking by him at that very moment and needed to be seen by viewers nationwide. “But, Dana, sorry, you were talking about one of the stars of Duck Dynasty,” Tapper concluded, like he meant it to sting.
CNN’s David McKenzie was stopped by Chinese police today while trying to approach a Beijing courthouse to report on a trial of a government activist. Later, when McKenzine was interviewed about the incident on AC 360, the show’s feed was cut in China. Here’s the video and Anderson Cooper’s interview: