CNN’s Anthony Bourdain & Morgan Spurlock Win Time Slots In News Demo

Morgan Spurlockletterman celebs 2 240308TV in general pretty much underperformed Sunday night, but the season premieres of Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown and Morgan Spurlock Inside Man both surged over their … Read More »

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‘SNL’: The CNN Breaking News Pregnancy Test

By | Sunday April 13, 2014 @ 3:28am PDT

Tired of CNN’s relentless breaking news alerts? Well, what if the news network got in the pregnancy test business? Instead of receiving numerous updates about the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, a woman can now rely on CNN as it routinely informs her that it’s still determining her … Read More »

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CNN Gives Former Fox Star John Walsh New Home To Continue Hunting Most Wanted, Replaces Piers Morgan With Anthony Bourdain And Morgan Spurlock, Delves Into ‘Jesus Code’

By | Thursday April 10, 2014 @ 8:31am PDT

cnnlogo4__140310195953Two weeks after Piers Morgan signed off CNN with another blast at the NRA, network chief Jeff Zucker announced he would fill Morgan’s timeslot with Anthony Bourdain and Morgan Spurlock, among others, and that he has given former Fox star John Walsh a CNN platform from which to hunt down most-wanted. CNN also unveiled plans to tap into the current fervor for religious programming with The Jesus Code — a forensic and archaeological journey through the Bible. At its upfront presentation to advertisers today in New York, CNN also detailed plans to bring back Dirty Jobs’ Mike Rowe to series TV in Somebody’s Gotta Do It, and Lisa Ling (Our America With Lisa Ling) will also join CNN with an original series.
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Jon Stewart Explains Media Angst Over Hollywood’s Take On Religion: Video

By | Wednesday April 9, 2014 @ 3:34pm PDT

Jon Stewart has deconstructed the media’s consternation over Hollywood’s depiction of religion in Noah and Son Of God — particularly Fox News Channel and CNN. Fortunately for Paramount, which distributes Noah, and 20th Century Fox, which distributes Son Of God (a repurposing of History’s hit 10-hour miniseries … Read More »

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Fox News Pre-Empts ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ For Fort Hood Shooting Coverage; CNN Breaks From Malaysian Airlines Marathon

By | Wednesday April 2, 2014 @ 7:18pm PDT

JFK Assassination 50th AnniversaryFox News Channel tonight took the unusual step of pre-empting The O’Reilly Factor to continue covering the shooting at Fort Hood. It marked the first time since the network unveiled the Fox News Deck in October that Shep Smith and Fox Newshis Deck took over the entire 8 PM hour for the breaking  news in the network’s heavily watched 8 PM ET time slot. In the early days of CNN’s coverage of missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, CNN’s Anderson Cooper had beat Bill O’Reilly in the news demo more than once.  When the ratings tonight are issued by Nielsen it will determine whether this programming move thwarted another timeslot win in the news demo by CNN, which tends to score bigger than usual ratings when major, catastrophic news breaks.

Related: Malaysia Airlines News Coverage Mania Splits Media Watchers

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CNN Hits Near Low In Q1 Ratings, Fox News On Top Again For 49th Time, MSNBC Down

By | Tuesday April 1, 2014 @ 11:04am PDT

cnnlogo4__140310195953They may have had a March ratings surge with their constant coverage of the missing Malaysian Airliner but it wasn’t enough to save CNN from one of their worst quarterly primetime results ever. Between December 30, 2013 and March 28, … Read More »

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Maria Bartiromo Debut Boosts ‘MediaBuzz’ on Fox News Channel

By | Tuesday April 1, 2014 @ 8:16am PDT

The 10 AM ET debut of Fox News Channel‘smariab1__140324174504 Sunday Morning Futures With Maria Bartiromo (1.078 million viewers, 312,000 in the news demo) took the top spot in cable news, beating CNN‘s Fareed Zakaria GPS (643,000, 169,000) and … Read More »

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CNN Chief Jeff Zucker Touts March Digital Stats

By | Monday March 31, 2014 @ 8:06am PDT

In anticipation of March cable news Nielsen numbers, which will show CNN much improved March-cnnlogo4to-March but finishing second to Fox News Channel in key TV-viewing metrics, CNN Worldwide chief Jeff Zucker sent a memo to staff announcing the news operation’s best month ever for page views, video streams, and mobile web traffic: Read More »

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UPDATE: CNN’s Piers Morgan Signs Off With Final Blast At U.S. Gun Laws (Video)

By | Saturday March 29, 2014 @ 12:20pm PDT

Piers Morgan TonightUPDATE, SATURDAY 12:20 PM: Watch the departing Piers Morgan deliver his CNN farewell and gun control speech below.

PREVIOUS, FRIDAY 7:20 PM: Piers Morgan wrapped his three-year CNN run tonight with (gasp!) a full hour of discussion about the missing plane. But in his four-minute final remarks, he couldn’t resist taking a parting shot at the NRA. “I assumed that after 70 people were shot in a movie theater, and then, just a few months later, 20 first-graders were murdered with an assault rifle in an elementary school, the absurd gun laws in this country would change,” he said. “But nothing has happened. The gun lobby in America, led by the NRA, has bullied this nation’s cnnlogo__140117174347-275x131politicians into cowardly, supine silence. Even when 20 young children are blown away in their classrooms. This is a shameful situation that has made me very angry.” He continued to rail and wrapped it with this: “But I’ve made my point. … Now it’s down to you. It’s your country; these are your gun laws. And the senseless slaughter will only end when enough Americans stand together and cry: Enough!” As the camera began to pan out, the British expat delivered his final words on the ratings-challenged Piers Morgan Live: “Goodnight, thank you, and God bless America. Oh, and while I’m at it, God bless Great Britain too.” Here’s the full transcript of Morgan’s “cheerio” to American television:

Related: CNN’s Piers Morgan Says Ta-Ta To ‘Piers Morgan Live’

This is the final episode of Piers Morgan Live. After 3yrs, 2months, 11 days and over 1000 shows, I am departing to spend more time with my cricket bat. I would like to thank my amazing team, led with great skill and tireless enthusiasm by my friend and Executive Producer, Jonathan Wald. And John Ferriter, my irrepressible manager, who landed me this fascinating, unpredictable, challenging but hugely enjoyable job. We won some, we lost some, but we gave it everything we had, and I have loved every minute. Well, almost every minute!

I’d also like to thank you all for watching. Even those who implacably disagreed with me, or just found my funny accent annoying. Regular viewers will know that the issue of gun control has been a consistent and often very controversial part of this show.
And I want to say something more about that before I bow out.

Related: CNN’s ‘Piers Morgan Live’ Ratings Sink To Second Lowest Ever

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CNN’s Piers Morgan Says Ta-Ta To ‘Piers Morgan Live’

By | Friday March 28, 2014 @ 12:03pm PDT

Piers Morgan today is tweeting his way to his final telecast of Piers Morgan Live tonight:

Related: CNN’s Piers Morgan Signs Off With Final Blast At U.S. Gun Laws

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CNN Doesn’t Mind Media Storm So Long As Viewers Shower It With Ratings

By | Wednesday March 26, 2014 @ 3:18pm PDT

cnnlogo4LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198Weekly Column: Just when it looked as though the Missing Malaysian Airliner story was running out of gas, officials announced this morning that French satellites have grabbed images of more than 100 “potential objects” from Flight 370 in the southern Indian Ocean about 1,500 miles off the coast from Perth, Australia, giving CNN fresh material with which to hang on to the story for dear life. The maybe-debris, which was scattered over 154 square miles — roughly the size of Denver –  ranges in length from 3 to 72 feet which, some CNN pundits noted,  is about the length of a wing on the Boeing 777 that disappeared March 8 as it was heading from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 on board. Reporters Who Cover Television, and Columnists Who Want In On The Web Traffic, who in the preceding three weeks had exhausted their repertoire of derisive comments about CNN’s flood-the-zone coverage of the missing plane, spent the day looking haggard and care-worn, like a Borgia who’d just realized he’d run out of cyanide with another banquet about to be served.

Here, in a two-week ratings nutshell, is why Reporters Who Cover Television and Columnists Who Want In On The Web Traffic can harrumph all they want about CNN’s coverage of the missing airplane, but CNN is not going to let go of this story:

newcnnplanechart

 

CNN-bashing is a favorite sport among journalists — the festivities generally break out whenever the network dives on one of those disaster-with-international-angle stories that are in CNN’s wheelhouse. Read More »

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Fox News Back On Top For Work Week As Malaysian Flight 370 Mystery Sputters

Fox News Channel solidified its return to the top spot Friday in total day and primetime as viewers wearied of the lack of new developments in the malaysiaairjet1Malaysian airliner mystery. Fox News logged 1.08 million overall viewers in total day, 230,000 in the news demo, besting CNN (593,000 and 188,000) and MSNBC (339,000 and 110,000). In primetime, Fox News Channel Fox News clocked 1.77 million viewers, 280,000 in the news demo, beating CNN’s 710,000 and 199,000, respectively, as that network’s numbers continued to settle down owing to lack of any tangible evidence as to what had happened to the missing plane and its 239 passengers. The only exception on Friday was CNN’s 10 PM special report on the missing plane, which outperformed Thursday’s Chicagoland. Fox News also beat MSNBC’s 507,000 and 110,000, respectively.

Related: Ronan Farrow Tweet Breaks Cease-Fire Among TV News Rivals

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UPDATE: Ronan Farrow Tweet Touting Malaysian Airliner Grief Breaks Cease-Fire Among TV News Rivals

UPDATE, 1:40 PM: We spoke too soon. TV news types blasted MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow after he tweeted/touted this morning that he had exclusive footage of the girlfriend of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 passenger Philip Wood when she received news from Malaysia Airlines that it believed the plane went down in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Australia and that there were no survivors.

Ronan Farrow Tweet

Farrow tweeted by way of promoting his MSNBC program that is telecast at 1 PM. His tweet was deleted when outrage ensued, and sniffed at his earlier self in a subsequent tweet: Read More »

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FNC Hangs On To Ratings Lead But CNN’s Bill Weir Tops His Timeslot, While NBC’s Chuck Todd Joins CNN Critics As Missing Plane Coverage Continues

As the Mystery of Missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 mystery dragged on, Fox News Channel continued its hold on primetime BillWeirThursday in the news demo (391,000) with CNN a competitive No. 2 (321,000) followed, not closely, by MSNBC (166,000) and HLN (128,000). Piers Morgan Live, hosted by possible Morgan replacement Bill Weir (373,000), was the only CNN program to best FNC — Megyn Kelly (353,000) in the demo. But CNN took a tumble at 10 PM when the network switched from missing-plane coverage to docu-series Chicagoland (172,000). FNC’s Hannity clobbered it (331,000). Earlier in the evening, CNN’s Erin Burnett (347,000) came within 9,000 demo viewers of FNC’s Greta Van Susteren (356,000), after which FNC’s Bill O’Reilly (486,000) widened the lead, over CNN’s Anderson Cooper (420,000). Read More »

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Fox News Reclaims 7-11 PM As Missing Malaysian Airliner Story Starts To Stall

By | Thursday March 20, 2014 @ 2:25pm PDT

megyn4As missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 rubberneckers begin to fall away, owing to lack of substantial new developments, Fox News Channel recovered the top spot yesterday in total day and from 7-11 PM, aka extended primetime, in both overall audience and the news demo. It’s the first time in days that FNC has dominated extended primetime in both metrics, as CNN enjoyed big ratings boost with the missing-plane story. That said, CNN remains far more competitive than calendar year to date – at 7 PM, for instance, Erin Burnett OutFront came in less than 20,000 demo viewers behind FNC’s On The Record With Greta Van Susteren (248,000 and 267,000, respectively). And, Piers Morgan Live, hosted by Bill Weir, clocked 379,000 demo viewers, which is a respectable retention of Anderson Cooper’s 383,000. That’s good news for Weir, who is one of the candidates to replace Morgan in the time slot.

Related: Malaysia Airlines News Coverage Mania Splits Media Watchers

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Malaysian Airliner Search Overnight Drama Keeps TV News Operations Humming: Video

By | Thursday March 20, 2014 @ 7:34am PDT

malaysiaairjet1Around 11:30 PM ET last night word that new satellite images had pinpointed two large objects in the ocean a couple thousand miles off the coast of Australia electrified TV news teams covering missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. Fox New Channel‘s Shepard Smith jumped back on the air at midnight to report on the new development, but anchored from the newsroom studio because it takes a big team to fire up The Deck. CNN  broke into its AC360 repeat at 11:26 PM with CNNI anchor John Vause, with Don Lemon and Richard Quest jumping in at 11:55 PM and Anderson Cooper added at 12:07 AM. MSNBC‘s Betty Nguyen anchored for that network, handing off to Chris Jansing around 2 AM.

ABC‘s lucky David Wright was flying on a U.S. Navy surveillance plane in the Indian Ocean when it was directed to the sightings, and told Nightline “We’ll be the first on the site.” But when ABC’s Good Morning America clocked in this morning, Wright, now back in Perth, reported the surveillance plane had turned up only a freighter and some dolphins. Watch Wright’s GMA report here:


ABC US News | ABC Business News

Watch Shep’s midnight report here: Read More »

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Malaysia Airlines News Coverage Mania Splits Media Watchers

By | Wednesday March 19, 2014 @ 3:29pm PDT

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198Weekly Column: People who work in the media are deeply divided into two factions right now: those who think TV news operations have lost their minds with their coverage of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, and those believe there’s no such thing as too much when it comes to this Practically Perfect TV News Story that has held viewers spellbound for nearly two weeks and potentially launched a few new TV careers, despite a pesky lack of actual information. And while few things in this world are more painful malaysiaairthan the realization that an estrangement has occurred between colleagues who for years have jogged along through life sharing the same views on the relative importance of TV news, the uselessness of overnight ratings, the urgency of attracting millennials (or at least viewers under 50) and how great House Of Cards is, the divide has been interesting to watch play out.

Related: Malaysia Airlines Search Continues To Drive Viewers To CNN

In the interest of accuracy, viewers actually have learned a lot watching coverage of the missing plane story. They now have useful information about the relative ease of boarding an international flight in Malaysia with a stolen passport, which may inform future vacation-making plans. Better still, they’ve learned where Malaysia is on a map, its proximity to Australia, and the depth of the Indian Ocean. They know how much they could get on the open market for a used Boeing 777. Security experts have told them they’re not alone in suspecting that a steward armed with an aisle-blocking beverage cart is not a terribly effective way to thwart a would-be plane hijacker during a pilot potty break. They now know what a “C block” is in the TV news biz thanks to Fox News star Megyn Kelly, who joked to NYT reporter Michael Schmidt, “Way to hold it right until the C block, Michael!” the other night when he was her guest — but waited to give her his scoop (that its first path-diverting turn was done by a computer system programmed in the cockpit) until later in her program so it would first break on his paper’s website.

Viewers love this story because it’s jammed with mystery, and pathos, and taps into their fear of flying — like Lost. So many had suggested it resembled the setup of the ABC serialized hit that a plan to screen the pilot during last weekend’s 10-year reunion panel at PaleyFest was scrubbed, out of consideration for the families of the missing passengers and crew. Last Sunday, CNN’s Don Lemon wondered, “Especially today, on a day when we deal with the supernatural — we go to church, the supernatural power of God…people are saying to me, ‘Why aren’t you talking about the possibility — and I’m just putting it out there — that something odd happened to this plane, something beyond our understanding?’ ” Read More »

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Fox News Channel Grabs Primetime, CNN Captures 2, 3, 6 and 7 PM With Malaysian Airlines’ Missing Flight

By | Wednesday March 19, 2014 @ 2:32pm PDT

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak Attends Press ConferenceFox News Channel and CNN were locked in a deathmatch for news demo viewers last night. FNC reclaimed the lead in primetime, though with slimmer leads than it enjoyed before Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing nearly two weeks ago. For instance, CNN’s Bill Weir, filling in for Piers Morgan at 9 PM, clocked 351,000 demo viewers to 354,000 for FNC’s Megyn Kelly. CNN’s Don Lemon at 10 PM clocked 324,000 demo viewers to Sean Hannity‘s 336,000 on FNC. FNC’s Bill O’Reilly enjoyed a second night besting Anderson Cooper after Cooper’s three-day pop in the age bracket, with 404,000 demo viewers and 366,000, respectively. Ironically, O’Reilly’s telecast included a segment about the missing Malaysian Airliner, if only to decry the media’s mania with the story. At 11 PM, when Cooper and O’Reilly’s shows were repeated, Cooper edged out O’Reilly 348,000 to 339,000. CNN also topped FNC at 2 PM, 3 PM, 6 PM and 7 PM.

Related: Bill O’Reilly Ends Anderson Cooper’s Malaysian Airlines Ratings Streak

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UPDATE: Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly Ends Anderson Cooper’s Malaysian Airlines Ratings Streak, But Flood-The-Zone Coverage Boosts CNN Elsewhere

By | Tuesday March 18, 2014 @ 1:52pm PDT

cnnlogo4UPDATE: 1:30 PM: Fox News Channel clocked an average of 2.1 million viewers in primetime Monday night, thumping CNN‘s 847,000 — but CNN came within shooting distance of Fox News in the news demo with its flood-the-zone coverage of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. CNN’s primetime news demo audience: 386,000. Fox News’ primetime news demo crowd: 391,000. To that end, CNN’s Erin Burnett (375,000) edged Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren (342,000) at 7 PM; CNN’s Piers Morgan Live, hosted by Bill Weir (383,000), topped Fox News’ Megyn Kelly (365,000) at 9; and CNN’s Don Lemon (390,000) topped Fox News’ Sean Hannity (359,000) at 10. One big change: Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly (450,000) put an end to CNN star Anderson Cooper’s (385,000) three-night demo winning streak. Read More »

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