The scandals of the Obama administration seem to be hurting not just the White House but MSNBC as well, while Fox News Channel has just scored its second-best week of the year. After double-digit gains during last year’s presidential election, May 13-17 saw the progressive-aligned “Lean Forward” news network hit new lows as the IRS scandal erupted and revelations that the Justice Department secretly obtained AP records became public. With 350,000 viewers on average and 94,000 in the adults 25-54 demo, MSNBC had its least-watched and lowest-rated total-day results of the year last week. That was also the lowest total-day demo result the network has had since the week of June 26-July 2, 2006, when MSNBC pulled in just 83,000 viewers among adults 25-54, according to Nielsen data.
Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren are both going to be at Fox News Channel for a while but it may not be in their present time slots. Both the America Live and the On The Record …
If you care about news, then the Pew Research Center’s latest annual State Of The News Media report will make you want to cry. Providers across all platforms became “more undermanned and unprepared to uncover stories, dig deep into emerging ones or to question information put into [their] hands,” Pew’s Project for Excellence In Journalism finds. The shortcomings stood out during the election when “campaign reporters were acting primarily as megaphones, rather than as investigators, of the assertions put forward by the candidates and other political partisans.”
Even in a year with an exciting presidential election the collective audience for ABC, CBS and NBC’s evening newscasts fell 2% to 22.1M “resuming the downward trajectory of nearly three decades” after an uptick in 2011. Total audience for local TV newscasts — the nation’s #1 news source – shrank last year in all key time slots except for early morning and across stations aligned with all the networks, resuming a downward trend that seemed to have ended in 2011. Viewing of the evening newscasts that aired between 5:00 and 7:00 PM at the major network affiliates fell 7% last year. One reason: young people are tuning out. About 28% of adults under 30 regularly watched local news last year, down from 42% in 2006. Local news devoted 40% of air time to sports, weather, and traffic, up from 32% in 2005. And just 20% of the stories last year ran at least a minute, down from 31% a decade ago.
Fox News Channel has added Herman Cain as a contributor. The former National Restaurant Association CEO, who ran for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, will join other recent additions to the cable news network …
In the end, the State of the Union was the story of the night on television, not rogue LA cop Christopher Dorner. Despite reporting on the story of the Big Bear gun battle standoff between Dorner and police up until the last minute, none of the broadcast nor cable news networks ended up using a split screen to show President Obama’s speech and the Dorner case. The only time the Dorner story appeared on screen during the State of the Union was around 6:56 PM, when local LA station KABC put on a crawl announcing a body had been found that was believed to be that of Dorner. Up for barely a minute, the Breaking News crawl told viewers to go to the station’s website for more information or wait for a news special after the State of the Union. CNN‘s sister station HLN remained on the Dorner story throughout the State of the Union with coverage from CNN’s Anderson Cooper and HLN host Nancy Grace. At 6:59 PM, HLN announced that Dorner’s body had been found in a burned-out cabin though LAPD and other police have not confirmed. Obama spoke for just over an hour tonight in the first State of the Union of his second term.
UPDATE, 6:28 PM: One day after having his contract not renewed by Fox News Channel, Dick Morris says it was his bad political judgment that got him canned. “I was fired because I was wrong. I was wrong and I was wrong at the top of my lungs,” …
The former Republican Vice Presidential candidate will no longer be on Fox News Channel, the network confirmed today. “We have thoroughly enjoyed our association with Governor Palin. We wish her the best in her future endeavors,” FNC Programming EVP Bill Shine said in a statement. Sarah Palin has been a frequent contributor to Fox News since 2009.
Not only did the News Corp-owned network reportedly pay Palin more than $1 million a year, but FNC even built a studio in her Wasilla home so the former Alaska governor could work from there. However, the relationship was not always ruffle-free. On August 29 last year, Palin took to her Facebook page to complain about FNC removing her as a talking head for the network’s GOP convention coverage. Fox News said later it was a scheduling issue and not a slight. Palin showed up on Sean Hannity’s show the next night.
UPDATE, 9:45 AM: President Obama’s second inauguration pulled in almost half the viewership that watched his 2009 swearing-in. Monday’s ceremony and celebrations drew 20.552 million viewers overall between 10 AM and 4:30 PM for a 7.1 rating, accord to Nielsen data released today. The January 20, 2009 inauguration had 37.793 million watching over almost the same time period — good for a 13.2 rating. This year’s inaugural was broadcast, in various forms, by ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, Telemundo, AZTECA, MundoFox, PBS, Fox News Channel, CNN Headline News, Fox Business Network, MSNBC, TV One, CNN, Current TV, CNBC, CENTRIC and BET.