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. READ MORE »
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.
UPDATE 3:50 PM: An estimated 67.2 million people watched last night’s Presidential debate, according to Nielsen, up 28% compared to the first debate in 2008 between then-Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain. It was a close race for the broadcast networks. ABC drew in 11.2 million total viewers from 9-10:30 PM ET. NBC followed a close second with 11 million and CBS was third was 10.5 million. In the Adults 25-54 demographic, NBC was No. 1 with 5.1 million, followed by ABC with 4.6 million and CBS with 4.5 million. ABC also topped the list in total viewers for post-debate analysis form 10:30-11 PM ET with 8.8 million. It was followed by NBC with 8.7 million and CBS with 7 million. In the Adults 25-54, NBC led again with 3.8 million, followed by ABC with 3.5 million and CBS with 2.9 million.
PREVIOUS: Fox News Channel dominated cable news coverage of the first Presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Fox News drew 10.4 million viewers from 9-10:30 PM ET with nearly 3 million in the 25-54 demographic. That marked FNC’s highest-rated presidential debate ever. CNN was a distant second with 6 million viewers, followed by MSNBC. I’ll update with final numbers for the broadcast networks, most of whom also posted around 10 million viewers each in the fast nationals.
Fueled by coverage of the secret Mitt Romney tape, The Rachel Maddow Show at 9 PM ET pulled in the top ratings among adults 25-54 for the week of September 17, besting Fox News Channel’s Hannity for the first time since January 19, 2009. Maddow was No. 1 with 567,000 and Hannity was second with 500,000. CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight placed third with 198,000. The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell (Monday – Thursday) at 10 PM also came in at No. 1 for the week with 508,000. FNC’s On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren was second with 427,000 and CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 was third with 224,000. This was the best week ever for The Last Word and the best delivery in the time period since week of November 3, 2008, according to MSNBC.
“CNN needs new thinking,” Walton says — and the numbers seem to support that. The news network has dropped to third place, behind Fox News and MSNBC, in primetime. In fact, May was its least-watched month in primetime in 20 years. And in Q2, CNN hit a low among total viewers and the important 25-54 demographic, with all primetime programs posting steep declines. Walton says the network needs “a different perspective, different experiences and a new plan,” led by someone “who will build on our great foundation and will commit to seeing it through. And I’m ready for a change.” All eyes will be on Turner Broadcasting CEO Phil Kent as he leads the search for a replacement — and, probably, a new direction. Although CNN’s primetime ratings have plummeted, the company continued to defend CNN as a solid business, and a reliable source of non-partisan news. That’s helped the operation overseas, where CNN is much stronger than its domestic competitors. Walton has led CNN since 2003.
Here’s Walton’s memo to the CNN staff, followed by statements from Kent and Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes:
EXCLUSIVE: HBO appears obsessed by GOP Conservatives. There have been movies about the 2000 Bush …
MSNBC has solidified the network’s replacement for the departing Dylan Ratigan show. The Cycle, which debuts Monday, features a permanent cast of four: Conservative commentator S.E. Cupp, author and pundit Touré, Salon writer Steve …
The commentator’s splitting from MSNBC on June 25 and says on his website that he has “been inspired by meeting countless ‘doers’ ” and decided “to collaborate and join with some of these leaders to experiment and …
That was the provocative question three newscasters debated this morning at the cable industry’s annual convention on the eve of what MSNBC‘s Chris Matthews predicted will be “the most exciting political season we’ve ever had” — in part because of the growing importance of cable news. As you might imagine, the boisterous host of Hardball With Chris Matthews sucked up most of the oxygen in the Cable Show panel that also included CNN‘s John King and Univision‘s Maria Elena Salinas. She lamented that people “now have designer news. They want to listen to people they agree with.” That’s dangerous, she says, because “they don’t know the difference between a news person and a commentator.” King says that while “there’s nothing wrong with advocacy journalism, there’s nothing wrong with objective journalism, too.” But Matthews says viewers understand what they’re watching. For example, when Fox News bills itself as “fair and balanced,” its audience knows that the slogan is “ironic and fun loving and they’re in on the joke.” He contrasted today’s sharp-edged approach to the old days when “people like Andy Rooney were always with the (government’s) embedded thinking…. Without cable it’s just network thinking and embedded thinking which is dangerous for democracy.”