Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 and a Happy New Year Message to CNN

According to Reese Schnofeld, the big news is that total day news viewing was down year to year for every news network. For CNN the year was a veritable disaster.

While MSNBC lost 1% of its viewers, FoxNews 5%, and Headline News 11%, CNN was down 29%. Year to year primetime was even worse -- CNN was down 34%, Headline News 20%, FoxNews 7% and MSNBC 5%. CNN changed leadership towards the end of the year, but the new leader was the head of Headline News. Schnofeld blogs that he would hate to think that his chief recommendation was that his network lost fewer viewers than CNN did.

Another interesting bit of news, but perhaps a mere aberration, was FoxNews fall from grace in the last week of the year.

For the first time in years, FoxNews dropped out of the top ten among all cable networks. It managed to do no better than 14th in both primetime and total day. Sean Hannity was absent part of the time, but if his absence caused a ten point drop in the ratings, he should be getting paid a lot more money than he is. The lack of interest in news last week was not unique to Fox, MSNBC's primetime audience dropped from 29th place among cable networks to 30th, CNN fell from 33rd to 41st, and Headline from 38th to 46th. But, as I suggested above, this may be a onetime only event, perhaps most people want to avoid news over the Christmas holidays.

The third bit of news is that MSNBC has clearly emerged as the runner up to FoxNews, it finished second behind Fox in every demographic category in both primetime and total day.

Read more here.

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