No primary coverage last week and not a lot of excitement on the campaign trail. Result: CNN’s ratings took a hit last week. FOX had the highest Adult 25 – 54 ratings in all three time slots: 8PM, 9PM, and 10PM. The absence of Anderson Cooper probably didn’t help them any in the 10PM hour. AC360 only had the highest demo on Thursday night and that was the only time all week that one of CNN’s prime time programs were ahead of the other two networks.
Friday, June 13th MSNBC ran special coverage throughout the night remembering their colleague Tim Russert. Their ratings for that night were understandably high. They had the highest number of viewers Adults 25-54 for ever hour between 5PM - MIDNIGHT. Their ratings peaked during the 8PM hour with 524,000 viewers Adults 25 - 54 and 1,358,000 total viewers. FOX and CNN aired their regular programming, but Russert's passing dominated the news. FOX had the second highest demo ratings during the 8PM & 10PM hours. CNN had the second highest demo ratings during the 9PM hour.
1 4 day average. MSNBC Friday Night Special coverage of Tim Russert's death excluded.
^ Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Demographics where noted; Live + Same Day (LS) Fast Track Nationals.
NBC has a daunting task ahead of them in attempting to fill Tim Russert’s position. Here they are in the middle of one of the most exiting election seasons in recent memory and they are now without a Washington, D.C. bureau chief and the moderator of their highly rated Meet the Press. There is almost as much speculation as to who might be on the list of potential replacements as there is on who might be the VP on Democrat and Republican tickets.
An AP article on CNNMoney.com caught my interest today. The article lists the obvious choices that already work for NBC including Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann.
Washington hands David Gregory and Andrea Mitchell are lesser-known, but fit into the objective reporting format that made Meet the Press with Russert the first stop for Washington newsmakers. Outsiders Gwen Ifill of PBS' "Washington Week," a former NBC correspondent, and CNN's John King could fit the same mold.
The article went on to speculate that NBC may use Brian Williams or Tom Brokaw to fill in on Meet the Press and hold off naming a successor until after the November 2008 general election.
Keep in mind that reportedly John King’s contract with CNN expires at the end of this calendar year. He clearly has the credentials for moderator job with his years covering politics & the White House at both the AP and CNN. Plus, he has an interview style that fits in with the current Meet the Press format. He values journalistic integrity, asks the right questions and doesn’t insert his own opinions into the story.
Hardly a week goes by that Jon Stewart doesn't include a quote or two from CNN on The Daily Show. Tonight's clip includes Abbi Tatton, Anderson Cooper and John King.