Your look at the Adults 25-54 ratings for the week, finds that 8PM doesn't have much new. MSNBC takes the second average ratings for the week. HLN is close behind in third and CNN trails in fourth.
During the 9PM hour, CNN took second place three nights out five (with Larry King interviewing ladies from the View all week) and ends up edging out MSNBC for the overall average weekly rating. HLN comes in fourth.
10PM is close race. HLN comes out on top with a second place finish. CNN had a downhill slide last week starting out in second place on Monday and Tuesday, then third on Wednesday, and fourth on both Thursday and Friday. The mixed bag of ratings puts them in third place. Fourth place goes to MSNBC.
^ Courtesy Nielsen Media Research; Demographics where noted; Live + Same Day (LS) Fast Track Nationals.
And here are a few of the ratings related articles for the week:
The first is by Jon Fine over at Business Week:
In prime time it's not enough to lean on CNN's advantages: your bigger reporting staff and middle-course sensibilities. Those help when viewers hunger for continuous coverage of big breaking events or for ongoing stories like last year's election. They don't help much right now. Changing realities require changing tactics. Your opponents have staked their evening programs--successfully--on pugilism, not punctiliousness.
It's time to embrace a new prime-time ethos for CNN, which encompasses the bona fides of the brand CNN and the fact that, like it or not, on-screen combat is good TV. No, CNN should not suddenly solely air food fights, though a little food fight never hurt anyone. No, CNN should not dive madly toward some new and overt point of view. No, don't bring back Crossfire. (Pace blogger Mickey Kaus, who has suggested that.) Rather: Remake Crossfire. Make prime-time CNN the place for vigorous debate. (You can add the word "respectful" to the description if you feel the need.) The venue for intellectual combat. Two, or more, viewpoints enter an arena; one comes out the victor.
I know: CNN was healthy enough last year to throw off around $500 million in profit, and you guys take pride in being the financially strongest news joint around. I know much institutional ego is wrapped up in CNN laying claim to a sober take on the news. (Here's where I mention Lou Dobbs' loud opinions; here's where CNN execs shift uncomfortably.) The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times show that capital-J journalistic outlets can sling some serious smack-talk--on their op-ed pages, at least.
The election may have come and gone, but the issues haven't. One new-style debate show--or more--can capitalize on the national conversation regarding the government's new roles in the economy and business. You can do this and subtly elevate your brand above all else: CNN is the place for debate, not the place for argument. (You can claim in on-air promos, if you feel you need to drape gravitas around this new idea, that CNN is honoring a robust American tradition going back to Lincoln-Douglas. Or something like that.) And a healthy on-air argument spawns online clips, which, while not especially monetizable yet, bolster a brand and show it off to those who don't tune in.
This will require a remake of the political shoutfest, which has been pretty much the same for decades. A new talent stable may be required to ensure that, as CNN President Jon Klein puts it, these shows' participants don't fall into "Punch-and-Judy roles, and spit out talking points." Great. So CNN can reinvent this form and make it its own. If it doesn't, maybe the 2010 election cycle will be a barn-burner, or perhaps a bunch of really bad rainstorms this summer will rescue the ratings. Would you rather depend on your programming skills or the weather?
You can read the rest of the article here.
Next up to take a punch at CNN's ratings is Joe Flint at the Los Angeles Times:
Kay Jones, a producer on CNN's Anderson Cooper's "AC360," recently blogged on the show's website that she "deserve[s] the month of May off." Well, she might as well take it because Cooper's fan base is doing just that already.
Cooper's ratings have been in a sharp decline all year, and so far the month of May is no exception. According to Nielsen, the audience for the 10-11 p.m. hour of his show so far this month is 933,000 viewers. This is the first time he's fallen below the one-million mark since the dog days of last August. Anderson is losing almost 20% of his lead-in from Larry King and is in danger of being passed in the ratings by MSNBC's 10 p.m. repeat of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann." Since the start of 2009, Cooper has lost one-third of his audience.
CNN has invested heavily into marketing Cooper as the face of the network. The hype has never really translated into commercial success, and now that MSNBC is suddenly competitive, CNN finds itself being flanked on the right and the left.
Next up to the punching bag is Bill Carter of the NY Times.
The election of Barack Obama does not seem to have ushered in a kinder, less-polarized environment in politics — or television.
And that’s not a good break for CNN, a network whose strategy is to steer the middle course in its news coverage. CNN’s competitors have been finding more success pounding away at those poles — at least during prime time.
Since the beginning of March, CNN has fallen behind both the longtime ratings leader, Fox News Channel, which, as the voice of disaffected conservatives, again has an imposing lead, and the upstart MSNBC, which has tried to mirror Fox’s success by steering to the left.
CNN has even dipped behind its sister network HLN (formerly Headline News) on many occasions. Since the beginning of 2009, CNN has finished fourth in prime time among the cable news networks on 35 out of 84 weeknights.
The development raises an obvious question: With its rivals stoking prime time with high-octane political opinion and rant, can CNN compete effectively with a formula of news delivered more or less straight?
Executives of competitors and even some of CNN’s own staff members say recent trends suggest the answer may be no.
“The people who watch these channels are news junkies,” said Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC. “They’ve already had access to the headlines all day long on the Internet. In prime time you’ve got to stand out and make a splash.”
One veteran CNN correspondent agreed. “All of a sudden it seems a little unfashionable to be in the middle,” said the correspondent, who requested anonymity in order to speak freely about CNN’s strategy. “I think people are struggling with that.”
You can read the rest of the article on NYTimes.com.