CNN and MSNBC see primetime gains


For the first time in years, CNN is giving Fox News Channel a run for its money in this season’s cable news primetime ratings. Coverage of campaign 2008 has helped CNN increase its average viewing by 25% this season on Adults 24-54, the key sales demographic for news. This coverage has masked a general ratings malaise for CNN’s regular programming, where ratings for Larry King Live and Anderson Cooper 360 are basically flat versus last year, reported Carat Programming. Viewing for investigative news programming in the 8 p.m. hour is actually lower than the Paula Zahn-hosted program it replaced last year. Still, CNN is now a hair’s breadth away from Fox for the lead and may catch them given a strong late-February run.

Fox News Channel is down slightly versus last year, with stalwart O’Reilly Factor at 8 p.m. propping up the faltering Hannity and Colmes and Greta Van Sustern.

MSNBC is seeing great results for its special campaign programming along with continued strength from its 8 p.m. flagship Countdown with Keith Olbermann and 10 p.m. documentary programming, which is offsetting losses for the weakening hour hosted by Dan Abrams at 9 p.m.

Also-ran Headline News is flat versus last year, as its now established lineup featuring Glenn Beck and Nancy Grace is flat in the ratings versus last year.

Daytime business news channel CNBC does not really compete in the news arena in primetime, where its highest-rated show is reruns of NBCs Deal or No Deal. But who the hell really cares since they also have part-time ad guy and full-time pretty boy Donny Deutsch.