CNN, the liberal cable news network which reported "at least dozens" of people attended the Tea Party Express rally in Searchlight, NV last week, may soon be measuring its audience in similar quantities. Bill Carter of the New York Times reports:
CNN continued what has become a precipitous decline in ratings for its prime-time programs in the first quarter of 2010, with its main hosts losing almost half their viewers in a year.
The problems in prime time, the most lucrative part of the broadcast day, are catastrophic in scope:
Mr. [Larry] King's audience dropped 43 percent for the quarter and 52 percent in March. He dropped to 771,000 viewers for the quarter from 1.34 million in 2009. More alarming perhaps, Mr. King, whose show has been regularly eclipsed by Rachel Maddow's on MSNBC (and is almost quadrupled by Sean Hannity's show on Fox), is now threatened by a new host, Joy Behar on HLN (formerly Headline News.) [....]
Mr. [Anderson] Cooper has long been regarded as the strongest host at CNN, but his show has suffered badly as well. For the quarter, Mr. Cooper dropped 42 percent in viewers and 46 percent among the 25-to-54-year-old audience that the news channels use for their sales to advertisers.
Larry King's brand of pablum (he never bothers to read an author's book, and specializes in softball questions) is out of step with the times, as an aroused citizenry confronts a president downsizing America's standing in the world and their own economic prospects.
Anderson Cooper, the openly homosexual Vanderbilt heir, is now damaged goods, having applied the label "teabaggers" (homosexual slang for a graphic sexual act) to the Tea Partiers. He should have lost his job for that exercise in smutty sarcasm, but instead continues to destroy both his own and his employer's standing.
Meanwhile, Fox News Channel, the only major news source willing to ask tough questions to President Obama and the Democrats, continues to soar in the ratings:
At the same time, Fox News, which had its biggest year in 2009, continues to add viewers. Greta Van Susteren's show was up 25 percent from a year earlier. Bill O'Reilly, whose show commands the biggest audience in prime time with 3.65 million viewers, was up 28 percent, and Glenn Beck was up 50 percent from a year earlier.
There are ironies aplenty in this report appearing in the New York Times, which remains even more stubbornly wedded to pushing the liberal party line on a nation now more suspicious of both the media and the liberal political establishment. Not only does Fox News Channel's stunning success offer a clue to the clueless publisher Pinch Sulzberger about how to preserve his patrimony by changing its political orientation, but FNC's lush profits (reportedly well into the hundreds of millions of dollars a year) are helping finance the expansion of the Wall Street Journal into serious competition with the NYT as a general interest national daily. Rupert Murdoch has openly spoken of his intent to go after the luxury goods advertisers which provide a large share to the Times' advertising revenue, while attracting subscribers with enhanced general interest content and special price offers to both advertisers and readers.
The New York Times and CNN are both circling the drain, looking at each other across the vortex swirling both of them toward unprofitability and ultimate insolvency.Hat tip: Lucianne.com