The Los Angeles Times had an article yesterday about the strong decline in AC360's primetime ratings. As we've said in the past comparing now to this time last year isn't always a fair comparison but it is interesting:
The news keeps getting worse for CNN, with April ratings that sunk to their worst levels in more than 10 years.
The ill tidings for the No. 3 cable news network were led by the 10 p.m. airing of "Anderson Cooper 360," which slid 26% compared with the same period a year ago, to 522,000 total viewers, according to Nielsen.
But that wasn't all. CNN's total-day viewership averaged 357,000 viewers — a decline of 21% compared with April 2011 and the network's worst performance in the category since August 2001. By comparison, Fox News stood at 1.1 million (up 2%), while MSNBC was a distant second with 425,000 (flat).
Asked for comment, a CNN spokeswoman emailed: "News ratings are cyclical."
Other CNN shows with big dips included "Starting Point" (down 26%), "Erin Burnett Outfront" (down 22%) and "John King USA" (down 24%).
TVNewser was a little gentler in their analysis:
Compared to the busy month of April 2011, April 2012 saw a dearth of major news events, and CNN’s ratings reflected that. The network was down double digits in total and demo viewers, in primetime and total day. In fact, it was CNN’s worst month in total day since August, 2001, and in primetime since August, 2010.
The ratings for April, 2012:
- Primetime (Mon-Sun): 508K Total Viewers / 149K A25-54
- Total Day (Mon-Sun): 357K Total Viewers / 108K A25-54
CNN saw the most substantial ratings declines almost across the board when compared with its competitors. Given the strong news month in April, 2011 that should not be surprising, especially considering that opinion shows more reliably draw an audience than news programs do. That said, the declines are so substantial that a mere slow news month may not be enough to explain the drops.
“AC360″ was the strongest performer on CNN’s lineup, declining only -2% in total viewers and -8% in the demo in the 8 PM timeslot compared to last year, when “In the Arena” held court.
The 4-5PM hour of “The Situation Room” was also only down -4% in total viewers, but dropped -24% in the demo. Nearly every other hour saw double-digit ratings drops.
In the morning,” Starting Point” was down double digits compared to last year, however, the program has been rising in the ratings every month since launch, which would be a positive trend if it continues.
Anderson Cooper recently did an interview with Holly Robinson Peete about her work with 2008 CNN Hero Carolyn LeCroy. Here's the link to the CNN article.