Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ratings, Wildfires, Inspiration and a Baby?

Before we get to our discussion of Thursday night's AC 360 let's take a look at the overnight Planet in Peril ratings.

DAY 1 (9-11 pm 10/23) DAY 2 (9-11pm, 10/24)

P25-54 P25-54

CNN: 532k CNN: 503k

FNC: 482k FNC: 406k

CNN Planet in Peril Two Day Average

vs. 9-11p Prior 4 Weeks

P 2+

P 18-34

P 18-49

P 25-54














Planet in Peril (Both Days)

09:00P -11:00P







9-11p Prior 4 Weeks

09:00P -11:00P










Even if you discount the CNN spin these are wonderful ratings. Congratulations to the entire Planet in Peril team. Job well done.

The California wildfires have just been horrendous to watch, and as we've all said our hearts go out to the victims. Because of the continuing coverage the PIP Roundtable discussion was not seen on Thursday night. Instead we got 3 hours of AC360. One pre LKL and two post LKL. We were given the big picture and the small, personal stories too. Those are what I really appreciate most. Knowing how people are and will cope. Not the photo ops or the finger pointing. It's a story of people and loss and that's what I'll concentrate on in my post.
We begin with John Zarella interviewing fire victims about their feelings about the arson aspect. I must say it's great to see JZ do some serious reporting for AC360 but that in no way means that I want him to stop covering Sushi on NYE in the Keys.
Then Anderson explored a fire scene with an arson specialist, who gave a fascinating explanation of the signs of a burn. AC walked through the rubble of a burned out home and of course picked up stuff without wearing gloves. I thought when we saw the purple surgical gloves he wore recently that he had finally learned not to touch unprotected. Guess I was wrong.

Ted Rowlands interview a man who stayed behind to fight the fire with a garden hose and buckets of water. He managed to save his home and most of his neighborhood, claiming he and his neighbors had been planning this scenario for two years. Two years of planning and they never realized how incredibly fool hardy it was to stay behind? Amazing.

Are Anderson Cooper fans more night owls than morning people? I can’t speak for all of you, but I am definitely a night owl. Which is why, when John Roberts got the American Morning gig I started to TIVO AM. Some days I never get time to view my recording and some days I do. It’s sort of hit or miss. I’m so grateful that I had time to watch part of my Thursday recording of American Morning. Like all CNN’s reporters and anchors John and Kiran accompanied families back to their homes to see the extent of the fire damage. Kiran followed along with the Scholotte family. The report was heartbreaking, everything was destroyed, ashes and a burnt out shell of what had been their home. Kiran stepped back and let the story tell itself. She knew just when to comment and when to let the pictures tell the story.

John Roberts meet up with Erin Arnold as she stood among the ashes of her totally destroyed home. Erin reminded me so much of Myrtle Kearney from Waveport, Louisiana. Do you remember Myrtle? She was the sweet lady who Anderson interviewed amid the rubble that was her Katrina ravaged home. Myrtle said “I vacuumed my house to the moon before we left to go for the hurricane… And wait, you wanna hear the best? Y’all are gonna die laughing. I collect rocks. I came out, picked out all my rocks and brought ‘em inside and hid ‘em! The rocks are gone. And the carpet’s gone! And it’s gonna be so damned easy to move, you won’t believe it!”
That’s one positive attitude. Here’s another example or a glass half full type of person. Meet Erin Arnold.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned my house caught on fire several years ago.
We were lucky, the firemen arrived before things got out of control and damage was limited to around $25,000. And we were insured. But more than the physical damage was what the fire does to your mind. It’s like what I’ve heard post traumatic stress syndrome described as. I couldn’t sleep for weeks, sure the fire would reignite. For years when I smelled smoke I would panic, running around looking for the source of the smell and feeling the walls to see if they were warm. I would send my DH up to check the attic (where our fire started) regularly, sure that the wiring would again begin to burn.
I tell you this because these poor people that have been victims of these California wildfires are going to go through more hell before it gets better. The children will have nightmares, the adults will have many sleepless nights. As we move on they won’t be able to. My heart goes out to them and may they get the help they need.
Thanks to BA and Annie Kate for the AM clips and caps.

We at ATA would like to offer our best wishes to Kiran Chetry (source:
"CNN's American Morning co-anchor Kiran Chetry and her husband, CW weather forecaster Chris Knowles, are expecting their second child together, they tell PEOPLE exclusively.

"We joke around that it's a miracle that we had time to actually make a baby," says Chetry, 33, who's on air weekday mornings while her husband works weekend nights. "We have almost the exact opposite schedule!"

Lately, Chetry's own schedule has been unpredictable, covering the fires in California for the cable news channel. "My doctor gave me the O.K.," she says of working in the unfavorable air quality, "but obviously didn't want me on the fire lines."

Chetry also joins another expectant mom at CNN – evening anchor Campbell Brown. So, is there something in the water cooler over at CNN? "We were laughing about that," says Chetry. "It's the stroller derby!"

Chetry and Knowles, 41, also have a daughter Maya Rose who is 20 months old."

Even though Anderson won't be around next week we will. We've got some great things planned to help you though your Anderwithdrawl. I can't wait to see who the sub is. Please let it be John King. Or John Roberts. Or Tom Foreman. Or ?


Jennifer said...

California fire 23 still burning 10 not fully contained. They think these fires were started by someone! watching some of the people returning to see their homes that were burnt to the ground was heartbreaking. On one street there was a house not even touch by the fire while all the other house around it was destroyed, It was surreal. My prayers are with the people in Southern California tonight. I don't understand why they didn't ship in the correct face mask for all the people there in Southern California. I'm afraid that some of these people will be affected long term by the smoke that they are having to breathe, It shouldn't have to be that way. The people have enough to worry about without having to worry about what kind of doctors bill they will have in the further from this disaster.

It was interesting story about the firefighter in Colorado. She started a fire that turned out to be the biggest fire ever in Colorado,"massive fire" she confess to starting it on purpose. She said she was trying to burn a love letter investigators find that not to be true. She will be doing time in prison.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

I'd like to see Miles O'Brien try out the anchor chair for a few nights. I think he'd do a good job!

Congrats to Kiran!

Em said...

I can really relate to your experience with the fire in your home. Please forgive me for a long post but I just have to tell you my fire story…you can skip it if the length irritates you : )

When I was 9, my best friend and I had pulled our younger siblings to the city park in their little red wagons. We lived probably 9 or 10 blocks from the park. As we were walking home, we heard the sirens go off and saw all the volunteer firemen racing up the street. We looked at each and laughing said "Ewww...hope it's not my house." Of course, we had no idea one of us would be right! As we neared the lane toward my home, we were surprised to see my friend’s father walking down the lane toward us. He looked at us and said, "Em, your mom set the house on fire." Now, you have to know my friends dad. He is the biggest practical joker. It took me several minutes to realize that he was not teasing me. I will never forget pulling my little brother down that lane in the red wagon. I was so afraid of what I would see when our home came into view. As Anderson is fond of saying, it was surreal. From the outside everything looked just as it had when I left. We lived in a very old double wide so it was mostly aluminum siding. My mother had been using paint remover in the kitchen when a small splash ignited the pilot light on our gas stove and basically turned into an inferno. She was very lucky to escape with singed hairs on her arms and head. The fire pretty much destroyed the kitchen and living room (which was probably at least 50% of the house!) I think she was in shocked because when I got to her, all she could do was tell me how damned mad she was because she had just waxed all her floors and the firemen had traipsed through the whole house and messed them all up. Of course, like some of the families in California, there was no insurance because we lived in a mobile home. My dad was an iron worker and this just happened to be at a time when he had been on strike for several months. Even though neighbors offered, he is a proud man so he would not take help. He proceeded to take all the doors off cupboards and closets etc (they were pretty much toast!) and sand down the wall and ceiling panels. We lived without doors for another year until my parents were finally able to build their first "brick" home. The worst part was watching Mom cry over the loss of her grandmothers china, photo albums, knick-knacks and memento’s that were not replaceable. As for me, for several years after the fire if I was out playing or in school and the sirens went off I would worry until I became physically ill or could run home and make sure nothing was wrong. I know many of these families won’t even have walls to sand and it will be a long time before they feel safe and can rest easily. I will be thinking of them.

ACAnderFan said...

I will be honest I did not watch 360. I am not in the mood for Anderson at all. Just not. With that said, my heart does go out to all those affected by these horrible fires. It is such a sad and terrible tragedy.

I agree with Purple Tie, I'd like to see Miles O'Brian try filling in for a nite or two. Maybe Gary Tuchamn could give it a try. Tom Foreman would be good too. My guess is that we'll get Soledad, which is cool because I really like her. However and Anderdrought does mean a chance to catch up on MTV shows :) next week may not be so bad atfer all.

Cyn said...

They've done a great job covering the fires. Such a mammoth story, and they find a way to show both the enormous scope and the very personal tragedies.

Which they also did with Planet in Peril... Very impressive, and the ratings reflect that.

I'm betting Soledad for the fill-in... although they all do a great job!

Anonymous said...

I didn't hear a see you tomorrow when Anderson signed off last night at midnight (but I was dozing off so perhaps I missed it?). Won't be surprised if he is not on the air tonight.

Anonymous said...

I would really like to see Miles O'Brien sit in the anchor chair at 360 once in awhile,I miss seeing him.He has done great filling in for Wolf over at TSR.

It seems like the only time we see Miles is during a shuttle launch or a plane crash story lately,and that is a shame.

Anonymous said...

em, Your profound story about your own fire is touching. It is always so painful for me to see others cry, knowing what is in their heart. Humans of earth are fragile yet strong when they have to be.
Anderson did not say, "see ya' tomorrow night", so I hope his trip to the Congo gives him a chance to rest, even tho, according to reports, he will be working for CBS. He seems to be drawn to Africa so maybe this trip will be somewhat restful.

Anonymous said...

I don't think CNN needs to spin anything in the
face of the World Series and breaking news
I think PIP did just fine.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice last night that Anderson
Copper and Rick Sanchez were on CNN in
primetime?.Anderson was live at 8pm eastern
and Rick Sanchez filled in on Larry King.Next
up was a 2 hour live edition of 360.

Sapphire said...

From an Anderoverdose to an Anderwithdrawal...I am not sure if my system can take it :P

360 again was very good again last night. I wish Anderson would not touch stuff without gloves but what can you do. Between him and JK touching the smoldering stuff earlier this week...I don't know bout these guys ;p

All the coverage in California has been good

Congrats to Kiran on her great news. Wonder who they might consider to fill her spot while she is on mat leave

Unknown said...

360 isn't on tonight. The schedule says they are replaying PIP. :/ But I'm sure the story he is doing for 60 minutes will make up for it!

Anonymous said...

He shouldn't travel with that cough, actually. Flying causes dry throat anyway, and as he's been drinking up soot all week, it's not a good thing, even with plenty of water.