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3 items from 2002

MSNBC looks for 'Donahue' remedy

19 November 2002 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

NEW YORK -- Phil Donahue will remain in front of a studio audience in New York for the foreseeable future, even though his ratings last week on MSNBC dropped from his seasonal average. Donahue's producers, who are desperately trying to hit on the right formula for Donahue, will put him on the air live at 8 p.m. EST tonight and Wednesday after appearing "live on tape" all last week from his 30 Rockefeller Plaza studio, a departure from taping his shows at the MSNBC studio in New Jersey. The show averaged 354,000 viewers last week, compared with an average of 383,000 for September. (Ratings for all networks spiked last month with coverage of the Beltway sniper.) Still, with rumors continuing to swirl that his days are numbered, Donahue was having a better-than-average week until Friday, when a show on gun violence drew a meager 178,000 viewers. »

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MSNBC upbeat on Q3 ratings

2 October 2002 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

NEW YORK -- With intense pressure on MSNBC executives to show improvements in their primetime ratings, the network is disputing accounts that its third-quarter figures represented a step back in its efforts. The network released results Tuesday showing that its viewership has risen by 16% in primetime since it overhauled its primetime lineup July 15, compared with its second-quarter figures (from April-June). From July 15-Sept. 29, MSNBC said it averaged 370,000 viewers in primetime on a Monday-Friday basis, compared with 320,000 in the second quarter. While MSNBC has foundered at 10 p.m. with Ashleigh Banfield: On Location, the network says Donahue's viewership has risen by 20% in that 11-week period, to 425,000 from 354,000 viewers. At 9 p.m. ET, Hardball With Chris Matthews is up by 31%, to 424,000 from 323,000. Coincidentally, at 7 p.m., Nachman has averaged 214,000 viewers, down 31% from what Hardball was achieving in that time period in the second quarter. A network spokeswoman said MSNBC executives have always said that it will take time to revive the ratings, adding that the trends are positive. But CNN counters that at 8 p.m., Phil Donahue's viewership since Aug. 26 has averaged 383,000 viewers, compared with 425,000 since his launch, and CNN's Connie Chung Tonight had an 82% lead over Donahue in September, an expansion of her 68% lead since July 15. Still, Chung's viewership is down by 19,000 in September compared with her average when Donahue debuted. »

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Fox News ups Q3 numbers; CNN, MSNBC ratings tumble

1 October 2002 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

NEW YORK -- Fox News Channel was the lone network to improve its third-quarter ratings from the year before, and Headline News continues to sneak up on MSNBC, whose ratings fell harder than any of the four all-news services. Those are some of the sneak-peek results from cable's third-quarter ratings book, which the networks officially release today. The events of Sept. 11 played a critical role in the comparisons as CNN fell sharply from the lofty heights it held in the days and weeks following the tragedy. For the entire day, Fox's viewership rose 24% to an average of 629,000 homes, while CNN slipped 26% to 518,000, according to Nielsen Media Research. Among viewers 25-54, Fox gained 24%, while CNN fell 41%. MSNBC lost 35% of its audience from a year ago for the entire day, dropping to an average of 249,000 viewers, while Headline News fell 17% to 226,000. Among adults 25-54, Headline News is right on MSNBC's tail as the latter service plummeted by 42% to 126,000, compared with 113,000 for Headline News, which lost 16%. More importantly for MSNBC, its primetime lineup continues to stagger. Donahue did manage to edge up 1% in September to an average of 383,000 viewers from August, but it continues to trail CNN's Connie Chung Tonight, which averaged 696,000 viewers in September, down 4% from August. For the quarter, O' Reilly remained the most heavily viewed cable news show, averaging 1.922 million viewers. »

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