CNN Last in Prime-Time Ratings Race

Cable viewers prefer opinion-based news programming
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2009 3:35 PM CDT
Television personality Greta Van Susteren arrives for the FX channel premiere of "Damages", Thursday, July 19, 2007, in New York.   (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)
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(Newser) – CNN’s ratings have fallen behind those of the other major cable news networks as prime-time viewers pass over the network in favor of opinion-based news coverage. Every prime-time CNN show lost to its Fox News opponent, and in some instances the losses were even more humiliating—at 10pm, for example, Anderson Cooper 360 not only lost by a wide margin to Greta Van Susteren but was also beaten by repeats of 8pm programs hosted by Keith Olbermann and Nancy Grace.

CNN executives say their ratings stack up much better when the numbers include non-prime-time hours, and they note that viewers flock to the network for information on a breaking story, the New York Times reports. “CNN’s ratings are always going to be more dependent on the news environment, much more so than opinion-based programming especially in prime time,” the network said in a statement.