The company that invented 24–hour cable news continues to struggle.
CNN remains in rating trouble even after the departure of Piers Morgan. (Disclosure: I know many readers consider Piers to be hectoring and annoying, but the fact is he had me on his show many times and was always the perfect gentleman. I miss Piers and wish him well.)
"The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" — who was formerly one of CNN’s and cable news’ top talents — has fallen to fourth place. Mediaite.com has posted the ratings from July 1st and Blitzer attracted a mere 29,000 viewers in the demographic that means most to advertisers: ages 25 to 54.
And attributing the low rating to ideology — left in this instance — would not be accurate. MSNBC’s "The Ed Show" — the home of all leftist heat and no light — had almost double the CNN rating at 57,000 viewers.
Wolf is the soul of impartiality and moderation compared to Ed.
Third place in the segment went to an entertainment program, HLN’s Forensic Files, with 31,000 viewers with cast iron stomachs.
The time slot winner, and still champion was, you guessed it, FOX News’ The Five with more viewers than all the other shows combined: 161,000. (Although something tells me this particular show skews older. Most of the commercials are either for some variety of bodily dysfunction, Medicare insurance or gold.)
Maybe it’s not fair to compare the bearded Blitzer and the red–faced, rotund Schultz with the cast of "The Five," but I don’t make the programming decisions.
Sure the show has the rumpled Bob Beckel, along with Eric Bolling and Greg Gutfeld. But is also has Dana Perino, Andrea Tantaros and Kimberly Guilfoyle and something tells me the appearance of the latter three has not inhibited their broadcasting career.
Somehow the women on the leftist programs, Rosie O’Donnell comes to mind, just don’t appear to engender (no pun intended) the same kind of viewer loyalty.
I think what we are seeing here is economist Joseph Schumpeter’s “creative destruction” in the creative industry.
CNN pioneered the format, yet wasn’t able to maintain creative leadership. And a case could be made that MSNBC competes with CNN for the same viewer base, while Fox has independents and conservatives to itself.
But that’s what makes the free market great. If Fox becomes too dominant, it will attract competition and that may already be happening with the rollout of the Newsmax network. It would be great to have two networks that give an alternative to the mainstream media. And the competition will make both stronger.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation and chairman of the League of American Voters. Mike is an in-demand speaker with Premiere. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.
© Mike Reagan