The pressure on CNN’s new primetime anchor Piers Morgan to deliver ratings can’t be bigger – according to preliminary Nielsen estimates, 2010 will mark CNN’s lowest rated year since at least 1997 in total viewers and the target demographic of adults 25-54 after the beleaguered news network posted steep double-digit year-to-year declines. More bad news for new CNN chief Ken Jautz: In 2010, MSNBC will beat CNN in primetime for the first time ever in total viewers and for the second consecutive year in adults 25-54. (MSNBC will also log its first ever demo victory over CNN in total day.) Overall, Fox News Channel was once again head and shoulders above the cable news competition, drawing more viewers than its three competitors, CNN, MSNBC and HLN, combined. With its established programs sliding and new shows, most recently Parker Spitzer, fizzling, CNN posted the sharpest ratings declines, down 34% in prime time from 2009. Its sibling network HLN was also deep in the double-digit drop area while Fox News and MSNBC posted modest single-digit declines. Here are the numbers:
|Nielsen Media Research (Live+SD)|
|M-S 6AM – 6AM|
|M-S 8PM -11PM|
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