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CNN Enjoys Ratings Lift Thanks To Documentaries

“The latest feature documentary from CNN Films, topped cable news on May 31 among total viewers and adults 25-54, according to Nielsen Media Research.”

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The premiere of “Dreamland: The Burning of Black Wall Street“, the latest feature documentary from CNN Films, topped cable news on May 31 among total viewers and adults 25-54, according to Nielsen Media Research. On the night of Memorial Day, all three news networks had featured special programming.

From 9-11 p.m., CNN was the most watched with 1.413 million total viewers. Fox News averaged 1.272 million and MSNBC did 985,000. In the key demo adults 25-54, CNN averaged 314,000, which also easily bested FNC (155,000) and MSNBC (109,000).

The May 31st airing of “Dreamland” was also CNN’s top single telecast in total viewers and adults 25-54 since President Biden’s first official address to Congress on Apr. 28, based on Nielsen’s live plus same day data.

The film was directed by Salima KoromaLeBron James and Maverick Carter of The SpringHill Company, and Amy Entelis and Courtney Sexton of CNN Films all served as executive producers.

CNN’s other recent documentary “The Story of Late Night” drew decent numbers this past spring. The six-part chronicle of the decades-long evolution of late night television aired in the 9 p.m. hour Sunday nights from May 2 thru June 6. From observing its live plus same day viewer track for its initial telecasts, the program lost steam as the weeks progressed:

May 2: 1.027 million

May 9: 1.125 million

May 16: 0.862 million

May 23: 0.865 million

May 30: 0.668 million

June 6: 0.587 million

Nonetheless, it added another 215,000 viewers to each episode when factoring live plus seven-day which encompasses DVR, on demand and streaming. In addition, the aforementioned data for “The Story of Late Night” does not include figures from the many rerun telecasts CNN has aired.

The direct time slot competition for the CNN documentary was Fox News’ “The Next Revolution“. The Steve Hilton-hosted hourlong program’s track within those same Sunday hours were, as follows: 

May 2: 1.159 million

May 9: 1.159 million

May 16: 1.359 million

May 23: 1.069 million

May 30: 0.950 million

June 6: 1.351 million

Fox News was the total viewers leader (in cable news) within the hour, but the program — a discussion of current events — adds only approximately 44,000 viewers (on average) within its 7-day period following initial airings.

Using the Live+7 metric, only the first two parts of the six-part “The Story of Late Night” were able to top “The Next Revolution”: on May 2 (1.293 million vs. 1.19 million) and on May 9 (1.327 million vs. 1.202 million).

Here are the cable news averages for May 31-June 6, 2021 — cable’s best mark for the week in total viewers based on total day was by Fox News Channel; the 16th consecutive week FNC has accomplished this achievement:

Total Day (May 31-June 6 @ 6 a.m.-5:59 a.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 1.107 million viewers; 189,000 adults 25-54 
  • MSNBC: 0.751 million viewers; 98,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.554 million viewers; 120,000 adults 25-54

Prime Time (May 31-June 5 @ 8-11 p.m.; June 6 @ 7-11 p.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 1.974 million viewers; 296,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC: 1.261 million viewers; 158,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.779 million viewers; 168,000 adults 25-54

Top 10 most-watched cable news programs (and the top CNN program with their respective associated rank) in total viewers:

1. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 6/2/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.983 million viewers

2. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 6/3/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.903 million viewers

3. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 6/3/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.599 million viewers

4. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 6/3/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.598 million viewers

5. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 6/2/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.576 million viewers

6. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 6/1/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.574 million viewers

7. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 6/1/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.486 million viewers

8. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 6/2/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.479 million viewers

9. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Thu. 6/3/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.446 million viewers

10. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Wed. 6/2/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.436 million viewers

48. CNN Films “Dreamland: Black Wall Street” (CNN, Mon. 5/31/2021 9:00 PM, 120 min.) 1.413 million viewers

Top 10 cable news programs (and the top MSNBC and CNN programs with their respective associated ranks) among adults 25-54:

1. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 6/3/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.505 million adults 25-54

2. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 6/2/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.488 million adults 25-54

3. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 6/2/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.421 million adults 25-54

4. The Ingraham Angle (FOXNC, Wed. 6/2/2021 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.400 million adults 25-54

5. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 6/3/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.398 million adults 25-54

6. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Fri. 6/4/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.391 million adults 25-54

7. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 6/1/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.383 million adults 25-54

8. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 6/3/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.380 million adults 25-54

9. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 6/2/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.375 million adults 25-54

10. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 6/1/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.369 million adults 25-54

15. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Wed. 6/2/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.325 million adults 25-54

17. CNN Films “Dreamland: Black Wall Street” (CNN, Mon. 5/31/2021 9:00 PM, 120 min.) 0.314 million adults 25-54

Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research

BNM Writers

Fox News Tops Ratings With Bezos Coverage

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FOX News

Amazon founder and former CEO Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, flew on a supersonic excursion to the edge of space on July 20 aboard a suborbital capsule and rocket system named New Shepard. It was built by his space company Blue Origin. He, along with a few guest passengers including his brother Mark Bezos, took off from Van Horn, Texas. The trip lasted approximately 11 minutes.

Fox News Channel was the top cable news outlet with Bezos coverage, which began during “FOX & Friends”, this year’s top morning cable news program. In the 8 a.m. ET hour leading up to the Blue Origin launch, FNC drew 1.46 million total viewers and 221,000 in the 25-54 demo, topping both MSNBC (1.03 million viewers/145,000 adults 25-54) and CNN (665,000 viewers/115,000 adults 25-54), according to Nielsen Media Research.

Upon the rocket launch and subsequent landing within the 9-10 a.m. hour, Fox News Channel was once again on top, delivering 1.89 million total viewers and 272,000 in the 25-54 demo during their “America’s Newsroom” slot. CNN perked up to the runner-up cable position with 1.18 million viewers and 243,000 adults 25-54, passing MSNBC (1.07 million viewers/128,000 adults 25-54).

FNC had double and triple digit percent advantages over CNN and MSNBC in both viewers and demo.

It was the second space trip by a billionaire passenger within a ten-day span; Virgin’s Richard Branson made his venture in to space back on July 11.

On the following evening (July 21), CNN hosted a town hall event with President Joe Biden, which took place at the six-month mark of his presidency. Moderated by Don Lemon from Cincinnati, Ohio, Biden addressed the concerns of the spread of conspiracy theories and disinformation when it comes to the handling of the pandemic. In a subtle reference to Fox News, he stated, “One of those other networks is not a big fan of mine… but if you notice, as they say in the southern part of my state, they’ve had an altar call, some of those guys. All of a sudden they’re out there saying, ‘Let’s get vaccinated. Let’s get vaccinated.’ The very people who before this were saying… but that.

The 80-minute town hall posted 1.563 million viewers and 343,000 in the 25-54 demo, making it CNN’s most-watched program since their live July 4th music and fireworks special.

Meanwhile, airing on Fox News Channel directly opposite the event was one of Biden’s and the vaccine’s major detractors, host Tucker Carlson. His program that night outdrew the town hall: 2.87 million viewers and 491,000 adults 25-54.

Here are the cable news averages for July 19-25, 2021 — Fox News Channel extended their streak to 23 weeks being cable’s top network in total viewers based on total day data.

Total Day (July 19-25 @ 6 a.m.-5:59 a.m.)

  • Fox News Channel: 1.192 million viewers; 201,000 adults 25-54 
  • MSNBC: 0.737 million viewers; 104,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN: 0.548 million viewers; 114,000 adults 25-54

Top 10 most-watched cable news programs (and the top MSNBC and CNN programs with their respective associated ranks) in total viewers:

1. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 7/20/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.108 million viewers

2. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Mon. 7/19/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 3.073 million viewers

3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 7/21/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.870 million viewers

4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 7/22/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.822 million viewers

5. Hannity (FOXNC, Tue. 7/20/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.786 million viewers

6. The Five (FOXNC, Tue. 7/20/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.631 million viewers

7. The Five (FOXNC, Mon. 7/19/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.628 million viewers

8. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 7/22/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.593 million viewers

9. Hannity (FOXNC, Mon. 7/19/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.582 million viewers

10. The Five (FOXNC, Wed. 7/21/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.572 million viewers

13. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Thu. 7/22/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 2.452 million viewers

37. CNN Pres Town Hall “Joe Biden 7/21/21” (CNN, Wed. 7/21/2021 8:00 PM, 80 min.) 1.563 million viewers

Top 10 cable news programs (and the top  MSNBC, CNN, CNBC and HLN programs with their respective associated ranks) among adults 25-54:

1. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Mon. 7/19/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.536 million adults 25-54

2. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Thu. 7/22/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.524 million adults 25-54

3. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Tue. 7/20/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.510 million adults 25-54

4. Tucker Carlson Tonight (FOXNC, Wed. 7/21/2021 8:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.491 million adults 25-54

5. Hannity (FOXNC, Thu. 7/22/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.463 million adults 25-54

6. Hannity (FOXNC, Wed. 7/21/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.425 million adults 25-54

7. Hannity (FOXNC, Tue. 7/20/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.404 million adults 25-54

8. Hannity (FOXNC, Mon. 7/19/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.396 million adults 25-54

9. The Ingraham Angle (FOXNC, Thu. 7/22/2021 10:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.388 million adults 25-54

10. The Five (FOXNC, Thu. 7/22/2021 5:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.374 million adults 25-54

13. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC, Tue. 7/20/2021 9:00 PM, 60 min.) 0.354 million adults 25-54

17. CNN Pres Town Hall “Joe Biden 7/21/21” (CNN, Wed. 7/21/2021 8:00 PM, 80 min.) 0.343 million adults 25-54

114. Summer Olympic Prime (CNBC, Sat. 7/24/2021 8:00 PM, 240 min.) 0.185 million adults 25-54

128. Forensic Files II “Ten Of Hearts” (HLN, Tue. 7/20/2021 1:30 AM, 30 min.) 0.177 million adults 25-54

Source: Live+Same Day data, Nielsen Media Research

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BNM Writers

“Hair Freedom” on NBC10 in Boston

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NBC10

Generally I write a Tuesday column for Barrett News Media.

Today is Thursday, but after seeing the following headline pop up on a Google News alert, I just couldn’t hold my tongue.

“Local news anchor breaks ground with braids.

Literally a stop and take a deep breath kind of moment.

WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE?

Latoyia Edwards of NBC10 in Boston was a newsworthy subject when she tweeted out a photo of “Hair Freedom.” For the first time she was going to wear her hair in braids during her daily 4am broadcast.

The post thanked her employers and viewers for “supporting” the decision.

Question: How the (expletive) is this even a thing?

Why in the world should Edwards need permission, or an ‘okay’ of support to wear a certain style on-air?

Do men on camera need permission to shave their heads or grow out some flow? Probably not.

Or did Edwards need a stamp of approval from her employer because braids would accentuate her as a prominent person of color and higher-ups for years have been concerned that viewers might change the channel because they’re just not ready for that?

Braids. Dreads. Side-parts. High-top fades. Curls. Hair is hair! It can be beautiful and a reflection of your personality and style. It can represent culture or simply express how you’re feeling that day.

Don’t get it twisted, I’m glad Edwards made the decision, which couldn’t have been easy, and flaunted her braids on live television. I just cannot wait for the day that it’s no longer a story, and better yet becomes treated as the norm.

It’s just so unbelievably frustrating that she would even need to ask what kinds of hairstyles are deemed appropriate. A question that in corporate America is seemingly only required by people of color.

Celebrate black hair. Embrace the beauty of all hairstyles and textures.

We collectively freak out about the “sweet lettuce” and “playoff beards” donned by hockey players. As a Wisconsin native and fan of the Green Bay Packers, I wish I had a dollar every time a camera flashed to Clay Matthews whipping his hair back and forth on the sidelines while commentators fawned over how great it looked.

Do people not understand the time and effort it takes to maintain dreads and micros?

Edwards knocking out the glass ceiling reminds me of my time as a young reporter in Cleveland. Local sports anchor, Lauren Brill, made similar headlines by rocking her natural curls on a broadcast.

Headlines for rebelling against the industry standard and wearing curly hair.

Let that sink in. Sounds absurd to even read those words.

Here’s a concept, some food for thought, let’s accept each other’s differences. Black hair, white hair, red hair, thin hair or no hair. As long as you don’t have a giant middle finger shaved into the side of your head on TV, wear what makes you comfortable.

/End Rant

P.S: You go, Edwards!

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BNM Writers

A Great Broadcaster Isn’t One You Grew up Listening To

When it comes to broadcasting, the voices of your youth remain the best, the purest.

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When it comes to broadcasting, the voices of your youth remain the best, the purest. Anytime I hear a clip of Lindsey Nelson or Curt Gowdy, I am transported back to 1973 and a big glass of Ovaltine. Bob Murphy, Jim McKay, Keith Jackson, even Howard Cosell. Regardless of what they said or how they said it, those voices are burned into my memory.

Now that I’m in the broadcasting world, I’ve learned the mark of a great broadcaster isn’t someone you grew up listening to; it’s how easy they make it all seem. For those that know, most criticism of broadcasters is either based on jealousy or ignorance.

For every play, there are basically two reactions by the audience.

#1 – S*%&, my team just gave up the game-winning home run.

#2. Sweet, my team just hit the game-winning home run.

For every call, half the audience is mad. A national broadcaster can never win. That’s how they are judged by a biased, one-sided fan and a Twitter handle. But we know that is the wrong standard to use when comparing the voices of today.

The national greats, Jim Nantz, Al Michaels, Joe Buck, or the local greats, Charly Steiner of the Dodgers, Gary Cohen of the Mets, Dan McLaughlin of the Cards, to name just a few, all different, all so good. Their true talent? They make it look and sound so easy.

We know it’s hard – the names, pronunciations, stats, camera shots, commercials, talk, don’t talk, six voices in their heads, replay, slow motion, obscure rules, fourth-string defensive backs, recently called up relievers, sit in St. Louis and call a game in Arizona, and yet these broadcasters, night after night, deliver a flawless performance of the games they work.

One quick story, and yes, I’m guilty of being a bit of a super fan. When a younger Joe Buck called Mark McGwire’s famous 62nd home run in 1998 for Fox, he knew the guy who caught the ball. Fifty thousand fans, and he knew the guy’s name? Yes. Who caught the ball in a sea of Cardinal fans? Tim Forneris, a grounds crew member. Somewhat lucky? Sure, but to be able to pull that off takes a little luck and a whole lot of hard work. That’s the mark of a great broadcaster. “Just Lucky,” some would say, and they would be wrong. The work put in for that level of detail deserves credit. To know the name of a grounds crew member and be able to recall it when it was needed? That’s not easy, and it’s not luck, it’s just great work which happened to pay off that day.

With all that said, there is a broadcaster today who’s so far ahead of everyone else; he has lapped the field. He’s so good that he goes virtually unnoticed. Nobody outside of the broadcasting world knows his name. He proves, every four years, how simple it looks but how hard it must be. He makes the impossible sound so second nature; any one of us could do it.

He’s great for NBC golf, very good when he was broadcasting Notre Dame football, but when Dan Hicks calls Olympic swimming, he is off the charts. Granted, when a swimmer from Romania wins a gold medal, Australian fans don’t throw things at the television, claiming he is biased. But there is no one better to bring you the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

Imagine having these names, Rylov, Kolesnikov, Ceccon, Xu, Glinda, roll off your tongue like Murphy, Larkin, and Gonzalez of Spain in one Men’s 100 backstrokes. They all finished within fractions of seconds of each other. He calls the race, gets the names right, watches the splits, keeps the right swimmer in the right lane, and makes it sound exciting in an empty arena. I’m at home and need someone to use the teleprompter to point out which swimmer is the American.

Not counting all the preliminary heats he calls before the finals, there are 37 men’s and woman’s swimming events. He never gets a name wrong, never flubs a pronunciation, knows all the coaches, parents, friends, and backstories.

Other broadcasters keep some sort of order knowing the same players year after year. Hicks learns names and stories for one race and might never use that information about that Lithuania swimmer, Rapsys, ever again. It’s a whole new crop every four years. I’m more in awe of his work than some of the swimmers and their performances.

I don’t know if you agree or even give the broadcaster of Olympic swimming events a second thought, but the next time a sports fan in your world is quick to criticize a broadcaster, ask them, “Who calls the Olympic swimming events for NBC?”. I suspect they will have no idea, and that in and of itself proves my point. He’s the best nobody knows because it’s so easy, anyone can do it.

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