D.C.’s Anderson Cooper fans should prepare themselves: CNN’s “AC 360 host” appears to be attracting a professional malaise these days.
On Monday NYT sparked speculation that the CNN host could be vying for CBS Katie Couric’s anchor post. Both CBS and CNN released statements effectively squashing the rumor. Insiders say the meeting did not involve replacing Couric.
Many in the industry are calling it a serious stretch that Cooper would be stolen away by CBS considering that Nielsen ratings for Cooper have fallen. Numbers reveal that February was Cooper’s least watched month in the five years he’s been doing his “AC 360” show in total viewers and the 25-54 demographic.
A CNN spokesperson said that last year CNN had very high numbers and the comparisons are skewed because of having those numbers a year ago. “AC360 will continue to be the only non-partisan news program on cable news on TV at 10 p.m.,” the spokesperson said.
(Perhaps CNN was comparing itself to MSNBC which features the clearly partisan Keith Olbermann at 10 p.m.)
But a TV executive remarked, “Cooper is perfect for CBS. He can’t get ratings either.”
Another network insider explained what may be at the root of Cooper’s ratings problems: “I would say that CNN has a great, recognizable brand that people turn to for breaking news, but that there doesn’t seem to be much of a reason to tune in to them at other times,” the source said. “He is not compelling enough of a personality to draw viewers when there isn’t breaking news, and Larry King just draws when he has a big celebrity booking. So what’s next for CNN in primetime?”