That’s what DailyFinance asks while assessing Olbermann’s “soft” January numbers. Countdown was down 44% year-over-year and his HLN and CNN competitors are closing the gap in younger viewers. Olbermann averaged 3,000 more viewers than Nancy Grace and 12,000 more than Campbell Brown. FNC’s “The O’Reilly Factor”, the #1 show on cable news, was the only show in the time period to grow year-over-year — up 55%.
MSNBC president Phil Griffin doesn’t think it’s a trend:
“Keith has been our tentpole,” he says. “I watch the show every night. It’s a great show. It’s as smart and clever and fun as any out there, and I’m pleased with where we are.”
He attributes Olbermann’s January ratings slip to a news cycle in which international news, rather than domestic politics, was the No. 1 story. “On big, breaking international news, CNN tends to do better than us. They did a great job in Haiti, and I tip my hat to them,” he says. “We’re the place for politics, and there are times when politics does great, and there are times when it doesn’t.” With primaries in the midterm elections already looming, he says, “I think we’ll get our momentum back.”