2014 TVNewser Challenge: The Results

By Mark Joyella 

tvnewser logo_304x200Back when 2014 was still sitting shiny and new on the showroom floor, we asked you to make some predictions about the year ahead for television news. (We’ll have brand new, much-improved 2015 questions coming your way tomorrow). Thousands voted, and the results are in:

Which of the three evening newscasts is likely to see an anchor change in 2014?

Well, you guys are good. 65% of you predicted “ABC World News” with Diane Sawyer would have an anchor change, and it did–along with a name change to “World News Tonight”–as ABC announced in June Sawyer would step down, replaced by David Muir. 25% guessed CBS, and 11% voted for NBC, where Brian Williams not only celebrated ten years on the job, but just signed for another five.

Who will win Election Night ratings for the 2014 midterms?

59% of you guessed Fox News, and that was the right answer. FNC beat CNN and MSNBC in both total viewers and the A25-54 demo, combined during primetime hours. Only 3% guessed CBS News, which placed second overall in head-to-head competition at 10 p.m., when the broadcast networks had primetime specials.

Where will Matt Lauer be at the end of 2014?

58% of voters said Matt Lauer would close the year at “Today,” and sure enough he is–in fact, Lauer extended his deal, signing a new contract in June. The show had plenty of turmoil, however, with newly-hired SVP and EP of “Today,” Jamie Horowitz, departing under fire amid suggestions he had plans to shake up the show’s talent roster.

Which cable news network is most likely to change its primetime lineup in 2014?

Well, survey said CNN. 66% of you guessed things would change under Jeff Zucker, and the wait wasn’t long. In February, CNN announced “Piers Morgan Live” would end, and in March, Zucker told TVNewser the primetime lineup “would evolve” and that talks with Piers Morgan were underway about a new role at CNN. Morgan left the network in September.

Since the end of “Piers Morgan Live,” the 9 p.m. hour has been turned over to the likes of Mike Rowe, Lisa Ling and Anthony Bourdain, and 10 p.m. has been the home of “CNN Tonight,” which has mostly featured Don Lemon and Alisyn Camerota.

Will there be major changes in the morning show ratings war? 

The majority of you got it right: 60% guessed that things would remain the same, with “GMA” in the lead. 27% predicted “Today” would jump back into first place, and 13% predicted a bold jump to the top for “CBS This Morning.”

Which Sunday public affairs show will take the lead in 2014?

Nearly half of voters–47%–guessed CBS’ “Face the Nation” would be on top in 2014. And that’s been the case for 2014, with the CBS Sunday show first among total viewers, and — most weeks — first in the demo. 24% thought ABC’s “This Week” would win the Sunday show competition, and 14% said “Meet the Press.” Only 2% of you voted for “Al Punto.”

Which former anchor might return to cable news?

42% of you thought Paula Zahn would be back, but Zahn continues with Investigation Discovery’s “On the Case with Paula Zahn.” Martin Bashir narrowly landed in second place, just ahead of Dylan Ratigan, and ten percent of voters chose Rita Cosby. While Ratigan shot a pilot at CNN in April, Bashir has not returned, and Cosby continues as co-host of WABC radio’s “The Ride Home.”

Will Fox Business Network make gains on CNBC with Maria Bartiromo?

Survey said: yes, with 61 percent of the vote. Maria Bartiromo’s arrival saw Fox Business’ business day ratings remain flat among total viewers in 2014, but Bartiromo’s old network, CNBC, experienced a business day decline of -13% in total viewers. FBN’s core business programs also recorded occasional wins in total viewers and the demo vs. CNBC, with the Bartiromo-less “Closing Bell” on CNBC posting record lows in total viewers and the demo.

Which CNN daypart is most likely to see major changes in 2014?

71 percent of you predicted primetime, and as discussed above, that has clearly been the daypart experiencing the most change.