A Closer Look At Anderson’s Ratings

By Brian 

You can slice and dice Anderson Cooper‘s ratings a thousand different ways. In today’s Observer, Rebecca Dana notes that his numbers were down in April, up in May, and down just a hair in June.

In the second quarter, Cooper had the #3 show on CNN, behind King and Dobbs. From 10pm to midnight, he averaged 205,000 demo and 606,000 viewers. From 10 to 11pm, he averaged 219,000 demo viewers — down 3 percent from Aaron Brown‘s 226,000 demo viewers for NewsNight in the second quarter of 2005.

It takes a pretty wild imagination to think Cooper is doing poorly. In June, he “was within 15 percent of Greta’s ratings” in the demo, a CNN tipster notes. “That is the narrowest gap of any CNN show and FAR closer than Aaron Brown ever came to Greta (except the month of Katrina when, oh yeah, Anderson co-anchored it.)”

In June 2006, Cooper averaged 252,000 demo viewers while Greta had 291,000. Cooper’s CNN timeslot was up 21 percent while Greta’s was down 39 percent. (Call that the Natalee Holloway effect.) Between 10pm and midnight, Cooper averaged 225,000 demo viewers, while FNC averaged 288,000. “Cooper’s ratings for June are 36 percent over June 2005,” the AP noted yesterday. Click continued for one e-mailer’s theory about 360’s viewership…

An e-mailer writes: “It isn’t surprising that the people who cover the news media can’t quite put their finger on Anderson. Because people who watch him aren’t necessarily defecting from another news show — in many instances (myself included), they’re turning television news BACK on to watch him…

At the same time, people who prefer Big Chief Sits-in-Chair to gravitas the news at them are drifting to other networks. As long as the former are larger than the latter, ratings will go up. (And of course, vice versa.)

I’d be curious to know how many viewers of News Night are still watching CNN at 10PM and how many current 360 viewers weren’t watching CNN at all last year at this time.