Fox News Mole Doesn’t Do Much for CNN’s ‘Reliable Sources’

By Chris Ariens 

CNN’s “Reliable Sources” booked former Fox News employee Joe Muto on Sunday. Host Howard Kurtz talked with Muto for about 10 minutes (about 5 minutes aired on the TV show) on why he did it — “I couldn’t be in that building one day longer without exploding;” and what comes next — “I think it’s pretty safe to say my career in cable news is over.”

Here are the cable news ratings for that hour:

  • 11am Sunday, April 15. Total Viewers / A25-54 viewers

Fox News — 1,019,000 / 185,000
Weather — 777,000 / 330,000
CNN — 413,000 / 100,000
MSNBC — 356,000 / 97,000
HLN — 318,000 / 133,000

With tornadoes having swept across the Midwest in the early morning hours, the Weather Channel topped all cable newsers, except FNC (which also led with the tornadoes at 11am). But a closer look at the numbers shows Muto’s appearance, as well as a discussion of 2012 politics, the Trayvon Martin coverage, and memories of Mike Wallace, didn’t seems to be a draw for CNN viewers.

“Sources” was down -22% in Total Viewers and down -43% in A25-54 viewers vs. the year-to-date average of 529,000 Total Viewers / 175,000 A25-54 viewers. Its lead-in “Fareed Zakaria GPS” was also down, but just -1% in Total viewers and -13% in younger viewers vs. year-to-date.

Fox News at 11am was up +1% / -20% vs. year-to-date, while MSNBC was up +18% / +3% vs. the year-to-date average of MSNBC Live and Melissa Harris-Perry which debuted in February.

Many viewers looking for the news about the weather at that hour, may have switched to TWC. In fact, the Weather Channel was up +254% in Total Viewers and up +200% in younger viewers compared to the week earlier.

One person who did catch the show, at least a clip of it later: Bill O’Reilly.

As we mentioned earlier, O’Reilly called out Kurtz for allowing one of his guests on “Sources,” Julie Mason, to let a criticism of O’Reilly go unchallenged.

“It’s about CNN,” said O’Reilly to Bernard Goldberg during their media segment last night. “And CNN is a brand that goes all over the world and this is why I get annoyed.”

“Kurtz could have easily said, ‘You’re crazy. O’Reilly doesn’t have anything to do with the Republican party.’ Kurtz could have done that. He knows that. He didn’t slap her down like she should have been… figuratively not literally,” O’Reilly added.