‘John King, USA’ One Week In

By kevin 

It was an inauspicious launch ratings-wise for CNN’s new political show hosted by John King.

It’s been one week since the debut of “John King, U.S.A.” in the slot formerly occupied by Lou Dobbs. Last week, King averaged 629K Total Viewers and 173K A25-54 viewers. That’s lower than Dobbs averaged in the same week last year (754K Total, 204K demo), but an improvement over the week prior when a third-hour of “The Situation Room” averaged 477K Total Viewers / 134K in the demo.

Against the competition, King’s show topped HLN’s “Issues” (354K Total, 128K demo) but was behind the 7pmET re-air of MSNBC’s “Hardball” (792K Total, 218K demo) and the far-and-away ratings leader in the time slot FNC’s “FOX Report” (1.87M Total, 495K demo).

While some TV critics, including The Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik, are giving the show more time before writing a review, early criticism is centered around the use of RedState.com editor Erik Erickson, who was one of the first contributors to King’s program.

An editorial in the Boston Globe read: “At a time when even Congress has turned into an ideological mosh pit, CNN is employing one of the blogosphere’s more offensive, divisive figures.”

Yesterday, Erickson appeared on Howie Kurtz‘s CNN program “Reliable Sources” to address many of the controversial comments he’s made on RedState. “I’ve definitely had to grow up over time and realize that it’s not just me and friends anymore,” he said. “And I’ve definitely had to grow up and realize, I am someone now on a national stage and a platform and what I say and write affects not just me and my family, but others.”

Ahead of the new show’s launch, King told TVNewser having blog editors like Erickson on the program is important because they represent a politically engaged community that exists outside the typical circles in Washington.