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Viewers doing a 180 on Anderson Cooper's '360'

Kay Jones, a producer on CNN's Anderson Cooper's "AC360," recently blogged on the show's website that she "deserve[s] the month of May off." Well, she might as well take it because Cooper's fan base is doing just that already.

Kh6mwrncCOOPER Cooper's ratings have been in a sharp decline all year, and so far the month of May is no exception. According to Nielsen, the audience for the 10-11 p.m. hour of his show so far this month is 933,000 viewers. This is the first time he's fallen below the one-million mark since the dog days of last August. Anderson is losing almost 20% of his lead-in from Larry King and is in danger of being passed in the ratings by MSNBC's 10 p.m. repeat of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann." Since the start of 2009, Cooper has lost one-third of his audience.

CNN has invested heavily into marketing Cooper as the face of the network. The hype has never really translated into commercial success, and now that MSNBC is suddenly competitive, CNN finds itself being flanked on the right and the left.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Anderson Cooper. Credit: Andy Kropa / Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (79)

CNN shouldn't try to compete with Fox or MSNBC on their terms -- they've staked out their audience on the extreme sides of the political spectrum and seem to have each camp pretty well sewn up. But CNN's version of the "middle path" is riddled with hopeless attempts to imitate one side and then the other, endless repetition of the same stories over the same evening, endless panels of the same talking heads making the same partisan arguments, and a debasing of the concept of "breaking news." Obviously, CNN needs to do some major rethinking about its nightly offerings. I do believe it's possible to present a schedule of thoughtful, substantial and entertaining news programs, one after the other, in a way that captures a large share of the audience, but it's going to take a completely new mindset on the part of CNN leadership, and I'm not sure the current crew is up to the task.

Anderson Cooper's reporting on Katrina was one of the most real jobs of reporting...ever.
It touched the heart of America.....and revealed The Bush Administration's inability to protect its invisible citizens.
Anderson Cooper exposed this.....and the nation owes him a debt of gratitude for exposing this cancer...that was The Bush Administration.
Unfortunately......AC is at his best as a reporter.....not an anchor.
CNN has tried to exploit his success.....it worked for awhile. But, you've taken away the part of him that was the best....and replaced the AC we knew and loved with a ghost of what he was........
CNN.....I seldom watch anymore. Lou Dobbs is just plain ridiculous, unbearable, and boring............. Its the same people,saying the same thing...over and over again.
All the experts........Who really aren't experts....They're guessing at outcomes.....they aren't authorities....The future will be the expert..And...every little thing gets blown into a crisis.Enough.......over, and over....and over.
Larry King, and Jack Cafferty are the only two I really still enjoy. They at least have a personality....
And, their people never ask the questions that need to be asked.....they're always soft questions...not to offend guests...so they will return.
CNN, and our mainstream media is responsible for not reporting the truth....ignoring all the signs, and selling their soul for the advertising dollar.
I watch MSNBC now.....at least I know what they're saying...are just opinions.
Note: I hope people really don't think Fox News is really news.....Fox news can't even get its facts right...they're wrong more than is believable. But, they serve an audience who doesn't know the facts, and the lacks depth and courage to find it out. Fox News is just entertainment......for both the right, and the left.

I like Anderson Cooper. I always have. I've always seen Anderson as a facilitator of conversations that needs to be had in our country. He listens well and lets the guest experts or CNN advisors speak into a situation. My only disappointment with Anderson Cooper is his second hour is a repeat. The second hour I turn off CNN and go watch local news or Jon Stewart. I'm surprised to hear that Anderson Cooper is losing ratings. Wolf B is good, Lou D is an angry old man and I can't watch him. Larry is an icon. Cooper is likable and doing a fine job and I'll keep watching him. I'm sure CNN will figure out how to help Anderson's ratings. God forbid we only have FOX news to watch. I don't know what has happen to this country, but it seems like irrational, hateful fear has taken over with the likes of O'Rielly, Beck, and Hannity.

Forget all these cable news channels. I gave up, as has been said in these posts, the recycled news, constant commentaries and chit chat coming out of most of these "news" shows. Just nothing there. My impression of CNN is that a lot of their time is taken up w/ "filler" stories just to get through the day. Far better to get objective, sensible reporting that's simple and to the point from my cellphone w/ a quick read anytime its convenient day or night. Also, I use the internet to go to any network website, or CNN, MSNBC, to do a spot check of a major news story. I agree w/ RonBH that Fox News is a consolidated base of 'groupthink' - excellent term to describe Fox News' viewership. Stupid that anyone would think that MSNBC and CNN are losing viewers because their former viewers are tuning out Obama/Dems and turning to Fox and the extreme right. Wishful thinking and hardly the case. Obama's popularity is higher than ever according to recent polls. There's a term in psychological diagnostics called Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It's a disorder whereby a person has lost the ability to control destructive thinking and behavior. Frankly, that term is not lost on Sean HanNutty and many of his ilk.


Your reporting is objective, fair, and honest. I respect you.

Stop giving so much top-hour coverage to missing white girls and scandalous pageant models, start covering news that actually matters and affects the real world, and I'll switch back from MSNBC.


RA Healy is right.
No matter how hard CNN tries, Cooper just simply is not a SUPERSTAR. You can't buy that.
Lets take someone we all have strong feelings about. Sarah Palin. Love her or hate her she has star power. Most searched woman on Google, Magazine covers that sell triple Michelle Obama's. Even Lorne Michaels at SNL saw it and had the guts to acknowledge it. Cooper is probably a nice guy, but a viewer magnet he will never be.
Sorry, FED UP WITH LIES, but your argument about FOX success being the result of CNN and MSNBC battling each other for the same viewers is wrong. Not only does FOX have more viewers than both those networks combined nearly every hour of the day (refuting your theory) but FOX has a surprising number or not only independent viewers but Liberals.

First of all its like the repeat show . Its always old news. BBC America has the best uncensored news on what happening in this country . Maybe he should try honest reporting , not the censored stuff he's been doing .Get rid of the stupid hologram . Very juvenile .Spend money on real reporting , not tricks . And maybe if he would just come out , that would help with the honesty factor too... I stopped watching because its old . I know it all from the inernet . the show needs a revamp-asap

CNN has lost its bearings. I just don't watch anymore. MSNBC, particularly Olbermann and Maddow and occasionally Matthews, provide me plenty of substance with the best writing out there. Fox News is what it is, an agenda-driven operation that panders to those who cannot face the reality that the U.S. looks different, behaves differently and if something isn't done, we'll have a terrorist under every bed. Anyone who takes O'Reilly and Hannity seriously needs help.

For those who are trying to promote Fox Cable! The ONLY reason Fox has higher rating is because every Republican and Neo-Con is tuned into Fox , because Fox tells them just what they want to hear. While Dem's and Independents watch all of the other Networks and switch around to find out what is going on. MSNBC is not broadcast in a large part of the country . They need to. Fox is just a Brainwashing network for Republicans ..

CNN is trying to market itself as Fox News-lite, and THAT is why it is failing, it has nothing to do with Anderson Cooper.

I 100% agree with the comments below ( My wife also has expressed similar concerns- In addition they try to make something bad or negative out of nothing, it is like spreading discord):
I'm one of those tuning out on Cooper Anderson's show after Larry King airs here on the West Coast. Cooper Anderson's news is just a re-tread of what Larry's topic has been OR news I already heard during the day. Anderson's conversations with the woman co-host (can't recall her name) is too casual and not professional enough as she shrugs her shoulders and makes facial gestures while trying to project why someone said something. If CNN wants Anderson to have gravitas with news, he needs to deliver it as actual news like a serious news anchor a la Tom Brokaw and not a pundiit serving up warmed over magazine fare.

Posted by: Suzee | May 11, 2009 at 06:19 PM

AC 360 originally gave Anderson Cooper a chance to do what he does best, reporting from around the world on major issues that concern Americans. His earlier, seemingly fearless ability of entering tough war zones or areas of personal danger, worldwide, gave him an edge that viewers welcomed and admired. His reporting was incisive and far from mediocre.
Recent trends within the style and presentation of the program have shown a distinct lack of the earlier promise. Regrettably, Mr Cooper is not a good analyst of political thought and comment and too much of the time is now spent reporting on such matters. Other news channels have far more impressive commentators in this field and are, not surprisingly, attracting viewers away from CNN after Larry King's always interesting and insightful hour.
If AC 360 were to concentrate more on the sharper end of Anderson Cooper's reporting ability I am sure that informed viewers would return.

Twenty minutes of 'BREAKING NEWS" on AC 360 the other night of the arrest of that Peterson guy with the missing and or dead wives was enough to make me switch to MSNBC for good. I mean really is it any wonder why his ratings are tanking. The only thing worse is having to watch 'The Casey Anthony Hour' everyday with Nancy Grace over on HLN. I guess Anderson needs another hurricane to let his real journalistic abilities shine.

Somewhere Aaron Brown is smiling, and rightfully so.

CNN and MSNBC are the channels for the Bush haters...they cant see anything other than their pure hate for George Bush and anything Bush, and what Bush had for breakfast, or lunch or Dinner...or what resteraunt he ate at, or who served him his food, or how much he tipped the waiter...they hate it all.
Fox news tells you what happed today...not a year ago.
Have you noticed that Keith "I wanna be like O'Reilly" Olbermann has been talikng about George Bush since Obama took office...every friggin day it's the George Bush rehash...and then they wonder why noone watches him...Rachel Maddow is just as bad and neither of them is the tiniest bit funny...totally goofy, but nowhere near funny.
Save Anderson and bury these two wretches...

Fox audience is mostly comprised of red necks and ultraconservatives, where as the audience for other networks is usually professionals, higher-educated, and more objective.

Anderson Cooper did some great reporting of the Katrina crisis/debacle. His show on the otherhand is covering news that borders on tabloid like focus. Yes, the information is news worthy but I'd like to get some good investigative journalism on topics more relevant to current US struggles/ challenges. What about the torture memos and avenues of accountability? Banking bailout and CEO accountability? Understanding healthcare reform? So many options, so many misses.

I personally am a great fan of Keith Olbermanm.

I for one like Anderson Cooper, I admire how he got his start and I was very impressed by his reporting of Katrina. It's hard to pinpoint what his problem is. For one, on the West Coast, it's that AC airs twice a night, which is simply too much. I don't think CNN can compete with the other 2 news networks by trying to be like them. Not that that's exactly what
they're trying to do here. But it would be nice
if they did something more original. It seems like CNN's idea of originality is to surround stiff newsmen like Wolf Blitzer (don't get me wrong Wolf has a certain charm) in a studio surrounded by fancy graphics. I don't think that what we need either is more opinion. Perhaps what we do need is some old school journalism: investigative journalism, newmaker interviews. I've recently spent time in Australia, where two highly respected shows, the 7:30 Report and Lateline air everynight on ABC TV. The anchors have gravitas and really explore the news of the day with a depth and sense of perspective rarely seen on American television. I probably gained more indepth perspective on US politics watching those shows than I ever could watching the three 24 hour news networks. Whatsmore, the shows are truly non-partisan and fact driven. They also ask tough questions of the newsmakers of the day, from the Prime Minister on down in a way that you might only occasionally see on the Sunday morning news shows. I might also add that it would be nice to see CNN incorporate more World news from it's sister network CNN International. People seem to think that Americans have no interest in anything beyond their borders. Certainly, we care about what's happening at home first. But I don't actually think we Americans have been given much opportunity by the 24 hour news networks to start to care. CNN has the opportunity to be THE news network, a network of substance, not simply style. Whiz bang graphics and stiff recycling of the days talking points, talking heads and echo chambered issues of the day ain't going to cut it. Anderson Cooper has an opportunity to lead the charge and do something informative, refreshing, hard hitting, substantative and original.

Bring back Aaron Brown.

Anderson 360 has become boring because the topics they seem to cover seem to be either quite uninteresting or sensationalized muck. Example: half the show spent on lunatic village municipal gov. in some po-dunk town in Texas, some unnamed and terrorist with his back to the camera calling out death to America. I actually think Anderson Cooper is a fine talking head as talking heads go. I like his demeanor and I like that he refuses to engage Faux news type of news with guest basically yelling at each other like some ivy league Mauri Pauvich show BS. What CNN needs is to have actually have in-depth stories. They should not be afraid to take the plunge spend 15-20 minutes on a topic, give it "News Hour" coverage. Trust the intelligence of the people viewing CNN. If they want the 2 minutes coverage of Miss Cali. dingyness and other craptastic TMC style news then they will turn to Fox or some other channel... and CNN you should let these people go... I think you should market yourself as intelligent news for intelligent people and then follow it up with thural investigative news, with varied perspectives. I work in advertising and there are plenty of companies searching for such this kind of consumer, with discriminating taste. I do believe there is important news worthy things happening every day... I mean you seem to be able to put these type of shows together on Sunday, why not do this doing the week. ... A little Charlie Rose, and News Hour style news could put you guys in a whole new arena..

I like Anderson, but his show is just a recycled version of all the other news of the day - nothing innovative. After having watched CNN during the day for news and The Situation Room, (can't stand Lou Dobbs) I am ready for more interesting political programming. I switch at 4 (Pacific) to MSNBC for Chris Matthews, Olbermann and Rachel Maddow. If I'm out I watch their repeat segments later in the evening. I wouldn't watch Fox (Faux) News if I had a gun to my head.

CNN reports the news. I think Anderson Cooper is terrific.
FOXNEWS reports far right.
MSNBC reports far left but way better than FOXNEWS.

I think Anderson Cooper reports the news period.
I think MSNBC has becoming boring all one sided far left.
I won't watch FOXNEWS not just because they are one sided far right, they seem to be un-American 99% of the time; can't watch at all.

Is still bettter than the Fixed Noise Torture network. He is just boring but at least he does not talk about succession and a revolution like the clowns over at Cheneys channel. I am stillw ating on Hannity to live up to his word and be waterboard for charity. Oh wait maybe he wants to be tea bagged for charity. Liven it up some Anderson Fixed noise has the same old viewrs that lost the election and their ad revenues are declining

Anderson Cooper has pandered to the execs at CNN who are overplaying their hand and limiting
their brain power to hard news! I would hate to see Anderson Cooper removed from CNN -
but I would not miss John King, Dana Bash, Rick Sanchez - King, Bash and Sanchez are highly
overrated and mouth mindless jaberwockies just to be mouthing something! CNN has totally lost focus on the need to hit hard with meaningful news. Cooper didn't help himself with this half-
drunken appearance one evening ... if MSNBC outranks CNN, then the execs at CNN need to
swallow hard and digest some of their overblown pride and get back to the reason CNN came
into the front as tops in hard news! I would hate to see Anderson Cooper removed from CNN,
because he can deliver fresh, hard news! He has done it in the past ... if only the execs will let him! God forbid that anyone thinks CNN has become so lackluster that they would ever turn
to FOX which is the worst! The trouble is that CNN execs really do not listen to or act upon
their viewers preferences. Who can take an hour of Rich Sanchez each afternoon with his
blah, blah, blah diatribe making so much about so little that is really important news.

CNN is trying to be entertaining news... when you try to entertain with news...the news
presentations suffer and so do the viewers!

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