February 28th, 2012
03:59 PM ET



AC 360 Tops MSNBC at 10p

CNN Tops MSNBC in Total Day and Dayside 

February 2012 Highlights:

  • CNN tops MSNBC in M-F primetime in target demo
  • CNN tops MSNBC in M-Su primetime in key demo
  • CNN tops MSNBC in total day among total viewers and in key demo
  • CNN tops MSNBC in dayside in total viewers and target demo
  • AC 360 tops MSNBC at 10p in key demo
  • Despite the Arab Spring a year ago, CNN shows growth in primetime and total day, while MSNBC and FNC decline.

In February, CNN topped MSNBC in M-F prime and M-Su prime in the target demo 25-54 and in both total viewers and in the key demo in total day and dayside.  Anderson Cooper 360 at 10pm also topped MSNBC’s Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell among 25-54.

Despite cable news being fueled by coverage of the Arab Spring during this time a year ago, CNN showed the most growth this month vs. a year ago in primetime and total day, while MSNBC and FNC both down.

In Monday-Friday primetime, CNN topped MSNBC (270k vs. 252k) and increased +11% (270k vs. 243k) in the demo 25-54 and grew 5% in total viewers vs. last year.  MSNBC is down -5% (252k vs. 266k) and FNC is off -13% (502k vs. 579k) in the demo, and down -1% and -3% respectively in total viewers compared to a year ago.  February represents the second consecutive month that CNN has outperformed MSNBC in M-F prime in the key demo.

Anderson Cooper 360 at 10p continued to show a strong ratings performance, topping MSNBC’s Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell at 10p in the key demo (262k vs.238k).

In Monday-Sunday primetime, CNN topped MSNBC in the target demo (283k vs. 237k) and grew an impressive +31% (283k vs. 216k) vs. a year ago, while MSNBC is down -9% (237k vs. 260k) and FNC declined -10% (418k vs. 466k). In total viewers, CNN grew +20% (807k vs. 675k), while MSNBC declined -3% and FNC is flat.

In total day (6a-6a), CNN outperformed MSNBC in both total viewers (475k vs. 455k) and the target demo (163k vs. 145k).  In the key demo 25-54, CNN is up +3% (163k vs. 159k) last year, with FNC dropping -6% (270k vs. 286k) and MSNBC declining -1% (145k vs. 146k).

During the dayside (9a-5p), CNN also topped MSNBC in total viewers by +11% (439k vs. 396k) and by +27% in the key demo (117k vs. 92k).

CNN reached a cumulative audience of 95.9 million viewers in February 2012, FNC followed with 79.3 million and MSNBC had 75.5 million.



Topics: AC360 • CNN
February 28th, 2012
01:34 PM ET

Ali Velshi on gas price hike: rising cost of oil and speculators

As part of CNN’s In Depth series, Chief Business Correspondent Ali Velshi explains that gas is spiking because of the rising cost of oil and continued buying by speculators.

On rising oil prices, Velshi says, “The price of oil selling at $108.56 yesterday. Now four months - five months ago, the beginning of October, oil was 80 bucks a gallon. $79.20 exactly. This week $108.56. That's an increase of 40 percent. Now go back to October 1st. Gasoline was $3.40 a gallon. It's now $3.70 a gallon, roughly that's an increase of 10 percent. If gas had done what oil had done, and most of the price of a gallon of gasoline comes from the oil that goes into it, that's the most expensive part, gas would be at $4 - when I do the calculations, $4.76 right now.”

Velshi adds, “Anybody who says they have a short-term solution to gas just lying to you.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs week morning from 7-9am ET on CNN.

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Topics: CNN • CNN Politics • Soledad O'Brien • Starting Point
CNN Opinion prepares readers for tonight’s primaries
February 28th, 2012
11:24 AM ET

CNN Opinion prepares readers for tonight’s primaries

Turning timely topics that become CNN.com’s top talkers is one of the reasons CNN's opinion section has risen more than 50% since last year. Though the opinion section provides commentary on a range of news events, including breaking news, sports, and sometimes entertainment, we’d like to point out the stories that contextualize tonight’s upcoming primaries. Gearing up for the Arizona and Michigan races, the CNN.com columnists identify issues they believe voters actually care about. For instance,

Gloria Borger says the GOP has long accused Barack Obama of pushing class warfare, but the real hotbed of class warfare is actually among the GOP

LZ Granderson opines that the GOP candidates are tripping over each other to pander to the conservative base, and references Romney’s repeated observation that ‘the trees are just the right height’ each time he visits a new state

Julian Zelizer comments about Rick Santorum’s rise in the polls and what that really means for the GOP race

Whether readers agree or disagree with these perspectives, they sure do get people talking. So now that you’re up on the latest CNN opinion pieces, follow along online with our primary coverage tonight which will live stream on www.cnn.com/live at 6pm ET, and also check out CNNPolitics.com and the CNN Election Center for the latest updates.

Topics: CNN Digital • CNN Opinion • CNN Politics
February 28th, 2012
10:09 AM ET

Rep. Peter King (R-NY): 'Whispering' of recruiting other GOP candidates, if Romney loses Michigan

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) talks to CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien about potential outcomes for the GOP field if Mitt Romney loses the Michigan primary, including the possibility of other GOP candidates entering the race after Super Tuesday.

King says, "If Romney does not win Michigan it creates real problems for his candidacy. And I think you will then start seeing more activity among the Republican establishment... talking to people like Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan, Mitch Daniels....And Rick Santorum has had a lot of negatives over the last week. If he is still able to win Michigan, that shows a real problem that Mitt Romney has."

He adds, "[Additional GOP candidates may] be getting lined up, getting recruited. And they’re trying to get one of them to agree to make the run, let’s say, if Super Tuesday doesn’t turn out better for Romney. I think there’s going to be more of an interest, more of an emphasis, of having someone ready on Super Tuesday if Mitt Romney does not manage to break loose and have that candidate ready to come in. I have no inside knowledge, just whispering and mumbling… among top Republicans who are concerned that Governor Romney has not been able to break loose."

Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien airs week mornings from 7-9am ET on CNN.


February 28th, 2012
10:02 AM ET

Kyung Lah visits Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant

CNN's Kyung Lah has rare access to the Fukushima nuclear plant, nearly a year after it was severely damaged by an earthquake and tsunami. CNN is the only U.S. network to have access to the plant.

For more on CNN's 'Rebuilding Japan' go here.

Topics: CNN • Japan • Kyung Lah
February 28th, 2012
09:30 AM ET

Ohio attorney general: T.J. Lane likely to be tried as adult

Mike DeWine, Ohio attorney general, discusses the Ohio shooting suspect's background and his scheduled court appearance.

DeWine says, “I have not talked to the prosecuting attorney, David Joyce, yet, but what we would assume is this case… [Lane] would be tried in all likelihood as an adult.

On gun laws, DeWine adds, “We have a task force that we have been working on in the attorney general's office to look at repeat offenders who use guns. But in his case it simply does not apply…. There's no indication [Lane’s] a habitual offender.... A majority of crime in this country is... caused by people who have had crime in the past. In this case it may not be true. There may not be the predictors we would hope to see to be able to tell what he's going to do in the future.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs week morning from 7-9am ET on CNN.

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Topics: Breaking News • CNN • Soledad O'Brien • Starting Point
February 28th, 2012
09:04 AM ET

Independent strategist on MI primary: if Democrats show, Santorum could win

Democratic Strategist Kiki McLean, Republican Strategist Trey Hardin and Independent Analyst Goldie Taylor explain who has the most to gain and lose in today's primary contests in Michigan and Arizona.

On open primaries, Taylor says, “Well, you know, people get to choose up until the last moment if they're going to be a Democrat or Republican that day. I think it's a free and open process. I actually don't agree with party registration. I should be able to choose up until the moment that I vote which party I'm going to, you know, decide to go with."

On political parties trying to influence voters from opposite parties, Taylor states, “But at the end of the day, this might work. You know, turnout in Michigan is expected to be so very low, if you get 10,000, 20,000, 30,000 Democrats to show up and vote for, you know, Santorum, you know, he could really pull this out, and I think he's running ahead anyway.”

Early Start with Ashleigh Banfield and Zoraida Sambolin airs week mornings on CNN from 5-7am ET on CNN.

Topics: Ashleigh Banfield • CNN • CNN Politics • Early Start
February 27th, 2012
10:22 PM ET

Piers Morgan Tonight: Bill Maher on his $1 Million Super Pac donation

Tonight, comedian Bill Maher sat down with Piers Morgan in a live exclusive primetime interview.

On the heels of his 10-digit donation to Barack Obama's reelection, the comedian explained what was on his mind, when he put his hand in his pocket:

"I wanted to make the point that this really hurt. It does hurt me to write a check for a million dollars," confessed Maher. "I wanted to sort of inspire a lot of the people out there on the left who are rich, who this wouldn't hurt at all. There's lots of people who will never miss a million dollars. I will miss it. I'll miss it badly."

Topics: Piers Morgan
February 27th, 2012
03:38 PM ET

CNN In Depth series this week – Gas prices

This week across all platforms , CNN In Depth series will take a deeper look at the rising price of gas including the driving forces behind the hike and the affect on the presidential election.

Mark Whitaker, executive vice president and managing editor of CNN Worldwide, outlines the problem and upcoming coverage in a piece on CNN.com: In Depth: Why the price of that tank of gas is going up, up, up.

Highlights include:

  • Tuesday – chief business correspondent Ali Velshi will appear on "Starting Point With Soledad O'Brien" and other shows throughout the day to assess the role of speculators. Also, he will offer a 101 primer on why gas prices go up and down in an Explain It To Me video tutorial.
  • During her prime-time "OutFront" show, Erin Burnett will step back and look at the global market for oil, examining where all the demand is coming from and how a global thirst for oil as far away as China can affect the price you pay at your station around the corner.
  • On "CNN Newsroom" throughout the week, CNN will also address how oil refineries work, how the availability of "surplus gas" from independent oil companies can play havoc with pump prices and what effect the squeeze on oil will have on the market for alternative energy.
  • On CNN.com and CNNMoney.com, consumers will be able to compare gas prices on a state-by-state map.



Topics: CNN
February 27th, 2012
02:11 PM ET

CNN Devotes Special Coverage to Arizona, Michigan Primaries

Anchors Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, Erin Burnett and John King will headline the network’s America’s Choice 2012: The Arizona and Michigan Primaries coverage beginning at 7 p.m. live from the CNN Election Center. John King, USA kicks off the network’s primary coverage at 6 p.m. and a special edition of Piers Morgan Tonight is scheduled to broadcast at midnight.

CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger and senior political analyst David Gergen, along with political contributors Paul Begala, Maria Cardona, Alex Castellanos and Ari Fleischer, will be on set in the CNN Election Center to offer insight and analysis throughout the evening.

Anchor and chief political correspondent Candy Crowley will report from Romney campaign headquarters in Michigan; national political correspondent Jim Acosta from Santorum headquarters; and senior correspondent Joe Johns from Gingrich headquarters.  CNN political editor Paul Steinhauser and correspondent Miguel Marquez will take viewers inside the voting process in Michigan and Arizona, respectively. Correspondent Tom Foreman will lead a focus group in the bellwether state of Ohio ahead of Super Tuesday. CNN Newsroom anchor Suzanne Malveaux will anchor live from Phoenix, Ariz. beginning Monday, Feb. 27 through Wednesday, Feb. 29 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. FULL POST

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