‘Parker Spitzer’ Off To Slow Start for CNN


CNN’s newest primetime
news/talk show got off to a very
slow ratings start in its first week
on the air.

The news network’s Parker
is averaging 489,000 viewers
in its 8 p.m. time slot, a 10%
drop from the network’s 2010 ratings
for its previous 8 p.m. to 9
p.m. shows — Campbell Brown
and Rick’s List, which starred recently fired CNN personality
Rick Sanchez —according to Nielsen.

The daily news talk show starring former New York
Governor Eliot Spitzer and conservative columnist Kathleen
Parker is also down 23% among the network’s core
25-54-year-old viewers compared to its predecessors, as
well as down 4% among adults 50 and over.

Bart Feder, senior vice president of programming at
CNN/US, shrugged off the show’s slow ratings start, telling
Multichannel News that the on-air product has improved
every day since it launched.

“The show’s been on for four days, and we think it’s gotten
better every day that it’s been on — what we’re looking
for is growth,” he said, adding that the show has improved
its lead-in audience from John King’s 7 p.m. show.

The network is hoping the show can provide a boost to
its primetime ratings, which were down 46% in the third
quarter to 513,000 viewers compared to 949,000 in 2009.
Comparatively, Fox News Channel averaged 1.8 million
viewers in the quarter, while MSNBC and CNBC averaged
693,000 and 197,000 viewers, respectively.

“Our expectation is, the more people see it, the more
people are going to like it and the more they’ll come back
and check it out,” he said. “It’s going to take more time to
build an audience, so we’re confident .”

Feder said the network is committed to improving its
primetime audience with Parker Spitzer and its new 9 p.m.
show starring America’s Got Talent judge Piers Morgan —
who will replace outgoing veteran Larry King at the end of
the year — along with Anderson Cooper 360 at 10 p.m.