OLD Media Moves

More on CNBC's rating slump

August 5, 2009

Daniel Gross of Slate has more on why CNBC‘s ratings fell during July.

Gross writes, “So why have CNBC’s viewers clicked the remote? It’s possible that viewers have left because the story broadcast on CNBC in the early months of 2009 proved to be wrong. There hasn’t been an Obama bear market. The show whose ratings have fallen most precipitously is the most overtly political one. Ratings for The Kudlow Report, presided over by Larry Kudlow, who proves you can be both a supply-sider and a gracious guy, are down more than 40 percent.

“But I think something else is at work. Just as most people don’t buy Playboy to read the articles, most people don’t watch CNBC to listen to analysis. In fact, in many places—corporate offices, health clubs, bars, trading floors — the volume is generally muted. People keep CNBC on to see what stocks and bonds are doing and to see whether there’s any news — especially to see whether there’s any bad news. Standard business news such as quarterly earnings reports and Federal Reserve testimony isn’t particularly exciting. CNBC gets its best ratings when the markets are tanking.”

Gross concludes, “In the summer of 2008, you had to tune into CNBC every morning, afternoon, and evening—even on the weekends—to keep up with breaking news. Now, not so much. There are still plenty of vital economic and corporate developments to cover. But the declining threat of wholesale failure has killed some of the buzz.”

Read more here.

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