Despite Success Online, CNN Continues to Struggle on TV

Anderson Cooper’s ratings plummet in February

Last Updated: March 2, 2010 @ 4:16 PM

CNN says that despite rumors of a jump to CBS, Anderson Cooper is staying put. Perhaps they should rethink that strategy.

Despite the flaxen-haired newsman’s fantastic, ongoing coverage of the earthquake in Haiti, his ratings have hit new lows. Average total viewers for Cooper’s “360” fell 59 percent (about 549,000, according to Nielsen) and 62 percent in the key 25-to-54-year-old demographic.

With 167,000 viewers in the "demo," it was his worst single month since the program launched in 2005.

Larry King (down 55 percent to 669,000) and Campbell Brown (down 50 percent to 526,000) also hit new lows in total viewers.

The network itself slipped to fifth place on cable in February in the 25-54 demo, behind CNBC and its sister network HLN.

CNN did beat Fox News and MSNBC in viewers for total day during its coverage of the 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Haiti. On Saturday after the quake struck, CNN was first in both total viewers (1.453 million) and in the demo (550,000) for total day. Fox was number two (1.366 million average total, 422,000 in the demo) followed by MSNBC (571,000, 242,000). (Fox, however, beat both CNN and MSNBC during primetime Saturday.)

On Tuesday, CNN highlighted where it has had consistent success: on the digital side.

In January, CNN.com had 40.6 million visitors and 1.5 billion page views, topping its rivals. The site hosted a total of 135.5 million video streams, edging MSNBC, and nipped Fox News in time spent per person on its website, 24.1 minutes.

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