After finishing fourth among the four cable news networks for October,  in the LA Times CNN chief Jon Klein says he’s in a completely different business than Fox News and MSNBC and shouldn’t be compared to them:

“No one expected us to deliver the same numbers this year as we did during the election,” Klein said this week.

Still, after crowing about its ratings victories last year, CNN is now in the awkward position of trying to explain why its declining audience is not an issue.

“We are not going to try to boost numbers during fallow news periods by running cartoons, as our competitors do,” Klein said. “We’re going to cover the news and we’ll attract an ever more loyal audience as the result of it.”

“They are in a completely different business than we are,” he added. “We are not putting out the same product as they are. And we shouldn’t be compared to them on that account.”

Rival executives scoff at that assertion. Newscasts dominate the daytime lineup of MSNBC and Fox News, whose Bret Baier and Shepard Smith anchor news programs that ranked among the top five most-watched cable shows in October.

“Jon’s correct: It’s unfair to compare CNN to Fox News,” said Fox News spokeswoman Dana Klinghoffer. “Based on his network’s dismal ratings, it’s more accurate to compare CNN to the G4 channel.”

So, if CNN’s not to be compared to the cable news networks that are beating it in the ratings, who are its current ratings peers?

During Primetime in October (Live+SD):

Average Viewership (000s)

VH1 682
CNN 664
MTV 664
E! 618

Adults 25-54 (000s)

Nat. Geo. 193
Soap Opera 193
CNN 186
CMT 186
Oxygen 186

During Total Day  in October (Live+SD):

Average Viewership (000s)

Travel 514
TLC 504
CNN 481
AMC 480
BET 416

Adults 25-54 (000s)

Animal Planet 147
Headline 144
CNN 141
CMT 123

While it continues to not be clear who Jon Klein wants to be compared to, the networks above were CNN’s ratings peers in October.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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