Some Cable Broadcast News
by Jonathan Singer, Wed Feb 14, 2007 at 04:02:00 PM EST
According to a report over at the TVNewser blog, which really is the go to place for information on the industry, MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann is getting a raise -- and probably a big one at that.
Ever since the former sports broadcaster started launching scathing attacks on the hypocrisy and wrongheadedness of actions taken by the likes of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Bill O'Reilly and others, filling in a much needed gap within the cable broadcast industry for a newsman willing to cover the issues without a noticeable right wing bias, Olbermann has seen his ratings climb while his competitors have fallen.
Back in July, Olbermann briefly bested his nemesis Bill O'Reilly in the key 25-54 year old demographic (the "demo") during one program. True, it was more of a symbolic than real victory, seeing that O'Reilly was on vacation (and thus his program was a rerun) while Olbermann was not; still, it did mark the first time, to my knowledge that Olbermann's "Countdown" had topped Fox's "The Factor". By the late summer and early fall, Olbermann catapulted ahead of Paula Zahn within the demo, his competition during the 8 PM Eastern timeslot on CNN, and has since reached the point at which he regularly beats her in the ratings, both overall and within the demo. And the trend has not been limited to Olbermann and O'Reilly. MSNBC's numbers have been up across the board while Fox News' numbers have dropped significantly. So suffice it to say that it is good news that Olbermann at least appears to be on track to stay on the air with MSNBC for a long time to come.
And what of Fox News these days? Aside from being shunned and ashamed for pushing the clearly bogus story about Barack Obama's educational background, Fox News is moving ahead with a comedy program created by a producer of the Fox broadcast show "24" that aims to be a conservative alternative to "The Daily Show". From the bits and pieces released thus far, it's stunningly bad. I've already posted the video over in Breaking Blue, but it bears repeating on the front page because it is just so, so bad.
It's difficult for me to imagine someone coming up with something less funny -- though perhaps unintentionally hilarious because it attempts to be funny but so clearly fails -- as this program. One conservative blogger even suggests that "the writers are all liberals deliberately sabotaging the show." If this is what Fox News is going to come up with, it's no wonder their numbers are plummeting.
Update [2007-2-15 1:0:47 by Jonathan Singer]:Yet another God awful clip emerges...
Update [2007-2-15 12:22:22 by Jonathan Singer]: The AP has more on the Olbermann half of this post.