Seeking Gains From Change

Jun 12, 2006  •  Post A Comment

CNN/US President Jonathan Klein is hoping that all the changes coming on the broadcast networks’ morning shows will offer an opportunity for CNN’s “American Morning” to pick up viewers.

“There’s bound to be some sampling by some viewers,” Mr. Klein said. “There are bound to be people who are perhaps open to looking elsewhere [for their morning news].”

Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” is the most-watched cable news morning show. “Friends” averaged 863,000 viewers in May to “American Morning’s” 372,000 viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research data.

“Fox & Friends” features news, conversation and celebrities and segments on the plaza outside its Midtown Manhattan studio. Fox News has begun pitching “Fox & Friends” to advertisers as an alternative to the networks’ morning shows. The network declined to comment for this story.

Mr. Klein touts “American Morning” as the all-news alternative to all the morning shows and, he said, that focus has paid off with an increased share of the morning cable news audience for the first four months of this year.

“Since December, we have increased 8 share points,” Mr. Klein said. “It’s a good trend.”

The CNN executive said that “American Morning” isn’t looking for, and doesn’t need, a mega-shift in viewing patterns.

“The numbers we deal with in cable are on a different scale,” he said. “We don’t need a huge percentage of viewers to defect.”