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Cable News Ratings: CNN’s ‘Black In America 2’ Underwhelms

CNN’s Black In America 2, the two night long form programming event hosted by Soledad O’Brien, underperformed for the cable news network, according to data from Nielsen Media Research.

Despite having President Obama’s press conference as a lead-in Wednesday, a press conference which ended on a discussion about race (as it related to the arrest and subsequent release of Henry Louis Gates), the first edition of Black In America 2 was down slightly from last year, down 6% in total viewers (2.128 million to 1.991 million) and 7% among P25-54 (966,000 to 894,000). While Black In America declined year over year, CNN still won the night in the key 25-54 demo the news nets target.

While the 2008 special improved during its second night, the 2009 edition dropped significantly. Night two drew 1.406 million total viewers, compared to 2.565 million last year, and 569,000 demo viewers, compared to 1.210 million last year, that is down 45% and 53% respectively. Fox News won the night in both demo and total viewers

Despite the drop, CNN noted that Black In America 2 was the highest rated cable news documentary so far this year on any network.