During the first month of CBS's revamp of its morning program, the winner was Fox News Channel.
Whereas CBS This Morning, which supplanted The Early Show, saw 14% drops among viewers and in the 25-to-54 demo, Fox News Channel's Fox and Friends tallied audience and demo gains of 16% and 4%, according to Nielsen data.
From its launch on Jan. 9 through Feb. 12, CBS This Morning, which now features Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Erica Hill and a harder news presentation, averaged 2.56 million watchers, including 1.08 million adults 25 to 54.
That compared with 2.98 million and 1.26 million for The Early Show from Jan. 10 through Feb. 13, 2011, according to Nielsen data.
Meantime, NBC's Today tallied 5.55 million viewers and 2.46 million demo watchers in the 2012 span. The longtime daypart leader averaged 5.77 million (down 4%) and 2.69 million (minus 8%) with the aforementioned group in the prior-year period. No. 2 player, ABC's Good Morning America saw its audience slip 1% this year to 4.89 million from 4.96 million, while registering a 3% gain in the demo to nearly 1.99 million from 1.92 million during the prior period.
For its part, Fox News, which counts nearly 99 million subscribers, 16 million homes short of the broadcasters, notched audience advances, albeit from a much smaller base. Fox and Friends scored a 16% jump in viewership to just under 1.20 million viewers from 1.03 million last year. That total included 338,000 adults 25 to 54, 4% more than 326,000 of those watchers in the corresponding year-earlier span.
Fox and Friends also posted more viewers than CBS This Morning in six of the top 20 DMAs, Atlanta, Detroit, Phoenix, Tampa, Cleveland and Orlando, according to Nielsen.
Since the CBS This Morning revamp, Fox and Friends, which had been trailing Early News in Cleveland (DMA No. 18) and was on equal viewer footing in Phoenix last year, pushed past the broadcast show in its first month on air. In Cleveland, Fox and Friends saw its audience grow to 17,000 from 13,000, while CBS shed 1,000 viewers to 13,000, giving the cable entry a 31% advantage last month.
The Early Show and Fox and Friends were tied in Phoenix (No. 13) during the 2011 period with 13,000 viewers apiece. Now, the latter holds a 7% edge with 15,000 viewers, versus 14,000 for the new CBS program.
Fox and Friends in the other four markets maintained its advantage over CBS, losing some of its lead in a pair and increasing it in the other two. In Atlanta (No. 9), the Fox News show sustained audience erosion dropping from 52,000 to 28,000, while This Morning picked up 3,000 watchers to 16,000 last month. Similarly, Fox and Friends continued to top CBS in Tampa (No. 14) by 36% with 30,000 viewers, versus 22,000 for This Morning. Last year, Fox and Friends had 31,000 watchers, while The Early Show' had 19,000.
In Detroit (11) and Orlando (19), Fox and Friends widened its advantage over the broadcaster's morning program. Both shows sustained audience erosion in the Motor City, with Fox and Friends counting 17,000 this year versus 29,000 in 2011, while CBS was down from 10,000 to 5,000. Those deliveries served to widen Fox and Friends' lead to 240% from 190%.
In Orlando, Fox and Friends averaged 34,000 watchers, up from 30,000, as This Morning registered 16,000, off from 17,000 for The Early Show. Those results pushed Fox's edge to 113% from 76%.
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