Soledad’s “Starting Point” Axed, but why?

From Newsbusters:

When the story went viral that the network had ended the program because of its audience’s ethnicity, a CNN spokesman responded:

To clarify, Feder’s issue with “Starting Point” was that the audience was too small and happened to be predominately comprised of minorities. A source close to the show insists that the ethnicity of the audience was never the issue, it was the size. Feder in no way meant to imply that the audience was too ethnic.

A look at the ratings of the morning schedule shows that the CNN vice president had a valid complaint.

For the month of January, “Starting Point” attracted an average of 264,000 viewers. MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” got 468,000 and Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” had an average audience of 1.07 million. “Morning Express” on HLN (the Headline News channel) attracted 218,000.

Meanwhile, the morning shows on CBS, ABC and NBC had millions more than any of those programs, so it’s clear that “Starting Point” was behind everyone except its sister network HLN, which has been moving closer to the CNN program’s ratings.

CNN’s digging itself into a hole.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • TJJ

    This was her second go at the morning show slot, and her upteenth try at various slots at CNN. To me the issue was always that that she was utterly unwatchable. She comes across as arrogant and condescending and angry. I think she is very bright. She may be a very nice person. But on camera she comes off very bad and always has. The question I have asked a few times is why does CNN keep putting her out there, why has she had so many opportunities when most other talking heads get none at a network level or one chance, and it they don’t get the ratings and favorabiblity quotient, boom, they are gone and never heard/ seen again.

  • Robin

    I have commented to my wife for the past 6-9 months that I thought CNN was targeting African Americans as their primary viewing audience. I thought Fox had the right wing, MSNBC had the affluent left wing, and CNN had the African Americans.

    I mean, when you compare their anchor lineup to other networks they have noticeably more people of color. Their “specials” include like 4 or 5 different versions of “Black in America” hosted by Soledad herself…I just thought this was an intentional business decision on their part.

  • scotmcknight

    TJJ,

    Soledad has had her chances; she’s also quite clear on her leanings. She can’t get riled a bit but I don’t see her as arrogant so much as of strong opinions.

    Robin,

    CNN needs to learn that progressives aren’t as interested in the news as conservatives. If it is true that progressives are in the younger set of adults and voters, then the name of the game is social media and not TV news. FoxNews clearly produces news for the older set and conservatives, who still watch TV news.

    My two adult children don’t watch news; they rely on Twitter for their news. My reading of the social media people leads me to think CNN ought to forget its numbers for news shows like “Starting Point” and concentrate even more on the social media with TV supporting it.

  • RP

    I’ve been watching CNN for a number of years, and of all the major networks, I felt more at home with CNN. Unfortunatly, some (not all) CNN commentators have a difficult time keeping their own views and feelings to themselves. Soledad is one example. She does come across as an angry commentator, and as usual, frequently interupts those who are being interviewed. Commentary has replaced the “news” that many of us grew up with. This is not only true of CNN, but FOX and MSN as well. I’m thinking of heading back to the local news outlets, where you get the news, and nothing but the news, so help me God!

  • http://thisscroll.wordpress.com TC Robinson

    If it’s a viewership issue, then a number of factors must be considered. 1. Perhaps the host is not connecting; (2) or the content not connecting; (3) or part of CNN losing its mojo.


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