Media Metrics

Cable ratings are specks on a wall compared with the nets, but long-term trends favor cable. With people increasingly getting their news from the Web during business hours,
running the headlines at 6:30 EDT is a losing proposition for ABC, CBS and NBC. It's a different ballgame for cable shows, though, which mostly rely on verbal mudslinging --
rather than hard news -- to generate eyeballs. And like rubbernecking, viewers have a hard time turning away from the lurid stories that are part and parcel of cable programming.
With TV consumption likely going up as the winter months set in, we thought it would be useful to gauge the number of eyeballs for cable news programs running on the three major
outlets from 5:00 p.m. EDT through 10:00 p.m. Medialink, a media research company, defines the shows as straight talk (Bill O'Reilly, Larry King), news (Brit Hume, Wolf Blitzer)
or a mix of the two formats (Lester Holt, Anderson Cooper). Depending on the subject du jour, all of the programs mentioned below provide good vehicles for PR execs.