In last night's cable news ratings cage match, Sarah Palin outdraw Oprah Winfrey as the two were guests on competing programs in the 9PM EST time slot on Fox News and CNN respectively:
Palin appeared on Fox's "Hannity" to give her first interview in the wake of media attacks on her over the Arizona massacre while Winfrey was the prize guest on the debut of "Piers Morgan Tonight", CNN's successor to the Larry King Show.As Kristinn points out, The New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, New York Magazine and Broadcasting & Cable all headlined Morgan in their reports, even though Gov. Palin helped Hannity win the ratings battle. In contrast, The LA Times' "Show Tracker" blog titled its post "Sarah Palin upstages Piers Morgan's CNN premiere with Oprah Winfrey":
The numbers according to Broadcasting & Cable:
Hannity: 2.4 million, 600,000 in 25-54demo.
Morgan: 2.1 million, 521,000 in 25-54 demo.
Rachel Maddow on MSNBC: 1.1 million, 342,000 in 25-54 demo.
Morgan's heavily promoted CNN show got off to a decent if not thrilling start in the ratings Monday night, scoring 2.1 million total viewers according to the Nielsen Co.Reuters also acknowledged that Gov. Palin was the stronger draw: "Piers Morgan gets big CNN debut, but beaten by Palin"
But Fox News Channel, which employs Palin as an analyst, was not to be outdone. The network shrewdly scheduled the former Alaska governor as a guest on "Hannity," where she attacked the mainstream media for connecting her to the recent shooting in Tucson.
As a result, Morgan had to settle for second place to Sean Hannity, who delivered 2.4 million viewers. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow was third with 1.1 million.
Even so, the Morgan premiere at 9 p.m. delivered a rare dose of healthy ratings for CNN. The program more than tripled the audience "Larry King Live" was averaging in its final days late last year.
How dare that woman attract more viewers than the sainted Oprah!