Earlier today, Matthew Balan at NewsBusters noted how the "Big Three Nets Trumpet Wall Street Protesters 'Proclaiming Victory.'" HIs report concentrated on the morning shows, but a Media Research Center Reality Check showed the that the fawning has also been present in evening news coverage.
Evening show network executives, however, may be less than thrilled about the "Occupy Wall Street" crowd coverage, and secretly hoping for the whole thing to wind down. That's because their shows, which have generally seen their ratings rise during the past twelve months, saw their combined audience fall below 21 million during the week of October 3, with CBS suffering a particularly sharp drop (comparisons are to previous week):
NBC, Total Viewers: 7,910,000 (down 1.4%); 25-54 Demographic: 2,221,000 (down 3.2%)
ABC, Total: 7,338,000 (down 1.6%); 25-54 Demo: 1,979,000 (down 1.0%)
CBS, Total: 5,484,000 (down 7.0%); 25-54 Demo: 1,614,000 (down 5.6%)
All three networks, Total: 20,732,000 (down 3.0%); 25-54 Demo: 5,814,000 (down 3.2%)
The combined increase over the week of October 4, 2010 was 4.0%, far less than the year-over-year increases seen in previous weeks.
It's a little early to ascribe the ratings drop to Occupy Wall Street. Another reported drop next week would be more definitive. It certinaly bears watching.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.