Does CNN’s New Day Have a Wii U Problem?


The sales this year for Nintendo’s Wii U console have been lackluster, especially compared to the Wii U’s predecessor, the Wii. That, too, is one of the problems. Shoppers have had trouble differentiating between the Wii and the Wii U. Nintendo, too has had trouble pointing out the differences. Consumers are either unaware of the GamePad, a second screen controller for the Wii U, or see it as another controller for the Wii. Even Jimmy Fallon called it an expansion for the Wii, before getting corrected by Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime.

The ratings for CNN’s New Day have been lackluster as well. When Jeff Zucker took the helm of CNN in the beginning of this year, one of his top priorities was revamping the network’s morning show. At the time, Soledad O’Brien’s Starting Point was more combative than most morning shows, and had some rating struggles. A few months into Zucker’s tenure, Starting Point was cancelled and Soledad left the network. Chris Cuomo, from ABC News, was brought in with the promise of a morning show built around him. Later, CNN announced New Day, with Chris, Kate Bolduan (a former congressional correspondent who co-anchored the 6 P.M. hour of The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer), and Michaela Periera, a local news anchor from KTLA who would be the news anchor. A marketing blitz began, New Day had billboards and promos aplenty. However when the day one ratings came out, it was third in total ratings and fourth in the demo. However, New Day did recover, to some extent. It was competitive against MSNBC’s Morning Joe and HLN’s Morning Express with Robin Meade. Back in July, New Day had a win in the 25-54 age demo, fueled by CNN’s exclusive Zimmerman-related interviews in primetime.

However, New Day has struggled since then, hitting the double-digits in the demos. Sometimes, going so low to be considered a “scratch,” or below Nielsen’s minimum rating of accuracy. For the demo, a scratch is considered below 53,000.

New Day has a Wii U problem, CNN hasn’t convinced viewers why they should watch CNN.

For years, NBC’s Today Show led the pack among morning shows. The success was in part because of Jeff Zucker, who served as a producer. Today’s format was then replicated by the other morning shows, but with no success because the Today Show was the original. However, once Good Morning America created its own ensemble format it was able to effectively compete against the Today Show. Likewise, CBS is able to better compete because of its different format.

However, CNN has the dilemma that its format is too close to the format of the 90s Today Show. Unfortunately for CNN, the void has been filled, for the most part, by CBS This Morning. Earlier this year when CBS was unavailable in some major markets due to a contract dispute with Time Warner Cable, TVNewser reported that optimism was abundant at New Day. Staffers were expecting that CTM viewers would come over to New Day. However, some of New Day’s lowest ratings came during this point.

CNN’s morning shows have often had trouble in the ratings. While Starting Point had its troubles, its audience was growing and often had triple digits in the demos. The reason for its comparative success is that Starting Point had a unique format. While the panel format was borrowed from Morning Joe, the show was more combative and newsy than the elitist and commenting Morning Joe. The show regularly made headlines for Soledad O’Brien’s interviews. The Romney campaign made verbal mistakes on the show, such as Romney not caring about the poor and Eric Fehrnstrom’s Etch-a-Sketch comment. Viewers could watch something different with Starting Point.

However with New Day, the network has been unable to convince viewers what’s different, what’s the selling point. The same with the Wii U, why should they buy this console?

About Tyler

Tyler is the chief media reporter for TKNN, with the news organization since its founding in November of 2010. He has previously served as chief political reporter and chief political anchor for TKNN.

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