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Why the media loves Obama: He's good for business



60_minutes_bg CBS has released ratings figures showing that their near-hourlong sit- down with President-Elect Barack Obama and wife Michelle on Sunday was not just a blockbuster 60 Minutes episode, with 25-million people tuning in to deliver its highest ratings in nine years.

It was also the season's most-watched episode of television to date, outranking even the World Series games and making struggling newer programs such as Pushing Daisies and Heroes look like lightweights.

This is the discussion that gets missed when critics wring their hands about Obama's popularity with the press. I've always thought that much of his good press could be explained by three simple things: a) he had the best campaigns in both the primaries and the general election, so success begat success; b) he's a great story; c) he's good for business -- meaning, viewers, readers and listeners show up when he's featured in a story.

Click below to see CBS's release, along with a YouTube clip in case you missed it:

60min 60 MINUTES drew 25.1 million viewers last Sunday, the largest audience among all the programs on television so far this season.  The audience was 60 MINUTES’ largest in nearly a decade and the program posted its best delivery in the key demographics in almost nine years.

             The television event of the season, featuring the first post-election interview with President-elect Obama and his wife, Michelle, was also a hit across all CBS digital platforms. The 60 MINUTES Web site on ( drew the most video streams and page views since the Web site was created. In addition to the Web, CBS Mobile saw five times more people view highlights of the interview on their mobile phones than average.  The interview was available online shortly after the on-air broadcast concluded.

            Sunday’s television broadcast propelled 60 MINUTES into Nielsen's number-one spot for the second straight week. The last time 60 MINUTES ranked first in-season on consecutive weeks were the weeks ending Dec. 27, 1992 and Jan. 3, 1993.

            60 MINUTES delivered a 15.1/23 with 25.10m viewers, 8.1/18 in adults 25-54 and 6.3/16 in adults 18-49.  This is 60 MINUTES’ best households and viewers deliveries since January 17, 1999 and best adults 25-54 and adults 18-49 performances since January 9, 2000.

            The record broadcast continues a stellar season for 60 MINUTES, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary and remains one of the most successful programs in television history.  So far this season, the program has made Nielsen’s weekly top 10 list five out of eight weeks.

            Season to date, 60 MINUTES is averaging 15.7 million viewers, up 12 percent over last season.  It is also up 9 percent in households, with 10.0 rating and 16 share.   The broadcast ranks 9th on Nielsen's Top 10 list in both viewers and households.


[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:53pm]


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