'CBS This Morning' Continues to Struggle During 'Today'-'Good Morning America' Battle

11:45 AM PST 04/20/2012 by Michael O'Connell
John P. Filo/CBS

UPDATED: The revamped morning series' year-to-date average is down 9 percent from its predecessor, losing ground in key markets.

With so much attention on Good Morning America leapfrogging Today for the first time in 852 week, CBS This Morning has remained largely out of the discussion.  

The revamped offering from the perennially third-place morning network, which ditched the Early Show name and added Gayle King and Charlie Rose as hosts and Morning Joe EP Chris Licht, CBS This Morning kicked off in January with slightly buoyed ratings. It was up 5 percent, to 2.7 million viewers, from the month before. But the months following have been marked by more growing pains.

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Between Jan. 9 and April 13 of this year, CBS This Morning is averaging 2.535 million viewers, down 9 percent from Early Show's ratings during the same period in 2011 (2.782 million). Its drop eclipses Today's 5 percent loss (averaging 5.359 million for the year) and separates it from Good Morning America's 1 percent growth (4.955 million for the year).

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And though its national numbers still far outweigh morning cable news offerings, CBS This Morning is losing some key markets.  It's currently being topped by Fox News' Fox and Friends in 6 of the top 20 U.S. markets. The FNC series, which recently started airing at 5 a.m., has more than double the viewers of This Morning in Atlanta, Detroit and Orlando. Fox and Friends still trails This Morning nationally by 1.357 million viewers.

CBS This Morning does have something to be happy about. The same week (ending April 13) that saw Good Morning America eclipse Today also saw CBS This Morning get a small 2 percent bump in viewers. And, compared to 2011, it's performing better among women.

Nielsen has This Morning's draw among female viewers 25-54 up 11 percent, year-to-year, recently pulling a 1.0 rating.

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