Eliot Spitzer's 'Viewpoint' Ratings Predictably Plummet Since Olbermann's Current Exit

Eliot Spitzer FOX Studios - P 2012
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Eliot Spitzer FOX Studios - P 2012

Four weeks after the "Countdown" host abruptly and dramatically left the network, viewership in his old hour is down 68 percent, though the network now courts a more affluent audience and sees growth in other times.

Keith Olbermann's fiery and abrupt exit from Countdown's home of less than a year, Current TV, was bound to trigger a drop in ratings for the 8 p.m. hour.

Replacement Eliot Spitzer pulled an anemic 47,000 total viewers in the first outing of Viewpoint, with just 10,000 among adults 25-54. The weeks since saw an early rebound, particularly in the demo, but in its four weeks on air Viewpoint has steadily declined in both respects.

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Compared to Olbermann's average in March, over the same time period, Nielsen has Viewpoint's four-week average down 62 percent with adults 25-54 (14,000 from 38,000) and 68 percent with total viewers (46,000 from 145,000). The demo average managed to reach 19,000 in its second week, but dropped to 12,000 in the third and just 9,000 in the fourth.

To Current's advantage, the network is now courting a new audience. Nielsen also shows Viewpoint is pulling a higher percentage of viewers with incomes over $150,000 per year (25 percent over 19 percent), viewers who've completed four or more years of college (61 percent over 49 percent) and viewers with professional/managerial careers (25 percent over just 10 percent).

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And in the absence of a flagship personality, the network does see growth in other time slots. The Young Turks with Cenk Uygur has the 7 p.m. hour up 229 percent in total viewers, year over year, and since Olbermann's departure is now the network's highest rated program in with all key demos.

In the morning, and after five weeks on air, Full Court Press: The Bill Press Show (6 to 9 a.m.) and Talking Liberally: The Stephanie Miller Show (9 a.m. to 12 p.m.) have the six-hour block up 200 percent in total viewers compared to the first quarter. Press is also up 25 percent with adults 25-54, with Miller up 160 percent.