MSNBC and CNN are having a rough go of it in the ratings.
First, some good news: While under Jeff Zucker, CNN has moved ahead MSNBC for a rare second-place finish right behind Fox News Channel during the second quarter. Now the bad news: The network suffered a loss. CNN ended the first half of the year with June viewership dipping to a monthly low not seen in nearly a year, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
CNN’s quarterly returns were actually up from the first quarter and up incredibly from last June’s 21-year lows. And in total viewership, CNN was up year-over-year by equal measures in both total day and primetime numbers. Then after major breaking news events including the Boston Marathon bombing, Oklahoma tornadoes, and the Jodi Arias trial, the network slipped to its lowest viewership (total day and primetime) since last August, before Zucker took over.
Some shows had standout ratings, such as Anderson Cooper’s 10 p.m. block in the eleventh hour when he devoted the show to covering the George Zimmerman trial. But Piers Morgan Live saw his second-lowest-rated month since premiering in January 2011.
MSNBC doesn’t have great news to report either. It delivered its worst quarterly primetime showing among total viewers and adults 25-to-54 since 2007, reports THR. MSNBC’s primetime returns in total viewers (576,000) and the key demo (191,000) were at lows not seen since the fourth and second quarters of 2007, respectively.
There was another blow to MSNBC. The network was named in a proposed class-action lawsuit filed by unpaid interns against MSNBC parent company, NBCUniversal. Jesse Moore claims she worked 24-hour-or-more weeks in the booking department at MSNBC in 2011, and Monet Eliastam, who says she worked 25-hour-or-more weeks on the staff of Saturday Night Live in 2012.
Represented by Outten & Golden, the same law firm that represented two former Black Swan interns in a summary judgment win against Fox Searchlight last month, Eliastam and Moore claim NBCUniversal “has denied them the benefits that the law affords to employees, including unemployment, workers’ compensation insurance, social security contributions, and, most crucially, the right to earn a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work.” According to court documents, the plaintiffs believe that the amount of money in controversy exceeds $5 million.
There have been a string of unpaid intern lawsuits. “In recent weeks, Conde Nast, Gawker, Warner Music and others have been sued for allegedly violating the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay minimum wage to interns,” reports The Hollywood Reporter in a separate article.